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Finding Out We Were Having Another Boy & Why His Name Is So Meaningful (PAL Journal: 12-13 Weeks)


We were finally given a call in the evening by the nurse to tell us the results of our genetic testing. I was so relieved, I was telling Josh that afternoon that I really wanted to call to find out, but didn’t want to bother them (after all we’ve been through, I was still trying not to “bother” my doctors!). Thankfully the nurse said she saw our results come in and knew we’d like to know before the weekend so she called us (what a sweet, empathetic woman). Amazing news, everything tested normal! And… It’s a boy! We were all so happy. Naomi wanted a sister, but we know she’ll love you either way. We both had a feeling you might be a boy; I even had bought several boy accessories (shoes and hats). So thankful you are healthy and doing well.

There’s a very meaningful story behind Jackson’s name. I actually made this arrow for Owen’s nursery, but it was never hung for some reason. When I awoke from being put under for the crash emergency c-section delivery, I heard Josh answering the nurses that our son was named Jackson. But as I was going under I prayed to God for my son’s protection and just as I was going to say his name, I heard a voice say “Owen”. So, in that moment, I knew it was God and as the prayer goes, He has called us each by name, and therefore our son, His son, would be named Owen (not Jackson as we had thought to name him before that moment).

But now, thus says the LORD, who created you, O Jacob,
And He who formed you, O Israel:
“Fear not, for I have redeemed you;
I have called you by your name;
You are Mine.

When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
And through the rivers, they shall not overflow you.
When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, Nor shall the flame scorch you.

— Isaiah 43:1 & 2 (NKJV)

This prayer applies to what I was to experience with birthing Owen into heaven and walking through the grief with God as often my only comfort. I feel like I survived a near death experience because I was in an emergency situation being cut open hastily to try to save my baby. I was panicked not knowing what was being done to me as they placed a mask over my face to put me under without any explanation. I prayed for my life asking God to please let me survive because my daughter still needed me and my husband could not handle losing me. As I went dark praying for Him to take care of Owen, awaking to the tragic and earth shattering news that he was gone, I was so thankful to be living, but then so full of a sadness I cannot put words to. My guttural screams were like a wounded animal and tears streamed down my face with the overwhelming feeling that God had forsaken us; I didn’t understand how this could be His plan. I later read a woman’s blog that resonated with me because she had a long infertility and loss journey, but she maintained her hope because she felt the Lord had promised her a child. In the same way, I had always thought I would have a son, and though God decided to take Owen, I thought surely that meant that He was telling me this was not the son He was promising me; Jackson would one day be born and we would get to raise him. After that, I felt though Owen would never be replaced by another boy, I would one day get to have a son named Jackson and that God would fulfill that promise so we held on to that hope until Jackson was indeed born. We decided to give our second son the same middle name, Nathaniel, to pay tribute to his older brother and also make sure that somehow Owen’s memory would always live on in his little brother. And yes, I am in tears right now, but I just wanted to share a little bit of the immense importance our son’s names carry.

Being my fifth pregnancy I think I started showing earlier. I was off and on pregnant for about 5 years trying to conceive our second living child, so my body was definitely used to being pregnant and stretching. Throughout those years I had to be religious about taking prenatals, exercising, and avoiding certain foods and drinks, so it was a long period of changing my lifestyle for the good of my babies.
On a road trip to visit my family back in the Bay Area we stopped at the Casa de Frutas, one of my favorite fruit stands to go to as a child. It was important for us to keep trying to be joyful, not letting our ongoing grief and the anxiety of the pregnancy after loss take over our lives completely; Especially since our daughter was going through this journey with us.
Sweet baby, I am so in love with you already. Hope you continue to grow and we get to hold you one day alive and well.

In Your Garden Our Love Blooms

A tiny butterfly flutters down from above

As I tend to your garden expressing my love

Near in spirit or alive in momma’s heart

No distance nor passage of time can keep us apart

Little darling, I see every sign

Sweet baby, you will always be mine

A white butterfly often visits Owen’s garden, which is how I know that he is near.

Hearing the Heartbeat & Hanging On With Prayer (PAL Journal: 11 Weeks)

After our apt. on 3/3/17 we were excited to send a photo of us with our sweet pea to our family back home even though we knew this was just the beginning of a long road ahead filled with uncertainty.


Feeling little flutters of movement since week 8 or 9 when I’m laying down, meditating or resting. Could it be our little sweet pea?? It’s a bit earlier than most people feel the movements, but it’s my 5th pregnancy and I feel very connected to this little one. So in love with our baby and hopeful that all will be well.

Hearing the heartbeat is a momentous experience. If you’ve been blessed with this experience you won’t ever forget it. We of course have a mixture of joy and fear every time, but that doesn’t take away from how special this was to know our baby was alive.


Had what felt like round ligament pain (in groin area; tmi but I keep specific notes for my doctors) while standing waiting for the elevator after having dinner and watching a movie. Not too severe and was ok in car. Went away after we got out of the shower and laid down for bed. (Of course I was taking notes of every random occurrence because you never know what it may mean.)

Another week over. I can tell you, my excitement was still meek because this is still early enough for miscarriage (which I did experience twice) and I know anything can go wrong even later in pregnancy (as we lost Owen at almost 32 weeks). Prayer was my main method of survival through each passing week.

Getting To The Gestational Age That We Lost Our Son Owen (PAL Diary Entry: 32 weeks)


Ultrasounds give me the worst anxiety, but the greatest relief when they’re done. I can then say to myself, “all is well today”.

As we get closer to passing 32 weeks and hopefully meeting our son Jax I think my grief for Owen has gotten stronger, mainly because I feel sad that he’s not here too but also because I am worried that people will act like this baby fixes everything and that’s not right. Jax is going to add joy and make us happy in his own way but it’s impossible for anyone to erase the grief we have over Owen and I worry if they know we had another boy they’ll just think everything is fine now. Strange thoughts maybe but I just don’t want Owen to be forgotten and I don’t want that burden on Jax of making everyone happy. I’m just sure I’ll get defensive when anyone makes any comments about me having one daughter and one son or anything that suggests he’s better or stronger, etc. People say things trying to be nice and cheerful but those type of comments hurt me greatly. So on top of worrying about having him be born healthy I have that added layer of worry over what’s going to be said to us after he’s here. I’ll def make sure to announce and post about him while mentioning that he’s not going to replace our other son and that we are still grieving Owen so that hopefully people will realize that they have to be careful with saying anything hurtful but I can imagine someone will not know how I feel and say the wrong thing without meaning to upset me.

Like a family member on the phone yesterday said something about how this boy is going to be big (her usual choice of word that bothers me) and healthy, so I decided to tell her that while I hope that’s true and we will be happy to have him that I hope she realizes we are still going to be sad about Owen and I don’t want anyone thinking that Jax is going to replace him. She said oh no, we still miss Owen and think of him. I’m glad I said that to her because she has the habit of focusing on this baby and to me it has felt like she thinks this is going to make us a perfect little family with a boy and girl. But hopefully now she’ll be more sensitive.

Anyway, that’s my thing for this week as I get to the point where we were when we lost Owen. Just feeling melancholy and missing him, plus a little scared, but also thankful we are getting further along.

Little brother Jax still growing in my womb,

Somewhere Over the Rainbow a Dream Finally Came True (My Rainbow Pregnancy Journey: Part 1)

The birth of our third child, our much prayed for second son, is almost surely the most cathartic and fulfilling moment of my adult life to date. While having our first born daughter safely delivered in our arms was beautiful, miraculous and awe-inspiring as well, the birth of a child after multiple losses brings with it so many emotions that are far more intense than one could imagine you could feel before loss. Having a baby is the closest we’ll ever be to experiencing the power of God. Seeing how from an egg and sperm that joined together our bodies can grow a perfect little human that magically is brought to life from our womb is just mind blowing to me. Every time I’ve held our newborn babies I immediately fell in love and thought to myself, “Wow we made you? You were in there all this time?” Meeting our littlest son after the devastation of having miscarried, then lost his brother Owen at close to 32 weeks of pregnancy, then miscarried again, was a moment I long dreamt of, but never truly believe would happen for us until that moment he was in our arms.

The vision board I created for my pregnancy with my rainbow baby. So many hopes & dreams right here that I prayed over non-stop! (And yes, he was due on his brother Owen’s birthdate by chance/divine plan)

To recap the pregnancy was far from perfect or easy. We had the anxiety to be expected of a PAL (Pregnancy After Loss) couple; Fearful every moment would be our last. Nights of insomnia filled with worry that I would miss a moment when my son stopped moving and it would be too late when I woke up to save him. Flashbacks of our loss. And from the beginning I had a nagging worry that for some reason I would have a premature delivery and my baby wouldn’t survive. I don’t know where that fear came from, probably because my brother’s girlfriend tragically lost a baby after us from her water breaking suddenly and then my sister sadly lost twins from terrible, unexpected complications in the second trimester. But based on my own history, I had no reason to assume my water would break early. I still decided to take it super easy during my pregnancy, not even going for walks though I know being fit is good for most pregnancies. I just couldn’t shake the feeling that if I did too much, I could lose this baby too. Sure enough at our 20 week appointment, after having the anatomy fully scanned and things seemingly going well, my doctor called in his nurse to deliver some terrifying news. My heart sank and my eyes began to flood as I feared the worse. Thankfully it was something we could act on. The doctor informed us that my cervix had begun shortening. We had the option of a cerclage which wasn’t a guarantee (“In lesser skilled hands”) but our amazing doctor had been successful with this method in many, many pregnancies before ours. We trusted our doctor (Dr. Tabsh) and his team fully, so we booked the surgery for that weekend and I put myself on at home bedrest until that morning. Good thing that I did, by the time of the surgery I had begun to dilate 1 cm as well. I was a complete wreck going into the surgery but had reached out to a support group online that sent me a prayer over our son that I read that morning which gave me a sense of peace. As I lay in the OR, my doctor and nurses cheerfully chatted and joked with each other which put me at ease since they apparently felt things were going smoothly. The entire time I just prayed for the doctor’s hands to act as God’s hands, so that he would skillful and be able to help keep my baby safe inside of me. After recovery we were sent home and that very moment I walked back in the house through the garage door I exhaled for the first time in days thanking God for letting me walk back in with my baby still in my womb. Tears of joy and gratitude rushed out of my eyes. We still had our baby boy with us.

Fast forward past 17 weeks of bedrest at home where I spent the majority of my time laying on the coach watching Netflix, crocheting and reading with the occasional visitor or trip to the doctor’s office and permission to attend a couple special events for our daughter (I will share more about this challenging experience in a later post). We were now at 31 weeks and 2 days having been admitted to the hospital after our last appointment due to low fluid levels. In reality the level wasn’t so drastically low, but low enough that our doctor didn’t want to take chances with us because of our history and we were too afraid to have me leave without our son being born after that so we begged to be kept there on the monitor and IV fluids until they could let us schedule our c section. This was another turning point for our bumpy pregnancy journey, but though I wished to be home with our daughter and my husband, I was so thankful to have been able to stay at the hospital under their watchful care because of our raging panic that if I went home something terrible would go wrong again and we would be too late getting back to the hospital. We could thank PTSD for that trauma since we lost our first son at almost 32 weeks of pregnancy after a “textbook” perfect pregnancy without any complications and no warning.

All I want to say to end this post is please always trust your gut instincts/mother intuition. If you feel like something can be wrong, be your own advocate and refuse to go home without all the possible screenings and tests done to assure you that everything is in fact ok. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gone back to that awful day when we lost our son Owen to think what I could’ve and should’ve done differently to save him. Yes, I went in to the ER to check on him when I felt something was wrong, but maybe I shouldn’t have listened to the person who answered my call and waited to eat to try to get him to move more and then go in if he didn’t start reacting. I would definitely have run in now if I could do that all over again, but I was naive and unaware that I could lose my son in that moment (I had never even heard of stillbirth back then or kick counting, which I did but since Owen was such an active baby I really took closely tracking his movements for granted). So, while this story of my rainbow pregnancy will thankfully have a happy ending, my first son did not get to come home with us and I wanted to take this time to remind you that you have to trust yourself and speak up for you and your baby. I’ll finish sharing our happy rainbow baby pregnancy and delivery journey in a future post, but for now, let me also assure anyone who is struggling through PAL that although it can be a very scary and difficult journey, I am here for you (just as many others in our “club” of loss families are) to help you get through each of the days ahead, so please feel free to leave me a comment or find me on Facebook ( if you need support.

As always, your sweet babies will live on in my heart along with our son Owen. 

Grief (Uncensored)

Here she is again; That viscous, heartless bitch, grief. She has no care for what day it is. She storms in, flinging the door wide open whenever she damn well pleases and ruins everything; Holidays, anniversaries, special occasions are all fair game. Four years after loss, her arrival has gotten a bit more predictable. We don’t feel the weight of her constant, daily presence like we did the first couple years. She’s more like the annoying uncle everyone puts up with at Thanksgiving and tries not to engage in conversation to avoid his off-color jokes. But that doesn’t mean she can’t show up without a moment’s notice and turn your whole world upside down again. People say grief comes in waves. In my experience she’s more of a tsunami attack. You can’t just wade in the shallow side of grief, she’ll drag you into the deep end and dunk you under as you gasp for air, crying out in vein for someone to save you. All it takes is a small trigger or a bad day for her to see her way in. Kick you while you’re down, that’s her style. A real bitch I tell you. But you know the weirdest part of this toxic relationship? Sometimes I see her coming and I invite her in. I welcome her like a long lost friend. Ah (sigh of relief), there she is, just when I was afraid I had “moved on”. That the pain of loss had decided to let go of my heart and somehow that means I miss him less. After a long spell of her silence, of being able to go through my daily routine without a tear, I feel somehow thankful when she returns and she reminds me of how much I lost, how badly I still long for my baby boy. She’s the only one who knows how truly broken I still am. She heard my guttural screams when I was told the news, “I’m sorry, we couldn’t save him. Your son died”, or some similar matter of fact statement that I couldn’t believe I was hearing as I was coming out of the black fog of anesthesia. My husband held my hand, tears flowing. Cries followed that sounded so foreign, but somehow were coming from deep within me; uncontrollable and piercing wails like a wounded animal. Only she knows how we sat together in the darkness every hour of every day after for months on end. I couldn’t imagine life without our son. The only moments I could see the light were when my sunshine came to my bedside to sit with me. My four year old girl, sitting sweetly in my rocking chair smiling at me and instinctively coming to my bedside to hold my face within her tiny hands making mommy smile back at her when I was at my worst. She kept me from being swallowed whole by grief in those early days. My husband too, with his rock solid strength, pushing forward, going back to work to keep us afloat and putting on a brave face though he was also fighting off grief and severe PTSD. God was there too, silent but steady, understanding all to well the pain of losing a child. He never left my side and kept promising me beauty for ashes, asking me to trust Him. Then inexplicably, somehow life continues moving on. We learn to cope, figure out ways to honor our lost loved one and by some miracle we can experience joy and hope again too. Grief takes a break, maybe she finds some other poor unsuspecting soul to ambush. Yet she won’t let you forget her, she comes back unannounced and as much as I dread that day, I can’t help but smile because I know she’s going to bring me right back to that place. That moment I held him in my arms for the first time, smelled his fresh baby skin, took in his perfection, every inch from his soft blonde hair, handsome cleft chin, long, thin body, down to his slightly crooked toes (just like daddy’s). He’s gone now, but he was here. He died in delivery, but he lived in me, and that’s where he continues to live today. Always in my heart, my son, Owen Nathaniel Vick. Grief lasts forever just like our love, they coexist hand-in-hand, and I’ve learned to accept the crashing waves that allow me to feel the depth of that endless love.

Indifference or Apathy Towards Loss; It’s Time to Talk

Lately my expression of grief has been lingering in the anger phase more than usual. Probably because all my emotions of frustration and anger regarding the loss resurface every time we celebrate our son’s “birth” day (October 3rd). I inadvertently return to that earlier stage of trying to make sense of why we lost him and who was at fault. It’s an extremely lonely and depressing place to be, but I can’t escape it, it keeps me up at night and tortures my mind endlessly. Couple that with the perceived indifference or apathy that I feel others have toward our loss, especially now three years later, it’s a dark and alienating feeling I wouldn’t wish on anyone.

Clearly no one would dare say anything suggesting we move on or that they don’t see why I’m still grieving, but it’s what they don’t say. The difficult moments when I or my husband decide to tell someone we lost a son don’t happen as often as before. But when we do, especially when he shares our loss story (because he doesn’t express his grief as much as I do so when he opens up about our son I know it took a lot), I would expect that the person listening could offer their condolences. It doesn’t have to be a lengthy conversation, but a simple “I’m sorry for your loss” would be much less cruel than silence and a change of topic. Why is it that people skirt passed uncomfortable conversations about grief? I guess maybe they think if they talk about the loss then we’ll be reminded and somehow hurt more? I know it’s hard to go there and feel empathy for someone when they’ve experienced the unspeakable and some people are surprised by the shocking, sudden knowledge that we lost a baby so they just don’t know what to say. But coming from a loss mom, if you don’t know how to react just say whatever you can come up with: “I’m sorry”, “That must be so hard”, “I am here for you”, “Can you tell me about him?”, anything, just don’t stay quiet please. It breaks our hearts our child is no longer here and your avoidance of talking about him doesn’t help. If anything it dishonors his memory and makes us feel even more alone.

And since social media is where many interactions take place these days, if you see a post about a person’s loss, please don’t “Like” it or nod and keep on scrolling. And if you planned on just tapping the sad faced emoji (????), reconsider and kindly take a moment to write out a sentence. Again it can be brief, but it means so much if you acknowledge our pain with a few words. I hope my advice doesn’t come off preachy, but I’ve experienced this enough times in three years and I know people mean well, so I’ve decided to share my feelings to tell others who want to be there for us and anyone else who lost a child that it’s okay to talk about our babies. We crave hearing their name and knowing you still care.

If you’re a loss parent reading this and you feel alone, you aren’t. I’m sorry we are here in this unfortunate club together, but I am glad that we can offer each other support knowing exactly what one another is going through. I will always be honored to hear about your child and grieve them with you. Please tell me about them. Comment with your baby’s name and story below, share my post, and let’s keep talking and honoring their little lives. I miss my son, Owen, just as much yesterday, today and always. It is still so hard, but on the good days something or someone reminds me of him and I can smile because he is mine and I am his forever. ????