Pregnant after loss meet up
Melissa and her family are forever shaped by loss. With 3 healthy girls filling their life, they made the leap to try for a last baby. They were utterly devastated to say hello and goodbye to him at 25 weeks. A quick subsequent pregnancy after such a profound loss stretched their bleeding hearts and was laced with grief, fear, anxiety and precious hope. They welcomed their rainbow in November 2016 and without loss, they unequivocally would not have him.
Melissa is committed to helping loss mamas make connections, offering a space for those who have lived the complexity of loss and grief intertwined with fear and cautious hope.
Melissa is grateful to be part of this courageous community. The connections between mamas who have experienced loss are buoying in a sea of those who just simply cannot understand.
trying to conceive
Sara’s parenting journey began in 2014 when she and her family awaited the arrival of their son, Gabriel. At 37 weeks, Gabriel passed away unexpectedly, changing those that loved him forever. The grief, loss, sadness, and shock felt overwhelming at times. But the support from family and friends as well as the gratitude for Gabriel’s life and light helped to get through the initial months and year.
2016 brought Sara’s second child, Emma. The pregnancy with Emma was filled with gratitude, but also filled with anxiety and worry. With support from a high risk medical team, family and friends, Emma came safely into the world. Not a day goes by that Sara does not think about Gabriel and the gifts his life has provided.
Sara is a Certified Canadian Counsellor by trade. She has worked in the not for profit sector for the last 15 years with children, families, couples and individuals. Sara volunteers at The Pregnancy and Infant Loss Support Centre to walk with other families who have lost.
This community will welcome you, accept you, listen to you, cry with you, validate you, and dream with you
difficult decisions/Social (no children post loss)
Heather Hooge is a registered social worker with a background in health care. Heather is excited to support the Pregnancy and Infant Loss Support Centre having had her own life touched by pregnancy loss in 2016 when Heather delivered her daughter, Willa, stillborn at 21 weeks gestation due to poor prenatal diagnosis.
Heather knows firsthand how important it is to have a community to turn to for support in healing and is excited that the centre will be that community for many others who have experienced pregnancy and infant loss.
Social (pregnant/parenting post loss)
Jackie Bilsky holds an Event Management Certificate and loves to plan events, parties and gatherings, which suits her social personality perfectly.
Jackie is married to the love of her life Shayne, and together they have two beautiful children at home, and one angel baby in heaven, Violet. It was the loss of Violet at 27 weeks pregnant that shook Jackie to her core. Feeling devastated, overwhelmed and alone, she didn't know where to turn, and although she had amazing support from family and friends, she still struggled trying to cope with the loss of Violet and felt very much alone.
Jackie discovered Aditi's Social group where she connected to a group of individuals who have walked this unimaginable journey and she has since found a community, a sense of belonging and life long friends.
Jackie is so grateful for the work that is being done for the loss community at the Pregnancy & Infant Loss Support Centre. She is grateful to give back and help others, so they too can find a glimpse of sunshine in this complex journey of grief and loss.