March of Dimes: From great joy to great grief

    8:35 PM, Mar 7, 2013   |    comments
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    Jaidyn and her mom Kristi. (Photo: THV 11 News)

    HOT SPRINGS, ARK. (KTHV) -- It was two hospital deliveries with two very different outcomes. A Hot Springs woman is sharing her story of great joy and great grief and how the March of Dimes is journeying with her through her pain.

    Five-year-old Jaidyn Freeman is your typical little girl. She says, "I like to go to the playground and I like to go to jump city."

    She loves the color blue, playing with her cat, Oreo, and dressing up in costumes. These every day moments are simple to some families to but to them, they're priceless.

    Mom Kristi Freeman cries, "Even though Ashton has been gone 5 years as you can see it is still raw." 

    Ashton Stephen was born June 14, 2007, but he died that same day. Jaidyn says, "Ashton's grave is shaped like a heart. He is in heaven."

    "I want her to know that she does have another half." and she is a twin and he is a part of her," says Kristi.

    After four miscarriages and considered high risk, Kristi was elated to find out she was pregnant, with not one, but two babies. 

    She says, "They seemed to be thriving and doing very well."

    But at 19 weeks, her water broke and hours later she delivered one baby, Ashton, stillborn. "I knew through the ultra-sound that his heart had stopped beating," she remembers.

    Just before Father's Day they buried her firstborn. Kristi says, "After going through Ashton and the funeral and all of that and thinking there may be two was almost too much to bear."

    Still, Kristi and her husband worked to stay focused and eight weeks Jaidyn ater made her debut at one pound, 14 ounces. 

    Doctors didn't know if she'd survive, but 3 1/2 months later they took her home. 

    "By the grace of God they were in separate sacs otherwise Jade would not be here today," cries Kristi.

    Not long after, Kristi got involved with March of Dimes. It's an organization working to improve the health of babies and support families if something goes wrong.

    For her, events like March for Babies have been her rock, her strength. "Knowing how many just how many great people that there are out there that are there to support you and help you during those times or you just have to know that they are there or let them help you and it really makes the process easier," says Kristi.

    It's a process filled with good days and bad. But it's one she believes has a purpose. She says, "I know there is a true reason why she is here and it is something great."

    And for Jaidyn, she finds comfort in a child-like way, through her bear Roses, a symbol that her brother is watching over her. "He's an angel," smiles Jaidyn.

    The Freemans are this year's ambassador family for March of Dimes Arkansas. More than 5,400 babies every year are born too early in Arkansas. Remember, you can be a part of this great organization and rally behind these families. There are several March for Babies events coming up and now is the time to register.

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