I Have a Confession

I have a confession to make. I haven’t been honest with you and I’ve struggled with coming clean. I feel like I’ve been living a horrible lie since we haven’t shared this with anyone.

Most of you know Emmett’s story. You know that doctor’s suspected our baby had developed Turner’s Syndrome, and that was the reason for many of the complications during our pregnancy. Babies with Turner’s Syndrome only have one X chromosome so it only affects females. Because of that diagnosis, we picked the name “Emma” shortly after the ultrasound for our baby but we only told a few family members.

After I delivered, the nurses and doctors took the baby away for measurements. I asked to hold “Emma”. They came back in asking, “What makes you think your baby is a girl?” We replied, “The doctors told us our baby had Turner’s Syndrome and that she’s a girl after our ultrasounds.”

Continue reading “I Have a Confession”

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Big Bang Theory Star Candidly Discusses Miscarriage

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Melissa Rauch, who plays Bernadette on CBS’s “The Big Bang Theory, announced her pregnancy in a story for Glamour magazine that’s going viral this week. In the piece, she also reveals candid reflections about her own miscarriage and all of the grief emotions that have been taking place and the anxiety during her current pregnancy.

I’m so proud of her honesty and openness about such a sensitive subject because it’s something that needs to be discussed. In today’s society where everyone seems to idolize people on the TV and movie screens, sometimes it takes a celebrity’s story for the hard issues to come into the forefront and start a meaningful dialogue.

I hope more people out there read her story and understand how commonplace miscarriage and pregnancy loss is, even in the United States with all of our modern technology and breakthroughs of Western medicine. No one is immune to the heartache and pain. Miscarriage doesn’t discriminate and it can happen to anyone — your sister, your cousin, your college roommate, your idol from TV.

Congratulations Melissa (and husband Winston) on your pregnancy. I wish you all the best. But, Melissa, you’re already a mommy. Don’t sell yourself short. You became a mommy once you became pregnant, and no one can take that title away from you.

P.S. I sincerely feel really awful about tweeting my letter for TBBT production team to you months and months ago in my own grief. I still fall prey to the illusions that even in Hollywood miscarriage can’t happen.

A Special Announcement

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I’m excited to announce that I’ve joined the writing team at Still Standing Magazine as a regular contributor. I’m working on my first posts now, which will start to appear later this summer.

I am really humbled to be joining a wonderful and talented group of writers from all over the world. I hate that we’re all connected by such a tragedy as losing a child. I hope that I can share some of the things that I’ve learned and that I’m still learning in my grief process since losing Emmett over a year ago.

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In other news, I also wanted to share that Emmett’s Sole Mates raised nearly $4,000 to benefit The Massachusetts Chapter of The TEARS Foundation and was the third place team for fundraising total. We fell just short of our $5,000 goal but Brett and I are truly amazed at all of the love and support we have received from family and friends, far and wide who made a gift in honor of our sweet baby. If you would still like to donate, you can! Just click here.

The walk was held back on June 25 and it was a gorgeous but emotional day. Overall, the chapter raised more than $43,000, crushing their fundraising from last year’s inaugural walk. As one of the walk committee members, it’s so inspiring to see a community come together to be able to help provide supportive services to those in need.

I also appeared with several of our other chapter members on a local TV show as a panelist discussing pregnancy and infant loss as well as the walk. You can still watch it here:

Finally, it may seem quiet over on Facebook this month. I’m taking a hiatus from the social networking site as part of my self-care routing for the month of July. You can still find me Tweeting or Instagramming if you want to see what I’m up to these days. But, I shall return to the land of Facebook again in August.

Review: Return to Zero

Streaming right now on Netflix is the Minnie Driver-led “Return to Zero.” The 2014 film is a brutal, honest and emotional look at one couple’s (Maggie and Aaron) experience after the stillbirth of their son, Arthur. It’s an independent, low-budget movie that also stars Paul Adelstein, Alfred Molina and Kathy Baker.

Watch the trailer here:

I’ve been wanting to watch this for a while after hearing about it in some of the “angel mommy” discussion boards. But, I just haven’t been able to bring myself to watch it as I knew it would be emotionally draining. I didn’t feel comfortable watching it with Brett at home so I finished it last Friday since it was cool, gloomy and rainy on a “summer” day. It took 17 Kleenex to get me through. (That’s on-par with “The Notebook” for me for those wondering.)

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Happy Birthday, Emmett

Happy birthday my sweet baby boy.

I can’t believe it’s been 365 days since I held you. My heart has never loved another thing so greatly until it met you. I think of you each and every day. I still wish for all of the moments that were taken away from you, me and daddy.

I miss you with all of my being but I know you’re in a better place where you aren’t in any pain and nothing can hurt you. But, oh, how I wish I could’ve protected you from that.

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There’s a whole world of family and friends that love you and who never were able to meet you. I hope you look down on them sometimes and see just how loved you are even though you’re so far away.

Your tree is starting to bloom. There are tiny little buds on it ready to blossom in the warm summer breezes ahead. Your Nana sent a cute little solar figurine of a little boy with a turtle that’s sitting under it now. Your Uncle Bumppo sent flower bulbs that me and Daddy will plant this weekend. Your fur brother Dakota sends the biggest cuddles and wet kisses.

Daddy bought a cupcake for your first birthday in heaven. We’ll blow your candle out tonight together and snuggle listening to Disney music for our little Mouseketeer. I hope we can see you in our dreams where I imagine you’re bouncing around and giggly, loving all that life has in store for you.

We love you Emmett. Always.

 

Reasons Why I Share Emmett’s Story

Some people wonder why I’ve been so vocal and willing to share our story about Emmett this year. There are several important reasons that I’ve made this decision. No, it’s not because I want to be that annoying person that is constantly filling up your newsfeed with dead baby stories.
 
Some of the reasons are:
 
1. It helps us heal. It validates that my son was real and that I will always love him no matter how much time has passed. I will never forget him or those few months that I carried him as a part of me. I don’t have much to remember him with, very few photos and only 18 hours of time to hold him next to me. I can never get those moments back.
 
2. I am 1 in 4. They say that 1 in 4 women will experience a pregnancy loss. I don’t buy it. It has to be higher. Unfortunately, the U.S. doesn’t record all losses. I’m still so surprised just by the number of women who have reached out to me with their own stories of loss in the past year alone. If you think you’re alone, you’re not. This is the hardest club you’ll ever be a member of. Period.
 
3. It’s helps others. My experience has helped others in the past year deal with their own losses and grief. While it’s painful to share, it’s also comforting to know that you’re not alone in this. There is always someone to talk to. Even if you can’t talk with your family or friends, there are support groups, mental health counselors and other resources available to you.
 
4. It spreads awareness. The sad truth is that not all pregnancies are successful and not all babies survive. I was naive to think that once we made it past the first trimester we would be ok and guaranteed to have a healthy pregnancy. That wasn’t true. By sharing Emmett’s story, I hope my honesty helps dispel this myth that is propagated by the media and we can shift the conversation to make this a less taboo topic to discuss.