I Joined The Zoe Foundation in honor of Shana! I knew that I wanted to help families that suffer from infant loss but I was not sure how to help. I was so honored to join the foundation and start the Shana Rae Project here in Louisiana. It is such a great feeling to know that I am able to assist families. And the families are so greatful and appreciative. I would love to see SRP grow throughout the entire state. We have grown so much throughout the Baton Rouge and New Orleans area. I would love to be able to help more families and spread the word about the Project. I would also like to see more support groups available for grieving families. Thank you for allowing me to be the Louisiana Representative.
Shana Rae’s Story
Brad and I have been married for 8 years, and have 3 beautiful daughters. Abby Kate is our oldest, soon to be 5 years old. Reese Ann is our middle daughter, 3 1/2 years old. Shana Rae is our youngest daughter, soon to have her first ‘heavenly’ birthday.
Brad and I discovered that we were pregnant with Shana Rae in October 2009. We had not planned this pregnancy, but our heavenly Father did. We were very excited about our surprise pregnancy! I went to the doctor and determined that my due date would be June 26, 2010. Weeks went by, and other than having pregnancy sickness – everything was fine. We were getting prepared to have another baby! Brad and I knew that we would have another girl, and were so excited and anxious to meet her. We went for our routine diagnostic ultrasound at 18 weeks, on January 21, 2010. The technician completed the scan and sent us on our way to see the OB for my already scheduled appointment. There was no implication that anything was wrong, other than the technician usually sends you to the doctor with the envelope of ultrasound information. She did not do that this time, and said that she would bring it up to the doctor.
We made it to my doctor before the paperwork. My doctor walked in the room and asked “what did they see?” I told her “I do not know.” She went back out the room to look for the report and when she came in the room again, I just knew something was terribly wrong by the look on her face. She proceeded to tell us that our baby’s skull and brain did not develop. She wanted us to see a Maternal-Fetal specialists. She immediately took us through back halls and down the elevator to the specialists. They immediately took us back to an exam room where we had another ultrasound done to confirm the diagnosis. Brad and I were crying as all of this was going on. I, being an RN, knew exactly what those words meant – our baby would not survive.
The Maternal- Fetal specialist did confirm the diagnosis of Anencephaly and Acrania. The Maternal-Fetal specialist gave us the option of carrying our baby girl to term or terminating the pregnancy. This all occurred on a Thursday and we had to make the decision by Monday. There was no decision for us to make. We always said that no matter what, with any of our babies, we would carry them. We carried our Shana Rae to term.
We delivered at 37 weeks by C-section on June 3, 2010 at 8:11 am. Shana Rae was perfect and absolutely beautiful. She lived with Brad and me for 1 hour and 13 minutes. Family and close friends were there to see her. We chose the name Shana Rae because it means “God is Gracious” and “beautiful” “Grace.” We miss her dearly. We have peace in knowing that she is in the arms of her Heavenly Father and we will see her again. I mentioned to Brad that I wanted to help others who would go through infant loss. I had no idea what God wanted me to do, or how to help. I waited on Him, and He sent Kayla Johnson to me. She contacted me to request my help with a Louisiana Chapter in honor of Shana Rae. I cried and had chills up and down my body, and I knew then – this is what God had in store for me. I am honored to help others in honor of my daughter.