Hand to Hold's Official Blog: Written by Parents for Parents

The Story of My 21-Weeker

This is my story.  I have wanted to share it for quite some time but I think I am finally ready.  I apologize for this being so long, but I’ve always wanted to get the entire experience written down as I remember it.  Writing my story has probably helped me more than it will help any of you, but hopefully sharing it will heighten the awareness of pregnant women and broaden the understanding of medical professionals.  Thank you for letting me share a life-changing experience with you.

Pregnant and Naive

A few short months after my husband and I were married we felt strongly that it was time to start our family.  I was young and healthy and I had always wanted to have a big family, maybe 7-8 kids, although my husband thought 3-4 would be enough.  We weren’t worried about our differing opinions, though, because we had plenty of time to make that decision and experience would surely help us solidify our plans down the road.  What we didn’t realize at that time was that God had a plan for our family that was very different from our own.

I got pregnant right away and assumed that my ability to reproduce was exceptional because my grandmother had 13 healthy children, my parents had 10 healthy children, and my brothers and sisters had already given me 18 robust nieces and nephews.  However, I was pretty terrified of labor, so I never opened a pregnancy book or did any reading to prepare myself for it.  I had plenty of time.

Preterm Labor

The day after my doctor’s appointment at 21 weeks I was sitting down at work when I had a major charlie-horse cramp in my abdomen that took my breath away.  “What was THAT?” I thought.  Oh well, it went away so it must be a typical pregnancy growing pain.  That evening the pain happened again, and then continued to happen once every 30 minutes.  I called my doctor (who was actually 2 hours away because we were only going to be living in our current situation for another 4 weeks, after which we were moving to his city), and the nurses refused to let me speak to him but assured me that I was feeling pains from a bladder infection and not to worry unless it got a lot worse.  It got more painful and was regular, so I called again and was again refused when I asked to speak to the doctor.  I was told it was probably bladder pains but if I was that worried about it I could go to the ER in the morning.  The nurses obviously thought I was overreacting to some very normal pregnancy pains, and because I wanted to believe that nothing bad was happening I didn’t go in.  I suffered through very strong pains every 30 minutes down to every 15 minutes for the entire night and when I got up in the morning I felt weak and exhausted.  I said goodbye to my husband as he left for work early (he worked about 1 hr 15 mins away – down country roads and through a river canyon) and assured him that I would be okay and would call in sick to work if I felt the need to.  Within minutes of him leaving home I got in the shower and lost my mucus plug (I had no idea what it was at the time).  From that moment on my pains increased dramatically, I grew very lightheaded and weak, and I was nauseous because I hadn’t eaten anything yet and was still suffering from morning sickness.  I tried to make myself some breakfast but before long I was on the floor gasping in pain, lightheaded and weak, and with no strength to lift myself from the floor.  I was sure I was going to pass out and probably die on the floor.  I was so weak I could not speak, and even though I thought I should call someone for help (my in-laws lived just minutes away), I couldn’t reach the phone and literally couldn’t move my lips, so I prayed that someone would come in and find me.

Minutes later the phone rang and it took every ounce of strength and determination I could muster to reach the phone – thinking this was my lifeline.  I tried to answer and I think I managed to moan into the receiver.  My mother-in-law started talking about something and I have no idea what, but when I wasn’t responding she asked if I was okay.  I tried so hard to say “no”, and I’m not sure how it came out, but eventually she discovered that I wasn’t okay and said she’d be right over.  I tried very hard to make it to the couch so I wouldn’t look so silly when she came in.  When she arrived I was grunting in pain, and by this time I was having regular pains every 2 minutes, lasting for a minute each, and I still had no idea I was in preterm labor.  Watching me suffer my mother-in-law said that I looked like I was in labor and she called her close friend who was a nurse to get her opinion.  The nurse said I should go immediately to the emergency room!  My mother-in-law ran across the street to get her parents and nephew.  They came over and said a prayer for me, that the pain would stop and the baby would live if it was God’s will.  We were blessed with a miracle and the pains did stop.  I even had the strength to stand up.

I really had to go to the bathroom, so I insisted that I go before leaving for the hospital.  When I sat down on the toilet I felt something very strange and looked down to find a bulging clear sac between my legs, about the size of a softball.  What the heck was THAT?  I had no idea what was happening, but was terrified the baby was going to fall out into the toilet.  I called to my mother-in-law and she cautiously alerted me that I might be losing my baby.  We wrapped a towel under my legs and put on some big pajama pants to hold me together, and then she and my husband’s grandmother helped me into the car to head to the ER 20 minutes away.  Just before we left my mother-in-law called my husband and told him they were taking me to the hospital.  She didn’t explain what was going on so my husband took off quickly to get to me as soon as he could (I’m pretty sure he broke the speed limit a few times).

I was brought into the ER, laid out on a cold white bed, and reclined so that my feet were up toward the ceiling and my head was down by the floor.  I laid like that for the next 4 hours while doctors and nurses came to see the bulging membranes and then left, and while our small-town hospital searched for a life-flight that could take me away to a bigger hospital.  I was so relieved when my husband arrived to be with me, and my own mother was able to meet us at the hospital, as well as my father-in-law.

The doctor eventually had to put in a catheter so I could empty my bladder because I couldn’t hold it in any longer (I never actually got to go!).  Then, it just so happened that of the four nearest life-flights to us all of them were being repaired that day except for the one from University Hospital in Salt Lake City, four hours away.  While we were waiting for the life-flight to arrive I was told that the chances of my baby surviving were very slim.  I pretty much ignored their negative predictions because “slim” meant that there was still some chance, and I wasn’t about to NOT give my baby every chance possible to live.  I didn’t care about anything but my baby.

I started having pains again, although they were much more mild than they had been all day and were few and far between.  The doctor gave me a shot every hour to stop my contractions (probably terbutaline?).

Life Flight

The life-flight arrived and the medics came in and told me again that the chances of my baby’s survival were very slim.  Did I really want to face the financial burden that the life-flight would bring when it would likely not change the outcome of my delivery?  I didn’t question it.  Yes! I wanted to go!

Unfortunately my husband couldn’t ride in the life-flight helicopter with me, so he and my mother left to make the 4-hour drive to meet us in SLC.  My mother-in-law came in her own car about an hour later.  I have to admit that even though I was having more regular contractions, was still reclined with my head down to the floor and my feet in the air, and kept getting shots to slow my contractions, going on my first helicopter ride was thrilling!  It was very tiny inside and I barely fit with the two nurses who were in the back with me.  I only wished I could see out the window, but as we were flying over the mountains one of the nurses lifted me up just enough that I could glimpse the scenery for about 10 seconds.

The helicopter ride took about 45 minutes, if I remember correctly, but it felt like two hours since my contractions were coming on stronger.  When we arrived I felt like I was in a movie scene.  We landed on the top of University Hospital and a bunch of people ran to greet us like in M*A*S*H and lifted me out as quickly as they could (I was so afraid they were going to tip me out of the bed!) and put me in the back of a mobile cart thing.http://www.preemiebabies101.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/11/100_1036-325x216.jpg They drove me into the hospital where they lifted me onto another stretcher and wheeled me (people were staring at me as we ran down the hallways) into a dark narrow room with lots of exam beds.  They took me to the very back corner of the room and lifted me onto the bed to do some quick tests.  They did ultrasounds to check the baby, the fluid levels surrounding the baby, etc.  They asked if a team of students could be brought in to analyze the situation and learn from it.  I decided that so many people had seen me “down there” today that it really didn’t matter anymore.  Besides, if this experience did not save the life of my baby then I would like for it to at least help the doctors learn and help similar patients in the future.

The team discussed whether or not they could stick a needle into me and withdraw the little amount of fluid that was surrounding the baby in order to push the bulging sac back in and then replace the fluids, but that idea was rejected because there was not a visible section of fluid large enough to make a withdrawal.  Because of the state I was in and my lack of knowledge about pregnancy and gynecology I didn’t get much more out of their discussions than that.  The only option that they ended up agreeing might save my baby was to keep me in the hospital with my feet in the air to keep the baby from falling out, for as long as I could last.  Of course, since I was having labor pains again they first had to find a way to stop my contractions.

So, I was sent to a delivery room, placed in a much more comfortable bed than the stretcher had been, and my bed was reclined so my head was toward the floor and my feet in the air.  This was not comfortable.

More tocolytics were administered to try and stop my contractions, but nothing seemed to work.  My contractions became more frequent and more intense by the minute.  Up to this point I had not had anything to mask the pain of the contractions.  I could not be given an epidural because with my head down to the floor they thought the medication would run to my head.  And, they were afraid that if they sat me upright and gave me an epidural my muscles relaxing would make the baby slip right out and I would surely lose the baby.  So, I held on as the contractions got worse and worse with very little recovery time in between.

A blessing that was realized in being life-flighted to SLC was that I had a number of family members living in the area.  Upon my arrival I was greeted by my father and step-mother, my closest sister and her new husband who flew into SLC that very day on their way home from their honeymoon, and two of my older sisters.  They stayed with me through it all, but I’m pretty sure the men took off for awhile.

I had never imagined that I would be a screamer, but as my contractions got more intense with little recovery time in between the pain was so horrible that I found myself screaming in pain with every contraction as I clung to my dear sister’s hand.  I think she still has scars from my nails.

Epidural & Delivery

My husband and mother finally arrived around 8:00pm that night.  As soon as my husband arrived everyone left the room to give us some privacy because we had a decision to make.  I was exhausted in every way and the labor pains were so much that I didn’t know if I could handle it much longer.  Obviously labor was not stopping.  However, the doctors were sure that if I got an epidural I would have the baby.  So, did I continue to suffer in hopes that labor would miraculously come to a halt and I could stay pregnant for a few weeks more?  (There was really no reason to believe this was possible) Or did I get an epidural with it almost guaranteed that I would deliver and lose the baby?  At this point the baby’s heartbeat was still going strong.  I have no idea how dilated I was, the doctors never said anything if they checked and I can’t remember if they did, but I imagine I was mostly dilated and the tocolytics and the fact that I was upside down were what was keeping the baby in.  We sat in silence for a moment not fully understanding what the risks were for myself or the baby (we did not understand that the hospital would not attempt to save a baby less than 24 weeks gestation – we just kept hearing that the baby would probably die.  I didn’t understand any of the factors of the decision).  We decided that because the chances were so minimal for the baby and I was too exhausted to handle labor much longer, I would get the epidural.

My husband told the nurse and people flooded in.  Naively, I thought someone would jump in to give me the epidural immediately, but it took almost 30 minutes before the anesthesiologist finally showed up.  I was ready to kill him!  I was frightened of the epidural for about a second, and I can’t remember feeling any pain though I’m sure that I did.  The epidural started to deaden the pain of contractions almost immediately, but unfortunately I didn’t enjoy the beginnings of it very much because it made me terribly nauseous and I threw up in the garbage can next to my bed.  I was totally embarrassed to throw up in front of everyone.

Epidurals are God-sent.  A flood of warmth went through my body and the pain completely washed away.  I couldn’t feel a thing below my waist and suddenly I was so tired.  I felt like I was wrapped up in a heated blanket and I was sure I was the most comfortable I had ever been in my life.  I think all of my senses were a little deadened because I felt so peaceful and so calm.  At that moment my mother-in-law arrived from her 4-hour journey across state lines.  She came in and spoke quietly with my husband while everyone else took a break and gave me the opportunity to rest.  A few short minutes passed in a fuzzy haze of sleepiness and warmth.  Then, a nurse came in to check me and after a moment of surprise quietly told us that I had delivered my baby.  That woke me up.

Life & Loss

The nurse ran to get help and a small team came in.  My baby was born in the sac.  The nurse took him out and let my husband cut the umbilical cord.  “What is it?”  I asked.  My husband replied that we’d had a baby boy.  A boy!  My firstborn son.  The one who should carry on the family name.  His heart was beating strong, so he was alive.  The nurses washed him up for a second and whisked him away for footprints and tests – he was born at 21w2d gestation, he weighed 12 ounces, and he was 10 1/4 inches long.  They brought him back a few minutes later and, all swaddled up, simply put him in our arms and told us we could hold him for as long as we wanted.  My husband felt that we should name him Dan, so we did.  His eyes were fused shut, but he was perfect in every way:  fingernails and toenails, eyelashes, and soft lips.  He looked so peaceful and calm.


Our family came in and stood around my bed while we talked softly and everyone took turns holding Dan.  A few pictures were taken, a few tears shed.  Our boy’s spirit was very strong and the room was peaceful.  Every time I got to hold him I gently put my finger on his chest to feel his heart beat.  One time I felt nothing – he had lived for 54 minutes.

We held our baby for awhile longer and then our families left as we were transferred to a recovery room where we were told we could continue to hold our son for as long as we wanted.  My husband and I took turns holding him and being together with or firstborn son, as a family of three, until the wee hours of the morning.



At some point my husband finally convinced me that we had to get some sleep and more time with our baby would only make it more difficult to part.  We did what no parent should ever have to do, and we called the nurse in and forced ourselves to hand over our baby, looking at him for as long as we could before the door closed behind him.  We never looked at our baby again.

The next day it took most of the day to convince the doctor to discharge me from the hospital – it was extremely annoying to be held back waiting for a doctor’s signature.  There was nothing left there for us.  It was devastating and we wanted to get away.  In the middle of our efforts to leave the hospital a girl I knew in high school had found out I was in that hospital, I think her baby was in the NICU or something, and she came in search of us.  I was NOT in the mood for visitors.  The last thing I wanted was an acquaintance to step into my life at that moment and make me explain what had happened, and then listen to her chatter on about how hard it was to have her own baby in the NICU.  He was alive; my baby was dead.

We finally escaped the hospital in the mid-afternoon and started our 4-hour drive back home to Wyoming.  All of our family had headed to Wyoming first thing that morning because my little sister was having her wedding reception that night in our hometown.  My husband and I made it to our home, changed, and then went straight to my sister’s reception 15 miles away, arriving a little late.  I had hoped that we could be there to celebrate with my sister and not deal with any questions, that nobody would know yet what had happened and we could avoid it for a day.  However, I shouldn’t have been surprised, but everyone that we met at her reception already knew about my baby.  We got way more attention than we wanted that night, and we were immediately thrust into the awkward situation of telling others our tragic story.  What surprised me most was the variety of ways in which people dealt with our news:  some cried and hugged and apologized, some acted like nothing had happened and ignored the subject entirely, others could not look us in the eye, and others tried to convince us that they understood what we were going through (even though their stories were nothing like ours).  I learned very fast that I could not take offense if someone’s reaction to us was not what I hoped it would be.

Infant Burial

Three days later my father drove my baby’s body to Wyoming where we had a family gathering at my in-laws home and then we had a simple graveside ceremony at the burial of my son.

http://www.preemiebabies101.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/100_1194-325x216.jpghttp://www.preemiebabies101.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/12/100_1211-325x216.jpgWe had a beautiful musical number and a family prayer, took some pictures, and then left our tiny son’s body to be lowered into the ground and sealed away.  The only comfort I had was that he was not alone there.  He was buried between my husband’s brother and my husband’s cousin – both infants.  The cemetery was full of ancestors and relatives of my sweet baby.  I still find comfort that his body is surrounded by family who love him and are with him on the other side.

My story ends here, though this was just the beginning of the emotional trauma and devastation I experienced for months to come.  My milk came in the day of my son’s burial and it was excruciatingly painful – physically and emotionally.  My morning sickness disappeared, I had to get a D&C a month later to remove most of the placenta that was somehow still inside of me, my body lost most of its pregnancy weight, and life resumed as if my son did not exist.  I was a mother, but I wasn’t.  I had experienced the most life-changing and heart-wrenching experience of my life but had nothing to show for it.  I was surrounded by newlyweds and new mothers when I went back to school and yet I did not fit in with any of them.

However, my experience with my son is one of the sweetest memories I have.  We were given a gift, a gift of a perfect son whom we will be able to live with again after this life.  I find much joy in this knowledge and much peace in my heart for this blessing.

Afton Mower About Afton Mower

After Mower (UT) lost her firstborn son at 21 weeks.  Her daughter was born a year and a half later at 27 weeks.  The NICU was overwhelming and isolating and it was through those two experiences she was led to found this social hub for parents to find the support they needed. Afton also gave birth to another daughter, born two days overdue after four months of strict bedrest. She believes it is a tender experience to hold a special baby in your arms when his spirit returns to his heavenly home, a miracle to watch tiny babies survive the risks of prematurity and a blessing to hold a healthy full-term baby after months of difficulty and sacrifices.


  1. Thank you for sharing that very personal time in your life. I am a preemie mom as well but will never know all the feelings you went through. I am glad you are finding peace and are making the best of life still. I wish you luck and many blessings with any future additions to your beautiful little family.

    Best wishes from one mommy to another <3

  2. Thanks for sharing Aft. That couldn’t have been easy to do but I know it will help others with what they go through too.

  3. Thank You for sharing.

  4. Wow Af, I’ve got tears streaming down my face. It’s a bit crazy to relive that through your post. I am still amazed to think how much your experience was also “our” experience. Dan did have such a sweet spirit that we could feel even after he left his body. I distinctly remember the feeling I had when I first saw him. . .he was so “perfect”!!! We still speak of him often in our home and we can’t wait to meet him again in the next life. 🙂

  5. Melissa Call says:

    Thank you so much for this, Afton. I cried and cried as i read this thinking about your loss and what you have gone through. You are so strong and your strength is helping so many others that are going through similar things. It is such a selfless thing that you have done to set up this website to help other mothers, turning your trials into something that can help others. I just can’t say enough good things about you and tell you enough how much I admire you. Thank you so much for being the beautiful, selfless person that you are.

    • Melissa, you are such a wonderful woman. Thank you so much for your compliments. I hope I can be half the woman you think me to be. 🙂 I’m so glad you are part of my extended family.

  6. Thank you Afton for sharing your story. I have admired your strength for so long, but reading your story has touched me more than I would have ever imagined.

    • Angela, I am praying for you and your family. I’m so sorry for the loss of your sweet girl. I hope you will find comfort and strength from the same source I’ve clung to in my darkest hours. I know you will be with your daughter again someday, remind yourself of that as often as you can.

  7. Jess Hoopes says:

    Wow. Thanks for sharing this. I cannot imagine having that experience but I’m sure you will help many other by being open about it. It will be a beautiful day when you can meet your little one again.

  8. I just want to give you a hug. I do not know what it was like, I could hardly imagine but I wish more than anything that I could just give you a hug and hope you know how amazing of a mother you are and how blessed Dan is to be your son.
    Reading your story made me want to ream the medical professionals you dealt with. After what I have been through (and your experiences) I tell all my pregnant friends who ask me about their symptoms that they are to err on the side of caution always. Doctors can be wrong and mother’s intuition is an amazing thing. It is better to be checked out and find nothing. I wish they had taken you more seriously. I know now why you are so cautious in your plans to further your family (from something your posted).
    You baby boy is sweet and perfect and is with our Savior. Although with you is where I wish he could be.
    Thank you for sharing.

    • Thank you, Stacy. I, too, feel the need to warn and overprotect my pregnant sisters and friends. I wish all pregnant mothers the courage and conviction to be proactive in their pregnancies. Every pregnancy that reaches full-term without a hitch is a true miracle, and every baby that comes out healthy and strong is truly a blessing from God. I wish all women could understand what a miracle it is to deliver a healthy full-term baby! Thank you so much for your comment.

  9. Michelle Hinkson says:

    This was so beautifully written, Afton. We just love your family so much. And I have always felt a love for Dan since you first told me about him.

  10. i have tears streaming down my face. what a emotional time for you. my daughter was born 23 weeks and 6 says. she weighed 644 grams and was 30.5cm long. we spent 109 days in hospital and i cant explain the feelings we went through. there were many times we looked like we were going to lose her especially after her heart operation. my heart goes out to you but i know your baby dan is with the angels smiling down at you. thank you for sharing your story. you are such a strong person. big hugs

  11. thank you for sharing, i have just cryed and i cryed a way i need to for a long time. i too have gone throw almost the same thing i lost a boy at 19 weeks. i never talked to anyone about it cuz it was a scar i just wanted to hide. thank you from my heart to your’s

    • I’m so sorry for the loss of your 19-weeker. Thank you for acknowledging our similar stories. I have never heard the story of anyone else who has lost a too-early preemie like I have. I hope you can feel peace.

  12. Thank you for sharing. My first born, Lillian Grace, was born at 26wks, she lived for 2 days before growing her wings. Our second, Emelia May, was born at 27wk 2d, is nearly a year old. My heart aches everyday as I miss my sweet Lilly. My girls were seperate pregnancies but in the same NICU. Seeing Emelia everyday where Lilly took her last breaths was more painful than words can describe. Thank you for sharing your story.

    • I’m sorry for the loss of your Lillian. My 27-weeker was in the NICU at the same hospital where Dan died, however Dan never made it to the NICU so I did not have to face any familiarity. It must have been very difficult. I’m glad that you have Emelia to hold on to.

  13. (((hugs))))

  14. thank you for sharing your story with us … it was heart wrenching, for me. i couldn’t stop crying as i read on.

  15. Thank you for sharing your story. (((hugs))) to you and your family.

  16. Thank you for being so brave and sharing your story. I am sitting here in tears.. I am currently on bed rest right now with my second child and hoping I can carry him to at least 30 weeks. No one really understands how hard it is to go thro…ugh these things. I was just like you with my first pregnancy. I had always been healthy and no one in my family had ever had any issues and yet I went into pre term labor with my first son at 26 weeks. I went through the same thing with my doctor at that time who kept telling me I was just dehydrated and nothing more. God bless you and your family and again thank you for sharing.

  17. i am so very sorry!

  18. Thank you for sharing your story.

  19. I’m so sorry for your loss and all the pain you went threw wish I could give you a hug

  20. Thanks for sharing … your little family is beautiful

  21. thank you for sharing your story. you are such a strong and brave woman!

  22. You are so strong, your angel baby boy would be very proud xxx

  23. Thank you – I haven’t cried this hard since dealing with my own child’s struggles. None of us can possibly understand your struggles or pain. Your pictures are beautiful

  24. good for u sharing youre post, i lost a 20 weeker as well. Then later gave birth to a 28 weeker. Good luck. And i wish well.

  25. Afton, thank you for your courage! I have never been through anything like this, but your story made me sob. You are such a strong, beautiful person!

  26. Thankyou for sharing your story u r a strong person

  27. poor sweet boy =(

  28. I still have tears in my eyes and on my cheeks, and feel that I need to read it again. Thanks SO much for sharing your story. I’ll be posting a link on our prem support page “BeautBaby” so that our readers are also able to share in your story, and see the pictures of your perfect little Dan xoxo

  29. What a beautiful boy! Thank you for sharing your amazing, touching story and thank you for your incredible website.

  30. Thank you, everyone. Your support is overwhelming, and I greatly appreciate all of your kind words.

  31. i have tears streaming down my face. what a emotional time. my daughter was born 23 weeks and 6 says. she weighed 644 grams and was 30.5cm long. we spent 109 days in hospital and i cant explain the emotions we went through. there were many times we looked like we were going to lose her especially after her heart operation. my heart goes out to you but i know baby dan is with the angels smiling down at you. thank you for sharing your story. you are such a strong person. big hugs

  32. Affy,
    How I love you. Thanks for sharing Dan’s story. I started crying again, and felt reassured that he has become an amazing example on the other side….because he was born into a beautiful family.

    • Afton thanks for sharing your story! I haven’t yet found the words to share mine.(I’m not so good with writing) Our story’s are so very similar! My First born Libby Kate was a 22 weeker:( I now have a 28weeker that is 10 months old! Reading your story has given me strength to hopefully share mine one day soon! So sorry for the loss of your Dan!

      • Thank you for your comment. Our stories are very similar! I hope you will share your story with us sometime – especially for me. I’ve never met anyone who has lost a baby that early like me and then had a preemie about the same age as mine. I know that your experiences would help many preemie moms.

  33. Thank you so much for sharing your story, i can not imagine your pain you have been thru may God bless you and your family for your sweet little angel in heaven.

  34. Afton, I just discovered your website. This experience must have been so hard for you to share! I know it will help and strengthen many people, though. Wishing your beautiful family all the happiness in the world!

  35. Your story has touched my heart. In December 2009 i lost my twin boys at 23 weeks and 5 days. Here in New Zealand the hopital will not save any babies that are not over 24 weeks even if they are still alive earlier. My boys were still alive before i gave birth to them, and nothing was done to try and save them. I feel ripped off that in some countries babies less than 24 weeks will be saved.
    Kia Kaha which mean stay strong in Maori <3
    Dan is beautiful – he will be playing with my boys where ever they are!

    • Thank you, Julie. I’m so sorry about the loss of your boys and that the hospital would not try to save them. I wish you peace in your heart. God bless you!

  36. Wow…You are a wonderful mother and your husband a wonderful father. You have great strength that I admire you both for. Your son is beautiful and my heart goes out to you. Thank you so much for sharing your story. God bless you!

  37. Your strength is inspiring. Thank you so very much for sharing your story. I am a mother of a 15 month old, and I am currently 27 weeks pregnant with my second. Before conceiving my first born, I lost 2 babies through 2 separate pregnancies. I lost my babies at 5 and 6 weeks through miscarriage, I cannot imagine what it was like going through labor and losing a child.
    Dan was sent to you for a reason, his life was short, but God had a reason for it. Your story has touched me, and I wanted to thank you again for sharing. God bless you, and I am so very sorry that Dan’s life was so short. He is waiting for you in Heaven, and you will see him again.

  38. This broke my heart. I went throught the same thing last year. My hearts with you all

  39. i got so into the story and at the end thought maybe he was going to have survived…poor baby..poor parents…but the best thing of all this is: this poor innocent baby never had to know how hard this world really can be. he will never be bullied by mean kids. he will never feel any pain hes being taken care of in Heaven…not that the parents wouldnt rather have him here..but him not having to suffer is a small plus to all this RIP to his body…but his soul is definately in Heaven

  40. Thank you for sharing your story, it’s very personal and the fact that you had the courage to share it with others is something I admire. Me and my wife went through a difficult time with our premature baby recently and I took great comfort in the following promise from Revelation 21:4 “He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” Looking forward to you meeting your beautiful baby boy one day.

  41. Though your loss was many years ago your words have given me a sense of peace… I lost my son, Jaxson Tate, a week ago today. He was 21 weeks and though our stories are different our loss is the same. My husband and I have two beautiful girls (thank God!) Jaxson was our last pregnancy as I am nearly 40 years old. The loss of our first son and the loss of the future is heart breaking!

    • Leigh Ann TorresLeigh Ann Torres says:

      Stephany, I am so sorry to hear of the loss of your sweet Jaxson. Please feel free to reach out to us here at Hand to Hold if you are in need of support or someone to speak with. 💚

  42. Oh my heart! I had tears flowing down my cheeks the whole way through this beautiful blog post you share and your beautiful story of motherhood! The strength, the love and the courage that transpire are admirable and I was with you every step of the way. My story is very similar to yours although we had the blessing of four very difficult months before he took flight to the next world. Truth is I would do it all again, the pain, the stress, the tears as it would be a few more precious moments with him.
    Thank you for sharing your story, immense love your way xox

  43. My story is exactly same as yours, except for I delivered naturally and went through the labor pain all. My son stayed alive for 28 days, and then he became an angel. I wish that after 6 years you have had another baby. No one will replace his place in your heart I’m sure, but you will give them love for two.


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