You are currently viewing Episode 1 – Your Future

Episode 1 – Your Future

Today we are launching the first episode! I give a little bit of my story with pregnancy loss and pregnancy after loss. I explain what we are going to talk about on this podcast. Later, we discuss how you are the creator of your future, and that your life after loss can truly be a beautiful one. 

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Welcome to the podcast. Today we’re gonna give a quick introduction of me. And what to expect. On this podcast, we will share the story of a little angel and then we are gonna talk about the future, not like in a time travely way, though. If you love what you hear today, would you please subscribe and leave a review?

It’s really simple and it helps the podcast. Get in front of more Angel Mamas, or please share this with your friends. If it resonates with you or you think it would help them. I would really appreciate it. Every episode we are gonna start with the story of a little angel, and you are welcome to submit your story on my website, smooth stones, and we will read it on the podcast.

What I wanna hear is about your angel’s life and about what he or she taught you. Because no matter how short their life may have been, they always leave us lessons. So since this is the first episode, I wanted to talk about my daughter Lauren. ’cause she is the reason that I am here doing this in the first place.

Lauren got to go to Disneyland. We hadn’t told anyone that we were pregnant, but I was probably four or five months along. And when we found out we were pregnant, we thought we better take the older kids to Disneyland because we won’t be able to do it with a newborn for a while. So we went and we rode the rides and we had so much fun and it was just wonderful knowing that she was in there getting to have that experience.

Lauren was a quiet baby. She was pretty chill. But then when she would wake up, She would stretch and wiggle like crazy. When she was born, she had the most beautiful dark hair that I think would’ve been curly. All my other daughters have straight hair just like me, but my mom and both my brothers have really curly hair, and I kind of, that Lauren would’ve been the one that got those curls.

Lauren taught me that I am strong. That I could go through something that was basically my worst nightmare and come out the other side. She also opened my eyes to find more empathy for people, and she taught me how to really serve someone. I grew up helping people a lot. My mom is a great example of someone who just always gives and gives and helps anyone that she knows of that needs something.

But I had some times where I would want to help, but I wouldn’t know how, or I would kind of talk myself out of it, like maybe I wasn’t really close with someone who had something tough in their life and I’d wanna do something for them. But then I would question it and second guess it and or I thought that I had to do something more special or.

I make a fancy dinner, but after Lauren died, people were so kind to us and they brought us food and treats and they babysat our kids and they sent cards and letters and texts and all of it meant so much to us. And I realized that anything is better than nothing and you just give what you can. And so, I have a busy life with six kids and a husband who is very busy, and sometimes what that looks like is a frozen lasagna and a bag of Caesar salad and some French bread and a little bit of chocolate.

We always need chocolate when we’re having a bad day. Lauren’s little life has blessed so many people. Because of her, I’ve been able to serve and sew and make tiny clothing for other babies. And do so many things in her honor. So I’m really grateful for all the lessons that Lauren taught me and for how she changed me.

Lauren is my fifth child. I’ll give you a quick rundown of my family and I’m sure we’ll get into more detail in other episodes. I just wanna give you a little bit of my background in pregnancy loss. My first four pregnancies were mostly uneventful, and I loved being pregnant and the cute babies I got out of it.

Lauren’s pregnancy was also pretty boring. The only thing I had was a little bit of elevated blood pressure. That was until four days before my due date when we didn’t feel her kicking. She was stillborn the next morning. You guys know how devastating that is. For me, my husband, and my cute little girls who were so excited for their baby sister.

A few months after Lauren was born, we were blessed to be expecting again. That pregnancy was incredibly hard for me in every way, but our little boy was born healthy. We later experienced a miscarriage at 14 weeks. We don’t know the gender of that baby, but we named him River. Our last baby was born a few years ago at 35 weeks after a difficult and very high risk pregnancy with all the appointments and a hospital stay and a preeclampsia diagnosis.

He was tiny but healthy, and we were able to take him home right away. Both my living rainbow babies are such a joy to us, even though getting them here was anything but easy. Okay. So enough about me. Let’s get started. I love podcasts. It was probably just a few years ago that I kept hearing about podcasts, but I really didn’t even know what they were or how to listen to them.

Then one day I actually asked someone. They informed me there is this pretty purple app that is already on my phone. Ever since I have listened to so many awesome lessons from wonderful teachers and podcasts changed my life. They not only made folding laundry so much more enjoyable, right? But I found my own life coach and I loved her so much that I joined her program and eventually decided I wanted to become a coach myself.

That’s why I am so glad you were here with me today. If you are listening to this, you have probably been through a loss, maybe multiple losses. I send you all my love and I think about you every day. I really do, and I keep you in my prayers. There are some great shows out there, Agre addressing grief and loss, but this one is gonna be a bit different.

We will talk about all of that, but we are also gonna talk about life after loss and how we can take back control of things that may have been shaken during the tough times. We will learn real, applicable tools and ways to manage your mind that seriously changes everything. Without anything outside of you actually having to change.

We will talk about post-traumatic growth and how to deal with difficult people. We’re gonna talk about parenting after loss and raising rainbows and sibling grief. We will learn a lot about handling pregnancy after loss, choosing whether to try again and dealing with the anxiety along the way. And then what happens when the baby is here, and it’s still kind of hard with a newborn.

Some topics will be broad and some will be specific, but I think you’ll find something you can take away in each episode. That is my goal, and if you like what you hear, I hope you’ll reach out to me with any questions or to see if you would be a good fit for coaching. I remember after our daughter, Lauren was stillborn, I was in shock.

You know that fog that stays with you for weeks and you are going through the motions, but life just feels so strange and out of order. During that time, I found many voices sharing their stories and I was so grateful they did. But one of the things I didn’t love was the idea that we would be in pain for the rest of our lives.

Of course, we will miss our babies our whole lives. No question about that. But I knew there were people all around me and throughout history who had endured many different trials and they had found healing and purpose in their lives after loss. That is what I wanted. So I read many, many books. I love books.

And if you are gonna listen to this podcast, I hope you love books too, or you’re gonna learn to love them because I love reading them about them, and I love sharing what I learn. I read so many stories at this time, and I learned so much from them. I thought about how I wanted to live my life, to honor hers and what I could do to help other people.

I contemplated the lessons her short life had already taught me and what I was going to do with them moving forward. The truth is that life can be beautiful no matter what comes our way. And so today I wanna speak about the future. No matter what you have been through in the past, you get to decide your future as one of the things that I do to help other lost families is go to the hospital and visit them when their baby passes away.

A lot of people wonder how I can do this, how I can go and be there in that difficult time because I do get to meet these families. On their worst day. But even then, the thought that keeps me going back and that helps me through it is that I know that they will be okay. I see in their future, like I’ve seen hundreds if not thousands of other lost families who are broken on that day, but who are resilient and they do find joy again.

I like to use the analogy of our life story when I’m explaining this concept. We all have chapters in our lives. Some of them might be about our parents or our childhood. Then there’s the middle school years, and I know a lot of us might wanna rip those pages out, but there they are. And if you’re one of the lucky few who loved middle school, congratulations, we would have chapters on relationships.

And building our family. What is your story right now about your family? How many chapters would it take to explain everything? Mine would be pretty long, but like I said before, I will save those details for another time. Right now in your book, you have everything up until today, but tomorrow and every day in front of that is blank.

For some of you, that can be really scary. You don’t like the unknown. You feel like you’re at the mercy of what happens to you. It’s a powerless place to be in, and it can feel exhausting and overwhelming. This is totally normal. Our brain doesn’t like not knowing what is coming next. It freaks out a little or maybe a lot, but you don’t have to listen to it.

Did you know that? One of my favorite quotes is, you don’t have to listen to everything your brain tells you. What that means is you have choices. You have the power to be more intentional with what you believe, and so you can create your future. Many of you’re familiar with Elizabeth Smart, but if you aren’t, she’s the most amazing, strong woman.

She was kidnapped from her bedroom when she was 14 years old. And was held and abused for nine months. When she was finally reunited with her family, her mother told her, these people have stolen nine months of your life. Don’t give them another second. The best punishment you could ever give them is to be happy and live your best life.

Elizabeth was a victim. I can’t even imagine what she endured and how challenging her recovery was and still is. Some days. But she refused to stay a victim. She chose to create the life she wanted to live, and she has gone on to support, encourage and inspire so many people. She has used her trial to create change and to speak out and to advocate for victims.

She has the cutest family with her husband and three sweet babies. Her life is not perfect, of course. There are always more challenges, but she faces them with strength and grace. I love that about her. Do you have a hero who inspires you like this? Maybe someone in your family or an ancestor or someone else who has overcome some huge obstacles?

You know what? You inspire me. I love seeing the incredible work other baby lost moms are doing in the world. We’ve created a community that is one of the best. I see people gathering wedding dresses and turning them into burial gowns. I see people sewing diapers and making hats and blankets to dress these tiny, tiny babies.

I see you making jewelry or stickers to put on people’s car. You’re creating fundraisers, writing blogs. Creating Instagram accounts to share your story and to allow others to share theirs. You’re writing books, you’re working to prevent stillbirth and working to change the culture in healthcare and to educate doctors and nurses on how to treat us when we go through a loss or a pregnancy after loss.

None of us would’ve ever asked to join this club, nor would we wish it on our worst enemy. I know that. But we are here. This is the truth of our lives. And now the question is, what will we do next? What do you see in your future? Have you thought about it soon after your baby passed away? The future probably seemed pretty bleak, and that’s okay.

But I want to tell you that you have so much to offer this world. You can create the futures you want even after all you have been through. You may be wondering how that’s a common question, but you know what? You don’t need to know how. We know very personally that we can’t control what comes, but we can open ourselves up to it.

We can’t open up to all the possibilities, even the possibility of an incredible life on this earth without our baby physically with us. I was looking up a quote I wanted to add to the podcast. You’ve probably all heard it before or possibly seen it on a t-shirt. I didn’t know the poem it came from, but I loved it so much.

I wanted to share it with you. I probably won’t be reading a ton of poetry on the podcast, so just bear with me today. It’s called The Summer Day by Mary Oliver who made the world, who made the Swan and the Black Bear. Who made the grasshopper? This grasshopper, I mean the one who has flung herself out of the grass, the one who is eating sugar outta my hand, who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down, who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes.

Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face. Now she snaps her wings open and floats away. I don’t know exactly what a prayer is. I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass, how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields, which is what I have been doing all day.

Tell me what else should I have done? Doesn’t everything diet last and too soon? Tell me. What is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life? It’s so amazing, right? The description of a moment on a hot summer’s day and contemplating the meaning of life. I love it. I have a little exercise for you to do.

I may give you homework like this from time to time because I think writing things down is really powerful, but it’s totally up to you if you want to do it or not. I still love you. Think of yourself as an 80 year old. She is wise. She has lived your life. She can see how everything turns out. What would she say to you, her younger self?

I think she has a lot of compassion for you. I think she would tell you that everything turns out okay and she would probably tell you to worry less and just live more. Whether you have big plans or only making it through one day at a time. Right now, I want you to remember that the future is yours. You can create the most incredible life story because the best stories always have some conflict and uncertainty and heartache.

Otherwise, they would be pretty boring. Are you ready to say yes to all of it? To this entire human experience? Even without knowing how I have got you. We’re gonna learn together and I’m gonna show you the way by showing you that it is entirely up to you. Mama, you have been given a gift now. What do you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?

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