How I survived when our baby died

A note from Dr. Brookh: Part 1

Sometimes it’s tough to know another person, but what you are about to read is about me, my deepest pain, my greatest joy and what I’ve learned during my short time on this earth. It’s a long read, and not nearly the whole story. I will share more as time passes because our stories are everything. Stories are how we learn, why we react, and also, how we heal.

Let’s begin here, in the middle. 

In my twenties I was told that due to some adhesions and irregular periods, it would be difficult and probably impossible for me to have children of my own. I’d resolved myself to a life without my own kids, and as I worked toward my doctorate, decided to honor my love for children and planned to open a pediatric practice. In my final year of chiropractic school, imagine our surprise to find out that I was pregnant! Pregnant!!!

With each new day, I marveled at the life growing inside of me and knew that this experience would change my life, bless the world, and help me be a better doctor. 

It did.

One day, I buckled over in severe pain during a walk, and we learned that I had been carrying twins, and one of the babies died. This type of loss can be devastating, but I truly didn’t feel very sad because we still had one baby coming and we focused on that. But I would soon discover the great impact that this baby would have on our world and the lives of those I touch.

Several months after our daughter, Tori, was born, my husband and I walked in to the woods to spend time with the child that we didn’t get to meet. It was a beautiful sunny day up in the hills of Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin, and as we talked about her and released her, we decided to name her Willow. Despite their enormity, and the strength they exude, the willow trees blew so gently in the wind that day, it was beautiful and I could literally feel Willow’s gentle spirit connect with us there, letting us know everything was going to be okay.

Losing Willow was a foundational step that I began to stand on, the real beginning to deciding my thoughts have value, and how I began to see the good in bad situations more purposely. Willow began to collect all that I am, and keep it for me to open when I needed it. She walked alongside “little me” who felt damaged and unworthy, and helped me find strength. We'll talk about that soon, a lot.

We were honest with Tori about the death of her twin. Throughout her life, Tori has lived with Willow and I’m so glad she knows the truth. Some things are tough to explain, but we must try because open communication is necessary in relationships. Even when the truth is difficult, children understand the feeling of what is going on around them, and the truth (at their level of understanding) is important. I believe faith is also important because sometimes we just can’t make sense of things. Knowing there is a Higher Power helps relieve some of the burden of trying to figure out why. Sometimes there is no ‘why’, sometimes ‘why’ will be revealed later on (as it was with Willow). 

The story continues .. 

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The baby on the cover is our daughter Victoria, Willows surviving twin.

About the Author: Dr. Brookh Lyons is a personal coach and author.  She helps families decide what they really need, make their own path, and find the confidence to make steps toward the healthy family of their dreams. To make an appointment with Dr. Brookh Lyons click Here and be sure to join the conversation on Facebook