It isn’t all Rainbows 🌈 and Sunshine ☀️

I haven’t been super open about our journey through pregnancy after our loss of Teddy. During our 38 weeks together I felt very closed off, I also felt very protective of Zooey and what people might feel about our choice to try our luck at bringing another baby into the world. I also didn’t always know exactly how I felt but I knew I wanted it all kept close to my chest where it was safe.

One of the biggest gift I received from Teddy was learning to live in the present moment. He taught me to treasure today and worry about what tomorrow brings tomorrow. I lived by the mantra “Today my baby is healthy, today I am healthy”. Somedays it was super easy to believe fearlessly and other days I had to face all the what ifs that crept in. I spent many quiet moments writing to our Sweet Pea Zooey, talking to her, sending her love, and praying for strength should life take another turn down a hard path.

I was so blessed to have a handful of friends who honoured how my heart felt and didn’t judge. There is this balance that I was constantly fighting, enjoying my pregnancy knowing it would be my last, and wishing it away because I physically felt terrible while pregnant and it was my fourth pregnancy in five years and it has taken a toll on my body. I honestly felt done. I struggled feeling guilty at times. How could I want to rush a gift of new life after I lost one only a year prior? How could I complain my back hurt when I should be finding the gratitude in that pain resulting from my body holding and growing my Sweet Pea who I loved dearly? How could I see a stretch mark (only ever had them in the fourth pregnancy) and it not feel worth it? The list of moments such as these big and small is long, I was constantly balancing my gratitude and real life struggles of pregnancy only feeling safe to express the truth to a few and always reminded by those few that I was human and I was able to honour all the emotions, they were all real and all okay to feel.

As the end of our time together as one was coming closer and closer I realized how the birth of Zooey meant the end of a long journey to create a family. Ryan and I started our journey to create a family in 2009, it included our first year of naively trying to get pregnant, to a few heartbreaking rounds of failed IUI, then IVF with a few complications resulting in a miscarriage and the birth of our first son in 2013 and was followed by our second son in 2014, and Teddy at the end of 2015 and now our daughter in 2017. Realizing we are moving on to the next stage of our lives was exciting and also emotional. Looking back and seeing all the tears shed while trying to conceive, to the tears shed over our loss, to the tears of joy from each child that joined our family made me see what a gift it all was, I could see the layers of the foundation our family will firmly stand upon as the years go by being laid as each tear was shed, each moment that felt heartbreaking and each moment our hearts bursted with love. None of it was easy, but I am grateful and see the purpose of it all.

September 13, 2017 Zooey Helen Williams joined our family. We were so fortunate to be surrounded by the same healthcare providers and doula as we have for our previous births, who have supported us so lovingly throughout each one and this time was no different. Birthing Zooey wasn’t all rainbows and sunshine, but I felt the warmth from the rays that did shine upon us. Being so present in pregnancy, worrying about tomorrow, tomorrow worked super well until “tomorrow” arrived. I desperately wanted Zooey’s birth to be about Zooey. She in my mind deserved for me to be 100% present for her but it was impossible. Emotionally I had work that needed to be done, wounds that needed to be healed that presented themselves during labour. I had moments that I felt excited to be meeting my daughter, but I also had moments where it all felt too big, too hard and I wanted it to stop. I shed big tears, I faced huge fears, I spent time right back in Teddy’s birth with each contraction, and with the support of those beside me I worked my way through it all. To me the most significant moment, one that I am sure I am not alone with feeling was that moment you need to push the baby out. Tomorrow is no longer a day that never arrives, it is the moment you need to lay all your cards on the table, and even though you know the deck is stacked in your favour and the hand you have been given couldn’t be better, you know in real life shit happens, and it doesn’t always work out. I wasn’t ready, well my body was but my heart wasn’t, I was terrified to see if I would be given the greatest gift or another tragedy. So I dug deep, I knew the time was now, I was as ready as I ever would be (which is not at all) and I needed to be brave and just do it. Within three contractions she was out, and cried the most beautiful cry. But I needed a moment, I needed to pause. You would think after all we have been through my reaction would be one of relief and tears of joy, but it wasn’t. It was one of panic, it was hard to breath, it was totally and completely overwhelming. Then after the pause and feeling grounded I was able to see her, to see how healthy and alive she really was and how much she looked like her brothers. From that moment forward the love and joy followed.

When you live today for today and worry about tomorrow, tomorrow you really don’t allow yourself to sit in the future. You don’t envision your life bringing the baby home, and what all of that would be like. It took us sometime to truly feel all that had happened and soak up our new beautiful reality. The warmth from the sunshine is stronger each day, and our hearts are filled with gratitude for our healthy little girl. But the truth of it all is the past 38 weeks of pregnancy and Sweet Pea’s birth wasn’t all beautiful rainbows. Our family finally feels complete and so do our hearts, it was all worth it. It is all exactly as intended.

Now on to our next stage of life, firmly planted on the foundation we have laid during the past 8 years.

Wish all six of us luck! I am sure it will continue to be a wild ride filled with love and life lessons! ❤️

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Circle of Love ❤️ 


We all have these moments in the journey of mending hearts when your breath is unexpectedly taken away. Those moments you don’t see coming. Those moments that stop you in your tracks and force you to feel it all. 

Those moments don’t happen as often to me anymore but on the occasion they do, and I feel it. Like really feel it, and have no choice but to welcome all that comes with it. 

30 weeks pregnant with our sweet pea, always actively moving, sending and receiving copious amounts of love and letting me know always how real she really is. Being 30 weeks wasn’t something I have thought about, the more pregnancies the less I seem to keep track of what week I have arrived at. Being my fourth I am shocked I even remotely know. 

This morning as I was cleaning our house and dusting a bookshelf in our bedroom I stop to look at Teddy’s hand and foot moulds. There they were white ceramic with prints that have been indented from his tiny little hand, and his tiny little foot. This isn’t something I look at often, not something I even really think about. But there I am holding it and seeing how perfect that hand and foot really were. How tiny they were and all the while realizing that is the same size of our Sweet Pea’s hands and feet as Teddy was 30 weeks when he was born. 

It is then my breath is gone, my heart feels all that happened and all that is yet to come. I am holding the mould of the most perfect foot and hand in my hands while holding equally perfect hands and feet within my womb, knowing that the hand that can no longer be held has one hand on my heart and one holding his sister’s hand within my womb. The three of us all at the same time holding each other, it feels heavy and beautiful. The power within that circle of love is greater than something that can be articulated but can only be experienced to understand the gravity of the impact a small moment in time can have. It is a circle of love, gratitude, joy and sadness. 

Life is exactly as it is intended to be. It isn’t how I once envisioned, but it how needs to be. Growing a baby after having to say goodbye to another is a beautiful yet different experience. It brings the widest range of emotions that are forever changing. Some are hard and heavy and others are light and full of peace but all equally beautiful. Today I feel it all. As hard as that moment felt I am so grateful today I had the reminder how closely tied the three of us really are. How this journey would be impossible if we weren’t a team, and how the love that flows and supports each of us has to be equal and balanced. 

My heart feels heavy today but I was due for a day of a heavy heart so I am sitting with it all full of gratitude that it came with such a beautiful reminder. 

With Love, 

The Fearless loving Momma Bear.

Hand in Hand 


I look at this picture, I see the most precious hand that I thought was made for me to hold and him to hold mine until my forever came to a close. It is a hand that is etched in my mind so clearly and in my heart so deeply loved. It is a hand that at times I longed to kiss and hold physically, to watch it grow into big man hands that no longer look as cute but hold a powerful amount of love. 

No amount of longing or wishing will change the reality. Instead these days I envision how this was the hand that encouraged our new baby soul to join us, that he ever so gently placed her into the only home his hand knew and has been holding this soul so lovingly and now holding her hand as it grows bigger and bigger. I see the day she will be born, he will take her hand from his and place it into mine. Their hands forever tied through time spent together on a soul level. A gift she is blessed with; time with her brother she will never know physically here on earth. 

This hand has purpose. It holds power. My gratitude for this itty bitty hand is never ending. I feel safe knowing he has been aiding in her safe arrival, this hand has been guiding and loving her as she came from spirt to baby and will eventually join us on the outside to grow together as a family. Seeing this hand makes my heart grow every time I look at the picture, and every time I envision it in my mind and heart. This hand was one of the greatest gifts I received in my lifetime. 

With Gratitude 

Momma Bear, Warrior of Love ❤️ 

Our Family Tapestry Is Brighter –  Story of Sweet Pea 


In January 2017 the year of living began and Ryan and I took a vacation to Aruba for sun, love and relaxation. What we didn’t know as we were packing to go was the trip wasn’t just the two of us. We were taking along some of the most precious cargo life has. Before dinner one night we confirm that indeed another little soul has made my womb their home and our family and hearts just grew beyond belief. 

People often say no two pregnancies are the same. I can only speak from my experience and agree all four pregnancies for me have been different each facing different challenges yet physically they are very similar with all including terrible sickness for four months, then a few months of enjoyment and then the unbearable heartburn kicks in. 

Pregnancy a year after delivering, then holding your precious, loved baby while he dies changes things. I have read a lot about pregnancy after loss and I think it is also true that this experience is so different for everyone. There will be common threads that people will share but the experience as a whole is different and everyone faces different challenges based on their past experiences. 

Beyond worry I struggled in the early days with moments of being angry, I was incredibly ill and it felt so unfair that I had to do this again. It was never coming from a place of not wanting this baby or not being grateful to be a place for her to grow but they were real emotions and I had to honour them and allow them pass freely. 

As a warrior of love, I loved this baby long before she joined us. I wrote to her, knowing she was there, knowing it was a possibility that she may join us but also to make it clear if she didn’t want to join us we would be okay. We loved her enough to leave that choice to her and God, but our family was open and had room to love another soul deeply. 

With confirmation that she had chosen to join us, a flood of thoughts and emotions came over us. Fear, worry, and a love like no other. It became a daily practice for me to remind myself, “today I am pregnant, today my baby is healthy, today I am healthy” and anything beyond that didn’t matter because this was our truth. It was our truth and will continue to be until told otherwise. Ours minds are powerful, and once you have joined this club and met Mothers who have lost their babies from all different circumstances it becomes so clear that no one is protected from potential loss and it is easy to find something to worry about so I have to hold steadfast in my truth. Some days it comes easily and other days I have had to remind myself continually. The truth is no amount of worry will ever change the outcome, it only steals time and space that should be filled with love. 

What I didn’t expect was my overwhelming need to protect her. Understandably others have opinions about our choice to welcome another baby after our loss. Some are full of fear for us, some wouldn’t have made this choice themselves and they are unable to understand it, and some have reasons that I will never know or understand and that is okay. What we also know it is an extension of love for us and can understand as we too at times feel worry. At the beginning we naively assumed everyone will be filled with joy, love and hope for us just as they have in past pregnancies. When I realized that this wasn’t the case I immediately felt a strong need to keep her to ourselves to not share our news, not because we can’t handle judgment but because she deserves to be welcomed with love and excitement unconditionally from the moment her presence is known not when she is born healthy nine months later. She deserves all the love in world, she is precious, she is deserving and is a part of our family regardless of how long she will be with us. We learnt this lesson with Teddy, you don’t save heartache by pushing love and joy aside and allowing fear to take it’s place. It just doesn’t work that way. What we also know is no matter the outcome, we have no control of that outcome, we can only make choices as we walk the path and for us it is to Always Choose Love. Not only because she deserves it but because we do too and by doing so reassures us we will be okay no matter what happens. 

Timing is always perfect. It may not always feel that way but it is for us. This baby joined us just after Teddy’s first birthday. After our year of grieving ending and our declared year of living started. She joined us after our hearts found peace and were ready to welcome a new love. She isn’t the reason for our year of living, but rather a sign our choice was the right one for our family. What better way to start a year of living than to grow a healthy baby within your womb, who kicks and moves literally reminding you continually how alive we really are.  

Teddy’s life didn’t play out as any parent would envision for their child but his life was the perfect life for him. His death could look like it created a very messy storm but to me it doesn’t feel that way, it was only messy because growth was taking place, and messy can be beautiful depending on your view point. His mission to receive, teach and spread unconditional love was accomplished and he simply didn’t need years to do so. My heart and many others have hurt by the fact he couldn’t stay but it will never outweigh my gratitude for his life, and him choosing to be a part of our family. Teddy has given far more than what was lost, a price I feel was worth it, and have come to peace with. 

Each member of our family is as equally important as the next, we all have our roles we play and a thread that is woven to create our beautiful family tapestry. Each thread woven together is what makes us stronger. We are welcoming this baby with unconditional love and gratitude, she will be loved by all three brothers and will have a life journey of her own that we will honour and support. 

The birth of a new family member is exciting, it fills our hearts. It doesn’t not have any impact of how we feel about our loss of Teddy. His journey is one of his own and no one can take his spot or fill the absence of his presence in our family. Our two boys before him and his sister after were not brought to us for that purpose and it wouldn’t be fair to ask them to fill a hole carved in our hearts by the loss of their brother. So instead as a family we will continue to honour those who live their personal journey along side us and hold love for dear Teddy who travels with us in spirit. His place in our family is not growing bigger or smaller but will firmly be held the same with love as the years roll by. He is equal, he is loved, he is missed. 

If you can, send love to our sweet pea. If you feel fear or worry for us just know we will be okay no matter what happens. Acknowledge your fear and then please try to find your way to choosing love, she is worthy of it. She is already here, she is real even though you haven’t met her, she has been with us for a long time, way before she physically joined us and as surprised as we were when we had confirmation she joined us we weren’t shocked. It was always meant to be this way. Teddy without a doubt played his role in this miracle. Trust, and choose love. 

September is the month this beautiful sweet pea is intended to join us on the outside. We are lovingly anticipating the moment our eyes meet and our hearts grow once again in unimaginable ways. Her older brothers ask daily how much longer and also have so much love for her, and are eagerly waiting to meet her. Life is beautiful, life is full of gifts, some are wrapped up looking like hardships and some are presented in the form of a beautiful healthy baby placed in your arms. I so deeply hope we are given the latter but will find gratitude for whatever is meant to be. Until that moment we have faith, trust and will keep Choosing Love ❤️. 

Love, 

Momma Bear of four!  

Living with Intention and Zero Guilt. 


I haven’t written publicly in the last few months. I haven’t shared much of our journey to living in 2017 but today as I was driving to get some groceries when my car took me to a place to park with the view of our beautiful Bay and Teddy was on my mind. I look up and a sign saying Memory Lane is directly in front of me so here I sit writing what my heart is telling me to share. 

Living and not grieving doesn’t mean forgetting. It is actually the opposite. I probably think of him more often but that is because I can do so with gentle love that no longer holds heavy pain. He is with me always. He travels everywhere our family goes. Our love for him is equal to our other children. We have found our way to peace and loving him quietly. 

Life is ever evolving and so is our journey with Theodore. At one time I was desperately afraid people would forget him, would not acknowledge him, would not know how important he is. Now I know it is okay if his name is to never be spoken by another soul. I have found the peace in our journey that my love for him is enough. My heart knows how important he is, how much he has taught me, and how much love I have for him so seeking it from others isn’t necessary. He requires zero validation. Other people have their own connection to him, I can’t speak for their journey of loving and saying goodbye to him and I am okay with it being whatever it is for them. He came to teach many and I know without a shadow of a doubt he has spread his lessons far and wide, he has touched those I would never have imagined and that is one of so many reasons why I love him dearly. He has been so generous with his life and teaching of love. 

Letting go of all that could have been has been hard it has been messy but I truly arrived at a place where I am okay with it all being what it is. There was never supposed to “could haves or should haves” that wasn’t a part of this lifetime for him, this wasn’t necessary for him to have lived his perfect life’s journey. Realizing that desperately wanting all those life moments was for me and not him enabled me with time to see my love for him is greater than my personal desires for things to be different. My unconditional love dictates I want what is best for Teddy, and he lived what was best for this lifetime. 

Living with intention and not grieving gives me a new sense of purpose. I honour him always, but now I can be fully present for my other children, my husband, and everyone else around me.  Life is lighter, life is easier, life is enjoyable and I have zero guilt. Theodore was about loving and I know he would want me to love fully the rest of my life I have to live and being in the trenches of grief left little room for me to live that way. People always talk about the secret to happiness is finding balance. My life in 2017 has significant more balance than 2016 and I am grateful. 

Theodore is alive today in my heart as much as he was when he was in my arms and in my womb for all those months. My heart has fleeting moments of feeling heavy and I am grateful they are fleeting and they aren’t stuck because I feel closer to him today than the days I was desperately holding onto him with fear and heartache. I am still a Mom who’s baby is forever physically gone, a Mom who is forever changed but a Mom who wants to live with purpose in honour of that precious soul I have the honour to call my son. 

I also want others to know finding a way to happiness and gratitude is possibility should you choose to walk the path. It isn’t a smooth, well manicured path but when you find the light at the end you will know it is worth the work. Life no matter who you are will give you challenges and periods of your life that feel impossible. No one is saved from troubles in life, they just look different for everyone and one person’s challenges aren’t easier or harder than the others. They aren’t there to be judged. With love, hard work and accepting help from others the path can be walked. This path has no expire, and is different lengths for different people but there is light at the end should you venture down it. 

Peace, Light and Love to you all on your own journeys. Thank you for so much love and support as I have been walking mine. 

With copious amounts of Love,  

Teddy’s Mom 

Capture Your Grief – Empathy

Wikipedia says Empathy is the capacity to understand or feel what another person is experiencing from within the other being’s frame of reference, i.e., the capacity to place oneself in another’s position. 

What an impossible task when talking about infant loss. . . . that seems too much to ask. I would never want people to feel what I feel. Well at least not all of it, this journey has made my heart grow and I now experience love on a whole new level, so that my friends I would want you to feel but never the deep longing for things to be different, the heart crushing moments or a trigger that sneaks up and takes my breath away. 

I remember years prior to my loss I heard about another wonderful woman who had a similar experience to mine. My heart broke for her, I imagined what it possibly could be like but I did not have the capacity to truly be 100% empathetic for an experience of this gravity. How could I? This is the unimaginable. Without a doubt her experience shook me, it made me realize how unfair life can be and recognized the gravity of her loss, but there was just no way by that definition I could have been fully empathetic. 

What this journey has taught me is we can never judge. We can offer love, we can meet people where they are at but we will never fully understand what it is like for that individual in regards to all or any of life’s challenges. I have had the blessing to share space and hearts with many Moms who have experienced a loss. Every single one of us have a different story, every one of us feel different emotions, experience different experiences, we all have different support networks and a million other factors that make our journey so unique. We all have common threads, most feel similar things or share similar thoughts but that doesn’t mean we are the same so this leaves no room for judgement. After realizing this and being a part of the club, how could I ever expect someone who has never even remotely walked a path like this to feel what I feel. Is it even fair to expect them to try? 

I do know that our story moves people. I know when I share my heart it is met with love from so many. I know that people are inherently good and trying to understand how one is feeling as an amazing act of love and community. I don’t expect people to empathize as defined above, but I am always hopeful people will leave out judgement, offer love as we navigate this journey that has no road map. 

There is no way to “fix” this. The only way for us to survive is with an open loving heart. We appreciate when those around us can embrace the beautiful moments, hold space for the moments the look really messy and understand that this isn’t a journey that is smooth and runs in one direction. We are climbing mountains, falling in pits, tripping over road bumps and sometimes we are moving backwards. We are always moving but not always in an expected direction. We are okay; will are going to be okay today, tomorrow and always. We are blessed with the capacity to feel it all, the hardest moments as well as the most beautiful heart bursting moments. We were made for this journey and as hard as it is our love is stronger. 

Don’t be hard on yourself if you can’t imagine how we feel. There is no expectation for you to do so. Give hugs, offer love, say a prayer, or show support in any way that is authentic to you but don’t feel like you need for even a second to imagine yourself in my shoes. They are pretty muddy and uncomfortable at times so I wouldn’t recommend it.

Always Making your Presence Known

 


Dear My Sweet Sweet Angel Theo,

I miss you in unimaginable ways. I wish life sometimes would slow down and allow for you and I to spend more time together. I wonder how busy I would have been with you here in my physical world? I have guilt knowing no matter how busy I would have been I would have had to make time for you, yet because you aren’t I don’t feel okay to say no to other stuff so I can say yes to you. I say yes to you in my heart all day everyday yet having to tell others I need space and time feels hard. I am sorry and I will try to be better at it.

There has been so much that has happened since I wrote you last. Your Dad and I went on the radio to tell your story. You have given us a gift of helping others feel not so alone in their grief. You are my favourite topic so talking about you makes my heart sing. You then made the paper! Can you imagine Theo! Your story was told on the radio and then in the local paper all in the same week. I am so proud of you.

We went to PEI to visit your Great Grandmother Pearl or as your brothers lovingly call her GG. We checked into the hotel entered our room and there was an elephant made from a towel waiting to great us. It made me smile, I know you played a roll in that. The boys played with their cousins, we all spent quality time with your Markin, Great Aunt and GG. It was so nice to be there with that side of the family. I feel as though you would have been a perfect Tomilson so full of love and generosity. I spent a lot of time thinking about you while we were there. I wondered how you were getting along with William your Great Grandfather as he passed away years ago and is eagerly waiting for Pearl the love of his life. I never had the pleasure of meeting him but I envision him to be an older version of you; offered so much love, loved by many and so fondly remembered.

You had a beautiful cousin Gabrielle Elizabeth born only two weeks ago. We haven’t met her but have seen pictures and are eagerly waiting to cuddle her at Thanksgiving when the Hewats get together. I cannot help but think how amazing it would have been to have both babies there together.

We are now at Papineau Lake, your most favourite place. I see you missing from everywhere I look. I feel from the depths of my soul I could weep more tears than the lake has water. Since we have been here my whole body screams and my tears cry “I want my baby back”. I feel this often but here it is overwhelming; to be in your favourite spot, a place where our family gathers to enjoy quality time together and you not be here with us makes my heart ache in a profound way.

I see so many signs you are here with us. When we first arrived I noticed your rock I painted at the retreat sitting on a rock. I asked your Dad why he put it there and he said “I didn’t, I thought you did. Well we better leave it there, he obviously wants it to be there.”. I agreed 100% and it makes me smile as we have no idea how the rock even got to Papineau let alone placed in that particular place. I have found 3 dimes, which is totally bizarre considering where we are but again make me smile. At least twice a day if not more when I look at the clock it will be 1:11, or 4:44 or similar to that. Then yesterday I was doing dishes and with such a heavy heart I was thinking about how incredibly unfair this is, we are in a very large trailer that we bought for you making us a family of five and needing more space and you just aren’t here. As that thought left my mind the lights start to flicker. A few moments later I say “thank you, you are right I know you are here” and the lights return to normal.

You see Theo, I will never stop wishing life was different, that you were here with us . Your absence hurts in ways I can’t describe. I know you would have loved the beach with the boys, floating around in the water and being loved by all the family. I see you missing in so many ways and then in so many other ways I see that you are right here with us. Thank you for showing me how truly close you are, especially in the times my heart hurts the most.

Your forever loving Mommy

 

The link to the radio show is below. Scroll to the last hour and that is where we start.

 

The link to the article in the paper is below.

Choosing love: a family’s journey through loss