Thursday, December 3, 2009

Christa's Butterfly Kisses

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Christa's Butterfly Kisses is one of our local projects that was started in Colorado. It was started by an awe-inspiring woman, Vanessa, in memory of her beautiful daughter. Her strength and love for Christa shines through and is an inspiration to us all.

You can contact Vanessa at:

Her Story:

When I was 5 months pregnant I had my scheduled ultra-sound. Just like anyone who is pregnant, I was anxious to find out what I was having! Would it be a room of beautiful, pink princess decor or a rugged jungle themed room for a boy? That day I not only learned I was having a girl, I also learned that she had a Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia. I couldn't pronounce it, let alone spell it. My world changed that day. Forever.

I know all too well the ups and downs of having a child in the NICU. It is a roller coaster ride that plays with your emotions on every level. I also know the heart ache of making life ending decisions and the pain you learn to live with. The pain never goes away, it is something you just learn to live with. Christa passed away in my arms on September 4, 1997. She was three weeks old. This was the first and last time I ever held her.

Christa was born on August 14, 1997 at Vanderbilt Hospital in Nashville, Tennessee. She lived her entire life at Vanderbilt Children's Hospital.

Christa's life has deeply inspired me to reach out to others who are about to experience or are currently experiencing "life in the NICU." It is often difficult to explain to friends and family the emotions you are enduring. My goal is to offer support, words of hope, and prayers to many familes who are struggling with the reality of the NICU. Working with Project Sweet Pea allows me the opportunity to facilitate Christa's Butterfly Kisses, which will become Christa's beautiful legacy.

After Christa received her angel wings, I was blessed with two more children. Noah and Ashlyn-Grace are my miracles! Noah also had a short stay in the NICU when he was born with a Pneumothorax. I was on bed-rest with Ashlyn-Grace for 5 months due to complications and pre-term labor. I'm happy to announce that they are both very healthy, energetic children today!

Christa is my hero. She taught me to live each day with passion because tomorrow is NOT a promise to any of us. Make today count and tell those close to your heart that you love them!


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