The story of the Mace Anthony Williamson Foundation, Inc. actually begins with our founder. She established this foundation on May 13th, 2021, as a tribute to her lost son in the hands of ignorance. However, now she is leading a role to keep the name of her son alive and provide hope to thousands of women out there. She has dedicated herself to work tirelessly to make sure that infants and moms receive adequate fetal and maternal care.
September 20th, 2017, changed my life forever…
Maiye Waller, the founder, came to North Carolina in November 2016 to be with David Williamson. At that time, they were young and in love and just wanted to be together. So they made a bold move to leave behind their family and friends in my hometown of St. Petersburg, Fl; to start a new life in Greensboro. 2 months later,Maiye got the biggest news of her life when those two pink lines popped up on that test. She just knew that her life was going to be different from that day onwards.
September 20th, 2017, changed my life forever…
Her little knight!
In fact, she didn’t think she really knew what life was until that day. In the months to come, her little embryo turned into the baby Mace. The pregnancy with Mace was like a textbook. Literally! She had bouts of morning sickness for the first 12-16weeks, but after that, it was a breeze. She would spend her days walking, reading, eating, or sleeping.
Even though the long, hot summer months with a big ole belly, Maiye kept her pregnancy like a badge of honor and wore it proudly. In July and again in August, she had the most beautiful Baby Shower’s to celebrate Mace’s coming. He was so loved! They had everything needed for the baby. Likewise, they also set up his nursery in the walk-in closet. His name was written out above his crib, “Mace,” reminding her every day that the only thing missing in the crib was him.
8 am September 19th, 2017
It was the crack of dawn, and she gets a call from her mom telling her to come downstairs. She was about to hang up, but something told her to just open the door and check. Her mother was really here! After telling Maiye for months that she was too afraid to fly and she wasn’t coming; She was here! This made Maiye so happy. She needed her so much more than she had ever admitted. There is no better feeling than having your mom be there for the birth of your firstborn. They spent that day together having a good time, enjoying the fall weather, and eating good
food. Dave came home at about seven that evening, and they ate and wind down for the night.9:45 pm September 19th, 2017She couldn’t get settled in bed at all that night. She was continuously standing up and down. She couldn’t shake the feeling in her stomach. The next thing she knows, she’s over the toilet, and a huge splash was in the toilet. It was the sound of the undeniable—the sound of her moment of truth. Her Rite of Passage as a woman was happening. She was about to be a mother!
11:15 pm September 19th, 2017
They arrive at the hospital about 30 minutes away from our home in Greensboro. She has her mom, David, and her second and honorary mother, Tika, in the room. She was so nervous at this moment, but she does her best to remain calm and positive because she only wanted for her child to experience the best and most peaceful environment to come into. Mace was so active during the labor. He was moving around so much that they had to put a fetal monitor on his scalp because the one on her belly kept falling off.
4:45 am September 20th, 2017
The nurse, who was in her residency at the time, came in to check on them again, and this time they were ready! She advised her that she was 10cm, and they could start with some practice pushes. She had never heard the term. Neither had her mom or Tika, but they proceeded to practice push until Tika noticed that the nurse had her pushing when she was not contracting. They exchanged some dialogue as she continues to push.
6:45 am September 20th, 2017
Two hours later, she was still pushing. She didn’t know how long was too long or if anything was wrong at all. She just trusted that if something was wrong they would know and would act fast.
A shift change occurred, so now she was in the hands of yet another nurse. She comes in, and they kind of pick up where they left off. Maiye is almost exhausted at this point, but she knew she had to keep going to get him into this world.
8:15 am September 20th, 2017
They are now three hours in and still no Mace. She remembers being very tired during this time. She said to the nurse, “Can you use the forceps or something? I just want you to get him out!” the nurse replied, “If we use the forceps and they fail, we will have to do a C-section.” She let her know to just do whatever is necessary. All she wanted was to get the baby out and in her arms.
8:35 am September 20th, 2017
She hears someone come in with a loud, deep voice saying, “We’re gonna have us a baby today!” He sounded happy to be there to help and pretty confident that he was the man for the job at hand. Maiye trusted that. She had no choice. So he gets the forceps, but he failed. She was scared, yet not completely. She knew she was about to be wheeled off for the cesarean at that moment. But nothing. They use a vacuum, and after three failed attempts, they cease the vacuum. They then call for an episiotomy which is ultimately how her Mace made it into this world.
9:20 am September 20th, 2017
“Code Teddy Bear” That’s all she remembers hearing at first. Her son was not crying. Her mom rushed to get the first picture she could of him. He had a slight purple tint to him, but he was so handsome! They let her know that he would be on a cooling blanket for three days to recover. She didn’t know what they meant. She watched them take her son away to the NICU. She remembers visiting the hospital and walking through the NICU. How did this become our reality?
She went to see him, and then I asked the nurse if his condition was fatal. She told her it wasn’t, and the worst it would be is that he would have cerebral palsy or mental retardation. She didn’t care how he came home. She just wanted her son. She was willing to take him however he came because he was hers; she loved him before she even knew him.
She couldn’t bear to leave his side, so when they moved him, she applied to stay at the Ronald McDonald House right across the street. She was so grateful to have had that opportunity. She couldn’t get a CAT scan done or any diagnosis really before he turned seven days old, so it helped a lot to be so close by and see him whenever she wanted.
September 27th, 2017
On his 7th day of life, the hospital performed a test that would declare they had no more time with their son. The test determined that Mace was indeed brain dead. The injury was caused during the delivery of Mace with the vacuum. His brain was swollen so much that it went into his spine. This was an irreversible injury, and he was gone, just like that.
October 2nd, 2017
She knew that Mace had gone on to be with my Grandma in heaven. She knew that she could no longer hold on to him in the physical because his soul was gone. So that night, at 10:45 pm, she held her Mace in my arms; Free of monitors, free of cords, free of all of that medical stuff they had on him. She changed his clothes into an outfit that read “Born in 2017”. She waited to put that on him for nine months. But not in this way. She held him until his heart stopped beating and his body got a
little cold. They called his Time of Death and asked if she wanted more time, and they could warm him for her. WARM HIM FOR HER!!! She just said no, and handed them her Mace, and turned away. She couldn’t take it anymore.
That night, they left with a heart-shaped green pillow because “They didn’t want them to leave with nothing” she still has that pillow. She also has a box of things that were mementos from that time they spent at the hospital.
They had a small service for him and cremated him. She has a necklace and an urn with his ashes in them.
A New Hope
Four months after the passing of her son Mace, she was blessed with news of being pregnant with my Rainbow Baby. The term is used to describe the child you have after one passes away. She just knew this was meant to be. She had gone back to work just two months after Mace’s death. She never really “grieved” the loss. But she promised Micah, her Rainbow, gave her so much purpose. He was what propelled her into this woman she became. Resilient and strong.
During the first weeks, she started noticing some spotting. She went to the hospital because she just couldn’t take another loss so soon after losing my Mace.
She met a woman by the name of Jennifer Rasch. She told her story to Jennifer, and from that moment, she knew she was the Angel that Mace had sent to watch over them on Earth. She made sure she was seen and even got her into the Center for women’s Healthcare here in Greensboro. It was the best experience of her life! She felt so cared for. She felt like she mattered. Like her baby mattered. Afterward, she went on to have an effortless pregnancy and a beautiful delivery by an elective cesarean section. She was so happy with the outcome. They saw her again two years later because she went on to have another baby, this time a girl!
She can honestly say that this last 4 ½ year has been such a journey. Coming to NCchanged her in so many ways, but she is the most grateful for her tragedy turning into triumph! Mace will never be forgotten. She promised him her life. She promised him he would live forever, even long after she is gone. For that, she will create a legacy in his honor called, The Mace Anthony Williamson Foundation.
A Glimpse into Maiye’s Mission:
“In time, I would like to fund a community support center that promotes mental health and any kind of support needed for women and families who have dealt with fetal death or babies in the NICU for extended stays.”
She continues, “I fought for four years to get some peace and closure, and I am so grateful for the opportunity to start something that will be my son’s legacy. I know Macy is leading the way for this to happen. This mission will be fulfilled by like-
minded individuals who believe in the future of this foundation just as much as I Ido.” –Maiye.
Make the world better, kinder, brighter. Every dollar you give will create real change.