Where I’ve been

In early 2015, I was ecstatic to find out I was pregnant. In June 2015, during a routine ultrasound during an otherwise healthy pregnancy, I learned my baby had no heartbeat. Doctors induced labor later that day, and on June 19, after five months of pregnancy, I delivered a perfect baby girl, Susannah Grace.

I didn’t know how to write about it, and I didn’t know how to not write about it. So I kind of just went missing, and posted vague mentions of finding peace amid grief and loss by connecting to nature.

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One of many healing hikes.

When I learned I was pregnant again, I was gun-shy about sharing the news. I didn’t feel comfortable posting here about pregnancy workouts and using yoga and meditation to find a sense of ease during pregnancy; I didn’t even share the news with some close friends and family members.

My son is now here, safe and sound. He is curious and smiley and strong, and is the absolute embodiment of joy and awe. He is also the best personal trainer a girl can ask for—at 3.5 months, he won’t nap unless I take him for a walk in the stroller or a hike in the Ergo. He requires fresh air and movement to relax. I wonder where he gets it?

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One of many calming walks.

I want to tell you about squeezing in strength workouts while your baby naps, and about how meditation can help you find peace, calm and presence when your baby’s been screaming for hours in the middle of the night. I want to tell you about becoming a yoga teacher and meditation facilitator. But first, I need to tell you about Susannah.

She was much-loved and much-wanted. The nausea I felt early in my pregnancy with her was ameliorated only by chicken wings and Polar seltzer water, so we celebrate the mark she made on our lives by dining at our favorite chicken-wing restaurant. She sent me down a path that was different than the one I was on. I embarked on a 200-hour yoga-teacher training after yoga helped me to reconcile my grief. She also inspired me to begin volunteering with Angel Names Association (ANA), a Saratoga Springs, N.Y., based nonprofit that provides a variety of supportive programs for the families of stillborn babies nationwide.

On Oct. 8, we will be participating in ANA’s annual memorial walk in Saratoga Spa State Park in Susannah’s memory. The walk aims in part to raise awareness about pregnancy loss and stillbirth, and it’s in that spirit that I’m sharing my experience here. When I lost Susannah, I felt so isolated—I had never knowingly met another woman who’d lost a baby so far along in a pregnancy. By sharing my story, I hope that someone, somewhere, feels less alone.

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Help me help the families of stillborn babies here —> www.firstgiving.com/fundraiser/amy-reinink/ana-walk

The walk also raises money for ANA’s programs, including one which provides financial assistance to families who can’t afford a funeral or headstone for their stillborn babies. I hope you’ll consider making a small donation toward my fund-raising goal via my Firstgiving page. In doing so, you’ll not only provide a bright spot to families in their darkest hours, but will help me to honor and remember my daughter—the ray of sunlight who illuminated my desire to be a mom to a baby who could love me back here on earth.

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8 Comments

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8 responses to “Where I’ve been

  1. Ann

    I am so sorry for your loss. I experienced a similar loss in 1995 and honestly I very seldom talk about it thought I think about it every day. I am so glad that you have found a way to get through it and I am so very happy you have your sweet boy in your arms now. You are going to be a great influence on him I am sure. What a role model he has in his mommy.

    • Thanks so much for the kind words, Ann. I’m so sorry to hear you’ve endured a similar loss, but grateful to know that your sweet baby also lives on in your memory—and in your excellent parenting of your children here on earth. ❤

  2. Oh Amy, so sorry for the loss of Susannah, and at the same time thrilled for your precious son! My sister had a miscarriage, and I’ve known a few friends who have had one (I’m sure they’re not the same situation but I imagine it’s heartbreaking nonetheless). I hate how miscarriages and such have a stigma attached to them. Women need more support than ever in those toughest of times! Glad you were able to find some peace – keep on keeping on. Enjoy that adorable little exercise-addict!

    • Thanks so much, my friend! The more I talk to people who have endured miscarriages and stillbirth is that any loss at any point in a pregnancy can be truly devastating. Sending love to your sister, and gratitude to you!

  3. Extending a virtual hug to you & yours, friend. I’m so sorry for your loss. It feels good to get to know Susannah’s story. 🙂 Thank you for being vulnerable and sharing. Thanks for reminding us all that it’s OK to grieve anything for as long as we need to, and that grief never really leaves us, it just takes on new forms. Your little man is so lucky to have you! xoxo

  4. I’m so sorry for your loss. I can’t imagine how difficult that must be.
    Happy for you and Steve and your new baby.

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