The beautiful Bethany Muszkiewicz mother to Asher Oliver born sleeping May 22, 2013. Bethany has struggled with chronic illness, and when she got pregnant so quickly, she finally felt like her body was on her side. Her pregnancy was very healthy and without complication. She had some concerns in her final weeks of pregnancy and was checked out by her doctor and hospital, but all seemed to be okay. Then 5 days before her due date, she learned that Asher's heart had stopped beating. Bethany was induced and labored for some time but ultimately had to have a cesarean birth due to Asher's position. After his birth, she, her husband and family were able to spend time with him and take photographs. Bethany has faced many of the struggles we often find with us moms of loss. Accepting the now permanent physical changes in her body without a baby to show for them, feeling that her body has failed her and learning to navigate life as a mother who knows that children can die for no good reason at all.
The incredible Heather Kimble. Mother to Hannah Sue, born sleeping at 24 weeks due to fatal complications from Turner Syndrome. Heather is adjusting to motherhood without her child. She found out on Labor Day weekend that she was pregnant. Her pregnancy had been textbook perfection until she went in for her 20-week ultrasound to determine the gender. That's when they found something wrong, and it was a whirlwind from there. Hannah was given a fatal diagnosis of Turner Syndrome and doctors urged her to terminate. She and her husband don't believe in abortion and sought second opinions instead. There was nothing they could do so Heather made the best of her time with her daughter and did all the things she could, all the things she'd hoped to do with Hannah earth side. They went to see Santa Claus and ate foods children enjoy. Hannah passed away on December 23rd, and Heather had to have an emergency cesarean due to concerns for toxicity and mirror syndrome. Heather started to have the onset of mirror syndrome but it quickly subsided, and her recovery was smooth. Hannah's version of Turner Syndrome was severe, she was missing her X chromosome, a massive cystic hygroma, a hole in her heart, and her lungs were not developing. About 99% of babies diagnosed in utero with Turner syndrome are miscarried or stillborn. About 1 out of every 2,000 live births of baby girls are affected by Turner Syndrome. Due to the size of Hannah's cystic hygroma, Heather had to have a classic, vertical incision on her uterus meaning that any future babies will have to be delivered surgically to prevent uterine rupture. Heather got to spend two days with her baby girl, from her birth until Christmas Day. She chose to participate in the project because she feels loss is such a taboo subject, and she wants mothers of loss to know that YOU ARE STILL A MOTHER.