1) Could you share your connection to Empty Arms and how you first discovered this organization?
I learned about EABS in December of 2014 when my best friend lost her daughter during delivery. I wish I could say I never dreamed I would be part of the group myself, but I did dream it. I wrote it off as something I was trying to process while helping my friend through her grief and the process of being in a higher risk pregnancy a year later. In April 2016 I lost my daughter to complications related to her Down Syndrome diagnosis just 38 hours after birth. It wasn’t until this time I realized how beneficial this group is. It quickly became a passion. Two years after my loss I helped to create the Syrup Stampede. I am also finding my way in companioning new families.
2) What motivates you to stay involved?
Losing a child is very life defining. There’s no way to recover and many times you have to claw your way out of your grief and despair. Unexpected triggers and waves will always be present but EABS helped me figure out how to deal with it. It helped me to see those waves would soften. A couple of weeks ago EABS mama were talking about songs that reflected our experience. Home by Phillip Phillips describes what EABS has done for me. I want to help others also figure out, that despite this horrible loss, we can help you feel at home again.
3) What do you do for a living?
I am a Registered Nurse at the D’Amour Cancer Center. I infuse Chemotherapy and blood products to people going through cancer care.
4) How do you spend your personal time and what do you like to do for fun?
In my spare time, I play a lot of legos with my 8 year old son. I play teacher’s assistant on Wednesdays when I am home with him. When we are able, we like to go on bike rides and take hikes with our 60 hound mix. We are lucky to have a backyard that abuts a nature reserve so hiking and discovering make us smile.
5)It’s odd to some that we share tears and laughter in this line of work! Any funny stories or anecdotes you’re willing to share?
While creating the Syrup Stampede we had a difficult time getting donations and services that fit our budget. I think we got a few pitty donations when people would hear our stories. When we figured this out we joked about using our card. We labeled it the DBC (dead baby card). It’s one of those things you can’t use or laugh at unless you possess the card yourself. But hey, if you were handed a card, play it to your advantage.
6. What are YOUR HOPES for this year?
My biggest hope is to find a way to educate the health care professionals to listen more to the concerns and fears of moms. We hear too many stories about how moms voiced concerns regarding their pregnancy yet felt dismissed by their providers, especially in our POC/minority groups.