Such a Happy Baby

June 11, 2022

Taryn happened to be one of the first mothers to join our prenatal support group. Her little Zoey was such a happy baby, she says, despite going through a lot in her first few months of life. She shares her story in her own words below.

Taryn’s Story

I actually didn’t find out that it was a possibility for my baby girl to have Trisomy 18 until I was around 25 weeks pregnant. They told me her hands were clenched and that it was an indicator. I didn’t want to believe them. I did a lot of research and joined many support groups. I refused all invasive testing. I decided to do the NIPT [non-invasive prenatal testing], and it came back with a 21% chance of her having an issue…which didn’t really answer anything for me. 

So we waited until birth to test her. We scheduled an induction at 37 weeks because I was having blood pressure issues. She was born vaginally and came out breathing on her own but needed a little extra support from the CPAP. We did full interventions. She had a large VSD [ventricular septal defect] and bicuspid aortic valve and was born in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, at Sanford Hospital. 

After Zoey was born, I reached out to Omaha Children’s hospital for possible heart repair. At 7 weeks she was flown there and had a full VSD repair. After a week of recovery she was flown back to Sioux Falls. She had tube surgery a few weeks later. And at 3 months old, she got to come home on no oxygen or any support. 

Zoey was doing wonderful at home. Getting so big! She was such a happy baby. Always smiling and laughing. Unfortunately she caught a case of pneumonia, and it wasn’t caught in time. She passed away suddenly and unexpectedly. 

Zoey’s Story Lives On

Taryn reflects on her journey with joy even as she misses her sweet girl. She writes, “I am so honored to be a mamma to such a strong little girl. She taught me so much in her short life and has inspired so many other people. I constantly get messages from teachers, nurses, advocates, etc. that ask to share her story so they can educate others. I will forever share her story!”