This election is personal

Or the letter I am too afraid to share with those I love.  

Dear Friend or family,

You are considering voting for Trump. You’ve heard all the news. I don’t think there is anything I can say about Mr Trump that would change your mind.  

But I would like to talk about Mike Pence, Trump’s running mate and governor of Indiana. Mike Pence not only signed, but advocated for a law that specifically bans terminations (including by induction of labor) for reasons of medical diagnosis of severe or fatal conditions.  

To make this personal, I’d like to remind you that we had a 100% fatal diagnosis for Noah. If we had lived in Indiana, or if Trump/Pence were to able to push this through nationally (a huge fear of mine) our story would have been all the more heartbreaking.  

As it was we got Noah’s diagnosis, 2nd opinion, and chose to induce labor. We were able to have my mom come and stay with Owen and meet Noah. I was able to deliver him, hold him immediately, and spend as much time with him as I could. It was devastating and heartbreaking.  
But if this law had been in effect, we would not have had that option. I had terrible hyperemesis. Before Noah’s diagnosis, we were discussing implanting a feeding tube for the remainder of my pregnancy. We would have had to do that. We would have to wait. To explain every day to our two year old that yes, his baby brother was in mommy’s tummy now, alive, but that he would die within minutes of being born due to the severe brain damage that left him unable to even breathe. And I would have had to deal with every person who I saw in the next 4 months congratulating me. Asking about our baby, and deciding whether or not to tell them, or whether I could wait until I was alone to cry.  

In addition to surgery to implant the feeding tube for me, I would have required another surgery. Because of his hydrocephalus (excess fluid in his brain that was crushing it and causing massive brain damage) his head was growing rapidly and a vaginal delivery would not be safe. So I would need a cesarean. I wouldn’t be able to hold him right away, because I would be in surgery. I would be strapped down and stitched up while my son was dying. I would have to lay down on that table knowing that the law said that my son had to die away from me.  

My son Noah now has a younger brother, Samuel. He doesn’t replace his brother, but having him here helps me heal. But if I had been forced to have the cesarean at 36 weeks instead of inducing at 20 weeks, his pregnancy would have been very different. Having less than 18 months between deliveries after a cesarean puts you at greater risk for a uterine rupture, which can be life threatening for both mom and baby. My boys are only 16 months apart and it took us months of fertility treatments to have Samuel.  

There are so many choice that a ban like takes away. And they all harm parent and siblings who are already enduring the worst grief imaginable. The fact that Pence would choose to specifically target families like our, to take away our right to let our baby go with peace, is unconscionable.  

So please, consider me when you cast your vote. Consider all of the other families like ours. Consider that it could one day be someone you love. And consider what a vote for a ticket with Mike Pence on it does to us.  

This election is personal

Or the letter I am too afraid to share with those I love.  

Dear Friend or family,

You are considering voting for Trump. You’ve heard all the news. I don’t think there is anything I can say about Mr Trump that would change your mind.  

But I would like to talk about Mike Pence, Trump’s running mate and governor of Indiana. Mike Pence not only signed, but advocated for a law that specifically bans terminations (including by induction of labor) for reasons of medical diagnosis of severe or fatal conditions.  

To make this personal, I’d like to remind you that we had a 100% fatal diagnosis for Noah. If we had lived in Indiana, or if Trump/Pence were to able to push this through nationally (a huge fear of mine) our story would have been all the more heartbreaking.  

As it was we got Noah’s diagnosis, 2nd opinion, and chose to induce labor. We were able to have my mom come and stay with Owen and meet Noah. I was able to deliver him, hold him immediately, and spend as much time with him as I could. It was devastating and heartbreaking.  
But if this law had been in effect, we would not have had that option. I had terrible hyperemesis. Before Noah’s diagnosis, we were discussing implanting a feeding tube for the remainder of my pregnancy. We would have had to do that. We would have to wait. To explain every day to our two year old that yes, his baby brother was in mommy’s tummy now, alive, but that he would die within minutes of being born due to the severe brain damage that left him unable to even breathe. And I would have had to deal with every person who I saw in the next 4 months congratulating me. Asking about our baby, and deciding whether or not to tell them, or whether I could wait until I was alone to cry.  

In addition to surgery to implant the feeding tube for me, I would have required another surgery. Because of his hydrocephalus (excess fluid in his brain that was crushing it and causing massive brain damage) his head was growing rapidly and a vaginal delivery would not be safe. So I would need a cesarean. I wouldn’t be able to hold him right away, because I would be in surgery. I would be strapped down and stitched up while my son was dying. I would have to lay down on that table knowing that the law said that my son had to die away from me.  

My son Noah now has a younger brother, Samuel. He doesn’t replace his brother, but having him here helps me heal. But if I had been forced to have the cesarean at 36 weeks instead of inducing at 20 weeks, his pregnancy would have been very different. Having less than 18 months between deliveries after a cesarean puts you at greater risk for a uterine rupture, which can be life threatening for both mom and baby. My boys are only 16 months apart and it took us months of fertility treatments to have Samuel.  

There are so many choice that a ban like takes away. And they all harm parent and siblings who are already enduring the worst grief imaginable. The fact that Pence would choose to specifically target families like our, to take away our right to let our baby go with peace, is unconscionable.  

So please, consider me when you cast your vote. Consider all of the other families like ours. Consider that it could one day be someone you love. And consider what a vote for a ticket with Mike Pence on it does to us.  

Capture Your Grief Day 27: Family is Forever

I have three little boys. Between Noah and Sam I had one confirmed miscarriage and several more suspected. They all ended very early. We weren’t using the fertility drugs yet, and that had never resulted in a living baby for me.  

This is our family. Three little boys and our shooting starts that passed so briefly but were so wanted. So loved. Our family isn’t whole. It isn’t complete. Pieces of us are missing. But we hold onto each other. Love each other. And we talk about those who live forever in our hearts.  

#CaptureYourGrief #CaptureYourGrief2016

Capture Your Grief Day 26: #WhatHealsYou

#Whathealsyou

  • Your siblings
  • When people talk about you
  • When you are treated like a full member of our family
  • Making items for other bereaved families
  • Acts of kindness in your name
  • Feeling close to you
  • Talking about you
  • Your birthday rituals
  • Including you in holidays
  • Writing about you
  • Seeing hot air balloons
  • Seeing butterflies


#CaptureYourGrief #CaptureYourGrief2016

Capture Your Grief Day 25: I Am

I wish that Noah was alive today
I remember my mom’s voice when I told her the news.
I could not believe we had to choose a funeral home before they started my induction.  
If only we knew why. 
I am a mother of three beautiful boys even though you can only see two with me.  

I am a bereaved mother.  I am not alone.  I am 1 in 4.  


#CaptureYourGrief #Captureyourgrief2016

Capture Your Grief Day 24: Consiously Becoming

Before and after.  Everything changed.  We weren’t carefree before.  Not with infertility, and prematurity, and HG under our belts.  But we had this last little innocence.  And then it was gone.  There is no more looking at heartbreaking, terrifying stories and thinking “it won’t happen to us.”  It can.  It did.  It could again.  
I think I have an easier time discussing the big topics with Owen.  Talking about death on a daily basis with a toddler will do that.  I worry less about whether a topic is “age appropriate.”  You cross the bridge in front of you.  You have the conversation in words they can understand and go from there.  

I think before I would have been scared to talk to him about death. But now it’s something that he understands and can integrate in so many ways.  He was pretending to be a robot earlier today.  He told me “We are a family of five robots.  But one is out of power.”  Blending Noah into his story seamlessly.  

I’m not sure where we are all going and who we are becoming.  But I am both more anxious now, and more sure.  Each child changes you forever,  no matter how long the life.  


#CaptureYourGrief #CaptureYourGrief2016

Capture Your Grief Day 23: Sounds, Seasons and Scents

October is pregnancy and infant loss awareness month.  Capture Your Grief.    And the month Noah was born.  From beginning to end there are memories.  October 1st, the first ultrasound to show a problem.  To October 23rd when we picked his ashes up from the funeral home.  Halloween, with the first times I left the house and saw people.  

October is quintessential fall.  The leaves start turning, nights get cold, pumpkins start to appear and I’m taken back there.  


#CaptureYourGrief #CaptureYourGrief2016

Capture Your Grief Day 22: Pearls of Wisdom


You think you won’t.  Your child is dead, how could you ever smile?  Ever be happy?  Ever find something funny?  But you do.  Life keeps going.  It seems cruel, but it does.  And you feel guilty.  You smile, you laugh, you breathe easier for a few minutes.  And then it hits you.  You aren’t supposed to be happy.  You feel like you are betraying them.  How can you enjoy things that they will ever get to enjoy?  

But you go on.  And you keep smiling.  And eventually it doesn’t feel as bad to feel happy.  You go on.  Not with out them, but for them.  You will smile again.  And that’s ok.  

#CaptureYourGrief #CaptureYourGrief2016

Capture Your Grief Day 21: Relationships

Loss can be hard for a lot of people.   I had several people unfriend me on social media either shortly after Noah was born, or around the time that they were pregnant themselves.  For them I’m the proof that it can happen to anyone.  And they don’t want to know that.  

And then there are the people who you become closer to.  The people who were truely there in the thick of it.  Or those you connect to because they get it in a way that only someone who has been through it can.  

And then there is family.  Owen and Sam.  We talk about death in ways that I would have never imagined talking to kids under 5.  But we talk about death, a lot.  

Death is hard.  Grief is hard.  Everyone grieves differently, so two people who experienced they same thing don’t grieve in the same way.  Grief changes you.  Your relationships have to change with it.  


#CaptureYourGrief #CaptureYourGrief2016

Capture Your Grief Day 20: Gratitude

I can’t be grateful for Noah dying.  But there are things related to his death that I can be grateful for.  

I am grateful that in this day and age the topic of pregnancy and infant loss is less taboo.  I know people who lost babies 30 or 60 years ago, and they weren’t allowed to talk about their babies. They weren’t even allowed to see them.  

I’m grateful for the technology that allowed us to know what was coming.  To talk to other families that had been there.  To call NILMDTS for pictures. To buy some items for him.  To think about the memories we wanted to make in the short time we were able to hold him. 

I’m grateful for the internet to let me connect with communities and other families who have been through this loss, so that we can support each other. 

And I’m grateful for friends and family that remember Noah with us.  Reading all of the #kindnessfornoah posts really helps us to feel less alone on his birthday.  I’m so grateful for everyone who reaches out and remembers with us.  

The thing about gratitude is it doesn’t take away pain.  I am grateful for all of these things.  And so much more in my life.  But joy and gratefulness don’t cancel out pain or grief.  They sit next to it.  They can bring in more love.  But they don’t cancel the grief, pain, or love that is already there.  


#captureyourgrief #captureyourgrief2016 #whathealsyou