Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Three Special Angel Babies

I've been reading up about Trisomy 18.  It can be detected before the baby is born, and, from what I have read, most babies do not survive, either before birth or shortly thereafter.  It is three times more common in girls than boys.  I had to sadly smile when I read that it is "a somewhat common syndrome."  It might be common when looking at the whole picture, but to a family that experiences the heartbreak of losing a child, it can feel like as if they are the only ones.

We are honoring three wonderful families who have babies diagnosed with Trisomy 18.  It has been a pleasure and my honor to become acquainted with them.  Here are their stories:

The Cross Family:
Our angel baby Mary Lucile Cross was born still on August 20th, 2012. She made it to 38 weeks.

When I was 22 weeks pregnant, we found through ultrasound that Mary had 5 "minor" problems- each individually wouldn't have been a big deal, but since there was more than 1 or 2, our perinatologist suggested we get an amniocentesis.  Two weeks later, our baby girl was diagnosed with Trisomy 18.  Receiving this basic death sentence for our baby girl was the worst thing we could possibly imagine.  From that time on, we did all we could to enjoy the time we had with her while she was still living. We had incredible support from Angel Watch, who taught us how to make memories with our Mary and how we could better "prepare".  We sang songs together, went swimming, let Mary "taste" every sort of ice cream.  Mary was and is just as much a part of our family as any other member.  We miss her and talk about her often and wish she were here.  But we know that she is safe in Heaven and that we will get to see her again. Mary has taught us how to have faith, how to be more sensitive, and how to truly love. 
We miss you, sweet baby Mary, but know you are never far from us!

The Hone Family:
My husband and I had struggled with infertility for years.  I wanted nothing more than to be a mother.  In January 2010, we got word that we were expecting!  We couldn't have been more thrilled.  In February, we found out we were expecting twins!  Life couldn't have been more blissful.  For months, we watched as my belly grew and waited anxiously to meet our little ones.  In May 2010, we found out that we were expecting a boy and a girl, Kingston and Scarlet.  However, our little Kingston had a diagnosis of trisomy 18, and wasn't expected to live until birth, and if he did live to birth, he wasn't expected to live long afterwards.  We watched over the next three months as our daughter grew into a healthy baby, and as our son steadily declined.  On August 11, 2010, I was rushed into the OR for an emergency C-section.  I was only 33 weeks along.  Kingston came out first weighing in at only 2 pounds 2 ounces.  Scarlet came next, weighing 3 pounds 12 ounces.  The biggest miracle of this day is  that Kingston was born alive. He got to breathe the sweet air that surrounded him for a mere 73 minutes.  It was such a peaceful experience as his perfect spirit left his imperfect little body.  I hope to never forget what it felt like to have heaven so close. 

Our surviving twin, Scarlet, was born healthy.  She stayed in the NICU for 4 weeks before she came home.  She is now a very rambunctious 3 year old with mounds of personality.  She has been such a light in our lives!  I know that there were days of grief when she was the only thing that got me through it. 

Just 21 months after our Kingston passed away, we welcomed our sweet little "California Miracle" to our family, also known as Elliot.  He was very unexpected, but very loved.  He has been the perfect definition of a rainbow baby.  He's brought endless amounts of joy into our family! 

We currently reside in beautiful Gilbert, Arizona.  We are loving life with our two beautiful children who are still here on this earth.  We miss Kingston every single day, but know that he continually watches over us.  I'm so grateful that through his death, I have been able to bless other's lives by donating my time and talents by making necklaces for mothers who have lost children.  

The Nash Family:
On Valentines Day 2012 I found out I was pregnant with baby #4.  We were so excited and were hoping for a boy, since we already had 3 daughters. On May 17th at 17 weeks and 4 days we went in for a fun 3D ultrasound to see if we could find out a little sooner what we were having. It was very obvious to me that something was very wrong. My sweet little baby had a very large growth growing from her belly.  It was explained to my husband and I that it was an omphalocele, her bowel and liver were growing outside of her body, and it's common with Trisomy 18 and Trisomy 13, and neither were compatible with life.  We decided to have an amniocentesis.  After 2 weeks our final results were in and they were not good.  Bradee had a very rare type of trisomy 18 called Isoschromosome 18q.  She was only given a 10% chance of surviving until birth, and if she made it that far she was only given a 5% chance of ever seeing her 1st birthday.  We continued to cling to hope that we would see our little girl alive.  My belly continued to grow and I developed severe polyhydrominos and was carrying a lot of extra fluid.  We were given weekly ultrasounds to check on her and to check on the amount of fluid surrounding her.  We included her in our daily activities.  Her older sister would sing "You are my sunshine" to her every night.  We took her to the zoo, had family pictures,  and enjoyed every minute we had with her. On September 5, 2012 Bradee was the most active she had ever been.  She wiggled and kicked most of the night.  September 6, 2012 we went in for our normal weekly fluid check where I measured 60 cm of fluid.  The ultrasound tech quickly did her scan and told me she was going to get the doctor.  I asked her if she had seen her heart beating and she simply said I'll get the doctor.  After a few minutes they both returned and my  doctor did a scan, and told me those horrible words, "I'm sorry baby has passed."  Bradee Lynn was born sleeping at 1:36 pm and weighed 3 lbs and 1.7 oz and was 16 inches long.  She was beautiful.  We were blessed to keep her with us for 24 hours, where we loved on her. Her sisters came and helped dad give her a bath. They snuggled her and cried for her.  We took pictures that we continue to treasure. Bradee was laid to rest on September 11, 2012 on top of her Great-grandma Beagley.  We love her and we miss her every single day.  Although her life was short, her life had meaning and purpose.  Bradee Lynn Nash I will see you again one day.
For the Nash family, pictured here, as well as the Hone and Cross families, life goes on.  But these angel babies are never forgotten.  We are so honored to have them with us at our 10th annual 
Running with Angels 5K!


  1. My little guy has T18, and while we do still get to enjoy his sweet spirit, each day is an unexpected gift. Angel Watch helped so much during those oh so difficult months during pregnancy and the first little while after his birth. Just knowing they were there, with whatever support we needed, it was a priceless gift.

  2. I wish I had known of anything remotely like this... I have an angel baby that was born early and still... She was my second daughter and third child... I know she is still with us... My son Christopher is a year younger than her and he knows all about his sister... Sometimes he tells me he thinks of her and loves her even tho he has never seen her... I think often that as a baby, Christopher was influenced a bit by the memory of his sister... We do not know exactly why my angel baby did not survive... And there were doctors with us most of the pregnancy... To have someone help you through something like this is great... I have grown to know that she is still with us and I will see her again, Christopher will be able to get to know his sister and Austin and heather, who are the oldest, will be able to be big brother and sister at some point... But I will always live my life knowing that it has been influenced by the greatest Autumn Rayne... In memory of Autumn Rayne Reeves👣👣👣❤❤❤