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.

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

Supporting Moms Pregnant after Loss: 10 Things To Say

I can tell a lot of people want to be supportive, to say the right thing. I can also tell when they have no idea what to do. It's not like anyone teaches you how to be a support system in advance. There isn't a supportive friend test you have to pass before people let [...]

By | 2017-06-09T08:39:05+00:00 June 9th, 2017|Emotional Health|0 Comments

How To Support Loss Moms On Mother’s Day

Mother's Day. For many loss moms, it's one of the toughest days of the year. For others, it's bittersweet. Still others use it as a chance to openly celebrate their children. To say that it's complicated feels too simple. It's extremely complicated for each mother, and varies considerably from mother to mother. That makes it [...]

By | 2017-05-12T17:03:59+00:00 May 12th, 2017|Parenting After Loss, Pregnancy|0 Comments

Parenting After Loss: Degrees of Missing

This week I was away from my rainbow for two and half days for a business trip. It's not very long, but it was the longest I've been away from him since he was conceived. People assumed I missed him when they found out I had a 15-month old back home. They were right, I [...]

By | 2017-04-14T12:10:22+00:00 April 14th, 2017|Parenting After Loss|1 Comment

PAL: It Takes A Village

Whether it's pregnancy after loss or parenting after loss, we need support. Sometimes the people who were in our lives before our loss don't know what to do, and we loss moms don't always know what we need.  That's where peer-to-peer support groups can come in and help in ways we never imagined. In person [...]

By | 2017-03-10T09:54:41+00:00 March 10th, 2017|Parenting After Loss|0 Comments

5 Phrases My Loss Mom Heart Can’t Take

My boys, photo by Abby Alger Photography. I never know when I'm going to get hit in the face with grief.  Sometimes it's random, but sometimes I can trace it.  A conversation, a Facebook post, a movie...often it's something someone says. For example, I was recently in a meeting discussing a project and [...]

By | 2017-02-09T20:59:07+00:00 February 10th, 2017|Parenting After Loss|7 Comments

I Still Need Your Support

Dear friend, You.  Yes, you. Don't be afraid to talk about my children - all of them.  Every time you say my son's name confirms that he was here, he existed.  As his mother, he is a constant presence in my mind.  Sometimes it all feels like a dream, especially as time increases the distance [...]

By | 2017-01-13T11:23:38+00:00 January 13th, 2017|Emotional Health, Parenting After Loss|2 Comments

Parenting After Loss: The Most Intense Time Of The Year

The end of year rush is stressful on all families, on all people.  For my family, there are additional lenses intensifying the time. November 24 is my first son's birthday.  December 9 is when we took him out of the NICU into hospice care at our home.  December 28 is the day he died. This [...]

By | 2016-12-09T11:26:53+00:00 December 9th, 2016|Parenting After Loss|1 Comment

Parenting After Loss: Trying To Find The Balance

Evie with his brother's "O" I'm having a hard time finding the balance between my son in my arms and my son in my heart.  Like most moms, I wish I had more time.  I wish I had more energy.  I wish I wasn't so forgetful. I've finally hit a sort of rhythm [...]

By | 2016-11-14T08:19:16+00:00 November 14th, 2016|Parenting After Loss|1 Comment