Sharing the News

This post is what I posted on Facebook recently. I wanted to post it here as a way to keep my thoughts about our little bluebonnet together. I’ll be exploring more of the journey Sara and I went through in more posts.


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A little over three weeks ago Sara Willis Hogan and I delivered our baby girl Mary Margaret. She was an angel baby. Its okay if you aren’t familiar with the term. I wasn’t until recently. Angel babies are born to their parents as stillborn or miscarried babies.

We found out our little bluebonnet had Turner Syndrome at 12 weeks. It crushed us. It crushed our souls. It crushed our hearts. But it didn’t crush our spirits. Even before we knew what Turners was, all we wanted to do was hold our baby girl. We didn’t know if that was even a possibility at the moment her diagnosis was confirmed.

We hadn’t heard of Turner Syndrome, and neither had anyone among our families or friends. Turner accounts for roughly 10% of all miscarriages. Turner Syndrome is a chromosomal condition where there is complete or partial absence of the second X chromosome. When we found out the news of Turner we also found out we were having a girl. I’ve never been more excited in my life to find out I was the father to a little girl.

After the diagnosis, we were visiting the doctor weekly to check see if there was still a heart beat in our little Mary Margaret’s chest. After the first doctors visit, we were told we probably wouldn’t make it past 16 weeks. After our little fighter made it past that milestone, we heard we probably wouldn’t make it to 20 weeks.

A miscarriage is when the baby dies before 20 weeks. After that point, a delivery is most likely involved, and that was the path we had decided to go down if our fears ever became realized. We would no longer have a miscarriage, but instead our little bluebonnet would be stillborn.

Looking at the ultrasound machine during our 22 week checkup we heard our doctor say the words we had been bracing ourselves to hear for the past 10 weeks. “This is the week we have feared would happen, I can’t find a heart beat”.

Sara and I thought we had prepared ourselves for those words, but nothing can prepare parents to hear that their child has died.

On April 22nd, 2016 at 6:45pm Mary Margaret Hogan was born into this world after she had died. She was named after her Grandmothers. She fought until we could hold her, and while science might say that the Turner Syndrome reached a point where her heart couldn’t pump anymore, we got to hold our baby girl.

Sara and I, and our families got to hold Mary Margaret for most of Friday night. It was only Sara and I that stayed the night in the hospital, but we got to hold our little bluebonnet all Saturday morning, and get photos taken by a Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep photographer. NILMDTS is an organization that provides professional portraits to families that have an angel baby. It is an incredible service.

One way in that Sara and I cannot be thankful enough is that we got to spend almost a full day with our baby girl. Even then it wasn’t enough time.

We found out about the Cuddle Cot after we had already said our goodbyes. The Cuddle Cot is a device that keeps the angel babies cool so that their families can spend up to three days with them before saying goodbye. In moments like these, every minute is a treasure and the Cuddle Cot provides memories that have to be made in minutes and extends them to days.

We started a website https://marymargaretsfootprints.com/ to raise the money to buy and donate a Cuddle Cot to the hospital in which Mary Margaret was born. All of the details are there, and if you would like to help Sara and I at all, please donate so that we can provide families that have gone what we have gone through with more precious time with their precious little one.

The Beginning of Something Great

 

There is no foot so small that it cannot leave an imprint on this world.

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The What:

Don and I are raising money to put an “in-room cooling device” called Cuddle Cot (more information found here: US Cuddle Cot Campaign Initiative AND Cuddle Cots) in every Labor and Delivery ward in Austin, TX.

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The Why:

At 22 weeks, we were given the news that no parent ever wants to hear: “We cannot find a heartbeat.” We delivered our baby girl, Mary Margaret Hogan, on April 22nd and while the next 18 hours were precious as we got to hold her, count her tiny fingers and toes, and love on her, we also had to make sure she stayed cool which meant giving her back to the nurses or putting her in the bassinet with bags of ice to stay cool. Saying goodbye over and over again when we already knew we would be leaving the hospital without her was emotionally hard. If the hospital we were at had a Cuddle Cot, she could have stayed with us for up to 3 days, stayed with us overnight, and the multiple goodbyes would not have had to happen. To ease the pain for families going through this nightmare, we want to give the gift of time with their precious little one.

The How:

To donate and help us with our goal of helping other families and honoring our baby girl, please send cash or a check made out to SOBBS, Inc and mail it to PO Box 8761, Lakeland, Florida, 33806 OR you can send the money via Paypal to admin@storiesofbabiesbornstill.org. Please make sure to put “in honor of Mary Margaret Hogan” on either the check, a piece of paper with cash, or in the notes section on Paypal.

NOTE – You will receive a tax deductible receipt for your donation as SOBBS is an official 501c3 organization.