La Crosse family puts the holidays on hold as they wait for their miracle

As a lot of us race around during the holidays, one La Crosse family knows they won’t be at home on Christmas morning, opening their gifts around the tree.They’re instead putting the holiday on hold so their whole family can celebrate it together, at home, hopefully very soon.

“It’s actually a lot more emotional than I thought it was.. you’re like oh Christmas.. and then you realize that your whole family is gonna be split up.” said Nicole. This holiday season has been a rollercoaster ride for the Schwark family. “You’re supposed to spend Christmas morning at home with your girls unwrapping presents and we won’t get to do that this year.”

The Schwark’s were expecting a baby girl January second, but the day arrived thirteen weeks ago today. Born at just one pound five ounces, Jovie, would need 24/7 hospital care to keep her alive. “As a parent you want to take them home right away, but with Jovie, we still wait” 25 weeks into Nicole’s pregnancy. Doctors discovered complications that compromised her and her babies life. “We gotta take Jovie from mom, basically to save moms life” said Jovie’s dad, Brent.

Brent was given the choice no parent wants to make: to save the baby or to save mom. “I didn’t know what to think. I had to tell em ‘lets do it now’ so we have a better chance of both of them making it through” So at 5 a.m. on a Monday morning in September, Nicole went in for an emergency C-section
“To be in that operating room and see a one and a half pound baby come out it was something different”

But now, more than three months later, Jovie is five pounds eight ounces! The Schwark family knows Christmas can wait for their little girl. “Just remember it’s a number, it’s a day, that you can celebrate it when they come home. To stay strong, they need you to stay strong. They’re fighting and you gotta fight with them. She is the strongest person that I have ever met at such a little age”

And that strength from mom, dad, and her older sister, keeps this family optimistic for what the future has in store. “But we’re very fortunate because she is doing so well. That we know we have a lot more Christmases to look forward to.”

Jovie is being treated at Mayo Clinic Health System and will be going home very soon. The Schwark family said this experience has given them a whole new perspective on the meaning of Christmas.

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