I married the love of my life, Sean, on June 1st 2008. We left the next day for a dream vacation to Hawaii. We both knew we wanted children soon and had not used precautions to prevent a pregnancy, but were still somewhat surprised to find that we were pregnant by the end of June.

Everyone thought that our baby was a boy, just by guessing, and my husband wanted nothing else. I held onto a secret hope that it would be a little girl. In October we found out that she was a girl! Soon pink blankets, onesies, and booties filled our house. On February 16th,2009, labor was induced and a beautiful, healthy little girl was born after just 5 hours and 15 minutes of labor. She was 6 lbs. and 14 oz. and had a gorgeous head of dark brown, curly hair. Seeing my husband with her for the first time was amazing! He could not hold back the tears or the immense pride he had for his little girl.

We named her Kennedy Brielle. She continued to amaze us with each new discovery and pound gained.  She loved to eat and was growing right on target, or so her pediatrician told us. She was meeting all of her developmental tasks and was even putting weight on her legs when we would hold her up at 2 months. Life was perfect though messy, and we felt so blessed by God each day. We had such a happy baby, who cooed, squealed, smiled and gurgled frequently.

May 25th, 2009, I came home from work and greeted Kennedy. She was just waking up and smiled when she recognized my face. I fed and changed her and then laid down to take a nap with her. Normally she would wake me when she was hungry, but I never woke that day, as she never cried. When I woke I checked on her, not knowing the time and found her body lifeless and pale. She wasn’t breathing.

Being a nurse, I immediately began infant CPR, but to no avail. I called 911 and continued CPR until the paramedics arrived but I knew deep down that she was already gone. My husband was at work and I couldn’t imagine how I was going to tell him that his princess was no longer with us! Several police officers were at our home and a chaplain was called. I definitely knew now that there was no hope of saving our babygirl. I was panicked and restless and in such despair. How could I ever live without my baby? My husband too shared the deepest grief he has ever experienced, but remained a strong support and comfort to me.

We don’t have the answers and continue to miss our little girl desperately, but are putting our trust in the one who does know all things, and will place Kennedy back in our arms one day!  We feel blessed to have been given the responsibility of caring for such a precious angel, even if for 3 short months. She touched so many lives as we saw when we held her memorial service and received the hundreds of sympathy cards and gifts.  We are taking it one day at a time and holding on to each other through our grief. I remind myself constantly that God is in control of all things and I cannot see beyond my own small picture. We would encourage anyone who shares our belief in God to please pray for us as we are changed by the turn in our life we have experienced.
-Laura Smith
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