The Pain No Parent Can Prepare For

My mind has been in a weird place for the last 48 or so hours. To those of you that blog, I really do enjoy reading your blogs. I read all of your posts, and the blogs of some others who don’t visit mine.

I started blogging as a way to remember my experiences as a father. I put my thought streams on the internet so that family and friends can stay up on what’s happening in our household. During the course of all this, I’ve discovered some great blogs and have been following them since. The first two blogs that I started following were those of a husband and wife. They were new parents of a beautiful baby girl who was born eleven weeks premature. Mike and Heather chronicled their pregnancy complications, the birth of Maddie, and her growth. Mike eventually ventured back into the full-time workforce and had to allow his blog to fall dormant. Heather made up for Mike’s lack of posts after her transition from full-time working mom to stay-at-home mom. The thing I love about her blog – aside from the wit – is that she embraces all aspects of parenthood. One day, she’d talk about Maddie squealing with joy at their dog. The next day, she’d post a picture of a crying, miserable Maddie dealing with the pains of teething. A week later, there would be a post about another trip to the doctor or the emergency room. Poor little Maddie had underdeveloped lungs at birth and, as she grew, had breathing difficulties that required Mike and Heather to hook her up to an oxygen tank at home more times than they would care to count. This also put Maddie at a higher risk of illnesses, so whenever she developed a fever it was a big deal.

Last week, Maddie fell ill again. Things did not improve at the doctor’s office, 911 was called, and Maddie was rushed to the hospital. Heather kept her friends (real life and internet based) updated by posting to Twitter from her cell phone.

Dr. Looove just saw Maddie. She ordered an x-ray and pulse ox, and they’re going to do a nasal wash to check for RSV. Yippee. 3:56 PM Apr 6th

They brought in a toddler bed, so now I can lay in the bed with Maddie. This seems to have calmed her, but she is obviously very unhappy. 10:57 AM Apr 7th

Now the doctors are rounding. Hopefully we’ll have more news/information SOON. SO over being at the mercy of the doctors. 10:58 AM Apr 7th

Maddie just blew her IV by slamming her hand into the bed in a fit of rage. A BLOODY fit of rage. Blood everywhere. All the blood was bloody 12:32 PM Apr 7th

Maddie knocked out another IV, this time it bled all over me. Nurses tried four more times to get a new line in to no avail. 5:49 PM Apr 7th

She’s still requiring massive amounts of oxygen and constant breathing treatments. Docs are still trying to figure out the problem. 5:50 PM Apr 7th

They’re going to intubate her, I’m freaking out 6:01 PM Apr 7th

There was a new update the following morning that linked to a post that Meghan made on Heather’s blog. Sadly, little baby Maddie passed away just shy of being 17 months old.

I gasped and both of my hands shot to my face. I was hit with waves of emotion throughout the day. Sarah cried when she read the post and whenever she thought about it that day. Although we didn’t know the Spohr’s in real life, following their blogs and the growth of their baby made them a part of our lives. I’m devastated for their loss and even today am having trouble accepting the fact that the beautiful baby who was just shopping for bathing suits with her mother a few weeks ago will be buried in a few days.

Heather’s site has been up and down since yesterday from the number of visitors it’s been getting, but check it out for any updates. And in case the site isn’t working when you try… 

A mailbox has been set up for Heather and Mike, so if you would like to send them anything, you can send it to:

Mike & Heather Spohr
11870 Santa Monica Blvd. #106-514
West Los Angeles, CA 90025

It is at a UPS Store, so they can accept packages as well.

In lieu of flowers, the family is asking for donations to the March of Dimes in Maddie’s memory. If you would like to help with the high cost of funeral expenses, please click here.


Meghan is also keeping a running list of blogs (like this) that have a post in honor of Maddie. Check them out and see for yourself how many people have been touched by Maddie’s life.

And squeeze your babies a little tighter next time you hug them, and really appreciate the fact that you can.

Madeline Alice Spohr
November 11, 2007 – April 7, 2009

6 thoughts on “The Pain No Parent Can Prepare For”

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  2. Wow Joe, I don’t even know what to say. That is devastating. I can’t even imagine the pain that they are going through to lose their little angel so soon. Prayers been said.

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