Rainbow Baby Annika – Indianapolis

**This was written by House of Hopes. To learn more about this amazing organization, please check out their page here: https://www.facebook.com/HouseofHopes.org/**

Annika James {BUNDLED BLESSING- Rainbow Baby Remembering James} Indianapolis, IN

We are so elated to share this Bundled Blessing rainbow baby story with you. We first shared this family with you last year at Riley Children’s Hospital and then their heart aching loss of baby James. Rainbow babies don’t take away the pain of that loss, but they do bring a new joy to the life of grieving families. Thank you so much to Lissa Smith Photos for joining HoH as a new volunteer. We so greatly appreciate her time and talent providing gorgeous photos of this newest chapter of the Barnhart’s story. If you are in the Indy area we highly recommend her work! Please join us in celebrating the birth of Annika and congratulating the family! We absolutely love the blanket of big brother’s old clothes! How touching and beautiful! <3

“James was born Feb 11, 2016 along with his twin sister, Genevieve, at Riley hospital in Indianapolis. At 16 weeks, our OB said she was having trouble visualizing the four chambers of the heart and sent me for an echo at 20 weeks. I remember seeing the grim look on the cardiologist’s face and asked him if I should call my husband, Jim, and put him on speaker. It was there that we got the diagnosis of Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome with an intact septum. Distraught, we went other places for second opinions, called different hospitals, found other parents and anything we could do to find a scrap of hope to cling to that our James would be okay.

He came out mad and went immediately into surgery. I didn’t get to see him but I heard a weak cry and Jim got a picture. Genevieve and I had to go back to the main hospital to recover via ambulance as the children’s hospital didn’t have a maternity ward. Jim worked from James’ hospital room almost every single day for 10 months, rarely missing rounds while I went back and forth with Genevieve, trying to give her as much of a normal schedule as possible. James had numerous medical procedures and spent his entire life in the CVIUC at Riley.

In addition to the HLHS, he also had pulmonary hypertension and pulmonary venous muscularization which is ultimately what took him. His lungs just weren’t getting better. He passed away in our arms Dec 13, 2016 at 10 months and 2 days old.

He was so much more than his illnesses. He saved his best smiles for his mom. He still liked to kick his sister when he felt better. James loved his music therapist, his mobile, his bedside aquarium and he loved to cuddle. He would snuggle right in every time. He had the wisest eyes and seemed like an old soul. He had enormous feet that I loved to smooch.
Jim and I were completely shocked to find out that we were pregnant again at the beginning of this year. There has been many ups and downs this year as we lived with the juxtaposition of balancing our grief as well as our joy in welcoming a miraculous, new life.

Annika James was born Sept 13, 2017 exactly nine months from James passing away. She looks quite a bit like him. House of Hopes graciously offered to take pictures of our sweet rainbow baby. It seemed right to have the special quilt James’ great-aunt Jeanne lovingly made of out his clothing and blankets there with Annika. We have felt him near during the past few days. “

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