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Friday, October 8, 2010


Recently, I was asked to write a brief summary of Charlotte. This summary is to be posted to several websites this month, as October 15th is "Pregnancy and Infant Loss Day." Of course, "brief" is slightly difficult when it comes to summarizing Charlotte, but I did my best. Here it is:

Charlotte Amalie was born at 23 weeks, 6 days, weighing 1.2 pounds and measuring 11 inches long. After more than 200 days in the NICU, PICU and ICS floors of the hospital, she is a little over 7 months old, and lives at home. Miss Charlotte weighs in these days at 13 pounds 4 ounces. She's had a PDA ligation, Retinal Detachment in her right eye (2 surgeries), ROP Stage III in her left eye (1 surgery), Heart Failure, Chronic Lung Disease, Anemia of prematurity, was vented for 8 weeks, has a Nissen to control her reflux, is G-tube fed, and was recently diagnosed with a paralyzed left vocal cord. She's had over 27 blood transfusions, numerous rounds of Sepsis, and came home with oxygen, apnea monitors and continuous feeds.

That's how many see Charlotte. And to an extent, they would be correct. But to a much larger extent, they couldn't be further from the truth.

Charlotte is our baby. She's Caleb's little sister and Patti's granddaughter. She is Aunt Shayla's niece, Emily's cousin, and Louise's great-granddaughter. She is so much to so many people. She is the reason my heart breaks when I see a "normal" baby; she is the reason my heart rejoices when I think about what could have been.

Charlotte will not be able to outlive her prematurity. For the rest of her life, it will be the one thing that defines her. But it will never be the only thing that defines her. Some may never be able to move past her medical conditions, while others may barely notice them. Either way, who she is, is going to be up to her. It is our job, it is our responsibility, to create a world in which she has the ability to write her own definition.

Because that's who Charlotte is-- whomever she wants to be. And that's exactly how we'll take her.

And there you have it. Charlotte in 400 words or less. The comment section won't let you write that much-- so tell me, what's your one word definition for Charlotte? How would you define our girl?


  1. She is a fighter and a gorgeous little girl. With the wonderful parents and grandparents she has that love her and will teach her about Heavenly Father, she will go far in this world!

  2. You want only one word?! I have lots of "one words" to describe Miss Charlotte. Love. Amazing. Stubborn. Determined. Beautiful. I could go on and on, but as you said, space won't allow it. So there it is. One word times 5. And there are many, many others. But I need to leaave some words for others.

  3. defiant.


    in a good way, of course.

  4. amazing ... just like the family she's been born into

  5. Beautiful. Sorry not to come up with an original word (see previous poster) but it's so true.

  6. I've got to vote for "miracle" or "miraculous".

  7. Well said and now where are my kleenex??!!!