I have had a miscarriage (Marama), a full term stillborn son (Brennan William) and an ectopic pregnancy (Bryna) and two living sons. As my way of giving back to help others who came after me, I have written extensively and started my own small publishing company (Wintergreen Press).
Author of 18 books and booklets on the subject of loss and healing, including my first and most popular self-help book for parents and families, Empty Arms: Coping with Miscarriage, Stillbirth, and Infant Death. I also help families with miscarriage (Miscarriage: A Shattered Dream), prenatal decision-making (Precious Lives, Painful Choices: A Prenatal Decision-making Guide), post decision-making (The Prenatal Bombshell: Help and hope when continuing or ending a precious pregnancy after an abnormal diagnosis), and even teach childbirth educators how to speak of unexpect outcomes as a normal part of their class (Presenting Unexpected Outcomes: A Childbirth Educator’s Guide.)
As an international speaker I have given thousands of talks in the US, UK, Canada, Japan, Australia, and New Zealand. I have worked hard over the decades to help improve the environment of care for families and their caregivers promoting picture taking, holding the baby, involving the family in the experience, and improving memory-making, which is a critical component to grieving well. Slowing down the process prior to induction, increasing preparation time, advocating for a ‘bring baby home after death’ campaign, and introducing a new paradigm of comprehensive, compassionate care by Baby Loss Family Advisors™ also called Baby Loss Doulas® certification program, are other passions that I believe can help families maximize their memories and minimize their regrets. My strengths include sharing the practical how to's and whys vital to helping families. I use purposeful story-telling, intentional patient-centered care, and the gift of respectful, inviting language to help model and teach effective conversations with families in crisis.
My years of working closely with tens of thousands of families in roles such as peer support, parent advocate, compassionate navigator/advisor, social media friend, and mentor has helped me be an active voice for parents and families' needs, desires, and wishes. As a bereaved parent myself, I can speak in the first person about what families feel, how to speak to us, and specifically how to be helpful.
I have extensive experience working in this field: a Founder of a national non-profit pregnancy and infant loss center, one of the founders of the October Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month Campaign, former Co-Director of the Coalition for Positive Outcomes in Pregnancy, and have been involved with organizations such as the First Candle, Star Legacy Foundation, Int’l Stillbirth Alliance, RTS and ISPID over the years.