Preparing to bring a new baby into the world can be the most exciting time for many expecting parents. Decorating the nursery, shopping for adorable baby clothes and toys, and beginning to imagine life as a family, rather than as a couple.
For soon-to-be parents T.K. and Deidrea Laux, none of these wonderful milestones would come to fruition. The couple received devastating news when Deidrea was only 20 weeks along. Doctors informed the couple that their unborn child had Patau syndrome, also known as trisomy 13, a rare DNA abnormality where the child is born with an extra chromosome 13. Patau syndrome causes severe intellectual disability as well as physical defects, and most infants who survive birth don’t live longer than a few hours or a few days.
T.K. and Deidrea were floored by this information, but there was nothing they could do. Even though they knew their son, who they decided to name Thomas, would only live for a few days after birth, they decided to move forward with the pregnancy. Since their son’s condition was fatal, the couple was presented with the option to terminate the pregnancy, but they knew they wanted to meet their child, at least for the short time that they could.
“In some ways I’m really excited because I get to see him,” Deidrea said. “But in other ways it’s just…dread. It’s terrible dread. He is in imminent danger when he leaves my womb.”
Instead of shopping for precious baby clothes or a brand new crib, T.K. and Deidrea were picking out a tiny casket for their unborn child.
Deidrea said she felt like in some ways, her son was lucky because of his condition. She knows he’ll never “get grounded”, or “experience a broken heart”- “The only thing Thomas will ever know of this world is love.”
For the next few days, Deidrea and T.K. spent time with their son, doing their best to act like nothing was wrong. “I’m afraid to say goodbye, but I can’t imagine what it would have been like to not have had this opportunity.” For Deidrea, getting to spend even a few precious hours with her son was worth it. Unfortunately, Thomas’ lungs would continue to fail over the course of his time at home.
The Lauxs’ son spend five days with his parents before he passed on. His parents fell asleep while cuddling him close, and when they woke up he was gone.
While this story is unbelievably heartbreaking, Thomas’ parents are so grateful that they got to spend time with their son. They’ll always cherish those 5 days together, and his precious life will never be forgotten.
2 years after Thomas’ passing, the couple gave birth to a healthy baby girl. The family is happy and appreciative for their second chance at a family. Watch the video below to see the family’s beautiful story.