A Beautiful Beginning: Jude Thomas’ birth story.

These stories never get easier to write. I’ll never have the ability to just sit down and articulate all that’s running through my brain because the only words I can ever get out are, “I JUST DON’T UNDERSTAND WHY?” I’ve shot countless angel babies at this point in my 15yrs and the words are never there. Just deep sadness for the newest family I’ve stood by while their hearts shattered to pieces.😔

Jeni had a healthy pregnancy. Things were great until suddenly they weren’t. At 36 wks out of nowhere, baby boy just stopped kicking. Her intuition screamed something was wrong, and they went straight to the Labor and Delivery unit at Good Sam where they did an ultrasound. There he was on the screen, but no blinking lights for his heartbeat. That was it. He was ALMOST here. One more month, so close to safely in arms and for an unknown reason, God just up and called him Home. In complete disbelief, Jeni and Kyle listened  to “the next steps” as they couldn’t get passed that part where the doctor said, “your baby doesn’t have a heartbeat. 😭💔

A late Monday night, “you awake, friend?”  text from Jeni immediately had me concerned. My heart sunk as she’s never texted me so late, which told me immediately something was wrong. They scheduled the cSection for the morning and she wanted me to be there for them during the most difficult moments of their lives.

Tuesday  morning, we all stood in somber in the OR as they went through the motions of a typical cSection. Jeni splayed out on the table, no doubt thinking to herself, “HOW is this happening? This CANT be happening!” on repeat. With visible emotion, the Dr held up their sweet and fragile, 6.1lb, 19.5″ baby boy over the surgical drape just after 9a. Our hearts wanted so bad to hear those first cries and see those startled newborn arm movements but they didn’t come. 💔 The nurses gently cleaned him before swaddling and handed him over to Daddy. It’s that moment that hurts all of us surrounding them. The moment you quite literally witness a parents world crashing around them. There was NOTHING we could do to stop that pain besides hold them tight while they held their angel close.

Once into the room, we received Holy Communion together, which was ironic timing for the chaplain to be walking by. She was completely unaware of the situation but once she left, she was in full tears in the hallway as she shared with Kyle and I that she, too, experienced her first son being stillborn. Jeni and Kyle have entered this terrible “club” of grieving parents. So many of them mourn silently day in and out as their worlds stopped as the rest of us kept moving around them.

Big sis, Emerson, along with grandparents, aunts and uncles came in to meet their “sleeping” bundle of joy. Emme had all the questions which the answers are just too much for her to understand right now. She was able to bring some smiles and joy into the room offsetting the constant tears. I’m thankful they have such a wonderful support system as they navigate these awful waters. I could see how much it hurt watching Emme talk to him saying, “I love him and I get to keep him and take him home.” As painful as these images are to relive it all, I’m thankful you have them as it will be something tangible to remember sweet Jude was here and is just as much part of your family as anyone. Emme will always have a baby brother named Jude Thomas. 💕

In Jeni’s words: ” I carry your heart with me. (I carry it in my heart.) Jude Thomas Prosser, you existed knowing nothing but the pure, fierce, and everlasting love of your family and everyone who knew of you. Your time in our arms was fleeting, but you will live on in our hearts every single day. We love you, sweet boy.”

I hope you feel the love of the community in mourning with you. In the days, weeks and years ahead, know that even though it seems life goes on for all of us, we still hold a special place for your little man in our hearts. He will not be forgotten. Don’t be ashamed to speak of his name often and continuously share him with the world. I hope these images bring you peace to surpass all understanding. I wish he was here with you more than anything but to know he is in paradise with all of our other loved ones…truly they’re the lucky ones. All the hugs.

ps. Special thanks to Mary and the staff for taking great care of my friends. You all are fantastic at what you do, especially after being in their shoes only a handful of months ago. Thanks for your grace.

Love, Melanie

Katie Curl Moll - June 28, 2019 - 4:39 pm

Melanie you have a gift- you tell the story when others cannot. My heart breaks for all of of the friends and family. As I sit here at work, with tears rolling down my face- I don’t know what to say. I am so sorry and God Speed Jude and to all of Jude’s family.

6.25.19

Happy Birthday baby boy! More soon of this sweet angel’s birth.💔

Love you guys, Melanie

Sue Cornelius - June 28, 2019 - 6:41 pm

Kyle, you and your family are in our thoughts and prayers during this very difficult time. It’s always hard to understand why but hang in there, stay strong and keep faith.🙏

Welcome Mary Margaret {Just Born}

Repeat mama’s are so special to have the honor of documenting the wonder of birth with again and again. Five years ago, I spent nearly 20 of her 30hr labor watching them deliver their first miracle. After lots of loss 😔, baby Mary finally hung in there! Praise be!  She shocked all of us ready to be born 2wks early and basically shot out in a couple hrs!! There was no way I was able to meet them 45min away at the hospital, as they arrived she was complete, at the beginning of rush hour! We decided I would come up after school when Lucia and Vincent would meet their baby sis! And let me tell you, it was so perfect!! Literally, the most excited and sweetest kids ever. I’m so excited for your journey of 5 to begin! I think it worked out just as God intended because these images melt my heart! Thanks for having me again! CONGRATS!

Welcome Mary | Born May 7, 2019 | 6lbs 15oz | 19.5″

Vicki labored with this olive wood cross in her hand and I thought it was perfect to have Mary hang on to it!

Love, Melanie

Mary. » LOFT 3 PHOTOGRAPHY - May 8, 2019 - 8:53 pm

[…] HERE to see more of […]

Welcome Joshua Daniel {Just Born}

This little bunny surprised us arriving two weeks early! Cleary, he just really wanted to show off the special hospital hats with ears! His two wild brothers ran into the room with such excitement to meet him! They couldn’t wait to touch, kiss and hold him! So sweet as they giggled away as Joshua was calmly looking around, taking it all in. Mollie and Jeremy, you sure make handsome little devils fellas. Thanks for having me a third time! Great to see you guys and enjoy/document your crazy. 😍

Welcome Joshua | Born April 19, 2019 | 7.14lbs | 20 “

Love, Melanie

Joshua. » LOFT 3 PHOTOGRAPHY - April 22, 2019 - 2:01 pm

[…] HERE to see this little bunny’s just born […]