Personal experience helps outreach to others

Grieving Woman

Kelly Hanson, MA, Bereavement Specialist

It is truly special to me how our life experiences shape us into the people we are meant to be. My journey to becoming a bereavement specialist at Agnesian HealthCare’s Bereavement Services is an example of this. Here is my story.

I found out I was pregnant in September 2015. My husband and I were both beaming with joy and excitement, yet anxious for this new adventure. We didn’t wait long to share our news with family and friends. We began planning our future, and what it would look like as parents with a sweet baby. This reality of parenthood set in more the first time we saw our baby and their heartbeat through ultrasound.

Little did I know, we would have the shock of our lives in November 2015 at our 12-week appointment. My doctor was unable to find our baby’s heartbeat with the fetal doppler. Anxiety set in as I was taken to the ultrasound room. We then found out our baby’s heart had stopped beating at eight and a half weeks.

At first I was ashamed. What could possibly be wrong with me? How could this happen to us? What did I do wrong? How could I have prevented this? How could something so real be taken away from us?

Unfortunately, I have since learned that miscarriage can happen to anyone and occurs in one of four pregnancies. I also know that there is hope to come following the hurt and confusion miscarriage can bring.

I know this because we now have a happy, healthy, almost one-and-a-half-year-old daughter. She is our greatest blessing.

It is an honor that I am now able to offer support to women and their families through the Resolve through Sharing® program. The RTS® program is a nationally-recognized program that provides support to families who have experienced miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy, still birth or newborn death. Through my education along with my personal experiences and grief, I am now able to help support women and their families who have gone through similar situations to my husband and me. Although I never imagined this would be our story, I am so grateful to have a career I am incredibly passionate about.

On Monday, October 15 from 6 to 7:30 p.m., parents who have lost an infant, as well as the community, are invited to join Agnesian HealthCare Bereavement Services as it hosts a RTS Walk/Support Group at St. Agnes Hospital's Christmas Box Angel of Hope Memorial and Healing Garden (held in the St. Agnes Chapel if in climate weather). For more information or to register, call (920) 907-3940 or visit agnesian.com/bereavement.

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