I joined SHARE a little over nine years ago and with so many new people joining the site I thought that I would take a moment and share our family's story again.
32 years ago I arrived into this world prematurely due to an ABO blood incompatibility. I received many blood transfusions, fought high jaundice levels, and a month and a half later I was finally able to go home.
I grew up knowing I wanted to be the mom to a house full of kids. I would dream of the day I would fall in love, get married, and begin a family of my own. I never imagined how difficult it would be to achieve that dream. My husband and I found out in Feb 2004 that we were expecting. We were over the moon excited and couldn't wait to welcome our little boy to this world. I had everything planned out, like most new moms due. Except that my water would break prematurely and that our son Jadon would arrive 5 1/2 weeks premature, fighting to breath on his own. Jadon was completely blue and would need the aid of a ventilator. Jadon received surfactant therapy to help his immature lungs and was able to move off the vent on to room air and home within 8 days of his early arrival. I believe that the surfactant is what saved him. Jadon still struggles with respiratory issues 11 years later.
In 2006, my husband and I got the unexpected blessing, Jadon was going to be a big brother. At our 20 week ultrasound we were excited to find out if we would be adding a baby brother or a baby sister. Instead we were given the news every parent fears. There was something wrong with our child. The next 5 weeks we saw specialist after specialist, doctor after doctor. No one could not tell us what was wrong only that our daughter wasn't growing properly, and that her chances of surviving were very slim. They told us she had an Inter Uterine growth restriction and they had no clue why. At 25 weeks my blood pressure spiked. We arrived at the hospital, my kidneys were failing, and I was diagnosed with severe preeclampsia. I was immediately put on magnesium to help keep me stable as I was rushed to Orlando (about an hour away from our home). We were told that they would have to induce or my husband would lose us both. We were told that they didn't have tubes small enough and that trying to save her would cause more damage to her already fragile body. With the help of our medical team we made the most difficult decision any parent could make. We signed a DNR on our daughter. Our daughter Trinity Leigh arrived into this world 15 weeks too soon. She weighed 11.4oz and was 10 inches long. Our daughter gained her angel wings shortly after she was born.
In November of 2011 we finally were pregnant again after many years of trying to conceive. Two days after Christmas we miscarried the pregnancy at 6 weeks. I was devastated again.
Two months later I saw two pink lines. The fear and anxiety was overwhelming. I received 17p shots to help me reach full term. Things we're going good until 32 weeks when the doctors realized I had 2 blood clotting disorders. At 32 weeks our son Jaxson was born after going into distress. He was born weighing 4lb 1oz and spent 16 days in the NICU, where he too received surfactant therapy.
My boys story shows how far we have come, however my daughters story shows how far we still need to go. As a mom I have never heard the beautiful sound of my baby crying at birth. The birth of all three of my children were not the story book picture I had always dreamed of. When your child is born premature it is beyond scary. Saying goodbye to your child is unbearable. I am beyond thankful for the March Of Dimes and Share Your Story. I credit the March of Dimes and surfactant for saving my boys. I am blessed that the March of Dimes and a team of amazing people created Share Your Story. To have a place to go and people who understand has been healing. I am thankful for the people I have met and the opportunities I have been given to share our story in an effort to raise awareness to prematurity and pregnancy and infant loss. I have had so many amazing experience through my local chapter and the many event I have been able to be a part of. I have enjoyed the years I have been apart of Share Your Story and love how far the site has come over the last nine years.
Our story isn't always easy, but its ours. I can not go back and give my kids the weeks they missed. I can't bring my daughter back or change what happened. But what I can do is Share our story in hopes that we continue to fight for the mission of what the March of Dimes stands for. And we will never quit fighting!
Sam -- you are all heart, and I love you for that. Happy to call you my friend.
Thank you so much for sharing your story with us. I know how hard it is to write all that out, to live it all over again. You are an inspiration of strength and grace as you navigate this world as a the mother of preemies and the mother of an angel. You do so much for all of us here and we are so grateful for you.
So beautiful Sam, so very well written!
Thank you for sharing your story of your family. You are amazing.
Samantha, thank you for sharing your story. You are one amazing mommy to all of your kiddos! Happy belated birthday to you:) Thank YOU for all that you do for MOD and the Share site.
Sending you love and hugs,
Samantha, It is always good to get the reminder of everyone's story and where they have been. Truly an amazing story it is and a touching one. I love the pictures that you share of your family. I'm so glad to have found you at ShareUnion and here on Share Your Story.
March of Dimes fights for the health of all moms and babies. We're advocating for policies to protect them. We're working to radically improve the health care they receive. We're pioneering research to find solutions. We're empowering families with the knowledge and tools to have healthier pregnancies. By uniting communities, we're building a brighter future for us all.
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