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5 things I’ve learned through this process

1. I am a lot stronger than I believe that I am

When I look back and realize everything that we have been through I realize that the strength that I have, that has allowed me to keep my head above water, is amazing. I am so much stronger than I ever give myself credit for.

2. That my relationship with my husband is amazing

We have been through so much together in the last 6 years, and I feel like our first few losses helped pave the way through everything for us. Our losses have made us a much stronger couple, a couple capable of coming together in times of need, and knowing when to lean on the other to help us to keep standing.

3. Sometimes waiting is worth it

I have no idea how different our lives would be if our other children survived, but I do know that we are so very lucky to have our daughter. She is our little miracle. She is so full of smiles, love and laughter. She was worth the wait.

4. Losses are so common

It seems like once you admit out loud to family and friends that you have had a loss everyone has either had a loss themselves or know someone who has had a loss. I still don’t understand why people refuse to talk about it.

5. Every loss is unique in it’s own way.

No matter if you’re 5 weeks along or 40 weeks, you still are experiencing a loss. We have had losses from 5 weeks up until 15 weeks and almost everywhere in between. Just because a loss is early doesn’t take away from the fact that it is still a loss.

Category : Amanda , Volunteer Bloggers


  • 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

A Day I Will Never Forget

I remember the call like it was yesterday. The phone rang mid-morning January 5, 2019. I noticed the call was from my son, Colin. That’s strange, I thought, he never calls during the day. I answered the phone and I couldn’t tell if he was sobbing or laughing hysterically due to a great deal of background noise and commotion. Unfortunately, he was sobbing. “We lost the baby,” he cried. I was at a loss for words. I felt helpless and devastated.

It was supposed to be a happy day. Colin and my daughter-in-law Krissy were going to find out the gender of their baby in preparation for a gender reveal party that weekend.

My first thought was for Colin and Krissy. I wanted to be there for them but wasn’t sure how to best support them. I asked if they wanted us to come to the hospital, but he said no as it was already quite chaotic.

I frequently kept in touch with him during the day by text and phone, making sure he was ok and giving him emotional support. I found out the baby was a boy and they named him Liam James. I gently asked if they were planning on a service of some sort and offered any help I could give.

I knew as a grandparent I needed to walk a fine line between being too present and not present enough. I realized that the best thing to do was let my son take the lead. He knows we love them and are there for them. I did what I could do immediately—made food for them, offered to watch their daughter, and pray.

One of the hardest things I have ever had to do was accompany Colin and Krissy at the funeral home the next day, when Krissy was discharged from the hospital. Colin had asked us to be there to support them in this difficult task. We had not seen them since hearing about the loss of Liam and all we could do was hug each other. I am amazed by the strength they showed during this process.

At the funeral home, Krissy picked two small urns for Liam’s remains. Although they didn’t want a formal service, I asked if they wanted me to arrange a memorial mass at our church, which they appreciated and wanted.

Finally, Krissy asked if she could see Liam one more time. We all went to pay our final respects to baby Liam. I was deeply touched by the care the funeral home had taken to wrap him in a little blanket and place a tiny knitted hat on his head. My only solace was in knowing that we now had a little angel watching over us.

It is so hard watching your children suffer. Moms are supposed to be able to fix things and I couldn’t fix this. There are some valleys in life those we love must all walk through; sometimes all we can do is offer a hand and a hug. It is one of the toughest parts of parenting—raising your children to be strong enough to meet these dark moments with strength and hope.

Category : Deb , Volunteer Bloggers


  • 0

Pregnancy loss after infertility: My story

At the beginning, we were just gay. A run-of-the-mill lesbian couple who knew we’d need some extra ingredients to have a baby. That was 2.5 years ago. Now I’m the mother of two babies lost in early pregnancy, with no living children so far, and my wife and I are continuing with IVF treatment to build our family.

Make no mistake, the “social infertility” of not being able to conceive with your partner in a same-sex partnership is a unique experience that comes with its own challenges. We resented needing to find a sperm donor, the costs of conceiving and the arduous second-parent adoption process my wife would need to go through when our child was born.

But that was before our long (and ongoing) battle with infertility and pregnancy loss. That was back before I truly understood that sexual orientation has no bearing on medical infertility or the ease of someone’s path to parenthood. All I saw around me were happy lesbian families celebrating a parade of births of beautiful new babies, most of which were conceived at home. Ease and joy. Procreation, with a little bit of help (but just a little) from science.

Pregnancy loss was not what we expected on this path. If I’m being honest, we were so distracted by all the other aspects of the infertility process that we forgot to fear the possibility that a pregnancy might not last. I fixated instead on the other losses we were experiencing along the way – the inability to have a baby in an act of physical love with the life partner I’d chosen, the loss of dignity knowing my wife would need to legally adopt our very wanted child through a lengthy and expensive second-parent adoption, the loss of privacy that comes with involving donors and doctors and legal advisors intimately in your attempt to have a family.

When we realized that we’d spent more than a year trying to conceive at home with not a single hint of pregnancy, I began researching how the infertility coverage mandate worked in the state where I work. What I found felt like the biggest hurdle I could imagine: my insurance company defined infertility differently for same-sex couples than for couples where the partners were of different sexes. Rather than trusting that we had done home inseminations similar to a different-sex couple trying via intercourse for a year at home, we would be held to a different standard of needing to “prove” that we tried 12 times by doing 12 IUI procedures with a reproductive endocrinologist, all paid out of pocket despite the fact that my insurance offers full coverage for infertility services. Aside from the fact that this standard was outside of accepted clinical practice guidelines for infertility treatment, it would have cost us almost $24,000 to comply with this requirement between the cost of donor sperm, medications, and the IUI procedures.

Luckily I’m a pretty determined self-advocate and health insurance is something I have a lot of professional experience in! We fought the insurer’s discriminatory standard legally, and we won. We were over the moon. We’d fought what we thought was the hardest battle, and we had coverage for IVF. It felt like the hardest part was over and a baby would soon follow.

The losses and failed IVF cycles that followed caught me completely off guard. It felt doubly unfair to have had to fight so hard for access to IVF only to have it end in such a heartbreaking way. But pregnancy loss doesn’t care what else you’ve experienced or how challenging the hand you’ve been dealt has been for you thus far. The causes of pregnancy loss don’t pick and choose to haunt certain people. It isn’t about who deserves a baby or fought the hardest for it. It isn’t about whether you’re gay or straight.

That’s why I’m here. To share my story and represent a different side from the happy and easy lesbian baby-making narrative that has left me feeling isolated and alone as we have charted these seemingly unnavigated waters. I know I’m not alone and if your story is anything like mine, now you know you’re not alone either.

Category : Meredith , Volunteer Bloggers


  • 0

525,600 Minutes

I was supposed to be celebrating my child’s birth on 1/16/19.  That was the due date of the baby we lost. As Halloween drew near, I remember wishing I was putting together 4 costumes instead of 3. That I should be stressing myself out during the holidays to plan a big first birthday party.

I’ve found myself thinking about our loss every day, but it hurts less until these missed milestones come around. I wish I could be watching him take his first steps while his big sister cheered him on. I wish I still had a baby in a crib and the sweet smell of Dreft lingering throughout the house. I wish I could watch the sibling plots come to fruition, making a mess or creating some kind of trouble that young siblings often do.

I wish more than anything I was able to have carried our second child into the world. But I didn’t and I can’t change that. What I can do, is ensure that we celebrate every January 16th when he was due. I felt a little ridiculous saying I planned on buying a cupcake every year that I’m lucid and here on Earth, but then I realize, why shouldn’t we celebrate his imprint the way we celebrate everyone’s.

Milestones are milestones are milestones. The same dates happen every year and if you want to honor your angel baby that way, don’t ever feel silly. They made an impact on your life and they deserve to be celebrated if you so choose.

Category : Jessica , Volunteer Bloggers


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Resolutions

With a new year comes new resolutions. I’m going to work out more is a staple resolution of mine. I’ve read that gym memberships often spike at the start of a new year and then begin to decline as the year progresses. I am guilty of being one of those half hearted gym people. I also consistently resolve to get more organized. If you took a look in my closet, you’d see I never follow through on that one either. Oh, here’s a good one: I will consistently eat healthier…. ha! Oreos hold too special of a place in my heart to be avoided.

As I watched the ball drop with my husband and my baby on new year’s eve, I decided on a new resolution. This year my resolution is simple and doable. This year I resolve to be more present. I resolve to quit asking “why me” so often and focus on trusting in the path I am on.

I have my rainbow baby. She had a rough start. She spent her first few days of life in the NICU and the first few months with her have been emotional and at times I have been uneasy. As insanely happy as I am to have her, the question of why me and why her flooded my mind those first few weeks. I resolve to try harder to focus on the bigger picture and not get caught up in the bumps in the road we’ve encountered. I have her and now my job is to do everything in my power to take care of her and be on top of whatever she needs.

Two years ago this month I had my first miscarriage. Of course it has been on my mind all month. It was the start of my pregnancy journey. It was devastating and life altering. This year is different than last year though. Last year I didn’t have a little one to concentrate on. I can’t be consumed thinking about all the feelings. I can’t focus on the why me and what if because I have to be present for my baby girl.

After experiencing two miscarriages, I often wondered how I would feel once I did have a baby. I thought having a baby would make all the sadness and pain of the past go away. I thought it would be like those other pregnancies didn’t occur. It doesn’t just “go away.” The feelings are still there. They may not be as strong, but they are still there. While the love I feel for Lucy overpowers the pain of the past, it still lingers in my heart.

I struggle with wanting to forget, but then again wanting to remember. And when I do begin to forget, I feel badly about it because those were significant moments in my life and significant for my relationship with my husband. I am so grateful for my baby and I am trying to be present for her, but then again I am still trying to understand all that has happened. I thought it would be easy, but it isn’t. The more I think about it the more I think that it’s okay that it’s not easy.

Maybe I am not making much sense, but it doesn’t all make sense to me yet. Maybe it never will. Maybe being present involves accepting that trying to make sense of everything isn’t possible. If we all spent time constantly trying to figure out life, we’d never get anything done, right?

I spent most of January thinking about how to construct this post and the more I write I feel like the less sense I am making. I guess that is a reflection of where my mind is. My mind and heart are floating in a cloud of overwhelming happiness sprinkled with some heart ache and confusion.

I just thought of a new resolution. I resolve to try to stop “making sense” of it all. If I stop trying to make sense of it all, I can be more present. Make sense?

Category : Kate , Volunteer Bloggers


  • 2

What Am I Doing Here?

It’s a question that I’ve asked a lot over the years.  I’ll admit sometimes, more than others, mostly in college, I truly had no clue. Most of the time I can answer that question with the simple answer of “Yeah, I probably shouldn’t have said/done that.”

On that summer day, as I sat in silence with my wife, on that hillside, under a small tree which seemed to give just enough shade just for Sara and myself, I asked myself quietly “What am I doing here?”

We sat silently watching people’s lives continue as our lives were changing.  We tried to reason and answer the question with short bursts of denial. “Well, we have one more blood test to check numbers!” “The doctor didn’t say that the baby wasn’t actually not viable!” In the end, the truth was…I was there, we were there because we had a miscarriage.

There is no reason for that moment, to that destination. It’s a place that has no real answer. Because “here” after a loss is relative. It’s nowhere, it’s everywhere, and my experience was completely different than Sara’s because, well, she was having a separate experience of that same loss.

It’s that fog that created so many issues after our first loss. It tripped us up. We retreated to our corners, to find our own answer to “What am I doing here?” That isolation is a terrible place to be. It took me so long to talk to someone, it took me so long to reach out to other men who also had a miscarriage, it took me too long to recognize my wife’s own issues and needs. All because I was asking “What am I doing here” and not seeing the truth of the situation which is “We are here.”

It sucks, but it’s true. We are here. We are in a horrible club, bonded by grief yet we are here, cemented in the strength, together. It’s maybe not the answer to the “What”, the “How”, the “When”, the “Why” but it is the answer to the “Who”.  We.

Through The Heart is a wonderful resource for the We. I feel grateful that I will be able to share with you my story, my thoughts, my experiences, through my lens and I look forward to growing in 2019 through yours.

Category : Paul , Volunteer Bloggers


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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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