A New Year

By: Lauren Hearne

It’s a time to reflect on the past year and plan for what this new year will bring and make lists/goals/resolutions/etc. I always loved the idea of a new year and the hope of what that may bring and a chance for a fresh start. I always loved the idea of making one – five- and ten-year plans, reflecting on things I have accomplished, and putting that “check mark” next to those items.

I have lived my life according to list and check marks. I did everything in this arbitrary order that we’ve been told to live life by:

  • College – check.
  • Adult job – check.
  • Girl meets boy – check.
  • Girl and boy get engaged – check.
  • Girl and boy get married – check.
  • Girl and boy buy home – check.
  • Girl and boy have baby – pause…. you’ll have to wait a year of trying after an early miscarriage and then be fortunate enough to have a baby in 2017
  • Girl and boy wait to try for a second (because society also thinks it’s appropriate as soon as baby #1 is born to ask when baby #2 is coming) – 16 wk. miscarriage in 2020, stillborn in 2021

Having a baby wasn’t just a check mark that I could check off, which brings me back to the new year.

Lists, goals, 1-5-10 year plans are all a joke. I have a few other choice words but decided that wouldn’t be appropriate. We can do the things in order, we can plan all we want, but if like me your past year(s) reflection didn’t end with a baby in your arms how do we continue to pretend or plan knowing that this year may end the exact same? It’s heartbreaking, its disappointing, its full of pain but it’s not a reflection of you or who you are.

You are so much more incredible than you could ever know. You’ve known love and pain like no other. You have the gift of empathy that can’t be taught. You have suffered and every day you still show up. You show up for you. You show up for all those babies you’ve longed for, some you may have held in your arms or your hearts.

So even if your year isn’t how, you wanted it to look, don’t forget to recognize how much you have changed, grown, and showed up every single day. Our life isn’t a pretty highlight reel we can throw together; its full of good and the ugly, the joy and the sad, everything and all the in between.

It isn’t just an easy check mark.

If you are feeling like me in the start of this year, I just wanted you to know you are not alone, but I am damn proud of you for how you showed up!

Lauren lives in a camper and travels the US with her husband, Tom, and daughter, Olivia. Lauren and Tom have two angel babies, Noah and Carter, and travel in their honor. They have two dogs who also road warriors, Frenchie and Rocky, who were born around the same time as both of their babies. They’ve learned that life is short, so go out and live your big dreams. 

1 Comment

  1. Monica Ellis on January 30, 2023 at 4:43 pm


    I’m sorry that you had to experience this heartbreak, not only once, but multiple times. A person can heal from these scars, but will never be the same version of themselves as they were before. You post is beautiful and you’ve said it exactly how it is. You learn so much about yourself and others around you. You’ve experienced what’s not teachable. You’ve grown so much as an individual. This is your reality and I just want to thank you so much for allowing me to get to read about thees chapters of your life.

    I would like to share my story too. My husband and I are going through the emotions of our second loss. We are filled with sadness. I’m trying to navigate my grieving as you know all too well. I’m down, disappointed, and at this point nervous to ever be pregnant again if we’re lucky enough to have that in our future. I feel as if you really said it well. I’ve tired to complete the checklist of life in the order that society tells us is correct.

    My husband and I have been together for many years before getting engaged. We planned to have a wedding in 2020 but plans changed with the pandemic. We pushed our wedding back and we got pregnant that summer of 2020. Our pregnancy ended with a miscarriage in the first trimester in the fall of 2020. We had to wait months for my hormones to go back down. Months had gone by and it was now early 2021. We hated to label us wanted to be pregnant as us “trying” because we didn’t want to feel the pressure of aligning our lives with my monthly cycle, but we both felt pressured. Every month, I would be excited thinking we lined things up just right, and then every month I would be disappointed when I got my period. After months of this emotional roller coster, I had to call it quits. I didn’t want to be pregnant for our wedding in the summer of 2022.

    Months after our wedding, we were able to get pregnant again in the summer of 2022. I spotted every single day from 6 weeks to 14 weeks with this pregnancy. Every single day, I was waiting for a miscarriage to happen again, just like it did before. At the time, my OB had no explanation for the spotting, but looking back now, I truly believe my body was trying to have another miscarriage. I thought I was in the clear after 14 weeks. I had genetic testing done and it was all negative. I could breath now.

    I made it to the 20 week anatomy scan. A severe congenital anomaly was found on the scan and we couldn’t be pregnant anymore. I work in a level 4 neonatal intensive care unit as a registered nurse and I understood the words coming out of the perinatologist’s mouth. I understood the diagnosis. I was in shock. I never thought I would be on the other side of that conversation. I had to have a D&E surgery to stop the pregnancy. I got this information on a Thursday, but the soonest time I could get surgery would be the following week on Wednesday. There is a law in Pennsylvania that states a person has to wait 24 hours after talking with a doctor about the surgery for the first part of the D&E procedure to take place. The first part of the procedure needs to take place a day prior to surgery. Since it was a Thursday, I couldn’t get the first part of the procedure done on Friday because this surgery does not take place on the weekend. The following Monday was a holiday, so I had to wait until Tuesday for part 1 of my procedure and the surgery would be Wednesday. I had to count down the day until my baby would be taken. The combination of stress, unable to eat or sleep due to my anxiety made me wind up with a cold the following day. Every day I would feel her kick and it would get me so upset knowing this would end shortly. Part 1 of the procedure took place on Tuesday and it was one of the hardest days of my life, emotionally and physically. Wednesday was surgery. I woke up a different person than I was before. I woke up empty.

    As I sit here just a little over a week since surgery typing this, I wonder how I’m ever going to get through this. How am I going to get past theese feelings? Every day I feel a deep underlying sadness that I’ve never felt before. My first miscarriage was very sad, but this feels different. I was never angry, just disappointed and sad. I’m having a hard time sleeping. I’m having anxiety and I’m just being sad. I know this version of myself is going to be my new normal for a while. I’ve received love and support from so many people. I know brighter days are to come eventually, it just seems so far away. You’re right. Timelines and planning- its all a joke. You can plan as much as you want, but life happens and we’re faced to handle situations we may not feel prepared for.

    Thank you so very much for sharing your beautiful story. It gives me hope and light during this dark time.
    My husband and I are blessed to have our dog, Axel and our two cats, Bear and Nala.

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