New Salem mother opens up about loss of first child

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BISMARCK, N.D. - October is National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month. One in four pregnancies end in loss. For one New Salem mother, she understands the feelings of loss.

On Aug. 4, Chelsey Hanson became a mother for the first time. She says the pregnancy was fairly easy.

"The only thing that happened is I started getting higher thyroid levels and we got that evened out,” said Hanson.

A week after Calder's birth, he was in the hospital again. After 3 days, doctors sent him home. It was August 21 when Chelsey's woke from a nap to hear her son's life was in danger.

"I took him and called 911 and had the ambulance come out and during that time he quit breathing. So I had to do CPR on him until the ambulance got here. and then they took him to Sanford to the emergency room. by that time, he had passed away,” said Hanson.

Calder's death was the beginning of hard times.

"Going and making those funeral arrangements that you'd never thought you'd have to make for your own child, especially a baby," said Hanson.

Struggling to cope with what could have been.

"For me it's not just the loss of our baby, it's the loss of that dream we had for him and getting to see him grow up," said Hanson.

And trying to find some normalcy

"I feel like I have to put on a front and be more OK than I am," said Hanson.

But, she joined a support group. "It’s a wonderful place for me to have support on good days and bad days when I can’t do it."

Which helps her hear Calder's name.

"Important for me for people to say his name when they talk. I might get emotional and I might cry, but they aren't hurting me, I just miss him"

And heal from her emotional wounds

"There will be a day where I wont cry and ill still have that hole in my heart, but I can be happy again."

Even being able to tell other children about her first child.

"I don't think we are done. I'm a mom now and I feel like I want to be again and dad again."

Calder's memory will be with her forever, and to make it easier to remember him, she tattooed an image of an infinity sign with wings on her arm.

Chelsey has also set up an email address for women looking to share their stories as well: hopeforbereavedmoms@gmail.com.


Photo Courtesy: Chelsey Hanson