I want to start by saying that No Foot Too Small has been such a blessing to us—it truly is the worst club, best people. The connection I have found in this community has helped me navigate the loss of our son in so many ways. I especially love the many opportunities we get to celebrate our angel!
Carson’s story began July 2022 when we found out we were expecting our second child. At the time, our daughter Callie was about to turn 2. The timing was perfect. She was ready to become a big sister and share some of the love, as she was the only grandchild on both sides of the family.
My pregnancy was going great and we were so incredibly excited to find out at the 20-week anatomy scan that we were having a boy! The only concern at the scan was that he was measuring about 2 weeks ahead, so they scheduled a growth ultrasound for later in the pregnancy. We couldn’t wait to share the news with family and friends, and we even did an announcement on our Christmas card that year.
All of our hopes and dreams for our baby boy came crashing down on Valentines Day 2023 when I was 34 weeks pregnant. I hadn’t felt the best the weekend before. I was feeling tired and nauseous. I’m a teacher, so we had a busy day at school filled with lots of movement and, of course, candy. I had a weird feeling all day and realized I couldn’t remember when I last felt Carson move. I remember thinking that I was probably overreacting, but by the end of the school day, I broke down in tears after the students left. I knew in my heart something was terribly wrong. I called the doctor and they told me to head to Labor and Delivery to get checked.
I arrived at the hospital and they got me right up to a room and a nurse got out the doppler to look for a heartbeat. My heart was beating so fast, they weren’t sure if it was my heart or the baby’s heart they were hearing. After what felt like an eternity, they decided it would be best to go get the doctor on call and have them do an ultrasound. I’ll never forget the screen and the doctor zooming in on the heart, that was clearly not beating. I heard the dreaded words: “I’m sorry but there is no heartbeat”. My world stopped, time stopped and I felt like I couldn’t breathe. The doctor and nurses were so wonderful and I couldn’t have asked for better care at that moment, but it didn’t make the situation any easier. One of the nurses called my husband for me to deliver the news of what was going on and he rushed there as quickly as he could. When he got there, we decided that we wanted to deliver him as soon as possible, but I did want to go home and pack some things. I decided I would drive my car home alone. It was the quietest drive I’ve ever experienced. Looking back, I probably was in no condition to drive, but I think I was still in shock. It’s amazing what you are capable of when you have no other choice. This was easily the worst day of my life.
The next day I always want to remember as the day we met and held our son and angel for the first time. Although it was filled with lots of tears and sadness, it is filled with memories that I hope to never forget. I am so thankful for the photographer from Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep, who took so many pictures of our sweet boy. My parents and my husband’s parents were both able to be there, and our daughter Callie was able to meet her little brother. She was and still is a proud big sister. The nurses and doctors handled everything as perfectly as you could hope for and were so helpful and supportive to us.
Carson’s life and death has taught us so much. We always knew that we had amazing family and friends, but this has really shown us just how lucky we are. Carson will always be our angel and we look forward to meeting him again someday.
“Imagine a love so strong it made saying hello and goodbye in the same day worth all the pain.”
Brad & Stacy Schmitz
IN HONOR AND CELEBRATION OF CARSON JAMES, DONATIONS CAN BE MADE HERE. ON BEHALF OF THE SCHMITZ FAMILY, THANK YOU FOR YOUR GIFT.