On May 31, 2015 our first son, Peter Steven, was born. Peter arrived too early, just under 23 weeks gestation. He was too weak to survive and despite the best efforts of the doctors and nurses there was nothing that could be done to save Little Peter. Even though his life here on earth lasted for less then an hour, his impact was immense.
Just a few days later while Pete was dropping off our daughter, Olive, at daycare (Olive was born in August 2013 with no complications) he saw a father walking across the street with a little boy. It was at that point that Pete realized all the experiences he was expecting with our little guy would never happen. We went to monthly group grief counseling meetings at Holy Redeemer Hospital which was made up of local moms and dads that had also experienced a loss. All of the losses were different, but the stories had one common theme: the loss of expectations.
We stopped attending the grief counseling when Emily became pregnant with Colin. Emily spent several days at Holy Redeemer Hospital before giving birth to Colin on April 7, 2016. Colin was born at 26 weeks and was only 1lb 15oz.
Still to this day, the most beautiful sound we have ever heard was the sound of Colin crying seconds after entering this world.
We knew he had a fighting chance of survival. Colin spent a total of 80 days in the NICU. Nothing can prepare you for that roller coaster ride of emotions that an extended NICU stay involves. Fortunately we only lived a short 10- minute drive to the hospital and noticed that not all babies in the NICU were fortunate enough to have daily visits from mom and dad. Although life stops for mom, dad and family, outside the hospital walls, life, work and schedules do not.
As a result of Colin’s prematurity he was diagnosed with Spastic Diplegic Cerebral Palsy shortly before his 2nd birthday. He has many appointments with his team of therapists including physical, occupational, speech and special instruction. Fortunately for Colin, his condition only affects his gross motor functions, specifically walking, sitting, standing and feeding issues.
We are the luckiest parents ever. We have a strong-willed daughter that is the protector for her little brother Colin. We have a guardian angel, little Peter, watching over our family, sometimes working overtime at that job. Colin is our inspiration that takes on every challenge that each day brings with determination.
Through our experiences we want to help families that will face challenges similar to ours. We will help with funeral costs, hotel stay expenses, transportation costs, meal vouchers, grocery store gift cards, restaurant gift cards and gas cards.
Our goal is to help families focus on what is important, spending time with family.