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Meet our newest bereavement doula, Ariadna!






LEARN MORE ABOUT ARIADNA!

How did you feel when you found out you were going to be a parent?

I felt blessed and surprised because I had no symptoms at all before taking a home test. Liam was celebrated among both my husband and my family but we only found out we were having a boy hours before he was born up to that day we thought he was a girl because two weeks prior to that I went for an ultrasound and for the first time a doctor told us that it was 80% chance we were having a girl according to his measurements. I started dreaming about this baby girl and even bought some dresses and bedroom decor for her. My husband and I wanted a girl first so we thought we were living a dream. We even threw him a baby shower days after the "big news" in Brazil where I was visiting family and friends. Finding out it was a boy made me laugh but I confess that for a couple of minutes after I was back at our hotel room I questioned God what happened to my baby girl which looking back I will never forgive myself for.


I was told I had fibroids when I was already pregnant so my doctor could only watch out and hope for the best. He told me make some changes in my diet and that's all. At 16 weeks, I started having bad stomachache but was told by the hospital stuff I went to this kind of pain was normal specially because it was my first pregnancy. Three weeks later I took a plane to Brazil to visit my family and friends since I was on my second trimester when its safe to travel. The week Liam was born the pain came back stronger and I was medicated at a clinic I found at the city I was at and was able to fly back to my hometown the same day with no pain at all. I also went for the second trimester ultrasound where they measure your baby and make sure all is fine. Liam was strong and so healthy I could never in a million years think he was going to die hours after. I got back to my hotel room that night and the pain cam back but at this much MUCH stronger. Since I was used to this I thought again it was normal but i was in labor and didn't know. After suffering for hours I sat on bathroom toilet and heard a strange noise... It was my Liam being born with his arms on his face like a true angel. I was in shock and wanted the people from the ambulance my husband called to cut the umbilical chord so I could get up that toilet. That was the first and last time I saw my son. I was told days after by my husband that he was breathing for a couple of minutes when they put him on top of the bed. At the hospital I was offered to see my baby twice in the morning (Liam was born a little past midnight) but I refused and I will never forgive myself for not being strong enough to say bye to my angel. Its this never ending feeling of I abandoned my son when he needed me the most that I have to live with for the rest of my days.


Tell us about Liam

My husband is half Italian and half Irish so we were searching for both Italian and Irish names. We wore torn between Anthony and Liam and when the nurses asked me what his name was I wanted to honor my husband because Liam was his favorite and told them his name was Liam Anthony Gavan. As i said before, I felt my son and didn't hold him or had a moment just the two of us. Neither did my husband. The image I have of him and the way of when he was born, after that i lost too much blood and everybody around me was focusing on keeping me alive.


How did your village support you through this loss?

My faith was my biggest support. I had to learn how to accept and respect God's will. I also came across a great therapist who told me about supporting groups like Three Little Birds, Rachel's gift and Start Legacy which i joined right away. I also searched for groups and foundations in Brazil to join because its comforting for me to talk about Liam in my mother tongue since he was born and bury in Brazil. I went to a dinner in celebration of angel babies back in October last year and got to meet the rest of Three Little Birds nest who made me feel loved and validated.


What Three Little Birds services, events or programs are your favorite?

The annual Wave of Light!


What does healing look like for you? What has surprised you about the journey? 

It was a long process of acceptance and finding ways to honor my son's brief existence in this world. Seeing him as an angel helps me understand and dream of meeting him one day. Also picturing him in the arms of God makes me feel peaceful because I know he is being take care of in a way only I could do. I miss him everyday and think of what would have been if he was here but God has proven to be wonderful and merciful in some many ways I feel truly blessed.


What inspired you to become a bereavement doula? 

I want parents to have the courage I didn't have and celebrate their babies because they are worthy of it and so much more. Sometimes I feel God allowed this to happen not only to change who I am and how I see the world but also to be a piece of help to those who unfortunately will go thought the biggest and most hurtful pain I can ever imagined.


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've learn that I'm stronger than I think and God is more wonderful and merciful that I could ever dreamed of. I would tell myself that I did nothing wrong, I didn't know better and couldn't possibly imagine that my fibroids would grow so fast and affect my pregnancy. I would also tell myself that even though I cried asking what happened to my girl I loved my son and still do. Its so much love it hurts.


Now that you are certified, how do you want to advocate for others and honor your baby? 

I would like to start by supporting in personal consultations and peer matches because I believe only those who went thought this type of loss can truly understand how it feels most of the time. I might have abandoned Liam by not saying goodbye to him or holding him in my arms but I promised I will honor his brief presence by making sure or trying to that others don't make the same mistakes i made.


Interested in supporting perinatal loss families? Register for our fall training!

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