Abigail Waldron is a wife, mother, and writer who makes her home in the Northern Virginia suburbs of Washington, DC. A former English teacher, Abigail now has the privilege of staying home and raising her two living daughters, but her journey to parenthood has not been an easy one, including infertility, second trimester miscarriage, and stillbirth.
Allyson Williams is a wife and a mother who holds three children in her arms and two in her heart. Her journey to create a family was filled with the highest highs and the lowest of lows. A journey that started with three heart-wrenching years of infertility, to the miscarriage of her first son’s twin conceived through IVF and carrying her third son who she knew would die after his birth. This experience has transformed her into a warrior for love and endlessly trying to choose love at every opportunity.
She has a passion for writing and has used this passion to help find peace and healing throughout this journey. You can learn more about her journey on her blog. Allyson lives in a small town in Southern Ontario, Canada and loves the small-town living in the Bay Quinte Region.
Amanda Ross-White is the proud mother of four beautiful children, including her twin boys Nate and Sam, who were stillborn in 2007. She is eternally grateful to watch her rainbow children, daughter Rebecca and son Alex, grow around her. Since joining the sad world of the babylost, she has become dedicated to furthering research into stillbirth and neonatal death, as well as the unique parenting and relationship challenges for babylost mothers.
In her day job, she helps connect people to the medical and health information they need, and sees the need for better communication between babylost mothers and their health care providers. She is also the author of Joy At The End of The Rainbow: A Guide to Pregnancy After a Loss. (Photo courtesy of Courtesy Maryl Cook Photography)
Amie Lands is a wife, mother, teacher, and author of Navigating the Unknown and Our Only Time. She is the proud founder of The Ruthie Lou Foundation and a Certified Grief Recovery Specialist®. Her most sacred role in life is being “mama” to 3 beautiful children: her daughter, who she held for 33 days, and her two sons who she has the privilege to watch grow. When Amie learned that her daughter would not survive, writing became her emotional outlet, used as a way to process her emotions and to educate others on the grieving process.
Through grief work, soul searching and heart healing, joy has found its way into Amie’s life once again. This has become her passion and calling: to write, to educate, to advocate and to offer hope for bereaved families.
Amy Lied is a wife and a mother to her son, Asher, who was inexplicably born still on February 19th, 2017. Before losing Asher, she suffered a miscarriage and struggled with unexplained infertility. She has documented her journey from the beginning of her infertility struggles on her blog, Doggie Bags Not Diaper Bags.
She is also a co-founder of The Lucky Anchor Project, an online resource for loss families that houses an Etsy store whose profits are donated to loss family non-profit organizations. She hopes to help others by sharing her journey as she continues to navigate the bumpy road that is life after loss.
Arica Carlson lives in the heart of Nebraska where knowing the weather forecast is a way of life. She is married to Ryan, who grounds her lightning brain and always keeps her laughing. She is Mom to Dane, Grant, and sweet little Reece. There are lots of Legos, superheroes, sound effects, and dirt in her house, but it is short one set of smears, as Reece was born still at 34 weeks. Writing was a way Arica could process the death of Reece and work through the dark mire of grief and child loss. She works as a sign language interpreter when she isn’t tending to her gardens or her flock of backyard chickens.
Catherine Travers, originally from Ireland, lives in Perth, Western Australia with her husband Merv. She is Mummy to Benjamin who was born sleeping at 35 weeks in April 2017. An accountant by day she has rediscovered her love of writing in the wake of the tragic death of her son. She writes about her experiences of stillbirth and life after loss on her blog, Benjamin’s Light.
Catherine is passionate about creating awareness for stillbirth and breaking the terrible silence associated with it. She volunteers for a pregnancy & infant loss support charity, Bears of Hope, in her spare time with a view to helping to improve support services for bereaved families.
Christy is a regular member of the Friending podcast team, a contributing writer to Still Standing, an online magazine about infant loss and grief, and a blogger at Um, You Guys? a parenting/adulting blog where she tries to infuse humor into everyday life.
Christy resides in Holmen with her her husband, Brian, and her two kids, Avery and Evan. Her first born twins, Sophie and Aiden, died in 2009 after being born prematurely.
Dawn is wife to her husband of nine years, Joe, and a mom to their first child, daughter Zoey, who lived for 120 beautiful days. Writing gave Dawn an outlet during her pregnancy (after doctors discovered the baby had Trisomy 18) and after the life and death of Zoey. Since losing Zoey, Dawn and Joe have struggled with infertility and are still exploring options to expand their family. As a result of these battles, she strives to help others hold on to hope.
Dawn works in marketing for a television station and also serves on the board of Friends of Wings, the pediatric hospice and palliative care program that cared for her daughter. She also blogs about life, love, and hope at anchoringthewaymires.com.
DeAndrea is the Founder and Executive Director of A Memory Grows, a 501(c)(3) based in Fort Worth, Texas that provides retreats and events for parents who are grieving the death of their child. She is the mother of three beautiful children, one son who she lives for and two daughters who she has the joy of sharing this life with. After the stillbirth of her son Max in 2013, she quickly discovered that life would never be the same. Through the darkness of grief and the struggles that came with it she relentlessly held to the light and love that Max’s life continued to show her and she rediscovered the truth that love always carries on.
She cries easily, laughs endlessly and takes pictures constantly with the belief that life is to be cherished because this moment will never come again. She writes to encourage and remind herself and others that we are never alone and that even in the midst of the mess that life often is, there is still beauty and joy to be found.
Doris Limnos is a wife and mother to 3 earthside children and one stillborn angel. On the 19th May 2014, while 41 weeks pregnant and in the early stages of labour with baby number 3, she gave birth to a silent but beautiful baby girl, Elysia Grace. The loss of her daughter tested her relationships, mental health and faith but with the help of her loving support network and much grief-work, counselling and therapy, there is healing and a new-found appreciation of love mixed beautifully with pain.
Doris is very passionate about removing the taboo and talking openly and honestly about pregnancy and infant loss on social media, as well as educating those who come in contact with grieving parents on how they can get alongside their hurting friends in the most practical, mindful and genuine ways, walking alongside them in what is a very lonely and lifelong journey.
On the 23rd May 2016, 2 years and 4 days after the loss of sweet Lissie, she welcomed her second son and rainbow, Malachi Nathan. Doris is humbled and honoured to be a contributor for Still Standing Magazine, and her sincerest wish is that her story and experiences might bring hope, comfort, and that nod of ‘yep, I hear you’, so you know you are not alone.
Elizabeth Lamie is the proud mother of identical twin boys in heaven- William Matthew Lamie and Harrison Michael Lamie who passed away a few hours after birth on August 1, 2015. She resides in Northern Virginia and is married to the love of her life, Nicholas. Their godchildren Olivia and Hudson bring so much joy to their lives, along with their Golden Retriever Pup, Barley.
Elizabeth’s goal is to help others get through the painful, confusing journey of child loss, while honoring her twin boys. She is currently working on a book series in memory of her boys and a book on grief and child loss.
Emily Graham is a wife and mother to 3 children – 2 girls here 1 son in heaven. Late Christmas Eve (2015) life was sent on a new, unexpected trajectory. Her oldest child, Cameron (forever 7), unexpectedly got sick. Within 24-hours they were making the hardest decision of their lives to withdraw life support. As he died in her arms, she promised to find a way to live on in his honor.
She began sharing her grief journey on her blog (Just Playing House), and the response from other bereaved parents was overwhelming. Feedback resonated that the support out there seemed to focus on infant/baby loss and miscarriage versus older children. She felt this was an opportunity and calling to help fill in that gap. Her passion is supporting other bereaved parents walking this path and educating others in an attempt to shatter the stigma surrounding grief and life after child loss. Writing has been the foundation of Emily’s healing, and she is currently working on her first book.
Emily Grorud is a wife and mother to three children. Living with PCOS, Emily and her husband sought fertility treatments to get pregnant. Her first child, James, was stillborn at 23 weeks due to preterm labor in 2010. Eleven months later she delivered her preemie daughter Josie at 24 weeks. Josie lived for four days in the NICU before joining her brother in heaven. Four months later the trajectory of her life unexpectedly changed again with one phone call. Emily was present when her miracle baby was born in 2012 and her adoption was finalized seven months later. Emily is currently waiting (somewhat patiently) for another miracle baby to be matched and adopted into her family.
Emily is a founding board member of the organization Bereaved Parents of Madison, Inc. She helped launch HUGS, the organization’s innovative peer support program, and facilitates the monthly support group. Emily found healing through reading and writing after the loss of two babies. She hopes her writing will resonate with parents who have experienced the unimaginable or are embarking on the unbelievable. Emily is honored to share her perspective with you as a contributor. She lives with her family in Madison, Wisconsin.
In 2008, Heather’s world as she knew it changed forever, with the sudden loss of her 14-year-old son, Austin. Therapy, and often survival, came in the form of writing, beginning at a memorial blog remembering him. Along the way, she realized the pouring out of her story was also helping others. With a gentle nudging, she chose to take another path, challenging herself to find the JOY in every day, despite the sadness she still felt. She loves and misses Austin daily but is living her life to honor him – and celebrating every moment it brings.
Aside from writing for Still Standing, you can also find Heather at Joyful Challenge. It’s an honor as well to be among the contributing authors for the book, “360 Degrees of Grief” and the sister book, “Still Standing – Because They Lived.” She has also had the privilege of being featured on BlogHer and Exhale Literary Magazine. Her joys today include being a wife and a mom to Austin’s younger brother.
Heidi Beltran is the mother of Talia Luna, who was lost to a missed miscarriage at 11 weeks in April of 2016, and Atlas Delilah Rose, her rainbow baby born December 2017. The miscarriage of her first child was violent and isolating. At twenty-two, Heidi knew very little about infertility of any kind. The loss of her baby catapulted her and her husband, Sergio, into a different world entirely. She found solace in doing what she knew best, writing. She has spent most of the last two years working with her grief and finally reached a place where she felt ready to embark on the journey of pregnancy again. Now she is raising Atlas and continues to honor the memory of Talia.
Aside from completing and hoping to publish the two poetry collections she has written, Heidi also is working on her first novel. Heidi is very excited to be writing for Still Standing Magazine and hopes to bring awareness of pregnancy loss to those in their early twenties. At twenty-four she never imagined she would endure such heartbreak but she also never imagined how strong she could be. You can follow her on Instagram to follow her journey.
Heidi Faith is the founder of stillbirthday and The M0M Center. Stillbirthday provides free, printable birth plans for mothers experiencing birth in any trimester, and in any outcome. Stillbirthday developed the Birth & Bereavement Doula® certification to equip individuals to know how to come alongside mothers during birth in any trimester.
The M0M Center, in Kansas City Missouri, is stillbirthday headquarters, and a community center for healing, providing birth education, maidenhood classes, grief support groups, and more. Visit stillbirthday for free resources, to find a doula, or to become one.
Jessi and her husband Glenn have spent their decade-long marriage navigating infertility. Between her PCOS and his male-factor infertility, they have struggled immensely to grow their family since the beginning. They share one daughter conceived from fertility treatment (born 2010) and had one surprise miracle pregnancy after five years of TTC that ended in a devastating miscarriage (2017).
Jessi writes about conquering infertility, embracing motherhood, recovering from a miscarriage, and her faith on her blog Life Abundant.
Jill Kawchak is the proud mama to one truly amazing daughter, the wife of a good man, and a companion of a very troublesome Labrador retriever. Her days are spent homeschooling from the shadow of the Rocky Mountains in Cochrane, Alberta, where her daughter constantly begs to go exploring. She had always wanted to be a mother and started TTC just after her wedding in 2006. Jill has been diagnosed with PCOS, and was told motherhood would be a difficult goal to attain, but after 3.5 years of infertility with one early loss, the clouds parted, and the sunshine that was a little girl with blue eyes and brown curls broke through. However, in the years since her daughter arrived, there have been another 4 early losses. After *much* debate, angst and tears, Jill and her husband, Mark, have decided to end their fertility journey and are now focused on ‘what comes next’.
Jill completed her doula training last year and is working toward certification with hopes to eventually become a baby-loss doula for those in need. She writes to keep sane and support those who are also experiencing infertility and baby loss.
Jo-Anne Joseph is a wife to her best friend Brian, mother to two beautiful children, Braydon who keeps her on her toes and Zia who she holds in her heart. She is a career woman, freelance writer and aspiring author from South Africa. She blogs and writes for the loss community since her daughter was stillborn in July 2013 at 33 weeks and a day.
She is working on her debut romance novel to be released at the end of 2017, early 2018. She is honored to contribute at www.glowinthewoods.com for the last few years and to have contributed to Our Only Time by Amie Lands releasing in September 2017.
Her hope is to support the community through her words and acts in much the same way that she was supported throughout her grief journey. Writing has been her hope, healing and vice through the years and she would like to continue sharing it. She does so with a deep passion and love. Her hope is to raise awareness and be an advocate for infant and pregnancy loss in a country where there is very little mindfulness of this often silent heartbreak impacting so many.
Social Media Coordinator/Editor/Writer
Kaila Mugford is wife to Jamey and momma to 4, Samuel, Mira, Edward, and Gabriel. She began her motherhood journey with the devastating fatal prenatal diagnosis of Samuel at his 20-week ultrasound. He was born full term in April of 2012 and died within the hour in her arms. After multiple genetic tests yielded inconclusive results, Kaila and Jamey were given the green light to try again and became pregnant with their daughter Mira just 4 months after Sam’s death.
Mira was born healthy in May of 2013, and her little brother Edward joined their family just 2 years later in August of 2015.
Kaila and Jamey announced their 4th pregnancy in October of 2017 and at their 18-week ultrasound were given the news that their newest baby, another boy, had the same diagnosis as Samuel. They prepared their entire family for the loss of their youngest. In April of 2018 at 30 weeks pregnant, Kaila developed a rare form of preeclampsia termed HELLP syndrome and delivery was necessary to save her life. Gabriel was born alive and died in Kaila’s arms just 2 hours after birth.
Kaila blogs about her family’s grief and loss of two children at kailamugford.blogspot.com. Writing is healing for her, and she hopes that her words can bring comfort to others grieving too.
Katja Faber is a single mother of three children. She runs her own avocado farm and works part-time as an English teacher, journalist, and writer. Before having children she was a criminal defense barrister in London, having always been involved in human rights societies and advocacy. Her eldest son, Alex, was murdered on 30th December 2014. He was 23 years old, had just graduated from university, and was home in Zurich for the holidays. The complex nature of the police investigation, the defense team’s legal arguments and the substantial financial resources of the killer’s family led her to becoming actively involved in the prosecution of her son’s killer. Subsequently, new additional charges of attempted murder and rape (of another) were added to the indictment.
She divides her time between Zurich, Switzerland and her farm in southern Spain.
Kelly Coté is a licensed psychotherapist and the mother of three beautiful children, including the son she now carries in her heart. At the 20 week ultrasound with her first child she was told “something was wrong” and her world came crashing down around her. After several weeks and many tests later, an amniocentesis diagnosed her son with Trisomy 13, a rare chromosomal condition known for being incompatible with life. Parker James Coté was born still on June 5, 2013. In the years following the loss of her first child, she welcomed two rainbow babies into the world. Although she is grateful to have been blessed with her other children, she also feels a void without Parker in her arms. Over the years she has learned how to parent all three of her children; and for Parker, that means keeping his memory alive. She knows that although he is not physically here, he is always in her heart.
Since the loss of her son, she has become passionate about helping other bereaved parents, spreading awareness about infant and pregnancy loss, and providing hope that healing after loss is possible. She opened Evolve Counseling, LLCwhere she provides counseling services to individuals and families that are working towards healing after infant or pregnancy loss.
Kelly Gerken is the president and founder of Sufficient Grace Ministries, an organization providing perinatal hospice services, bereavement support and Dreams of You memory-making materials to families facing the loss of a baby through miscarriage, stillbirth, infant death and the death of a young child. Kelly has walked through the loss of three of her five children, and now reaches out to walk with other grieving families as an SGM Comfort Doula and SGM Remembrance Photographer.
She is a creator and facilitator of training for birth professionals on compassionate care for bereaved parents facing perinatal loss. Her memoir, Sufficient Grace, was published in 2014. You can read more about Kelly’s journey of grace, hope and healing and the outreaches of SGM, order resources or find her book here on her site.
Kierra Sunae’ is Founder of Healing Footprints Foundation, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization established to support families who have experienced infant death. The foundation is a labor of love, birthed after Kierra and her husband experienced the devastating death of their one-week-old son, Colby.
As an infant loss advocate, Kierra is dedicated to offering services that help families heal after the inconceivable and often unexpected death of their newborn baby. As a wife and mother of an amazing four-year-old son, Kierra is committed to sharing the highs and lows of healing after infant loss. With a strong faith, she walks with purpose determined to make grieving hearts smile again… one footprint at a time.
Larissa Genat has been happily married to Marcus since 2011. In 2012, she was thrilled to discover that she was pregnant with their first child. After a smooth, complication-free pregnancy, her baby girl’s heart stopped beating at 39 weeks. On January 30, 2013, Ariella was born still, and reason was ever found for her death. Larissa turned to writing as a way of processing her grief and keeping people updated on how her and her husband were going.
As time went on, she became passionate about sharing with people about baby loss, and wrestling with how the concepts of faith and loss can possibly work together. For Mother’s Day 2013, Larissa received the perfect present: the discovery that she was pregnant again. Her son was born safely in January 2014, followed by the safe arrival of two more children in 2015 and 2017.
As well as Still Standing, Larissa contributes to the Sands Australia blog, an infant loss support organisation for which she also volunteers.
Lindsey Dennis blogs at vaporandmist.com.
Married later in life at age 33, her and her new husband, Kevin were eager to start a family. Much to their surprise and excitement 6 months into marriage they became pregnant with their first child. That excitement soon turned to devastation when at their routine 20-week ultrasound they found out that their first child, a little girl, had a condition called anencephaly and would not live once born. Determined to celebrate and enjoy every moment they were given with her they carried her to term as their community of family, friends and even strangers rallied around them to help them celebrate this little life.
On September 1, 2013, their firstborn daughter, Sophia Kyla was born alive and lived a remarkable 10 hours. Overwhelmed with grief they were still hopeful to have another child. 6 months later, they were pregnant again with their 2nd child only to discover at their 12 week ultrasound, much to the dismay of their doctors, that this child, another little girl carried a similar condition as Sophie, acrania, and she too would not live once born.
In the midst of the deep sorrow, they carried her to term and celebrated her life. Dasah Brielle entered the world on November 13, 2014, and lived a beautiful 12 hours of life. Lindsey began to offer her story of grief and hope to others through her blog as she chronicled Sophie and then Dasah’s life. Today she takes joy writing, working with a non-profit Christian organization, loving on her husband, Kevin and aggressively compassionate golden retriever, Toby while caring for her much loved young son who came into their lives through adoption 15 months after Dasah passed away.
She is the author of Buried Dreams: From Devastating Loss to Unimaginable Hope released September 2018. Her book talks about her story and the kind of hope that rises when you're faced with the devastating loss of your most precious dreams and can be found on Amazon.
Lindsey continues to write on her blog and is also a contributor for hopemommies.org.
Marisa resides in Georgia with her husband Joel and is a true boymom to 3 wonderful little men. Drake, who spent his short life in the NICU and then died in her arms at 12 days, 16 hours old, when he was pulled off his ventilator. He sustained injuries during delivery and was never going to be able to breathe on his own. She and Joel made the tragic decision to say goodbye and allow him to go where he would be pain-free. Then came along Aden and Gavin. Each had their own pregnancy complications, but they made it here with no issues and she could not be happier. Since her introduction into the world of grief, she has worked to try to make infant loss less of a taboo subject by not staying quiet regarding her loss.
In 2013, she and Joel co-founded a nonprofit (Dragonfire Foundation) to provide help to babies in the NICUs and their parents. One thing she has always wanted to do was to become a writer and she is so thankful that Still Standing is providing her a chance to do something that she loves. Photo courtesy of Audrey Herron Photography.
Morgan McLaverty, a world traveler that has taken roots in southern New Jersey where her husband Sean was born and raised. Now, a stay at home mother, she cares for her three living boys; Gavin Cole(5), Rowan Grey(3) and Holden Nash (1). She also is a mother to Lennon Rhys. Lennon was born still at thirty one weeks and five days. His loss spurred on a need in Morgan to write her feelings, share her grief and help others in the process. She hopes her words will help shed the silence and taboo nature of discussing pregnancy and child loss.
Her passion is writing and re-thinking human behaving and emoting. She’s processing her own experiences using her blog and you can also read her daughter Ananda Mae’s blog, where she writes letters to her identical twin sister, who left her body at a young age of 3 days.
Niamh Connolly-Coyne is mother to three daughters Alice and twins Emma and Mia. Mia died a few weeks before she was born. She had a heart condition called hypoplastic left heart syndrome.
Niamh lives in Ireland. She has a master’s degree in social policy and all of her career has focused on working in the area of social care and making change through influencing social policy decision making.
Quite soon after Mia’s passing, Niamh quickly realised that there were very limited resources for bereaved parents in Ireland in relation to losing one or both twins. So, she wrote the contents of two booklets which were kindly endorsed by the Irish Neonatal Health Alliance www.inha.ie and VP Ireland @vasapraeviasupportandawarenessIreland. You can read the booklets at www.inha.ie/angel-babies/. The booklet “Loss in a multiple pregnancy: a guide to coping with grief and Loss” has been distributed to the 19 maternity units throughout Ireland, so that it will arrive in the hands of bereaved parents even before they have left the hospital.
Niamh has completed the content of another booklet “Loss in a multiple: a guide for staff” and the Irish Neonatal Health Alliance www.inha.ie has again kindly agreed to endorse it. She is also in the process of writing another booklet for bereaved parents called “Do you have a surviving twin: a guide for parents”.
Niamh founded an advocacy group for bereaved parents in Ireland who have experienced loss in a multiple pregnancy called Peas in a Pod: loss in a multiple pregnancy. Through this group, Niamh aims to create more awareness and inclusion of the needs of parents who have experienced loss in a multiple pregnancy at a policy-making level. The group has a Facebook page @peasinapodireland where resources relating to loss in a multiple pregnancy can be shared and where bereaved parents can share their story.
Niamh is also a regular contributor to Moments, a magazine that is published twice a year by Irish baby loss charity A Little Lifetime www.alittletime.ie. The magazine is distributed to bereaved parents throughout Ireland.
Niamh has always loved writing and it has always been a big part of her job and social policy work. Following the death of her daughter, she turned to writing and found that it helped her to express her thoughts and emotions onto paper. Niamh feels that sometimes when she does not what else to do to express her grief, she writes. Through her writings and advocacy work, her daughter Mia is remembered.
Rachel Lewis is a foster, adoptive and birth mom. After a 5-year battle with secondary infertility and recurrent pregnancy loss, she now has three children in her arms and a foster son in her heart. She is passionate about supporting women through seasons of loss. When she’s not chauffeuring her kids around, you can find her shopping at Trader Joes, drinking coffee, or writing about grief and healing at The Lewis Note.
Sarah Burg is a writer, wife, and mother of three beautiful children - Calla Elizabeth, Willow Grace, and a third child expected to arrive in August 2018. Following a heroic battle with congenital diaphragmatic hernia (CDH), Willow died in Sarah’s arms shortly after her birth in June 2016.
Since Willow’s death, Sarah has rediscovered a passion for writing that developed at a very young age. However, for the first time in her life, she has become a writer with a reason. Sarah hopes to offer healing and kinship to the child loss community through her words. Sarah also blogs at The Rising (www.sarahjburg.com), where she explores life after loss.
Victoria Denney is a wife and mom of two wonderful children. Joshua who was born too early at 29 weeks (due to preeclampsia) and who she and her husband, Patrick, had to say goodbye to just 36 hours later. Just a little over a year later they welcomed their beautiful rainbow daughter, Madeline, into their family. Madeline has defined the term rainbow baby in every sense of the word, bringing such an amazing healing light and joy into the lives of everyone she has met in the last three years.
Victoria has continued to speak out about preeclampsia and about infant loss, writing and speaking about Joshua every chance she gets.
*If you’re feeling unsafe or considering suicide, please reach out for help. In the US, call or text 988, UK text HOME to 85258, Canada text HOME to 686868.