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Wife and mom, Katie Page, is the owner of both Gate City Athletics (a youth running club) and Wren’s Nest (a kids and family yoga studio) named after her daughter Sophia Wren.

Katie says, “The vision of Wren’s Nest is to bring together kids and families to share mindfulness and yoga to create a space for families and children to really connect with themselves and one another. As a mom, ‘Mama Katie,’ I had a desire to create a business I could grow alongside my growing child. The idea came to me while I was pregnant. Little by little, day by day, month by month and year by year, Wren’s Nest grew while Sophia Wren simultaneously grew in my womb and eventually into an infant, a baby, a toddler and now a young child.”

The business officially launched on December 22, 2015, her dad’s birthday, and metamorphosed over time with the ebb and flow of each passing year. The progress of the business both mirrored and contrasted the events of her personal life. Katie enjoyed the life-giving growth evidenced in her business, her daughter’s development and her marriage while also grappling with agonizing loss manifested in her dad’s slow and painful passing from cancer and the shuttering of her brick and mortar yoga studio during COVID-19.

Katie says, “I had a connection to sorrow and joy…death and life and realized they were intertwined to create my human experience. I had the profound understanding that we can be in the tension of all of these emotions.”

In April 2022, she and her husband were surprised to learn they were pregnant, and they affectionately nicknamed the baby Sunshine.

The pregnancy began on March 22, 2022 — the anniversary of her dad’s passing. Sunshine’s due date was Christmas Day — just three days after her dad’s birthday.

Katie says, “The pregnancy was a surprise. We felt our family was complete with just the three of us, and when we saw those two lines on the pregnancy test, we knew that our baby was a gift from my dad, a gift from heaven.”

The family was excited to welcome a new baby.

At first, the pregnancy was going very well. Then on July 7, Katie began to notice changes in her body, and she intuitively knew something was wrong.

On July 9, her water broke. Katie went to the hospital on July 10 where the medical team confirmed she had no amniotic fluid. She was only 16 weeks pregnant. They placed her on 24/7 bed rest. Her hope was that during this time she could build back her amniotic fluid through rest and fluid intake. On July 14, Katie returned to the emergency room and was admitted to the hospital for 10 days.

After days of giving Sunshine every possibility for life, her baby’s heart stopped beating on July 21. Katie was induced and delivered Sunshine, her beautiful baby boy, on July 22, 2022 at 2:22 a.m.

Katie says, “The number 22 means light. In the midst of my grief, I trusted that even in death, Sunshine’s life would impact thousands for hope and love.”

On July 23 at 11:11 p.m., Katie and her family went home to continue their healing journey.

Just days later, early one morning, Katie’s milk came in.

Katie says, “When I realized my milk was coming in, I felt compelled to be of service to other moms by donating my milk. I longed to nurse my son, so I decided it would be better for his milk to be donated to help critically ill babies who desperately needed this milk. I began praying and listening to worship music that morning as I searched online for a place to donate. Soon, I found the WakeMed Mothers’ Milk Bank.”

Katie spoke with a team member at the milk bank and felt an immediate and warm connection with the staff. She also appreciated the detailed screening process undertaken by the milk bank to ensure all donations were safe.

Katie began pumping and collecting her milk for donation on July 28, 2022.

Katie says, “I am overwhelmed with joy while pumping this life-giving donation. It really helps me with grieving and processing the loss of my son.”

Katie now spends a great deal of time each day pumping her milk, placing it into breast milk collection bags, writing her donor number on each one and hoping she can keep it up for at least a year since she nursed her daughter, Sophia Wren, for 14 months. Meanwhile, she is still offering yoga at local schools and taking steps to become a foster parent.

Katie says, “Sunshine’s legacy lives through each baby receiving his golden breast milk, and families are enjoying my labor of love.”

Katie says of giving to the milk bank, “This is healing. Even though I don’t know the mothers and babies who will receive my milk, I think of them, pray for them and speak life over them. It is a time of meditation and gives me peace and purpose in the midst of my grief.”

About the WakeMed Mothers’ Milk Bank

Each year, more than 10,000 babies are born prematurely in North Carolina. These fragile newborns need the best possible nutrition to grow and develop into healthy infants. Breast milk has life-saving antibodies that protect preemies, as well as full-term infants, against disease, illness and intestinal infections.

Mother’s milk is best. However, ill, premature babies sometimes cannot breastfeed, and frequently their mothers are unable to pump enough milk for them. For a baby in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), milk donations can be essential to life.

This is where you come in. WakeMed Mothers’ Milk Bank is a non-profit milk bank that provides safe, pasteurized donor milk to babies in hospital NICUs in North Carolina and all along the east coast — breast milk donated by parents like you.

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WakeMed Health & Hospitals