Rachel Whalen

About Rachel Whalen

Rachel Whalen is a 32-year-old who lives and loves in the endlessly charming state of Vermont. She is a Kindergarten teacher, a wife to Mike, and a mother to Dorothy and Frances. The decision to become a mom was an easy one for Rachel, so she was devastated at just how difficult it was to achieve that dream. After two miscarriages, she became pregnant for a third time. Her third pregnancy went smoothly, until she was diagnosed with severe preeclampsia at 28 weeks. At 30 weeks, Rachel became incredibly ill and was informed that her daughter no longer had a heartbeat. After a very traumatic delivery, Dorothy Grace Helena Whalen was stillborn on February 22, 2016. In July of 2016, under careful supervision, Rachel became pregnant again. Although it was an incredibly anxiety-filled pregnancy, Rachel remained in good health, and on March 19, 2017, Frances Michele Whalen entered the world. Throughout this entire journey, Rachel found comfort in sharing her family's story on her blog, An Unexpected Family Outing. She also found solace while participating in various online communities for grief and loss, including PALS. While Rachel wishes that no parent ever know the pain of losing their child, she has made it her mission to share her story and let other parents know that they do not have to go through this journey alone.

We’re Done Having Children and My Family Is Incomplete

As a mom who has experienced loss, I have always dreaded the question, “How many children do you have?” For so long, I struggled with finding an answer that was simple and truthful. Now, after over two years of fumbling my words, I feel somewhat okay with sharing that I have two daughters knowing that [...]

By |2018-08-30T21:38:51-04:00August 30th, 2018|Parenting After Loss, TTC|0 Comments

What We’re Really Saying about Pregnancy after Loss

Congratulations. Your co-worker, friend, or loved one are pregnant after their loss. You were (hopefully) there to support them when they experienced the heartbreak of their loss and now you're thrilled to be there for them in this subsequent pregnancy. There are a million questions that you want to ask them. You want to talk [...]

By |2018-07-26T19:52:23-04:00July 26th, 2018|For Friends & Family, Pregnancy|0 Comments

Standing in Line at Walgreens with Nicole Arteaga

Photo by Mike Mozart, made available on Flickr through Creative Commons 2.0 I’ll start by saying that I wasn’t there. I was not one of the people standing in line behind Nicole Arteaga as she waited for her prescription to be filled. I did not have to stand there as she pleaded with [...]

By |2018-06-25T22:52:43-04:00June 25th, 2018|Pregnancy|0 Comments

You Can Be Grateful And Still Complain When Parenting After Loss

I distinctly remember those sleepless nights. I’m referring to the ones that came after my daughter, Dorothy, was stillborn. I would toss and turn for hours, my eyes burning from the steady stream of tears that fell. It was agony. As I lay there I would torment myself by imagining what it would be like [...]

By |2019-02-21T09:07:46-04:00June 21st, 2018|Parenting After Loss|0 Comments

The 5 Things I Hope You Remember During Your Pregnancy after Loss Journey

The pregnancy after loss journey is...complicated.  It is every emotion that you have ever felt and they are all struggling to exist together.  You may feel like you are faced with an ever-growing list of things to do and remember. I know how that feels.  So, when it all feels too daunting and you doubt [...]

Frances Michele’s Birth Story

All throughout my pregnancy with Frances, I was so focused on whether she would be born alive, that I had given very little thought as to HOW she would be born. My husband, Mike, and I had talked a little bit about what that day might look like but I had made no decisions about [...]

By |2018-03-21T20:45:18-04:00March 22nd, 2018|Birth, Rainbow Birth Stories|0 Comments

Everything’s Okay Until It Isn’t

The appointment is over and your doctor or midwife has just told you that everything looks great.  Your baby is doing well and everything is okay.  One hand on your bump, you schedule your next appointment with a sense of relief that feels dangerously close to bliss.  You turn to leave and you are barely [...]

By |2018-02-22T15:08:23-04:00February 22nd, 2018|Pregnancy|0 Comments

Dear Courageous Mama Who Just Wants To Be Loved

Dear Courageous Mama who just wants to be loved, I love you in your moments of celebration.  I love you in your moments of grief. I love you when you see two lines.  I love you when you when the lines aren’t there. I love you when your brow is furrowed with worry.  I love [...]

By |2018-02-01T20:10:38-04:00February 1st, 2018|Love Letters, PAL Fifth Annual Love Letters|0 Comments

I’m Not a Regular Mom, I’m a PAL Mom

There’s a line in the movie Mean Girls that always makes me laugh. It’s spoken by the hilarious Amy Poehler and her character, in a desperate attempt to impress her daughter’s friends, says: “I’m not like a regular mom, I’m a cool mom.” Well, I’m not like a regular mom either. I’m a PAL mom. [...]

By |2018-01-25T22:00:14-04:00January 25th, 2018|Pregnancy|0 Comments