“I will always consider myself a father and miss my little Grace in heaven every day.”
Grace Goodpaster, Trisomy 13, St Louis, MO, 3/12/15 – 3/12/15
It is really hard for me to write these words since I miss my daughter so much. My wife and I found out we were having a child and we were ecstatic. I was happy but also nervous about having a baby. My wife and I debated about what now seem like trivial issues such as where to send our child to school or what nursing products we need to buy. None of that seemed to matter anymore after we found out during an NT scan that our baby had a high amount of fluid collection in the back of the neck which indicated that there may be a serious problem. We were devastated and spent the holidays in fear that there might be something wrong with our baby. After weeks of inconclusive results and more testing, we were told our baby had Trisomy 13…and that we were having a girl. Our world came crashing down as we realized our little girl most likely would not live and if she did, she would have severely limiting disabilities. After a few difficult conversations, we decided we wanted to protect our little girl, whom we named Grace, and love her for as long as we could. The pregnancy was a difficult one. We were constantly in a state of despair as we knew the eventual outcome. As time went on, we were also able to feel joys during this period too. My best memory in life was feeling Grace’s kicks. My wife said that she could feel her kicking when she heard my voice. We would sing to her and talk to her. We will never forget this short period of time where we were a family of three on this Earth and got to have baby Grace. We consider her a blessing. Fast forwarding to 24 months, Grace was born prematurely into Jesus’s arms. We got to hold her for a bit and she was just as beautiful as I pictured her. Grace was surrounded by love during her short stay on this Earth and experienced a lifetime of it and we are thankful for that. Over 100 people attended her memorial service and many people had told us that Gr! ace’s story was inspiring to them. Some of our friends were moved to donate and serve in Grace’s memory. It is hard being without Grace and I miss her every day. She has had a profound impact on my life and on others lives. I am a more patient person now who has been taught to slow down and appreciate small moments especially with people you love. I guess that this is what it feels like to be a parent. I will always consider myself a father and miss my little Grace in heaven every day.