Monday, February 23, 2015

Gunner's Story, by his Mama

written by Jade Smith

This story is about a very special little boy named Gunner. Gunner was such a fighter and overcame so much too meet his mommy and daddy. We are so blessed to have had our son. He has enriched our lives more than I can ever put into words. Our son is truly a miracle.

It all started in September 2013 we found out we were expecting a baby and we were so happy!! We found out he was a little boy and we named him Gunner Elias Merritt. I had A great first half of my pregnancy we could not wait to meet our little boy. In January we went to the doctor for my 20 week ultrasound and they told me that something was very wrong and the baby had many possible defects. We were so very scared for our boy. 

They sent us to a high risk doctor that did a high resolution ultrasound and other testing. When the results came back our worst fears were confirmed. Gunner had a condition called Trisomy 18, it is known as a lethal condition. The life expectancy is very grim only 10% of these children make it to there 1st birthday. We were devastated and just utterly lost.

They wanted us to end the pregnancy sooner, "why wait they said it will not change the outcome? It will just be harder later on?".Tim and I did not see it this way they told us there was survivors with Trisomy 18, that was all we needed, we would try to give Gunner every chance he could have at a life no matter how short that time may be. 

Tim and I began to plan for Gunner's arrival.We knew there was a chance we would never get to meet Gunner alive because many children with this condition pass away before birth. So we did everything with Gunner why he was In my tummy we sang to him, and read him books. Bought him gifts for valentines day and Easter. We had tons of ultra sounds and went and took maternity pictures. We wanted to make the most of our time with Gunner. 

Through the rest of my pregnancy I began having more and more amniotic fluid turns out this was a side effect of Gunner's Condition. It caused my water to break at 32 weeks and our Gunner was born that morning at 11:15am April 6,2014.

He was breathing with help a little help and overall was doing well. Gunner was so strong and we were so happy to be able to meet our little boy. Our family got to meet Gunner and hold his little fingers.Daddy and Mommy got to hold him for the first time. We showed him the blanket his mommy made him and wrapped it around him.

We kissed his little forehead and held on to the time we had. Gunner continued to do well into the night but before morning came he began to have some serious issues.

We found out that Gunner had esophageal atresia and tracheoesophageal fistula. Basically his esophagus was not connected to his stomach and this caused stomach acid to go into his lungs. We were told there was nothing that we could do and we had to prepare to let go of our boy. We spent the morning making the most of the small amount of time we had left. It was the saddest and happiest day of our lives. 

At 1:15 pm Gunner left this earth to be with god in heaven. For 26 hours and 15 minutes we had our son and just like that he was gone. No words can explain the pain we feel or the love we feel for our son. The days that followed were so unreal we planned a funeral for Gunner and chose an urn. A week later we had a beautiful funeral and said goodbye to him for the last time. I didn't want to leave him there at the funeral home just like I didn't want to leave him at the hospital. Gunner was taken from us so quickly and it changed our lives forever. 

I am writing this six months after Gunner was born and it still doesn't seem real. 

We love you Gunner to the moon and back and we will never stop sharing your life with others. 

~ ~ ~

You can follow Gunner's Journey @


Anonymous said...

Lots of love! <3

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