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Dan and I have been married for almost 10 years. 2018 was quite the year for us. We moved from Florida to Colorado, wonderful new jobs, found out I was pregnant and bought a house. The day we found out I was pregnant was the best day of our lives. It was an unexpected miracle. We spent the first trimester on pins and needles as we were so worried something would happen. Aside from being sick most days for the first 19 weeks, the pregnancy was perfect. Then we found out it’s a boy! We were on cloud nine and so excited for his arrival – May 11, 2019.

On January 18th, 2019 at 23 weeks and 6 days, our world went spiraling out of control. I called Dan at 11am telling him I was going to the doctor because of increased fluid. “Drive safe, don’t rush” I said to him thinking everything was going to be okay. The doctor examined me, things seemed to be fine as we headed into the ultrasound room. The tech put ultrasound on my stomach – I immediately smiled ear to ear. There’s my perfect boy. “Do you want to hear his heartbeat?” Of course I do, now more than ever. He covered his face as he has done the last two ultrasounds, moving around, and fluids were great. The doctor and the tech looked at each other, said something I didn’t quite get and decided to do a vaginal ultrasound. I’ll never forget the look on my doctor’s face. She put her head down, looked over at me, “Justina, everything is going to be okay, we need to get you to the hospital immediately. You’re 3 centimeters dilated”. Chaos broke as Dan walked in the door. Our world came crashing down.

I was rushed to the hospital, the contractions started and they prepared me for labor. Words can’t explain the overwhelming emotions and thoughts we were experiencing. They were able to delay the labor with Magnesium, I would be on bed rest until I gave birth to him which could be in an hour or in weeks.

We got through the first 72 hours. It had been the most emotional 72 hours of our lives, and then the contractions started again. I was 9 centimeters dilated, he was coming whether we wanted him to or not.

On January 21st, 2019 at 9:06pm, our son Carter Moore Oldehoff was born. He was a micro preemie at 24 weeks and 2 days, weighing 1 pound 8 ounces and 12 1/4″ long. The birth of our son was supposed to be an exciting and amazing moment, but Carter was born fighting for his life. Carter was so strong and fought a hard battle. After 74 hours in the NICU, he couldn’t fight any longer. Carter Moore took his last breath in his dad’s arms on January 24th, 2019 at 11:22pm.

Words cannot begin to explain the pain we are going through. Parents are not supposed to lose their child. He was our perfect miracle and our miracle was taken from us. Carter may have only been on this earth for 74 hours, but he touched so many lives. We have only just begun the grieving process and the journey to find our “new normal”. We want to share our journey and Carter’s story with you. 

Read more here as we post about the days leading up to the end of Carter’s life and our grieving experiences so far.