Category Archives: Karen

  • 2

Going Blank

Here we are – another year, another birthday without a child here to celebrate.

I wrote last year that I just don’t want to do this anymore. And it’s true, I don’t. But I also can’t stop myself from remembering these days and feeling compelled to do (or write) something special.

The thing is, I don’t know what to say.

I’ve spent the last two days trying to think of something sentimental or clever or wise but it’s just not coming to me. To be honest, I haven’t even been emotional today which is unlike me. It’s not that I don’t care, because I do. But somehow it feels as though my feelings and thoughts have just been drained from my body.

The baby that was due on March 12, 2018, was my fourth, the one sandwiched in between my 2 healthy, living kids. The one we lost so early on at just 6.5 weeks. The one we never learned anything about. And while perhaps it seems that the brevity of that life is the reason I feel disconnected, I truly don’t think it is. The loss hurt as deeply as the others and that child is mine the same way they all are.

This blankness might just be a way of finally shutting down. Maybe, after 6 years, I’ve run out of things to say. I no longer feel the extreme emotions the way I did years ago, when it was sometimes a struggle to get through the day or to deal with the thoughts swirling in my head.

Maybe I am finally at peace. To my baby, happy birthday. I miss you.

Category : Karen , Staff/Board Members


  • 8

I terminated my pregnancy – and this is why I’ve stayed silent about the New York abortion bill

Like everyone else across the country, I have watched the drama unfold and the debates rage since New York State announced its Reproductive Health Act last month.

I’ve seen stories of those who have had to endure the life-changing decision of terminating a wanted pregnancy. Although I applaud their willingness to share, I don’t need to read them, because I know the story well.

Last week marks six years since my husband and I said goodbye to our daughter, our first child who was deeply loved and wanted. Because of chromosomal abnormalities that left her with several organ deficiencies, including missing a piece of her heart, we were told that should she survive birth, her quality of life would be extremely poor. Not wanting her to suffer, we terminated at just past 20 weeks into my pregnancy.

I’ve spent the time since telling my story over and over again, hoping to help those who, like me, felt alone. It seems logical then to share my opinion about it (and incase it isn’t clear, I wholly support this type of legislation) and to add my voice to all of the others.

But this is the first time I’m sharing publicly on this topic, and the reason I haven’t jumped into the discussion is simple:

It hurts.

It hurts to think about the child I lost. It hurts to think about the decision we made, not because I regret it (I don’t) but because it was the hardest thing I’ve ever done.

It’s been a surreal experience watching this unfold, watching people argue back and forth most of whom have no experience with a late-term loss. Part of me wants to jump into the middle of it and just scream.

A big part of me, though, just wants to retreat.

I started writing this post last week and then stopped. I couldn’t finish it because I couldn’t manage to form my rambling thoughts into something cohesive. I’ve been thinking about it for days, trying to figure out what exactly I want to say and to make sense of the snippets of notes I’ve jotted down.

In thinking about this for the last week and a half, I’ve alternated between sadness and anger. Sad that reproductive rights are even a debate. Angry that people feel they can judge others’ decisions. And then I realized that the greatest problem I have with any of this might be the attempt to strip away the emotion and treat a termination as a black and white decision.

A word I’ve seen used a lot in these discussions is choice. But let’s be real: no one – I repeat, no one – chooses to be in a position where they must decide if their child lives or dies.

I was in such a state of grief and shock that my memories of those few months before and after my loss are a blur. I not only lost a child, but I also lost my faith. I almost lost my marriage. I lost any sense of fairness. I certainly lost hope.

No one chooses these things.

At that point, it’s not about choice – it’s about survival. And sometimes, even years later, it still is. In those moments, it’s sometimes just best to take a big step back from the commotion, clear your head, and be at peace.

Category : Karen , Staff/Board Members


  • 0

My due date ritual

Over the last few years, I’ve settled into a ritual of sorts whenever it is the due date of one of my babies. I look back at all of the blog posts I have written on that date and inevitably it stirs up a lot of emotions.

Today is no different as January 9, 2016, was the due date of my second baby, a boy I miscarried at 12 weeks.

As I am writing this and reflecting on those posts, there are some tears in my eyes but there is also a weird sense of peace. I previously wrote about how, on his due date, Sean & I threw a wishing stone into the reflecting pool and hoped for good health in years to come.

I am realizing that good health did in fact find us. At the time I was in the 1st trimester of my 3rd pregnancy, a time full of anxiety and prayers that this baby would finally be the one that came home with us – and it was. In August of that year, we were blessed with our son Ryan. Almost 2 years later his brother TJ joined our family.

There’s no such thing as perfect health for anyone but despite the miscarriage that I suffered in between the birth of my boys, I do feel very fortunate that overall, good health found us. I like to think that it is my baby boy looking down over us and his little brothers.

While saying goodbye is never easy, I’m learning that each year, these due date days are an opportunity for reflection that I actually look forward to in some way. On these days, I tend to do a lot of introspection and grieve and remember in a very personal and inward way. I allow myself to take those quiet moments, those ones where I sit by myself and just think and feel and cry.

As the years go on, my losses may not be all-consuming anymore but I am still vulnerable. Three days a year – with January 9 being the first – I allow myself to surrender to my grief.

Category : Karen , Staff/Board Members


  • 0

My Love/Hate Relationship With PAIL Awareness Month

As Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month winds down, I can’t help but confess I have a love/hate relationship with it.

I love that there is recognition that pregnancy loss is more common than many believe.

I love that resources are shared.

I love that it encourages open conversation.

I love that is brings together the pregnancy loss community.

I love that it gives us a special time to remember our own babies and those of others.

But..

I hate that there are still people who think pregnancy loss doesn’t affect them in some way.

I hate that despite our efforts, there are still so many who are suffering silently, feeling alone.

I hate that there is even a need for PAIL month.

I hate knowing that remembrance can be painful for some, myself included.

And above all –

I hate that everything I love about PAIL awareness is overly emphasized during this one month when it should be as equally publicized the other 11 months of the year.

Category : Karen , Staff/Board Members


  • 2

Marriage After Pregnancy Loss

Let’s be real: marriage is hard, even under the best of circumstances.

Add in the loss of a child, and all of a sudden you’re called on to have strength, faith, and belief in yourselves and each other that you never could have imagined. And it’s really hard.

Today, Sean & I are celebrating our 9th wedding anniversary. I’m grateful to be able to say this. There are many reasons why, but when I think about what we’ve been through together, I know that we are fortunate.

I’ll be honest – there were some dark days.

There was a point when I thought my marriage was over. Not because I wanted it to be, but because I didn’t think we were strong enough to continue on together. I understand now that we were both hurting more than the other realized, and it’s really difficult to take care of your marriage when you’re not taking care of yourself.

We lost sight of our partnership. We didn’t allow ourselves to be fully vulnerable to each other because it was easier to keep the pain inside. We talked, but not enough. We went through the motions and acted like things were more ok than they were.

Eventually we got back to being a team, but not before figuring out what we needed separately first. It’s kind of like being on an airplane when they tell you to secure your own air mask before helping others – as much as you want to help your loved ones who are with you, you can’t until you’ve put yourself in the most favorable position for success. We had to make ourselves a priority in order to help our marriage – and we did.

I find, even now, that grieving as a couple is so much harder than grieving individually. You’re forced to confront those moments that make you uncomfortable, that bring up emotions and open old wounds.

Earlier this week, we participated in the wave of light just as we have done every October 15 for 6 years now. We lit our candle, shared the photo, let the world know that we were remembering our 3 children. I told my husband that while I love this event, I also hate how heavy it is. We didn’t talk about it – I didn’t want to cry, I didn’t want to pull up sadness and memories. But I realize now that I don’t know if he wanted to talk about it – because I didn’t ask.

Our losses will always be a part of us and will always, to some degree, define our relationship. There will always be “what ifs” and “should haves” and moments where we have to face this aspect of who we are, both as individuals and as a couple.

I know I am lucky – I got my happy ending.  Fighting through was tough and I have no doubt there will be trying times in our future as well, but I will never, ever forget that we are in this together.

Category : Karen , Staff/Board Members


  • 1

Introducing Thomas John

In the pregnancy loss community, the term rainbow baby is commonly used to refer to a baby who is born after the loss of another, as that child is something beautiful the same way a rainbow is after a dark storm.

I must confess that for a long time, I hated this phrase. Why? I’m not really sure, but I can only assume that it’s because while I was in the middle of that storm (or hurricane, as it more commonly felt) I couldn’t imagine ever seeing that rainbow.

Now it’s here.

It is with a full heart that I introduce my son Thomas John, who was born on July 18 at 11:33am, weighing 8lb, 2 oz and measuring 20.5 inches long.

TJ (aka Goose) is actually my 2nd rainbow baby but for me, there’s something about that final burst of light that just feels special. This is the end. There will be no more pregnancies, no more losses, no more waiting. I no longer have to wonder just how many times I’ll be pregnant because now I know the answer: five. (That number still doesn’t seem real to me)

When my son Ryan was born two years ago, he wasn’t a rainbow – he was the sun and the stars and the entire freaking universe. But as overjoyed as I was, I also knew our family wasn’t complete. I knew there would potentially be more struggles and more dark days and I honestly didn’t know if I could handle that.

But I discovered I could.

Now, with my two little boys, I feel blessed and hopeful for our future together. I can finally see the rainbow.

Category : Karen , Staff/Board Members


  • 0

Not This Year

Every year for the last several years, we’ve had the same tradition on June 24: to celebrate our daughter’s birthday. Even though she didn’t make it to us here on Earth, my husband and I have always wanted to recognize her and the importance of that day – the due date of our very first child.

Our celebration generally includes cake/cupcakes/pie/dessert of some type. Not really much of a celebration per say, but in an attempt to make it a more positive remembrance, sweets never hurt. But underneath it all is always that underlying sadness, the truth that she is not here with us on this day and never will be.

This year, my heart just isn’t in it. I don’t want to “celebrate” or pretend that this is somehow a happy day. It isn’t. In the end, it’s not going to make me feel better or somehow forget that the girl who should be turning 5 today isn’t.

As I am now less than a month away from delivering my last child, I have been feeling like my pregnancy – and pregnancy loss – journey has become more static. But today reaffirms for me that it is in fact a never-ending and always changing process. Just because something has helped me grieve and heal in the past doesn’t mean it has to be the path I walk forever. We are allowed to change our minds, our feelings, our needs.

As humans we all experience tough times in our lives and the best we can hope for is it to be balanced out by the experiences that bring us happiness, joy, and peace.  I’ve been fortunate to have several of those amazing moments over the last few years, reasons to truly celebrate. I don’t want to diminish those times or make pregnancy loss into something it isn’t, so this year, there will be no celebration.

There will be remembrance, and for us, that will be enough.

Category : Karen , Staff/Board Members


Welcome!

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!

Recent Posts

Recent Comments

Archives

Categories