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.

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+00:00 April 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+00:00 March 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+00:00 February 8th, 2018|Parenting After Loss|0 Comments

Curated Grief

Photo by Antenna on Unsplash While pregnancy and infant loss is still considered a taboo topic in many situations, there has been a lot of work done to bring awareness and empathy. There are people writing books, making art, and sharing stories about their children and their grief. This is a very good thing. Like almost [...]

By | 2018-01-11T18:10:48+00:00 January 11th, 2018|Emotional Health|0 Comments

Holidays After Loss: Sorting Out Stockings (And Other Ideas)

Oberon's stocking in the middle - the first one filled Oberon, our son who died, is very present for us during the holiday season. He lived on the outside from November 24, 2014 - December 28, 2014. There's absolutely no way for our family to go through the winter holidays without constantly thinking [...]

By | 2017-12-08T12:19:21+00:00 December 7th, 2017|Parenting After Loss|0 Comments

5 Ways To Share Loss Babies With Their Siblings

As time goes on and as my family gets older, I'm thinking a lot about keeping Oberon present in our lives. It was so easy in the beginning because he was my whole world. Every moment that I had any energy was focused on him. My pregnancy after loss was entirely wrapped up in my [...]

By | 2017-11-09T20:23:31+00:00 November 9th, 2017|Parenting After Loss, Pregnancy|0 Comments

Pregnancy And Infant Loss: A Children’s Book List

Children's literature is filled with beautiful stories that range from teaching kids about the world around them to morality lessons to plain and simple silliness. There are also an abundance of titles that deal with emotionally complicated and difficult topics, like death and grief. But the specific topic of pregnancy and infant loss is more [...]

By | 2017-10-13T06:54:33+00:00 October 13th, 2017|Parenting After Loss|0 Comments

9 Things I’m Feeling During Pregnancy After (Pregnancy After Loss)

There are so many things running through my head during this pregnancy after pregnancy after loss. One of them is, how do I describe it? Truth be told, I'm not even sure myself. My third pregnancy. My second pregnancy after loss. My current pregnancy. PA(PAL). PA-squared L. It makes me think about the growing distance [...]

By | 2017-09-08T08:22:58+00:00 September 8th, 2017|Parenting After Loss, Pregnancy|0 Comments

8 Things To Remember When You’re PAL, But Your Grieving Friend Isn’t

I went to multiple in-person support groups after my son died. It was something I needed, and I am grateful that The Compassionate Friends and Helping After Neonatal Death were available to me. When I became pregnant again, I was worried about losing this support when I started to show. I knew how triggered I [...]

By | 2017-07-14T13:20:27+00:00 July 14th, 2017|Emotional Health|0 Comments