CONTENT WARNING: pregnancy loss, some may find graphic

I knew I wanted Christina to be present for the birth of my second baby, and, when I found out that the heartbeat was gone toward the end of the first trimester, I felt kind of at sea with a birth plan. Weeks later, when I started having contractions, Christina offered to come to support me, and I (wrongfully) told her there was nothing for her to do. Hours later, after the birth, when I decided that I needed to go to the emergency room for blood loss, Christina left home to meet me in the emergency room.

Christina arrived as a familiar presence amidst the chaos of the ER. She put calming music on headphones and wrapped them around my shoulders. She massaged my temples with essential oils. She reminded me to breathe deeply and modeled that for me. She gently asked me questions to help me navigate the hospital system, and became friendly with my nurses. It was clear to me that they were appreciative that she was there. While my parents and my husband were there to support me, they didn’t feel comfortable or confident enough to do the things that Christina did. She knows how to build rapport with care providers.

After my D&C, a procedure I chose to have after discussing risks and benefits with Christina, she came to my home to help clean up from the birth. Christina gently asked if she could clean up the remains for me, and I said yes. Without her, I don’t think I would have ever seen my tiny baby’s body, floating perfectly and beautifully inside the amniotic sac. She went home and researched therapists for me. She used her many strong connections in the birth world to help me find a therapist who specifically had experience in working with families through fertility and loss issues.

My family and I are forever grateful for the grace, calm, support, courage, and affirmation that Christina brought to that experience.