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Story Sanctuary

Story Sanctuary

By Erika Mendence
Story Sanctuary is a space for NICU parents to use storytelling as a healing art. Each episode features the birth story + NICU experience of one remarkable family. Join us on this journey of connection, community-building and healing!
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Story Sanctuary

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Cathy, Ari & Tikvah
“We were not born to be Tikvah’s parents, we are growing into being Tikvah’s parents” - Cathy On today’s episode of Story Sanctuary, Cathy and Ari share the story of their medical journey, which began after a seemingly typical pregnancy and birth. Join these two as they take a “leap of faith” and allow trust in God to shepherd them on their path as they settle into the role of mom and dad to their lovely daughter Tikvah.
01:37:16
September 29, 2022
Krista + Riley
At the 20-week anatomy scan, Krista and her husband were surprised to discover their daughter Riley had a birth difference called an omphalocele. On today’s episode, Krista traces her pregnancy and 9-month NICU stay with courageous Riley. She also discusses the anxiety of having another child after loss, finding the positive along the way, and what encourages her to continue to help other medical families. *Content Warning: This episode explores infant loss* https://socialworklicensemap.com/blog/coping-with-secondary-trauma/ https://www.choosingtherapy.com/secondary-trauma/
47:10
September 15, 2022
Pam's Family
Pam never expected to have 7 children or that she would become a medical mom, but as we’ve heard again and again on Story Sanctuary—life often doesn’t go the way we planned.  On today’s episode, Pam shares her motherhood story which encompasses adoption, fertility treatments, biological children, and being a medical foster parent. She goes in-depth into the medical portions, exploring adopting a heart baby, then finding out devestating news about her daughter Ally (pictured above) and what that journey has looked like for her family. Pam also discusses the difference in support with having a sick child in the 1990s vs. in the internet age, trusting your gut and what being a fierce advocate for her children has looked like over the years. Oley Foundation website: https://oley.org/ Ally’s crochet business page: hooksnspoons.com
56:37
September 01, 2022
Celeste + Vincent
“Of course, they give you that percent—95% success, but what happens when your child is born and they’re in that 5%?” At 14 weeks pregnant, Celeste and her husband received confirmation of a gastroschisis diagnosis with their child, kickstarting a rollercoaster medical journey. On today’s episode of Story Sanctuary, Celeste shares her pregnancy story, NICU stay, and the transplant journey that followed. We also discuss having Crazy Faith, supporting someone who is grieving, and learning to live again after loss. CW/TW: This episode explores grief and the loss of a child ----- Grounding worksheet: https://www.winona.edu/resilience/media/grounding-worksheet.pdf ----- If you or someone you know would like to be a guest on Story Sanctuary, please contact nicustorysanctuary@gmail.com
01:34:05
August 18, 2022
Aleese’s Family
Aleese and her husband knew early on they wanted to foster or adopt, but didn’t realize when they began that they would end up caring for kids with medical needs. On today’s episode, Aleese shares her motherhood journey, which began with fostering and adoption, then eventually led to giving birth to her son Rhys. Aleese also discusses building community along the way, raising siblings of children with medical needs and having faith in God’s plan.
57:23
August 04, 2022
Jazmyne + Crimson
After receiving devastating news during her pregnancy with her daughter Crimson, Jazymne embarked on a life-changing journey. On today’s episode of Story Sanctuary, Jazmyne shares the story of her daughter’s congenital diaphragmatic hernia (CDH) diagnosis and the NICU stay that followed. Join this mama as she courageously shares her story for the first time publicly.  Content Warning: This story explores infant loss  ----  6 Reasons Why We Need to Share Our Stories: https://mollyhostudio.com/blog/6-reasons-why-we-need-to-share-our-stories
30:42
July 21, 2022
Sammi + Connor
About 3 years into being a NICU nurse, Sammi was diagnosed with preeclampsia and delivered her son Connor at 26 weeks. On today’s episode, Sammi shares her birth and NICU journey, including how much of a “different world” it was being on the parent side of things in the NICU and her experience of transitioning to life outside the hospital after 203 days inpatient. We also discuss trach parent burnout, managing anxiety while inpatient, and differences in trach life over state lines. Continue following Sammi and Connor's story @connor.chronicles on Instagram!
59:12
July 07, 2022
Stephanie’s Family
Sometimes, being a medical parent is thrust upon you. Other times, you chose it by deciding to adopt or foster children with medical needs. On today’s episode, Stephanie shares the story of what moved her to become a foster parent for medical kids and how that journey has unfolded for her family. She also discusses the process of being used for something greater and the many lessons she has learned along the way. Stephanie and I met in Omaha while both our daughters were inpatient for transplants. If you’d like to follow her daughter Ellie’s multi-visceral transplant journey, check out ‘A Belly for Ellie’ on Facebook!
59:58
June 23, 2022
LaTonya + Kelsey **RE-RELEASE**
After coming to terms with the fact that they would be unable to conceive, LaTonya and her husband were surprised to find out in November of 2016 that they were expecting a child! Women become mothers every day and while mostly routine, occasionally there comes a transition into motherhood that could be ripped out of the script of a Lifetime Drama. On today's episode, LaTonya traces her remarkable journey into motherhood—from infertility to the NICU and eventually home with her beautiful daughter Kelsey.  𝘛𝘩𝘪𝘴 𝘦𝘱𝘪𝘴𝘰𝘥𝘦 𝘦𝘹𝘱𝘭𝘰𝘳𝘦𝘴 𝘪𝘯𝘧𝘦𝘳𝘵𝘪𝘭𝘪𝘵𝘺, 𝘧𝘪𝘣𝘳𝘰𝘪𝘥𝘴, 𝘱𝘳𝘦𝘮𝘢𝘵𝘶𝘳𝘦 𝘣𝘪𝘳𝘵𝘩 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘮𝘦𝘯𝘵𝘢𝘭 𝘩𝘦𝘢𝘭𝘵𝘩 𝘪𝘯 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘕𝘐𝘊𝘜.
49:10
June 09, 2022
Ashley + Bode **RE-RELEASE**
Oftentimes, parents who have made it through a long-term NICU stay feel the call to help other families who are in the trenches. My guest this week is a lovely example of that. On today’s episode, Ashley traces her son Bode’s 4 month NICU journey, then shares how that experience inspired her to become a postpartum doula, specifically for moms facing NICU stays. ⁣ ⁣  𝘛𝘩𝘪𝘴 𝘦𝘱𝘪𝘴𝘰𝘥𝘦 𝘦𝘹𝘱𝘭𝘰𝘳𝘦𝘴 𝘱𝘳𝘦𝘦𝘤𝘭𝘢𝘮𝘱𝘴𝘪𝘢 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘱𝘳𝘦𝘮𝘢𝘵𝘶𝘳𝘦 𝘣𝘪𝘳𝘵𝘩, 𝘢𝘴 𝘸𝘦𝘭𝘭 𝘢𝘴 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘣𝘦𝘯𝘦𝘧𝘪𝘵𝘴 𝘰𝘧 𝘮𝘪𝘯𝘥𝘧𝘶𝘭𝘯𝘦𝘴𝘴 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘴𝘦𝘭𝘧-𝘤𝘢𝘳𝘦 𝘸𝘩𝘪𝘭𝘦 𝘯𝘢𝘷𝘪𝘨𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘭𝘪𝘧𝘦 𝘪𝘯 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘕𝘐𝘊𝘜.⁣
52:48
May 26, 2022
Cayla, Jake + Parker **RE-RELEASE**
In February of 2019, Jake and Cayla received devastating news during their 20 week anatomy scan. On today’s episode, this husband and wife duo share the story of their daughter Parker’s birth at 34 weeks and her arthrogryposis amyoplasia diagnosis, then take us on their NICU journey. We also discuss in-home nursing, adaptive sign language and finding joy despite difficult circumstances.  𝘛𝘩𝘪𝘴 𝘦𝘱𝘪𝘴𝘰𝘥𝘦 𝘦𝘹𝘱𝘭𝘰𝘳𝘦𝘴 𝘢 𝘧𝘢𝘮𝘪𝘭𝘺’𝘴 𝘳𝘪𝘨𝘩𝘵 𝘵𝘰 𝘤𝘩𝘰𝘰𝘴𝘦, 𝘢𝘳𝘵𝘩𝘳𝘰𝘨𝘳𝘺𝘱𝘰𝘴𝘪𝘴 𝘮𝘶𝘭𝘵𝘪𝘱𝘭𝘦𝘹 𝘤𝘰𝘯𝘨𝘦𝘯𝘪𝘵𝘢 (𝘈𝘔𝘊) 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘯𝘢𝘷𝘪𝘨𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘭𝘪𝘧𝘦 𝘪𝘯 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘕𝘐𝘊𝘜.
01:10:03
May 12, 2022
Shamire + Julian **RE-RELEASE**
On today’s episode, Shamire shares the story of her son Julian’s birth and her family’s NICU journey. ⁣Julian was born at 26 weeks. At 29 weeks he developed NEC (a devastating intestinal disease) and had to be airlifted to a children’s hospital an hour away. He and his family spent the next 110 days at this hospital before settling at home. ⁣ ⁣  𝘛𝘩𝘪𝘴 𝘦𝘱𝘪𝘴𝘰𝘥𝘦 𝘦𝘹𝘱𝘭𝘰𝘳𝘦𝘴 𝘱𝘳𝘦𝘮𝘢𝘵𝘶𝘳𝘦 𝘣𝘪𝘳𝘵𝘩, 𝘕𝘦𝘤𝘳𝘰𝘵𝘪𝘻𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘌𝘯𝘵𝘦𝘳𝘰𝘤𝘰𝘭𝘪𝘵𝘪𝘴 (𝘕𝘌𝘊) 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘯𝘢𝘷𝘪𝘨𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘭𝘪𝘧𝘦 𝘪𝘯 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘕𝘐𝘊𝘜.
01:09:55
April 28, 2022
April Guided Meditation
This month’s meditation is a walking meditation. Walking meditations are meant to bring your mind and body in sync while on a stroll. It can be done at the park, in your neighborhood or even in your home. If sitting with your eyes closed to meditate is difficult for you, walking mediations are an alternative way to train the mind in awareness and being present in the moment. They can also be used to supplement sitting mediation practices.⁣ ⁣  These mediations are not only for medical parents! Everyone from any walk of life is welcome to set aside a few minutes to access the healing that can come from Story Sanctuary’s monthly guided meditations. Carve out some time and give it a listen! ⁣ ⁣  𝘔𝘶𝘴𝘪𝘤 𝘭𝘰𝘷𝘪𝘯𝘨𝘭𝘺 𝘤𝘳𝘦𝘢𝘵𝘦𝘥 𝘣𝘺 𝘙𝘰𝘣𝘦𝘳𝘵 𝘊𝘢𝘴𝘵𝘪𝘭𝘭𝘰
12:04
April 21, 2022
Cynthia + Adonis
At 25 weeks, Cynthia unexpectedly gave birth to her son alone in her home. On today’s episode of Story Sanctuary, Cynthia shares her unanticipated birth story and the NICU stay that followed. We also discuss binaural beats, pop culture helping you survive the NICU and peripheral trauma.
41:57
April 14, 2022
Marissa + Brielle
After absent end-diastolic flow led to bed rest during her second trimester, Marissa gave birth to her baby girl Brielle at 25 weeks and 3 days. On today’s episode of Story Sanctuary, Marissa shares her pregnancy story and the 7 1/2 month NICU stay that followed. She also discusses the “bookends” to her motherhood journey, the decision to get a trach and what it’s like to still be on the journey.
59:31
March 31, 2022
March Guided Meditation
Let’s breathe together! ⁣ ⁣ This month’s meditation explores breathwork. Breathing is one of the few things in life that is free, easy and accessible to everyone. You can practice it almost anywhere!⁣ ⁣ Join me as I teach you simple breathing exercises that can make a big difference to mental, physical, and spiritual well-being if you make them part of your regular routine. For these exercises, focus on breathing in and out through your nose.⁣ ⁣ These meditations are not only for medical parents! Everyone reading this is welcome to set aside a few minutes to access the healing that can come from Story Sanctuary’s monthly guided meditations. Carve out some time and give it a listen!⁣ ⁣ 𝘔𝘶𝘴𝘪𝘤 𝘭𝘰𝘷𝘪𝘯𝘨𝘭𝘺 𝘤𝘳𝘦𝘢𝘵𝘦𝘥 𝘣𝘺 𝘙𝘰𝘣𝘦𝘳𝘵 𝘊𝘢𝘴𝘵𝘪𝘭𝘭𝘰
12:47
March 24, 2022
Martin + Zora
Following a traumatic birth during which Zora did not breath on her own for 14 minutes, Martin and his wife found themselves facing an unexpected NICU stay. On today’s episode, Martin shares his family’s journey to viable pregnancy, their birth story and memories from the 79 day inpatient stay with Zora. We also discuss the blessings he received along the way through his created community on Clubhouse and plugging into resources for NICU families.
01:02:52
March 17, 2022
Diane, Alayo + Iyanu
After being diagnosed with PCOS in 2015, Diane and her husband embarked on an extensive fertility journey. On today’s episode, Diane details their journey, tracing through her diagnosis, IUI and IVF treatments and the two pregnancies that followed. She also shares the birth stories and NICU journeys of her two children—Alayo and Iyanu. After her story, Diane and I discuss comparisons robbing you of joy, dealing with the mental load of “waiting for the other shoe to drop” and finding purpose in the NICU.⁣ ⁣ 𝘞𝘢𝘳𝘯𝘪𝘯𝘨: 𝘛𝘩𝘪𝘴 𝘦𝘱𝘪𝘴𝘰𝘥𝘦 𝘦𝘹𝘱𝘭𝘰𝘳𝘦𝘴 𝘪𝘯𝘧𝘢𝘯𝘵 𝘭𝘰𝘴𝘴⁣
01:22:35
March 03, 2022
February Guided Meditation
It's February and love is in the air! Enjoy this guided meditation inspired by bell hook's book 𝘈𝘭𝘭 𝘈𝘣𝘰𝘶𝘵 𝘓𝘰𝘷𝘦. Focus: Self-love and actively introduce constructive life-affirming thought patterns into your life. ⁣ ⁣ 𝘔𝘶𝘴𝘪𝘤: 𝘙𝘰𝘣𝘦𝘳𝘵 𝘊𝘢𝘴𝘵𝘪𝘭𝘭𝘰
10:25
February 24, 2022
Kati + Haylee
After being told “We don’t see any issues. This is a typical pregnancy”, Kati was shocked to find out at birth that her daughter Haylee was born with a genetic difference. It wasn’t until she was about two months old that her family learned their little girl had central core disease. On today’s episode, Kati shares her pregnancy journeys, her 8 month NICU stay with Haylee and what being a complex medical mom has been like. We also discuss taking it one day at a time, being with your child 24/7 and never giving up.
48:31
February 17, 2022
Ashley + Delilah Sunshine
At Ashley’s 20 week anatomy scan, the doctor noticed her daughter Delilah’s heart was significantly smaller on the left side than the right. This life-changing appointment launched her journey as a heart and g-tube mama and on today’s episode, Ashley shares her story following that initial diagnosis. Ashley and I also discuss the benefits of art therapy, accepting your tube-fed child where they are and the joys of having medical mom friends who understand your path.
33:31
February 03, 2022
Nico + Kylo
After a surprising 24 week scan, Nico welcomed her son Kylo one day short of 25 weeks weighing 1 lb 2.8 oz. On today’s episode, Nico shares her unexpected birth story and 6 month NICU journey. We also discuss the NICU forcing you to grow up, the beauty of starting fresh after the NICU and what inspired the creation of her brand Supreemie Baby.
51:31
January 20, 2022
January Guided Meditation
Happy New Year, friends! Enjoy this guided meditation to start your new year. Focus: Celebrating the progress we’ve made thus far and embracing what we deserve in the year ahead.⁣ ⁣ 𝘐𝘯𝘵𝘳𝘰/𝘖𝘶𝘵𝘳𝘰 𝘔𝘶𝘴𝘪𝘤: 𝘙𝘰𝘣𝘦𝘳𝘵 𝘊𝘢𝘴𝘵𝘪𝘭𝘭𝘰
10:09
January 13, 2022
Erinn + Langston
Welcome back to Story Sanctuary: A NICU Healing Space! On today’s episode, Erinn shares the story of her NICU journey after her son’s unexpected Treacher Collins diagnosis the day he was born. Following her story, Erinn and I discuss the journey to leaving the NICU as a trach parent, reconciling the child you thought you’d have vs. the one you actually have and the importance of mental health support for families.
53:58
January 06, 2022
Part 2: Erika + Birdie
After braving our extended NICU stay and enjoying time home as a family, Birdie’s latent liver issues became our new focus. On Story Sanctuary’s season finale, I trace our liver journey from mystery to miracle. I also discuss differences between our NICU and PICU stays and lessons learned along the way.
48:00
November 25, 2021
Part 1: Erika + Birdie
At 14 weeks pregnant, my husband and I found out our baby had an midline defect called an omphalocele. Our lives changed significantly that day, as we struggled to process the meaning of this information and what our charge as parents would be. On today’s episode, I go from host to storyteller and trace our journey from that initial ultrasound through my pregnancy and into Birdie’s NICU stay and homecoming. I also explore mindfulness tools, the value of primary nurses and my lasting memory from this leg of our journey.
01:09:55
November 18, 2021
Tanisha + Jaleel
Pregnant with their rainbow baby, Tanisha and her husband were surprised to find out at 20 weeks that their son had a lower urinary tract obstruction. On today’s episode, Tanisha shares her birth story, Jaleel’s 157 day NICU stay and the transplant journey that has followed. Tanisha and I also discuss mothering “medically complex miracles” and our ideal therapy package for critical care families.
01:09:02
November 04, 2021
Kamilah + Christian
At 41 weeks and 6 days, Kamilah gave birth to her “little fighter” Christian. On today’s episode, Kamilah shares the story of her son birth, their 229 day NICU journey and her experience as a special needs mom for nine years. She also discusses a day in their life, focusing on what your child CAN do and how crafting has helped her along the way. ⁣ ⁣ 𝘛𝘩𝘪𝘴 𝘦𝘱𝘪𝘴𝘰𝘥𝘦 𝘦𝘹𝘱𝘭𝘰𝘳𝘦𝘴 𝘪𝘯𝘧𝘢𝘯𝘵 𝘴𝘦𝘪𝘻𝘶𝘳𝘦𝘴, 𝘱𝘦𝘥𝘪𝘢𝘵𝘳𝘪𝘤 𝘵𝘳𝘢𝘤𝘩/𝘷𝘦𝘯𝘵 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘣𝘦𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘢 𝘴𝘱𝘦𝘤𝘪𝘢𝘭 𝘯𝘦𝘦𝘥𝘴 𝘱𝘢𝘳𝘦𝘯𝘵
26:11
October 21, 2021
Ima + Jaxson
On the precipice of giving birth at 22 weeks, Ima told her team “I want you to save my son”. These seven words totally changed the trajectory of this faith-filled mama’s life, opening her eyes to a world she didn’t know existed.⁣ ⁣ On today’s episode, Ima shares her son Jaxson’s birth and NICU story, then explores how faith is often increased through experience. She also talks about navigating the new world of a NICU, changing career plans and the fact that “Hard things don’t have to break you.”. ⁣ ⁣ Following her story, Ima and I discuss affirmations, undoing trauma and appreciating the journey.⁣ ⁣ Don’t forget to check out her clothing brand at www.halosandmiracles.com!
01:16:52
October 07, 2021
Ebony + Reign’s NICU Journey (RE-RELEASE)
⁣After years of infertility and loss, Ebony and her husband were surprised to find out they were expecting a baby girl in 2018. However, their joy was cut short when Ebony developed HELLP syndrome and Reign swiftly came into the world at 26 weeks. On today’s episode, Ebony shares her pregnancy and birth journey, along with the realities of confronting illness outside of the NICU. ⁣ ⁣ 𝘛𝘩𝘪𝘴 𝘦𝘱𝘪𝘴𝘰𝘥𝘦 𝘦𝘹𝘱𝘭𝘰𝘳𝘦𝘴 𝘱𝘳𝘦𝘮𝘢𝘵𝘶𝘳𝘦 𝘣𝘪𝘳𝘵𝘩, 𝘱𝘳𝘦𝘦𝘤𝘭𝘢𝘮𝘱𝘴𝘪𝘢, 𝘱𝘶𝘭𝘮𝘰𝘯𝘢𝘳𝘺 𝘦𝘥𝘦𝘮𝘢, 𝘏𝘌𝘓𝘓𝘗 𝘴𝘺𝘯𝘥𝘳𝘰𝘮𝘦 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘱𝘶𝘭𝘮𝘰𝘯𝘢𝘳𝘺 𝘧𝘪𝘣𝘳𝘰𝘴𝘪𝘴.
36:45
September 29, 2021
Miracle Mamas + Life After the NICU
How do we as NICU parents find community and support after leaving the NICU? What is the reality of life on the other side of a long-term NICU journey? If you’ve had an extended NICU stay, you’ve likely pondered these questions. Today, Ebony (former Story Sanctuary mom) joins us to share how she is building community and connecting families to resources outside of the NICU. Tune in and plug in!
12:40
September 23, 2021
Kaylee + Kaydee⁣’s NICU Journey
When Kaylee was 24 weeks pregnant and preparing students to compete in the American Royal Quarter Horse Show, her blood pressure suddenly landed her in the hospital. Soon after, it was discovered she had the onset of preeclampsia and would need to be rushed into emergency surgery in hopes of saving both her and Kaydee’s lives. ⁣ ⁣ On today’s episode, Kaylee shares her pregnancy journey and NICU story, exploring how her promise to “look for God’s hand throughout the journey” allowed her to find peace and hope during incredibly trying times. We also discuss Kaylee’s role at our local children’s hospital, what she has learned about how best to prepare parents for life outside the NICU and how medical parents can manage goals vs expectations.⁣ ⁣ 𝘛𝘩𝘪𝘴 𝘦𝘱𝘪𝘴𝘰𝘥𝘦 𝘦𝘹𝘱𝘭𝘰𝘳𝘦𝘴 𝘱𝘳𝘦𝘮𝘢𝘵𝘶𝘳𝘦 𝘣𝘪𝘳𝘵𝘩, 𝘱𝘳𝘦𝘦𝘤𝘭𝘢𝘮𝘱𝘴𝘪𝘢, 𝘱𝘦𝘥𝘪𝘢𝘵𝘳𝘪𝘤 𝘵𝘳𝘢𝘤𝘩𝘴 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘮𝘢𝘯𝘢𝘨𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘭𝘰𝘯𝘨 𝘵𝘦𝘳𝘮 𝘕𝘐𝘊𝘜 𝘴𝘵𝘢𝘺𝘴
01:28:25
September 09, 2021
Donya + Kenzie’s NICU Journey
⁣For Donya, what began as a typical pregnancy changed course when at 26 weeks she was admitted due to preterm dilation. After a week in the hospital, her daughter Kenzie was born at 2 lb 2oz. On today’s episode, this Mississippi mama shares the story of her 3 month NICU journey and advice for others who find themselves facing a long-term NICU stay.⁣ ⁣ 𝘛𝘩𝘪𝘴 𝘦𝘱𝘪𝘴𝘰𝘥𝘦 𝘦𝘹𝘱𝘭𝘰𝘳𝘦𝘴 𝘱𝘳𝘦𝘮𝘢𝘵𝘶𝘳𝘦 𝘣𝘪𝘳𝘵𝘩 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘭𝘰𝘯𝘨-𝘵𝘦𝘳𝘮 𝘤𝘳𝘪𝘵𝘪𝘤𝘢𝘭 𝘤𝘢𝘳𝘦 𝘴𝘵𝘢𝘺𝘴
45:25
September 05, 2021
Cailin + Caden’s NICU Journey
During a NICU stay with her third son Caden, Cailin was introduced to scalp IVs in infants, sparking her interest in the possibilities of having a cap with a hole in it. On this episode, Cailin shares the story of Caden’s birth and how she went from being struck with inspiration to creating and manufacturing a revolutionary product called the Mati Cap.⁣ ⁣ Learn more about Cailin’s products and story at www.matronee.com⁣ ⁣ 𝘛𝘩𝘪𝘴 𝘦𝘱𝘪𝘴𝘰𝘥𝘦 𝘦𝘹𝘱𝘭𝘰𝘳𝘦𝘴 𝘱𝘳𝘦𝘦𝘤𝘭𝘢𝘮𝘱𝘴𝘪𝘢, 𝘱𝘳𝘦𝘮𝘢𝘵𝘶𝘳𝘦 𝘣𝘪𝘳𝘵𝘩 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘦𝘱𝘪𝘭𝘦𝘱𝘴𝘺
40:18
August 12, 2021
Adam + Brady
After several losses and an IVF journey, Adam and his wife were excited to find out they were finally pregnant with the baby they had been hoping for. As a surprise to them both, Brady came into the world at 25 weeks and 1 day, weighing 1 lb 4 oz. On today’s episode, Adam shares his son Brady’s birth and 135 day NICU journey, then explores how healthy communication with his wife and a dark sense of humor has helped him survive the experience. Learn more about Adam’s projects and his book “Our Preemie Adventure” at www.preemieadventures.com⁣ ⁣ 𝘛𝘩𝘪𝘴 𝘦𝘱𝘪𝘴𝘰𝘥𝘦 𝘦𝘹𝘱𝘭𝘰𝘳𝘦𝘴 𝘱𝘰𝘭𝘺𝘤𝘺𝘴𝘵𝘪𝘤 𝘬𝘪𝘥𝘯𝘦𝘺 𝘥𝘪𝘴𝘦𝘢𝘴𝘦, 𝘐𝘝𝘍, 𝘱𝘳𝘦𝘮𝘢𝘵𝘶𝘳𝘦 𝘣𝘪𝘳𝘵𝘩 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘴𝘶𝘳𝘷𝘪𝘷𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘢 𝘭𝘰𝘯𝘨-𝘵𝘦𝘳𝘮 𝘕𝘐𝘊𝘜 𝘴𝘵𝘢𝘺
38:52
June 24, 2021
Adrianna + Astin
Even though Adrianna knew her pregnancy would be high risk and her baby would likely have a NICU stay, nothing prepared her for the roller coaster of emotion when actually going through the process. On today’s episode, Adrianna shares what it was like to brave her journey as the mom of a micropreemie and how she survived 167 days inpatient with her son Astin while simultaneously managing her own mental and physical health.⁣ ⁣ 𝘛𝘩𝘪𝘴 𝘦𝘱𝘪𝘴𝘰𝘥𝘦 𝘦𝘹𝘱𝘭𝘰𝘳𝘦𝘴 𝘍𝘚𝘎𝘚 𝘒𝘪𝘥𝘯𝘦𝘺 𝘋𝘪𝘴𝘦𝘢𝘴𝘦, 𝘐𝘜𝘎𝘙, 𝘱𝘳𝘦𝘮𝘢𝘵𝘶𝘳𝘦 𝘣𝘪𝘳𝘵𝘩 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘱𝘦𝘳𝘪𝘯𝘢𝘵𝘢𝘭 𝘮𝘰𝘰𝘥 𝘥𝘪𝘴𝘰𝘳𝘥𝘦𝘳𝘴
34:17
June 10, 2021
Carrita + Isaac
At 26 weeks, Carrita’s “Promise Son” Isaac made his entrance into the world at just 1 lb 13 oz. On today’s episode, this Mama to a miracle shares her pregnancy story, Isaac’s 116 day NICU journey and how actively advocating as a parent likely saved her child’s life. Carrita also discusses the inspiration for her book 𝘠𝘰𝘶’𝘳𝘦 𝘚𝘵𝘪𝘭𝘭 𝘏𝘦𝘳𝘦 and the birth of her non-profit organization—The Premium Promise Project. ⁣ ⁣ 𝘛𝘩𝘪𝘴 𝘦𝘱𝘪𝘴𝘰𝘥𝘦 𝘦𝘹𝘱𝘭𝘰𝘳𝘦𝘴 𝘱𝘳𝘦𝘨𝘯𝘢𝘯𝘤𝘺 𝘭𝘰𝘴𝘴, 𝘱𝘳𝘦𝘮𝘢𝘵𝘶𝘳𝘦 𝘣𝘪𝘳𝘵𝘩, 𝘦𝘯𝘤𝘦𝘱𝘩𝘭𝘰𝘤𝘦𝘭𝘦𝘴 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘪𝘮𝘱𝘰𝘳𝘵𝘢𝘯𝘤𝘦 𝘰𝘧 𝘢𝘥𝘷𝘰𝘤𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘪𝘯 𝘢 𝘕𝘐𝘊𝘜 𝘴𝘦𝘵𝘵𝘭𝘪𝘯𝘨.⁣
27:04
May 27, 2021
Part 2: Tara + Jett
10 weeks pregnant with her son Jett, Tara received shocking news from a genetic counselor, embarking on a new journey of grief and pain. On today’s episode, she shares the pregnancy and birth journey with Jett and her family’s choice to love hard in the face of unimaginable heartache. Tara also discusses ways to support those who are navigating grief and trauma. 𝘛𝘳𝘪𝘨𝘨𝘦𝘳 𝘞𝘢𝘳𝘯𝘪𝘯𝘨: 𝘛𝘩𝘪𝘴 𝘦𝘱𝘪𝘴𝘰𝘥𝘦 𝘦𝘹𝘱𝘭𝘰𝘳𝘦𝘴 𝘪𝘯𝘧𝘢𝘯𝘵 𝘭𝘰𝘴𝘴
43:21
May 13, 2021
Part 1: Tara + Piper
If you’re affiliated with the NICU at Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City, you’ve likely heard the name Tara Jarvis. This mama is somewhat of a local celebrity when it comes to resilience, strength and community-building in the toughest of times. After receiving earth-shattering news during her second pregnancy, she and her husband Matt embarked on a profound journey with their daughter Piper. On today’s episode, Tara graciously shares her pregnancy and birth story with Piper, as well as her family’s NICU journey. She also shares what sparked the creation of her non-profit Grace Blankets, one of the ways Tara continues to give back and provide support to others in the NICU.⁣ ⁣ 𝘛𝘳𝘪𝘨𝘨𝘦𝘳 𝘞𝘢𝘳𝘯𝘪𝘯𝘨: 𝘛𝘩𝘪𝘴 𝘦𝘱𝘪𝘴𝘰𝘥𝘦 𝘦𝘹𝘱𝘭𝘰𝘳𝘦𝘴 𝘪𝘯𝘧𝘢𝘯𝘵 𝘭𝘰𝘴𝘴
34:38
May 06, 2021
Sophia + Winsley
When Sophia was pregnant with her first child Winsley, she never imagined how difficult her entry into motherhood would be. At 33 weeks, Sophia delivered a healthy 5 lb 12 oz baby girl via emergency c-section. Unfortunately, Winsley’s NICU was ill-equipped to care for premature babies and during her hospital stay, she contracted MRSA. Without proper and timely treatment, the MRSA ended up entering Winsley’s spinal fluid and became meningitis. On today’s episode, Sophia shares their 63 day fight for Winnie’s life, her NICU journey and the lessons learned along the way. ⁣ ⁣ 𝘛𝘩𝘪𝘴 𝘦𝘱𝘪𝘴𝘰𝘥𝘦 𝘦𝘹𝘱𝘭𝘰𝘳𝘦𝘴 𝘱𝘳𝘦𝘮𝘢𝘵𝘶𝘳𝘦 𝘭𝘢𝘣𝘰𝘳 + 𝘣𝘪𝘳𝘵𝘩, 𝘔𝘙𝘚𝘈 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘮𝘦𝘯𝘪𝘯𝘨𝘪𝘵𝘪𝘴⁣
30:41
April 22, 2021
Amanda + Theo
Early on, Amanda felt a “nudging in her soul” that something was going to be different with her second pregnancy. Her fears were confirmed when she and her husband found out at 20 weeks that their son had a massive hole in his diaphragm and his organs had shifted up into his chest. On today’s episode, Amanda shares the story of her son Theo’s Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia diagnosis, braving a pregnancy full of unknowns and her family’s NICU journey. ⁣ ⁣ 𝘛𝘩𝘪𝘴 𝘦𝘱𝘪𝘴𝘰𝘥𝘦 𝘦𝘹𝘱𝘭𝘰𝘳𝘦𝘴 𝘊𝘰𝘯𝘨𝘦𝘯𝘪𝘵𝘢𝘭 𝘋𝘪𝘢𝘱𝘩𝘳𝘢𝘨𝘮𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘤 𝘏𝘦𝘳𝘯𝘪𝘢𝘴 (𝘊𝘋𝘏) 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘌𝘊𝘔𝘖
34:55
April 08, 2021
Stephanie + Kai
During her first trimester screening, Stephanie was shocked to find out there were anatomical concerns for her baby—including several organs being outside its body. Determined to find out everything she and her husband could and to be prepared as possible, this fierce couple forged on through their pregnancy. On today’s episode, Stephanie traces the pregnancy journey with her son Kai, his omphalocele diagnosis and their NICU stay. Stephanie also discusses ways she found support along her journey (including a facebook group for omphalocele parents where Stephianie and the host of Story Sanctuary met). Follow Stephanie’s lifestyle blog on IG: https://www.instagram.com/modernfarmhouseliving_⁣ ⁣ 𝘛𝘩𝘪𝘴 𝘦𝘱𝘪𝘴𝘰𝘥𝘦 𝘦𝘹𝘱𝘭𝘰𝘳𝘦𝘴 𝘤𝘩𝘰𝘭𝘦𝘴𝘵𝘢𝘴𝘪𝘴 𝘰𝘧 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘭𝘪𝘷𝘦𝘳, 𝘰𝘮𝘱𝘩𝘢𝘦𝘭𝘰𝘤𝘦𝘭𝘦𝘴, 𝘱𝘦𝘥𝘪𝘢𝘵𝘳𝘪𝘤 𝘵𝘳𝘢𝘤𝘩𝘴 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘧𝘪𝘯𝘥𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘤𝘰𝘮𝘮𝘶𝘯𝘪𝘵𝘺 𝘢𝘴 𝘢 𝘕𝘐𝘊𝘜 𝘱𝘢𝘳𝘦𝘯𝘵.
40:25
March 25, 2021
LaTonya + Kelsey
After coming to terms with the fact that they would be unable to conceive, LaTonya and her husband were surprised to find out in November of 2016 that they were expecting a child! Women become mothers every day and while mostly routine, occasionally there comes a transition into motherhood that could be ripped out of the script of a Lifetime Drama. On today's episode, LaTonya traces her remarkable journey into motherhood—from infertility, to the NICU and eventually home with her beautiful daughter Kelsey. 𝘛𝘩𝘪𝘴 𝘦𝘱𝘪𝘴𝘰𝘥𝘦 𝘦𝘹𝘱𝘭𝘰𝘳𝘦𝘴 𝘪𝘯𝘧𝘦𝘳𝘵𝘪𝘭𝘪𝘵𝘺, 𝘧𝘪𝘣𝘳𝘰𝘪𝘥𝘴, 𝘱𝘳𝘦𝘮𝘢𝘵𝘶𝘳𝘦 𝘣𝘪𝘳𝘵𝘩 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘮𝘦𝘯𝘵𝘢𝘭 𝘩𝘦𝘢𝘭𝘵𝘩 𝘪𝘯 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘕𝘐𝘊𝘜.
49:10
March 11, 2021
Part 2: Moji, Annaelle + Annabelle
Nine months after their daughter Grace’s birth and NICU stay, Moji and Shane find out they are expecting another child. At 18 weeks pregnant, they are surprised to find out they are actually expecting twins..again! Despite doing everything their team could do in preparation (twin to twin transfusion surgery, multiple cerclages), Moji went into labor and delivered Annabelle and Annaelle at 23 weeks and 1 day gestation. On today’s episode, Moji shares the story of her second twin pregnancy and second NICU journey, along with advice for parents currently in the NICU. 𝘞𝘢𝘳𝘯𝘪𝘯𝘨: 𝘵𝘩𝘪𝘴 𝘦𝘱𝘪𝘴𝘰𝘥𝘦 𝘦𝘹𝘱𝘭𝘰𝘳𝘦𝘴 𝘪𝘯𝘧𝘢𝘯𝘵 𝘭𝘰𝘴𝘴.
36:14
March 04, 2021
Part 1: Moji + Grace
Moji gave birth to her rainbow baby Grace at 30 weeks and 6 days gestation. Five days into their NICU stay, she and her husband Shane received shocking news--Grace was born with a coarctation of the aorta and would immediately be flown to another city to prepare for open heart surgery. On today’s episode, Moji traces her birth journey, Grace’s surgery and her family’s NICU stay. Moji and Erika (the host of Story Sanctuary) also discuss how their stories overlapped during this difficult time and benefits of building a support community while in-patient.⁣ ⁣ 𝘛𝘩𝘪𝘴 𝘦𝘱𝘪𝘴𝘰𝘥𝘦 𝘦𝘹𝘱𝘭𝘰𝘳𝘦𝘴 𝘪𝘯𝘧𝘢𝘯𝘵 𝘭𝘰𝘴𝘴, 𝘱𝘳𝘦𝘮𝘢𝘵𝘶𝘳𝘦 𝘣𝘪𝘳𝘵𝘩, 𝘱𝘦𝘥𝘪𝘢𝘵𝘳𝘪𝘤 𝘩𝘦𝘢𝘳𝘵 𝘴𝘶𝘳𝘨𝘦𝘳𝘺 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘧𝘪𝘯𝘥𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘤𝘰𝘮𝘮𝘶𝘯𝘪𝘵𝘺 𝘪𝘯 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘕𝘐𝘊𝘜.
31:49
February 25, 2021
Ashley + Bode
Often times, parents who have made it through a long-term NICU stay feel the call to help other families who are in the trenches. My guest this week is a lovely example of that. On today’s episode, Ashley traces her son Bode’s 4 month NICU journey, then shares how that experience inspired her to become a postpartum doula, specifically for moms facing NICU stays. ⁣ ⁣ 𝘛𝘩𝘪𝘴 𝘦𝘱𝘪𝘴𝘰𝘥𝘦 𝘦𝘹𝘱𝘭𝘰𝘳𝘦𝘴 𝘱𝘳𝘦𝘦𝘤𝘭𝘢𝘮𝘱𝘴𝘪𝘢 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘱𝘳𝘦𝘮𝘢𝘵𝘶𝘳𝘦 𝘣𝘪𝘳𝘵𝘩, 𝘢𝘴 𝘸𝘦𝘭𝘭 𝘢𝘴 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘣𝘦𝘯𝘦𝘧𝘪𝘵𝘴 𝘰𝘧 𝘮𝘪𝘯𝘥𝘧𝘶𝘭𝘯𝘦𝘴𝘴 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘴𝘦𝘭𝘧-𝘤𝘢𝘳𝘦 𝘸𝘩𝘪𝘭𝘦 𝘯𝘢𝘷𝘪𝘨𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘭𝘪𝘧𝘦 𝘪𝘯 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘕𝘐𝘊𝘜.⁣
53:24
February 11, 2021
Teresa + Teigan
Around the 12 week gestation period, a baby’s developing abdominal contents get sealed in their belly and a belly button forms. In rare cases, the organs get trapped in the umbilical chord on the outside of the baby’s abdomen in a sac. 13 weeks into her pregnancy, Teresa and her husband Michael discovered that their daughter Teigan was one of these rare cases. On today’s episode, Teresa traces her pregnancy and birth journey after her daughter was diagnosed with an omphalocele and shares how she kept her head above water during their 7 1/2 month NICU stay.⁣ ⁣ 𝘛𝘩𝘪𝘴 𝘦𝘱𝘪𝘴𝘰𝘥𝘦 𝘦𝘹𝘱𝘭𝘰𝘳𝘦𝘴 𝘰𝘮𝘱𝘩𝘢𝘭𝘰𝘤𝘦𝘭𝘦𝘴, 𝘱𝘦𝘥𝘪𝘢𝘵𝘳𝘪𝘤 𝘵𝘳𝘢𝘤𝘩𝘴 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘯𝘢𝘷𝘪𝘨𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘭𝘪𝘧𝘦 𝘪𝘯 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘕𝘐𝘊𝘜.
41:15
January 28, 2021
Ebony + Reign
After years of infertility and loss, Ebony and her husband were surprised to find out they were expecting a baby girl in 2018. However, their initial joy was cut short when Ebony developed HELLP syndrome and Reign swiftly came into the world at 26 weeks. On today’s episode, Ebony shares her pregnancy and birth journey, along with the realities of confronting illness outside of the NICU. ⁣ ⁣ 𝘛𝘩𝘪𝘴 𝘦𝘱𝘪𝘴𝘰𝘥𝘦 𝘦𝘹𝘱𝘭𝘰𝘳𝘦𝘴 𝘱𝘳𝘦𝘮𝘢𝘵𝘶𝘳𝘦 𝘣𝘪𝘳𝘵𝘩, 𝘱𝘳𝘦𝘦𝘤𝘭𝘢𝘮𝘱𝘴𝘪𝘢, 𝘏𝘌𝘓𝘓𝘗 𝘴𝘺𝘯𝘥𝘳𝘰𝘮𝘦 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘱𝘶𝘭𝘮𝘰𝘯𝘢𝘳𝘺 𝘧𝘪𝘣𝘳𝘰𝘴𝘪𝘴.⁣
37:15
January 14, 2021
Cayla + Jake + Parker
In February of 2019, Jake and Cayla received devastating news during their 20 week anatomy scan. On today’s episode, this husband and wife duo share the story of their daughter Parker’s birth at 34 weeks and her arthrogryposis amyoplasia diagnosis, then take us on their NICU journey. We also discuss in-home nursing, adaptive sign language and finding joy despite difficult circumstances. 𝘛𝘩𝘪𝘴 𝘦𝘱𝘪𝘴𝘰𝘥𝘦 𝘦𝘹𝘱𝘭𝘰𝘳𝘦𝘴 𝘢 𝘧𝘢𝘮𝘪𝘭𝘺’𝘴 𝘳𝘪𝘨𝘩𝘵 𝘵𝘰 𝘤𝘩𝘰𝘰𝘴𝘦, 𝘢𝘳𝘵𝘩𝘳𝘰𝘨𝘳𝘺𝘱𝘰𝘴𝘪𝘴 𝘮𝘶𝘭𝘵𝘪𝘱𝘭𝘦𝘹 𝘤𝘰𝘯𝘨𝘦𝘯𝘪𝘵𝘢 (𝘈𝘔𝘊) 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘯𝘢𝘷𝘪𝘨𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘭𝘪𝘧𝘦 𝘪𝘯 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘕𝘐𝘊𝘜.
01:10:14
December 31, 2020
Priscilla + Adelaide
⁣When Priscilla found out her amniotic sac was bulging at 21 weeks, she was told she would like end up miscarrying her daughter. On today’s episode, Priscilla traces how she went from that moment to dancing at home to TikTok videos with a toddler today. ⁣ ⁣ Priscilla and I also discuss being trach moms and finding community in and outside of the NICU.⁣ ⁣ 𝘛𝘩𝘪𝘴 𝘦𝘱𝘪𝘴𝘰𝘥𝘦 𝘦𝘹𝘱𝘭𝘰𝘳𝘦𝘴 𝘱𝘳𝘦𝘮𝘢𝘵𝘶𝘳𝘦 𝘣𝘪𝘳𝘵𝘩, 𝘕𝘐𝘊𝘜 𝘤𝘰𝘮𝘮𝘶𝘯𝘪𝘵𝘺 𝘣𝘶𝘪𝘭𝘥𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘣𝘦𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘱𝘢𝘳𝘦𝘯𝘵 𝘰𝘧 𝘢 𝘤𝘩𝘪𝘭𝘥 𝘸𝘪𝘵𝘩 𝘢 𝘵𝘳𝘢𝘤𝘩.
41:31
December 17, 2020
Bonus Ep: Women’s Issues, Women’s Voices
Erika Mendence (host of Story Sanctuary) was recently interviewed for Women’s Issues, Women’s Voices on 89.5 FM KOPN. Join her as she and Em discuss self-care, the power of storytelling and Erika's birth story.
51:30
December 11, 2020
Rebeca + Jeremiah
On today’s episode, Rebeca shares the story of her son Jeremiah’s birth and NICU stay. ⁣ ⁣ Jeremiah was born at 22 weeks and spent 9 1/2 months inpatient before joining his family at home. He is the definition of a miracle and is a spirited little fighter. ⁣ ⁣ 𝘛𝘩𝘪𝘴 𝘦𝘱𝘪𝘴𝘰𝘥𝘦 𝘦𝘹𝘱𝘭𝘰𝘳𝘦𝘴 𝘱𝘳𝘦𝘮𝘢𝘵𝘶𝘳𝘦 𝘣𝘪𝘳𝘵𝘩 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘮𝘢𝘯𝘢𝘨𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘭𝘰𝘯𝘨 𝘕𝘐𝘊𝘜 𝘴𝘵𝘢𝘺𝘴. ⁣ ⁣ *𝗡𝗼𝘁𝗲* We experienced a technical issue in the recording of this episode, but with some creative editing, the interview was able to be salvaged. The content is well worth the bumps in the recording. Enjoy Rebeca and Jeremiah’s episode!
49:46
December 03, 2020
Shamire + Julian
On today’s episode, Shamire shares the story of her son Julian’s birth and her family’s NICU journey. ⁣ ⁣ Julian was born at 26 weeks. At 29 weeks he developed NEC (a devastating intestinal disease) and had to be airlifted to a children’s hospital an hour away. He and his family spent the next 110 days at this hospital before settling at home. ⁣ ⁣ 𝘛𝘩𝘪𝘴 𝘦𝘱𝘪𝘴𝘰𝘥𝘦 𝘦𝘹𝘱𝘭𝘰𝘳𝘦𝘴 𝘱𝘳𝘦𝘮𝘢𝘵𝘶𝘳𝘦 𝘣𝘪𝘳𝘵𝘩, 𝘕𝘦𝘤𝘳𝘰𝘵𝘪𝘻𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘌𝘯𝘵𝘦𝘳𝘰𝘤𝘰𝘭𝘪𝘵𝘪𝘴 (𝘕𝘌𝘊) 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘯𝘢𝘷𝘪𝘨𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘭𝘪𝘧𝘦 𝘪𝘯 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘕𝘐𝘊𝘜.
01:10:33
November 19, 2020
Story Sanctuary: Introduction
A brief intro to Story Sanctuary!
03:46
October 21, 2020