Meet the Support Team
Kathleen Garcia is the Online Support Group Coordinator and a Bereavement Doula for Pregnancy After Loss Support. She is a Certified Doula & Certified Baby-wearing Educator in the NYC area. She is a natural parenting educator, wife, & mother who resides in Staten Island, NY. She is a proud mommy of 5 children and this past October she gave birth to #5 her second “Rainbow Baby”. As certified doula she decided to specialize in bereavement after the losses of her 2 angel babies. With her clients Kathleen focuses 100% on supporting a woman and her family during any trimester and with any outcome. This also includes the final moments a mother has with her baby making lasting memories. Kathleen is excited about joining PALS as a PALS private group moderator where she can continue her dedication to serving other bereaved mothers on the journey of pregnancy after loss.
Online Bereavement Doulas
Ashley Boren is a wife and mother to six kids–five boys and one girl, four angels. Her first loss she went about alone. She was in shock–thought it would “never happen to her.”It took a long time to come to terms. After months of trying again she had my 4th son and first rainbow. She was scared after a hard pregnancy. They wanted more children and didn’t prevent anymore after he was born. They found out Ashley was pregnant when their rainbow was three months old, and at the worst possible time–being rushed to the ER, dying in pain. Ashley’s tube had ruptured due to an ectopic pregnancy, and she was dying from internal bleeding. At that moment, Ashley realized she was not immune and things DO happen. Not long after, they suffered a stillbirth of my first known daughter. Another try ended in another. When they had their stillbirth, they finally started looking for support and help. Ashley and her husband found still birthday, where they found help, support, love, and understanding. Ashley finally knew she was NOT alone. After working as a mentor of miscarriage, stillbirth and early infant loss through Miscarriage Matters Inc. Ashley realized she wanted to do more. She signed up, fell in love, dove into everything, training as a bereavement doula. Ashley wanted to help and let others know they are NOT alone. She wants to walk the path side-by-side with other families.–the same path she walked alone, until she found stillbirthday. On their final try, Ashley and her husband successfully got pregnant with twins. They were a hard, emotionally and physically, pregnancy, but they both are healthy.
Online Support Group Moderators
Tara Bennett Kilian is the Social Media Coordinator and Editor for Pregnancy After Loss Support. She lives in Columbus, Ohio with her partner and three living children. She is a former English teacher turned SAHM, a writer, and a businesswoman. After her children started school, Tara combined her passion for education, her love for children, and her desire to work from home into a successful childcare business. Due to complications from her two previous pregnancies and a diagnosis of secondary infertility, she was surprised to learn she was pregnant again in January of 2014, almost a decade after her previous pregnancies. Her shock turned to grief and disbelief when she miscarried. Devastated by the loss and hurt by thoughtless comments she received from those who couldn’t empathize, Tara reached out to other mothers who had experienced loss. Less than two months later, Tara was pregnant again. Feeling a multitude of emotions ranging from anxiety to happiness to fear, Tara found solace in the online community, especially at PALS, where she could share her experiences and fears with other moms on a similar journey. Tara is now the proud mother of a rainbow. Jesse was born in November of 2014 and is being spoiled by his older siblings, Cole and Lara. As someone who loves helping and supporting loved ones through difficult times, Tara is excited to help other mothers through the emotional journey of pregnancy after loss, and she thinks it’s a great way to honor the memory of the baby she lost. Tara also writes (sporadically) her blog This Old Lady Had a Baby.
LaToya Cooper is a 35-year-old wife to Melvin and step-mother to Kendal. She resides in Birmingham, Alabama where she works full-time as a domestic violence advocate. LaToya’s journey to motherhood took an unexpected detour right out the gate. After being told she would never be able to conceive without the help of IVF, she became pregnant with her daughter Hope–no IVF or other medication, just her faith that all things are possible. Five months (22 weeks) into her pregnancy, though, her water broke and two days later her beautiful daughter was born and passed away soon after being delivered. Since losing Hope, LaToya has started educating herself on pregnancy after a loss and being a high risk patient. She advocates to people who have never experienced a loss how to react and console parents who have experienced a baby loss. LaToya and her husband are currently trying to conceive their rainbow baby, and they can’t wait for the day he or she arrives.
Rachel Hartsfield lives in Denver, Colorado with her husband and daughter. She suffered 3 miscarriages over 2 years and went through testing for infertility before getting pregnant with her rainbow baby, Elizabeth, who was born October 2016. She struggled with all of the miscarriages and hopes to help those who need it. She works at the state mental hospital in Colorado doing training. In her spare time she works out, plays with her daughter, cooks, and enjoys a warm cup of coffee.
Jacquie Kydd is a southern California native who is a wife, mother, sister, and daughter. She is a member of her local Baptist church and a homemaker for her family. She has one stepdaughter, and in 2010 she had a “textbook” pregnancy and delivered a healthy baby boy. In early 2013 Jacquie was thrilled to find out she was expecting her second baby. At 25 weeks gestation everything changed when her baby girl was diagnosed with trisomy 13 and alobar holoprosencephaly, a rare brain malformation that has a very low to zero survival rate. Her daughter passed away shortly after birth on June 25, 2013. A few months after her daughter went to heaven, Jacquie and her husband decided to try for their rainbow baby. In March of 2014 she was very excited, scared, nervous, and many other emotions when she found out she was expecting her rainbow baby. After a not-so-easy pregnancy, due to preterm labor, doctors were able to stop labor with medication, and she went on to deliver a healthy and alive baby boy in November of 2014. Through the journey of her daughter’s passing and the many emotions of a subsequent pregnancy, she learned that many women could not empathize with her and she sought support. She found a lot of help from groups such as, Blessings While Broken, My Child Did Exist, Still Standing Magazine and Pregnancy After Loss Support group. She is now a pregnancy and infant loss awareness advocate and wants to help as many women as she can who have had to face the devastating reality of pregnancy and infant loss and give hope and encouragement for those that are planning to or are pregnant after a loss.
Shawnte LaTour is a 35-year-old wife and mother who lives in Albany, NY. After years of running a child care business out of her home, Shawnte now works seasonally as a tax preparer. She spends her “off-season” months caring for her five-year-old son and her rainbow baby, who was born in April of 2017. Shawnte and her husband lost a baby to miscarriage in April 2016. After the loss Shawnte struggled to cope with the many emotions she was feeling. She leaned on her husband, her faith, and the trying to conceive after loss Facebook group for support and healing. Shawnte and her husband found out they were pregnant again in September of 2016. Her pregnancy with her rainbow was far from easy. At 28 weeks, she was found to be at risk for preterm labor and was hospitalized. Her beautiful baby girl was born at 33 weeks 2 days. She had a 5-week NICU stay but is now home and thriving! This journey has made Shawnte so very grateful for her many blessings. She now has made it a personal goal to help other women going through similar situations, and let them know that they are not alone.
Natesha D. Strader is a Virginia native. She lives with her husband of six years and their three beautiful children: Elijah, Remon, and Michaela. Natesha has a strong passion to see women of all walks of life uplifted and walking out their life’s purpose. She has dedicated her time to supporting women within her city via small group outings. Natesha believes that “through our life experiences as woman we can come together and encourage each other”. In her second year of marriage, she and her husband experienced an ectopic pregnancy, which devastated the family. However, that did not prepare her for the miscarriage they experienced two years later at 8 weeks gestation. The miscarriage left the family brokenhearted and Natesha wondering why that could happen. After toiling with the loss and lack of support and bouts of depression and anxiety, Natesha knew that she could not allow another woman to go through a miscarriage alone. After years of going back and forth, Natesha, along with the help and support of her husband, decided that for the time being they would focus on their children and the many gifts already given to them. She doesn’t consider the decision a complete loss but just a pause in this chapter of her life. Natesha is excited to be a part of the PALS team, as she has dedicated herself to not see anyone go loss alone.
Miranda Swartzlander a native to Henderson, Nevada works full-time as a lifestyle and events coordinator. She is an active member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Recently she spent two years volunteering with the Trauma Intervention Program of Southern Nevada helping those who had just experienced a loss. She met her husband while they were both still babies in high school and they started dating in college shortly after her husband had returned from his LDS mission. They were married in May of 2014 and in April of 2015 were so thrilled to find out they were expecting. Shortly after finding out they were pregnant they miscarried and were devastated. On Christmas day 2015, Miranda found out they were again expecting . Finally in August 2016 after a long, nerve-racking pregnancy they welcomed their beautiful rainbow baby Brekyln into the world. Currently Miranda and her husband are really enjoying their lives as new parents and hope that by volunteering with PALS she will be able to spread a message of hope and love and encourage those who are struggling to not go through it alone.
Jennifer Taylor is a Moderator for Pregnancy After Loss Support. She is a busy single mom of four, living in the Central Valley of California. Pregnancy has been a major focal point in her life. In 1997 she met her first love, her son, Jonah. His brother Logan followed in 2004. After that, she combined her passion for pregnancy and giving, and became a surrogate mother. In 2007 she delivered triplets and in 2008 a little girl for two different families. In early 2010 she was surprised to find she was pregnant with her own child! Everything was picture perfect with Colton’s pregnancy until she realized she no longer felt his movements or his presence, just six short weeks before his due date. Colton was still born at 34 weeks with no explanation or cause found. “It just happens”. Scared to have her own again, yet not willing to live in fear, Jennifer completed another surrogacy, delivering a little boy in 2012 for an international couple. She and her partner struggled silently and separately, still, with their loss and almost two years after losing Colton they separated. Shortly after, she found out she was pregnant with her rainbow. In June 2013 their daughter, Delaney, arrived safe and happy. She and Dad are learning a new relationship, as co-parents, and healing themselves with the love and joy of their little girl! Jennifer is happy to share her vast experiences and knowledge in the PALs community and through her blog losingbabycolton.blogpot.com.
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.