Mom to Sam Joseph

Born still at 38 weeks on May 9th, 2011

McHenry, Illinois

I am, what some may call a type A personality, I plan everything and make sure I have control over all that I can. Since I am a teacher, we needed to plan the pregnancy for delivery towards the end of the school year, just like we did with our daughter. May, it’s the perfect time, it allowed for me to take a few weeks off for the delivery and have the whole summer with my new addition to my family. So, we did the same plan we did with our daughter. I purchased the ovulation kit and hoped to get pregnant in August some time.

[Read more…]


Mom to “Pooter”

May 11th, 2011

Peoria, IL

At the end of February, we found out that we were expecting.  We were very excited because I was ready to have another child (I have 2 girls & 1 boy) and my husband (biologically) doesn’t have any but has taken the role as Dad in my children lives’ (…a definite BLESSING!).  But more than anything I wanted my hubby to experience the gift of life, that he & I created. So after I graduated with my Masters in December, I scheduled an appointment to get the Mirena, an IUD, removed in January.

[Read more…]


Mom to Karley Jean Homan-Martin

October 16th, 2003

Crestwood, Illinois

I always knew that I wanted to be a mother, a mother of three beautiful healthy children.  My boyfriend and I had an unexpected pregnancy.  I, being only 18 when we found out, was a little nervous at first.  After it settled in and it became more routine to talk about the pregnancy started to be happy about it. 2-23-04 was my due date. [Read more…]


Mom to Isaac – February 26th, 2008

and Hannah – September 16th, 2008

Burbank, Illinois

The Story of Isaac & Hannah Joy

Ya know that feeling? The one you get when you know things aren’t gonna turn out like you planned. The knot in your stomach, the lump in your throat, sweaty palms…that feeling? I remember the day I got that feeling. It was February 21st ’08, a Thursday. I was 18 weeks 5 days pregnant & Dan was gettin ready to leave, I was tense & I don’t remember why. But I remember how you could here a pin drop when I told him not to go because I was spotting. His face took on a mixture of shock & fear… [Read more…]

Mom to Kylie Joy
June 11th, 2007
Belleville, Illinois

Mom to Maddox
September 14th, 2010 – January 14th, 2011
Dixon, Illinois
I got pregnant in December 2009. I am a teen so at first it seemed like a bad situation but I knew I was made to be a mother. Abortion or Adoption never crossed my mind. I knew I wanted to love and be with my child, and my entire pregnancy I studied, researched, and prepared for my beautiful son. I put my whole self into every decision I made for him and when he finally entered this world on September, 14th, 2010, my whole life changed. I was so ready to be a parent. I loved my son so much already. 

[Read more…]

Mom to Andrew
Born Still on December 5, 2010
Naperville, Illinois
What can I say? I’ve experienced more heartbreak than I thought was ever conceivable. Ever.

During my entire pregnancy, I read blogs of others who had given birth to babies suffering with seizures, born 3 months early, or died shortly after birth. I’ve read about their coping processes. I felt sorry for them. (I read lots more happy blogs, too, in case you want to call me crazy). I have friends who have had countless miscarriages, continue to struggle with infertility, and have tried everything just to become parents. Never did I actually think this would happen to me. I thought that if my pregnancy were to end, it would end as a miscarriage like my other friends have experienced. I almost expected that. Coming to terms with our tragedy now, perhaps that was a helpful way to lead me in the direction of grieving. I shamefully never knew how to respond to friends who experienced tragedy in forms of miscarriage and actually shied away from them during their grief. Sadly, I sure understand the pain they are enduring now.

[Read more…]

Mom to Simon Maurice
August 16, 2010
O’Fallon, Illinois

[Read more…]

Mom to a Little Guardian Angel
October 20th, 2009
Plainfield, Illinois
First, I would like to share with you briefly my history. I am originally from CT and moved out to IL about 4 ½ years ago because of my husband’s job transfer. All of my family and friends are back in CT. Needless to say it was a major adjustment to be so far away from my biggest supporters especially when you have a loss such as this. My husband and I were living the American Dream. We bought a house and both have jobs so what comes next, the family. Back in 2009 we started on our journey of making our dream even bigger.

We were very fortunate to find out that we got pregnant so soon. More than anything we wanted to share the great news with our family but first we went to my GP to make sure that it was indeed the best news ever. Once, we got confirmation, we were immediately on the phones telling our families. I did however; wait until that first ultrasound to tell my friends. That big day came. We were so nervous but overjoyed to see our baby. It was the best image my eyes have ever seen. I was 7 weeks at the time and everything looked perfect. The tech told me to hold my breath and I was able to see our baby’s heart rate beat at a perfect 144 BPM. Our doctor confirmed that everything was on track and looking great. We were both ecstatic knowing that everything was on track. The excitement was pouring through us. When I left the doctor’s office, they scheduled me for another appointment a month later. That day to me couldn’t come faster but I which it hadn’t.

To my surprise after my exam, my doctor takes out the stethoscope so we can listen to sounds of my baby’s heart rate together. Again, I was so excited. About 5 minutes in, my doctor was never after to detect a heart rate. I was laying there all alone, no family nearby to support me; however, he mentioned that sometimes we aren’t able to hear it until 12-14 weeks and I was just about 12 weeks. Of course, I leave the room crying and calling my husband and parents.  They did schedule a u/s for me to make sure everything was fine but I had to wait until the following week for it. I explained what happened to my mother and she said that that actually happened to her when she was carrying my sister. Then I actually felt some reassurance that maybe everything is okay. My doctor didn’t seem too surprised, I wasn’t having any symptoms, so yes; I will try to relax and not stress myself nor the baby out and wait for the scheduled u/s the following week.

[Read more…]

Mom to Identical Twin Boys, Michael & Brendan, Stillborn May 2005
7 week loss September 1998
9 week loss July 1999
4 week loss January 2000
Complete Molar Pregnancy April 2000
Plainfield, Illinois
Where do I begin? First of all, as you read this you may think “right, no way all of this can happen to one person.” Well, I wish it hadn’t, but it did. Also, it takes a lot to explain all of this loss so you may need to read in segments. I swear, I could write a book.

[Read more…]


Mom to “Teddy” Theodore Joseph Luaders
June 20th, 2010
Quincy, IL
Teddy’s birthday and death day was on Father’s Day this year.  I was almost 35 weeks pregnant with Teddy.  I hadn’t felt Teddy move that morning, and I worried all morning, thinking he would start moving soon, but called the on-call doctor after lunch.

At the hospital I was hooked up to the machines and there was his heartbeat, and it looked good!  But he wasn’t moving.  The on-call doctor came in.  As soon as he came in and saw the tape with Teddy’s heart rate tracings, he said we need to have a C-section, an emergency c-section, right now.  What a shock!  But I was less scared then than I was when I was at home feeling no movement.  I knew he was alive, I knew he would be taken care of, and I knew he was old enough to survive even though he was early.  He would be ok now.  So I called my husband and told him and he was totally unprepared too, we weren’t expecting him for 5 more weeks!  Both of our other sons were late!  He went about making the phone calls, getting the babysitter, getting his mom and sister to come, throwing together things we might need – we didn’t even have a bag ready for the hospital yet.

In the next several minutes I was wheeled down to the C-section room, they called my doctor (Dr. K) to see if she wanted to come in, and she did!  She got there so quickly and I remember her saying, “I’m here,” and it was like my mom had said it, don’t worry honey, I’m here.  Nurses were rushing everywhere and getting everything ready and then they put me out.

[Read more…]

Mother to Sophia
Born still at 28 weeks on April 3rd, 2010
Central Illinois

In one day your whole world can change. October 12th, 2009, we found out that we were expecting our first child. On April 2nd, 2010, we found out that our precious daughter’s heart had stopped beating. In one day we went from a thrilled, exhilarated expecting couple to a couple that had everything swept out from underneath them. In one day, I became a Mother and lost a Daughter.

In the early hours of April 3rd, I delivered our baby girl, Sophia Marie. She was a tiny, beautiful little girl who was the perfect mix of the two of us. My heart swelled and broke in the same instant. I have never, we have never, been through a harder experience in our life.

[Read more…]

Baby #1 – Miscarried on August 6th, 2006
Baby “Daisy” – Missed miscarriage discovered on November 19th, 2009
Leni Grace – Born sleeping on May 18th, 2010
Baby “Poppy” – Miscarried on December 7th, 2010
Herrin, Illinois

Please take a minute to learn about our angels.

On August 1, 2006, my husband and I were out of town and we found out that I was pregnant with our first child. We were so excited. Brad had flowers delivered to our hotel room and we celebrated by eating out at a fancy restaurant. I called my OB at home and he scheduled our first appointment in two weeks. We were so excited and were telling everyone-even the taxi drivers!

[Read more…]

Mom to Harper Elizabeth
Born Still on August 10, 2010
Lena, Illinois
I was always the little girl whose response to the question “what do you want to be when you grow up?” was a mommy.

[Read more…]

Mom to Thomas Nathan Jr.
May 10th, 2010- May 15th, 2010
Chicago, IL
Monday May 10th, 2010. Thomas Nathan Guillen Jr was born at 24 weeks and 5 days. I went into preterm labor and delivered Baby Tommy via C-Section. It was so scary and so shocking that if you saw a movie about the day you would think it was incredibly unrealistic. But Tom Sr was there by my side the whole time, assuring me that soon we would have our beautiful son and we’d make it. Baby Tommy weighed 1 pound 14 ounces and was 13 inches long. A big boy for less than 25 weeks! Tom Sr sneaked out to get a peek at him and came back to report: “He’s very cute, he looks like me”.

[Read more…]

Mommy to Blayze Gabriel
January 23rd, 2010-January 25th, 2010
Mt. Auburn, IL
In mid-June, Wyatt, my husband, decided he wanted to quit smoking. Well, Iwasn’t going to keep smoking cigarettes around him so I quit too. About five weeks later, I was four weeks pregnant. I had been told by a previous OB/GYN that I would probably have to have intervention to conceive. Miraculously, I got a Big Fat Positive, or BFP, in July 2009. Talk about a surprise. I took two more pregnancy tests just to be sure. I had horrid morning sickness up until I was a little over 21 weeks. Otherwise, things were fairly normal. I had had slight spotting at 6.5 weeks but I’d been pulled in for an ultrasound (u/s), and it was determined that nothing was wrong except for a cyst on my ovary.

[Read more…]

Mom to Sawyer Erik Williams
June 1st, 2010-June 3rd, 2010
Channahon, IL
I’ve been putting off writing about Sawyer’s birth for a while now, waiting for the right moment to come. I guess today’s the day…

There is a LOT of background to this story, but I really don’t think a lot of it matters at this point. All I know is that I had an instinct that something was really wrong with my baby. I had it for almost five days leading up to his birth. I was in L&D triage at University of Chicago Hospital twice within that period of time. Once because I just didn’t “feel right” and the second time because I woke up the morning of his birth around 4 a.m. soaked in blood.

I already had an ultrasound and appointment scheduled with my MFM doctor that day. After leaving L&D with a clean bill of health (as far as they could see after monitoring me for a few hours, everything was okay with me and okay with the baby) I went to have my ultrasound at the clinic then waited to see the doctor.

[Read more…]

Christian – 11/2008 at 9 weeks
Faith Christina – 7/22/2010 at 23 weeks (birth and death)
Chicago, IL

Most of our story started in July of 2008. My husband of almost 2 years at that time and I decided we wanted to start our family. I saw my first positive pregnancy test on October 15th, 2008. We were thrilled, and it only took us 3 months of trying. Our due date was June 18th, a perfect time of year to be off for 3 months with a brand new baby.

My morning sickness didn’t kick in until I was about 6 weeks along, and I was miserable! I couldn’t eat anything and was always on the verge of being sick. At around 9 weeks, the sickness subsided significantly. I remembered emailing friends worried that it may be too soon for morning sickness to subside, and think something might be wrong. I wasn’t cramping or bleeding, so I knew I wasn’t having a misscarriage, so just figured I was lucky and my morning sickness just wasn’t as bad as most.

We had our 11 week appointment on November 25th. I went alone, so my husband did not have to take off of work and I was told there wouldn’t be an ultrasound, so really did not think it mattered if he made it or not.

As I sat in the room, a thought crossed my mind, what if something were wrong and my husband isn’t here… what would I do.

[Read more…]

Mom to Cara Angel
Born at 30 weeks due to severe Preeclamsia and Hellp Syndrome
November 17th, 2009
Chicago, IL

No one ever talks about what could happen, or tells you about diseases to look out for during pregnancy. I bet 90% of women don’t know what Severe Pre-eclampsia or HELLP disease is. These diseases took my daughter’s life and almost my own. This is Cara’s story…

May 23th 2009
my husband and I learned that we were pregnant. Little did we know that this would have such a tragic outcome. November 17th 2009 we lost our little girl Cara at 30 weeks due to Severe Preeclampsia. She was beautiful, she was perfect, she was silentHere is her story…

My pregnancy was uneventful, typical first ultrasound and prenatal doctor appointments.
November 1 2009 at 28 weeks I went to my 3D ultrasound. We got to see our baby girl move and smile and even suck her thumb. Everything looked great.

November 2 2009 at 28 weeks I woke up with swollen ankles, my eyelids were even swollen. This could not be normal… I knew I had an appointment the next day but did not have a good feeling at all. I called my doctor and told them I needed to be seen right away. I was told a nurse practitioner was the only doctor to see me, at the point I did not care who saw me I wanted to be seen. I went in and they did a urine test (I later come to find out that I had 1+ protein in my urine…(protein in urine during pregnancy can be a huge indicator of pre-eclampsia.) We talked about my concern with Preeclampsia. My blood pressure was 128/90 which was my highest reading yet in pregnancy. Typically my blood pressures were 100/70 or 60’s…without any further testing…I was told… I was fine…I was young…I was sent home.

November 15th 2009 at 30 weeks It all began… I was laying in bed with ice packs on my head with a headache I would never be able to explain to anyone. Then came the vomiting. I called the doctor on call, explained my symptoms. I was told I probably had the flu and to wait 4 hours and if I still was feeling bad to come in. Within an hour I found myself on my way to the hospital. On the way to the hospital I knew something was very very wrong. I remember thinking that I was dying, I remember thinking how quickly I just wished to get there. As my husband pulled into the hospital… I had started seeing flashing spots/sparks and my vision started to go in my left eye.

November 16, 2009 I was 30 weeks and 2 days along. While checking myself in the hospital, I noticed I could not think straight or even pull my id card from my wallet, I felt like I was going to pass out. Upon entering my room, I began to vomit again. The nurse came in wearing a mask. Of course everyone was concerned about the swine flu. The nurse tried for about 10 minutes to find a heartbeat. Nothing…nothing at all. We knew something was wrong…all we heard was silence. In the back of my head I never in a million years would have thought that my baby was dead. I just thought…Just get a nurse in here that obviously knows what she is doing… I mean my baby just had a heartbeat not even two weeks ago! I called my mom and told her they could not find a heartbeat…she was on her way. The nurse said a ultrasound tech would be coming in to “get a better look.” When the tech came in we knew something was wrong. Not by the lack of a heartbeat sound…but by the way the nurse and ultrasound tech were acting. Nervous, on edge, jumpy. You just knew by looking at them, that something was horribly wrong.

On the screen we saw her in a head down position…no movement. I asked the tech if he heard a heartbeat, he said “The doctors will be able to have a better look.” Again I knew something was wrong but never did I think she was dead…I guess that as “a soon to be mother” a dead baby inside of you is the last thing that crosses your mind. My mom arrived, and my dad was on his way. When the doctor came in I knew immediately that we had lost her, because not only did a doctor come… two nurses came in as well. Very quiet…very slow. The doctor said “Laura your baby has passed.” My first thought was that’s impossible, there was no way, are you fucking kidding me? I looked over at my husband who was crying “no…no…” I began to cry…

From there my mind seemed to stop. It all gets real blurry from here…(every few months as I remember the events of that day I tend to fill in my story)

I remember suddenly a switch turned on… I was calm. I asked what is going to happen next, and was told I needed to deliver my baby. I could not believe it. I had to deliver a baby and I could not even keep her or see her cry or smile? I thought they would just suction the baby out…never I would I imagine that I would give birth to a dead baby. Those are things no one in life prepares you for or warns you about…things in life you don’t even think about. My mind was filled with 1,000 different emotions. The strangest feeling for me was…I was not scared...I did not care…I had no idea how sick I was and how sick I was going to become. I had no idea what time it was…nothing… I just wanted to go home and pretend this never happened, to pretend I was never pregnant to begin with. I wanted to erase all horrible outcomes from my head. I remember thinking “Ok ill give birth…lets get this over with…I want to go home…I want to go back to work…Ill just tell people to never talk about it…ill pretend it never happened…I was never pregnant.”

Blurry…its all so blurry. I truly believe now it was my body’s way (as well as Gods way) of taking care of me. Blocking any crazy emotions I had for the time being. I do not remember this part at all…I was told I was wheeled into a bigger room and right away was started on a IV hooked to fluids, blood pressure medications, antibiotics (because I was running a fever of 101), and magnesium sulfate (Anti seizure medication) My mom told me she never in her life saw nurses and doctors move so fast. I never once asked what time it was. I never asked what was going to happen. Never asked how sick I was or what was wrong with me. Never asked if it was going to hurt. Never asked how many times I would push, or how long I would be in labor…nothing. I was put on IV drug called Magnesium sulfate …It is a brutal drug.

[Read more…]

© 2011 Faces of Loss, Faces of Hope | PO Box 26131 | Minneapolis, MN 55426 | Contact Us