Emmy's Solo and Essay
Emmy had another last show tonight with the school orchestra.
She had a solo and she did pretty great!
She played A Thousand Years, the same song Kevin used in Baby Kevin's video. She had no idea her dad was using that song when she started working on it for the performance.
You can watch it HERE.
Emmy and her future USU suitemate Abby
A few months ago Emmy wrote an essay about Baby Kevin for her English class. She gave me permission to post it...
I figured out my mom was pregnant before she intended to tell the rest of my siblings and me. I should have been used to the idea of my mom having babies; this was her eighth child after all. For some reason, though, it shocked me. My youngest sister wasn’t even ten months old yet. Eight kids. It took me quite awhile to process that thought.
About a week later, on Christmas Eve, my parents decided to tell the rest of my brothers and sisters about the baby. I remember watching the different emotions cross my older brother’s face. First confusion, then disbelief, followed by shock, and finally excitement. We were all excited. My parents told us we were finding out the gender of the baby that day too. Every single one of us was hoping for a boy. The girls outnumbered the boys in my family five to two, and after four girls in a row, we were more than ready for a boy.
The ultrasound technician had a hard time figuring out exactly what gender the baby was. She ended up sending us home with “about an 80% chance it’s a boy”. We thought it was a little odd, but it was Christmas Eve and we were just happy the word “girl” didn’t come out of her mouth.
The day after Christmas we packed up and headed to Arizona to spend the week with my aunt and uncle. Little did we know that would be the only week during my mom’s pregnancy filled with bliss. Ignorant bliss, but bliss just the same. During that week we didn’t know that the doctor would call as soon as we got home from our trip and tell us that the baby’s head was abnormally large and he wanted to do further tests. During that week we didn’t know that our baby brother had countless problems with his little heart and brain. We didn’t know he had a bilateral cleft palate and lip, or that hardly anything in his tiny body developed right. During that week we didn’t know that our baby brother, whom we had been anticipating the arrival of for years now, would only live for an hour and a half.
The next five months were the hardest of my life. At first I didn’t believe the doctors. Nothing was wrong with my baby brother; that was impossible. But when specialist after specialist confirmed that what they had told us was true, it became harder to deny it. My baby brother had Trisomy 13. Trisomy 13, I couldn’t even pronounce it. They told us it was a miracle he had even made it to 20 weeks. They asked my parents if they wanted to “terminate” the baby, like my brother was some sort of object rather than a human being. Thankfully that was out of the question for my parents and they decided to continue with the pregnancy, even with the risk of miscarrying at any time.
Everybody I knew asked me constantly about my mom and the baby, especially at first when they didn’t really know specifics. It was exhausting. Their intentions were good and their hearts were in the right place, but I hated it. I hated that feeling I got in the back of my throat any time anyone asked me about it. It took all I had to hold back the tears that inevitably came. I just wanted to be left alone. Thankfully only a couple of my close friends at school knew about the baby. School got my mind off of things. There was something about walking through the halls and being anonymous in a sea of my peers that was almost comforting. Nobody knew. Nobody asked.
I did not know the true meaning of hope until those few months leading up to the birth of Baby Kevin. Despite what the doctors told us, I hoped that somehow Baby Kevin would live, even if he had some special needs. I also hoped by some miracle he would be just fine. It sounds ridiculous now, to hope for something that impossible, but I was desperate. I just wanted my baby brother. I had a renewed hope and faith in the Atonement of Jesus Christ. I had always known that I would get to be with my family again someday, but the knowledge that I get to live with my brother again, and that his body will be perfect, became so much more precious to me.
It was the hope that carried me through those last few months. I’m glad that I had that hope. It would have been so easy to dismiss him and give up on him because that was all I knew. There was only that first week that I didn’t know he had so many problems. Almost the entire time I knew my mom was going to have a baby, I also knew the baby had almost no chance of living. I was able to allow myself to see him as my little brother, even if we knew he wasn’t going to live for very long.
The day finally came. May 10, 2012. It was a day that I wanted to be over as soon as possible and a day I wished would never come all at the same time. When we got to the hospital, my dad sat me and my little brother and sisters down. He told us that my mom had delivered the baby, and he did in fact have Trisomy 13. He wasn’t expected to live long. I couldn’t remember ever seeing my dad so emotional. He was my dad: the big, strong protector. I hated seeing him so vulnerable.
I met my baby brother, Kevin David Beck Jr., about two hours after he was born. He was such a sweet little thing, and so tiny. I held him and rocked him and sang to him. He never made any noise when he was with me. His heartbeat was so quiet and irregular, we aren’t quite sure when exactly he passed away. The little guy fought pretty hard to live as long as he did. My parents tell me he cried for a good 15 minutes after he was born, he wanted to make sure everyone knew he made it.
The tears started sometime before we got to the hospital room and never really stopped that day. When we came home from the hospital, I wasn’t quite sure what to do. I wasn’t ready to deal with the pain yet, nor did I know how. The only thing I could do was lie on my parents’ bed and watch other people deal with their problems on TV. Anytime I thought about what had happened that day, the tears would come again. Friends and family tried to contact me and tell me how sorry they were. I ignored everything for the first couple of days. I didn’t want to talk about it; I just wanted to be left alone.
About a week later we buried my baby brother. We buried him in a beautiful, quiet cemetery in Malad, Idaho. That is a day I’ll never forget. I will never forget how heartbreaking it was to listen to my mom read a letter she wrote to Baby Kevin. I will never forget the look on my older brother’s face as he blessed his little brother’s grave. I had never seen anyone in so much pain. It hurt to see him so grief-stricken. Everyone was so incredibly sad and there was nothing I could do to fix it. That was the worst part. You can’t just fix these things, only time can do that.
I’m not quite sure how I made it through those five months. The sadness and pain never seemed like it would end. A few times it felt like the grief would just swallow me whole. But eventually, I did heal. I never thought I’d be able to handle losing a brother. It is amazing what we are capable of being put through, and our ability to still come out on top. You never really know how strong you are until you are put in a situation where you have no other choice.