The Helen Sofia
est. August 5, 2022
“In the garden of memory, in the palace of dreams…that is where you and I shall meet.”
- ALICE THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS
The Helen Sofia Foundation was established in honor of my niece who quietly came into this world on August 5th, 2017. To honor her memory, we created this foundation to serve two purposes:
To serve families who have received the news that their little bundle may not make it to term and/or who have already said their goodbyes in utero. Most families in this scenario haven't had the opportunity to take maternity photos and our hope is that this gives them a chance to document that little life inside and preserve the good memories to reflect on for years to come.
To celebrate families who have made it through the storm and are welcoming their "rainbow baby." For most families who have gone through a previous loss, the foundation gives them the ability to create new memories and honor the souls that came before them.
A portion of every portrait session goes to directly supporting my work in serving these families. Thank you for helping me serve these families.
of pregnancies in the US end in
miscarriages in the first trimester.
Sitting on the edge of the long recliner chair holding hands with my husband ready to have our first check in appointment. “They can see fluid on the ultrasound. Possibly from Hydrops.” I remember Charles letting go of my hand to pull out a notebook to write it down. Back for another scan and confirming hydrops. Meeting with the specialist we discussed a way forward. I don’t remember the words he said. My heart was in my stomach and the world was still moving but I wasn’t. All we could say “we are not giving up on the baby.” More pokes and prods and a phone call later. “Turner Syndrome” I look over at Charles as the call ended “we are having a girl” that’s all I could take away. We weren’t surprised with a gender reveal but with the diagnosis that is only found in females. We were also told we are having a daughter with a condition that is compatible with life. “We will never give up on her.”
It was clear that making it to twenty weeks was probably as far as she’d get but there went twenty weeks I could still feel her flutter kicks. Our hopes were high. Appointments set with NICU and specialized doctors for week twenty four, if we make it that far she’ll be more compatible for life. Twenty two weeks and two days. I went into work but was having terrible back pain. I remember walking into a colleagues office before leaving for my appointment saying “woah did you just see that kick! It was the hardest one yet.” Charles and I made our way to the ultrasound appointment. The tech stopped talking. Charles and I squeezed hands. Charles asked “there’s no heartbeat is there?” They left the room to get the doctor. Charles prayed over our Helen. It was one last kick for mama. Turning over, head down.
It wasn’t long after she came into the world with family surrounding us. We held her, talked to her and embraced deeply. We never gave up on her. She spent her days safely and in no pain inside her mama and for that we thank God. She heard all the songs we sang, the sways we danced with her and the love she felt as big as can be. Our Helen Sofia.