Cover 2 Cover Magazine October 2011 : Page 18

INSPIRATION & MOTIVATION Turning Loss Into a Helpful Guide for Others by Kelly Whitehead There are moments in life which forever change who you are as a person and how you see the world, Febru-ary 12, 2004, was that day for me. When I should’ve been excited, looking forward to celebrating Valen-tine’s Day, I was instead in the hospital on the verge of an emotional breakdown. This was to be the day my first son would be born… and would die. Weigh-ing in at just about a pound, far too small to survive. The loss of my son was a devastating experience for both my husband and I. Slowly I started to pick up the pieces and move on with my life. (Though I will never forget the son I lost.) I spent those early weeks and months crying from the void in my heart. Several months later we de-cided to try for another child, full of fear, and knowing the chances of having another early baby was high. Though my story starts depressing it is far from it. Today I am able to peek in on my two healthy, beauti-ful children (ages 2 and 6) while they sleep and know that I not only overcame the loss of a preemie son, a 4.5-month torturous, fear-filled, and stressful stint of strict bed rest, and surgeries in order to join the ranks of motherhood, but I have also used my experiences and my background to help other women. After going through a loss and struggling to find an-18 Cover 2 Cover Magazine | October 2011 swers during my next high-risk pregnancy, I decided that raising my two kids, working full time as a sci-entist for Lysol, and helping with the family business was just not quite enough, so I wrote a book. I can’t really explain what led me to use all my vacation days, give up sleep, stir up trouble in my marriage, and pass on a personnel life to write a 448 page book dedicated to helping families and doctors struggling with a tough preg-nancy; but I did. Within me was an inner fire and pas-sion so inexplicably strong, that I just knew I had to do this. Six years later and I have finally completed High-Risk Pregnancy-Why Me? Understanding and Manag-ing a Potential Preterm Preg-nancy. A Medical and Emotion-al Guide. Writing and researching a book of this nature has been far from easy, but I know that helping to lessen the pain, fear, stress, and uncertainty in even one family will make it worth it. I look back, even now, and wonder how I even accomplished this task. The women who’ve helped me with the book by providing tips, insights, stories and by sharing their emotions on this journey, have made me realized just how many of us there are and how helpful a book such as mine could be to them. When I was feeling stressed, ready to give up on this project, it was their words which kept me moving forward. PHOTO COURTESY OF KELLY WHITEHEAD

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