Brooke joined the nest after experiencing the loss of her son, Xander, in the second trimester. After utilizing Three Little Bird's services and programs, she decided to take a leap into double leap into advocacy through the development of a legacy project in Xander's memory, as well as completing Three Little Birds' Perinatal Bereavement Training Program last summer.
Xander's mom Brooke is a plant enthusiast and wants to keep his memory and legacy alive by supporting Three Little Bird's families walking similar journeys through pregnancy and infant loss. As a plant lover and a bereaved parent, she saw how the two go hand in hand and wants to spread his love and memory with all things plant related. Brooke says, "We as people just tend to move forward and not cherish the small moments. Those are the most important things to cherish - a single breath, the smell of flowers, the world is full of wonder that many aren’t able to experience. This journey has taught me to make those moments count. We also grow at our own pace and need our own specific nourishment which is much like plants."
LEARN MORE ABOUT MAMABIRD BROOKE!
How did you feel when you found out you were going to be a parent?
We found out in January 2021, that I was pregnant. We found out on our daughter's birthday in March that we were having a baby boy. And we were ecstatic about having another baby and raising our family.
Tell us about when you learned Xander was going to pass away.
We lost our son on May 20th 2021 at 24 weeks and 2 days. They aren't sure of what the cause is for me going into pre-term labor. Loss is loss no matter how anyone thinks of it. The most traumatic experience that anyone has to endure is a child loss. Your feelings do matter and the pain is real. You are NOT alone on this journey. No one deserves to be apart of this club yet here we are. You are allowed as much time as you need on your healing journey.
Tell us about your son, Xander.
We wanted a different name and came across Xander in a baby app and fell in love with it. His middle name Abraham comes from his dad's full name. He was so tiny and had the longest fingers and toes for his size. He was absolutely beautiful. Perfect skin, dark hair, tiny but mighty. I was excited to meet him and then was greeted with the question "Do you want a Chaplain to come?". It was surreal and immediately made me want to get into his room faster. He waited for me to come see him before he passed. He was absolutely everything I imagined he would look like: tall like with dark hair like his daddy. Perfect like his sister.
How did your "village" support you through your loss?
Three Little Birds, my husband, daughter and therapist got me through so far. People in my family definitely changed and not in the best ways. They don't talk about our son and if they do they have some comment that only someone who hasn't lost a child would make. Some people made it more about their feelings regarding the loss. Three Little Birds never wavered regarding being there for me in a lot of ways like validation and just to listen and to constantly remind me to be kind to myself. I couldn't have asked for a better village for support.
Which Three Little Birds services or events do you like the most?
Wave of Light, Grief Support Group with Desiree and Nicole, Aubree's Adventures, Bereaved Mother's Day event and butterfly release and our Craft and Heal support groups.
What does healing look or feel like to you? What has surprised you the most about this journey?
Healing looks like getting through the day and being kind to myself and others. Healing is saying my son's name XANDER! Healing is facing your fears and setting boundaries. I am surprised about how often I took things for granted - like the smell of flowers or the window blowing or sun shining. Cherish those moments.
What inspired you to become a bereavement doula?
My own loss experience - I wanted to be there for others like I wanted someone there for me.
What have you learned about yourself through all of this? If you could go back and be your own advocate, what would you tell yourself in those delicate moments of your loss?
I learned that I am way stronger than I could ever imagine. Also that there is no better advocate for me than myself. I would tell myself to breathe cherish these moments you have. I would just hug myself.
Now that you are certified, how do you want to advocate for others and honor your baby?
I want to be a part of the support system for families going through loss. I plan on honoring him by being a better human and continuing to never let his memory fade.