Lawrence-Shonda Siegel is organizing this fundraiser.
"She weighs under 6 lbs.? They will send her to the NICU", I said to my husband, Lawrence, following the C-section that had produced our 5 lb., 13 oz. daughter. One of the OR nurses heard me and said, "Oh no, she received a nine out of ten on her Apgar so she will be rooming with you tonight". My husband and I were so thrilled and over the moon for this tiny miracle that was now here, in living color, and screaming her little head off. Then her nurse, Rosie, brought her over to us and placed her on my chest. She was so pink and so beautiful and so loud. I looked into her eyes and said, "Casey, this is Mommy. Please don't be upset. We have waited a long time to meet you". At that moment she starred back at me and calmed down as she knew my voice. It was the voice that sang to her while she was safely tucked into my womb. The voice that soothed her when she had the hiccups and the voice that talked to her, everyday, and told her how much she was loved. Casey Olivia-Dyan was born on Monday, September 30, 2013 at 10:05pm. She was a dream, five years in the making, that had finally come true. Our first few days, in the hospital, with her were a blur of trying to feed her, very little sleep, change her, tend to her cries, and Lawrence running between the hospital and our house to shower, eat, and bring me fresh supplies. Casey was born at 35 weeks so I had not packed my hospital bag. Lawrence and I noticed that we were having trouble keeping Casey awake enough to eat and that after she would eat she would spit it all back up. A Lactation Consultant was called and upon her visit she sensed something was not right. Casey expelled a fistful of green snot from her nose, just as the Pediatrician came into our room so she was rushed to the NICU. Her medical team discovered, through a fluoroscope exam, that she had a blockage in her intestine. She was to be transferred to Tacoma General where a Neonatologist would be able to perform a much needed surgery to remove the blockage. We stayed in the NICU with her as much as we could and were able to calm her when she was crying from all the needle sticks she was receiving as the medical staff were placing IVs to prepare her for transport and the upcoming surgery. Lawrence and I arrived at Tacoma General, just as Casey was rushed into surgery. We were shown into a separate room, away from the other families. I remember, seeing people sitting in rooms along the hallway, thinking I wonder if they are in there because they are receiving bad news. Casey's Neonatologist met with us and said those words that forever changed our lives, "We are sorry but there is nothing we can do for your daughter. We do not expect her to live through the night". It was discovered that Casey had a malformation of her intestines and that of the over 200cm of intestine she only had 3cm that were good and 3cm that were questionable. It was explained that during development that her intestines had twisted, formed a loop and cut off circulation to themselves. We were told that the surgical team were going to untwist her intestine and that they fully expected all the bile that had built up to rush through her system and collapse her heart. Lawrence and I called our family and close friends, plane tickets were bought, prayer chains were formed, Casey was baptized, and we spent every moment that we could with our daughter that night. We held her, skin-to-skin, talked to her, sang to her, and cried over and over. We told her about Heaven and how she would get to meet family and friends that had gone on before her. Daddy talked to her about the universe and the stars and I talked to her about Casey Lynn, our beagle whom she was named after that had passed away in 2011. Casey was a fighter and was able to meet some of her immediate family, the next day. Time is so precious when you realize it will run out and at 6:00pm we asked family to leave so we could spend what little time we had left with our sweet Casey. We asked a photographer from Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep to come and he took some pictures of the three of us that we have come to treasure. Casey's life support was removed at 7:15pm and I remember as she lay on my bare chest and as her Neonatologist was explaining that she could go at any time, it was as if she understood him and started struggling as if to say I do not want to die. I WANT TO LIVE. She was given more pain medicine and we began the unbearable wait with heavy, heavy hearts. Casey took her last breath, in my arms, at 9:40pm on Friday, October 4, 2013. We held her for a bit and then forced ourselves to leave her at the hospital as we went home. Home, without our baby. Home, without our sweet daughter that we had so longed for and loved with our now broken hearts.
Casey has been gone now for three years. Lawrence and I have been trying to get pregnant again with no success. We have been through many tests and procedures with all roads leading down the path to IVF treatments. We are currently awaiting a call from a consult that will take place back at the same hospital, in Washington state, where Casey was born. The US Army has now expanded it's OB/GYN practice there to include a Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility Specialist service. We are able to participate in this program with little or no costs for the medications; however, the actual IVF teatment is not covered under our insurance. We now live in Colorado and will need to go to Washington where I will need to stay for the duration of the treatments, which will not be long enough for we to obtain employment. Lawrence will stay here in Colorado, continue to work, and fly out to Washington as needed for his portion of the treatments.
A Rainbow Baby is a baby that is born following a miscarriage, stillbirth, neonatal death or infant loss. Lawrence and I are asking for your assistance in achieving our goal of a Rainbow Baby. Any financial help that you can give would be greatly appreciated . Our hope is to be parents to a precious child but we need your help in order to reach this goal. Thank you ever so much. Please feel free to share our story with your family and friends.
Lawrence & I volunteer with Pikes Peak Share and Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep in an effort to reach out and help other parents and families as they cope with pregnancy and infant loss. Pikes Peak Share provides a safe outlet for families to grieve thier loss. Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep provides remembrance photography and remembrance boxes (in Colorado) to families suffering the loss of a baby through misscarriage, stillbirth, or infant loss.