Nick and I found out we were pregnant on October 20, 2012. We were so excited we went straight to my parents’ house to break the news. That February we found out we were having a boy and even had a name all picked out.
June 3rd I went in for my first weekly appointment at 36 weeks, so eager to hear his little heartbeat. I had been swollen for the last month and my blood pressure was so high that I developed a headache. When I told my midwife about the headache, she decided that I would be induced within the next couple weeks and proceeded to pull out the little Doppler machine to check his heartbeat. There wasn’t one. I was sent to the ultrasound department to see if he was just hiding. I have never felt pain worse than what I felt the instant the ultrasound technician said, “I’m so sorry.” I thought I was going to die, it hurt so much and all I could do was scream and cry.
Two days later, on June 5th, Daemeon was born and the whole room was quiet. All I can remember is crying and trying to look at him through blurry eyes and thinking that he was perfect. He was my little boy that I wouldn’t get to keep; he was taken away from me before I even got to say hello.
Fast forward to the fall of 2017. I was trying to be more active after gaining a bunch of weight from not being a very active person in the first place and depression caused by losing Daemeon. Nick found out about Tough Mudder through a podcast he was listening to and decided we should try it. This was not my cup of tea, but I thought why not? We even managed to convince more of our family and friends to sign up with us for Tough Mudder Seattle in 2018.
After we registered I got an email about fundraising through Tough Mudder and almost immediately Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep came to mind. Back when Daemeon was born, a friend who was a volunteer photographer came to the hospital and took photos of him for us. We cherish those photos and I knew that was the organization that I wanted to fundraise for and bring awareness to.
I am a Harry Potter fan, so when coming up with a name for our team, “Dumbledore’s Army” from Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix popped into my head. Daemeon’s Army started as a silly name, but this is the name that went on our shirts for the nine of us that participated in Tough Mudder Seattle. We have continued to do Tough Mudders and other obstacle course events in our area; they just seemed to be “our” thing to do as a family and various friends have joined us as well. Obstacle courses aren’t somewhere I would have thought to try to spread awareness, but every event that we wear our shirts or headbands we get questions about Daemeon’s Army and Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep.
Photographs courtesy of the Thompson family
To date, we have raised $3,000 through Tough Mudder, Facebook, and local fundraisers. We have also spread awareness all over the Pacific Northwest and up into Canada and we will continue to run for our son whose feet never touched the ground.
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