Category Archives: Atticus

Christmas Gifts to My Family…

This year, I made a little book of our photos of Atticus to give to our family… I wrote it as much like a children’s story as I could with the intent that we will share Atticus’ story with our future children.  The greatest fear of any parent, is that other will forget the lives of our little children.  Continue reading


Blogs About Happy Happy When Everything Isn’t…

This baby is one month old.

Image via Wikipedia

While I was pregnant I read lots and lots of preggo blogs.  I had no idea what was happening to my body and LORD, people don’t tell you 80% of what pregnancy involves.  They wait until AFTER you are pregnant to start droppin’ bombs. No one told me I’d want to sleep 23 hours a day or that I would be horribly crabby if you dared to wake me up. No one told me about discharge or weird smells or what Braxton Hicks would feel like.

I would see comments about miscarriages or death of a baby and I would feel sad for those women.  Those women who weren’t as healthy as me. Those women who didn’t take care of themselves like I did. Those women who must have done something to not have a perfectly healthy baby. I believed that I was doing things the right way and when you do things the right way, the right outcome happens.

Then my son was born crazy premature and he died 30 days later.

I am one of THOSE women. Continue reading

Forming A Family, Losing A Family

I submitted a guest post on A Practical Wedding, a blog that discusses how to throw a fine wedding party without losing your marbles.

Check it out –

I’ll contribute another post after our July 2nd party!

Last Day with Atticus + Visitation/Funeral Details

We knew early on Tuesday that we would wait to say goodbye to our Atticus until after all the family arrived that could make it. After we let the medical staff know what our plans were, they started removing some of the IV lines from his body. Mommy held her little boy for about an hour and a half… rocking him, whispering the things she needed to say to him, cuddling him, loving him, enjoying the warmth of his body. He opened his eyes from time to time, each moment such an honor and a joy to spend with him. Then Daddy held his little fella. He rocked his son, talked to him, and shared the first-ever moments they had been given to feel one another cradled against the other.

For the rest of the day, Mommy and Daddy took turns holding Atticus, not bearing the idea of putting him back into his bed alone. Atticus melted into us immediately, his heart rate slowed from the 170’s to the 150’s, signifying the breadth of his comfort with us, acknowledging the depth of our relationship, the shared blood between us. This was the only time we got to hold our son, and we wanted to cherish the time we had left to do so.

Throughout the day, many doctors, nurse practitioners, and nurses came to visit Atticus one last time and pay their respects. Many of them weren’t even working that day but had been notified by colleagues of the change in situation. As parents, it is so touching to see the professionals, who had been largely stoic throughout their care of and treatment for Atticus, break down and shed tears for the state of our little boy. One of the nurses who had been with Atticus since he was rushed to the NICU brought us a figurine of an angel holding a child by the hands, and the doctor who had so gleefully done the “pee dance” when Atticus’ kidneys started functioning again, tearfully handed us a beautiful baby blanket she had crocheted for him.

We are so grateful for all the Blank Children’s Staff, especially our Primary Nurses. Their gentle hands cared for our baby every day. We know it was no accident that one of them was working the night we let Atticus go. Each of these three women felt a connection with our son that was evident to the last moments.

At approximately 10:40pm, the nurse administered more pain relief and turned off the ventilator. Daddy held his baby throughout his final breaths. Mommy brought him into the world and Daddy escorted him out. After our baby let go, each of his grandparents got to hold him, to have their private moments with the grandson they wouldn’t see grow up, each got time to love him. It was beautiful to see our son in the arms of our parents. After his grandparents had the opportunity to hold him, his Aunt Alexi and Great-Grandma Glass did the same.

Then Daddy said goodbye once more and Mommy held her son tightly. We told him how proud we were of him. How much we loved him. How much we had wanted him. How sorry we were that this had happened…

Our hearts are broken and we are absolutely devastated that we won’t be able to provide the loving home we had been preparing for our son.
We loved our son as only parents can, and his loss is incomprehensible to us and leaves our voices void of any words to suit our sorrow.

While we are mourning his loss, we also rejoice in and celebrate the 30 days in which he changed our lives and allowed us the opportunity to get to know him. We will continue to mourn and revel him simultaneously, and invite you to share fellowship with us to do the same.

We will be holding a visitation on Tuesday, February 22nd, from 4-8pm at:
Hamilton’s Funeral Home- 3601 Westown Parkway, West Des Moines, IA 50266.

Additionally, a funeral service will take place Wednesday, February 23rd, at around 11am or 12pm. We’ve yet to confirm the exact time with the church, but will follow up with an additional post once confirmed. A luncheon will immediately follow at the church:
Plymouth Congregational Church, 4126 Ingersoll Avenue, Des Moines, IA 50312

Please consider joining us. We know this is a time in which people question whether they will be in the way and don’t want to intrude. This is not the case. We’d love for you to join in the celebration of Atticus Bryce Burns. You’ve been an important link in his life and we would welcome your presence and participation in honoring our sweet little boy.

“Always remember, there is nothing worth sharing//
Like the love that let us share our name”
-Avett Brothers

In gratitude…
In love…
In honoring the ebb and flow of life,

Shana & Jared Burns

Atticus Bryce Burns

With quiet, humble hearts we report that our son’s colon was entirely dead and more than half of his small intestine had died. Jared and I had to make the decision to sew him back up and remove support when we were ready or try to save him and hope that he survives infancy until one day we might be able to get him a small intestine and liver transfer.

We asked for guidance and the suggestion was that prolonging his life was to prolong suffering. The likelihood that he would survive infancy was very low.

We opted to close him up and when we are ready, they will remove support. This is the most terrible decision we have ever had to make. We hope that it is the most loving choice we could have made. The last thing we want to do is prolong Atticus’ pain. He has fought valiantly every day and we are so, so proud of him. He’s done everything we’ve asked and more.

We’ll let everyone know funeral details as we arrange them.

We’re devastated by this news and are so grateful for each other, for our families. Thank you for your prayers and your support. You have all made this a bit more bearable.

With love,
Jared and Shana Burns

2.15.11 AM

Ok, Team Atticus. He is in surgery and if you see this and are able, we would appreciate your thoughts, prayers, meditations…whatever you’re willing to throw our way. We should be able to update later today, hopefully with good news. Thanks to you all.


2.14.11 PM

We walked into the hospital this afternoon and were immediately escorted into a consultation with our current neonatologist. Atticus is having surgery at 7am Tuesday morning. He had an xray and an ultrasound of his kidneys and abdomen. They discovered what they believe to be an abscess around his bowels.

The hope is that his bowels are still living and they will drain the abscess and that will be the end of things. If that isn’t the case, they will remove the dead bowels and will give him an colostomy or ileostomy for about a month. Then they will go back in and rejoin his bowels. We will also get an idea if he has lost so much of his bowels that he will suffer from Short Bowel Syndrome.

We should have an idea post-surgery by about 10am.

Please, please keep our little boy in your prayers. We knew surgery was imminent, but no one expected the need for it to roll around today.

This is a high risk surgery for him, but they have assured us their very best work.

-Shana & Jared