Elizabeth Thoma

About Elizabeth Thoma

Elizabeth Thoma lives in the Bay Area, California, with her husband, Chris, and two cats, JJ and Pepper. She found out she was expecting their first child Mother’s Day weekend, 2014. With mild symptoms and no significant early warning signs, they adjusted to pregnancy and eagerly planned for their growing family. At the second trimester anatomy scan, they found out they were having a son and that he had an abdominal wall defect, an omphalocele. Ever the planners, Elizabeth and Chris prepared themselves and their families for what the omphalocele meant in a best-case scenario, and some of the possibilities that couldn’t be diagnosed in utero. Their son, Oberon, was born six weeks early and had his omphalocele surgery within his first twelve hours of life. The surgery went well, but Obie was having trouble breathing. At first, the doctors thought it was related to his large tongue, one of the many indicators that he had Beckwith-Wiedemann Syndrome. When Obie was one week old, the doctors told Chris and Elizabeth that somewhere along the line, Obie’s brain stopped developing. While they could control his seizures somewhat with heavy medication, Obie’s brain would never develop and he would not be able to walk, talk, or even communicate. At this point, they decided to switch Obie to comfort care and try to take him home from the NICU. They successfully broke out of the NICU and Obie rode home in an ambulance. Bringing their son home brought much comfort to their family. Obie passed away at home in his daddy’s arms at 33 days old. Elizabeth found out she was pregnant with their second child a week after Mother’s Day, 2015. Her second son, Everett, was born January 7, 2016. Elizabeth and Chris blog at about their family at Our Little Beastie.

The Path I Did Not Choose

When my baby died, everything changed. Suddenly, the path I had planned to walk was blocked. I couldn't continue down that path, no matter how much I longed to. I was jarringly set on a new path. It was bare, empty, and callous. Each rock dug into my aching feet. Over my shoulder, I could [...]

By |2018-10-11T21:09:55+00:00October 11th, 2018|Parenting After Loss|1 Comment

How To Win The Grief Olympics: Dos and Don’ts of Comparing Grief

Photo by Zach Lucero on Unsplash You may have heard of it: The Grief Olympics. The term comes up when people try to "one-up" each other's grief by explaining why their own personal loss is far worse. Many of us have engaged in The Grief Olympics in one way or another. It's human nature to compare [...]

By |2018-09-20T17:07:34+00:00September 20th, 2018|Parenting After Loss, Pregnancy, TTC|0 Comments

Parenting After Loss: Is Getting By Good Enough?

For a long time after Oberon died, we didn't make any huge decisions. We still wanted a family with living children, so we focused on that. We've been so focused on having a living baby and caring for a living baby...that we haven't thought about much else. I feel so unprepared for what's to come. [...]

By |2018-08-09T19:47:58+00:00August 9th, 2018|Parenting After Loss|0 Comments

Parenting After Loss: The Asterisk

Parenting after loss lends itself to many analogies - a roller coaster, a seesaw, waves. I've made these analogies countless times myself. The days, weeks, months, and years of parenting after loss are piling up. Also the days, weeks, and months since my first child, Oberon, was alive keep increasing. My life (and demeanor) seem [...]

By |2018-07-12T19:04:19+00:00July 12th, 2018|Parenting After Loss|0 Comments

Parenting After Loss: A Day In The Life

Wake up to a crying toddler. Hit my husband to send him to comfort the toddler. Check the heartbeat monitor on the baby. Scoot closer to the baby's crib to see nothing randomly fell in. Go back to sleep for a few minutes. Wake up again to nurse the baby. Think about how much this [...]

By |2018-04-10T19:28:16+00:00April 12th, 2018|Parenting After Loss|1 Comment

7 Ways To Support Moms With A Newborn After Loss

The newborn period is hard on many families. Young babies are extremely needy and give very little in return. Add in the hormones, lack of sleep, and newness of most parenting activities, and new parents are overloaded and overwhelmed. In general, we have improved on education and openness about how trying this time can be [...]

By |2018-03-08T21:18:16+00:00March 8th, 2018|Parenting After Loss, The First Year|0 Comments

Life After Loss: Forever Changed

Here I am, three years and some out from my son dying in my husband's arms. I've gone through moments of thick, black, heavy darkness, and I've had moments where a smile creeps across my face. I've sobbed in front of strangers talking of my boy, and other times I've held back, not saying anything [...]

By |2018-02-05T16:12:58+00:00February 8th, 2018|Parenting After Loss|0 Comments