Sixteen years after the loss of her infant son, Banner Del E. Webb nurse Yvonne Downs still remembers her loss as if it were yesterday.
“A mother’s love is timeless and never ending, even when they are only with you for a short amount of time,” Downs said.
Her son, Austin, was born at 27 weeks and weighed less than a pound.
“He was such a strong boy who fought so hard to stay with us, but unfortunately his fight was not enough and he passed away at 10 weeks of life,” she said.
“Saying goodbye and burying your child is the worst feeling a mother or father can ever experience.
“I often asked myself why during this time and how can I go on without him? The answers did not come right away, which made the mourning more difficult at times.”
Mothers who lose babies through miscarriage, stillbirth or shortly after birth often live with an unresolved grief.
Banner Del E. Webb Medical Center honors these infants, their mothers and families during its annual pregnancy and infant loss remembrance day ceremony, “Remembering Our Babies.”
This year, the candlelight ceremony will be from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Monday in the hospital’s Reflection Garden, just outside the main entrance at 14502 W. Meeker Blvd., Sun City West.
Enter through the main entrance from Granite Valley Drive.
Speakers, soothing music and poetry will honor the memory of children lost. A butterfly release will cap the ceremony.
“Remembering Our Babies” gives families a time to remember and acknowledge these precious lives.
Light refreshments will be served at the ceremony. For more information, call 623-524-4325. No reservations are required.
Downs, who is now raising two additional sons, said the loss inspired her to help mothers who have similar experiences.
“Losing my son enabled me to have the courage to become a labor and delivery nurse so I can help other families through the happiest or worst time in their lives,” Downs said.
“I know that when I take care of parents who have just had to say hello and goodbye to their baby in the same breath, Austin is there with me to help ease the pain.”
IF YOU GO
WHAT: Remembering Our Babies
WHEN: Monday 5:30 to 7 p.m.
WHERE: Banner De. E. Webb Medical Center
14502 W. Meeker Blvd., Sun City West