Meet Andrea West, a courageous mother who has overcome great loss and heartbreak. Her story has resonated with many parents who have gone through similar experiences, inspiring them to share their own journeys of grief and healing.
Andrea and her husband’s love story began during their college years, and they knew they were destined to spend their lives together. They created a beautiful life in New Jersey and were overjoyed when they discovered they were expecting a baby.
They named their precious bundle of joy Adam, after her husband’s late friend who had passed away at a young age. The first few weeks of Adam’s life were filled with doctor visits to dermatologists, geneticists, and orthopedists. Despite all the tests, the results came back normal.
Tragically, just 11 weeks into her pregnancy, Andrea suffered a miscarriage, shattering their dreams of becoming parents. She felt lost, not knowing who to turn to or how to navigate her grief. Little did she know that 1 in 4 women go through the same experience, yet it remains a topic that is often not openly discussed.
For a long time, Andrea blamed herself for the loss of their baby. However, her loving and supportive husband stood by her side, assuring her that everything would be okay. And soon enough, Andrea found herself pregnant again. This time, she was determined to do everything right, from leading a healthier lifestyle to meticulously following all the pregnancy guidelines.
Their rainbow baby, a term used for a baby born after a loss, arrived on September 21st. Despite a complication during birth, with Andrea having very little amniotic fluid, they were overjoyed to welcome their son into the world. However, when the doctor didn’t allow Andrea’s husband to cut the umbilical cord and instead did it himself, they sensed that something was wrong.
The doctor delivered devastating news to them – there was something wrong with Adam’s leg. Exhausted and delirious, Andrea hoped it was just a bruise. But as a teaching hospital, the room quickly filled with medical professionals who examined their newborn son before Andrea could even hold him. Soon, he was taken to the NICU, leaving Andrea overwhelmed and alone.
It was later discovered that Adam had a rare vascular malformation called Cutis Marmorata Telangiectatica Congenita (CMTC). At the time, only 500 cases of this condition had been reported. Andrea was filled with conflicting emotions – joy at the sight of her beautiful rainbow baby, but also worry for his future.
Countless tests, including brain and heart ultrasounds, were conducted to ensure Adam’s well-being. Luckily, he passed all of them and was eventually discharged from the hospital. From that moment on, Andrea and her husband dedicated themselves to learning about CMTC, attending conferences, and connecting with other families facing similar challenges.
Their mission is to raise awareness about CMTC, as many medical professionals and individuals have never heard of it. They want to ensure that as many people as possible know about this condition and understand the unique struggles that families like theirs face.
Despite the initial concerns about Adam fitting in with other children, he continues to amaze his parents. He participates in sports and enjoys spending time with his friends, proving that he can do anything his peers can do.
Andrea’s story is a testament to the strength and resilience of parents who face unexpected challenges. Through their journey, they have become advocates, raising awareness and supporting other families in similar situations.