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This blog shares stories from Through the Heart’s first years. As of January 2021, we are no longer posting new content. However, please feel free to scroll through existing posts. Commenting is open, but please keep in mind that the author is unlikely to see your post. If you would like to share your story on our site, please visit our Self Expression page to learn more.

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During “normal times” when the holiday season comes around, I am bubbling with excitement with a side dish of stress. My immediate family lives nearby and most of husband’s family lives in Massachusetts. Last year, we made the trek up north to spend Thanksgiving with his family and for Christmas we were with mine. This year we were supposed to switch.

Before the pandemic set in, we were excited about bringing our daughter and our new baby to my family’s big Thanksgiving gathering that my parents hold at their house.  We were excited at the prospect of traveling to Massachusetts for Christmas and visiting with my husband’s grandparents who are 89 and 91. It would have been our first big trip as a family of four.

While we still feel stressed because of all the uncertainty with this virus and we are bummed out about so many changes in plans, we also feel a sense of calm that we know we can relax this season. There’s no deciding where we’ll be because this year we know we are staying home for the holidays.

It won’t be the typical hustle and bustle. Most gifts will be purchased online and mailed to family and friends. We don’t have to plan where we are going and when. I don’t have to plan out what the kids will wear to whatever party we are invited to.

While it isn’t what we are used to, we are trying to focus on the positives. We have never had a holiday dinner with just our immediate little family. Our son is 6 months old, so this will be his first holiday season. It will be fun to have him to ourselves rather than being at parties where he is passed around. While we feel very blessed to have somewhere to go every year and we have abundance of family, it feels nice to host just ourselves. We know once everything calms down, we probably won’t be alone on a holiday any time soon, if ever again. My husband was excited about cooking the turkey for Thanksgiving, while I was focusing on the side dishes and the table set up.

For Christmas, I plan on focusing on new ideas for decorating the house and really diving in with teaching my daughter about Santa Claus. She turned 2 on October 24th. She’s starting to listen better and I think she is understanding better too, and maybe even remember the Santa Claus concept. We are excited to continue making new traditions. Maybe this will help us become better at taking a step back from time to time and make better efforts to focus on our immediate household. Maybe this will help us appreciate the holidays and not get caught up in the usual craziness.

We have to focus on the positives with the amount of negativity going on, otherwise our minds will explode. With the current state of politics in addition to this global virus, times have been really hard for a lot of people. It becomes hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel, but we all need to keep believing it’s there. My mom keeps reminding me, this is temporary. This isn’t how the rest of our lives will be. We need to keep our heads up and make due until things are a bit more “normal.” We also need to learn from this. Easier said than done, but still important to remember.

I am hoping we can all get out of our covid-daze even just for the end of the year and plunge ourselves into a happy holidaze.




Category : Kate , Volunteer Bloggers

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Healing My Broken Heart: A Letter to my Baby in His First Weeks

Dear J,

It’s not your job to heal my broken heart, but being your mom is so healing. You are perfect to me. I’ve struggled with every single step of the journey to hold you: I couldn’t get pregnant, I couldn’t stay pregnant until you came along, and my body fought pregnancy at every turn. The hell of pregnancy after recurrent loss was palpable. From the scary first trimester bleeding to all day nausea throughout to gestational diabetes to meeting you 5 weeks early after the terror of preterm premature rupture of membranes – it felt like my body couldn’t do anything right. I wondered to myself repeatedly these past 4 years whether I just wasn’t meant to be a mother.

And then you arrived. From the first moment I saw you, it was clear that I was meant to be a mother, to be your mother. When I held you in my arms, it felt natural and right. That mother’s instinct people talk about kicked in and I just knew what to do. I didn’t have to second guess whether I was messing up because I knew somehow I was getting it right.

These first 8 weeks have cleansed parts of me I didn’t even realize were damaged by the grief and trauma of pregnancy loss. The completeness and wholeness I feel when I’m with you and the joy that pours out of the deepest corners of my heart are healing me little by little. I once thought all there would ever be was pain, but now the pain, while still real and present, has been dulled to live side by side with the immense happiness and peace I feel now that you’re here with us. Each day is better than the last.

That we get the chance to parent you and kiss your perfect, precious face and care for your every need in a way we never could with our other babies is the honor of my lifetime. Your soft breath in my ear and your little contented sighs fill up my heart. The way you look at me as only a baby looks at his mother, and how your face lights up in a giant smile when you see me. You are everything to me as I am to you. Welcome to the world, Julian. And welcome to a part of me that lay buried under grief for far too long.

Love always,


Category : Meredith , Volunteer Bloggers

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Finding Holiday Joy

To be sure, this will be a holiday season like none other. As COVID cases continue to rise, it appears we will need to modify our usual holiday traditions.  Instead of gathering around a big table for holiday feasts, we will be having “virtual” dinners assisted by technology. We will need to mail gifts rather than hand deliver them. The fun and festive holiday cookie exchanges may turn into virtual recipe exchange Zoom parties.

Those who have experienced loss or hardship over this year may unfortunately find this holiday season exceedingly difficult. They may be unable to experience the comforting touch or in-person support of a loved one.  Personally, I live in upstate New York and my daughter lives in Florida. She experienced some mental health issues stemming from COVID and more than anything I would love to go visit and comfort her. However, I am high risk and have opted to err on the side of caution by staying home.

I am hoping to have at least a brief socially distant visit with my granddaughter Winry and my “rainbow grandson” Rory. We have only seen them a few times since the pandemic hit and I miss them terribly.

I am thinking about how to get through this holiday season.

First, I suggest setting reasonable expectations. Maybe you don’t need to visit every shopping mall nearby—rely on online shopping if need be. Also, buy gift cards for presents that support local businesses to help stimulate the economy. Or, donate in someone’s name to his or her favorite charity. Especially during this difficult time, focus on what people need more than what they want.

Second, modify your holiday traditions. My daughter used to love making holiday cookies and desserts with me. I’m thinking we’ll plan a virtual baking party before the holidays.

Third, engage in the holiday festivities at your own comfort level. Do what your spirit and heart lead you to do if it’s been a difficult year. If you want to play holiday music before Thanksgiving, go for it! If you are not up to decorating at full throttle, don’t.  I know my decorations will be rather low key this year and will consist of those that hold the most meaning for me.

Fourth, enjoy the quiet and stillness of this holiday season. Use it to connect with yourself and nature. One of my favorite activities is walking in the Pine Bush Preserve after a snowfall. Everything feels crisp and new.

Fifth, embrace the faith, hope, and joy that are always part of the season. Believe that things will get better.

Finally, whatever your faith tradition, remember the reason for the season. Be present in the moment. Rejoice!

Category : Deb , Volunteer Bloggers

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While holding my sleeping 5 month old son today I was overcome with emotions. He was my ninth pregnancy, and only my second child here on earth.

I often think about our seven other children that we never got to meet. Would we have had more boys than girls or girls than boys? Or maybe we would have stopped after our first two and only had girls or only boys?

I’m not sure why I started to cry today while thinking about this. I have thought of this multiple times throughout the years since our first loss. I don’t always end up crying. In fact over the years I have been able to both think about and talk to people about our losses without becoming an emotional mess.

The times that I don’t cry and become emotional are not because I have really gotten over the losses but because I have been able to grieve our losses and come to believe that this is the reality we live in. Nothing we can do can take us back to the beginning of our journey to have children. At the same time, I wouldn’t change our journey, even though it was a very painful, heart wrenching ride, the destination was so worth it.

A friend of mine and I talk often about the losses both her and I have had. (She has had four losses, and is currently pregnant and due in the new year.)  We talk about the hopes and dreams we had when we found out we were pregnant for the first time. We talk about the devastation and despair that we felt after that first loss. We also have talked about the anxiety of each pregnancy afterwards and about parenting after our losses.

I believe that having this friendship has made it so much easier to grieve the loss of our children and move forward and be able to help other women and men go through the grieving process with someone by their side.

Moving forward we will continue to talk about our journeys both in the future and in the past and support each other through it all.

As I finish writing this I look down again at our son while he sleeps, and our daughter while she is playing in front of me, it makes me realize how lucky I am to have these two miracles here with us, and to have an amazing friend that has helped me grieve and grow over the last few years. 

Category : Amanda , Volunteer Bloggers

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Remembering the Joy

When I found out I was pregnant for the second time, I sobbed. My husband and I didn’t know if we wanted a second baby and, as with our first, this pregnancy was a surprise.  Once I spoke to my husband and we were on the same page, I finally allowed myself to feel elation. From May 22nd, 2017- May 28th, 2017 I felt elation and excitement. And even when I started bleeding, I told myself to think positively and that by doing so and  keeping hope alive, I would keep my baby alive.

When you lose a baby or pregnancy, we are all expected to mourn and grieve, but rarely are we allowed to feel joy in those fleeting moments. Of course not everyone will feel joy in the days after their loss, but in my 6 days of confirmed pregnancy, I had epic amounts of it.

I excitedly texted my best friends and told them the news. I took a video of my daughter (just 18 months old) pointing to my stomach and saying, “Baby” even though she didn’t understand what it meant. I decided what the nursery theme would be and talked to my husband about the possible plans of moving our daughter’s room or using one of our spare rooms for it. I went to Joann’s and picked out some fabric for a blanket I’d ask my mother-in-law to sew. I purchased a shirt and wrote “Red, White, and Due” with my calculated due date. I bought my daughter a “Big Sister” shirt. I even got a set of blank puzzle pieces, writing our current family’s names and year of birth; finalizing the empty piece with “Completing our family, 2018.” I realize that for being only 7 weeks pregnant (and only 6 days into a confirmation), this sounds like going overboard. However, I had an easy and uneventful first pregnancy and thought this would be just the same. I thought that friends and family members that had lost pregnancies just had bad luck. That it could never happen to me.

So even in the moments when I started bleeding and went to the ER and before receiving the results of my ultrasound and blood test, I chose to feel joy and hope, right up until I heard the words, “Your hCG levels are at about 200.” I remembered my first blood test showed the levels at 1100, so I knew, even before the doctor that it was a miscarriage.

It is very easy to look back on that time and see only sadness. But today, I’m making the extreme effort to find the joy.

Category : Jessica , Volunteer Bloggers

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Reasons to Believe

Within the last couple of weeks, I have had two friends text me that they recently suffered early miscarriages. They said they felt comfortable reaching out to me because I have blogged about my experiences both on here and my personal website. Being able to be there for my friends in a real and honest way was a reminder to me to believe that things happen for a reason. As hard as it is to realize in the moment, miscarriage is our body’s way of telling us that something wasn’t right.

Miscarriage and pregnancy loss are so isolating because nobody really gets it until they personally experience it. If it happens to you, and you don’t know anyone who it has happened to, it can be very lonely. For me, not having anyone to talk to about a situation is hard. I need to get my feelings out as I am feeling them. My poor husband gets an earful whenever I feel the need to express myself. God bless him.

I remember when I had losses, I didn’t know many people close to me, my age, that this had happened to. Not to say I didn’t have anyone supporting me. I am blessed to have a lot of support. It’s just easier sometimes to talk to someone who has been there. I blogged about it and shared it in open conversation with friends. Mostly people responded that they knew of someone who had a miscarriage. I worked with older women who came forward and told me it happened to them, but nobody ever talked about it in their era.

In the month of pregnancy and infant loss awareness, I reflected back on my miscarriages and how I have worked through the pain and confusion. Taking on this new role of guiding friends through the familiar pain has been another level of healing for me. It’s also been a reminder for me to hold my losses in my heart. Sometimes its easy to want to forget about painful experiences. And I have tried to put mine behind me before, but it doesn’t always work. I think it’s important to reflect back on where we started to realize how much we have gained since and to share our experiences. You never know who your words or photos are helping.

I was watching my daughter and son play the other day and I said to my husband if I hadn’t had those losses, these two individuals wouldn’t be here. The first two pregnancies made way for my daughter and son. My daughter and son have given me and my husband the ability to believe everything happens for a reason. Being able to guide my friends through their struggles is a reason to believe. 

To all those currently suffering a loss, I am with you in prayer. You will get through this. Release your pain in whatever way makes you feel comfortable. Write about it, speak about it, volunteer….whatever release suits you best. Keep your head up and keep searching for those reasons to believe.

Category : Kate , Volunteer Bloggers


If you’ve come to this blog, it likely means you have suffered a pregnancy loss of some type. We are so sorry you have found yourself here, but hope the stories of life after loss can help you on your road to healing and recovery. Remember, we are all in this together!

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