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  • Writer's pictureMother of Wilde

"Our Daughter Lived for 33 Days with Bilateral Renal Agenesis."

Halston’s story was filled with love and determination from the start.

We prayed endlessly for God to bless us with a child. We went through multiple failed IVF attempts and were finally given a less than 1% chance of it ever happening.

But God intervened and as miracles would have it, we found out we were pregnant.

Our hearts exploded with love, and we cried tears of joy when we heard her heartbeat for the first time. 

During our 20-week scan, we knew something was wrong when the doctor took nearly 45 minutes to come back to our room. Our hearts sank and shattered when we were told she had not developed kidneys or a bladder. We were told she would likely not survive much longer.

Her diagnosis was Bilateral Renal Agenesis.

We were given the option to terminate her pregnancy or anticipate her being stillborn.

It just did not seem real that our miracle already moving and kicking in the womb would be taken from us. After being told the same fatal scenarios by multiple doctors, we found a group of families through social media that had similar diagnoses as Halston.

We began to learn of life-saving amnioinfusion treatments to save Halston and got in contact with two of the few doctors in the country willing to perform them at the time. 

Parents holding daughter with Bilateral Renal Agenesis.

I remember dropping to my knees, sobbing, and asking God for His guidance. We put everything on the line, relying solely on faith, packed up the car, and moved to Dallas from Miami. We vowed to do whatever it took to save our little girl. Halston was fighting right alongside us.

I had 14 amnioinfusions to give her the fluid she needed to develop her lungs and provide a haven for her to grow.

She continued to defy all odds making it to 37 weeks and joining us in the world on June 7th. Halston Lynn Schroder was 4.2lbs and 15 inches of pure love and inspiration. 

I remember praying so hard that she would be ok. The doctors immediately rushed her to the NICU before I could even see her. Danny followed and stayed with her. I lay on the operating table thanking God and asking Him to heal her.  

A few hours later I was finally rolled into her NICU room for the first time and saw our beautiful baby girl. She was perfect. Our hearts were filled with love. 

As we stared and held her tiny little hand we listened as doctors told us she was in very critical condition and would likely not survive. They had not yet learned how fierce she was. 

Parents with daughter that has Bilateral Renal Agenesis.

Halston was a beacon of strength and determination. She had a unique way of doing things, always in her own time and in her way. Halston was sassy from the start. Did not like to be woken by the nurse to get adjusted.

She hated diaper changes and getting her temperature taken. Loved getting a bath, especially a good hair wash as long as it was from mom.

After each care time, I would treat Halston to a little breast milk lollipop and she was so obsessed. But man, when she was done, she was done. She would purse up those little lips and shut her eyes as if to say, "Okay, mom that’s enough."

She had her unique ways of communicating with both of us. We were beautifully all three connected. She kept the medical team on their toes and in the end taught them a good deal. Her nurses and doctors fell in love with her. Halston was a fighter, showing resilience and courage beyond her tender age. 

She felt loved and comforted by her octopus, daddy's head rubs, and holding mommy's hand. Her little octopus now brings me comfort each night. I rarely left her side and spent countless nights in my corner recliner, just staring over at her.

We gave each other strength, all three of us. 

She battled through 5 different surgeries along with peritoneal dialysis during her short 33 days. She had 2 different ileostomies to repair perforated bowels. More than most will endure in their lifetime. 

Halston felt the love that surrounded us from the beginning, the circle of support that got bigger with every step of the journey.

Baby with Bilateral Renal Agenesis diagnosis

So many were praying. Family, friends, and perfect strangers across the country were praying for our warrior. 

We truly learned the power of prayer and felt God with us every step of the way. Our relationship with God grew as a family. 

During the night and early morning hours of July 10th Halston's body began to grow weary, and God was letting us know he needed his daughter home. 

We took turns holding and comforting her. Letting her know we loved her; we were incredibly proud of her, and that Jesus was waiting to now hold her hand, along with very anxious heavenly great-grandparents and loved ones. Through the tears and the pain, we told her it was ok to go and that we would join her one day too. 

All of the machines were turned off and they took the breathing tubes out. It was the first time I had ever seen our baby girl without them. She was at pure peace. She took her last breath in the comfort of my arms.

We lost our hearts at that moment and continue to deeply feel the pain of losing our daughter. I envisioned the angels’ hands lifting her out of my arms and into the arms of her heavenly Father. 

Together we bathed our little girl and dressed her for the first time. Held her one last time before walking out of the NICU. 

We will never truly understand His plan while on earth. But what I do know is that she touched the lives of those around her in profound ways, leaving a legacy of strength, courage, and love.

I struggle daily to understand but still pray each day for strength and for God to sit with me during this time. I believe He is, even through the pain. I try to feel comforted knowing that He has her safely in His arms, and I’m blessed that He lent her to us for the short time He did.

She is now fulfilling her purpose each day. Halston's spirit will continue to live on in the hearts of her family and all who cheered our little warrior on.

Custom baby memorial print in frame with candle

This blog was written by Amanda Schroder in Hollywood, Florida. Amanda has been married to her husband, Danny for 2 years. Together they are parents to Halston, in heaven, and have a tabby cat named Cheddar.

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