Complications caused one Texas mother to lose her baby only days after she was born, but their story wouldn’t end there. Nearly a month later, the grieving mother was left shocked to see the one thing left of her baby that a new friend had put in her own newborn’s photo shoot.
Jenny Rogers and her husband, Hal, were ecstatic when they learned that they were pregnant. However, their excitement was cut short when her doctor informed her that their baby girl had a slim chance of surviving the pregnancy, much less making it through childbirth.
In what she’s referred to as a miracle, their baby girl, who they named Everly Jade Rogers, was born on January 3, 2018. Sadly, the celebration of her successful birth would be short-lived since she only would survive until January 9, 2018.
“At 25 weeks pregnant my baby was diagnosed as having intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR). My husband, Hal, and I were given a very bleak outlook. We had been warned that our baby, Everly, may ‘expire’ in my womb or may not survive childbirth,” Jenny recalled.
“If she didn’t weigh a minimum of 500 grams (a little over 1-pound) she wouldn’t be able to be intubated and wouldn’t be ‘viable.’ By the grace of God, we made it into the third trimester and delivered at 31 weeks 3 days,” Jenny explained, according to Love What Matters.
First off, is this not the cutest little wide foot you've ever seen?!?!? That wide foot is the same as her daddy's. …
“Everly Jade was born via C-section weighing 570 grams (1-pound, 4 ounces) on January 3, 2018. She literally came into this world kicking, which was a miracle in itself with her small size,” she continued. “The first three days went fairly easily in the NIC [neonatal intensive care]. She had graduated from the ventilator to a CPAP machine to a nasal cannula.”
However, Everly’s little body grew tired, and on January 6, she took a turn for the worse, but she kept fighting to survive. “Early Tuesday morning, January 9, 2018, Everly again took a turn for the worse, but her tiny body was too weak to fight anymore. Her six short days had been nothing short of a miracle by all that witnessed,” Jenny explained.
Here is my angel baby. As you can see she is perfect & beautiful. Please note the graveside is a private time for family only.
As the days passed and Jenny Rogers mourned the loss of her daughter, she refused to stop pumping her breast milk, which she had started to do for Everly. “The thing about a mother in mourning is her body has no idea she is mourning. My body still produced milk, even though I had no baby to feed,” Jenny explained.
The grieving mother couldn’t bear the thought of throwing the milk out after her body had worked hard to produce that for her baby, Everly. That’s when she learned about donating it. Meanwhile, someone who went to her church and who she would later become good friends with had a baby but was struggling with breastfeeding.
Dianne Burnett had recently had a baby girl who she named Merrytt, but she couldn’t provide enough breast milk. Her sweet newborn had gotten the respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), couldn’t digest formula, and Dianne was struggling to keep her belly full.
Fast forward a month, and Dianne shared a photo of Merrytt that struck her heart. In the photo was not only the adorable, growing baby, but she was surrounded by the milk Jenny had donated in Evelyn’s memory.
Dianne & I were contacted a few weeks ago by Love What Matters. They had come across a post made by Dianne about me…
“They were able to even feed Merrytt my colostrum, which is very beneficial for a sick baby,” Jenny recalled. “Watching Merrytt grow has been so good for my grieving. Seeing her thrive and grow bigger makes me feel like I have a purpose,” she added.
“While grief donating isn’t ideal for everyone, it has helped me tremendously. Dianne is so sweet to send me pictures and updates on Merrytt and show me the fruits of my labor. I’ve always heard it takes a village to raise a child. I’m ok with being the village milk cow,” she comically concluded.
A little time with Merrytt is good for the soul. 😍
They have since decided to use a Facebook page that was initially started to pray for Everly to now share the impact Evelyn’s short life has had on the world.
Jenny’s selfless act is remarkable. During her time of grief over the loss of her baby girl, she found a way to make someone else’s life better. Although baby Everly was only on earth for six short days, she has changed the lives of many, thanks to the selflessness of her mother. Instead of wallowing in mourning, Jenny is making the world a better place following her own tragedy. Life is tough, but there truly is nothing we can’t overcome if we put our minds to it.