Raising Money to benefit organizations that assist in caring for and providing resources to sick infants and families who have lost infants in and around Central Iowa

Join us at Toddler Fest, Saturday, May 6th

Come visit John’s Charity’s booth at this wonderful, free event!

Saturday at 10 AM – 12 PM

Join us for TODDLER FEST hosted by the city of Adel. Children will have a magical time at this FREE event where they will meet characters, listen to stories, play games, make crafts and have the opportunity to get their face painted! The recommended ages for this event is two-five. Cinderella and Tinkerbell will be there to join in the fun as well! This is a FREE FAMILY EVENT so we hope to see you there!

Adel Public Library
28057 Fairground Road
Adel IA 50003

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2017 Honorary Angel – Charleston Diane Faye Morlan

 

  Charleston Diane Faye Morlan
Born sleeping October 21, 2016.

 

CharliehandsMy husband Tim and I were so surprised to find out we were going to have another baby… it took us 10 years and multiple fertility treatments ending with IVF to finally be able to have our son, Sam. So to a have positive home pregnancy test was quite the shock.  We had never seen one of our own!  We embraced the journey and ran with it! Because of my age we had the “harmony” test done that would tell us the probability of any problems to expect with our baby as well as the gender.

Now there is a very long standing joke that “Morlan’s only make boys” because well that is all we had in my husbands side of the family. My brother-in-law’s first child was a girl that was born into heaven 16yrs ago and everyone after her has been boys, so with that we just knew that this little nugget would be a boy also.  Again, to our surprise,  our miracle baby was a GIRL!!  Our family was so excited and anxious to finally have a princess to buy pink for, after all it had been 32 years since the last little girl in the family.  

Tim and I were over the moon to have this new addition, to have our perfect little family.  Our pregnancy was full of ups and downs like any other pregnancy. At our 20 week ultrasound we were told that our Charleston’s head was only measuring in the 5th percent, which was way too small.  We had to wait for an agonizing 8 weeks to have a repeat ultrasound done to see if her head was growing?? We went to that ultrasound; and me being a nurse I know somewhat the numbers that I am looking for. As soon as they did her head measurement I knew…. it had not changed.  My heart sank, I wanted to fall apart right there on the table.  Again, being a nurse I knew what that meant. It meant microcephaly, which meant my hopes and dreams of my daughter ever doing the things we had dreamed for her were over.

The very next day we were sent downtown to the perinatology doctors to have another ultrasound and to see what out options were.  We had the ultrasound and 5 minutes later the doctor walked in shook our hands and told us our baby was perfect and not to worry about anything.  She was measuring right where she needed to be.  WHAT!  How could this be?  Just yesterday her head had not changed. I had just spent the last 2 months of my life watching all of my dreams being shattered and in 5 minutes you tell me she is fine.  Again Tim and I left the office being very cautiously optimistic that this doctor, who spent less then 5 minutes with us was right and we went on about our day.

Fast forward 10 weeks.  Now at about 30 weeks, I started having what felt like contractions at work, so I called my OB and they told me “drink lots of water and call them back in 1 hour if they had not gone away”, blah, blah, blah. So I did just that. Contractions did not go away, so I went to the MTTU to be monitored.  Yep, sure enough I was having contractions.  I was able to spend the whole day in the MTTU being monitored.  They did blood, and my blood pressure was elevated so they started a 24 hour urine test on me to see if I was dropping protein which is the sign for preeclampsia. My contractions were determined to be “uterine irritation” and I was told not to worry about it unless they became strong enough to make me start dilating and I was sent home.

Well at this point I am now into my area of where I get to go to the office once a week for ultrasounds and NST because I have gestational diabetes.  At my regular scheduled appointment my blood pressure was elevated again and my 24 hr urine showed “trace amount” of protein, so because of that I was sent back to the hospital to be monitored again.  And yet again I was contracting and this time I knew I was staying the night, that had told me that in the office. 

ICharlieBEar arrive and am hooked up to the monitor, of course my blood pressure is ok, although I had to do another 24 hour urine test. While I was in the hospital I had to get the shot that helps the babies lungs mature faster “just in case we should need to take her.”  I was released to go home on Sunday and was place on “modified” bed rest, mostly because of me. I was to afraid to be on bedrest at home, so I talked my doctor into letting me do office work at my job where I had to stay in a room and keep me feet up all day long. I also had to monitor my blood pressure every day and if it every got 160/90 I was to call the doctor.  My co- workers made me stick to this, made me lay down if I even looked like my blood pressure was elevated.  Mind you I am still having these “uterine irritations” so my stomach was extremely tight all the time.  I did this for 4 days. 

I went to my normally scheduled twice a week ultrasounds and NST.  I never got passed the ultrasound.  The tech was amazing, she was terrified but kept her cool.  We started doing my ultrasound and she said “wow her heart rate is low”  113, which she had always been at least 130.  I knew then something was wrong.  She told me to turn up onto my left side, maybe I was just laying wrong.  I was so far on my left side, I was darn near on my stomach.  The tech calmly told me ” I will be right back, I need to go talk to the doctor” and left the room.  I looked at my mother in-law and told her “something is wrong.”  She of course told me, “oh no everything is fine.” I told her no something is wrong, they have never left me in here to “go get the doctor”. 

The doctor came in and told me that I needed to go to the hospital and don’t dilly dally, go straight there.  That I had what was called “reverse cord pressure” which was making it so my Charleston was not getting the amount of blood and oxygen that she needed (the doctor did not tell me this part, I just knew what it meant) and that I was probably going to be having my baby today.  My mother in-law and I got into my truck and headed straight there.

I made all the calls I needed to get my husband there and my son taken care of for the evening.  We got to the hospital and got checked in. I was familiar with the nurses due to my visits over the past two week’s, so I joked and told them I would get into my gown, that I knew what to do and I would see them in a minute.  They hollered back “ok, we will be there in a minute”.  I went into the bathroom, got changed and got into the bed.  The nurse came in, which happened to be the same nurse from before.  She went to place me on the baby monitor, we could not find the heartbeat, which at the time I was not to worried about because we have been having a hard time finding it in the past because Charleston was breach.

The nurse looked and me and said “oh yeah she is breach, we will try up here”  so we tried at the top of my stomach, nothing.  Another nurse and then another nurse and then another nurse came in all trying to find my baby on the monitor.  Finally, I looked at one of the nurses said “if we can’t get the monitor then get the ultrasound.”  Then my primary nurse and another nurse went over to the other side of the bed and started my IV and drawing blood, me being the smart ass I am I said “so ladies what is the likelihood that I am going for a C Section?”  Without skipping a beat everyone in the room, which I think at this point was at least 8, all while still trying to get me on the monitor said “you are” all at the same time.  I said “ok well lets get this show on the road.” 

While all of this is going on, the ultrasound lady came in and started doing my ultrasound, again.  The same lady whom had done my previous ultrasounds just 4 days prior.  She placed her hand on my knee, looked at me and said “I am sorry Michelle, I can not find her heartbeat.” I screamed “GET HER OUT, take me to the OR and get her out,” she just moved. “Get her out” my mother in-law was screaming.

They wheeled me out of my MTTU room and into the C-section prep area, all the while I was pushing on my stomach, screaming”Just move baby, just move Charleston”.  They took me to a room just outside the OR area and the OB that was on call met me there and told me that she needed an ultrasound now and that if there were any flickering of a beat she would take me for a crash C-Section.  There was nothing. I screamed, and cried and cussed, and screamed some more. My doctor sat there and cried with me.  We were reliving the same thing all over again from my brother in-law, except this time it was me.

Charlie1All of this happened in a matter of 30 minutes.  From the time we left the doctors office to the time they told me my Charleston was gone was 30 minutes.  I had to be induced, so I was moved to a quiet room on the very end of the hallway all by myself.  The process was started.  I finally delivered my beautiful angel at 12:56 am October 21st 2016.

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2017 Honorary Angel – Gavin Lee Sievers

 Gavin Lee Sievers
Twin brother of Jaxon – Son of Shane and Connie

September 2, 2015 – March 7, 2016

Gavin Lee Sievers was born on September 2nd, 2015. He was born at 4 lbs, 4oz and came 1 minute after his twin brother Jaxon Leonard at 10:14 am.   Gavin was sent to NICU due to his weight and was later joined by Jaxon who had an iron deficiency they needed to monitor.   Together they shared a room and were discharged on September 7th. To say we as parents were nervous was an understatement. Bringing home twins, both under 5 lbs was probably the slowest car ride home we had in a long time. From the start, Gavin and Jaxon were distinctively different but found comfort with being close to one another.   Gavin was very vocal and let us know what he did and did not like. Diaper changes, baths, being naked were all dislikes and swings, cuddles, and ceiling fans were all likes.   One minute he would be playing and the next he would fall asleep. The boys always needed to keep each other in close proximity and held hands all the time.

Gavin was more of the “leader” between the boys.   He was the first to find his voice, toes, roll over, and take to solid foods.   Gavin couldn’t get enough of solids, he would want a bite before the first on was even swallowed and if we didn’t go fast enough, he would let us know. Eventually he learned to love baths, diaper changes weren’t so bad and loved being naked.   He loved being upright – the bouncy seat became his favorite toy. He was not a fan of tummy time so, to keep him off his back, he would spend as much time as possible in his bouncy seat.   We ended up getting two and the boys would sit in their seats and “talk” back and forth to each other until it was time to eat or sleep.   They loved being able to look at each other like that.

March 7th is a day forever engrained in our minds.   It is the day our lives forever changed and not in a way we would wish upon anyone.   The day started off per usual. We got up, got the boys fed, let them play while we got ready and then Shane took them to daycare. I remember that Gavin spit up all over me and I had to change clothes. I set Gavin down on the bed and he was chewing on his fingers and Tyson (our dog) crawled up on the bed and just laid his head by Gavin’s legs.   I took a picture of them as it was a great moment of a boy and his dog. Then I kissed the boys good-bye and Shane loaded them up to drop them off at daycare.   Shane distinctly remembers that Gavin was asleep when he dropped him off before he headed into work.

We received the “call” that will forever haunt us at 1:10pm that afternoon.   We both got calls from the Urbandale Police Department that we needed to head to the hospital as Gavin was found unresponsive.   I worked 2 blocks from the hospital and I took off running while on the phone with Shane trying to keep him calm has he was driving from Urbandale. I got there and found the doctors working on Gavin and just stared into the ER room. Finally, the Chaplin pulled me into a private room to wait for Shane, wait for the doctor, and wait for answers.   At 2:09pm, those answers came, Gavin had passed away, they did everything they could but he was gone.   After a few minutes of shock and tears, I needed to find Jaxon (who was still at daycare). He needed to be with us, be with Gavin. Not only had our world forever changed but his did as well that day. Gavin passed away from SIDS.

There are so many questions with no answers and that is the hardest part in all of this. No answers for us, no answers for Jaxon just the “undetermined” (as written in the autopsy). We try not to dwell on the “what ifs” and instead reflect on “what was”. Gavin was such a brilliant little man, so full of life, smiles and laughter. He was our little monkey, our grumpy old man, he was the Goose to Jaxon’s Maverick. Gavin always had a twinkle in his eyes and sometimes he would just stare off and then start smiling and kicking his legs.   I have no idea what he saw or what gave him such joy but maybe he saw something we couldn’t and he knew what was waiting for him in Heaven.

We have learned to lean on our family and friends, to remember Gavin with love and laughter instead of dwelling on the undetermined.   We choose to believe that he is watching over us and we get glimpse of him from time to time and know he’s with us always.

We were given a book called “The Next Place” from the hospital which holds true in our hearts. We know he’s happy, playing laughing and loving life as he always did in The Next Place.

“I will finally be perfect. I will be without a flaw
I will travel empty-handed,
There is not a single thing I have collected in my life
That I would ever want to bring
EXCEPT…..The love of those who loved me,
And the warmth of those who cared.
The happiness and memories and magic that we shared.
Though I will know the joy of solitude….. I’ll never be alone.
I’ll be embraced by all the family and friends
That I have ever known.
Although I might not see their faces,
All our hearts will beat as one,
And the circle of our spirits
Will shine brighter than the sun.
I will cherish all the friendship I was fortunate to find,
All the love and all the laughter in the place I leave behind.
All these good things will go with me. They will make my spirit glow.
And that light will shine forever in the next place that I go.”

 

 

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John D. Gomke Charity, Inc.
P.O. Box 613
DeSoto, IA 50069