The news was the type to break any parent’s heart: their first baby, the greatly desired addition to their family, appeared to be in trouble. Jeff and Missy Axt lived and loved their daughter as she grew for months within her mother, knowing that she might not survive the birth or many hours after birth.
Missy and Jeff created a journal of their thoughts and feelings during this journey in life, sharing the unconditional love they felt and the love they received back from Gracie in the few hours she lived.
The communities of both parents, as well as those who “just happened” along the way, were caught up in Gracie’s gift. Support, love and kindness grew around her and her family and will live on as her legacy in so very many hearts.
The following is heavily edited excerpts from Gracie’s story as told by her parents.
For those who would like to read the journal in its entirety, the link is http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/gracemaryaxt/guestbook
Grace Mary (Gracie) Axt was due October 8, 2011 and in April, they found out there was something wrong with their baby. An amniocentesis was scheduled but was not needed as the technician could plainly see Gracie had a disorder called anencephaly. Anencephaly is a severe neural tube disorder where the baby doesn’t develop its brain, cranium or the top of their skull. There was no chance at survival outside the womb with babies either dying during childbirth or shortly after.