Category Archives: Andrea

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Half Way There

I’m officially half way to my due date and things are going just as smoothly as they did the first time around. Most would say that’s a good thing, but I know all too well that it can go wrong. I do hope this pregnancy continues to go smoothly and my cautious optimism has convinced me that it will be smooth sailing.

At my last scan/genetic testing I felt overwhelmed with anxiety. I don’t often feel that way and it was strange. Of course due to Covid, you must go alone to appointments, which added to my anxiety. In my first pregnancy with Charlie I never had any doubts or anxieties at appointments and in the end he passed away. In this pregnancy every appointment is stressful as I wait for results. Once I get the “OK everything looks good,” I feel stupid for even stressing out about it to begin with. Just like my first pregnancy I feel very calm. I have nothing to do, but wait. The nursery has been ready since last September.

It seems like everyone is having babies due this winter. I keep telling myself that I’ve suffered enough, I’ve done my time, and this baby will live.  Last year, life was great. It was like I just bought a ticket on the Titanic and it would be the journey of a lifetime. At the time, I didn’t realize the ship would sink and nearly everyone would die. There went all my hopes and dreams, and that wonderful nativity of a first time mom. I became a person who became a little jaded, a little angry, a little resentful. Those lovely qualities faded after some time, but never completely. I woke up one day and became a person who stopped waiting for the right time to do what I wanted.

My fiancé and I had been engaged for 6 months and had no real plans of marrying until Charlie died. That’s when it clicked, “What are you waiting for?” We planned a small ceremony with family and friends and made it official in May. We don’t wait to buy things we’ve always wanted. We are more patient and resilient. We try to enjoy life and we strive to live a better one every day.

Recently a few people at work have commended me on my resilience through a very hard year. So I told them that I can’t live my life in fear.

It’s scary to do this all over again when the first time didn’t pan out.  A late term stillbirth is the worst thing for anyone to experience. It ruins every other moment with this new pregnancy because there is no point in this pregnancy that I won’t pass that I haven’t already passed. I will be induced no later than 37 weeks although I would much prefer 36 weeks and I will work to make that happen.

I’m half way there, glass half full.

Category : Andrea , Volunteer Bloggers

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A New Normal

After Charlie passed, I went back to work about 8 weeks later. It may have seemed sudden to some people, but there were only so many days I could sit at home sulking and feeling sorry for myself. I never much cared for what other people thought so I did what was right for me. It was almost therapeutic to go back to my old routine, to see co-workers and just be treated as though nothing happened. That’s the way I preferred it. 

Occasionally I do see someone who remembers me pregnant and knew I had been on maternity leave and they ask that dreaded question, “How is it? Isn’t it great?” and I simply respond, “Yes it’s great.” It’s much easier. Why burden them. Why burden myself. I don’t need the pity or the sympathy. It’s during those times that I now know why stillbirth is such an unspoken topic.

Nonetheless, there was no better place to be then back to my old routine. I learned that it’s much easier to dig down a hole than to dig out of one. I never wanted to be stuck so far down a hole that I couldn’t get out. I took for granted the monotony of simply going to work and now I feel thankful for that opportunity.

I am the most resilient person that I know.

Loss can trigger so much more than just grief and sadness. I’m rounding 7 months since Charlie passed and I have more good days than bad. I feel more calm than I do anger. I see more to be thankful for than to be hateful toward. I don’t dwell on the past, I tend to focus now on the future. I spend more time submerged in nature. I find meaning in butterflies, dragonflies and hummingbirds. I never thought I’d be here, but I’ve found a way to cope and step forward with hope and understanding. There’s absolutely nothing in this world that I can’t survive. I’ve been told that God does not bestow more than one can handle.

I am the strongest person I know.

Following Charlie, I had a missed miscarriage a few months later and a sub massive pulmonary embolism. 2020 has been less than satisfactory and I would give it a 1 star rating so far. I took a trip back down that rabbit hole and this time didn’t think I’d make it out. I read about the Ava bracelet so I bought it. But the funny part is I had no trouble tracking my ovulation, I still have no idea why I bought it. I’ve never had an issue getting pregnant; it’s all about sustaining it.

Now 7 months later, I am 11 weeks pregnant. This time I feel may be different and have a very happy ending. I worry constantly that it will end and all the symptoms will go away. I worry the heart will stop beating and of course I worry that I won’t make it till the end. I envy those who are so carefree in pregnancy like I once was. The first time around I had planned everything. This time I have no plan. I spent a lot of time planning for absolutely no reason. I know better now. I’m just hoping for the best and will continue updates as this pregnancy progresses.

2020 has been an unwelcoming year for everyone. I would gladly take on Covid with its 98% survival rate to have my baby Charlie alive and well. Unfortunately, those devil deals don’t exist in the real world. Still, from manure the best flowers grow and this new baby will be the flower we’ve been waiting for.

Category : Andrea , Volunteer Bloggers

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Charlie’s Story

My story begins in July 2019, when I learned I was 6 weeks pregnant with my first child. My now husband and I were beyond excited for this little new addition. We soon learned that our baby would share a birthday (03/05) with my mother who had passed years ago. It seemed like a good omen.

The world where it was just the two of us was soon to become a whole lot bigger. Our mindsets changed from where we would travel for vacation to how many diapers a newborn goes through in a day, week, and month.  The months went by and all the joys of pregnancy were celebrated. At 20 weeks we found out we were having a baby boy! 

I spent an exhausting amount of time researching the best diapers, the best non-toxic plant based toys, the best stroller and the best swing. I spent months researching sleep training techniques and the best formula that mimicked breast milk (just in case). He deserved the best and I was committed to providing the best money could buy. My Google searches were flooded with questions about the birth process and what to do with a newborn all day. I ate well, exercised and sought Reiki for a sense of calm and healing. With our unusual work schedules, we coordinated child care early and put a deposit down for September 2020. We checked off every item on our “to do” list and then some. 

At 6 months pregnant we began constructing the nursery. We refinished the hardwood floor, put the crib together, and diligently stocked every drawer and every shelf. I stocked the baby bag (that I just had to splurge on!) with every essential item he may need. Every book was carefully placed. Every onesie and every blanket was washed with baby laundry detergent that I spent weeks researching. Every night I would turn on the air purifier, sit in the nursery chair, and prepare for his arrival. I wanted us to have a routine.

At my 37 week ultrasound I recall telling the ultrasound tech that he wasn’t as active as he had been the week prior.  She told me that he probably didn’t have much room left to move. She handed me a 3D photo of the baby and I waited for my regular appointment with my doctor. As I waited, I took the ultrasound photo and sent it to my family and friends. It’s strange how a single moment can truly change the course of your life. That moment happened when the doctor told me that my baby died. That his heart stopped beating. That I had to deliver my full term baby who had died days ago. 

I couldn’t believe it. I had just been given a great photo- everything was fine. Why would she give me a photo if the baby had died? Five months later and it is still the most frustrating memory that replays on repeat. I had two weeks left until my scheduled delivery. I was almost there and then I wasn’t. 

Thursday, February 13th marked the worst day of my life. On Friday, Valentine’s Day, we arrived at the hospital and our baby was born (still) on Saturday, February 15th. An eerie silence fell in that room. We all drowned in the silence when he was born. There was no cry, though I still expected to hear one. The only cries heard were those of other babies in other rooms with other mothers. We named him Charlie. He was really something special, even more beautiful than I could have ever imagined. He had gorgeous full lips. I like to imagine that he had inherited his father’s green eyes. We spent time with him, we took photos of him and said goodbye to him later that night. We were handed a memory box that now sits on a shelf in his room. We were given a “Certificate of Birth” which is quite different from a Birth Certificate. It was like receiving “honorable mention” when all you wished for was “first place.” We framed it and put it among his belongings. 

So that was it. We walked out of the hospital, just the two of us. A couple passed us in the street; the woman was going into the hospital to have her baby.  I hoped the best for them and I hoped the worst.

I thought losing my mother at 23 years old was bad. This was far, far worse. When the autopsy results came back for Charlie we learned the the umbilical cord suppressed blood flow and caused a neurological stroke- something so rare there were only 6 documented cases the maternal fetal medicine doctors could find. Imagine that. I still can’t. 

So that’s where my story begins. It is isolating. It’s crippling. It’s lonely. It is unlivable. I have more bad days than good. I’ve thought every thought you’re thinking. Most of the time I just sit and stare at nothing, think about nothing, and feel absolutely nothing. It’s whatever you want to call it: complicated grief, depression, PTSD. Yet still, somehow, I remain hopeful. I’m trying to reroute and reset the best I can. I haven’t found the magic that will wash away the grief and sorrow, but I’m trying to just like you. 

Category : Andrea , 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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