Mom to Angel Baby, October 5th, 2008 at 5 weeks 1 day
and Morgan, August 3rd, 2010 at 10 weeks 3 days
and Angel Baby, May 16, 2011
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

We got married in June 2008 and started ttc right away… We learned on Sept 26th, 2008 that I was pregnant. Dan is a soldier and was away with work in Comox, BC when I found out and I called him to tell him the news. We were both super excited and couldn’t wait to tell our families but decided to wait until Dan came back home so we could tell them together. Nobody even knew we were trying – we still had this grand plan of surprising everyone. The night I found out I actually went for dinner with Dan’s mom, grandmother and my parents then went to Dan’s Aunt and Uncle’s 50th wedding anniversary and it was SO hard not to tell them.

I called my doctor to go in to see them on the monday but couldn’t get an appointment until Friday. All that week I spent a fortune on HPTs… they weren’t getting as dark as I thought they should be but I was new to all this so what did I know… On the Friday (Oct 3rd) I went to the doctor and it was there I found out that I was losing our baby. I tried to call Dan but they were in the field in Wainwright Alberta by this point and couldn’t get in contact with him… it wasn’t until a few hours later that he got the message and was able to call back so I could share the bad news. Just two days later on October 5th (5 weeks 1 day) I woke up at 6 in the morning to terrible cramps – I was losing the baby. I called Dan, forgetting that if it’s 6 am in Ottawa… it was 4 am in Wainwright… the poor guy was woken up in the middle of the night to a phone call from a very upset wife…

We hadn’t told anyone we were pregnant… so we didn’t tell that we’d lost the baby… we still held out hope we’d soon be able to experience giving our families that surprise good news.

Dan was to be deployed the following September so we knew we had a time deadline and I asked my doctor to refer me to a specialist. During the testing I found out I had a uterine septum. I had surgeries in Oct 2009 and March 2010 to remove it. Dan came home from deployment May 2010 May and we were busy running around to see everyone before our impending transfer to Edmonton, house hunting trip and getting everything ready for the move. On my Mom’s birthday (June 17th), just a week before leaving for Edmonton we got some fantastic news – I was pregnant! We were so thankful that we got to tell people in person before leaving. Everything in the apartment got packed up off in the moving van, we packed up the car and left Ottawa on June 23rd.

We took possession of the house on June 30th and the moving van arrived with all our stuff on Canada Day. With all the boxes in the house we decided to hook up the TV and watch a movie to relax in our new home. This is when our world was shaken – I’d gone to the bathroom and discovered I was bleeding. Living in our home for only a few hours and Dan bundled me into the car and we headed to the hospital. They did some blood work (which turned out fine) and told me to come back the next morning for an ultrasound. The ultrasound (5 weeks 6 days) showed a gestational sac and yolk sac but no fetal pole. They told me to go for an other ultrasound in a week… so wait a week and an other ultrasound… 6 weeks 6 days and still no fetal pole. I went to a walk in clinic (since I still had no dr) and they did some blood work which showed that my hcg levels were still increasing… time to wait some more. I finally got an OB and she set me up with an other ultrasound at 9 weeks 3 days… more waiting… the spotting has stopped and nausea increased which made us hopeful. The 9w3d ultrasound they finally found the fetal pole but it was only measuring just over 6 weeks and no heart beat. We decided the baby needed a name and we chose Morgan which would fit for a boy or a girl.

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Mom to Ella Marie
Born Still on September 3rd, 2010 at 39 weeks
have always wanted to be a mommy. My husband and I decided that once I was done with nursing school we would start trying. We were thrilled to find out that we were expecting on 12/31/09, just two weeks after finishing nursing school, our first month trying.

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Mom to Leilah
Stillborn September 8th, 2010
Kokomo, Indiana

My husband Jared and I were so excited when we found out we were expecting our 4th child.  Our due date was November 15, 2010.  I was nervous because I had suffered a miscarriage in 2006 and in 2008, both at 7 weeks.  We found out that these were due to low hormone levels so I was taking some hormones and we were hopeful.  We have 2 boys and 1 girl and were hoping to have another girl.  All of my pregnancies with the first 3 went fine.  No problems except at delivery I wouldn’t dialate past 2 so I had to have c-sections.

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Mom to 
Ayanna Sarai, Lost to Ectopic Pregnancy, January 2003
Tatiana Alexis, December 28th, 2005
Cameron Alexander, July 6th, 2006
Maia Elise, Lost to Chemical Pregnancy, 2008
Gavin Michael, July 23rd, 2010
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

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Three Miscarriages
One Molar Pregnancy
In October of 2002 I found out I was pregnant with my 4th child. It was an unplanned pregnancy and completely caught me off guard. But as I had with my older 3 children, I was willing to welcome this baby to our family. 
A month later, I started having some mild bleeding. I went to the ER and they gave me an ultrasound. The doctors said it was still early but they could see a fetal pole and everything matched up date wise. I was sent home to relax. Over the next few weeks I would spot some days and have no bleeding other days. I knew something was wrong. I finally went to my regular OB/GYN. He did another ultrasound. The baby had not developed any since the ultrasound at the ER. I was taken to a back room to receive the news. I knew as soon as the tech started leading to the back of the building I was not going to hear good news. They handed me a phone and I heard the familiar voice of my OB. He told me the baby had stopped growing. He told me to go home and the baby would pass in  a few days. I waited for another week and nothing happened. So I had to have a D & C. I was heart broken. The operation was fast a pretty much painless. I was an emotional wreck for a few more days.

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Mom to Ellen
Miscarried November 11th, 2009
Lancaster, Pennsylvania

My name is Jennifer and we lost our first baby, Ellen, at 9 weeks gestation on November 11, 2009. My husband Jason and I live in Lancaster, PA and I have been married for four years. For a long time we were not sure we would have any children. I suffer from major depression and really didn’t want to mess around with my hormones. He’s very career driven and didn’t feel he had time for family. We were happy as is. We travel a lot, eat out a lot, drink and critique fine wine and were just enjoying life.

 Then we started talking about children. He and I were both still worried about my mental health. I’d been feeling really great for three years and didn’t want to upset that balance. He also started traveling away from home more than ever. So, we settled on the idea of becoming foster/adopt parents with the intention of adopting an older child. We started the process in November of 2008 and were approved as foster/adopt parents in July of 2009. Amazingly enough despite the huge number of waiting children you hear about, we were told the process would take 1 to 24 months. We have had a few nibbles and one serious potential placement, but everything has ultimately fallen through.

One day Jason and I were talking and I asked him if he was still on board with the adoption plan and he said he was. I asked if he felt that he was missing out on anything by not having biological children and he said that he did feel like he was missing out. He wanted to see what our child would look like. He wanted to create a life with me. I think I fell in love with him all over again when he said that…and we started trying that night. Two weeks later I had a positive pregnancy test!

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Mom to Baby P
August, 27th, 2010
Washington Township, Michigan
I found out we were pregnant three weeks before my husband and I were to be married.  It was such an exciting time – the start our lives together as husband and wife as well as mom and dad.

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Thank you!

Wow. We want to say the hugest “thank you” to everyone who participated in our I AM THE FACE campaign. What a truly incredible month it’s been!

First, let’s talk about the faces. As of today, we have had a little over 1,900 face pictures uploaded to www.iamtheface.org. We set out to show the world two main things: 1) that while pregnancy/infant loss is not often talked about, it’s very, very common, and 2) that miscarriage, stillbirth, and infant loss are not things that happen to “other people” off in the shadows somewhere, but things that can and do happen to anyone–your neighbor, your sister, your co-worker, and your friend. Real, beautiful, “normal” everyday faces. It’s easy for people to ignore an issue. But put a face on it, and it’s incredibly hard for people to turn a blind eye.

Next, the names. Just as striking as the faces, seeing all of our children’s names (or nicknames), together in one place, is a powerful, powerful image. As we were adding names to the “Gone Too Soon” page, we kept thinking, each one of these names represents an actual baby, someone’s world. They represent hours and hours spent on baby name sites. Each one was argued over, talked about, and decided on with so much love and excitement. Each one of these names has touched who knows how many people with their short but meaningful lives. Our children were more than ideas, or “products of conception.” They were real babies with real names. They existed.

And then there are the donations. Our goal was to raise $2,000…and we raised over $5,000! We are completely blown away by the generosity of the over 550 people who made a financial donation to our cause. The majority of donations came from our friends and families–people that have not lost a baby themselves, but who wanted to show their support. Sometimes we feel like the ‘outsiders’ don’t care, but this shows that a lot of them really do, maybe more than we think. We saw an uncle donate $100 in honor of his niece, grandparents making donations on behalf of their grandchildren, and friends pitching in what they could to support the person in their life who had lost a baby. Of course, many of you who submitted your face also donated as well. Thank you, thank you, thank you for your support. We are so excited for all the great things we’ll be able to do with this money.

While we might not have made as big of a splash as our friendly competition, breast cancer, we are thrilled with how many people were made aware of our message through this campaign. An amazing 5,620 people shared the link to www.iamtheface.org on facebook. If you assume each of those people has an average of 200 facebook friends, that’s over a million people at the very least seeing something about our campaign! On October 15th alone, we had over 5,000 visitors to the website. Our faces were seen and our voices were heard!

Again, thank you to everyone for your amazing support. None of this could have been done without you! We also want to send a quick special shout-out to Sarah, our Supporter Advocate and amazing Creative and Technical Guru (and Andrea’s sister!). Sarah has been an integral part of this campaign with her creativity, drive and ideas. She single handily built not 1, but 2 iamtheface sites and created our community platform and brand identity for this entire campaign.  She is a huge part of our team and deserves an enormous thanks for helping make this campaign a success. Thanks Sarah!

Thanks again, everyone. We’re already looking forward to Oct. 15th…2011!

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Mom to Michael Andrew
Born and Passed November 13th, 2008
Tucson, Arizona
Ours is a story about both devastating infertility and heartbreaking infant loss.  After a painful ovarian cyst ruptured in December of 2006, I was diagnosed with stage 4 endometriosis.  I was 28 years old and just couldn’t believe why this was happening to us.  Over the next year-and-a-half, I went through a laparotomy surgery, several rounds of fertility meds (Clomid), and an intra-uterine insemination (IUI).  Unfortunately, nothing worked to help increase our chances of getting pregnant.  And so in June of 2008 we turned to in vitro fertilization (IVF).  Luckily, our first round resulted in a positive pregnancy test!  We were so excited, it seemed like our dreams were coming true and we were going to finally become a family after 9 years of marriage. 

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Miscarriage at 6.5 weeks in December 2006
Miscarriage at 9.5 weeks in 2007
My husband and I decided in Oct of 2006 we would start trying to have a baby. Well the first time we “tried” it worked in Dec we found out I was pregnant! 
On our 2nd year wedding anniversary we had a small party and thought we would tell everyone the “big news” that day, but the day before I went to the doctor for some bleeding and the next day on our anniversary they called us and said the blood hormone count was not were it should be…we never got to tell anyone about that baby and never did… We lost that baby at 6.5 weeks along. I have never experienced loss like that before, so I greived alone not knowing who to talk to. 

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Mom to Isabella
Born January 12th, 2010 at 2:32 a.m.
Died January 12th, 2010 at 2:57 a.m.
Sutton, Ontario, Canada

Last year, I was pregnant with my first child. My daughter, Isabella, was due on January 1st, 2010. January 1st came and went. She was perfectly healthy, so the doctors told me she’d come when she was ready.

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Mom to Alejandro
Stillborn on December 30th, 2008
Barcelona, Spain
I decided I wanted to be a mom the day my little brother was born. I was almost 12 years old. But I wanted to be a good mother, so I waited. Twelve years later I found out I had a bicornuate uterus. The doctor told me I could have problems conceiving and that I was at risk of having premature labor. I did a very painful test to find out that, probably, I could only get pregnant when I ovulated from the right side ovary.  The good news were that right side had normal size and elasticity, but I would only know for sure I could have a full term baby if I tried. Meanwhile, I got a fellowship to do a PhD in the USA. I wanted to go, but I was afraid it would take too long and that I wouldn’t be able to have a baby before I was 30 or had a stable job. I didn’t want to wait too long to start trying given my weird uterus. My mom reassured me saying she would help me in any case. So I moved to NYC and my husband followed me a year later.

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Mom to Everett Lee Miles Harris
Born into Heaven March 1st, 2009
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
On February 28th, 2009 (37 weeks pregnant) around 7:00 pm I began to feel contractions with my second child. My husband was working that night, so my daughter and I settled down to watch a movie, as I was not feeling very well. I was back and forth in the bathroom for hours, reading pregnancy books and I had ALL the labor symptoms listed in the book…YAY!!  My husband came home at 9pm. Excited that the baby could possibly join us that night, we called the doctor at 10:30pm, we thought labor was progressing. As I was on the phone with the doctor he was asking about contractions and timing them and I then realized that the contractions weren’t going away…they were actually one BIG contraction. He told us to come on in to the hospital. We woke our daughter up and were planning on dropping her off at a friend’s house but I could barely breath, huffing and puffing and serious pain but not the pain of labor. We called the friend and told her to come to the hospital. 

We arrived at the hospital at 11:45 pm. When I got to the labor and delivery floor, the nurses were bickering about what room I should go in. I changed into a gown and laid down on the table at 12 midnight. The nurses put the digital stethoscope on my belly and instantaneously the mood in the room changed. The nurses took turns looking for the baby’s heartbeat, nurse after nurse poured into room. At that point, we knew we might have lost our baby. I only heard one heartbeat. My husband was still standing their with my daughter as the friend was having a hard time locating us in the hospital, So he ran downstairs to pass her off to the babysitter, the last thing I said to him was, don’t leave me. I was so scared.  Those words echo in my head. 
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Mom to Hayden Allen
March 20th, 2010
Jefferson City, Missouri
On November 4 2009 I found out I was pregnant with my husband’s and my first child. We where so happy when we found out. We had been trying for 2 years. It was a normal pregnancy. Went to the doctor every month heard the heart beat and the baby moving around. 

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Our Little Angel, Miscarried August 25th, 2010
Albany, New York
My husband and I have 2 daughters, ages 5 1/2 and 3 years old.  We were always surprised by their pregancies.  When we found out we were pregnant with our 3rd baby, we had so many emotions running through our minds. Exciement, anticipation, we were scared, we were sad, we were happy.  In the back of my mind I knew something was not quite right, even from the very beginning.  I had spotting at 4 weeks when I found out I was pregnant.  I had cramps and bleeding everyday.  I went to the dr., went to the specialists, and had a few ultrasounds.  I was told everything looked good.  My HCG numbers were doubling as they should.  I just could not shake the feeling that something was wrong.
On Monday, August 23, I went for my ultrasound at 7 weeks, I saw the baby, a strong heartbeat and the dr. said everything looked great.  That Wednesday, I was at a Traumatic Brain Injury Awareness Day event that had been created in honor of my dad, as he is a TBI survivor.  I went to the bathroom, and was passing huge blood clots.  I feared the worst.  I called my dr.  they told me to come right in, when I got there, they did an ultrasound immediately.  I had taken my dad with me.  For the past 2 years since his accident I have been acting as his caretaker, I never imagined, that the one day I needed my dad the most, he would be able to be my caretaker again.

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Mom to Grace Elizabeth Lynn Mitchell
September 17th, 2010
London, Ontario, Canada
When Steven and I found out we were pregnant. It was a surprise, but not one of those surprises where your mind wanders in a million places not knowing what to do. We looked at each other smiled and told each other everything would be ok. Telling our parents, family and friends was very nerve wracking not knowing what the reactions would be. Pleased to know everyone was very happy and supportive.

My pregnancy progressed very fast, doing everything right. Taking my vitamins, getting rest and limiting stress as much as possible. Our doctors’ appointments were always the funniest, knowing that each one was one step closer to getting to meet our bundle of joy. When we found out that we were having a beautiful baby girl. We were so excited, began our future planning. We picked out a perfect name for her, Grace Elizabeth Lynn, my due date was September.24th, 2010.

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Mom to identical twin boys
Born and died May 31st, 2009 at 22 weeks 5 days
Marlborough, Massachusetts
My husband Matthew and I grew up a town away from each other. In fact, we were high school rivals. He was an identical twin, so I always heard about the twins or Matt & John the twins….being at the age of 14, 15 everyone had crushes on the twins.

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Mom to Elliot Alexander
August 13th, 2010
Woodland, California
I always thought getting pregnant would be easy, and I was so excited when my husband and I decided to try to start our family in December 2008.  After six months with no success, I made an appointment with my doctor because I knew something was off.  The doctor prescribed Clomid for me in late October 2009.  I was really discouraged after we didn’t have success with my first Clomid cycle.  In late November, I started my second Clomid cycle.  On December 20, 2009, I woke up excited that I hadn’t started my period.  I took a pregnancy test and waited, expecting a negative result.  I was shocked when the second line appeared!  I woke my husband up and we were both so happy, although I was also absolutely terrified! 

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Missed Miscarriage January 25th, 2010
Braselton, Georgia

Face of loss: From the moment I got married, my husband and I had started picking out baby names and had talked frequently about starting a family. I felt like we needed to wait a couple years and have some “couple” time, and he wanted to start right away. Fortunately for me, I won that argument and managed to hold off on trying for a baby for just over 2 years after our wedding in October of 2007. When our 2 year anniversary came, we really sat down and discussed what our “plan” was going to be. We agreed to start trying in January of 2010, but also decided that for the remainder of 2009 (it was only November and December left, after all), we would take the course of “not trying, not preventing”.
In mid-December, on a Tuesday, a few days before I expected my period, I had an episode of random nausea at work. I had never experienced anything like it before – I was sitting at my desk working, and then out of nowhere, I was convinced I was going to throw up on my desk. For the next two hours, I battled the feeling of “about to throw up any second”. I thought that was particularly strange, and the first thing that popped into my mind was “Am I pregnant?”. I decided to stop by the drug store on the way home and grab a box of pregnancy tests. I was so anxious that I took one as soon as I got home. It was negative. I shrugged it off and decided that maybe I just had a bad lunch. Plus, I had bought a box with 2 tests, so I knew I could take another one later if I still felt like something was different.

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Mom to 3 Angels
June 1999
March 2000
October 2009
Orlando, Florida

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