This last week has been incredibly surprising and more than slightly overwhelming. I never expected for my simple thank you to the Fairy Godmother to have spread so vastly and quickly. But I’m thankful for it. I’m thankful that people know my daughter’s name and story. I’m thankful that a light is now shining on families like mine, who have experienced a perinatal loss. Because families like mine need help. I’m lucky. I got pregnant, and therefore experienced this nightmare, here in Maryland. The reason that is lucky, is because of the support system that has been cultivated here. My doctor’s office, Annapolis OBGYN, referred me to my specialist, Center of Maternal Fetal Medicine Annapolis, who in turn referred me to my counselor, SilverLeaf Services. They worked together to bring me to the resources I needed so that I could enjoy my last weeks with my daughter. Without this kind of team working together, in conjunction with the labor and delivery nurse Annie O’Sullivan, there is no way I would be in the same mental and emotional place without them. There needs to be MORE systems like this all over the country. I am terrified to get pregnant again, and I’m even more terrified that it will happen somewhere else. Somewhere I don’t have access to CMFM Annapolis, and my counselor, and Annapolis OBGYN. This could have happened to me while we lived in NC, or when we lived in GA. And I’m unable to imagine what the results of that would be. My counselor, Heather, and my labor and delivery nurse, Annie, did and are still doing so much to help me. I don’t have the words to explain or thank them. Everyone that has lost a child, or is facing the loss of a child like I was, needs a Heather and an Annie. I hope that my story going viral has helped the medical community open their eyes.

Thank you, everyone, for the kind words and for reaching out to me when my story touched you. It helps more than I can explain, to know that Analiese has impacted all of you. For those that think I’m weird and creepy by having my daughter’s ashes inside the teddy bear: all I can say is I hope you never learn how it feels to hold your child as they die. Many of the articles have twisted my words, so I would like to set the record straight. I do not talk to the teddy bear as though it is my daughter. I don’t force people to interact with it, nor do I trick them by not telling them what is inside. The Fairy Godmother was a wonderful compassionate woman who UPON HEARING that my daughter’s ashes were inside the teddy bear, treated the bear as though it was a child. And that is what meant so much to me. She acknowledged my grief. I understand that it is the internet, and people will always talk shit. But in case it was due to a misunderstanding, at least now you know the truth.

My daughter is dead, and that is something that I have to live with every single day. Carrying her ashes doesn’t make me crazy, it makes me a grieving mother. I’m not delusional. I’m not in denial. I’m just grieving. And grieving is hard.

For all the parents that have extended their condolences, and told me of their own loss, I am so sorry that you have experienced the same pain I have. All we can do is try to move forward.



14 thoughts on “Wow

  1. I saw an article about your sweet time in Disney World with your angel. I’m incredibly heartbroken and devastated to hear that people have cruelly judged and misunderstood the beauty of your story. As a fellow bereaved mother, I can’t imagine having to read those things. I’m so sorry. I lost my daughter on January 2, 2016. My daughter also developed hydrops, and I’ve found a lot of support in the Hydrops Fetalis Support Group on Facebook. Sadly, many of the mothers there share our experience. Your angel baby and your love for her touched my heart. I’m so sorry she couldn’t stay. I know the most commonly overused statement is “let me know if you need anything” but I know life after loss can be lonely and confusing. If you ever need an understanding heart to speak to, please don’t hesitate to reach out.


  2. Your strength is inspirational. I can’t imagine what it is like to walk a day in your shoes, but you are strong! Thank you for sharing your thoughts, experiences, and pain with the world. I hope this brings awareness and hope to people everywhere, and helps you in your journey to heal, and overcome your fear of pregnancy. I look forward to reading your future entries.


  3. I have been truly touched by your story and your daughter’s story. I am so very sorry for the pain you are in and I pray you will be comforted in this grieving. One of my friends experienced a similar situation with her son Benjamin and also had lovely pictures made with him after his passing. Though she has other children, she has never forgotten him and still wonders years later what he would be like at each age.

    I am so grateful you had the experience at Walt Disney World which validated your motherhood and your daughter’s very existence. It is my sincere prayer that others will see opportunities to make a difference just as that lovely woman did in your life. Please know that I believe the bear is a precious idea to have your daughter with you and anyone who thinks ill thoughts of such a thing has never been touched by such a loss. I am blessed with children and grateful they are healthy, and my heart breaks for those who have lost a child. How anyone can think ill thoughts in such a situation is beyond my understanding.

    Your daughter has beautiful parents and I am grateful to have experienced your story. Thank you so much for being willing to share with strangers. May you be blessed all the days of your life.


  4. ‘People do/say what they do/say because of where they are.’ I pray for the people who have spoken negatively and pray that they won’t stay where they are.
    You and Stefan have proven wise and strong beyond your years. I’m so thankful God orchestrated such a wonderful network of support for you to rely on during this dark valley. I pray for you both and am so glad to see you using this grieving time to inspire others. I believe God will continue to use Analiese’s story to reach others.
    Start a grief group, Analiese’s Heartbeat, and take it across America. Show the other health systems and cities how needed this is.
    I can’t relate to your pain specifically. Any words I say will seem empty in light of that. I can say thank you. Thank you for reminding me that behind every pair of eyes is a story to tell and I need to look and see the story, not just the person. Thank you for reminding me that we all have a choice to become bitter or better. I’m glad you’ve chosen to become better. I continue to pray for you both. Jen


  5. Hello! I read your story and blog. I am sorry you and your husband had to experience such a loss, but she will live in your hearts forever. She is in a better place now. I too experienced a loss. My daughter Faith was born at 21 weeks in February and lived for just 1 hour. My pregnancy was a rollercoaster of emotions as well. My water broke at 14 weeks, and we found out she had downs syndrome. My Dr said i would likely miscarry within 72 hours but she stayed strong and fought till the end. I didnt want to hold her much when she was born because i knew it would hurt even more once she was gone but my mom held her till the end.. it is hard losing a child at any point in life but i think it is much harder when it is your first. I have 2 kids and they help with the healing and distracting my mind. I pray that you and your husband can find happiness again and maybe someday be blessed again.


  6. There should be no need to explain yourself. These are people who will always find negativity and misery. No matter what the subject or circumstance is. You are grieving and my g-d no one should ever feel your pain. You have the right and the encouragement to do anything that will make one minute, one second of your day be better for that small moment. Your grace and attitude is an example of what this world needs more of. Please do not waist your time addressing these heartless soulless people. You are brave an an inspiration. Thank you for sharing your story.


  7. Analiese is such a beautiful name. She looks precious. What a neat story. Sorry for your loss. I have never experienced a loss, but have too many friends who have. My heart aches for you and your family. Hugs.


  8. I don’t know you, but I will never forget your story. Your daughter was very beautiful, and I am so greatly sorry for her passing. You will always be her mother though, and she will always be your baby girl. I will be praying for you and your husband and healing for your broken hearts. I wish I could reach through the computer screen and give you a hug.


  9. I lost by daughter 13 years ago. She lived for 25 minutes. All this wonderful support was not available then. I felt very alone. There is no right or wrong way to grieve. I wish you peace on this journey. Be gentle with yourself. One thing I found helpful was journalling. I wrote whatever I felt. Time doesn’t let you forget but does bring some peace. The first year is especially hard.


  10. Your strength is amazing. May God continue to wrap His arms of love around you. You are making your beautiful daughter proud!

    Moore, SC


  11. Voce e tantas outras maes tem todo esse direito de viver seu luto em paz.
    Com o tempo tudo passa e entao ficara aquela saudade e a certeza de sua bebezinha esta la ceu junto a Deus e seus anjos…
    Seja feliz junto a sua familia e no tempo certo de Deus podera ter seus lindos e sonhado filhos!


  12. I am so sorry for your loss. I saw your post on Facebook and my heart shattered for you. I know all too well the feeling your experiencing. My first pregnancy ended in a stillbirth. I wish I had thought of something as creative as you did to honor my daughter. I now have two beautiful children. I can tell you first hand, you never will
    Get over it or move on. You just kind of accept your new normal. But new isn’t always bad, and keeping her memory alive is a wonderful thing. To think how many lives your daughter has impacted is truly astounding. I wish you and your family all the love and healing prayers in the world.


  13. I wanted to comment because I was struck by the similarities in our stories. I lost my son Finn on January 24th of this year. He was stillborn at 35 weeks after I couldn’t find his heartbeat and we found out he had full Trisomy 9 after testing on his cells. I think our babies had close to the same due date. Analiese is a beautiful little girl and she is lucky to have a mommy who is keeping her memory alive and honoring her in so many ways. I can relate to a lot of the grief and feelings you have written about; it is so, so hard to learn to navigate each day when our babies are no longer living. Please feel free to reach out if you ever want to talk with someone who lost a baby to Trisomy very recently and understands a lot of what you are going through.


  14. Pingback: Una mamma in lutto confortata da una fatina speciale | The Social Media Mama

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