Thursday, May 19, 2016


Miscarriage ectopic pregnancy run dedication

I knew this day would come and I am delighted I could hold Ryan closely in my heart to experience it.  During my morning run dedicated to Ryan, nature’s landscape was painted full of birds.  The most birds I have seen this season, of every color.  Birds that were bright yellow.  Vibrant red.  Glowing blue.  Shiny black.  Woodpeckers whose drumming echoed overhead.  The birds’ welcoming songs were so compelling that I took off my headphones and relished in their beautiful symphony.  In fact, while I was taking Ryan’s below dedication picture, a bird gently joined us on the neighboring branch.  I was delighted and practically moved to tears. 

Miscarriage ectopic pregnancy run dedication

As if the assembly of birds wasn’t magical enough, I was struck by the sight of a mama deer with three baby fawns in the field upon exiting the trail.  They were sitting there, totally undisturbed and peacefully symbolizing Sarah’s three babies that she holds in her heart.  

Why experience such enchantment on Ryan’s run in particular?  The only answer: Ryan’s magic. 

To endure a loss and relinquish the hope of trying for another child takes incredible strength.  In Sarah’s case, however, it doesn’t end here.  With a heart that is full of undeniable love, she shares her story: 

Our decision to try for a third child was not taken lightly. We have two beautiful daughters and wondered if another child was the right or responsible thing to do....and yet, we both felt pulled to have another baby. My first pregnancy in this attempt looked like a miscarriage. But something wasn't right. It turned out that it was an ectopic. I had to take methotrexate and monitor my hormone levels. A week later, it ruptured and I went into emergency surgery. This experience was not only heart-breaking but also very traumatic. I am still dealing with the anxiety and trauma it caused.

About 6 months later, we tried again. When we found out we were pregnant, we went for an ultrasound as soon as possible. We saw a heartbeat and were relieved the baby was in the right spot. Two weeks later, we were crushed to learn there was no heartbeat at a follow up ultrasound. I waited two weeks and had a miscarriage at my home at 10 weeks. It was a three day birth event. I was consumed by grief.

Two months later, I was pregnant again and had a very early miscarriage. The fall out to my body, my mental health, and my family, of the roller coaster of losses has been huge. And after a while, I knew I needed to grieve not just an embryo but the baby I had been dreaming of for two years. I feel very connected to a boy. An energetic, impulsive, curious and playful boy. We decided to name him Ryan. I feel very connected to him. He plays me our song, sends me rainbows and is as much a part of our family as my two living daughters. Whenever something curious happens around our house, my youngest often says "I bet that's Ryan's magic."

I think the courage and strength that it takes to try to conceive after loss is all too often overlooked.  Sarah in particular has endured far too many losses for one lifetime yet inspires women who know this journey by getting back up and putting one foot in front of the other and being an incredible mother.  My heart deeply goes out to Sarah, her family, and to the babies they hold tightly in their hearts.  

Miscarriage ectopic pregnancy run dedication

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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