1. Describe the process of getting pregnant. Was it easy for you? Was it hard? Did you have to go through fertility treatment?
Getting pregnant with our first daughter, Kathryn, was surprisingly easy for us. I dealt with 9 months of morning sickness and developed preeclampsia during labor but she was born healthy at almost 42 weeks. When we finally decided to try again (which we pushed off for quite some time because of the pandemic) it took us about 6 months of trying. We got pregnant with our angel Peggy in early 2022.
2. What was the pregnancy like? Was it easy and smooth? Hard with a lot of pregnancy symptoms?
My 2nd pregnancy initially presented like my first. Lots and lots of vomit. I have a hard time with morning sickness and typically end up medicated. However at around 10 weeks with Peggy my morning sickness faded. I originally hoped it just meant this pregnancy would be different but sadly it was our first sign something wasn’t right
3. Did you have a reason why your losses occurred?
Our NIPT results came back as 98% chance of Trisomy 21 and testing after our D&C confirmed this. Our doctor’s best theory for our loss was complications from this diagnosis
4. How far along were you?
I was 13 weeks when we discovered Peggy had no heartbeat. Based on scans they believe she had stopped growing around 9 weeks.
5. What are your babies names?
We are now lucky enough to have 3 children. Kathryn, age 5 ½. Our Angel, Margaret (we call her Peggy). And now our newest, Westley, born 3/3/23
6. What was the birthing/loss experience like?
My doctors and I decided a D&C would be best based on the length of the pregnancy and that I didn’t want to miscarry at home. I was concerned about any trauma that may cause my oldest daughter. It was scheduled for Good Friday and while everyone was incredibly kind it certainly had a strange impact on our Easter. Trying to create a “normal” holiday for our oldest while grieving our loss was a weird balance.
7. Did you get to spend time with your baby or get any keepsakes?
We kept all ultrasound photos but didn’t have much in the beginning to remember her. We were lucky to receive a keepsake set from Project Robby and also chose to save all the cards we received after we chose to announce our loss
8. How was the medical treatment/support during your loss?
The staff were all lovely and very gentle with their approach the whole time. I also appreciated having the procedure in the out patient surgery wing of the hospital as opposed to labor and delivery. It made things less traumatic to not have to interact with moms bringing babies home that day
9. Did you receive support from family and friends after your loss?
I was incredibly lucky that more people were supportive than weren’t. It was so nice to know that we really had people behind us during the hardest season of our life
10. How were your emotions after loss? (Angry, sad, scared, confused, etc)
My emotions were all over the place but mostly I was sad and angry. Even now, almost a year later I still have days or events where I’m incredibly angry that our angel isn’t here or get randomly sad but there are far more good days now than hard ones
11. How did you know you were ready to try again?
I don’t know if I ever had a moment where I knew I was ready. It was more a matter of let’s try and I’ll deal with the emotions once it works or doesn’t. Probably not the healthiest emotional approach but it worked for us at the moment
12. What has the pregnancy with your rainbow baby been like?
Pregnancy with our rainbow was full of anxiety. I would be mostly ok but the 2-3 days before any doctors visit I would just be a mess. The anxiety of a scan or getting bad news lasted the time until he was in my arms. The baby loss community is amazing but it has also made me aware of all the different ways something can go wrong. I was also dealing with preeclampsia again. We did try very hard to find the moments of joy though, it was important to us that Westley’s existence did not become solely about being our rainbow. He deserved his own moments of celebration
13. Is there anything special you do to remember your angel baby/babies?
We have a memorial space in our house which we decorate for holidays. We also talk openly about our angel in our house. Talking about grief and loss with our oldest wasn’t always easy but we felt she deserved to have it explained. So she will often mention her sister as well
14. Is there anything you want others to know about going through loss?
It’s ok to feel your feelings. You don’t have to feel grateful 100% of the time just because you’re pregnant after loss. You also won’t feel grief 100% of the time. The joy doesn’t mean you’ve forgotten your loss and the grief doesn’t mean you’re not excited for your rainbow
Find out more about Project Finding Your Rainbow.
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