Our story is fairly ordinary but it’s ours. Wayne and I met in April 2008. Wayne was working as an IT consultant and I was an 8th grade history teacher. We had fun. We enjoyed trips to the winery and riding bikes. We wished we had the time and money to travel more. We enjoyed cooking for family and friends, but we were your standard, run-of-the-mill couple falling in love. After three years of dating, we were married.

We were married for a year when we found out we were expecting a baby. It was exciting and frightening at the same time. We decided we wanted to be surprised and chose not to find out the sex of our baby during the ultrasound. In late February 2013, our baby let us know he/she wanted to officially join our family when my water broke late one night. After 28 hours of labor with 3 hours of pushing which ended in a C-section, our sweet daughter, Madeline Janet, entered this world. As they say, it was love at first sight!

Family Picture- CAWe decided to put my teaching career on hold so I could stay home with our sweet girl. Life had definitely changed, but we wouldn’t have it any other way. Just as we were getting accustomed to our life as a family of three, we found out we were expecting baby #2! It was a huge shock, but we were thrilled to add yet another cutie to our family. Our two babies would be almost exactly 2 years apart. How perfect is that?!

As our 20 week ultrasound was approaching, we were thinking about purchasing another crib and a double stroller, picking names, and reorganizing around the house to make room for Baby #2. All of these plans came to a screeching halt while at our ultrasound appointment. Something was terribly wrong. Our baby had many complications.

After two weeks of ultrasounds, an amniocentesis, and an agonizing wait, the diagnosis we were dreading was in. Our precious baby, had an extra chromosome 18. The long life we planned with our sweet baby was not meant to be. Our hearts were broken. We named her Catherine Marie. Catherine Cares was launched on December 20, 2014. Unexpectedly, Catherine was born seven weeks early on December 30, 2014, and lived for an hour. Catherine Cares is her legacy.