Support for Baby Astrid and Family

Darin and I were elated and nervous to find out we were going to have a baby. We found out it was a girl near the halfway point in the pregnancy. Unfortunately, we soon found out that our baby girl had an issue with her heart. Two, in fact. A rare heart condition called Ebstein's anomaly, and a pulmonary stenosis. We met with multiple doctors and discussed her outlook. They said many things but overall the answer was "we won't know until she's born". So we waited anxiously until on July 31 she failed the non stress test and I was sent to the hospital. We ended up needing a c-section on August 1, 2014. Astrid was born 6lb 10 oz and immediately rushed to NICU for support.

During her three month stay in intensive care Astrid endured 10 procedures including 4 heart surgeries. She also endured a lengthy withdrawal from medication and severe acid reflux .  She also developed oral aversion. This lead to the insertion of a feeding tube which was her final surgery. After everything she had been through and the uncertainty of her future we decided the best thing would be for me to leave my job to be with her through it all.

Astrid was released from the hospital on November 6th, 2014. She was placed on homebound status through cold and flu season which kept me home with her. This was a strain on the family financially as we were now relying on one income and I was unable to put her in daycare if I went back to work.

In May of 2015 she was taken off homebound status and began her outpatient therapy twice a week. I started to search for a job but finding affordable  and flexible care for Astrid's special needs proved  difficult and the financial strain of only one income increased. 

Paying rent, utilities, my own hospital bills and student loans have been impossible without the help of our wonderful family and friends. Darin and I have also both dealt with recent and numerous car issues which make the job hunt all the more difficult.  Again we had to rely on the help of family and friends to get Astrid to and from her numerous appointments. They also helped with some of the repairs but as both cars are old, it seems new problems keep arising. 

We hope this situation is only temporary.  As Astrid grows her special needs decrease and that will open doors to more affordable child care. I have continued to search for a job that will best fit the current situation and help the family. Until then we will be dealing with this continuous financial struggle.  We truly appreciate any help that could be given and ask that you share this with as many people as you can. Thank you so much!
  • Jan Niemchick 
    • $100 
    • 71 mos
  • Anna Spray 
    • $50 
    • 71 mos
  • Lynne Kotarski 
    • $50 
    • 71 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $50 
    • 71 mos
  • Melissa Johnston 
    • $50 
    • 71 mos
See all

Organizer

Katie Tap-Hunt 
Organizer
Grand Rapids, MI
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