When I was in college I took a public speaking class to meet one of my Ged Ed requirements. I figured that it would be an easy class, and one I could pretty much sleep through and still get an A.
I was so wrong.
Let’s just say that by the end of the semester the professor told me that I should never, ever, pursue any type of career that entailed public speaking.
Fast forward 12 years, and I was asked if my family wanted to be the local 2019 Ambassador Family for the March of Dimes. After what we went through with delivering our twin boys 11 weeks early, the loss of our sweet Joey a short 90 minutes after their birth, and spending the following 53 days sitting at Jack’s bedside in the NICU before he was able to come home, I couldn’t think of a better way to not only honor my boys, but also help support other families in the loss community locally to know they aren’t alone.
But this also came at a price.
To be the Ambassador Family means that we had to speak at the March for Babies walk. (And by “we” I mean “I”, because my husband is far from comfortable talking to anyone, let alone a crowd of people.) For the first time since college, I had to get up on stage, and speak in front of a large group of people about our personal story.
And to put the icing on the cake, I had flown home from California to New York earlier that morning, and was going on about three hours of sleep.
But you know what? I did it! I survived. I didn’t pass out. I didn’t throw up from nerves. I didn’t stumble over my words. And I think I know why.
This time it was personal.
In college they told me what I had to speak about. I didn’t care about the words I was saying, or the topics, or who was listening.
This time I was speaking about the most gut wrenching, horrific, and yet still somewhat joyful experience in my life when I met my boys the day they were born. I was speaking to a group of people that had experienced or knew someone that experienced what our family went through.
All of a sudden my fear was gone.
So today, I look forward to speaking more about my life and experiences, in the hopes that maybe it will help someone else one day. Maybe there is another mom that has lost a child, that is struggling and feeling alone. Maybe she needs to hear that I went through it too.
Maybe she needs to know that I am here, and I survived. And she will too.
So now I’m sharing my story, and bringing it to light. And I’m hoping others will share their unspoken stories too. If you’re reading this and have a story to tell, head over to unspokenstories.org and share with us your story of loss, premature birth, or infertility.