Monday, March 28, 2016



"An angel in the Book of Life wrote down my Baby's birth, then whispered as she closed the book, 
'Too beautiful for Earth.'" - author unknown

It was my honor to dedicate Saturday’s run to baby Natalie and her family.  As I exited the protected and shaded trail hugged with trees that showed evidence of budding new growth, I was overcome by the vibrant sun and vast blue sky.  On this crisp, early-spring afternoon, the sun warmed the chill from the air and I slowed down for a moment to feel the sun kiss my skin and revel in this gift.  Inspired by the sky’s fresh brightness, the emergence of buds on trees, and the bountiful rays of sunlight, I then propelled forward, taking Natalie with me every step of the way. 

I am so grateful Natalie brought the gifts of new spring to me – a bright, abundant, full sun dancing overhead and new buds of green enriching the previous winter’s bleak canvas.

No mother should ever have to bury her child, but the day after Leah did this unthinkable act she wrote:

“Natalia Rose was born on 9/11/13 at almost 32 weeks, 3 lbs 10 oz, healthy and breathing on her own, with a head full of dark, wavy hair and long fingers. She was born at 11:28 am via c-section, and I saw her for the first time late that evening. She was doing great and I was so happy. At 3 am I was awoken and taken to the NICU. Natalia's heartrate had suddenly dropped. I watched for 30 minutes as they tried to no avail to save my baby, treating her for shock and infection. I held her briefly and she passed away in my arms.

We found out later that fluid had accumulated around her heart and caused it to stop. It's an unlikely risk of the catheter used to feed preemie babies; such an extremely rare occurrence (one-tenth of 1% risk) that the doctor did not even consider it or treat her for it.

Yesterday we buried her in the Little Angels section of the cemetery. Please remember our sweet baby girl, who we love dearly and wanted so badly, and all babies who are gone too soon.”

Sweet Natalie lived outside the womb for just one day, from 9/11/13 to 9/12/13.  Leah adds, “Her given name is Natalia, but we call her Natalie. She should have survived. There is one-tenth of one-percent risk of cardiac tamponade (fluid buildup around the heart) anytime a preemie is given a feeding catheter. It is treatable, but the doctors were unable to detect the problem in time.”

For beautiful baby Natalie who is gone from this world far too soon, my run full of light, love, and natural beauty is dedicated to her and her beloved family.


About run to heal:

I run to heal.  It’s where I learn to hold my grief in my heart as love.  It’s where I practice putting one foot in front of another.  It’s where I honor Quinn and other babies who are gone too soon from stillbirth, miscarriage, or neonatal death.  In preparation for my first 
Mother’s Day as a parent to both a living and dead child, I asked my friends and community to dedicate a workout to Quinn.  This was a powerful, soulful, and healing experience.  I felt lifted up and loved by the community.  I was humbled that so many people carried Quinn’s spirit with them.  I hope to accompany others on their journey after child loss and hold them and their son or daughter in my heart.  It is an opportunity for me to honor their child and learn their story.  Together, we will learn how to put one foot in front of the other and run to heal.  Dedicate a run here

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