WENTZVILLE, Mo. (KMOV.com) -- According to the National Pregnancy Association, one in every four pregnancies ends in a loss, while one in every 160 deliveries ends in a stillbirth. 

It's tragic statistics like these that consume the minds and hearts of countless people during October, which is nationally designated as Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month.

Katy and Tyler Bone live in Wentzville with their two and a half year old daughter Penelope and four month old son Archer.

The couple has experienced two losses as they've grown their family over the last couple of years. In 2016, Katy suffered a miscarriage before having her daughter Penelope, who she considers her rainbow baby. Soon after, she learned she was pregnant with a baby boy, soon to be named Barrett.

"Pretty normal pregnancy, he did have a two-vessel cord, which usually just means a smaller baby," Katy said. "They monitored me closely during the pregnancy but it was pretty normal and he was born at 37 weeks."

Immediately after Barrett was born, the couple realized he was having trouble breathing.

Barrett went undiagnosed for several days, before doctors told the Bones he was suffering from Alveolar Capillary Dysplasia. 

"It basically means the veins running from his heart to his lungs didn't line up with the air sacs in his lungs so he couldn't make the oxygen exchange in his lungs," Tyler Bone said. "His lungs were basically not working at all."

After several weeks in various NICU's, Barrett passed away at 28 days old.

“Barrett is and will always be so loved," said Katy Bone. "Because of Barrett we love harder.”

Several months after Barrett's passing, the couple found out they were expecting again. Doctors closely monitored Bone's pregnancy and conducted various tests to ensure the baby was not suffering from the same rare disorder.

Archer Bone was born in June of this year, nearly one year after his older brother, Barrett, was born.

"He weighed six pounds and 14 ounces which is the date Barrett was born, so Barrett is sending us signs already, which is amazing."

The couple said they have good days and bad days and with every happy moment, some grief follows. 

Coping with the life-long grief that comes along with losing a child can be made easier with support organizations like Share, a national organization with an office in St. Charles.

“The parents each have a very different and unique experience," said Patti Budnik, a Bereavement Care Manager at Share. "They both lost their baby or child but that loss looks different and feels different to each of them.”

Budnik said couples grieve in different ways and support professionals meet families wherever they are in the grieving process. If you know someone who has suffered a loss, she encourages you to ask that person what you can do to help them.

Katy agrees.

"You can just say, 'I'm sorry,'" Katy said. "I think some people think they have to have a profound statement to make it better and the thing is it won't make it better. Barrett is not here and there's nothing anyone can say that would potentially make that better."

Her husband, Tyler, said don't be afraid to ask bereaved parents about their loss and some of their favorite things about their child.

However, there are some things to avoid saying to anyone who has experienced a loss.

“Our families hear it all the time, at least you were early, at least you were only 8 weeks along, at least you can have other kids, at least you have another child at home," said Budnik. "Those comments might be well intended but they are hurtful.”

The Bones said they will keep the memory of Barrett alive as they continue to parent Penelope and Archer. His memory, in part, captured in a five-pound teddy bear, representative of Barrett's birth weight.

“It’s hard because we won’t ever have a picture of all of our kids together, of all of us," Katy said.

However, they're sure to include Barrett's bear in family pictures taken in his absence.

If you or someone you know is struggling with pregnancy or infant loss, call Share at (636) 947-6164 or visit them online at nationalshare.org.

Copyright 2020 KMOV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved

 

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