In Loving Memory of Kamry Ann Thompson
10/15/13 - 10/24/13
Becoming a doula was a very easy decision for me after the birth of my daughter in 2010. Being a military wife has blessed me with the opportunity to work with some amazing families through an organization called Operation: Special Delivery. I volunteered my services to pregnant military wives who wouldn’t have adequate support during labor, due to deployment. Looking back now, I realize that these families have all been a blessing to me in one way or another and I was meant to work with them for a reason.
Although I am a Christian, I had been struggling with my faith over the last few years. After moving back to my hometown in Missouri, I struggled with the decision to withdraw my volunteer status from Operation: Special Delivery, since I was 2 hours from the closest military base. God kept telling me not to change my volunteer status and I kept pushing away from him but he kept speaking to me. Finally, I gave up and left my volunteer status unchanged.
Not even a week later, I got an inquiry from Krista. She emailed me to tell me of her pregnancy and about the fact that her husband, Corey was set to deploy shortly and that she was interested in having a doula. It took me almost two weeks to finally reply to her email, but I reminded myself that the families I have worked with have all been for a reason, and I left at that.
I met Krista and Corey in April, when she was about 9 weeks pregnant. We discussed her pregnancy and swapped military stories. I comforted them by sharing my own story of how I had experienced deployment and pregnancy and how that led me to become a doula. But most of all, I reassured Corey that I would be there for Krista since this would be one of the only times he and I would meet before he deployed. I left that meeting with a sense of peace and I knew it was meant to be. Later that day, Krista messaged me and said “Just wanted to say thank you for coming over today and how much you put my husband and I at ease with your support and comforting words. We really feel like this will be a great fit and such a blessing.”
In July, Corey was able to come home from training for a few days. They were excited to find out the gender of their baby and have a gender reveal party with family and friends before Corey’s deployment started. Krista called me right after their anatomy scan. As soon as I answered and heard her voice, I knew something was wrong. I cried with Krista on the phone when she told me how the ultrasound tech had discovered some markers that led them to believe their daughter, Kamry had a genetic condition called Trisomy 13. I reminded her that I was here for her no matter what. After talking to Krista, I remember breaking down and asking God, “Why? How could you do this to them?”
Over the next few months, we stayed in close contact between emails, text, phone calls, appointments, and ultrasounds. I spent countless hours researching Trisomy 13, praying for Krista, Corey and Kamry, and asking God to help me be the best doula possible for this beautiful family. Through everything Krista and Corey maintained their faith and trust in God. They inspired me to become a better person and to never give up on God. Funny how God works in mysterious ways, huh?
In early September, I attended a Blessing Shower for Krista and Corey. It was a beautiful afternoon spent thanking God for Kamry and praying for her future.
In mid October, I said my “see you soons” to Krista and Corey before they moved Krista up to St Louis to be closer to the hospital where Kamry would be born. God kept telling me I needed to pack my stuff for St Louis, and I knew I needed to listen. I didn’t think I would be seeing them for a few more weeks, but God had other plans.
On October 14th, they called me to let me know Krista was being admitted and induced that night. I headed to St Louis and spent a good amount of time talking to God and praying during that 3 hour drive. I made it to the hospital around 7:00pm that night. I checked on Krista and Corey and their family and we all continued to pray, rest, and wait.
October 15th was a rainy day outside the hospital but a beautiful day inside the hospital. Before we went in for delivery, I quickly prayed to God for a smooth delivery and for the ability and opportunity to take memorable pictures for Krista and Corey. Upon entering the OR, I counted 33 support people there for this beautiful event. Miss Kamry made her grand entrance with her foot up by her ear just 22 minutes after Krista started pushing. I remember holding Krista’s hand while Corey went to be with Kamry across the room. I caught myself squeezing Krista’s hand and holding my breath while waiting for a thumbs up from Corey. Kamry was doing great and even let out a small cry. She had to be moved to the NICU pretty quickly but she was alive, beautiful, and doing well. I stayed with Krista for the rest of the afternoon and we went to visit Kamry. That night, when I got to my hotel room, I thanked God for Kamry, for my experience with the Thompson family and for working in mysterious ways. He knew exactly what I meant.
The next day I went back to the hospital. I stayed with Krista for a few hours and helped her get started pumping milk for Kamry. We went to visit Kamry that afternoon. I was able to spend quite a bit of time in the NICU. I got the chance to calm Kamry with one hand on her head and the other on her feet while I sang Twinkle Twinkle Little Star to her after an upsetting heel prick from the nurse. Before I left, I kissed her head and whispered “see you soon” rather than goodbye. I left the hospital that day with a sense of peace…the same feeling I had after I first met Krista and Corey.
Over the next 9 days, I stayed in close contact with Krista and Corey to stay updated on Kamry’s health as well as Krista’s. I prayed really hard on the 24th since both girls were having surgery that day.(Krista had developed kidney stones and Kamry needed a tracheostomy.) Later that afternoon, when my phone rang and I saw Corey’s name, my heart sank. I knew what he was going to tell me even before I answered the phone. Kamry had passed away peacefully before her surgery began.
On November 1st, I attended Kamry’s funeral. We were given pink roses to lay on her casket. I kissed my rose and whispered “see you soon” to her, just as I had done that day in the NICU. The next time I will see her will be in Heaven. The next day, I celebrated her life at her memorial service. It was a beautiful service for a beautiful girl.
Four weeks after Kamry’s birth, I went with Krista as she donated over 500 oz of breast milk in memory of Kamry.
I cherish every minute I got to spend with Kamry and every memory I have with the Thompson family. Kamry has touched so many people’s lives and continues to do so from Heaven. I have grown so much in my spiritual life, personal life, and professional life thanks to them. I am forever grateful for the opportunity to be a doula for “Super Girl” and her amazing family. She is dearly missed and forever loved. Please keep her parents in your thoughts and prayers for the days, weeks, months, and years to come.