New mom lost her baby to rare condition Donates 500oz of milk to babies in need.
I couldn’t save Samuel’s life, but maybe I could save another baby’s life. Sierra Strength Losing your child is unimaginable. The parents who have experienced losing a child have gone through indescribable, pain and suffering. All bereaved parents will never be the same again.
It’s the ultimate tragedy. In spite of her sorrow, one woman decided to help the babies of other mothers in honor of her beloved son Samuel. When Zira Strangfeld, 25 years old, found out she was pregnant with her second baby, she was ecstatic. Who wouldn’t be? She immediately looked forward to the long hours that they would spend together.
And what’s great is that she was planning on exclusively breastfeeding him. What a great choice, mom. This was a big plan for her because she wasn’t able to breastfeed her now 18 month old daughter. Her daughter Porter had tongue tie that kept her from breastfeeding properly. This time, Strengthfeld was excited to try again.
At 20 weeks gestation, she learned that her son, whom she planned to name Samuel, had Trisomy 18, also called Edwards Syndrome. It’s a very rare condition where the child has an extra chromosome that causes extreme developmental delays. This includes an abnormally shaped head, clubbed feet and other birth defects in the organs. Most pregnancies in this condition will result in an early miscarriage or die. Shortly after their birth, she was told that little Samuel will not survive.
It was Earth shattering, not knowing what our future held, not knowing if we’d get to meet our baby or not, Sierra shared to people, it was devastating news to any parent. The child that you love so much will be taken from you so soon. I felt in a day most days, but cherishing every second of every day that I got to carry him, she added in an interview. The time came and little Samuel lived for just 3 hours outside the womb, Sierra was able to hold her son. It was the hardest moment of her life.
Those 3 hours were filled with happiness that she was able to spend time with him and sadness that that’s all that they have left. It was something I could control, she said to people. I couldn’t control Samuel’s diagnosis. I couldn’t control his life or his death, but I could control what I did afterwards. It was the last physical thing connecting me to him here on Earth.
I couldn’t save Samuel’s life, but by donating my milk, maybe I can help save another baby’s life. In her post, she tells about her journey and her goal. She said that she couldn’t save Samuel’s life, but maybe she’d be able to save others. Smiling for Samuel started and Sierra started pumping her breast milk. She initially aimed for 1000oz by Samuel’s original due date which was November 13.
However, her goal was hard and she wasn’t producing enough milk so she reduced her goal to 500oz. Pumping is not for the faint of heart. It’s hard mentally and physically and it’s even harder when you don’t actually have a baby. Sarah included in her post for 63 days, she continued her journey. She pumped and overcame those nights where she felt so sad.
On the date of Samuel’s due date, she was able to donate her milk to the NICU. I pumped for 63 days after his birth. I’m not an oversupplyer by any means but I did it and today his due date I donated my milk to the NICU milk banks for the first and last time. Walking through the hallways, the hospital was just another step in healing and I know because I felt him that Samuel was there with me. Somewhere Samuel is smiling proud of his dear mommy.