My Second UBAC – Link’s Birth

His story started so long ago it’s hard to know where to start.

After Midna, we thought we were done having children. It’s hard to want more when you might end up with only more loss and not life. It took us a long time to realize that the fear of loss wasn’t reason enough to not try, and we needed to believe we could have another Midna, beating the odds and sticking around.

In June, after catching the very first postpartum egg in May, we found out we were pregnant. To say we were shocked was an understatement! I took a test simply to rule it out, and when it came up positive, Blake and I couldn’t speak. Glade was the first to say something, and she was simply so excited it broke us out of our trance!

His pregnancy wasn’t easy. My best friend’s baby due the same time left too soon leaving a hole in our hearts and lives, HG hit hard and early, I had spotting and bleeding yet again, needed progesterone supplementation again, and further into the pregnancy had heart issues that turned out to be nothing but were scary before we knew what was going on.

But on we went. Soon we were nearing the end of another journey and about to embark on something we couldn’t have planned for.

On February 11th, at exactly 39 weeks, I had contractions most the day, but that wasn’t abnormal for me. When Midna went to bed at about 8:30 that night, they picked up and started to hurt in my back, a sign I was in labor with Midna, but wasn’t sure it would be the same this time. Blake was at work until 2am the next day, so I went about cleaning a bit and setting up the pool and other things, just in case. It kept me occupied.

At 12:30am, I decided things weren’t going to happen, so I went to bed.

SURPRISE! At 1:22am I woke up thinking I had peed myself, and was able to get to the bathroom without leaking much, but when I sat down on the toilet, my water broke in a giant gush that wouldn’t quit. I’ve never had my water break when I could see it before, and it was the strangest thing watching my belly shrink before my eyes.

The light was off since I thought it was simply pee, so as soon as it went from a gush to a trickle, I turned the light on. I was shocked to see the water wasn’t clear, baby had definitely passed meconium, though it wasn’t thick. I panicked a little, not having planned for this, and as soon as I got up, I called Blake to tell him. He went about getting someone to come in so he could come home, and I called my best friend Brenda to tell her to head up, even if birth wasn’t soon, I knew I would need here there just for her calm and strength.

I listened to his heartbeat a few times, before, during, and after contractions, and he was doing so great, most of the meconium fear went away. The rest left when Blake came home and gave me a blessing. We weren’t worried at all about it anymore, it seemed like just another part of this birth now.

One thing I knew but never realized or internalized, when your water breaks, it just keeps leaking every single time you move or baby moves or it just feels like it. I soaked through so many pads I eventually just used towels and cloth diapers instead! It was wonderful when the pool was finally warm enough to get in, then I didn’t have to worry about leaking.

Blake got home at around 1:50am, our girls woke up around 2 (I’m betting they could feel the energy in the air), and Brenda got here at about 2:30am. The pool was full, but cold, so pots were set to boil.

Blake had been up since 7am, so he tried to get Glade back to bed around 3 and he fell asleep instead. Brenda worked on getting the pool warm, and let me just say, this woman is a goddess. While I had very irregular contractions that hurt worse than my entire labor with Midna, she was heating water, keeping the girls occupied, cleaning, giving me counter pressure and massage just when I needed it most, and just being amazing.

My contractions never became regular. They would range from double peaking to two or five or ten minutes apart, and there was no way to know what would be next. The pool took the edge off, but even then, every one felt like my back, hips, and abdomen were being ripped apart.

At 5:30am, after Brenda got Midna to sleep in the Boba, I transferred her to the bed and got her to sleep next to Blake. The two contractions I had getting her to sleep deeper were the worst pain of my entire labor. Women that lie in bed during labor are my heroes, there is no way I could have done it. In the back of my mind I kept thinking that the hospital was just down the road and I could get an epidural so fast and be out of pain. Thank goodness it was never more than a hormonal thought of a woman in labor.

Once Midna was asleep, I spent a few contractions leaning over the birth ball with Brenda being amazing with her counter pressure. Soon after I got back in the pool, and she dozed on the couch, while still making sure I was drinking water and the pool was staying warm.

At around 6 (I think, I’m really fuzzy on times), I couldn’t find a position that was comfortable at all during contractions. Kneeling hurt, hands and knees hurt, sitting hurt, floating in the pool while holding the handles on the side hurt the least, but was still painful. I ended up lifting myself off the bottom of the pool, stretching out, and wiggling like a fish during each contraction. I must have looked ridiculous.

I wanted this labor to end so badly. In the back of my head I remember thinking that low tones and mantras birth babies, so during every contraction I would try to keep my voice as low as possible, and say “open, open” over and over. When the peak would near, I would feel almost out of control, like nothing would help and this contraction would last forever, and I would almost beg my body to open and have this end. Then it would ease, and I would rest until the next one.

The double peaking contractions were the worst. Just when I thought it would be ending, it would start again, and I felt so incapable of handling it. Thankfully they didn’t last as long as the first half, but I was so tired by the end of them that I worried they would keep going that way and I wouldn’t be able to catch up.

I knew that I could still have hours of this left, and tried to push the thought out of my head. Thoughts like this don’t help, and I needed to stay positive, even if just in my head.

At one point I remember looking up, and I could see outside getting brighter as the sun came up. This made me so mad. It had been less than six hours since my water broke, in my head I knew it could last until the sun went down, but seeing that light was so unnerving.

Right after, I had a contraction that felt completely different. It hurt so much worse, and then in a burst, my body started pushing. I had no transition, no regular contractions, no sign that I was this close, and my first thought was that it was too soon, but then I felt that hard head move down, and I flipped over to lean over the side of the tub.

Everyone was sleeping, Brenda was dozing, and I remember (and I’m so sorry about this!) getting mad at her and yelling for her to get Blake, as if that wasn’t what she was doing! He ran out, and calmed me down, and I made sure Glade was out there.

I pushed two more times and his head came out, while giving myself counter pressure on my clitoris and labia, and I was expecting it to be just like Midna, but his body didn’t follow. The contraction ended, and I felt his head and body rotate. I reached around to feel what was going on because my brain didn’t understand why he wasn’t out. His shoulders rotated, another contraction hit, and I pushed out one shoulder and arm and the rest of him followed right behind! 7:22am, exactly six hours after my water broke, he was born!

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Time to Help Another

Over the last few years I’ve seen some amazing acts by amazing people.

The last few months I’ve seen women raise money to help others with their homebirths through Birth Without Fear. I’ve seen people donate to a family that lost their baby to SUDC, and others that have donated milk to a man that lost his wife in the birth of their daughter.

But no one has impressed me more than Amber. Two and a half years ago she found a used Ameda Elite and kit for me to use and set up the donation fund. Last year she and her husband took on a project that still makes me smile whenever I think of it – a breastfeeding calendar, which they barely break even on but it helps so many. They are doing this for a second year now and I am so excited for them.

The biggest thing Amber has done though is helping others with birth. She is a doula and midwifery student through Ancient Arts Midwifery Institute, but more than that she helps women trust themselves. A lot of the faith and trust I had for my UBAC was because of her. I never would have even considered a UC for any of my children if she hadn’t come into my life.

Right now, she is on the path to becoming a midwife, and in my opinion, a midwife the world needs. The only problem is supplies. Most midwives have a bit of money to pick up what they need or they do it slowly throughout their apprenticeship, but even then they spend thousands just getting the basics together.

I want to pay Amber back for all the good she has done. The world needs a midwife like her, one that trusts women completely, and money shouldn’t stand in the way of that.

Consider helping her out. Even just $1 is more help than you know.

Instead of setting up a Paypal or fund like that, an account has been set up through Midwifery Supplies Canada. This way you can send $1 or $100 or actually buy an item for her, but no shipping costs and no fees so she can just pick it up, and that way you know your money is actually going to something. The best of both worlds.

Best part- Amber has some goodies if you donate.
$10: a handwritten note, birth quote, and bookmark
$25: a one hour distance Reiki session
$100: a free 2014 breastfeeding calendar

It may not seem like much, but truly every dollar helps. All you need to do is either donate money HERE or buy an item HERE. When you buy any item, just add in the comments or notes when you buy it’s for Amber.

Easy peasy and you could be helping someone achieve something amazing.

My Rainbow UBAC

At just shy of 37 weeks I started in the nightmare of prodromal labor. Things stopped and started so much that I was getting more cranky by the day. I feel bad for anyone that had to put up with me in the last few weeks of this pregnancy.

Thanksgiving came and went, which was a big stress gone, and Midna turned back to LOA from ROP after which was a load off my mind and took away so much of the back and side pain. Blake had to work the graveyard shift Friday night/Saturday morning so we were praying that labor wouldn’t start until he was either home or later the next week.

Saturday afternoon and night we finished setting up the Christmas decorations. Last year I was at a birth where mom labored under the Christmas lights and that had been a dream of mine and since nothing was really happening I decided I needed that.

Saturday night we played the WiiU as a family, hung out, and Glade went to bed around nine that night. Blake and I spent some time together and then I sent him to bed to sleep because I started having strong contractions again and knew I might need him to be up with me later and he needed rest first.

I hung out online for a couple hours and things started to space out at around midnight so I decided to see if I could lie down during the contractions and get some sleep.

At around three the contractions woke me up but they were far enough apart I could sleep inbetween even though it hurt a lot during them. Finally around four I couldn’t stand lying down anymore so I got out of bed and turned on Doctor Who.

I let my best friends know that things had picked up again, but not to worry because odds were they were just going to die out like every other day, especially since I was a day before my due date. I bounced on the birth ball and walked around for about an hour and then I woke up Blake for counterpressure on my back. I had to squat or lean over something during the peak of every contraction which was new, but I still didn’t believe this was “it”.

After a few countractions I felt I needed to have things set up, so I sent Blake to get the air pump to get the pool ready and I labored watching more Doctor Who. We set up the birthing space and I sent him back to bed since I was doing alright on my own and wanted the time to figure out what was going on.

Glade woke up between seven and eight and moaned with me during the contractions which was really cute. She turned on some movies and just stayed in the background. I was worried once she was awake things would die out, but they kept going.

The contractions stayed about the same intensity and varied a lot in spacing and length but I let my friends know at about 9 or a little after that they needed to come. Blake went to get breakfast for him and Glade and I got in the pool to see if it would take the sharp edge off my contractions.

It was around then I started to get curious as to whether I was dilating or not, but I didn’t want to be disappointed if nothing was happening like all the other times. So, I asked Glade if I could have the hand mirror and I checked to see if maybe there was the purple line above my anus. I can’t say how shocked I was to actually see it. Right then I realized that it might take a couple days, but we were going to have our baby and things weren’t just doing nothing.

My friends arrived a little after ten and we chatted and laughed for a couple hours inbetween contractions. They weren’t content just sitting around so they did my dishes and cleaned my kitchen (which is a huge thing, it was gross since I hadn’t been able to do much with dishes most of my pregnancy and Blake had been working 70 hour weeks again).


At around noon I needed to pee so I got out of the pool and then spent the next hour or so leaning over the counter or chair or toilet while someone pressed on my back and hips. They were so intense and different. I had to squat a bit during them because it felt like my hips were being pulled apart from my back. I knew it wasn’t back labor because the pain stopped after the contractions, but it hurt!



At one or a little after (I’m really fuzzy on times) I decided I needed back in the pool and I was able to sleep inbetween the contractions for a little less than an hour. At about then I felt a lot of mucus come out with a bit of blood and decided now I needed to check myself and see what was going on.

I reached in and couldn’t believe it. I could feel her sac, which was bulging a little bit, and once I figured out where my cervix was, I realized I only had about 3/4” left before there was nothing there. My contractions, even at this point, were still a few minutes apart and not overly long. We were still talking and laughing inbetween. I wasn’t shaking or sick, I hadn’t started swearing, so all of us figured it would be at least another 3-6 hours before baby was born.

I sent Blake to get everyone food at around 2pm, and we sat around talking while we ate. I don’t know what it was, but as soon as my burger was gone, my contractions hit HARD. All the sudden I needed to swear and get angry. It was about 2:30 when that started, and I was so pissed. I couldn’t sit still through the contractions like I could before, I had to be moving. I was still in the pool, but my hips had to be shaking, I had to be rocking, and I had to be swearing or trying not to cry. I kept telling myself that I can make it through one more contraction like this, and then it would hit and I would feel so defeated because it hurt so bad.

Finally, for one contraction I was leaning over and just growled. I was mad, I was hurting, and I needed to push. Instantly I felt the air come alive. This wasn’t the little grunts women give when they start to push at the peak of a contraction, this was full pushing and meaning it. I was worried for a second that it was too soon since I had just checked myself an hour ago and wasn’t fully dilated, but then another contraction hit and I could have cared less.

For most of my labor, except for counterpressure when I wanted it, I didn’t want to be touched. I didn’t want people near me, I just wanted to do my thing and then rest. Once pushing hit, I NEEDED Blake. It was more than just needing him with me or something to hold onto, I mentally and physically needed him right there with me. He talked to me through each contraction, through each push, and it felt like no one else was even there with us. I was leaning over the side of the pool, one hand holding me up on the bottom of the pool and the other grasping his hands. I was leaning over his arms and he was whispering in my ear that I was doing this, that our baby was coming.

My hips felt like they were being ripped in half, and I could feel something descending, but I knew it wasn’t the head. I pushed at now what I know was 3:01 and my bag of water exploded. Instantly I felt so much less pressure and so much better. It only lasted until the next contraction, but oh it felt so good.

The next contraction hit and I felt her head start to come down. I reached in to feel and her head was right there, not yet crowning, but so close. For a few contractions she would come down beautifully but it hurt and I wasn’t ready for her to be born yet so after the contraction was over I would let her head recede back. I had no idea time was moving so quickly, for me everything was about her head, pushing, and Blake.

Finally, I felt her start to crown and it burned. Inbetween pushes I’m pretty sure I screamed that it burned, but I’m not sure. I let her go back one more time but knew the next couple pushes her head was going to come out whether I wanted it to or not.

The next push I felt her head come even farther and I felt my labia tear a little bit which burned so badly that I quit pushing. I didn’t want to tear and had wanted this to go slowly, but she and my uterus had other plans.

The next push, I screamed and growled and out her head came at 3:19pm. I announced her head was out, just in case they didn’t know (haha) and even though the contraction was over, I needed her out of me. I pushed again, and she flew out at 3:20. It couldn’t have been more than 20-30 seconds from her head to body.

I felt her slither out and let go of Blake to pull her up. (If you want to see the video of me pulling her up/meeting her, head on over HERE).  Her cord was so short if our pool had been any deeper she wouldn’t have made it out of the water. It was wrapped around her leg, and I had to bend over and put her in the water a bit to loosen it enough to unwrap to see if she was a boy or girl. We were so sure the entire pregnancy she was a boy that when I saw her vulva I had to double check that I wasn’t just seeing things.

Not only was I in shock that we actually had a baby and I just gave birth to her but that we had a baby girl! Even thinking of that moment now has me in tears.

She was covered in vernix, and the pool was full of it. After a few minutes I sat back against the side of the pool so I didn’t have to lean on my knees. My tailbone hurt a lot so my friends placed towels on either side of me to prop me up so I wasn’t sitting on it and it helped so much. After her initial crying and getting mad, Midna became so calm and was just looked at each other. My friends kept replacing the towel covering her since the pool was cooling off and she needed to be warm and we were just so content.

She latched on (if I’m remembering time correctly) about 25 minutes after she was born and nursed for another 20. One of my biggest worries the entire pregnancy was if we would have trouble nursing and she was letting me know that things were going to work out. It was an amazing moment when I heard her gulp.

About an hour after she was born I needed to work on getting the placenta out (not for any worry, just because I felt it was time) so Blake tied the cord and Brenda cut it. It was so short we had to cut it about 6-8 inches away from her body as that was the only place we could reach without moving her. Brenda gave Midna to Blake and he had his first moments with her while they helped me squat in the pool to see if that would help the placenta.

It hadn’t detached yet, so I decided to get out of the pool since it was getting cold and sit on the toilet to see if that would help. My friends sat with me for a bit and nothing was really happening so I asked for a dose of Angelica to see if that’s the push I needed. At 4:45pm the placenta came out, except a piece of sac (I thought it was trailing membranes before it actually detached later) that was still attached.

I asked for more Angelica just to have, and for Midna. I figured if nothing else, nursing her again would mean I got to cuddle her. She nursed for about twenty minutes and was done, but the piece was still attached. I gave her to Lacie and I was starting to get frustrated. I needed to pee but didn’t want to pee in the bowl with the placenta. I wanted to get things moving and I felt a little stuck.

I asked Blake for a blessing, and he asked that I have calm and that things would progress naturally like they were meant to and we wouldn’t need to do anything else.

Brenda turned on the faucet and left me alone, and I talked to my uterus. I took the other dose of Angelica and then just let go. I felt my uterus contract, and I reached down and the rest of the sac came out at 5:45, so a little more than 2 hours after she was born. Right after, Brenda took the bowl with the placenta and I peed. It felt wonderful, aside from how much it burned.

I rinsed off and then checked for tears while on the toilet, and I could for sure see the labial tear and then with the swelling we could see a slight perineal tear but I didn’t see until the next day it was a bit longer than we had seen. It wasn’t deep, just long. (It’s healing beautifully though, with nothing more than comfrey, lavender, and witch hazel sprayed on with the peri bottle and me resting).

I got in the sitz bath and talked to Brenda for a bit, and then got in bed with my baby.

We weighed and measured her, 7 lbs 8 oz, 20”, and a 13 7/8” head which was smaller than Glade’s head and Glade weighed almost two pounds less.

Brenda examined the placenta a little later and the hole in the sac was just barely big enough to fit Midna. It popped and she slithered through that tiny hole like a snake. The biggest fear I had my entire pregnancy was my water breaking before I was ready for it, or before birth was safe. I know the fear was unfounded and I didn’t even understand why I had that fear, but it was there and strong. When we looked at my sac, it was so strong it took quite a bit for Brenda to even find the hole, and she even tried a few times to make a new one and it wouldn’t break. I think my body knew I needed that so it made the sac strong on purpose.

This birth was everything I needed. I had a baby, through my vagina, in my living room, that wasn’t breech. I had a baby with my own strength, my own power. I didn’t have anyone telling me what to do, I made every decision myself, no one touched me when I didn’t want it. I had my baby with my own everything. I have never felt stronger in my entire life.

I had my rainbow freebirth and no one can ever take that away from me.



I Never Understood the Empowered Miscarriage Until Now

****** Please do not read if you will be at all triggered.  This is the story of our loss two weeks ago, which changed the way I look at loss and at myself.  I believe that it needs to be talked about, but this warning is here to let you know that it will go into detail about my labor, so please, if you need to, protect yourself and don’t read*******

We’ve lost seven babies, most of them not considered babies by the majority.  To us, they are and forever will be our children.

With six of them, I knew that a woman could feel in control and could be empowered with a loss just the same as with a live term birth, but I didn’t have that.  They devastated me completely.  I didn’t feel any sense of closure or any different from them besides the overwhelming sadness.

Almost two weeks ago, at just shy of seven weeks, I knew something was wrong.  I couldn’t put my finger on it, but I knew the pregnancy was about to end.  People told me not to think like that, that I had to be hopeful, but I trusted what I felt.  From the instant I found out I was pregnant on New Year’s Eve, I felt off.  I couldn’t put my finger on it.  I was scared it was an ectopic pregnancy, just because I didn’t feel right with it.  I did go to the worst place, but I think that helped prepare me for what happened.

I spotted red once, at about five weeks, which made me up the herbs I was taking for my progesterone and to take it a little bit easier than I was.  It freaked me out completely.  At six weeks four days, I bled.  It wasn’t a lot, but it wasn’t spotting.  Strangely, it felt more normal than the tiny bit of spotting I cried hours over.  I think at that point, the hormones were already dropping every moment and I was less emotional and more prepared for what I felt was coming.

I bled a bit again the next day, and that’s when I knew without a doubt that the pregnancy was going to end before the weekend.

I was more emotionally prepared for this loss.  I’m not sure what was different.  I was in charge of what I was doing with the pregnancy, I had made it past six weeks, I knew my progesterone levels were great, and I was confident in my body for the first time in a very long time.  Sure, I was scared we would lose another baby, but that comes with our past regardless of how connected or not I feel to the baby.

Wednesday night, at six weeks five days, I didn’t feel right.  My brother and his wife had come over for dinner, and I just couldn’t get comfortable.  My pants and bella band felt way too tight, and no matter what I did, I felt crampy.  Something wasn’t right.  I went to lie down after they left, and after a bit of rest, the contractions started.

For an hour, I lied in bed with the pain starting in my back and wrapping around my waist every few minutes.  I had my husband run to the store for pads because I wasn’t prepared and knew I couldn’t use my diva cup for what was about to happen.

When he came home, I got up to pee, and the instant I sat down, the heavy blood flow started.  Clots the size of ping pong balls came out with it, and I could feel the energy in my uterus falling out.  It was the strangest thing I’ve ever felt.

I didn’t go to bed with my husband and daughter that night because labor came on in full force.  Anyone that tells you that an early loss is just like a late period is a liar.  It hurt.  A lot.  I tried everything to get the pain to lessen, and eventually just cried in our recliner because there was nothing else I could do.  I was in so much pain.

Every couple hours I would get up and go to the bathroom, and sitting on the toilet did help.  I would only bleed while sitting there, as if my body knew that it was the best place, and it felt good.  After it would slow for a bit, I’d get up and go back to my chair.

At four am, after the bleeding and labor had been going for almost nine hours, I was able to doze.

I dreamed of our baby.

He told me not to worry about what was happening.  He showed me what happened a few days prior.  I saw his little heart stop beating, and then I saw from the outside how my symptoms slowly went away every day that I hadn’t even noticed.  He told me that he did all he could, but the only way to fix some things meant he had to pass away.  He gave me a hug, and a kiss, told me that he would see me soon, and he was gone.

I woke up and went into bed with my daughter since my husband was heading to work, and I felt peace.

I knew that the baby hadn’t passed yet, even though I had been contracting all night and bleeding, but I knew it was still there and he was waiting for me to be okay with everything before he left completely.

That day I felt alright.  My husband came home from work early to help, and my parents offered to take Glade the next day for the weekend.

That night we were all watching a movie and I knew it was time.

I got up, moved around a bit, and sure enough, the contractions came back, stronger than ever.  But I was ready.  I didn’t cry, and they were more powerful than the night before, but they didn’t hurt as much.

I knew it was time for him to go.

After about two hours of contracting, I felt it all coming out.

I went to the bathroom and sat on the toilet, and a clot the size of my palm slipped out.  With it, I knew my uterus was empty.  I felt closure.

I did what my body needed for the first time ever.  I took control, I did things my own way, and it helped more than I could ever say.

I felt great with it until Friday night when I was home alone and then the grief hit me.  I knew it would, but I am forever grateful that I had one day of peace and one day of empowerment before the walls came crashing down.

I never understood how loss could be empowering, but I do now.  It is still devastating and soul crushing, but this one happened because he couldn’t stay here.  I don’t know why, and I wish I did, but he gave me my power back.

He gave me, me.

My Midwife

My brother and sister in law gave me this poem for Christmas (so I don’t know author or anything, but it’s beautiful) 🙂

My Midwife

The first hands to touch me to break my first fall
The first hands to lovingly guide me forwards
Before any other, to touch my soft skin
The first helping hand brought me out from within

A hand never forceful, but there if I need it
Such delicate patience and love to preceed me
Lovingly keeping watch, as I first bloom
Calm, steady presence holds firm in the room

Keeping my mother, smoothing her through
Angelic and graceful, that’s just all you
Discreet yet so present whatever may be
Troubles or calm, I know you’ve got me

This time like no other, we’re given to you
In love, complete trust I know we’ll get through
For you are the light, the grace we can see
The strong, able presence in our hour of need

All my trust you have forever and more
All my love you’ll have far beyond
We are connected as only can be
A saviour, an angel, my midwife and me

Guest Post – Sexual Abuse and Parenting

With everything that has happened with Penn State in the last few days, this post is needed.  This post is important, it is necessary, not only to those that are survivors of sexual abuse, but to people and parents that need to know the other side.  I received this from Rachelle, and please do be warned that this post can be triggering for anyone that has survived a sexual assault, assault, anyone that does not wish to read, etc.


I was a victim of sexual abuse when I was a child. My parents had no idea. It was an isolated incident and it wasn’t until I grew up that I realized what had happened was very wrong. I feel lucky. It could have been so much worse. However, it doesn’t change the fact that this incident still haunts me. It affected me very negatively. I feel like 99% of the time I am totally fine and have moved past it and certainly don’t dwell on it. And then a news story like this hits the press and I find myself shocked, hurt, and terrified that something like that will happen to my child.

I started worrying and it didn’t take long for it to turn into a full on panic attack. My thoughts were racing, my heart was pounding and I had trouble breathing. I was finally able to calm myself down but it just got worse from there. I began to hate myself. I hated myself for wanting and choosing to bring children into such a sick world. I felt powerless against the evils that exist.

I talked to a friend about it and her response was, “But you’re a good parent.” My parents were good parents and yet it still happened to me. Many children who fall victim to horrific things have good parents. I felt sick with worry. I felt vulnerable and afraid to let my son out of my sight. Ever. If my devoted, involved and caring parents couldn’t protect me, how could I protect my child? Having an understanding of the shame, guilt and pain that victims of sexual abuse experience, I felt horrified at the thought of not being able to sheild my child from those things. I felt my whole world collapsing in around me and felt as though I had no power over anything anymore. I felt defeated. Broken. I was mourning the loss of innocense that happens to children far earlier than it should and in such an ugly way.

After a while I began to separate my tragic experience from my son’s future. I forced myself to remember that this abuse has never and will never define me. I am not going to let it force me into paranoid parenting. I am not going to feel guilty for bringing my son into a world where, while dangerous, is still filled with more beauty and good than we can ever know. I decided to focus on the real reason I brought a child into the world. I chose to have a child because I believe in helping create a bright future for our world. I brought a child into this world because I have the capacity and desire to love like only a parent can. I know I have the power to be the kind of parent my son will be proud of. I know I can’t protect him from everything, but I can love him, teach him, and guide him through anything.

October 15th

Tomorrow is Pregnancy Loss Remembrance Day.  It seems to always catch me off guard even though I know every year that it’s coming.

Every year, we have had more loss and more heartache, and this year has helped me see that things can be so awful you want to quit, but you keep pushing because it is something you want more than you thought possible.

We have been trying to get and stay pregnant for 3 1/2 years, and have had six losses.  Each loss is so different, so fresh in its own way, but I find myself thinking more and more about the hardest loss we have had to go through.

On August 5, 2010, we lost our son at 13 weeks 5 days.  Sure, medical lore and knowledge would suggest you couldn’t know the sex of your baby that early, but we knew.  It was more than a feeling.  There really isn’t a way to describe it.

The last year has been so hard, and since tomorrow is a day to remember, I’m going to focus on the one bright star following his birth.

Three days after he was born, my milk came in.  I woke up angry and sad, I really had no idea that this could happen.  I was only a couple days shy of 14 weeks!  I knew ladies that had their milk come in with 18+ week losses, but I had no idea that I would need to prepare for this.

I asked so many of my friends how I could get rid of it as fast as possible.  I didn’t want the reminder that  my body could nourish a baby but not grow a baby.  One of my very dear friends suggested that I pump and donate to someone that truly needs it.

I’m still so incredibly thankful that she did this.  Everyone else was giving me ways to kill my milk supply, but she stood out and asked if something better could come from this.

I started pumping, and it just felt right.  It took about two weeks to get my supply up, but for those two weeks, I was strapped to my pump every 3 hours (except at night) and pumped for an hour to hour and a half each time.  I am lucky that I have an amazing supply, even without pumping at night.  At my peak, I was pumping 45 ounces a day.

I have amazing friends that donated money for a hospital grade pump and washable nursing pads, and so many amazing companies that sent me items for free so I wouldn’t have to do more than I was able.  Even just thinking now of the kindness of so many people is astounding to me.

In two months that I pumped, I was able to store a little over 1000 ounces, and it all went to three families.  I chose not to donate to a milk bank, and went directly to families that needed milk.

Pumping was one of the hardest yet rewarding things I have ever done in my entire life.  If I could go back and choose to keep going, I would.  In the end, the two months was all I needed to keep my mind off of the loss, and I knew that I didn’t need to push myself anymore.

His birth affected me in so many ways, but I am so grateful to my friend that suggested I pump.  His birth is now no longer a purely sad event.  Every day I do wish he was alive and well, but the gift he gave me and the families that needed breastmilk is more than I can ever repay.

October 15th we remember.  I remember my babies, the babies of my friends, and all the babies that have gone on.  I remember the sadness and the tears, and the hopes and joy that they can bring.

Tomorrow night, at 7pm (no matter your time zone), consider lighting a candle for one hour to remember the precious babies born too soon.  Just one hour, and it means so very much to all of those that have babies not on this world.  Even for one hour, our babies are remembered, and that is something that means the world.