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Spring Will Come

This is a season of new life.  Spring is my favorite season of the year with freshly bloomed flowers spotting the green earth.  Bees and butterflies dance and flutter in the breeze.  I love the sound and smell of light showers falling from full clouds.  Near my town, there are hills painted with bright poppies with the roadside littered with parked cars where people snap pictures of the beautiful scenery.  I love this season because it reminds me of hope and a new beginning. Over the past year, I have been slowly adapting to my new life as a bereaved mother.  I’m getting used to the unfamiliar colors, sounds, and smells.  Each day I embrace unique experiences.  All the while, with my daughter in my heart and mind, a greater purpose for this season has risen.  I never thought I could be like this.  I thought my life was forever doomed for a bleak, lifeless existence. You see, another valuable lesson has erupted from the ashes.  There is a time to mourn, but there is also a time to rejoice.  “But, Kaitlin, how can you rejoice after losing your daughter?!”  Seems crazy, I know, but I do rejoice in my new life.  I belong to a close community, yet at the same time Wendy gave me a perspective of life like I’ve never known.  I have started to think for myself and take care of myself more deliberately.  I have gained a better appreciation for my friends, family, and especially my husband.  Yes, I see the world in different colors, and they are more vibrant than I could have...

Living with Grief

I had no idea what to do.  I was a first-time mom and a first-time grieving mom at the same time.  I was confused, overwhelmed, and devastated.  Honestly, the list can go on about everything I was feeling, but this blog would go on forever like my last one, lol.  I knew every emotion possible and felt so incredibly numb at the same time, like I was separated from my being and experienced everything from a distance.  Every day seemed like an eternity.  The energy it took to wake up, eat, work, and make dinner was thoroughly exhausting.  For the longest time I was depleted, empty, and drug myself through the motions of life. My grieving didn’t stop there.  Everything I experienced was affected by my situation.  Being pregnant with a terminally diagnosed baby compelled me to avoid countless things.  I didn’t look at new moms holding their babies because it made me extremely jealous.  I didn’t laugh as much.  I didn’t smile like I used to.  I couldn’t go to family events, but when I forced myself to go, I broke down weeping in the car. Why am I telling you this?  I let myself feel it all.  I didn’t push my grief aside, avoid it, or deny it.  I was present and faced my reality and embraced it.  As painful as it was, I’m glad I was present in my circumstance.  I’m glad I shed tears, wept, and mourned.  It has helped me live with my pain, rather than just pushing through it and “getting over it,” because I know a measure of my grief will never...

The Baby that Changed My Life

As the holidays have passed, I feel like I can finally breathe again.  A fresh new year, wondering where it will take me this time.  However, after losing my first baby girl I reflect on my journey and where it has brought me.  Who I have become and where it will take me now.  I am honored to share my story with you this coming year.  I want to share about the baby that changed my life.  I’m going to be real with you, reveal the nightmare I had to live through, the dreams I was forced to let go, and the daily hardships I have to overcome.  But, also, the grace that saved me, the love that held me, and the wisdom that grew me. My name is Kaitlin, and I am a bereaved mother. My daughter was stillborn November 12, 2017. Deep down in my soul I know that my daughter’s story will touch countless people, far beyond the number of her days. This blog is about my experience as a bereaved parent, what I went through, the realities I was forced to adapt to, the pain through it all, and the joys of being a parent. Possibly, reading about my family’s experiences will bring hope or a measure of healing to your heart. Allow me to share with you the story of our sweet baby girl named, Wendy. My husband and I received the news that we were expecting on February 19, 2017. We were so incredibly excited. Immediately, we started dreaming about how our lives would change forever. We dreamed of seeing our child learn...
Celebrating and Surviving Milestones

Celebrating and Surviving Milestones

From the moment I first held that pregnancy test in my hand, my heart was filled with dreams for my son’s childhood–one that I hoped would be filled with love, laughter, and plenty of family traditions. I envisioned the milestones to come: his first birthday, his first day of school, his high school graduation. My dreams were shattered into a million pieces when our precious firstborn baby was born prematurely and succumbed to a fatal genetic condition at just 93-minutes old. The milestones that I once looked forward to with such joy and excitement were now anticipated with such deep sorrow. Three years later and my heart aches each time kindergarten enrollment begins, and I often find myself blinking back tears as I count down the years until Ethan’s class will start school. The loss of a baby has a way of changing a simple date on the calendar into a point in time that feels so significant and so heavy with a wide spectrum of emotions. How can we face the due dates, the birthdays, and the milestones that now feel so bittersweet? As we approached Ethan’s first birthday, I reached out to my friends within the loss community for ideas of ways to spend the day and received plenty of great ideas for celebrating and surviving milestones.   Throw a bash One of my loss mama friends throws a birthday party for her son each year. Through the years, this tradition has been a great way to celebrate her son’s life with friends both new and old. Some party ideas include a butterfly release, cake and icecream,...
To the bereaved father, on Father’s Day

To the bereaved father, on Father’s Day

Last year, my husband told me that he didn’t feel the need to be celebrated on Father’s Day since he didn’t have a living child. His announcement didn’t come from a place of anger or even apathy–he was simply stating a fact. He truly did not see any reason to be recognized and was okay with that. While I knew he was satisfied with this arrangement, I couldn’t help but think of just how worthy he was to be recognized for the incredible dad he is–despite how different his day-to-day life may appear when compared with other parents. Bereaved dads are top-notch fathers, often giving their all with little to no recognition from the outside world. But we see you, dads. As partners, we see you and we celebrate you even when the world forgets. We saw the way your heart overflowed with love and pride the first time you heard your baby’s heartbeat. We saw the way you supported us through morning sickness, discomforts, and a wide spectrum of emotions. We saw the way you faithfully stood by our side, as friends, family, doctors, nurses, and even strangers showered endless attention on the mom-to-be. We saw the way your heart broke when that precious heartbeat stopped. We saw the way you asked the doctors questions and selfishly advocated for our needs, as our world stopped spinning and we crumbled beneath the weight of grief. We saw the way you strongly held us up when we felt so weak–and we know you were hurting just as deeply. As friends, family, doctors and nurses continued to shower us with endless...