Story by Karen Poulin-Sparnon

CM_KarenI am a courageous mama because we are TTC after our son Nathaniel was born still at 22 weeks on 9/7/14. Nathaniel was our second pregnancy loss in two years. We lost his sister at 18 weeks in July 2012.

I have been an infertility patient my whole adult life. I had two ectopics and lost my right tube with the second one. August 6, 1998 I became a mom to my two adopted sons (who are now 19 and 18). They are 1/2 brothers and were considered “hard to place” due to their age (both under 3) and the fact that they were developmentally delayed.

Fast forward several years, many infertility treatments, and another early loss to January 28, 2002 when I gave birth to my first rainbow baby…a son. A couple years later on June 25, 2004, my rainbow daughter arrived.

I have since divorced, remarried, graduated from nursing school and waited patiently for my dream job. Last May we found out we were expecting. In June, I was hired for that dream job as a nurse on a Mother Baby unit.

After Labor Day, I worked three nights in a row, felt our baby moving each night, but by Saturday morning, I realized I hadn’t felt him move. A trip to the ER confirmed my worst fears: our baby didn’t have a heartbeat. I was induced that day and quietly delivered Nathaniel silently into this world Sunday morning.

I returned to work a week after he was born. Partially because it was a new job and I didn’t want to take too much time and partially because I needed to prove to myself that I could still do it. There are many days that work is a struggle. I miss my son every day, and our struggles TTC don’t make any of this any easier.

There are times I take care of other courageous mamas who have also become unwilling members of this awful club that we all belong to. I’ve helped courageous mamas who have just lost their baby, and hope my experience brings them some measure of comfort. Other days it’s all I can do to make it to my car at the end of the shift before falling apart.

I am a courageous mama not for what I’ve been through, but because each and every day I am the best mama I can to all my children (adopted, rainbows, and step-child). I go to work and treat my patients with the care and compassion they all deserve, and know that I’m making a difference one baby and one mama at a time.

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