This is an extremely sad and tragic story, but also one of perseverance and kindness on the part of a woman named Sierra Strangfeld.
Strangfeld was 20 weeks pregnant when she learned that her second child, a boy, wouldn’t survive due to a disease called Trisomy 18, or Edwards’ Syndrome. Most babies who have the rare condition die from an early miscarriage or shortly after birth.
“It was earth-shattering, not knowing what our future held. Not knowing if we’d get to meet our baby or not.”
Strangfeld continued to go to her regular check-ups and two months later she learned that her son would likely pass away in utero within the next week. She pushed for a C-section delivery and the boy, who she named Samuel, survived for three hours outside the womb. Strangfeld was able to hold the baby in her arms and that meant a lot to her.
“It was something I could control. I couldn’t control Samuel’s diagnosis. I couldn’t control his life or his death.
But I could control what I did afterward. It was the last, physical thing connecting me to him here on Earth.
I couldn’t save Samuel’s life, but by donating my milk, maybe I could help save another baby’s life.”
So Strangfeld decided to donate the 500 ounces of breast milk she had pumped to the neonatal intensive care unit.
“It was a good feeling, knowing I was going to help someone else in need. But it was also very emotional.
I could feed a complete stranger’s baby, but didn’t get to feed my own. Samuel was the reason I had milk to give, and I would do that in his honor.
I tried to look at it in a more positive light, and It was actually much harder (mentally) to stop pumping than I thought it would be!”
She added, Our goal is to have a non-profit organization is Samuel’s name called Smiling for Samuel — we have big hopes and dreams to carry on his legacy.”
A sad story, but a very unselfish act for a mother who was determined to help out other peoples’ newborns.