Nathan’s North Pole is this couple’s way of supporting the cause

Post On Wednesday, December 19, 2018 By Debbie Helton

Nathan’s North Pole is this couple’s way of supporting the cause

After years of trying to get pregnant, Stephanie and Mark Grode were more than excited. They invited family and friends to a gender reveal party where they learned they were having a boy – and they were absolutely thrilled.

“I had an ultrasound at 20 weeks, felt pretty good, and my blood pressure was good,” said Stephanie. “I was still experiencing morning sickness but thought that was normal in pregnancy. I started getting headaches, which also seemed normal, so I didn’t worry about it.”

“Then I got the worst headache I’ve ever had, along with vomiting,” she continued. “I was having blurred vision but didn’t realize it at the time; I thought it had to do with the headache. I had my blood pressure checked and it was 140/90, higher than it was at my OB visit. The next time I checked it, it was 160/100 so I called my doctor right away and was told to go to the hospital’s Labor and Delivery Unit for evaluation.”

“I honestly thought I was being paranoid,” she said. “The baby’s heart rate was good but lab tests showed excess protein in my urine, and they diagnosed me with severe preeclampsia at 22 weeks.”

Both nurses, Stephanie and Mark learned that severe preeclampsia at 22 weeks was a grave diagnosis. Their high-risk doctor prescribed magnesium sulfate and told them that it was safest for Stephanie to deliver the baby immediately because seizures were a concern. They knew that their baby would likely not survive at 22 weeks and made the difficult decision that no parents should have to make.

Their baby – Nathan Adam – was delivered and died on March 2, 2018.

“This is something we had to handle together,” said Mark. “We’ve certainly grown together since our loss. We really felt welcomed by the Preeclampsia Foundation and are so pleased and thankful for everyone’s support.”

Stephanie and Mark participated in the Promise Walk for Preeclampsia in Pittsburgh earlier this year, where they met another mom who lost her baby at 22 weeks. “To actually meet someone in my situation, with the same outcome, it helped us recognize that we weren’t alone in this,” said Stephanie.

“I’ve always enjoyed Christmas lights and Stephanie has always supported me,” said Mark. “We’ve hosted a holiday light fundraiser in the past and decided to raise funds this year for the Preeclampsia Foundation. We’re calling it Nathan’s North Pole and it’s a great way for us to do something good for a cause that means so much to us.”

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As Stephanie and Mark turn their tragedy into action, they join us in asking for your support. Please help us create a brighter future for families by making a gift to the Preeclampsia Foundation.

Moms and babies are depending on us – and we’re depending on you. As we enter the season of giving, your year-end gift will guarantee that we can continue to move forward with our shared mission.


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