10.01.2008

Wordful Wednesday - Walking for Baby JW





You may have noticed the March for Babies widget in my side bar. You may have seen a few references here on my blog to why we raise money for the March for Babies, why we walk every year, and why we are so passionate about this cause.
But today I'm going to tell the whole story. My wonderful husband gave me permission to share this story with you all, and to 'interview' him for this post, because it is so painful that he never before shared all of the details with me. I knew the basics, and not much more. Ten years later, it is still so incredibly painful. But to help bring attention to this cause, and in honor of "Baby JW", I'm helping him tell his story here.

My husband has two sons. One of them I mention often, "Spiderman", my nine year old stepson. But he has another son, Baby JW. Baby JW would've been ten years old on October 18th of this year. But his life was cut very, very short.
The pregnancy was a 'surprise', but he was a very wanted and happily anticipated baby. It was an uneventful pregnancy. They were thrilled to find out they were having a boy. Then, at a routine ob/gyn visit on October 18th, 1998, they learned that C., the baby's mother, was in labor. She was dilated 6 centimeters. They rushed her to the hospital and tried to stop the labor, but they failed. She gave birth to a baby weighing just over one pound.
His prognosis was uncertain at the beginning. He had respiratory issues, as most preemies do, and was intubated.
They knew it could go either way. But of course, they hoped and prayed that Baby JW would survive.
J's family came in from all over the state to offer emotional support. C and J stayed at the hospital night and day, even after C was discharged. J didn't go to work and they rarely left the hospital. They spent as much time with Baby JW as they possibly could.
At one point, the doctor pulled J aside. He told him that he'd seen something with Baby JW that he'd never seen before. Baby JW never moved....except when J came through the door. The doctor said that even before he was completely through the door, Baby JW started kicking and moving around, and didn't stop until J left. The doctor felt that Baby JW sensed J's presence, and he thought it was amazing.
There were good days and bad days. One day things would look up, the next day he would take a downhill turn. All they had were hopes and prayers.
On November 9th, 1998, C and J were sleeping at the hospital. It had been a bad day. The baby was losing color, and his oxygen sats were dropping.
They were awoken by the doctor and several nurses, all of whom were crying. They told them that the end was very near, and asked if they wanted to come be with Baby JW. J was not able to do it, but C went in. That was the only time she got to hold him. About five minutes later, she came out. It was over; they had lost Baby JW.
J doesn't remember a whole lot about the next few days. His family planned the baby's funeral, a small graveside service. I asked him how did he cope with the pain, but he has no answers. Somehow, he just kept going. It never goes away. It's very hard for him to see pictures or video of preemie babies, it takes him right back to that NICU unit ten years ago. We visit the grave frequently, with flowers, balloons, toys, and prayers.
J thinks of baby JW every day, whether it's remembering his short life, or wondering what he'd be like today.
Every year, J and I walk to benefit the March for Babies. It will never ease the pain, but it is something positive to do in honor of Baby JW, and it helps to prevent other families from enduring this pain. That is J's motivation.
Our walk is coming up November 16th. We don't walk with a team, just the two of us, and last year my kids joined in. We set a small goal; we're not a huge organization. Just a daddy and his family, walking for his baby that never grew up. The stepson I'll never meet. The big brother that Spiderman will never get to play with. We will forever wonder who he'd be today.
We would greatly appreciate if you could help us this year. Every little bit helps. The March for Babies has done so much for this cause. Prematurity effects half a million babies & families every year. There are so many stories that are happier than Baby JW's, thanks to the March of Dimes. Can you help us, help other families have a happy ending?



54 comments:

Weeksie50 said...

That picture is adorable.
March for Babies is a really
good cause..

angie said...

Please tell J how thankful I am that he was willing to share the story of his Baby JW. I have many friends that walk, and all of the stories amaze and inspire me, just as yours has. I wish they were all happy. The love J feels for his son shines clearly through.

Keeper of the Skies Wife said...

Thank you & J for sharing this story.
My sisters twins would have been 13 last month. That was a very difficult time for her....and my nieces son would have been 4 in August....his story is very similar to JW's. It is so sad to look at those tiny babies and feel so helpless. March of Dimes is extremely important!!!

Melissa said...

Beautiful picture...sad story. Blessings to you and your family.

A Buns Life said...

Tell your husband thank you for allowing you to share his story. We always raise money and march in the spring as well....

Tammie said...

im so glad you took the time to post this. sometimes i hear so much about march of dimes that after a while it goes in one ear and out the other. it was nice of you and your hubby to personalize this a bit.
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to answer your questions: i bought a lot of the butterfly stuff at orientaltrading.com a few years back---it was all very inexpensive. in case you dont want to shop online, i've also seen similar butterflies in craft supply stores and party supply stores. :)

Tammie said...

im so glad you took the time to post this. sometimes i hear so much about march of dimes that after a while it goes in one ear and out the other. it was nice of you and your hubby to personalize this a bit.
----------
to answer your questions: i bought a lot of the butterfly stuff at orientaltrading.com a few years back---it was all very inexpensive. in case you dont want to shop online, i've also seen similar butterflies in craft supply stores and party supply stores. :)

Tammie said...

sorry that published twice...just consider it a little extra love ;)

BITR Country Girl said...

I'm visting from SITS. Thank you for sharing your husbands story. March of Dimes is a great cause. I'll be back too...I'm adding you to my list of blogs that I follow.

Kel said...

That is so sad and an incredible thing you do in support of this organization.
Bless you!
~K

mommaof4wife2r said...

i am so glad u walk every year in that little guy's memory. my #4 is a preemie and we support march of dimes too. i love that hubby shared his story...from a mooma who spent time in the NICU with touch and go, those thoughts never leave...and ur poor hubby...i'll pray for him. it must be so hard.

Willow said...

Just wanted to let you know that I contributed under my real name and that I've added your donation button to my mom and my devotional blog.

My grandtwins were 8 weeks premature. Thanks to the love and devotion of the wonderful folks in the NICU, with advances made through the March of Dimes, they are healthy, happy, thriving 9-year-old whirlwinds now.

I'm so sorry for your husband's loss (your whole family's loss); I can't imagine. I appreciate him allowing you to tell his story.

Live.Love.Eat said...

Hi there. Came from Angie's WW.

I'm so sorry for your hubby's loss. PLease thank him for sharing. This is a reminder of how precious life is and for me to continue not to take the littlest things for granted!

Lauren said...

I am very sorry for your loss. You should visit Candace's blog to see what she does...it might be a few posts down on her page but you'll know it when you see it...blog.inrepose.com

Mekhismom said...

What a great cause you are supporting. Please thank your husband for allowing you to share his story on your blog. It is truly touching.

Kathryn said...

Thank you to you and your hubby for sharing that story. And thank you for supporting March of Dimes. I'm a supporter too. :)

Tiaras and Tantrums said...

thank you for sharing such an enduring special story!

Brooke said...

Thanks for sharing that. I cannot imagine. What a great thing that you guys do each year!

Here via SITS....:)

On The Verge said...

Thanks for sharing their story. What a wonderful cause.

DysFUNctional Mom said...

To all: I hadn't even considered that some of you would want to put the widget on your blog, and I'm so touched that some of you have done that! If anyone wants to, please feel free to grab that widget, and thanks so much!
xoxo

Solei said...

That is a very touching story... Kudos to you for helping spread the word on such a wonderful organization!

Jen Sue Wild said...

Wow How brave of J to share JW storey with you and all of us. It is so hard for men to express the death of their child. They are the ones who are suppose to be strong and move forward and hold it all together for there wife or girlfriend. My DH still has a hard time talking about our son William who only lived for 17 days..
I truly wish there was more support for men when it comes to infant loss.
Thanks again for sharing JW's story..

Straight to Your Hart said...

Thank you and your husband so much for taking the time to share such a tender event that happened in his life..A great cause to support!!

Jyl @ MommyGossip said...

I appreciate you sharing this post with us. It is so sweet that the baby recognized J. It is sad that the baby passed on. It is awesome that you are dedicating part of every year to helping other families. You inspire me!

Good luck reaching your goal.

mrsbear said...

I can't imagine. What a heartbreaking story. It's inspiring that you dedicate your time and effort to this cause that will hopefully make a difference in some other family's life.

Jen said...

that was a very powerful story. Thanks for sharing. I had premature babies and thanks to all the medical advances, they are now fine. What great work March of Dimes is doing.

Rhonda said...

Wow.

Thank you for sharing your story about baby JW. It is so incredibly tragic when these wee ones don't get a chance to grow up.

gingela5 said...

That is such a touching story. Thank you (and your hubby) for sharing it. I wish you all the luck in the world on your walk!

Wep said...

How heartwrenching....he is so lucky to have someone supportive like you in his life...

HUGS!

Momisodes said...

My heart breaks. No matter how many times I've seen it as an NICU nurse, it never gets easier. My heart goes out to your hubby and your family. Thank you both for sharing your story. The March of Dimes is the one organization I also hold near and dear to me. *hugs*

BoufMom9 said...

Thank you so much for sharing such a personal experience and please thank J as well.
There is nothing harder....

Jennifer said...

Such a sad, sad story. But really an amazing picture. I'm so sorry about that sweet little guy.

Susan said...

What a touching story. I can't imagine how hard that is. I think what you and your family are doing to honor Baby JW is wonderful. Good luck in your fundraising.

AVT Coach said...

Wow! Very brave of J to share this story. It is not easy. You have a great way with the pen as well and did a great job of telling about this experience. I am new to your site and very much love the design. I will have to come back and visit again. I wish you success in your walk!

Casey's trio said...

This post is very close to my heart. My girls were born at 25 weeks and we had a long NICU rollercoaster ride. We walk for the March of Dimes every spring. Thanks for sharing JW's story with us.

Jo-Jo said...

I can't imagine how painful it was for him and still is to this day. A friend of mine went through the same thing and I marvel at her strength.

Tara R. said...

I am so very sorry for J. I cannot imagine what this family had to go through. You are an amazing mom and wife. Good luck with the Walk.

Heather said...

Tell J how much we appreciate his letting you tell us his story. I'm sure it's so painful to remember his little boy. Good luck with your walk. It's an amazing cause.

Aubrey said...

Such a heartbreaking story. Thank you J for sharing. Very special indeed!
The March is such a great organization. Good luck with your walk!

Kathleen said...

What a heartbreaking story. Give your husband a big hug and kiss for sharing that story, and kudos to you for helping March of Dimes.

Honey Mommy said...

I cannot even imagine what that would have been like... to lose a precious little one.

Thanks for sharing this story with us.

Jennifer said...

i'm so sorry for all that J has gone through and for all of your to have that loss in your lives... I cannot imagine. My friend also lost her little boy due to premature labor. It was horribly sad. :( thank you for sharing your story and also thank you to you and your family for walking so that others might not have to go through loosing their child.
you are a hero! all of you!

HUGS!!! xoxoxoxo

Krazy Armstrong K's! said...

What a precious picture, brings tears to my eyes...

Krazy Armstrong K's! said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Natalie said...

What a touching story, and what a great cause. I'm glad your husband was able to let you share it. Thank you.

Mamahut said...

Wow, you are amazing. Your husband is a strong person to share with all of us.

Queen of the Mayhem said...

What a sad, but touching story!

The March of Dimes is an excellent charity....we donate to it every year!

That picture is precious.

Liquid said...

*wiping tears from my cheeks*

I have never seen your eyes.
But know how hard they have cried.
You never looked into his,
but that's what a mother is.

God bless you, your husband, baby JW and C.
God bless you for your endless love.

You make me proud to be a woman, a mother, a step-mother and a friend.

Much~

Marivic_Little GrumpyAngel said...

I can't believe I missed this post until today ... I'm behind getting caught up with my google reader... I just want to thank your husband for sharing this deeply emotional story. We all deal with pain differently but I hope I understnad his a little bit as another parent who lost a young child years ago. My heart goes out to your family and admire you for turning this tragedy positive with your work with the March of Dimes.

Rhea said...

Oh, man. It's so hard to lose a child, much less one that barely had a start on life. :o(

Kimmylyn said...

Thank you for sharing such a painful story.. I am off to donate.. xoxoxox

Stacie said...

Thank you for sharing J's story. My daughter was born at 29 weeks and weighed over 2 pounds. She is now 9. She is truly a miracle and a blessing. Thank you again for sharing such a difficult time in J's life.

WheresMyAngels said...

That is just awful. I'm so sorry for your husbands loss. I can't imagine losing a child. Prayers that your husband has peace.


My sisters only child was 1lb and 1 oz at birth, but they knew ahead of time that he would be early. So she was prepared and had steroid shots to help with his lungs. He is now 11 and doing well, but it was a very scary time, and he would of probably never made it, if they hadn't been aware of problems before hand.

cat said...

Touched my heart girl! So well written.