Pregnancy and infant loss awareness and support became a passion of mine after losing a baby to miscarriage and another to stillbirth. Through these losses I was connected with two other mommies, Jana and Paige, who also had lost their precious babies. From this relationship Memorial Walk for Babies was born, with our first remembrance event in 2009.
My story began with losing my first baby to miscarriage in 2006. At my first OB appt at 11 weeks, my joy of pregnancy was crushed when learning during the ultrasound that our baby had stopped living at about 8 weeks. That same week I had a D&C.
Almost 2 years later we found ourselves expecting our second child. After the end of my first trimester I thought we were home free. Wrong. At 36 weeks pregnant our son had stopped moving in my womb. Knowing in my heart that this would not turn out well, my best friend took me to L&D where my fear was confirmed. Our son had died. On October 15th, 2008 I delivered my beautiful 5lb 5oz baby boy, Branum Austin. Branum’s stillbirth was the result of a cord accident. His life, and death, forever changed me.
I was blessed with a son, Hayden, when I married my husband in 2005. Since then we have been blessed with 2 more children. Brynna, who is a beautiful, compassionate, old-soul that is now 6 years old. Lynden is a funny, independent 3 year old fireball.
The journey of life after loss never ends. You don’t get over it. But I have learned to live through this journey and I hope that somehow I can help others learn to live too.
On November 20, 2007 at 8:04 pm my husband and I were blessed with a beautiful healthy baby girl Katie-Jo Lynn Cook, 7lbs 14oz and 21 inches long. She was a happy and playful baby, slept all night and had a healthy appetite.
On February 13, 2008 around 10:00 am I received a phone call while at work that Katie-Jo had stop breathing after finishing a bottle and laying down for nap. She was rushed to the local hospital and every measure was taken to try and safe her life, but unfortunately it was not enough. I believe that God needed her for a more important reason that I will not ever understand until I am reunited with her in heaven. Her cause of death was due to her aspirating milk into her lungs while she was taking a nap that day. Now I know that I have a very special angel in heaven watching over us and understand that she is in a much safer and better place. We love our sweet precious baby Katie-Jo very much!!
On December 2, 2010 at 7:41 am we were blessed again with a new baby boy Kody Wayne Cook 8 lbs 1 oz and 18.5 inches long. Our new journey is rewarding and filled with excitement and fear. We hope that our new bundle of joy lives a long and happy life! We know that Katie-Jo is his guardian angel!! We are now so thankful to have a second son born Feb 12, 2014 10 lbs 1 oz and 22 inches long Kase W. Cook. He is a big bundle of joy.
I joined many grieving mommies in October 2010 with my first miscarriage. I did not understand how I could love and miss someone so deeply I had only known about for mere weeks. We lost another precious baby in May 2011 ending in a D&C at 12 weeks. We then welcomed our girls – Kaitlyn on July 1, 2012 and Claire on December 31, 2013. Shortly after the 2014 remembrance event, we said goodbye to our third angel before being surprised with a baby boy, Grant on September 1, 2015. We welcomed our seventh child, fourth living, Nathan, to the world on July 10, 2017. I have been blessed and supported by Hearts Abide through individual volunteers and the work done as Memorial Walk for Babies since 2010 as simply a member of the community affected by their cause, but have had the pleasure of supporting Jana and Loretta as a director since 2014
My first experience with pregnancy loss was in the early stages of my mother’s pregnancy when she miscarried my twin brother Austin Jacob. It’s funny how you can miss someone so much that you never remember meeting. There is a special bond that happens between twins even in the womb. When I was little I would “pretend” what it was like to have a twin to learn later on in life that I did indeed have one, we just didn’t get to grow up together.
Fast forward years later to May of 2014 when I was holding back tears during Mother’s day service at church. For over 9 months my husband and I had tried getting pregnant only to be disappointed month after month. Little did I know that I was indeed pregnant that day. 6 days later I would take a pregnancy test and celebrate a positive result. We were so excited to share with our family as they knew we had been trying to get pregnant for a while.
Our first two appointments were great. Baby B’s heart was pumping and “she” was growing on target. It would be at our 3rd appointment, at 10.5 weeks, that we would learn that we miscarried our Sweet Baby “B”. We were devastated to say the least. I tried delivering the baby at home but was unsuccessful so at 12 weeks I had a D&C.
2 months after our D&C we learned that we were pregnant again. Excited and nervous I prayed every day of that pregnancy for the Lord to breathe life into our son. Asher was born on May 26th, 2015 at 11:06 am weighing 6 lbs 12 oz and measuring 19 ¾ inches long. Asher, meaning “happiness”, is full of joy and keeps us pretty busy as he is constantly learning new things.