Mary's initial reaction is that she wants this to be public because no one ever talks about the hardship of fertility and she believes that this will help other women in similar situations. I agree with that thinking because I found very little support when I was going through fertility "“ even close friends who do fertility have a hard time talking about it with one another. You would think that the waiting room of a fertility doctor's office would be a very friendly place with women who understand what every other woman in the room is going through. But, the waiting room is eerily quiet and the women rarely even make eye contact. In my opinion, it is because of embarrassment "“ embarrassment that we failed at the most essential and basic function of being a woman. But, perhaps more discussion about this "“ even if it is in the form of fundraising "“ will help women be more open about their struggles.
To read her story, see below.
Children are a miracle, treasured and loved by so many people in this world. And, even before that precious little baby enters this world, a mother has felt him move and prayed endlessly for his health, safety and happiness.
"Are you kidding me? Another broken rib? Well, at least I only have a few more months until he's born." This was just one of the hundreds of conversations Mary and I had about her strong, little boy creating complete havoc inside of her body while she was pregnant. From the very beginning of her pregnancy, Eli made sure that Mary didn't forget for one minute that he was on his way into this world. Then, on June 4, 2011, the most beautiful, blue-eyed, dark haired little boy arrived into this
world, and immediately locked eyes with his mother as if to tell
her that he has been waiting his whole life to see her face.
Elijah James Crecelius was perfect in every way and Mary and Brad couldn't have been happier to welcome their beautiful baby boy into their blessed and wonderful life. Thinking that they were done growing their family, Mary and Brad selected to have Mary's tubes tied during the c-section delivery due to Mary's difficult pregnancies. While Brad was cradling his new son, he looked down at his wife and knew something was terribly wrong. Within hours after Eli was born, Brad had watched his wife go from a smiling new mother to a pale, incomprehensible patient. Mary fainted and the doctors and nurses immediately wheeled her back into the operating room. Brad and their friends and family started praying and finally, 24 hours and one medically induced coma later, Mary woke up in the ICU confused and in incredible pain but she was alive and her son was healthy. Mary's spleen ruptured during or after Eli's birth and Mary had suffered significant internal bleeding. The healing process from Mary's emergency surgery was very long and painful. She was unable
to hold her new son unassisted for a number of weeks and her three year old daughter, Maya, for months.
The financial burdens of Mary's surgery and related hospital stay were equally as stressful as the recovery process. But, Mary never complained and worked as hard as she could to recover quickly and satisfy her financial obligations. For the first three weeks of Eli's life, Brad (with the help of Maya, of course) took care of his newborn son and his wife while trying to deal with a career and all the other responsibilities of life. Once Mary healed from the traumatic birth, she immediately scooped up both of her children and started making up for lost time. She was completed enamored by her new little man. Eli only had eyes for his mother and she was fascinated by every little thing that he did. His eyes literally lighted up every time she walked into the room. Eli had the most amazing eyes. Not only were they the most beautiful color of blue you have ever seen, but when you looked into his eyes, he would stare right back into your eyes and not look away until you broke the connection. His eyes and the wisdom behind his eyes were much older than a mere two or three months old. His gaze and interest in those around him was all consuming. Mary, Brad and Maya had a blast with Eli and life was perfect for an entire summer and fall.
On the morning of November 30, 2011, Mary woke up a bit after seven in the morning and immediately noticed that the batteries in the baby monitor had died overnight. She got out of bed and headed for Eli's room. As she got closer to his room, she heard the Angel pad alarm going off and she broke into a run. Brad, Mary and the paramedics tried everything they could to save
that precious little boy but, without warning and for reasons we will not understand during our earthly lives, Eli's short life ended that morning. Mary's and Brad's family and friends immediately flooded their house that day and for an entire week. I have never experienced pain as deep or emotions as raw as they were that day and for many days thereafter. And, I will never forget Mary's and Brad's response to the death of their son. In the midst of the worst tragedy a human can experience, Mary and Brad leaned on each other for strength and focused all of their support and love on their beautiful daughter, Maya Grace.
Eli's funeral was in the exact same garden where Brad and Mary got married many years earlier. It was a rainy and cold day but one cared or even noticed. No one talked or smiled but so many
people showed up to remember and honor Elijah James. Immediately following the funeral, Mary, Brad and Maya took Eli's ashes to Colorado, spread them among the trees and mountains of Rocky Mountain National Park and said goodbye to their only son and brother. Now, one year and six months after the passing of their little angel, Mary and Brad have begun in vitro fertilization to try and grow their family. After extensive consultations with doctors, Mary and Brad decided that in vitro fertilization was the best path for them, albeit the most expensive.
It is an incredibly humbling experience to ask for financial support. Whether it be from friends, family, or strangers, fundraising is uncomfortable. If you feel drawn to help in any way, please know that your blessing will continue to bring love and light to this family. Once the financial obligation has been met, this fund will remain active to assist other mother's in their reproductive struggles. Our hope is that this permanent fund will help families with reproductive struggles forever, in Elijah's name.
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