October: Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month

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When I was younger I never knew October would be such a meaningful month to me. Summer is my all-time FAVORITE season so October’s chilly breeze and falling leaves has always been that un-welcomed reminder that my fav season is over. But slowly October is becoming a very important month to me. First, I married the most amazing man who happens to have a birthday in October — October 15th, actually. Secondly, we miscarried our first born son, sweet little Johnathan Edward Hehner. After our terrible loss of Johnathan at 17 weeks and 1 day we learned that October is the month that is committed to bring awareness to pregnancy and infant loss awareness. As a matter of fact, October 15th (my hubby’s b-day) is the exact day that is dedicated to bringing awareness to pregnancy and infant loss. Strange coincidence.




October 15th, 2016 – Doug’s Birthday

This year on my hubs’ birthday I had a tough time being as excited to celebrate as usual — for very obvious reasons. As much as I tried to avoid thinking about our sweet Johnathan, I also knew it was a day meant to think about him. (I’ve learned to compartmentalize feelings. For example, keep Johnathan thoughts at bay while I focus on making sure Doug’s happy during his bday; then after I’m sure Doug has a great day I can go away for a moment and think about my sweet boy who never had the chance to be snuggled, giggle, or say Momma and Dada.)

I think I did a good job managing this. We spent the day at a festival signing my book, Wifey 101, and selling my jewelry. When the festival was over we went to a Mexican restaurant to celebrate Doug’s bday with my in-laws. After, I had a surprise for Doug. This may be TMI (but you guys should know by now that we don’t keep much private in our lives and share way too much – ha!) I had a surprise lined up for Doug at home. Ever since we were first married Doug had asked me to wear the silky “Bride” robe that I wore before we were married (and before we even knew each other) with nothing under it. It’s a pretty skimpy robe — it barely covers my butt cheeks. I have other lingerie that I always think is a bit more exciting but he mentioned the “Bride” robe again recently. Apparently he always fantasizes about me naked in that robe. Sooo, two and a half years later my hubby gets his wish. I put that “Bride” robe on and was stark naked beneath. I also had a super fun, new game in store for him….we played a Sexy Truth or Dare: Pick-A-Stick game that was very ….ummm, kinky for lack of better words. 😉

By the end of the night I knew I made Doug’s bday memorable and fun for him. I felt really good about that. And finally, I had that moment to stop and think about our angel, Johnathan.

October 15th – Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness

I haven’t blogged about our sweet boy in at least a month. My previous blogs on naming Johnathan, losing him, etc. were so therapeutic for me. I was in such a state of absolute and utter sadness after losing him. I felt so alone and like I had no one to talk to…it was through blogging that I felt I had someone to talk to. [And on that note I just quickly want to say THANK YOU to all of you who listened and read my blogs. Also, BIG THANKS for sharing your personal stories, encouragement, and love with me. You have no idea how helpful it was and how helpful it still is.]

Lately, I’ve found that I am more angry than sad. At this moment right now I would be in my third trimester. I had always envisioned my big, round belly with an adorable baby rolling around inside. I couldn’t wait to have a baby bump and feel his little feet kicking and his itty bitty body moving in my tummy all day! We would have had his baby shower this month and we’d be putting the final touches on his nursery. But it’s all been taken away. Our boy isn’t growing safely inside me. There is no baby shower celebrating his upcoming arrival and there is no nursery room at all.

 

jamie-otis-inspiration-pregnancy-miscarriage

 

I’ve just tried to avoid it all. I push his memory aside so I can go through a day without crying. I don’t blog. I don’t write at home. I don’t talk about him at all. No one asks questions and I don’t bring it up. (I used to talk about him whether people wanted to hear or not. I just didn’t want anyone to forget him or act like he never existed.) I felt like I’ve needed to stop forcing myself to make sure that his existence is known, it makes the loss that much worse at this point. I guess I began avoiding it all because I needed to pick up the pieces of my life and put them back together. I just wasn’t able to heal by always thinking of all that we lost and all that he never had the chance to become. Plus, we have too many other obstacles being thrown at us. If I am not careful I feel like I could fall into a deep, dark depression. Life as I wanted it, as I expected it is not what it is at all.

I don’t know if this is the “right” way to handle this situation and honestly, I don’t necessarily recommend it. It leaves me feeling an immense amount of guilt when I do take the time to think of him — it’s like I am choosing to forget him on purpose. That really isn’t the case (I hope you know that). I know in my heart that isn’t what I am trying to do, but it’s still so hard.  Who knows the best way to handle this type of a loss?! If you have a good solution please, please let me know.

Remembering Johnathan

I have a memory box with all of Johnathan’s mementos. This is so helpful. I open it and look at his ultra sound pictures and we have a little video of him kicking and playing inside me. I have his little foot prints on a card. My mother in law, sisters, and even sweet fans have sent me necklaces and little objects to remember Johnathan. I cherish each of these. <3

Another thing that’s been helpful is to know that I have his photos from the day I delivered him. I don’t always look at them. It’s so hard to see his teeny tiny body so bruised and battered, too small to live outside of the womb. It’s just so nice to know that I have them and I’ll always have his memory. I’ll never forget his face or his tiny arms and itsy bitty feet.

I wanted to share a photo of Johnathan with you. I hope you don’t mind. Below is a photo of Doug and me with Johnathan. I know there is great stigma in sharing these photos, but to be frank: I don’t care. Johnathan was my baby. He was my dream come true. He’s my angel now. I cherish these photos. I want to de-stigmatize the sharing of these photos. There are far too many babies who have to be hidden and kept in private because it may offend someone. He was just a baby. He’s harmless and so helpless.  How on earth is he offensive? The photos I have with him shouldn’t have to be hidden. I want to share him with everyone. I never want him forgotten.

johnathan-edward-hehner-misscarried-at-17-weeks-1-day-doug-and-jamie-mafs
We love you so much, Johnathan!

I have heard that planting a tree in honor of your angel in heaven is a good way to remember him. I really want to do this. I want to watch a tree grow larger and larger year after year. To see my future children play around the tree that is Johnathan’s. I want this so badly, but Doug and I don’t have a yard—let alone a home—to plant this. And it doesn’t look like we will have it for a while now.

jamie-otis-pregnant-miscarry-inspiration
The hardest thing I’ve had to do.

Where Doug and I Are Now

Doug and I have had a lot of tough set backs in life this past summer. (Huge understatement.) To put it in a nutshell, we began spring with a world of opportunity ahead of us. We had saved up a nice little down payment for a home, we were newly pregnant after trying for 5 months, and we found our dream home. Everything seemed to be going so smoothly, like it was destiny! We had put an offer in on this home and we were ready to begin this amazing new life. Then we suddenly found out we were going to lose our perfect baby. A few days later we lost our baby and within a couple more days we would get a phone call saying they declined our offer on our dream home (only to later accept it and then decline selling us the home again.) When we went to put an offer in on another home, we found out Doug has a $52,000 —  yes, fifty two THOUSAND dollar — unpaid student loan that went into judgment on his credit. They said that this needs to be paid in FULL before we would be officially approved for a loan. We pulled out our offer so fast. There was no way we could buy a home now.

That’s obviously a lot of money. A lot of money we don’t have. As a matter of fact, it is literally every dime of the money we had saved for buying our home (and then some). After paying Doug’s back bills (there are a few more in addition to this on his credit report) we will be downright, FLAT BROKE.

We just can’t seem to catch a break these days. We will be moving in with my in-laws on November 1st. (They’re the most amazing, wonderful, loving, helpful people – cannot say enough good things about Doug and Bonnie Hehner.) It’s obviously not an ideal situation for so many obvious reasons but the funniest one being that we have two dogs and they have three — that will be 5 dogs living under one roof. Woof!

Cherry On Top

As if we don’t have enough of a complicated situation already, I’ve recently began fostering a rescue pup. This “pup” is probably the sweetest, most gentle Boston Terrier. She is about 3 years old (I call all dogs pups) 😛 and a pure bred according to the vet. Her owner recently died and my sister took the pup in only to have her dog, a great dane, attack the dog several times. There are pretty hefty, infected wounds on the pup but my sister couldn’t afford the vet bills. Needless to say, Doug and I now have this pup and we are nursing her back to health. If you know anyone who would like a Boston Terrier please let me know [email protected] I will blog more about this dog soon. Details and photos are on our dog, Lady Hehner’s, Instagram – yes, Lady has an Instagram. I am that kind of a doggy mommy. 😛 🙂




Long Story Short

I think the biggest thing I’ve learned today while sitting here in Dunkin Donuts (had to get out of the house – too many dogs swarming me for attention!) 😛 writing this blog is that I have a zillion things happening all at once, but I will never forget my sweet boy Johnathan. One day I will plant a tree in his honor. Every year I will watch it grow. One day I will make a piece of jewelry just for my boy. (I’ve already began designing this.) And one day, I will have a rainbow baby for Johnathan to look out for. But today I am just trying to stay above water. 🙂 And I am focusing on staying positive regardless of all the chaos around me. Life is too short not to be thankful for each breath.

My Message To Other Angel Mommies and Those Struggling With Infertility

First of all, I am SO sorry for your loss. Nothing makes it better because nothing changes the horrendous situation you’re in. Who knows why certain things happen in this world. But, please know that you are not alone. And if you have a trillion set-backs happening right now – know you aren’t alone in that either. The only thing we can do is breathe and love. Don’t let these terrible, awful, situations bring bitterness and negativity in you. And whatever you do, don’t feel bad for yourself. It will only lead to anxiety and depression. (I learned this the hard way – for another blog, another day.) I’m sending my love to all of you. And again, I want to thank all of you who listen to me and read my blogs. I feel like we have a little community of support right here. If you need anything at all please feel free to comment below or email me – [email protected] I personally respond to all of your comments and emails…. 🙂


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114 comments
  1. Hi Jamie – I came across your blog today after my local grief support group shared your “Naming our baby” post on their FB page. We lost our son Sawyer at 16 weeks on Sept. 9th (finding out he was a boy when he was born). I am very, very proud of you for sharing Johnathan’s picture. We have pictures from when Sawyer was born, but very few people in our life have seen them. We have two older girls (a 4 year old girl, who we adopted after two years of infertility struggles and failures, and an 18 month old girl who we conceived with further fertility treatment). We will not have a rainbow baby after Sawyer, who was a complete natural surprise (a complicated story), but even without that hope, we are finding ways to go on without him. Mostly, I wanted to tell you that we did plant a tree for him in our backyard, and his ashes are actually buried underneath. We held a memorial service to do this with our immediate family. And I wanted to share the songs we used at his memorial, and the verses we shared (we are Jesus followers and have the security of knowing we are going to heaven, and we will see Sawyer again). We played “I Will Carry You” by Selah (they were kind to send me a version they re-recorded for a boy), “Abide With Me” by Matt Maher, and “It Is Well” by Chris Rice. “It Is Well” is still a prayer for me, not a declaration of how I feel right now. The verses we read were Isaiah 61:1-3 and Revelation 21:1-4. I see from your original posts that your due date is coming up, and I hope these things might help as the pain of that may become overwhelming. Prayers to you and your husband.

  2. Hi Jamie,
    I’m am glad that writing your story is a help to you. Rest assure iit also helps others who are going through tough times too. I am always impressed with your honesty and openness on your life journey. Having worked and lived a complex life, believe me things have a way of working themselves out . Your time WILL come. After many set backs I now live in a beautiful home with a great husband and my son. I still can’t believe I have the life I have when I think about where I started. Hold tight and believe Jamie. Think good thoughts and plan in your mind and heart for the future. One day you will be able to continue to tell an amazing story to others. Stay blessed and yourself.

  3. Nothing about loss is ever easy. There are days when grief weighs so heavily on you that it is difficult to breathe. There are days we are forced to smile through blinked back tears and in a few years (yes, years) we will not feel guilty for giving ourselves days off from being stranded in grief.
    We learn how to laugh again without working for it. We learn how to live again and breathe… those who have gone through a profound loss know what I mean.
    I have 3 babies in heaven. I can’t wait to see them some day but there is a peace in knowing that my daddy is there with them.
    This is your blog, not mine, so forgive me for “hijacking” it, but I pray this helps, if not you, then someone. In 2005 I was madly in love, not just love but sappy movie, fairy tale love. My world was perfect! I had 3 amazing children, a great house, and the most incredible fiancé a girl could ever ask for. Married at first sight, this was literally love at fist sight. We had a great life. Played soccer on a coed team. He built race cars and I was a paramedic. I couldn’t have dreamt of anything better until on December 23rd 2005 I got a phone call that would not just change my life, but shatter my entire world.
    My fiance (EJ) had been in an accident while he was at work. He loved anything fast. Cars, planes, motorcycles, even boats. The Sunday before he had his accident I caught him riding a wheelie down our street at about 80 mph (we lived in the country) and I came unglued on him (the paramedic in me). I told him that if he kept riding like that, someone was going to pick his body up off the side of the road and it wasn’t going to be me. Little did I know that exactly what I spoke was going to happen in five short days!
    Two days before Christmas EJ was riding down the 1/4 mile stretch of road he worked off of when another employee of a business on that same road was heading to work, before they closed, to pick up his paycheck for Christmas.
    He turned left into his place of employment and EJ tried to brake and lay the bike in hopes of decelerating enough to, well, I assume it was instinct at that point. He didn’t get the bike down and at time of impact he was going around 70 to 80 mph (estimated). He died instantly, thank God!
    I got the call from his best friend that he worked with. Long story short (even though it doesn’t seem like it), I sat on the curb 15 feet from his body for 3 hours before the coroner moved him. I asked the medic on scene why they didn’t work him even though I knew because I have run calls like that.
    I remember looking at the paramedic and saying Christmas is in two days, what am I going to do? I said it a few times until the medic sat beside me and cried.
    I had a friend drive me home to get a few things so I could stay at his parents house. I couldn’t stay at our home knowing that he wasn’t going to walk through that door, smelling like a motor or transmission, smiling ear to ear just before he kissed me and said “did you feed the babies?” (Our 2 cats). I got a call the day after Christmas from the sheriff’s department saying that I need to get my stuff out of the house because the locks were being changed that day. I was in complete shock. What authority did they have to do that and why? He told me that the beneficiary of EJ’s estate was at the house.
    Ughhhh… he was literally supposed to sign his new will on the day I got that call. His ex-wife took everything! Our boat, our home, both cars, his clothes, his phone, shut my phone off, and literally threw my stuff over the balcony!
    I was now single, homeless, jobless (because I knew that I couldn’t just jump right back onto an ambulance), heartbroken, and I was going to have to send my kids to their dad’s until, if I even could, pull myself back together.
    I had never known a pain that deep. One that is literally so heavy that you can’t breathe. I would catch myself holding my breath and notice tears streaming down my face and I didn’t even realize I was in that “place”.
    Heartache can take you to some ugly places, but true heartbreak, that can either destroy you it it can turn you into a warrior.
    I chose the warrior. I pray that when you start feeling the warmth of life, beyond the despair and the spinning out of control, that you will come out a warrior with strength and wisdom to share. I pray that you will be an encouraging light in a world of darkness for others.
    I am so sorry for your loss ♡♡♡

  4. Nothing about loss is ever easy. There are days when grief weighs so heavily on you that it is difficult to breathe. There are days we are forced to smile through blinked back tears and in a few years (yes, years) we will not feel guilty for giving ourselves days off from being stranded in grief.
    We learn how to laugh again without working for it. We learn how to live again and breathe… those who have gone through a profound loss know what I mean.
    I have 3 babies in heaven. I can’t wait to see them some day but there is a peace in knowing that my daddy is there with them.
    This is your blog, not mine, so forgive me for “hijacking” it, but I pray this helps, if not you, then someone. In 2005 I was madly in love, not just love but sappy movie, fairy tale love. My world was perfect! I had 3 amazing children, a great house, and the most incredible fiancé a girl could ever ask for. Married at first sight, this was literally love at fist sight. We had a great life. Played soccer on a coed team. He built race cars and I was a paramedic. I couldn’t have dreamt of anything better until on December 23rd 2005 I got a phone call that would not just change my life, but shatter my entire world.
    My fiance (EJ) had been in an accident while he was at work. He loved anything fast. Cars, planes, motorcycles, even boats. The Sunday before he had his accident I caught him riding a wheelie down our street art about 80 mph (we lived in the country) and I came unglued on him (the paramedic in me). I told him that if he kept riding like that, someone was going to pick his body up off the side of the road and it wasn’t going to be me. Little did I know that exactly what I spoke was going to happen in five short days!
    Two days before Christmas EJ was riding down the 1/4 mile stretch of road he worked off of when another employee of a business on that same road was heading to work, before they closed, to pick up his paycheck for Christmas.
    He turned left into his place of employment and EJ tried to brake and lay the bike in hopes of decelerating enough to, well, I assume it was instinct at that point. He didn’t get the bike down and at time of impact he was going around 70 to 80 mph (estimated). He died instantly, thank God!
    I got the call from his best friend that he worked with. Long story short (even though it doesn’t seem like it), I sat on the curb 15 feet from his body for 3 hours before the coroner moved him. I asked the medic on scene why they didn’t work him even though I knew because I have run calls like that.
    I remember looking at the paramedic and saying Christmas is in two days, what am I going to do? I said it a few times until the medic sat beside me and cried.
    I had a friend drive me home to get a few things so I could stay at his parents house. I couldn’t stay at our home. I got a call the day after Christmas from the sheriff’s department saying that I need to get my stuff out of the house because the locks were being changed. I was in complete shock. What authority did they have to do that and why? He told me that the beneficiary of EJ’s estate was at the house. Ughhhh… he was literally supposed to sign his new will on the day I got that call. His ex-wife took everything! Our boat, our home, both cars, his clothes, his phone, shut my phone off, and literally threw my stuff over the balcony!
    I was now single, homeless, jobless (because I knew that I couldn’t just jump right back onto an ambulance), heartbroken, and I was going to have to send my kids to their dad’s until, if I even could, pull myself back together.
    I had never known a pain that deep. One that is literally so heavy that you can’t breathe. I would catch myself holding my breath and notice tears streaming down my face and I didn’t even realize I was in that “place”.
    Heartache can take you to some ugly places, but true heartbreak, that can either destroy you it it can turn you into a warrior.
    I chose the warrior. I pray that when you start feeling the warmth of life, beyond the despair and the spinning out of control, that you will come out a warrior with strength and wisdom to share. I pray that you will be an encouraging light in a world of darkness for others.

  5. You are doing it great talking about it. That is a good therapy and it is also a way to help people who are living this too.
    I know two couples that lived similar situations a few years ago. One of them had the hardest experience because the baby died and due to a medical mistake the mother can’t have children. The second one has a happy ending. The little miracle is three now and he is a healthy boy.
    When reading how you talk about your son… Wow! You are going to be great parents because you are already parents. You both deserve children.
    Good luck from Spain!

  6. Hello Jamie.
    I must admit I LOVE reading your blog. Please keep updating it.
    I am sincerely sorry for your loss. I hate to write this, but I’ve been through your pain.”The moment you admit there’s a problem, that’s the exact moment your healing process begins.”
    Talking about a painful past or experience doesn’t erase the fact that it happened, but it prepares you for what is coming ahead, It moulds you to be a greater person, it helps you stand in the gap for someone going through exactly what you did.
    Since I started following you from #mafs, you have proved to me that anyone can overcome their struggles in life as long as they are willing to fight any obstacles along the way. You have diligently fought the obstacles you face with doug and this has paved way for greater LOVE and COMMITMENT in your Marriage. I am learning too much from you guys and I can only wish you more LOVE and more Babies.
    I can’t wait to order my copy of #wifey101.

  7. I had a son who was stillborn at 39 weeks. I am so sorry for your loss and wanted to share a few of things that helped me…1)You have so many “buckets of tears” you will cry over your son – so either cry them out now or stuff them down. I certainly didn’t want to be crying on and off for years. So, when I felt the need to cry I did (forget the mascara). 2) You are a mom! 3)Set aside time to go through his things, to remember. Then, pick yourself up and have hope…that’s all we can expect of ourselves. It takes time to heal.

  8. Jamie,

    I have been a fan of you and Doug’s from the beginning. So many people don’t have the courage to share like you share about your life. Whether it be good or bad, you share. Not to receive sympathy, but to remind us that life is not perfect. I can’t wait for the day you tell us you are pregnant again with a healthy child. It WILL happen. Stay strong and cry when you need to. I think crying makes you stronger! Take Care. Lori

    1. Thank you. I think sharing makes me feel less alone. You all have been SUCH an amazing support to me and I bet you don’t even realize it. ….so, thank you! 🙂 xox

  9. Jamie,
    You don’t know me, and I only “know” you from watching your shows on FYI.
    I just wanted to share with you how brave I think you are. You are strong. No one wants to talk about miscarriage, and like you, until I had mine, I didn’t know how important October would become to me (and like Doug, my birthday is in October).
    In 2010 I suffered my first miscarriage after a year of trying to get pregnant. We had heard the heartbeat of our little angel just 2 weeks prior. We were over the moon! We shared with our then 18 month old son that he would be a big brother. When we went back for a follow-up and no heart beat was found, We were devastated. That was just before Thanksgiving. It was hard to find anything to be thankful for that year.
    In late spring 2011, we were pregnant again. I was terrified and excited all at the same time. My sister and I were due days apart. We heard the heartbeats of our babies on the same day. We both went back for our follow-ups on the same day – she heard her babies heart beat, I didn’t. Here we were again.
    In November 2011 came another positive test. Terrified doesn’t even begin to explain my emotion. We heard the heartbeat once, and then again, and again. Happily in July 2012 we had our now 4yr old girl. She is my perfect angel baby.
    I still think about those 2 angels I lost and wonder why God needed them then. I did not get over my losses, I got through them, and I came out stronger than I ever thought I could be. You will too. That doesn’t make now any easier, but know that you are in prayers of so many.

    1. Thank you so much for sharing your story with me. Oh my goodness, my heart breaks for your losses, but I am so, so happy to hear you have our rainbow baby!. Thank you so much for your prayers and support! xoxo

  10. John 14: 27
    27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

    I greatly apologize for your loss. You are strong, you are loving, and you are brave to share your story so openly and honestly. Thank you for being so vulnerable, many woman who have lost a child definitely has an amazing woman to follow for strength themselves.
    God bless you and Doug. Many prayers for you and your family.

  11. So sorry Jamie 🙁 I lost one in my second trimester. To then 3 yrs later delivery a healthy baby girl .
    God has your plan..My heart and prayers are with you.

  12. Oh Sweetie I so understand the mental torment you are suffering and I am so sorry.
    I lost my daughter/twin Faith at 20 weeks of pregnancy born sleeping and went on to carry her twin brother in almost constant labor on bed rest and meds for an additional 11 weeks before he was delivered by emergency C Section with many health issues and somehow during his stay in the NIC-U there was a Head Injury “Un-Documented” and when he did come home he has suffered Severe Seizures due to a Head Injury among all his other problems ever since. I wasn’t given the option to hold my daughter? Only told of the sex and her demise, she was quickly removed and I never saw her again. I will pray for you’re family Sweetie and the healing and learning to best deal with the loss of you’re Precious Angel.

  13. I’m so sorry to hear of your sweet baby boy! First off I loved watching the two of you on MAFS! But just a suggestion…you could go ahead and start a tree for him at your in-laws home and then transfer it when you finally get settled into your own! Just a thought! I’ve just found your blogs so now I’m gonna be able to start reading more! Sending love to you and Doug!

  14. Jamie….I also have an angel in heaven. I delivered her at 20 weeks. We conceived through IVF and she was our second daughter. Our first daughter was 15 months when I lost the baby, and I truly believe if I didn’t have her who needed me everyday, I may not be here. It has been 13 years since our sweet Aubrey was taken from us and seeing your picture certainly has me remembering those days. I’m so thankful to have pictures of her, a family picture, her hat and blanket, her footprints, and that we were able to hold her. As difficult as it was to go through a 36 hour labor knowing she would not be born alive, I have since discovered how grateful I am that because she was further along, we do have pictures and all of the other things. I have friends who miscarried really early, and they don’t have what you and I have. We had a funeral for her, which was very healing, and we felt so much love and support. So many people thanked us for acknowledging her life and sharing it with them. We still had frozen embryos left, and did try to conceive again, but it didn’t happen. I later went on to have a hysterectomy. I can’t explain how blessed and thankful I am for my now 15 year old daughter. She kept me going even when she didn’t understand. We have the sweetest picture of her at 15 months standing at her sisters grave holding a balloon. She has always known she had a sister, and I’m sure as an only child, she often wonders what it would’ve been like had Aubrey lived. Thank you again for being so open with your story and for sharing this picture. If there was a place, for those who felt comfortable, to post a picture, I certainly would. I am proud to be Aubrey’s mom and I am not ashamed of sharing. As for your other struggles, well it just sucks. When it rains it pours. My grandpa died the morning of Aubrey’s funeral. You will find your dream home, and you will plant a tree, and you will watch your future babies play with that tree! Stay close to Doug and you both stay close to God. His timing is perfect! Much love to you both!

    1. This is such a nice story, even if it’s sad. I am so happy you have your daughter. …and you’re right: When it rains it pours. Gotta be thankful for each moment regardless. (Easier said than done.) xoxo

  15. I read somewhere that it might be helpful to set aside a specific time to grieve your loss, say for example once a week. It is said to help with that feeling of guilt when you’re not grieving, because you know you will be. Moments that aren’t dedicated to grieving can be spent doing other things, helping you to move on with your life. I’m not sure whether this is useful, but on the off chance it is, I thought I’d share 🙂

  16. Jamie, you so eloquently summed up how I’ve felt through my 2 losses and just today finding out about a failed ivf. You are so strong and more importantly so deserving of your dreams (especially to grow your family). Thanking you for bringing together this community that could always use a little more support! Love and good wishes for you and your future!

    1. I am so sorry for both of your losses, Dana. I wish I knew a better way to bring this community together. I’ve thought about creating a support group on Facebook.I wish I knew of a better way for us all to connect and help one another.

  17. Jamie, I watched you on The bachelor and MAFS. I LOVE that you are so raw and honest in expressing your emotions. I lost my baby on July 13, 2007. I was due December 22, 2007. Your experience sounds identical to mine in regards to a lack of amniotic fluid and there being absolutely nothing I could have done to save her. I wanted her more than my own heart beating…I felt like I wanted her my whole life. Nothing mattered and nothing made it better. My hubby was super supportive but it still wasn’t good enough for me. My “due date” was one of the hardest days of my life….but that night it was almost like a switch went off in my head and my heart decided, I didn’t lose her. She was just waiting on me to get to paradise with her. Not only did I name her that night Anjali), but I also set her up an email account. (This sounds so weird lol) At the time, it made me feel better. I sent her how I was feeling, how much I missed her and even sent her pics of me and her daddy. Anyways, I found out on January 10, 2008 that our rainbow baby was on the way!!! I worried my whole pregnancy (which I wish I was more positive about in hindsight). Needless to say September 14, 2008…we welcomed our sweet baby girl into the world, healthy as can be!! We talked about Anjali to her all the time and pray for her at bedtime every night! I went on to have another daughter born December 2010 and then my son born September 2013! My family is complete All my kids know and talk about Anjali on a regular basis! So now here’s the best part of my story!! The other day I walked in on my now EIGHT year old daughter playing on her iPad and she was sending Anjali an email with attached selfies!!! Lol!!! They feel like they can communicate with her and I love that!!! Almost 9 years later and her presence is stronger than ever!!! I pray my story along with so many other will give you hope. And Last but not least….don’t ever change! You are amazing just the way you are, just like Johnathan

    1. We do sound like we have very similar stories, right down to the due dates – my Johnny was due right before Christmas, too. I am so happy to hear you have your rainbow baby (babies!!!). …I really love the idea of setting up an email to talk to them! What a great idea. I’m sure you feel so much more connected to the kiddo then. Thank you SO much for sharing! oxoxo

  18. PS. I also hope that all the other struggles you’ve been having clear up too. That’s a lot of stress! Glad you have the pup(s) and you’re giving the new girl a home. Maybe the two of you can heal together. Pups are the best!

    1. I love helping helpless animals. It is such a rewarding feeling to know that you were there for them in their time of need. 🙂 It really does bring healing to me. xoxo

  19. Dear Jamie (and Doug too of course), I am so sorry for the loss of Jonathan. He was created in love and I hope that love will continue on for you both forever. He will not be forgotten. When you first were on MAFS I was happy to watch you fall in love and start your lives together on TV. I can’t imagine how crazy it must be to have your business out there for everyone one to see, but thank you for sharing the good and the sad. I don’t know if I will ever be able to have children and it’s been really hard for me. Even if we’ve never met I wanted to extend my support and condolences. I wish you the best.

  20. Jamie, Thank you so much for your courage in sharing the photo of your beautiful son. I know many people will not understand why this is so important. But that is exactly why it is so amazing that you have a platform to be able to bring awareness to this isssue and make a difference. My husband and I lost our twin girls, Elizabeth and Jessica, in a similar story to yours. After two losses, IVF, and a frozen embryo transfer, my husband and I were expecting identical twins. Unfortunately my water broke at 18 weeks and I lost all fluids around both babies. We made it to 22 weeks, but I developed an infection and had to make the painful choice to induce labor. We got to hold our daughters and take pictures with them. It is a heartbreaking and life changing experience that few will (luckily) ever know the true pain of. Thank you so much for using your fame to try to bring awareness to the pain of infant loss.

  21. Hi Jamie,

    I have been following your journey with Doug from early on. My wife and I and her cousin and kids would watch MAFS as a family. I remember seeing your post about being pregnant for the first time and thinking how exciting that must be since it was something you had wanted and hoped for from early on in your relationship. Then, I remember reading about your miscarriage and how sad we all were for you both. Now, I read about your journey as something that hits close to home. My wife and I just lost our first child; also a little boy. As we experienced this unimaginable loss I recalled your courage to share your story with us. In one way or another I felt better not because of the situation. But because of all the stories I read that people shared on your blog. So I want to thank you for opening people up to share. You just never know when it will happen in your family or to someone close to you. ♥️

    1. Thank you for letting me know that by me being so open it’s been helpful to you. That makes me feel like it’s somewhat worth it. ….And thank you for sharing your story with me because believe it or not, it is so helpful to ME. Thank you for reaching out to me. I will be praying for you and your wife. Sending you love. xoxo

  22. I love reading your blog. My husband and I recently experienced some struggles and financial setbacks. It’s hard to look on the bright side. But I turned to prayer and prayed more than I think I have in a really long time. And low and behold God answered our prayers. I believe that prayer is incredibly powerful I think sharing your story with others is very therapeutic and the picture of you and Doug with Johnny is so beautiful. I pray you get your rainbow baby soon!

  23. I just went through my 3rd miscarriage in my life last month. The first two were in my twenties and in between I went through crazy symptoms and was finally diagnosed with PCOS. I had weight loss surgery in 2012, told to make sure to use birth control for at least 1 year. After 14 months we stopped taking birth control, my weight loss started to slow down very quickly, I hired a trainer at a gym, I slipped on ice on my way to that gym and injured my back and made it unable to workout. Then after my husband and friends planned our trip to NYC for my 40th birthday in August to see a Broadway show and then take a cruise; I woke up one morning, took a test that my best friend & husband had been pestering me about and it was positive. I woke my husband up to make sure my eyes were working and we made a confirmation appt that morning at my OB/GYN. I still didn’t believe it until they placed him in my arms on January 29, 2014 at 7:23pm via emergency C-Section. He got his head stuck on my pelvic bone. He is my miracle. He is my possible. He is the love of my life. I am very sad about the baby I just lost but I am also happy that I was able to conceive. Harrison wants a baby brother. I am trying to talk him into a baby sister. Maybe when we can agree it will happen

  24. After 16mnths of trying including months of fertility treatment, I finally fell pregnant only to find out it was ectopic. It was like someone was playing a joke on us… I didn’t know how to feel- angry or upset. Instead I decided I wasn’t going to give up and as much as I already loved my baby I never got to meet, it’s soul wasn’t ready for this earth and decided to go back but 5 months later I believe my angel baby sent me another soul as I Am currently pregnant. Even though ur baby isn’t physically with you, he will always be around you. I wish you the best of luck with everything you hope for xx

  25. Jamie,
    Thank you for your blog posts, Facebook posts and Instagram posts about Angel Babies are Infertility. This past summer, we found out we were pregnant after trying for over a year, and then found out it was Ectopic. At the same time I was healing and grieving, I stumbled upon your blog posts. Your posts have helped me in so many ways! Thank you! We are now continue to wait for our prayers to be answered on our rainbow baby. Many prayers to you, and to anyone out there struggling with infertility and healing after a loss!

    1. Thank YOU for sharing this with me. It is so nice to know that my blogs are helpful to you … and it’s so nice to know that you are praying for us! BIG thanks! xoxo

  26. I think it is amazing you shared this picture. I truly wishI had a picture of my angel baby even if it was only for me to see and remember, however I will never forget what he/she looked like. The size of a tablespoon, but already formed.

    Your dreams with become reality, maybe not the way you imagined, but they will. Enjoy the journey and god bless.

  27. You never know how strong you are until being strong is the only choice you have. Not sure who said it 1st, but I love this quote. Thank you for sharing this powerful, emotional & truthful photo. ❤️
    May you both continue to stay strong & love everything about each other.

    1. Thank you so much…It’s funny because when I see your name I instantly know your social media handles too. Free Missy! 😛 You’ve always been so loving and supportive to Doug and Me…. we will always be thankful! xoxo

  28. So sorry for all you guys are going through. It can be so wearing. Beautiful family picture! I love how open and honest you are. It shows the real you. So sorry for your great loss. Love you guys. My favorite couple. You guys will be in my prayers and thoughts. Keep your head up and know God has a wonderful plan better than you can imagine.

  29. Thank you for continuing to share your story. The photo of your family is both tragic and beautiful. 1 in 4 of us all know this pain. Together, we can keep breaking down these walls of stigma by demanding that our child’s lives are honored and remembered. Wishing you all the best, Jamie. One day at a time. <3

  30. I’m so very very sorry for your loss & I know what your going through! I was pregnant with my 3rd child & at 12 weeks found out she had passed away! Heartbreaking & traumatic don’t even begin to explain that awful feeling of losing a child! Even though I had 2 beautiful healthy daughter, no one would replace my baby girl! I was depressed & realized quickly it’s not something that’s talked about so I felt alone with it. My husband was sad for me but didn’t have that connection like I did with her yet! We ended up pregnant with a rainbow baby 3 months later & that pregnancy was very smooth but mentally very scary after what I had been through! Luckily I had healthy beautiful baby boy! He truly completed our family! We planted a tree in honor of our sweet Julia & every time we come home I see it in the front yard! We decorate it every holiday & the kids know it’s Julia’s tree & in honor of their sister in Heaven. She is no secret & after 6 years it’s gotten easier not to cry but smile when I think of her & who she would have been today. I still have my moments where I cry in the shower thinking about her & how she was robbed of a beautiful life! Maybe she was meant to be our guardian angel! I have a tattoo in memory of her too! I hope one day you can think of Jonathan & smile! Don’t be ashamed to talk about him, he was very real to you & very much apart of your family! People who haven’t been through this don’t understand that & that’s ok! You do what you need to do to grieve! There is no right way or timeframe. Sending you a big ((hug))

    1. Geesh, I just love your story. thank you so much for sharing. I hope to one day come home to a house that is ours with a tree that is Johnathan’s. And have little kiddos decorate the tree each holiday. I don’t know why but the image and thought just brings tears to my eyes. …one day.:-) thank you so much for sharing.

  31. Awww Jamie, your family photo with baby Johnathan is precious. I’ve been following your story since MAFS and I feel like I know you (as I’m sure all yours and Doug’s fans do 🙂 ) I just wanted to let you know that I am praying for you and Doug and sending lots of love and baby dust your way.

    Just a thought, if you and Doug aren’t going to be purchasing a home soon, maybe you could plant Johnathan’s tree at Doug and Bonnie’s house? That way his (future) little brothers and sisters and all his cousins can play under the tree and you get to plant it sooner and watch it grow. Just a suggestion! 🙂

    1. Oh I would LOVE that, but I wouldn’t even know how to ask Bonnie that…. and I feel like they’d feel obligated to say yes even if they didn’t technically want it…I have been researching the right tree for us/Johnny. Hopefully by the time we pick the right one out we will have our forever home. 🙂

  32. Hey Jamie. I hope you have your rainbow baby soon. Your son is beautiful. You story resonates with me as my partners sister has had 3 babies born asleep, and is due to have her rainbow baby in the next week. When a little baby dies, people are somehow scared to mention it, afraid they will somehow upset you or remind you of your loss….like they could be forgotten. Little Jonathans life deserves to be remembered and celebrated and the love you have for him shared and spoken of. He was here, he existed and he meant the world to you. With the loss of a pregnancy so many grieve in silence, you should be proud that by sharing your story, you will be helping others in their journey, letting them know they are not alone. I am also a nurse and I understand what it is like to have a partner who is not the best with money at times, although I hope he is improving. As we know money isn’t everything, it can be earned and lost in seconds. What’s important is a man who stands by you day after day, who you can push against, and who you can lean on and who is loyal and chooses to wake up with you every morning with you, is worth fighting tooth and nail for. Wishing you all the best Natasha

  33. Hi Jamie,

    Please stay strong in your faith & for each other.
    I believe you & Doug will have an abundance of blessings in 2k17, So, kick 2k16 in the butt and get ready for all your blessings to come in the new year. I wish you both continuous strength, peace, joy & happiness.
    Sincerely,
    Michele

  34. Jamie – Im so sorry for your loss! I admire yours and Dougs courage to share your story! Im also an OBGYN nurse and sadly i struggle with infertility my journey has been for the past 6 years! As nurses we are teachers and what better way to find peace in our struggles then to educate. I refuse to let infant loss and infertily be ” dirty words” i never want a woman or couple to feel alone! Keep advocating its the best way to honor Jonathan! Keep writing girl i love reading your blogs, keeping up on your journey and most importantly rooting for yours and Dougs love story! Lots of Love!!!!

  35. Jamie,
    Reading your blog and getting to know you and your struggles and I’m keeping you and Doug in my prayers that you both continue to get through this. I haven’t been through anything like what your going through but I can say your very strong and the strength that you have amazes me. Your an amazing role model and an example that I look up to as someone to even when things get hard you don’t walk away you keep going.
    I’m going through things and all I can say is how powerful prayer is.
    Like I said before I really look up to you as a role model and I hope that things and I know they will start working out for you and Doug.
    And what a powerful story you have about baby Johnathon.
    And I also understand the chaos of the doggies. I have 3 and they’re a handful. For example we put hardwood floors last week and I had to hang out with them in my room and every chance they got all three of the little dogs would break out and go visit the guys putting the floors in. I thought that might make you laugh. So there a handful. But you will find a home for the one your “pup sitting” they always need the right home and that owner is always someone who needs them too:)

  36. Jamie (and Doug)
    Thank you for allowing us the opportunity to be apart of this very private yet painful time in your lives. My heart bleeds for you and (Doug) for the loss of your sweet baby boy, Jonathan Edward. I do not know the kind of loss you are experiencing. And I certainly don’t want to share the typical phrase either. You have such a compelling story to share. I’ve taken such a great liking you and Doug. Your story is so real and I’m captivated by you and your resiliency. Your heart for family and your drive to succeed in spite of the hurdles. And let’s not forget Doug…I love that you pay homage to his parents for raising such a genuine, loving, caring and all around great guy. I like to remind myself as a mom…that I’m raising someone’s husband and wife. ☺ The last year has been a struggle for me, I struggle alot in silence, in shear fear that my mask might slip and I will be exposed. I’m thankful I have supportive people that surrounds me and my family, so it’s not a lack of that. But last year this song, Just Be Held by Casting Crowns helped me to find solace in in my time of despair. I’m a devoted Christian, and I find strength in God in my time of needs. But this song was what I needed. I can’t tell you how many times, I would just listen and cry….no words just tears. I encourage you to you tube it. My prayer is the words can speak to you, as they did to me. My prayer is that you both will continue to grow closer together especially as you’re faced with life’s hurdles. Jamie you have such a drive that is refreshing in today’s world. Many would’ve buckled under the pressures of your past but you are so in love with life and your desire to succeed and grow is contagious. I pray much success to you and Doug. You both are in my thoughts and Prayers.

    1. Hi Myra. Thanks for sharing that song with me. I will definitely youtube it. Today I’ll be working from home so I’ll play it. …I am like you where I tend to just hide the pain so no one knows (because who really wants to deal with my problems or have to know about them) but I’m learning that some people do care and by me sharing my problems it helps others know that they aren’t going through their similar problems alone. ….I am touched that someone as private as you reached out and sharing this song with me. I really appreciate it. I’ll be thinking of you and praying for you. xoxox

  37. God bless you Jamie. I don’t know why bad things sometimes happen to good people. But I can tell you that in my life, God has always found a way to turn each bad experience into something beautiful. This will happen to you too, I know it. You are doing a great job trying to stay positive. Your story is helping so many people. Keep doing what you’re doing. One day you will look up and the sun will be shining. And you will look back and see how far you have come. Thank you for sharing your sweet baby Konathan with us. xoxo

  38. Jamie, your vulnerability is beautiful. Your rawness is beautiful. I’ve never experienced infant loss but I have two baby boys of my own and my heart aches for you and all you’ve endured. After reading this my heart was compelled to tell you that there is HOPE is Jesus Christ.He is righteous. it’s so hard to cling to the Lord during tough times and trials but there’s something about having Hope in HIM and peace that comes along with it. I truly believe He loves you and Doug and you will get through these trials and there will be so much fruit in your life from it. Just have Hope! I will be praying for you guys and sweet Johnny boy!! Thanks for sharing your heart. “For I, the Lord your God, hold your right hand, it is I who say to you, fear not, it is I who is the one who helps you.” Isaiah 41:13

  39. Jamie, you’re not alone in any of your struggles. I’ve gone through miscarriage 3 times and it’s not been easy. Thank God I’ve been blessed with three beautiful children (all miscarriages happened between babies 1 and 2, and they believe it could be due to some thyroid issues I was having). Looking at them, I’ve realized that my babies just weren’t ready for the world yet. I won’t say I don’t still get a little sad from time to time, but having my children DEFINITELY helps. Good luck trying again! Also… You’re not the only one dealing with credit score issues. My story about that is kinda long so I wont share it here. I can’t wait to buy a house and raise this family there. Best of luck to you and Doug. I miss watching you on TV.

  40. Thanks, Jamie. I have two angel babies and am struggling to conceive again after having surgery for an ectopic pregnancy. I love reading your words. Thank you for the positive reassurance. Sending lots of love and good vibes our way!

    1. Sending out lots of love and positive vibes your way. I’m so, so sorry for your losses and struggles. Let me know when you have your rainbow baby…I believe it will happen for you! 🙂

  41. Hang in there Jamie. We all go thru these rough patches. Keep your head up. God has other plans for you and Doug. One day at a time. You will get your wishes. Just be patient. It is in all if God’s timing.

  42. I just happened to think of another place I have found encouragement recently. Davey Blackburn. His wife was murdered back in November and he has a blog where he has shared some of his journey through his grief. I know it’s not the same as as a miscarriage but I know sometimes for me just knowing there are others who are also struggling can be such a breath of fresh air and I can glean encouragement from their vulnerability and authenticity.

  43. Jamie, that is an absolutely beautiful picture of you and Doug with Johnathan. I’m so sorry to hear about all the heartbreaks and setbacks you’ve been going through this year. It can feel so overwhelming to feel like you just can’t catch a break as the hits keep coming. As hard as they are, they can all be used to make you stronger (both individually and together as a couple). Who really knows how to walk through grief, you know? There is no instruction manual with a list of steps to follow. Even if there was, it wouldn’t work. We are people with real feelings not robots to be fixed. You’ve never walked this road before so you’re charting new territory. Of course it seems foreign and impossible to understand or know how to do “correctly”. But I wonder if you aren’t walking through it better than you think you are. Of course, I don’t know you and don’t see in person your daily life but if you truly are as sincere and honest as you seem to be in your writings and posts, then you really are learning and growing and becoming a stronger and more compassionate individual as you step through each of these painful moments. And it seems that you and Doug are drawing closer and stronger together as a couple. You could be letting all of this utterly break you and your marriage but you aren’t. You’re still pursuing your dreams and you’re looking out for others and searching for ways to love them well. Not everyone walks through grief with others on their mind. That says volumes about who you are as a person and maybe even that you’re doing better than you think… as long as you don’t forget to care for yourself and allow others to care for you as well in the midst of everything. Self-care and self-love matter just as much so you want to make sure you are also letting yourself receive just as much as you are giving. It seems like Doug and his family would do just about anything for you… what a tremendous gift to walk through each of these heartbreaks with such tremendously generous, loving and caring people. Though it can feel so lonely, you are never alone. There’s a study I did a few years ago that centers around healing from trauma and painful experiences and in it joy is defined as relationship. When we go through trauma and have healthy relationships, those relationships help us heal and literally bring us back to joy. When we go through trauma alone, it can sink us because we lack relationship and therefore lack joy. Perhaps this is why you may actually be doing better than you might think. You are surrounded by joy. joy is your relationship with Doug and perhaps even your in-laws. Hang in there… and if it might help, put Danny Gokey’s Tell Your Heart to Beat Again on repeat 😉 That song has carried me through the past year and a half of some of my own challenging circumstances. Hope in Front of Me is good also. Have you read his story about losing his first wife? Many of his songs were written from his heartbreak. You’re doing GREAT.

    1. Thank you so much. Maybe I am doing better than I think. I know that I do feel better by helping others (and dogs) …. Hence, taking in a pup at probably the worst time. Thankfully my hubby doesn’t mind. 🙂 xoxo

  44. Jamie, I am so sorry that you are going through this hard season. You are such a strong woman and we can tell how much Doug loves you. You are lucky to have a love like that. Lean on each other and don’t be afraid to reach out. You have so many people who love you. I will be praying for you and Doug.

  45. My heart aches for you and Doug. I pray that you have your rainbow baby soon! Your blogs constantly give me a different perspective on the rough parts of parenting. My son is almost 3 months old and after reading all your blogs on losing Johnathan it makes me cherish every sleepless night, every poop explosion, every time he spits up all over me…etc. I’m so grateful for every part of motherhood because of your story and the stories of others. I know God will bless you with a brother or sister for Johnathan. I don’t know if this will comfort you but will be reunited with him in Heaven one day.

    1. Thank you SO much for sharing this Ashley. It makes me feel like sharing these raw moments are truly helpful to others. Yes, enjoy that baby – even when he is a fussy little man. 🙂 xoxo

  46. Wow Jamie. I have been following your story for a while now hr haven’t commented yet. My heart truly breaks for your and dougs loss. Your strength and courage to share has touched many people, myself included. The picture you shared of you both with your son is so unbelievably touching, it brought me to tears. Thank you for being so open and raw with your emotions.

  47. So many life changes going on at once. Grieving the loss of your precious son, house hunting, moving. Ugh I’m so sorry. There is a wonderful organization called Now I lay me down to sleep, it’s a photography company that comes in and takes photos for parents if they request photos. I work as a mother/baby nurse, not all of the parents request it, but we do offer it to our patients. We also have a camera that was donated, to take photos for their keepsake box. My heart is always heavy for my patients who lose their baby. Two years ago I lost my second baby at 9 weeks. Since then, it has changed me both personally and professionally. My rainbow baby just turned 14 months, I’m so thankful for her, and I still think about the baby I lost often. Be gentle with yourself, and give yourself time. Also, there is a another foundation in the Central Jersey area called the Tears Foundation, they have an office in Wall. It’s something I’ve thought about becoming involved with, but just haven’t jumped in yet. Good luck with house hunting and take your time! Moving in with the inlaws may work out really well. We moved in with my parents after taking a big loss on our first home to recoup the money we lost. It ended up working out in the end, even though at times I never thought we would find a house. Sending positive thoughts!!

    1. Thanks so much for sharing… I really appreciate it. Wall isn’t too far away from us so I will definitely look into this. Give lots of love to your rainbow baby! She’s an inspiration to so many (including me)! 🙂

  48. The heaviness in my heart from seeing that picture of you 3, the tiny miracle Angel in your hands, is indescribable. I was there with my best friend as her embryo passed out of her, and I still feel her pain after 3 years. It does not ever go away. You are so brave to put this out there for all to see. Your Angel should not be hidden. Stay strong mama.

  49. Jamie, My heart and prayers go out to you both. I know that one day you are going to wake up and everything is going to change in your life. You are good people. I will be praying for you both. Try and plant that tree for Johnny. We love you both.❤️✝️

  50. That is the most precious picture! I have been praying for you guys. God works in ways we don’t understand…that doesn’t make the process easier. I still remember the day i had my miscarriage. It was 20 years ago and i can still tell you exactly what happened, just like it was yesterday. You both are very brave for dealing with this publicly. I will continue to say prayers for you both.

  51. Oh Jamie, my heart hurts for both you and Doug. My husband and I are going through an eerily similar housing situation right now and I understand just trying to keep your head above water. Believe me, I get it. Just know you’re not alone in your struggles, your fears, your disappointments, or your pain. Lifting you and yours in prayer and sending love and light to you all. Give yourself permission to grieve and heal in whatever fashion you need to for as long as you need to – we will all be here to listen every time. You are loved and wished beautiful things in this life.

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