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Mom finds healing hope in donating breast milk after losing son at just 2 days old

Our son, Roman Anthony Roesch was born September 13th, 2021 – two days after his due date. He weighed 8 lbs, 10 ounces and was born perfectly healthy. My pregnancy was great with no issues. We spent the night with him – feeding, changing him, tending to his cries, as well as holding him and kissing him endlessly. We were elated.

Submitted by Katana Roesch

The morning after he was born he became sick out of no where. The medical professionals began working on him. They were uncertain what was occurring and initially they thought either an infection or a congenital heart issue. They continued to work on him but decided it’d be best for our baby to receive a higher level of care. He was transferred by ambulance to children’s hospital in Detroit.

The doctors and nurses did everything they could there but could not save our sweet boy. Our first and only child died in my arms in the early evening of September 14th with his daddy right beside him. I am so grateful that we were able to hold Roman for several hours after he passed away. We were also able to bathe him and dress him. We were able to get his handprints and footprints in a clay mold, too. My dad was able to hold Roman… his first and only grandchild.

I could have stayed there for an eternity – smelling him, kissing him, holding him in my arms. I never wanted to let him go. My baby — how could this be real?

When we left children’s hospital that night, we were given a box filled with items, including a stuffed bear from another family, who was also unable to take their baby home, the molds of Roman’s feet and hands, his blanket and pamphlets about grief. There was a pamphlet about lactation and donating your milk. I looked up milk banks near me and came across Bronson’s Milk Bank, which is the only milk bank in the state of Michigan. They work in collaboration with hospitals and provide donated breast milk to all of the NICU’s throughout Michigan. I believe strongly in my heart that the only way to navigate this type of grief and trauma is to find a way to be of service to others.

There is nothing I’d rather do than be able to potentially help other babies and maybe assist somehow in preventing another family from experiencing this type of pain.

Katana Roesch

So, I decided to spend about a month after Roman passed pumping to donate my breast milk. I found peace and comfort in believing that the milk my body created for Roman is able to help other babies who are very sick. Bronson’s Milk Bank has a beautiful mural to honor the babies whose mothers donated milk after their baby had died. Roman Anthony Roesch will be added to the tree in the spring of 2022, as the artist comes out just once a year.

Roman was here for just one day but he is already making a profound impact on this world and I couldn’t be prouder to be his mama.

Katana Roesch contributed from the heart to Hope Rises in memory of her angel son. We thank her for her courage and her devotion in telling his story and making sure his legacy lives on.