In my career I have the opportunity to meet many different women and hear about their journeys through motherhood. All of our experiences are so different and yet have many similarities. The struggles we face, often seem insurmountable, but I take comfort when I meet another mama who has gone through the same or similar.
This October during my Rainbow Baby event for Pregnancy, Infant loss and Awareness Month (http://www.october15th.com/) I had the honor of meeting Jennifer. She wanted to share her story with us about her journey through loss and hope. In her own words…
From the moment I found out I was expecting a baby, I was over the moon in love with the little one growing in my belly.Â Around 12 weeks along, we made an announcement on Facebook and shortly after, I tagged my husband and me at a Husker football game â€œFirst picture as a family of 3!â€Â The pregnancy was smooth sailing the entire way.Â No morning sickness, no swelling until the last week and overall no issues at all. Â I was told that this baby was a larger baby, so we scheduled an induction right at 40 weeks.Â We were checked into the hospital on Easter Sunday at 8PM with an arrival on my due date.Â We did not find out the sex of the baby during my pregnancy and we couldnâ€™t wait to know if we were having a boy or a girl.Â Upon check in, I progressed quickly, but I then stalled at 7 centimeters.Â My doctor came in and asked if I was okay with a C-section after being at a 7 for several hours, I said yes and we moved in for the C-section about an hour later.Â
Thomas Joseph Wallin was born on April 6, 2015 a healthy baby boy weighing 8 pounds, 5 ounces.Â He wasÂ named after Joshâ€™s dad who had passed away in a car accident when Josh was a little boy.Â Thomas rated high on the APGARÂ scale Â and I couldnâ€™t wait to hold him.Â I had become ill during the c-section with a fever and throwing up, so Josh held him until I felt better in recovery. I remember talking and Thomasâ€™s eyes peered open and he just stared at me. We were wheeled to our mother/baby suite and were overjoyed by the number of visitors we had in the days to follow. We were so in love with Thomas and he didnâ€™t spend much time in his bassinet.Â We were constantly loving on him.
Early Thursday morning, I had gotten up and handed Thomas to Josh while I went and got some water.Â On my way back to the room, the nurses stopped me and told me that Thomas was almost down his 10% body weight so they needed me to start pumping.Â They said not to worry and they followed me into our room.Â Upon arrival, Josh told me that Thomas was breathing funny, but then he started to cry.Â Josh handed Thomas over to me and while I was talking to the nurses he stopped breathing.Â I screamed and the nurse that was in with us took him and rushed down the hall with him calling for help.Â They resuscitated him and he started breathing on his own shortly after. Â
Following Thomasâ€™s incident, he was moved into the NICU to be monitored.Â He was hooked up to several machines and we had no idea what had caused the incident.Â From that moment on, Thomas started having seizures and eventually went into a coma.Â On Friday evening, the nurses had asked if I wanted to hold Thomas and do skin to skin with him. Â I of course said yes, but I had to go be checked out of the mother/baby suite.Â After being checked out, we returned to the NICU to see them resuscitating Thomas again.Â This continued throughout the night. Early Saturday morning, after exhausting every effort to keep Thomas alive, we had to make the decision that enough was enough for him.Â We had to say goodbye to our 5 day old son.Â He was subsequently diagnosed with medium chain acyl-CoA dehydrogenase deficiency (MCADD).Â MCADD is found on the newborn screen, but we had found it too late. Several people live with MCADD each day, however with us not having the newborn screen results back quick enough, we did not know that we were up against this.Â
After Thomas passed away, Josh and I knew we wanted to live better every day for him. We told ourselves that Thomas would want happy parents so we would wake up and tell each other to live the day for Thomas and we carry that on still today.Â We have started Run for Thomas â€“ Fight Against MCADD in Lincoln. Itâ€™s an annual event with face painters, balloon artists and a 2.3 mile run or walk in memory of Thomas.Â We donate our proceeds to FOD Support Groupâ€“ they offer assistance to those that have a fatty acid oxidation disorder) and we also make care packages for families in the NICU.Â If youâ€™d like more information on upcoming runs, please like and follow our Facebook page â€“ www.facebook.com/runforthomas
Now this brings us to our son, Noah Thomas.Â My pregnancy with him was a rough go.Â I was in the ER and labor and delivery several times with bleeding.Â I thought for sure we were going to lose this child, but God had other plans. Noah was born on July 17, 2016 weighing in at 8 pounds, 15 ounces. We chose the name Noah because we liked it, but after looking up the meaning â€“ comfortâ€¦we were sold on the name! Noah spent the first week of his life in the NICU as a precaution until the newborn screening tests came back negative for MCADD. When the phone call came through saying he tested negative, I felt as if I could breathe again.Â Noah has brought us so much joy and we talk to him often about his older brother, Thomas, who watches over us each and every day from heaven!