Sharing Autumn's Storyby Elizabeth MacDonald
We are in the business of pregnancies, and we love babies; however, there is more to it than just that. We believe that every pregnancy has a purpose and a story. We believe that far too few of those stories ever get told. We are blessed to have this platform and truly feel that we can help families share their experiences – especially when their pregnancies end in ways that impact so many.
Today, we are sharing a remarkable story.
Autumn’s mother, Kiosha writes:
“Autumn was my fifth pregnancy.
My first pregnancy ended in miscarriage in January 2017.
My second pregnancy resulted in the birth of our daughter, Alexis, on Dec. 28, 2017.
We had a second miscarriage in March 2020, and a third miscarriage in August 2020.
We found out we were pregnant with Autumn in January of 2021.
Genetic testing showed there was a 53% chance that Autumn had a rare and often fatal chromosomal abnormality called Trisomy 18. We followed up with an ultrasound with a maternal fetal medicine doctor, and the ultrasound revealed birth defects commonly associated with Trisomy 18. We had an amniocentesis, and at exactly 20 weeks gestation, doctors confirmed that Autumn indeed had Trisomy 18.
Due to the severity of her heart defects, we were referred to MUSC Children’s Hospital in Charleston, SC. I live in West Columbia, SC, but Charleston is my hometown. At one of our appointments, the pediatric palliative care nurse practitioner asked us if we’d like to record Autumn’s heartbeat and place it in a stuffed animal. We chose the Vintage Bear.
On September 16, 2021, Autumn was born into heaven. Having “Autumn Bear” as we call her means the world to us. We have a piece of her with us.
We started a non-profit called Autumn’s Way to support pediatric palliative care programs in hospitals throughout SC. We were shown so much love and support throughout our journey and wanted to do our small part in making sure other families have the same experience.
We recently launched a donation drive to collect My Baby’s Heartbeat Bears to donate to MUSC and other hospitals.
I told Autumn that her life would change other lives. She never breathed a single breath, but she’s walking boldly in her calling.”
If you would like to contribute to Autumn’s Way, please know that your donation will provide families experiencing such heartbreak the ability to keep their babies’ heartbeats with them to hold, hug, and cherish forever.