Featured In

August 24, 2021

Expecting But Not Pregnant: Nothing About This is Normal

The OB leaves the room, presumably to talk to someone about the crazy lady who will not just accept that things are going well for this […]
August 24, 2021

Expecting But Not Pregnant: What is Wrong with Me?

Late at night, when my grief wakes me up, the guilt is what actually keeps me awake—the running through every time during the pregnancy that I […]
August 24, 2021

Expecting But Not Pregnant: Daydreaming of Time Travel

When Colette was born, whether it was due to my physical recovery, postpartum depression or anxiety, normal fears of being a new mom, fears of having […]
August 24, 2021

Expecting But Not Pregnant: Complex Emotions

And there is a peace that comes from realizing that you have very little control in the world and that a lot of life really is […]
August 24, 2021

To the Loss Mom Considering Options Other than Pregnancy

The rest of the world may not always feel the same way, but I am here to tell you that if you are reading this thinking […]
August 24, 2021

Expecting But Not Pregnant: Birthdays are Tough

Ha! You know that saying about if you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans? Yeah, that proved true. The world moved on and […]
August 24, 2021

Expecting But Not Pregnant: Our Journey to Gestational Carrier

I wanted so much to have a child at home, but whenever I pictured myself pregnant, I felt almost frozen in fear. I hated myself for […]
August 24, 2021

Expecting But Not Pregnant: Embryo Transfer Day and Signs from Colette

She leaves, I look at the picture, and then all of a sudden, I see it—the sign I needed, something from Colette to let me know […]
August 24, 2021

Expecting But Not Pregnant: Will Loss Ever Really End?

I did not expect to feel it so early in the process. I felt like a failure, just like I had felt when I miscarried Sweet […]
August 24, 2021

Expecting But Not Pregnant: Anxiety is Alive and Well

 We also talked about how we knew we had made the right choice with G carrying for us, but how it was also frustrating that she […]
August 24, 2021

Expecting But Not Pregnant: 2020 Vision (with Hope and Fear)

Instead, we are planning for a child to come home in early July, but also taking it day by day. We have chosen a completely new […]
August 24, 2021

Expecting But Not Pregnant: Onto Plan C? Plan D?

Every time I start to plan or talk about our little LL Cool T arriving in the world, or even scarier, coming home, there is excitement […]
August 24, 2021

Expecting But Not Pregnant: I Already Have a Child

I find myself engaging less and less in small talk and in situations where small talk will arise, because I do not want to answer these […]
August 24, 2021

Expecting But Not Pregnant: Support and Connection from Afar

Plus, and this is probably truly the worst part, it shows us that once again, we cannot control well, anything, or at least most things, a […]
August 24, 2021

Parenting After Loss: The Bubble Chapter 2

For me, using a gestational carrier means that I will grieve never being pregnant again. Me being pregnant likely means a very long 40 weeks which […]
August 24, 2021

Parenting After Loss: Sibling Photos Look Diffferently But Still Invoke the Same Love

August 11, 2021

Expecting But Not Pregnant: Half Fear, Half Bliss

Yes, 20 weeks is halfway through a pregnancy and that is exciting. But, since the last 19 weeks feel like it has been a year, and […]
August 11, 2021

Expecting But Not Pregnant: Relief and Joy…Then Panic and Blame

I cried about how the doctor had confirmed my biggest fear—that all of this was, in fact, my fault, that it was my stupid body that […]
August 11, 2021

Expecting But Not Pregnant: Get Me Off This Rollercoaster!

When you lose a child, it is not just the loss of the child as he or she is, but the loss of the future, of […]
August 4, 2021

Simplified: Breastfeeding and Pumping: A Journey in Life, Loss, Pain, and Trauma

As the pumping sessions went on, I felt like a failure, a fraud. Not only had I not carried this child, but now I could not […]
August 3, 2021

Losing Our Daughter Opened Our Eyes to Families in Crisis

Why were the options only two-fold: either work and risk harm to mom and baby or don’t work and risk financial ruin, evictions, shutoffs, debt?
July 23, 2021

Expecting But Not Pregnant: A Different Kind of Big Sister

Those nine days with Colette were a time of imagining what she would be like, what parts of me and what parts of Mark and what […]
July 23, 2021

Expecting But Not Pregnant: Longing for Normalcy

Nothing about pregnancy after loss is normal. It is not normal to hold your breath every ultrasound, every heartbeat check, to spend most of the pregnancy […]
July 20, 2021

Parenting After Loss: One Onesie, Many Emotions

While it felt like such a victory to be in that place, to see our little guy wearing the physical remembrance of our dreams, of our […]
July 12, 2021

Expecting But Not Pregnant: Playing the What If Game

Yes, I realize now that it seems dramatic that a global pandemic came to the U.S. as a result of my knitting, but as a loss […]
July 12, 2021

Expecting But Not Pregnant: Let’s Connect

Just like all of our plans have been derailed at this unprecedented time in history, we have struggled to find those connections, those things that keep […]
July 12, 2021

Expecting But Not Pregnant: Pivoting Again

I have found myself strangely calm about everything over the last few weeks. But, even that feeling of calm creates a sense of panic. Why am […]
July 12, 2021

Expecting But Not Pregnant: Bob and Weave

Parents should not bury their children. Babies go home from the hospital. Pregnancy is the happiest, most euphoric time of our lives and always results in […]
July 12, 2021

Expecting But Not Pregnant: Loss of Privilege

On May 31, 2018, I lost the privilege to live in a world where babies dying was not something I thought of. I lost the privilege […]
July 12, 2021

Expecting But Not Pregnant: Wait, What Happens if Baby Comes Home?

Most parents expecting a new baby do not think about what if baby dies, but we did. The panic and terror of every appointment and ultrasound […]
July 12, 2021

Expecting But Not Pregnant: Sobbing Once Again

I was tired of being a loss mom, I was tired of being anxious about a pregnancy and then how to parent a living child, I […]
July 12, 2021

Expecting But Not Pregnant: Best Day of Our Lives

So, I found that with each phone call, text message, email, social media comment, I smiled because of the love so many showed us and Colette […]
July 12, 2021

Expecting But Not Pregnant: Dear Baby

Please, please, please do not simply draw benefits from your privilege to be used for yourself. Use your privilege to help others. Be the voice for […]
July 12, 2021

Expecting But Not Pregnant: Is My Body Failing Me Again?

This feeling of elation lasted all the way until the rug was pulled out from underneath us and was replaced by worry, confusion, grief, anxiety, tears, […]
July 12, 2021

Expecting But Not Pregnant: It Feels Surreal

Saying you want to have a child and starting the process to have one seems simple and straightforward. For those who get pregnant fairly easily and […]
July 12, 2021

Expecting But Not Pregnant: Dear Baby

 Colette will be in your life as much as we possibly can include her, but she will not babysit you, she will not get to tease you […]
July 12, 2021

Parenting After Loss: Lessons Learned and Lessons Causing Struggles

 When I could not get an actual reason why we lost Sweet Pea and Colette, I then went internally and figured it had to be me. […]
July 12, 2021

Expecting But Not Pregnant After Loss: Hanging On

And with LL Cool T, except for these small moments, these brief forays into the future, we have protected ourselves, loving fully and embracing the pregnancy […]
July 11, 2021

The Loss of Finding Out

I missed out on the chance to surprise my husband with pregnancy announcements, but I also lost the chance to assume that I could get pregnant, […]
July 7, 2021

Undefining Motherhood: Losing Yourself When You Lose a Child

After her death, I didn’t (and still don’t) care how perfect things looked or seemed because my family would never be perfect. I didn’t care if […]
July 7, 2021

Undefining Motherhood: The Unimaginable

In the two plus years since losing Colette, I have found that the only person that really gets me and that I cling to is my […]
July 7, 2021

Glow the F**k Up!: Podcast Interview

July 7, 2021

AAFS: Uplifting Families

Through AAFS’ strong networks and resources, we were able to connect him with the Colette Louise Tisdahl Foundation that provides relief to women who are pregnant and assisted him in applying […]
July 7, 2021

Pumpspotting: Community Partner Spotlight

I was not a doctor, a nurse, medicine was not a way I could help other families who experience this, but recognizing the financial strain and […]
July 7, 2021

Webinar on Hidden Costs of the NICU

https://register.gotowebinar.com/recording/recordingView?webinarKey=3667210333704870412&registrantEmail=mvaliukenas%40gmail.com
July 7, 2021

Undefining Motherhood: What to Say to a Loss Parent

Losing a child is one of the most isolating experiences anyone can have. You feel like you are the only person who has ever had that […]
July 7, 2021

Mamas on Bedrest

July 7, 2021

Graham’s Foundation: Balance of Parenting Non-Living Children

We will also struggle with the balance of still parenting and remembering our oldest child who is not physically here while also simultaneously parenting living children […]
July 7, 2021

The Dying Kind: Silence

And we are left alone with just memories and silence.  This silence is what makes it hard to sleep most nights because it should be noisy, […]
July 7, 2021

The Dying Kind: Pregnancy and Infant Loss

It’s difficult to grieve for someone you never met. There are no memories, only hopes and dreams lost. We were both angry, hurt, sad, terrified, and […]

Free Guide for Families in Crisis

Join our newsletter and you’ll receive this free guide, along with continued support and resources from The Colette Louise Tisdahl Foundation.

Name*