In May 2021, we said hello and goodbye to our beautiful little boy, Jeronimo Merlin. We had five precious hours with him before he journeyed on to his next adventure. Our time together was priceless. And it will never be enough.
We found out we were expecting Jeronimo in October of 2020. After experiencing a first trimester loss earlier that year, we were cautiously optimistic that this pregnancy would be different. We made it past the first trimester and let out a small sigh of relief. We eagerly awaited the anatomy scan to catch a glimpse of our growing boy. When the day finally came, we were smitten with the images on the screen - naive to the story they were telling. He was so beautiful.
A few hours later, a doctor called to alert us to serious concerns the radiologist observed in our scans. He instructed us to come back a week later for a follow-up with the high risk team. It was truly the longest week of my life.
We would go on to learn that our son had a life-limiting condition: thanatophoric dysplasia, a lethal form of dwarfism affecting chest size and lung development. We were told that if he survived birth, we would likely only have a few minutes with him.
We spent those next few months soaking up our time together as a family and sharing as much of the world as we could with our little boy. The everyday mundane became opportunities to share and celebrate life with our son. We tried all sorts of food together, indulged in tasty treats (cookies were a favorite), and practiced our baking skills making goodies for friends. We played our ukuleles and listened to music through a pair of broken headphones that perfectly fit my belly. We sang & danced. We visited with family and friends and took lots of pictures. Dad read to him every night - eliciting soft kicks at the sound of his voice. We learned to crochet together - practicing persistence and experiencing the rush of learning something new. We went for hikes, bathed in the sun and the snow, cuddled with our dog and cat, and ate some more cookies.
On a warm, sunny morning in May, our sweet Jeronimo made his way into the world at 34 weeks. He announced his arrival with one big, beautiful cry. He was placed in his Dad’s arms, where he immediately relaxed into the familiarity of home, as we sang his favorite songs in the middle of the operating room. His grandparents were there to meet him as soon as we returned to our room - and we spent the next few hours soaking up precious time with our beautiful boy. We could have stayed in that room forever.
As we navigate the path ahead, we carry our son’s spirit and the incredible love & beauty that he brought into this world.