We Made History This Week!!!

I was recently approached by the editor of the Canadian Medical Journal of Sonography who asked to include my story, The Ultrasound Miracle in the journal. This is the first time in the history of the journal that they included a story from a patient. So here it is, my miracle, on the cover of the journal! And here is my story, officially in print in a medical journal which will be read by sonographers all over the country! It was a pretty incredible feeling to see my sonogram photo (or as I see it, a photo of my two daughters) on the cover of a medical journal. It’s pretty amazing that my story will reach the medical community in this way. I hope my story touches many more people and opens them up to a new reality where love never dies.

Journal cover and article © 2018 Canadian Journal of Medical Sonography

Darkness After The Rainbow

At the follow-up visit, she asked me how I was coping with what happened as it was a rather traumatic experience. I replied, “it wasn’t ideal but Aria is fine and I’m still here. It could have been much worse. After what I’ve been through, everything else seems so small in comparison.” Child loss changes your perspective on everything.

The weeks before Aria’s birth, I was feeling pressure to make sure my family members could be with us when she was born. You can’t fully plan for events like this and we had a series of backup plans, but nothing worked out as we hoped. My middle sister was visiting for a week, but I was still pregnant when she left. My grandmother wanted to be there, which I was so excited about, but she decided not to come at the last minute (which I was very thankful for in hindsight). My oldest sister and my niece live close to us and were on their way to the hospital while I was in labour. Once labour started, things progressed very quickly. They walked in 4 minutes after Aria made her grand entrance. Thankfully I have Aria’s arrival on video and our entire family got to see our baby’s birth.

The water birth exceeded my expectations, although I was only in the pool for 8 minutes before Aria was born. The water didn’t make the contractions less painful but I was able to relax between them, which allowed me to be fully present. (I highly recommend a water birth!) Shortly after Aria was born, I was helped out of the pool onto the bed, the exact place where I gave birth to Bella. Suddenly, it seemed as though I was reliving the past.

My family stood off to the side, Aria in her daddy’s arms, and I knew by the looks on their faces that something was wrong. I’ve seen these looks before, right after Bella was born, but I knew it was worse this time. The bleeding started and my placenta wasn’t coming out. My mind began to get foggy and I don’t remember the details very well. I know there was a lot of blood. My placenta needed to come out before they could give me medication to stop the bleeding.

After many failed attempts to push the placenta out, our midwife realized it was stuck. A part of it would not detach from my uterus. I remember her talking about sedating me so she could manually extract it, or giving me medication for pain, but I didn’t want to be medicated. Our midwife decided to see what I could tolerate. She was inside of me up to her elbow and I have no idea how I managed to allow her to do that without being medicated, but she was able to pull the placenta out. Apparently I have an incredibly high pain tolerance.

Once the placenta was out, I was given a lot of medication to stop the bleeding, but I was scared when I kept feeling large gushes of blood pour out of me. My blood pressure dropped to 50/32 and I could feel myself fading; my sight was cloudy, the room was spinning and felt nauseous. I feared that if the cloud took over that I would die, so I fought hard to not float away. This was when I asked Bella for help. Our midwife kept working my uterus (with her hands over my abdomen) and finally the bleeding was slowing down. My blood pressure slowly started to rise. I was safe.

I was told that I shouldn’t have remained conscious when my blood pressure was so low. I was mentally prepared for the probability of needing a blood transfusion. I lost 2 litres of blood and the transfusion would help me recover faster. When my bloodwork came back the next day, my hemoglobin was incredibly only down to 88. I didn’t need the blood transfusion!

It took me a while to get back on my feet after Aria was born and I was on bed rest for 2 weeks. I also hemorrhaged after Bella was born, but it wasn’t nearly as severe. We had discussed the possibility of a hemorrhage when we reviewed my birth plan, but I never expected it to happen again. I am thankful we left for the hospital when we did. If it weren’t for the snow storm, I would have insisted on staying home longer. Chances are we would have left for the hospital when my sister and niece did as that was when my contractions were getting stronger and were real contractions (labour had started). I can’t help but wonder if we would have made it to the hospital on time.

A few weeks before Aria was born, I reminded myself that it doesn’t matter what our intentions are when the Universe has other plans. At times, we need to learn to let go and trust that everything happens for a reason and that all will work out the way it is meant to. Our ideal is rarely our reality and to accept this is to be resilient. I accept this experience as my reality. I choose to #StayStrong❤️

I would like to thank our incredible midwives for the level of care they provided. I felt safe in their care. They were quick and efficient and I couldn’t have been in better hands. Thank you!!!


Birth of a Rainbow Princess

The birthing process is truly miraculous. It’s empowering to bring life into the world; many women feel that after they give birth, they are capable of doing anything! Birth is beautiful and is an experience meant to be treasured.

I was fortunate to have three incredible and unique birthing experiences. After Bella’s “perfect birth,” my hopes for Aria’s birth were pretty high. I was prepared for the unexpected but hoped for the best. My wishes were to have a natural water birth, for my family to be present, for Aria’s daddy to “catch” her, and to have photos of her grand entrance. Realistically, I was just hoping we would make it to the hospital (which is over an hour away from our home). My previous labours were 3 hours with Hudson and 2 hours with Bella, and we were anticipating the possibility that this time may be even quicker.

We weren’t expecting to make it to my due date, but at 3 days overdue, I was beyond ready to meet our rainbow princess! I knew labour was approaching but I was hoping to remain at home until the following morning. Plans changed once my water broke since a snow storm was on the way and we really didn’t want to have this baby in the car. We decided to leave for the hospital and wait things out there. Road closures and terrible driving conditions proved we made the right decision; it was one long drive.

We arrived close to midnight, settled in and tried to get some rest. I couldn’t sleep as my contractions were getting stronger. I wasn’t in active labour yet but I woke Tom up because I didn’t want to be alone. I knew that things would likely progress very quickly. I wasn’t sure when to call my midwife or tell my family to make their way, still hoping baby would wait until morning. My contractions quickly went from 8 minutes apart to 4 minutes, and I could feel baby moving down inside of me. Just after 3:00 am, my sister and niece decided to leave (they were also over an hour away) and I called our midwife to come. I sent a text to my mom at 3:19 am that read “I think I might be in labour.” My contractions suddenly went from 4 minutes to 2 minutes apart and it wasn’t long before I was no longer able to track them. I could feel my bones in my pelvis cracking and moving apart. Baby was coming and it was happening fast! I was relieved that everyone was on their way.

Our midwife arrived 30 minutes later; she could see that I was in active labour and she worked quickly to get the pool set up. Tom was filling it with water by 4:00 am. Because I hemorrhaged after Bella’s delivery, we decided that I would have an IV lock put in incase there were any complications, which was done while the pool was filling.

At 4:10 am, I got in the pool. I was fully dilated and was told I could start pushing right away. Baby was coming but I wasn’t ready because my family still hadn’t arrived. I tried to hold baby in and kept asking Tom where they were but they weren’t responding to his messages. I couldn’t wait any longer and told Tom to “grab the good camera and record it.”

He was figuring out how to record video with my camera, something he had never done, when Aria came. At 4:18 am, in one big push, Aria came flying out of me! It shocked us all as it was so quick and unexpected. Thankfully, Tom was taking a “test” video and successfully recorded it.

Our midwife caught Aria and she began crying. She was passed to me immediately and as soon as I held her, time stood still. “She’s so beautiful!” I fell in love instantly. Our rainbow is here, finally! And she is absolutely perfect!


Introducing Our Rainbow🌈

Our Rainbow Has Arrived!🌈Introducing Aria Isabella Armstrong 

Born March 25 at 4:21 am 

7 lbs 15 oz, 21″ long

She came during a snow storm and made a quick grand entrance that took us all by surprise. Our hearts are so full of love! ❤️ Baby Aria is doing well but I’m struggling with some complications and am on bed rest. I was planning a more heartfelt post than this to make the announcement but I don’t have the energy for it just yet and wanted to let the world know she arrived. It’s time to take care of me now but I’ll share more when I am able to.

I Remember…

As I lay here, tears roll down my cheeks. I can’t help but think of Bella tonight. My heart aches for her. I remember being 40 weeks pregnant with Bella and feeling exhausted and uncomfortable. I feel that way again, but this time I have the memories of what it was like the last time and can’t help but remember. It is so incredibly painful…
Laying in bed with Hudson tonight, he asked when Baby Carl was going to come. I told him I wasn’t sure, but hope she decides to come soon. We talked about what she will be like. He said he hopes she doesn’t like to eat peanuts and peanut butter. I told him she will only drink milk for the first 6 months. He asked about introducing foods to her and wondered how we got Bella to eat all that. I reminded him how much Bella loved food. She was so easy to feed, not like Hudson was. Then he said he was a bad boy… I said to him “No, hunny, you were a good boy. You have always been a very good boy!” These conversations are so precious.
She would be three years old. I would have bought her a doll, a baby of her own to take care of. She would love to rub and kiss my belly just as much as her brother does. She would love talking to her baby sister and would be so anxious to meet her!
Bella is here with us but I am not able to share this human experience with her. I hold on to to all that I do have and we continue to talk about her every single day. She will always be an important part of our family.
Hudson is very excited to be a big brother again. He has never stopped being one and I remind him of this. He told me he would be very sad is Baby Carl died too. I told him that wasn’t going to happen, then I hugged him and cried. I felt like I was lying to him because now I understand that anything can happen at any time without warning. A six year old shouldn’t have to worry about these things. But he does. And I will always be here to comfort him. I know Bella is comforting him too. 
As we wait for our family to become complete, I hold Bella in my heart and thank her for choosing me to be her mommy. I ask her to let her baby sister know we are ready to meet her. I thank her for continuing to let her light shine on us. 
As I wait, I remind myself to cherish every moment because we don’t get these moments back! 
I close my eyes. As the tears roll down my face, I take a deep breath and fill myself with gratitude.

The Waiting Game…

The last few weeks of pregnancy are always the longest. This can also be the most special time as you prepare for the birth of your baby. It’s an opportunity to pamper yourself and do all you can to keep comfortable. It’s also a time to bond with baby and I have been enjoying watching her move and react to my touch. It’s been incredible!
But waiting isn’t easy. I’m exhausted and uncomfortable. Days are long, but nights are longer. I’m battling insomnia which is affecting my immune system. I’m restless. And itchy! And the only cure is birth.
We have been expecting our rainbow to make her appearance any day for a week, but we continue to wait as patiently as possible. Planning for the big day hasn’t been easy but I managed to get through some pretty heavy obstacles over the last few weeks. The stress was weighing me down. I realize that this isn’t something I can fully plan for as it’s out of our control when she decides to arrive. She will come when she’s ready. I just hope that is soon!
Our lives are about to change forever as we welcome a baby created in pure love. I feel blessed this little soul chose us to love and protect her, and I couldn’t imagine experiencing this journey with anyone else. We are ready!



Miracles surround us. Life is a miracle. 

Birth is a miracle.

Every child is a miracle. 
Today, I am grateful for my rainbow miracle. I am excited to experience the miracle of childbirth once more. I wait patiently as I bond with my baby and watch her grow. I feel blessed to watch my family bond with her too. She has been moving so much lately; it’s incredible to be able to see her move inside of me. Today, I was able to see her leg move across my belly. These are the moments to cherish and hold on to. I am grateful I captured this moment on video. 

Click HERE to watch the video.
#Miracles #CherishMoments #StayStrong❤️

Third Trimester

30 weeks pregnant and slowing down. Exhaustion is setting in once more. I fight it as strength radiates from within. I am surrounded by love and this pure light energy holds me in a safe place. The third trimester always seems to be the longest. But it is also the most exciting. As baby grows bigger and stronger, feeling her move inside me creates a bond that is everlasting. I now know that nothing can sever this bond. Not even death.
As she dances in my belly, I feel her soft flutters of love. I always say “Hi baby! I love you” and know that even though she can’t understand my words, she feels my love. For this moment in time, we are one. She is forever a part of me.
The anxiety I felt during the first months of pregnancy are now gone. Small specs of black sand, I picked up these fears, held them in my palm and blew them away. They remain somewhere but are too scattered to make sense of. I prefer it this way. 
This baby is a blessing to her daddy and I. She is what created her; pure love. I feel her heightened vibration and my belly tingles every time she moves. She knows her daddy and responds to his touch and voice. I know she can’t wait to meet him. 
I savour the blessings and hold them gratefully. I worked hard to put my fears aside. It’s easy to stay in that scary place but I chose to leave as the light was much brighter. I have full trust that everything is exactly how it is meant to be. I believe in miracles and know that we created one. I also know that I can’t even begin to imagine the beautiful life ahead of us. 
Life is what you make of it. So here we are making the most of all we have. 


The Ultrasound Miracle: Hello Bella!

I knew Bella was with us during our last ultrasound. I was so nervous looking at the screen but Bella’s love surrounded me. I felt her reassuring me that everything would be perfect, just as it was meant to be! When the technician asked if we wanted a boy or a girl, she told us she saw 3 dots. My heart skipped a beat as I was looking for a long “dot” but didn’t see anything. As the words “it’s a girl” crossed her lips, I began to cry. Emotion took over as tears of joy flowed uncontrollably. I explained to the technician that my daughter passed away last year. I may not have been willing to admit my high hopes of “Baby Carl” being a girl, but my emotional response made it clear.
I was still in disbelief as we left the hospital. Minutes later, we saw a huge rainbow in the sky. Bella often sends rainbows, and this was confirmation that she was with us. We kept our excitement hidden for 2 long weeks.
I was disappointed when we got home and did not see any of the photos capturing Baby Carl’s gender on the DVD. I posted a few of the ultrasound photos on Facebook after we made our announcement. Last night, a friend of mine sent me this message:
“Hey Angie – just wanted to tell you how happy I am to hear of your pregnancy 😊 I’ve been following you through your journey and I just want you to know what an absolutely amazing mom you are and how inspired I’ve been by your hardships. I was just looking at your ultrasound pics when a face jumped out at me. Don’t look at the baby – it’s the face behind the baby!”
It took me about 30 seconds to see it, but I couldn’t believe what I was looking at! It’s not just a face, it’s Bella’s face! I immediately put the photos side by side. The shape of her face, her eye, her lips, and even wisps of her hair. WOW!!!!
Bella has taught me to expect miracles. Signs are all around us; we just need to be open to receiving them. We need to open our mind to the possibility of their existence, open our heart and be willing to receive them. We also need to open our eyes and look for them because they exist whether we see them or not.
Bella never ceases to amaze me. Thank you, Bella, for watching over your baby sister. And thank you for this incredible photo of my two baby girls 💕

Click HERE to view a video of the photos on top of each other.

The Healing Power of a Mother’s Love

It breaks my heart that my 6 year old son knows so much about death. Tonight he was playing innocently with his Legos asking questions about “Baby Carl” (his nickname for his new sibling). I would expect normal questions about birth and where babies come from. It may not be “normal” for children to ask about babies and death, but his questions did not surprise me.

The other night we were driving home from dance class and Hudson asked me how Baby will come out of Mommy’s belly. I admit that I wasn’t prepared for him to ask such a question (as I’m sure all parents feel when it inevitably comes up). I took a deep breath and answered him the only way I know how. Honestly!

What I find surprising is that the abnormal questions my son asks that are related to the trauma our family has endured are the ones I find easiest to answer. Discussions about grief and death are now second nature. And as always, when these questions are asked, I answer my 6 year old with pure and wholehearted honesty.

A child should not fear what may happen if his sibling dies before he/she is born… But mine does. He should not worry about what will happen if Mommy dies before the Baby is born, and what would happen to Baby if Mommy’s heart stopped beating. I reassure him that everything will be alright and these things won’t happen. Yet, as experience has taught me, bad things DO happen and CAN happen at any time.

I consciously choose to be open with my son about death because I know that by helping him understand, I am helping him cope. Unanswered questions often leads to fear. By answering his questions, I am helping him feel safe. By answering honestly, I am establishing trust. Thankfully it’s rare that a child sees his sibling die. But mine did. And I am coping with it the only way I know how.

Some people have warned our family to be careful what we expose the children to, that what they see or hear may traumatize them. Others have told me not to cry in front of my son. But what I have learned is that there is nothing more healing than LOVE and honesty. Yes, there are things you should protect your child from, but it’s necessary to be open to the healing powers of LOVE. We allowed the children to say goodbye to Bella, and seeing her didn’t cause harm because they were prepared for what they would see. Crying in front of my son teaches him that it’s okay to be sad. Communicate with your children and build that trust. Because a bit of LOVE and honesty go a long way.image