I’m so honored to have Sarah Wynne share her love story here on the bloom project. This is not your typical love story. It is a love story though.
Some call it a tragedy, instead I call this my love story.
My name is Sarah Wynne and I’m a Birth & Bereavement Doula and the Mother of three. Although, you will only see two tiny feet walking beside mine. I’m a loss Mom, a bereaved Mother. Years ago, women who grieved their dead children were silenced by the expectations of their various cultures to pick up the pieces and move on. Hush, don’t talk about it. Many Mothers continue to feel silenced today, for maybe it’s just too taboo to openly discuss pregnancy loss, infant death, and child loss. I aim to break the silence surrounding loss. I’ve given myself the power to turn my personal losses into something beautiful, for my own sake and to honor the memory of my children.
As a Doula, the work I do is about my clients. I work hard to keep my clients worry-free, content, and relaxed through their pregnancies. Therefore, I’m reluctant to share my personal experiences with loss with my clients. With this in mind, it would be impossible to honestly answer the question I get most often without talking about my children. People often ask me, “What brought you to do this, why are you a Doula?”
In 2013, my husband and I were excitedly expecting our first child, a baby girl. We were heartbroken to find out that our baby had become ill in utero due to a congenital birth defect that caused swelling under the skin (edema) and fluid in her chest. We were told that heart failure was imminent. We sought expert medical advice, saw numerous Maternal Fetal Medicine (MFM) specialists, but the diagnosis remained the same. Our baby was expected to die within two weeks. Although devastated and completely heartbroken, we made the conscious effort to hold onto hope that our little one would survive. Ultimately, I carried our daughter, Aubrey Rose an additional ten weeks following her diagnosis before her heart failed. I gave birth to our baby girl on May 14, 2013 after a twenty-three-hour induction and vaginal delivery. We spent nine beautiful hours holding, kissing, and soaking up every minute with our baby before our final farewell.
Later that same year, we experienced a first-trimester miscarriage. Again, we were heartbroken and felt hopeless. Only weeks later, we learned we were expecting once again. This time, our dreams came true and a healthy pregnancy followed. I gave birth to our rainbow baby on August 21, 2014. A rainbow baby is known in the loss community as the baby born after a loss has occurred. The rainbow after a storm. Jack is that, and so much more for our family. Our vivacious little boy has given me reason and purpose in my life once again. There was a time during my pregnancy with Jack (pregnancy after loss) that giving birth to a healthy baby felt impossible and terrifying. I wanted to fast-forward through the entire thing, just to hold him in my arms and know that he would truly be mine. In retrospect, I realize that I needed a Doula during that time. At the time I didn’t understand the kind of support the right Doula could have offered me during my pregnancies. This is my reason.
Today, I’m a Doula. I support women and their families through birth in every trimester. I meet women where they are, every single step of the way, no matter the outcome. I’m the person you want beside you during labor, holding space and creating calm. I offer you the words or the silence you need to empower yourself during your birth experience. As a Doula, I offer you unlimited support whether you have a planned cesarean, a natural birth, a homebirth, an epidural, an emergency cesarean, a baby in the NICU, or premature labor. I know what pregnancy means to my clients, I know how sacred life is, and how dedicated my clients are to their unborn children, and I know how much these experiences mean to the families I serve. Your birth experience will stay with you for all time, and I have that in mind every step of the way. This is why I Doula.
After experiencing great loss, I joined a number of online communities and support groups for bereaved parents. In the years that followed I found myself supporting countless Mothers all over the world through their own losses. Supporting these women in their darkest moments became a passion of mine. It has been an incredible honor to offer even a small amount of comfort in such a heartbreaking time in the lives of these women. The skills I possess are not easy to come by, some would even say they are rare. I offer a level of understanding and judgment-free support that I’m proud of. As a trained and certified Birth and Bereavement Doula, I hope to continue supporting women and their families in this way for years to come.
To get in contact with Sarah or read more about her work visit Dandelion Doula Care.
Photos by Merrill Melideo of The Melideos.