His name was Hayden Cade Benson.
He was born, lived and died on May 27, 2021.
During a routine ultrasound performed at 20 weeks of gestation, Ashley and Brock Benson learned their son had severe fetal abnormalities. They were told his life would be brief, he might live just a few hours after his birth. Knowing Hayden’s life would be brief prompted Brock and Ashley to give him as many life experiences as they could before he was born. Ashley said, “We took him to a parade. We took him to meet all the people who would celebrate his life. I know it sounds weird, but we did.” Most pregnant women long for the day when they exchange the trials of pregnancy for a bundle of joy. For Ashley it was different. She knew Hayden’s first day would also be his last. “I didn’t want it to end.” But it did.
At the 30-week checkup it became clear that Hayden’s remaining days were few. Brock and Ashley chose delivery by c-section so that Hayden could survive the birth and they could hold him while he was alive. They had two hours to give him a lifetime of love. During those short hours Brock and Ashley observed that Hayden had the same little button nose and the same lips as his big sister, Hazel. They left the hospital with Hayden not in their arms but in their hearts.
It’s a hope for Hayden to be remembered that prompted Ashley to be a part of the Childs Remembrance Garden. The design for the garden is still in progress, but it will include pavers with the names of children who have died. Ashley said of herself and other parents who have lost children, “Our children matter, even though they are not here. We want people to say their names.” It’s her wish and the desire of others that the Remembrance Garden will be a beautiful place where people can grieve and heal; a place where parents can remember their children and say their names.
Her baby’s name was Hayden Cade Benson