Sierra Strangfeld’s Labor of Love
Sierra Strangfeld is a two-time mom.
She knows full well the pain of giving birth, and she also knows full well that labor pain pales in comparison to the pain of grief. This amazing mom fought to help her first child survive months in the NICU.
She never forgot the donations of breast milk from other mothers, which helped her baby win the fight for life. So when doctors told her that her unborn son was diagnosed with Trisomy 18, a rare genetic disorder that occurs in roughly 1 in every 6,000 live births. , Sierra immediately knew how to turn her pain into purpose.
Nothing can outweigh the enormity of losing a child.
Sierra is one of many mothers who carried her baby to birth knowing he was destined to die, but who believed that even a few moments of life is a gift. She was determined to hold her son at least once before she had to let him go.
Sierra also knew that even though she could not save her son, she could help save others by returning the gift she and her daughter had been given. So as she went through induced labor and cherished every second of the 3 hours she spent with her son before he died in her arms, Sierra stoked her determination to channel her pain.
On what should have been her son’s normal due date, Sierra returned to the hospital with 500 ounces of milk she’d pumped for the 63 days since her son Samuel was born, and she donated it all to milk banks to help other infants.
Sierra’s son Samuel lived only a few hours, but his birth allowed Sierra to provide life-saving support to others. Sierra shared her story in her FB posts. The bereaved mother openly expressed her pain and struggle:
“There were times I was angry because why did my milk have to come in when I had no baby to feed? Why was I waking up in the middle of the night for this? The other part of me felt it was the only thing connecting me to Samuel here on Earthside. I sure hope he’s proud of me!”
Strangfeld said she decided to share her story because she wanted to educate the public on and bring awareness to Trisomy 18.
“Although it has been a bit overwhelming, I am loving how these news stations are shifting their focus to Trisomy 18,” she said.
“This isn’t my story. This is Samuel’s story.”
Strangfeld began selling shirts and hoodies directly benefiting her nonprofit organization, Smiling for Samuel.
“We have big hopes and dreams to carry on his legacy,” she said.
It takes a certain strength to do what Sierra Strangfeld did, and extra courage to share her story so openly.
She may have helped infants in need, as well as their families, but the ripple effect of her actions are carrying well beyond the NICU. Sierra is inspiring people all over the country to cherish every moment and to find a greater purpose in their own pain.