On what would have been Oliver Patrick Pfleiderer's first birthday, his parents honored his life by giving other families the gift of time.
"One year ago today, around this time, I learned that Oliver had died just two days before his induction," Kerry Goessling, Oliver's mother, said to a small crowd on the maternity floor of Auburn Community Hospital Friday afternoon. She and her husband, Steven Pfleiderer, "have learned to navigate a life without our first-born son," even though the grief and mourning is still difficult to comprehend.
"The one thing that has been helping us feel better is to give back and to try to preserve Oliver's memory by giving in his honor. We've done so many things daily to remember our son," Goessling said. "But today, donating a CuddleCot tops the list."
Near the end of her pregnancy, Goessling was diagnosed with pre-eclampsia. At what was to be her final appointment before her labor induction, she saw on the ultrasound that her son's heart had stopped beating. After about 18 hours of labor, Goessling delivered 5 pound, 10 ounce Oliver, silent and stillborn, on April 5, 2018.
"He was very beautiful," she said of her 21-inch-long son.
"We knew nothing except that we were living a nightmare and each moment kept coming," Goessling said. "Our time with him was limited, before long the heat of our embrace and the stillness of the blood in his body would begin to show."