714-509-0065 info@foreverfootprints.org

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...
5 Ways to Support a Friend Who Lost Their Baby

5 Ways to Support a Friend Who Lost Their Baby

“My friend just lost a baby and I’m at a loss of what to do or say. How can I be a support during this time? I’m often asked this question by caring friends and family members who know someone who has recently lost their precious baby. If you’re asking yourself this same question today I want to start by saying thank you. Just the fact that you’d ask shows that you truly care. The loss of a child is one of the deepest griefs to face and one of the most complicated to respond to. In those first few months after losing my newborn son I could hardly imagine what I needed, let alone articulate it to someone else. I’m so grateful for people like you who met us where we were at when we needed it the most. While there is no “one size fits all” approach, there were several things that my husband and I found especially helpful as we processed the loss of our newborn son. Don’t be afraid to talk about the baby. I love it when people ask me about Ethan, or when they say his name out loud. Simply start by saying, “I’d love to hear more about [baby’s name] sometime” and be prepared to hear as much or as little as they feel comfortable sharing. Your loved one hasn’t forgotten their child, not even for a moment, and hearing or speaking their name is one of the greatest gifts a bereaved parent can receive. Consider remembering their baby’s legacy alongside them by joining them at Forever Footprints’ Walk to Remember or...
For better or for worse: Love after loss

For better or for worse: Love after loss

For better or for worse, for richer or for poorer, in sickness and in health. As I spoke those words back in 2011, I truly meant them from the bottom of my heart. Sure, I knew marriage wouldn’t always be easy and I knew there would be hard days, but this wide-eyed, innocent 20-something had no idea of the depth of what those words would truly mean until years later when stood beside a tiny cemetery plot and buried our infant son. For worse, for poorer, and in the wake of devastating sickness, our innocence was stripped away and things were suddenly so much harder. On the evening our son died, a kind nurse took my hand and warned us that things were about to get hard. She encouraged us to dig our heels down deep, to remember the vows we had meant so fervently those years before, and to fight for one another when things would become difficult–and difficult they did. Loss has a way of changing you. In some ways it made me better, and it other ways it brought all of my imperfections to the surface. It challenged my thinking, shifted my perspectives, and altered pieces of my identity. I grieved the person I was before losing our son and I struggled to figure out who I was. I quickly learned that when two people are simultaneously being shaped through the pain of suffering and loss, things become even more complicated. We were both grieving, changing and growing. I was still trying to get to know this whole new me, all while trying to get to...