Growing up two of my deepest desires were to be a mom and to be a published author. I never guessed that my journey to fulfill the first dream would end up being the catalyst for the latter. But that is exactly what happened when I got an email from Alexa a few months ago asking if I would be interested in contributing to a book on survival for women who have experienced the painful loss of a child.
This November it will be seventeen years since my husband and I looked hopefully up at the ultrasound machine only to have our worst fears confirmed. The heartbeat that we had seen going strong only a few weeks before had now stopped.
We were both heartbroken over the loss but we sincerely believed that we would go on to get pregnant again and this would be a short and very sad chapter in our lives.
I did get pregnant again. And I had another miscarriage. This cycled repeated itself two more times for a total of four miscarriages in 14 months.
During this very sad chapter of my life I desperately searched for a book that would guide me and let me know that I would survive.
I never found one.
But I did find so much kindness from women who had walked this path before me.
I remember a few weeks after our first loss my husband and I were shopping when we saw a woman with a brand new baby. My husband read my mind and put his arm around me. A woman who was in front of us saw me tear up and started to talk to me. She had several grown children but she still thought of the one baby she lost early on in pregnancy.
With that the woman with the brand new baby turned around and told me her story. She had endured several miscarriages and was feeling very blessed that she and her husband were finally able to have their baby. She let me know that it was such a tough road and she understood what I felt. She even asked me if I would be more comfortable if she went to another register.
I was blown away by the outpouring and kindness of these two women who were just waiting on line in a department store.
These two strangers were able to comfort me in a way that all my friends and family who wanted me to feel better and return to the old happy me, could not. They got it because they had walked the same path.
It is my sincere wish that Sunshine After the Storm, and all the amazing stories from the incredible women and writers that Alexa brought together, will bring some very well needed comfort to those who are faced with the profound loss of a child. I hope that those who need it will find a guide in one or more of us who have been there and can understand the pain they are feeling.
This is a book that I wish I wasn’t qualified to contribute to, but am so glad that I did.
Our book, Sunshine After the Storm: A Survival Guide for the Grieving Mother will be available before October 15th, International Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day.
Kathy Radigan is a writer, blogger, social media addict, mom to three, wife to one, and owner of a possessed kitchen appliance. She posts a weekly essay each Sunday on her blog, mydishwasherspossessed, which she started in the fall of 2010 when her youngest child started kindergarten. Kathy also co-founded the online magazine Bonbon Break. She lives just outside New York City with her family and still finds it hysterical that the woman who didn’t even have an e-mail address three years ago is now immersed in the online world. You can follow her on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.