Imagine going in for your ultrasound, eagerly awaiting the gender reveal of your baby, only to be told your little one probably won't survive.
That was Alexis Marrino's reality when she went in for a routine anatomy scan for her unborn child. The news was heartbreaking, but she still chose to carry her daughter to term.
Sweet McKinleigh Jade was born on July 29, 2019 at 11:49 a.m. with anencephaly, a birth defect that results in infants being born without parts of their skull and brain.
For a precious time, Alexis and her husband Michael were able to hold McKinleigh close, loving on her and even baptizing her. "Feeling her small warm body on my chest was too magical," Alexis said. Then, at 12:59 p.m. on the same day, McKinleigh passed away.
But that's not the end of this story. Before Alexis learned about her daughter's condition, she'd made the decision to breastfeed. Since she carried McKinleigh to term, she knew her body would still produce milk for some time, so she decided to pump as planned.
"I knew I couldn’t save her life, but I could at least help save other little babies' lives," Alexis said. By September 19, less than two months after McKinleigh's birth, the amazing mom had gathered more than 1,130 ounces of breast milk to donate. That's over 140 8-ounce bottles!
That's not to say the process was easy. "There were days that I just cried because I kept thinking, 'How is it fair that I’m doing this for someone else’s baby instead of mine?'" Alexis said. "But through it all, I kept going, and I’m finally done! I wanted to make McKinleigh proud, and I’d like to think I did."
Alexis' breast milk will help so many babies and their struggling new moms! McKinleigh's life was taken far too soon, but her legacy will live on thanks to her brave mama!
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Aside from being a writer, Ashley is a mom of two girls and a wife to a passionate public school administrator. When she does… Read More
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