Michelle Valiukenas is the proud mom of her angel Sweet Pea, who she lost due to miscarriage, her angel daughter Colette Louise who she lost at nine days old, and her only living child, her rainbow baby, Elliott Miguel. Inspired by her journey with Colette, Michelle and her husband founded The Colette Louise Tisdahl Foundation, whose mission is to improve outcomes of pregnancy, childbirth, prematurity, and infancy, as well as aid in the grieving process through financial assistance, education, and advocacy. Their flagship program financially assists families dealing with high-risk and complicated pregnancies, NICU stays, and loss. The organization’s ability to help families relies on donations and grants and they are grateful if you are able to donate. Michelle also participates and advocates on issues of maternal health, maternal mortality, infant health and safety, and pregnancy complications. Michelle lives in Glenview, Illinois with her son Elliott, husband Mark, and dog Nemo. October is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness month. October 15th is National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day.
In this touching episode, Michelle shares her story of losing her daughter Colette Louise at nine days old. Michelle and Nikki discuss Michelle’s journey with infertility, miscarriage and ultimately Michelle’s journey of having and losing a baby in the NICU. The ladies discuss Michelle’s experience having a baby prematurely, being thrust into a NICU, what that experience is in itself. Michelle very vulnerably speaks about life after the loss of an infant as well as pregnancy and parenting after a traumatic loss. The ladies touch on how friends and family can best support their loved ones through loss and how Michelle and her husband found hope and life after loss. Michelle’s hopes are that we break the stigma of talking about loss and that no one suffer the loss and grief of a baby alone.
More topics covered in this episode:
How common miscarriage and loss are
The importance of sharing your story
The support that men receive after the loss of a baby
Ways to help friends and family through the grieving process
Connect with Michelle: Web: www.colettelouise.com
Connect with Nikki: Web: www.nikkispo.com IG: @nikkisappspo / @theknowwithnikkispo
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