Preview Mode Links will not work in preview mode

Losing a Child: Always Andy's Mom

As a pediatrician, married mom of three biological children and one foster son, my life was busy, rushing off to my office four days a week, seeing patients for three and working as a medical director of a local physician organization for one. I balanced this with rushing off to shuttle my kids to after sports and other after school activities. All of this changed one day in August of 2018 when my 14 year old son, Andy, was killed in a car accident. I felt like my life was over, and in some ways it was over, and a new life was forced to begin in its place. 

Grief is seldom discussed openly in our culture, and the death of a child makes people feel even more uncomfortable. On this blog and podcast, ‘Losing a Child: Always Andy’s Mom’, the topic is approached openly and honestly, speaking to people who have lost loved ones and experts who help care for them. Whether you are a parent experiencing loss or someone who wants to support another going through this tragedy, this blog and podcast strives to offer hope and help.

May 26, 2022

“I’m sorry, Katie, but I can’t find a heartbeat.” These are the words that changed Katie’s life forever. After an easy pregnancy, today’s guest went into labor on her due date, never expecting that anything could be wrong. She and her husband had just heard baby Poppy’s strong heartbeat a few days before. Now, she was dead? How was that even possible? A stillbirth? In this time of modern medicine, it was hard to even believe that still happened to people.

As much as Katie didn’t want to believe that those words could be real, they were real and her life was changed forever. It reminds me so much of the words that were said to me in August of 2018 - “Despite our best efforts, we were unable to save your son.” When we hear words like that, we suddenly feel isolated and alone. We are suddenly bereaved parents and we will never be like everyone else again.

When we walk along this journey, however, we eventually learn that we are not alone. There are many other bereaved parents out there and together, we can help each other heal. Every time I release a podcast, I can help someone heal just a little bit. As Katie began to slowly heal and live once again, she learned that there are 24,000 stillbirths in the US each year. That means there are 48,000 mommies and daddies out there mourning their own lost babies. 

That got Katie thinking about how she and Poppy might be able to help those 48,000 parents and others who struggle with loss. When she lost Poppy, Katie had no idea what to expect or what to do, but maybe sharing her story with others might help bring them a little bit of peace and comfort. It might help shine a little light on the path that seems so dark right now. Her book, Still Breathing, was born out of that desire to help others through their little family. Katie writes, “My path to healing was both long and winding. Now, in the wake of both birth and death, I own this story by choosing love over fear, acceptance over resistance, and being over doing.”