On August 29th of 2019, at 9 weeks pregnant, my wife and I found out that we should not just be excited to be pregnant with our second baby, but also our third! Brooke and I shared a look that we will never forget; A look of complete shock, an incredible amount of excitement, and being slightly scared. We soon after found out that it was in fact a mono/mono twin pregnancy.
This type of pregnancy is very high risk due to her fertilized embryo splitting later than most, and creating both beautiful babies in one amniotic sac and each sharing a placenta. With both twins being in the same sac and not having a barrier between them, the risk of cord entanglement was great. We had sonograms done every week and every week we prayed everything would be good with our girls.
One week down meant one week closer to the day that we would hit the magic 24 week mark which was a mark that meant the babies were officially “viable”. On the morning of November 6th, we arrived at our specialist appointment. As soon as the sonogram flashed on the screen and we looked up, we both could see that there was no heartbeat for either of our children. With complete devastation, broken hearts, and red eyes, we walked to our car and drove home to a place that now felt like it was missing something.
We hugged our 19 month old, Connor, held him tight, and cried some more. The following day, after being put into labor at the hospital, my amazing wife gave birth to our twin girls, Audrey and McKenna. They both weighed slightly more than 8 ounces and fit into the palms of my hands. They did not look how you expect your twins to look, but they were beyond stunning to us.
Fast forward to the next few days after being discharged from the hospital, and we got the privilege of being able to pick up our girls from the funeral home and bring them to where they would rest, our home here in Midlothian. I am a full time firefighter/paramedic but own a custom woodworking shop as a side business. I built our girls a maple and bolivian rose wood box and it struck my wife and I that this could be where our daughters make a difference.
The prices of urns at a funeral home and online, range from around $85 to as expensive as you can imagine. Just another ask of someone who feels as though they have already lost so much. With that said, the Audrey and McKenna foundation will build, personalize, and ship, hand-crafted, hardwood cremation boxes completely free of charge to a family in need who has lost a child from gestation to the age of 5, in the last six months.
We are setting up meetings and working with hospitals local, and eventually across the country, to get our boxes into the hands of those in need. We hope to increase the ways we give as the years come, but feel as though this is where we are destined to start. The costs of the material for the boxes and getting them to the family will be paid for using donations from incredible people like you! All craftsmanship hours on the boxes and any small items that we make for gifts as a way to increase donations, will be completely volunteered and in no way will we ever be compensated financially.
We strive to bless as many families as possible as the years come, and with your help, we can give a baby lost, a cremation box that their parents are proud of. If you would like to donate, you can through PayPal with this link (May charge us a fee which is perfectly ok!) https://www.paypal.me/AudreyAndMckenna OR Venmo by searching @AudreyAndMcKenna THANK YOU!!