Have you ever felt alone in your life after miscarriage, stillbirth or babyloss? Our guest today couldn’t find the support and community she needed, so she created it herself! Her tips will help you find the community you need.
Loss mom connection event Novenmber 9, 2023! Sign up HERE
Jelissa is a devoted mother who experienced the profound loss of her beloved daughter, Yvette. Yvette was conceived through IVF after a six-year struggle to conceive. Unfortunately, Yvette passed on May 18th, 2021. Since that heart-wrenching moment, Jelissa has committed herself to establishing a nurturing and empathetic haven for those who have experienced baby loss. Jelissa offers comfort and guidance to others navigating the challenging path of grief. In addition, she uses her platform to raise awareness and foster understanding around the profound impact of baby loss. Jelissa is also pursuing her master’s degree to fulfill her dream of becoming a therapist, where she aims to provide professional support and healing for those in need.
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Photo provided by Jelissa Umpierre
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Amy: Today I want to welcome Jelissa Ampierre. We’re so grateful that you can be here and share a little bit with us about building community, especially as you’re going through infertility. Um, and I just always start. My podcast asking my guests to tell us a little bit about your baby’s life because so often we’re telling the story of their death And those sad parts that are a part of our story, but I like to give a space just to talk about their death so if you want to share your baby and Anything that you remember just any memory that a mom would love to share about her baby And then any lessons that she taught you.
Jelissa: so my daughter’s name is Yvette. Um, I found out that I was pregnant, um, like January 28th of 2021. And so I had to do IVF. So, you know, you’re waiting for that phone call to find out, like, if you’re pregnant or not. And. I was sitting in a meeting at work and I knew I was like, I am so anxious right now. I can’t even think I can’t concentrate on what these people are saying.
So I leave and I’m walking down the steps and the nurse calls me and I run to the bathroom and she was like. She just sounded so excited. So I had like a good feeling and she told me that I was pregnant and I was just like, so ecstatic. I don’t think I’ve ever in my life have been so happy. And then, um, I’m like, okay, how am I going to tell my husband?
Like, I want it to be like, so, so cute and like aesthetically pleasing. , So he tells me he wants to go to, um, an auto shop to buy a car and I’m like, Oh my God, this is not how I thought this day would go. Like I thought I bought him like a basket and I made a little few things and then I’m thinking, Okay, I’m just gonna give it to him when we get home.
We didn’t get home till like 9 30 at night with a new car and then I like rush in the house and I bring in like the little box and like the paper saying that I’m pregnant. Um, and so that’s how I told him I was pregnant. I was going to tell him on his birthday, which is February 2nd, but I just couldn’t keep it inside, you know, cause we’ve been trying to get pregnant for like seven years.
Um, and then, so while I was pregnant, um, I had like a complicated pregnancy, but yeah. Yvette, I didn’t know her sex until like the day I found out that she passed away. Um, but during my pregnancy, this little girl loved lemonade and I needed to make sure that I would get lemonade every single day. And I was so scared that I was going to get gestational diabetes because of how much I was drinking it.
Um, But like, I, I like never had a craving so bad. . So she really loved, lemonade. Um, there was a time when we had an ultrasound. I can’t remember how many weeks, maybe it was like 15 or so. And she was doing like somersaults. Like in my belly, like over and over and I would just call her , like my dancing baby.
Um, um, my father is Dominican and we dance like bachata. So I would just say like, she’s dancing bachata in my belly. Um, I would sing to her. You are my sunshine every single day, like multiple times a day. Um, yeah. I have a lot of good memories with her.
Amy: That’s so sweet. And I’m right there with you and like the citrus club.
I was like all the lemonade and the limeade with my babies. Yeah. So is there any lessons that you feel like she taught you while
Jelissa: I was pregnant
Amy: or just any, any time?
Jelissa: Um, I think she taught me to, to be patient and to know that You are not in control of the future. You’re only in control of the now and your thoughts.
Um, because with my pregnancy, you know, I had like hemorrhaging and I was told very early that I was going to have a miscarriage. So, um, it became really hard for me to not think about the future. That’s really all I thought about if I was going to make it. But, um, two years Later, after I gave birth to her, I realized that I should have lived in the moment and I should have been there.
Um, while I was pregnant, I should have been like present in that time instead of worrying so much about the future and what was going to happen. Um, so that’s something that she really taught me and. At the time, you know, I didn’t appreciate it. But now it’s definitely taken. It gives me like a different perspective on life to make sure that I’m like grounded and present in the moment.
Yeah. On top of the 400 million things she’s also shown me in life.
they’re just amazing. And I think our children teach us lessons, no matter how long they get to stay with us. So thank you for sharing about her cuteness. Yeah, so I. I wanted to reach out to you and talk to you because you really are a great example of creating community and bringing people together.
And I wanted to have you share a little bit about what you’ve done. I know you do some lost mom connection events. Um, could you tell us a little bit about those and maybe other things you’ve done that I maybe have not seen and kind of, how did you? Start that. What was the journey to creating that?
I just realized recently that my first lost mama connection event was in January and it’s been 10 months. I didn’t even realize. Um, but so how it first came about was I was talking to another lost mom in the community. Um, and she was just asking polls on her Instagram, like what’s missing with this community?
And I thought like an event to have. A lot of us together in a place where we could connect with someone who really understands us. I felt like was missing and she said, well, then why don’t you like do that and figure it out? And I was like, okay, let me see what I can do. Um, so I found this platform. That is super, compatible with, like, sort of networking, but I really like calling it, like, coffee chat, um, where you have the opportunity of, like, speed dating or, like, speed dating each mom, if you want to say, um, like, that you have, like, four minutes to speak to someone and you can either extend the time or, like, continue to talk to someone else.
So you really, it really meant to me that you. You have all these moms in this community and you feel so alone, but you have this place here where you can meet these moms and you can find that support and you can find someone that understands you and won’t judge you and won’t judge you. You know, ask you those intrusive, silly, disrespectful questions or try to give you advice when you’re not asking for it.
You know, things like that. Like, these are all moms that understand the pain and how it feels. And I really wanted a place where we can all come together
and then, um. That mainly as well came about because I didn’t get any support when I lost my daughter, um, I had those family members that told me that God didn’t want me to have a baby or, you know, my daughter is in a better place. No, things like that. And I didn’t feel supported by anyone. And so that led me to starting this community on social media.
It was like a really helpful for me as well.
Amy: Yeah, I’m sorry people said that to you.
Jelissa: Yeah, I know it’s kind of it’s insane like when you think about it because when it when it’s another family member like a grandmother aunt or cousin or something no one ever tells you things like that I mean they might tell you like they’re in a better place or something but Like those people aren’t replaceable, but they think children are replaceable.
So it kind of blew my mind that those were the responses that I was receiving.
Yeah. And I love that this started from a question, cause that’s actually how I started my business, which somebody, you know, I had a life coach and she said, why not you like, and why don’t you start now? And that kind of propelled me forward to say, yeah, why not me?
Why not now? Like, why not create something? Um, you know, even when it doesn’t feel like. The easiest circumstances or, or you don’t know where to start. You don’t know how to do it. I’m sure when you dived into it, you didn’t know how to do it, but you created it anyway. So I had a question of, you know, anything good and that we, or any goals we set, there’s going to be obstacles, whether it’s.
You know, growing our family or starting a community. Um, so what obstacles did you have to overcome to create these connection events and even like your social media community?
Jelissa: Yeah. So, um, a huge obstacle, which I think I still struggle with now is like perfection, um, I also feel like I need to know every single detail of something before I can move forward with it, if that makes sense.
So with my platform, I needed to know what every single function does and how I can use it. Because when I’m trying to promote to have another speaker at the event, I want them to think like, yeah, I know what I’m talking about. And like, you know, and I want every mom to come in here and feel comfortable.
And so like, I can show them how the website works. So it’s, I like, cause I have anxiety. I suffer really bad from anxiety. I like to know what I’m getting myself into before I do something. And so me creating like YouTube videos on how to use the website or, um, Like little questions you can ask like during your sessions, like I just like to have like everything so perfect.
And I think that that is my issue to this day. And like, according to my human design, it says, like, you don’t have to do everything perfect to get it done. And I’m like, I don’t think this I don’t think they’re talking to me because that is not how I am. Like, I Everything has to be perfect. And especially when it comes to my daughter and honoring her, there’s like a different side of it.
It’s like, well, if it’s not perfect and I’m doing this for her, then I don’t even want to do it because like she deserves everything and she deserves so much because she’s not here. And I think that is what makes it hard for, for me to just like, let that go.
Amy: Yeah. So how did you get past some of that anxiety or perfectionism to just?
put it out in the world, um, and invite people in to participate.
Jelissa: I’ve had a lot of people tell me, you know, everything that you do is not going to look perfect to you, but it will look perfect to someone else. And that sort of helped me. Um, It was also the feedback that I was getting, like, people saying, like, how amazing the event was, um, the amount of information that was helpful for them, like, just the testimonials were something that really helped me keep pushing forward and really separate my thoughts from what I was trying to do how I was trying to advocate for the community because I get very into my head all the time.
I’m an overthinker. And but I think, like, the support of the community really pushed me forward.
Amy: Yeah, so it sounds like it’s that why, you know, when we can get out of our own way and our own stuff and issues and realize like you’re doing this for you to create a community, but also that greater purpose of like doing this for Yvette and doing this for other people to give them what you didn’t have.
Yeah, it did become like for. You know, I did my first event and it was just like a test run to see how it would work. And then I realized like this event is really for, it’s like to honor all of our babies, it’s to honor Eva, it’s to um, provide that support for everyone else. It’s like for everything that I didn’t have and I had my daughter, I felt like she guided me throughout the whole way and it just like went so smoothly and it worked out so well with her and thought and I don’t know.
I was just think like, I wonder if Yvette likes this or I wonder like what she would think about this, even though like she would be a toddler, but still it was just like with her in thought.
Yeah. Yeah. That’s beautiful. I love how creating this connection event for us, you know, that are still here really connected you with your daughter and you’re able to feel her.
So I think that’s. really beautiful. Um, and it’s something I’ve experienced as well. Okay. , what would you tell someone who wants to build a community, whether that’s just your own, like little support system, um, within your, you know, immediate area or online, or to do. Something like an event or a retreat or charity, whatever it is.
So what would you tell someone who wants to build community?
I would say a few different things. Um, I would say first remember why you’re doing it or just know exactly what you’re doing it for. Um, and. Make sure that it’s something that you really love and it’s something that you can talk about for hours and it’s not just like, something you’re checking off your to do list.
Um, and then also reach out to anyone in the community that you may. Look up to, um, if it’s something that they’re doing and you like to probably do something the same like baby loss coach or something like that, I would say reach out to them and just see what kind of advice and what kind of support they can provide you because it helps you know that you’re not alone and it provides you with that support to guide you through exactly what you want to do.
Yeah. You just reminded me of kind of, I’ve done a lot of like sewing projects and angel baby, donations that we give to hospitals. And what I found was the more I talked about it, the more I shared, the more it touched people’s hearts and they wanted to help and they wanted to be involved. And so if we can get over that part where, you know, we don’t want to say anything or we don’t know how to start or whatever, it’s just like the first thing is just to talk to someone.
It doesn’t have to be in a big way, um, but just opening up that connection. And for me, and I don’t know, I’d love to hear your experience, but for me, it’s like overwhelmingly positive and supportive when you move forward with. Trying to make connections like this.
Yeah. And that was going to be exactly what I was going to say is that, um, I think we forget how supportive this community is.
Um, and I mean, I say so many times, like, if it wasn’t for this community, I don’t think I would be doing any of this. Um, they really, it’s like, they’re rooting for you and they’re rooting you on and it’s like such a beautiful thing to see because on those days where you feel like you’re going to fail or you don’t want to do it.
There’s always someone that says like, Hey, I love what you’re doing or you’re getting random messages saying like, Hey, that event that you had, like, really helped me with this or like, you know, it’s just, you see that support and it just, it makes your heart so warm and it, I don’t know, I love this community and they just been like, so, so, so supportive.
It’s really nice to see.
Amy: Yeah, and you’re a great example of maybe the people closest to you. And I had a similar experience of like, sometimes the people closest to you aren’t the people. They’re not the ones that are going to be able to support you. So go and find them because they are there. Yeah.
Yeah. And someone told me this once that even though you. Your support circle is extremely small. It could be extremely powerful. So, even if you have like 2 or 3 people in your inner circle, um, that’s really all you need to be able to move forward. Um. But, you know, sometimes if you have like 100 people in your support system, and then they’re all saying the wrong things and they’re and they’re not setting boundaries.
And, you know, they’re, they’re just not the best people. Um, so, yeah, that’s important to, , setting boundaries with people and knowing who you want to reach out to and who is your person to go to.
I love it. All so good. Um, so let’s talk a little bit about, going through infertility and you’re going through IVF.
And, I guess, do you want to share, I guess before I dive into my questions, do you want to share just like, uh, we all have these stories, but maybe a condensed version of just your experience, um, in trying to grow your family and what that’s been like and where you are now.
Yes, so I’ll try to make this as short as possible because, you know, IVF is like year.
It feels like eternity. Um, so I guess I can start. My husband and I got married in 2017. Um, and I was, we were, we were also a couple that didn’t use any contraception. Um, at the time we were together for 6 years, um, and we still didn’t get pregnant. So it was a thought like. I wonder if something’s wrong with us, but we were so young, like we didn’t even care.
Um, so then we got married a year later I went to IVF clinic. I got checked all the works, everything came back perfect. Um, and then we were diagnosed as, um, unexplained infertility. Then we moved to Florida. 2020. I went to a new IVF clinic ’cause we still didn’t get pregnant. And they wanted my husband to get a semen analysis, um, and they checked his antibodies in his sperm, which came back as 100 or like 99%, meaning that he has antibodies in his sperms.
So that caused us not to be able to get pregnant for that whole entire time that we were trying. So we did January 2021. , I got pregnant with Yvette, very first pregnancy ever. , and then she passed away May 18th, 2021. Um, and then it took me two years. I want to say like exactly two years to, I can’t even say feel like I was ready, but it was really like time was ticking in my eyes.
And so I did my first frozen embryo transfer in May around the time that Yvette’s, um, second anniversary of her death, um, was and, uh, we found out that it was unsuccessful and now we are getting ready for our second frozen embryo transfer for November and
I don’t know why I’m laughing but I just, uh, I think it’s just crazy how we are here In this moment, I’m doing IVF and dealing with infertility and grief and loss and all this stuff. Um, but I don’t know this time feels a little different. I think because I worked a lot on my mental health. That was really like.
Everything I worked on in the last year. I lost so many relationships. I worked so hard on my energy, on my anxiety, on my depression. I worked so hard on myself. I could give you a list of all of the techniques I’ve tried and people I’ve seen things I’ve done, um, just so I can get to where I am today and I think, um, obviously it’s helped because I, I’m not the same person I was two years ago and with doing IVF, yeah.
It really, it really breaks you down. I want to say to me, it does. And, um, that’s when my mental health became really important to me. And so I’m remaining positive and optimistic and hopeful. Um, That it’s going to work, um, and I better find out on my birthday, November 24th, that I’m pregnant. That’s all I want to say.
Amy: Just that, that’s all.
Jelissa: That’s all. That’s my, my birthday present.
Oh, well, like I said, we are rooting for you and everyone listening, just like send her some good. Baby vibes, but you have been so open on social media and you guys have to follow her, at rainbow manifestations,
how has being very open online helped you through this process?
So I look at social media, mainly Instagram as my journal. Um, people love to journal, like in a notebook, I love to journal on social media because it’s quicker. It’s easier. It gives me that creative space. And I also want other people to receive this information.
being on social media really helps me create that. information and resource for someone else, if that makes sense. So posting about like how, what I’ve been going through with birth control, because I don’t want someone else to be on birth control and have suicidal ideations and think it’s them and not think it’s a side effect of birth control or going through another frozen embryo transfer, what the protocol may be because Someone else is doing the same thing as you someone has a thicker uterine lining.
Someone has a thinner uterine line, you know, just it’s just like so much information and if I can provide like some source of relief or support or knowing that someone is not alone. Then that’s I’ll use my platform for that.
Yeah. Well, I think you’re really achieving your goal because you do have a beautiful community there.
And, you know, I feel like since I’ve been following you that I’m on the journey with you. Um, and I haven’t had to go through the same things you have, but I think it’s just so powerful when we share our stories and we share our truth and we share like tips and tricks for the hard things in our life because it is, it’s almost like you have to become an encyclopedia of all these things that, you know, we all grew up thinking that this process was so easy.
And natural and sometimes it’s more complicated than that. So I love, um, that you’re, you’re doing that because I know it does take energy and effort, but yeah, yeah, I really admire you. And I know it’s, it’s not for everyone, you know, sometimes you’re going to be the one just watching, um, and listening.
Yeah, and I think also it was just a place where, um, when I did IVF, I didn’t know anyone who’s doing IVF. I didn’t even know was that it was as common as it really is. Um, I feel like I went to IVF blindly. Um, I didn’t have any information at all. And so I, that was also a reason why I wanted to create this space, because it just provides you with that.
Well, there’s like another Hispanic woman doing IVF and in our culture, it’s frowned upon. So if I can show that, hey, I’m breaking generational trauma, then hopefully that can help someone feel better about having to do IVF treatments.
Amy: Yeah. Well, I would love to just talk to you forever. You’re just, I love your energy and your soul.
Like I just feel, I mean, we’re over the heart on it, even through zoom. You can just feel it. And if you all follow her, you’ll feel it too. Like such a sweet person that I’m just grateful. You know, I get to be in your circle here, but, um, what message of hope would you give to someone? So I have two, maybe two questions in one.
What message of hope would you give to someone who is going through infertility.
I think like hope I think hope is complex. I think of it as grief. Um, because you don’t really know where it’s going to lead you.
Hope is hard, I think,
because you want to remain hopeful. You want to remain optimistic, especially with everything that you’ve been through and going to another IVF cycle because it pushes you.
But I feel like if it’s also hard for you to remain hopeful and I think that’s also okay because you have to do what works best for you and you have to think for what’s best for you as well. But sometimes I think like being hopeful is probably the best. Like, would you rather be hopeful or would you rather be depressed?
And so I’ll pick hopeful. But. Yeah. I don’t know, Amy. That’s such a hard question for me. And it’s okay that it’s hard. I think we all, you know, when it feels so out of our control, you know, what do you hope for? And when you’ve been through loss and loss again, and you know, you’ve hold, hold on to hope for so long, it can be tricky.
So I think there’s a space for just maybe not being hopeful or not judging yourself if hope is hard or complicated. Yeah. Yeah. Exactly. That’s exactly what I wanted to say. Yeah, and you are like in it right now. So. Yeah, that’s why I’m like, like the question is like so hard for me to answer just because like, I think of it like.
I need to be hopeful. If I’m not hopeful, then why am I even trying another round of IVF? I need to feel in my heart that it’s going to work and that’s why I’m trying again. That’s what hope is, right? And I have moments where I’m like, yes, it’s going to work. I’m so hopeful. I’m so optimistic. There’s no way it’s not going to work.
And then I have intrusive thoughts that I have to process that are like, What if it doesn’t work? And that’s where I feel like hope kind of goes out the window. Um, but like once you process your feelings, acknowledge it and all that, then that’s when hope like comes back in and says, Hey, I’m here.
Actually, we’re going to get through this. Yeah. Well, I think hope can feel scary. Like when you have hoped and then things go a different way than what you had hoped, right? It’s almost feels like you’re setting yourself up for more pain. Um, how do you, how do you deal with that?
when you are doing IVF,
I don’t know. I just feel like I can’t go into IVF thinking like it’s not going to work. I don’t have any hope in this. Like this all sucks. It’s just, nah. Not it for me, but I still allow myself those moments to feel hopeless. I still, I’m still human, right? I still have those intrusive thoughts and negative thoughts and I can’t pressure myself to just be hopeful.
Like, that’s it. So I think having both is just a good median of emotions. Yeah. Yeah. And it’s not easy. And I really appreciate you being honest, you know, and just saying like, it’s really not easy. And it can change from day to day, minute to minute. Right. And I really feel like, do I need to journal about this?
Cause I really think I need to process like how I feel about hope now, like, you know, do I feel hopeful? Do I not feel hopeful? You know, it’s just like things to, to really think about and making sure, I don’t know. I just want to make sure that I’m just like in a good head space. And I think like hope really provides you.
It’s also, I mean, it doesn’t bring any certainty. I don’t think, but I think it, I think it kind of eases your thought process.
Remind me what your second question was.
Amy: Just some hope for people who are feeling alone or like they don’t know where to find community.
Yeah, so for anyone who feels alone because I felt alone for a very long time is reach out to that person that you want to talk to reach out to that support system.
Um, and it could be a totally complete stranger. It could be someone that you met in a support group, but I, there is always someone there willing to listen and willing to support you and provide you that space. Um, a lot of times, like, I’ll tell people in my comment section to DM me so I can see, or I can feel like something’s not okay, so just DM me and we can talk it out.
, or I can provide you with resources or anything, but there is always someone willing to listen, and you are not alone, especially in this community with thousands of women. Um, we are always just here for each other.
Amy: Yeah, the club none of us wanted to be in but yeah, it’s got the best people.
Jelissa: and once you’re in it We will fight anybody who hurts your feelings
Amy: Yes, well, thank you Jelissa for everything And will you just tell everybody where they can find you what you have coming up all those fun things
Uh, so you can find me on Instagram, um, at Rainbow Manifestations. My website is www. rainbowmanifestations. com. We have our Lost Mama Connection event coming up November 9th, where we’ll be talking about trauma, um, and tools on how to cope with trauma.
, and that is on my Instagram, um, and you can register on my Instagram as well.
Amy: Okay. Perfect. Thank you so, so much for everything. Thank you.
Jelissa: Thank you for having me.