Most soon-to-be-parents can’t wait for the day their baby is born into the world, and hoping for a safe delivery — and a healthy baby — seems to top the list when that day comes.
But what happens when it’s not the baby that is sick, but the mother carrying the child?
Maria Crider was thrilled when she found out she was pregnant and going to give birth to her third child. However, shortly after the exciting news, Crider found a lump in her breast. She dismissed it as a clogged milk duct.
After numerous tests and biopsies, Crider and her husband, Brandon, received the news that no person wants to hear: the expecting mother had stage III triple negative breast cancer. She wasn’t even past the first trimester.
“Two days after the biopsy, I got a call from the midwife to come in and discuss the findings,” Crider admitted to Today. “At that point, I already knew. I felt it in my gut.”
She chose to fight the diagnosis and continue with the pregnancy, so hospital staff quickly came up with a plan to treat Crider. It would be tricky, however, as the cancer treatments couldn’t be aggressive due to the fragility of the baby.
Doctors cautioned the mother though, stating that she had a long road ahead, as on their own pregnancy or cancer even aren’t easy for the human body to handle. Maria was determined, however, and the pregnancy continued.
One attempt was to remove Crider’s cancer with surgery, with 16 chemotherapy treatments and 28 radiation sessions by the second and third trimester.
Though the chemo didn’t hurt Crider physically, all she could worry about was its effect on the baby.
“I asked my nurses at every infusion, “Are you sure it’s safe?'” Crider said, admitting that she was always asking if her baby looked good and if he was okay during treatments.
Despite all the turmoil, fear, and exhaustion, Crider finally gave birth to a healthy baby boy, Logan. Even better, she says, were the professional pictures the couple got to help welcome Logan into the world.
Professional birth photographer Bonnie Hussey had been advertising a free giveaway when she’d received Crider’s story and decided to work with them.
“I messaged Bonnie, told her my story, and she picked me,” Crider said. “One of the BEST decisions I’ve made. Those photos mean the world to me.”
“It was very cool, but the biggest thing for me was seeing him born and be totally perfect,” Crider added. “His delivery was confirmation that everything the doctors had told me was true and that he was perfectly healthy.”
And though Logan is nearly 10 months old now, learning to crawl and play with his two older brothers, Tristan, 5, and Liam, 2, the impact of Crider’s cancer — and the miraculous birth — will always linger. She has completed her treatments and will eventually undergo reconstructive surgery.
“If this journey has taught me anything, it’s to cherish every moment you have with your family,” Crider said. “So, that’s exactly what I’m doing.”
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