“Pregnancy after loss is the hardest thing I’ve ever done after burying my child.”
– Lindsey Henke
Those are my words on how I feel right now at 30 weeks pregnant with my rainbow baby. If you have been following my journey through pregnancy after loss as Pregnancy & Newborn Magazine’s Knocked Up Blogger, I have shared with you weekly about my struggles with finding peace and joy during what is expected to be a happy time, while balancing the grief that shrouds my pregnancy due to my previous one that ended in loss.
From the beginning of my pregnancy with baby No. 2 I realized that I needed more support, more advice, more encouragement, more truth telling, and more love sent to me during my journey of being pregnant again after experiencing the death of my child in my womb. I personally believe there is more than just grief experienced after such a loss, you see, there is a trauma that comes from feeling like your body failed you. And since you live in your body, then you feel as if you failed too (at least I do at times).
I decided to reach out to other women to help lift me up during this time of great anxiety, fear, depression, confusion, excitement, small moments of hope, and grief. I needed to hear words of wisdom from loss mamas who have been down this road of pregnancy after loss and learn from them how to love a new and different baby growing inside me. I needed to hear these women’s voices who have lived the inner tragic daily battle that goes on in your mind between wanting to trust your body again and having your mind tell you that you no longer can. I needed these women’s declarations of truth about how awful and yet how healing a pregnancy after loss can be. I needed these women to reach out to me with their voices of knowing and be able to say, "I love you, yes this is hard, and you can do this, no matter what happens, you can do this."
And they have! They did! And I am excited to share their voices and words of fellow loss mama love, who have journeyed through pregnancy loss before us, with you! I am happy to share with you that I have 14 writers who have submitted lovely love letters for the Love Letters for the Mom Pregnant Again after Loss Blog Series that will start this Friday, February 14th. So mark your calendars. Some of our amazing writers include:
Francesca Cox – Founder of Still Standing Magazine, Author of Celebrating Pregnancy Again and the face behind Small Bird Studio where she writes and doodles about her life full of love after the loss of her daughter after only staying for 13 days on earth.
Catherine Keating – Author of There Was Supposed To Be a Baby: A Guide to Healing After Pregnancy Loss book and blog. She speaks from the heart, from her own experiences of pregnancy loss, to address your healing at all levels.
Larissa Genant – Mother of two sweet babies – Ariella Jade in Heaven and Levi William in her arms. She writes at Deeper Still and can be found on Facebook as well as a monthly contributor for Still Standing Magazine.
Mel Scott – Author of After Finley and The Fairy Caretaker. She’s an Earth Mummy to Twinkle (aged 3), and an Angel Mummy to Finley (aged 4 in heaven,) and Poppet (aged 5 in heaven). Mel runs Finley’s Footprints, which offers training and resources for health professionals and parents. She is also founder and trustee for registered charity in the UK Towards Tomorrow Together, which provide services for parents who have lost a baby.
Tova Gold – Author of the Finding Your Muchness FUNbook along with being a mother, fashion designer, inspirational speaker, and leading muchness finder. Tova shares her story of loss and how it has led to her life’s work of spreading her beautiful message about the power of muchness along with sparkles around the world at Finding My Muchness.
Amanda Ross - White – A monthly contributor to Still Standing Magazine who is dedicated to furthering research into stillbirth and neonatal death, as well as the unique parenting and relationship challenges for babylost mothers like herself. In her day job, she helps connect people to the medical and health information they need, and sees the need for better communication between babylost mothers and their health care providers as well as currently writing a guide for pregnancy after a loss.
Heidi Faith – Founder and Creator of the resource website Stillbirthday where she offers among other wonderful services, a Birth & Bereavement Doula Certificate Program. She is also the author of “The Invisible Pregnancy: Giving Birth to Healing” her first book.
Libby Bianchi – Is Author of her blog Somewhere Over the Rainbow and a monthly contributor to Still Standing Magazine. She also volunteers with the Share Your Story section of the March of Dimes, and also continues to attend a local MISS loss support group to provide support to those who have been forced to walk this walk.
Stephanie Dyer - A mother of seven children with five who walk on earth and two with angel wings, spends her days homeschooling and her nights painting. A self-taught artist, Stephanie currently owns and operates Beyond Words Designs, the company through which she publishes her artistry and runs the Donate Art project, a charity begun in honor of her daughters Amelia and Alice.
Megan Skaggs – A mother to identical twin sons Will and Michael Joseph ‘MJ’, and her rainbow daughter Maci Jayne. After a brief infertility battle her twins were conceived and her and her husband, Willie, were beyond thrilled to welcome two boys. Halfway through their pregnancy, MJ was diagnosed with a congenital diaphragmatic hernia (CDH). At 36 weeks the boys were delivered: 21 inches and exactly 6lbs each. At just 35 days, and after three surgeries MJ passed away in Megan’s arms. After MJ’s death Megan joined Project Sweet Peas and started a division called MJ’s Memories. Megan also writes for Still Standing Magazine.
Claudia Belardo - A mother who has suffered the loss of four babies: twins Vincenzo and Benedetto, Gabriele and Santino. She writes honestly about coping with grief and fulfilling her dreams by finally taking twins home in January 2014 via a surrogate. You can read more about this extraordinary journey to earth babies at Silent Love - A Mother's love for her twin boys born sleeping.
Eileen Tully - A mother of eight – with four children in heaven and four here on earth. She creates memorial sketches of babies lost to stillbirth and infant death and writes about life after loss at Little Winged Ones and is a monthly contributor to Still Standing Magazine.
Devan McGuinness - Founder of the online resource Unspoken Grief, which is dedicated to breaking the silence of perinatal grief for those directly and indirectly affected by miscarriage, stillbirth, and neonatal death. Using her own experience of surviving 12 miscarriages, Devan has been actively supporting and encouraging others who are wading through the challenges associated with perinatal and neonatal loss. She also writes for Still Standing Magazine.
Tricia Miller - A mother to her two boys, Henry and Ezra, bring joy to her life in ways she didn’t know possible until that test blazed positive. Tricia’s third child, their very first daughter, was conceived after a very long year of actively trying. At the 19-week anatomy scan Tricia and her husband found out that their daughter had died some five weeks earlier. Tricia is currently pregnant with her baby after a loss and shares her thoughts during this journey on her blog Boho Mama Soul. She is also a monthly contributor to Still Standing Magazine.
I look forward to sharing all this supportive fellow loss mama love with you! I hope it will be a very healing Valentine’s Day gift to you while you travel this difficult road of grief and joy while expecting again after a loss.