Lori-Ann’s Angels – Guest Blog Post


I am pleased to introduce Lori-Ann, one of the founders of Angel Whispers. It is an honour for me to share Lori-Ann’s story here on Wanted Chosen Planned. Lori-Ann probably does not remember this, but almost five years ago I contacted her about the loss of my son Zachary and she sent me a lovely care package. I have never forgotten that. It is true that small gestures of kindness go a long way. I truly appreciate how Lori-Ann finds the good in all she has endured. Thank you Lori-Ann for sharing with us today.


Lori-Ann’s Story:


My grief journey began in 1998, our daughter Sabrina was almost 2 years old when we found out we were pregnant…we were ecstatic! Our plan was to have our children approximately 2½ years apart so the timing of when we conceived was perfect for our “plan”, little did I realize that our plan was not to be determined by us! Our dreams of adding to our family with another baby were soon shattered. Right from the beginning of my pregnancy I felt like it was different, I felt different, but could not put my finger on why. I can reflect back now and say that somehow I knew that something was wrong even from early on, but at the time was in complete denial.


It wasn’t until I began to bleed that I knew something was truly wrong. At the time I was having complications the Obstetricians were on strike in Alberta and I was unable to see my doctor. I was forced to see a new family doctor with delivery privileges who assured me that lots of women bleed in pregnancy and that nothing was wrong, even when she couldn’t find our baby’s heartbeat she told me that my placenta was likely towards the front of my uterus and in the way of finding the heartbeat. She told me not to worry (much easier said than done…there is something to be said for a mother’s intuition) and sent me on my way. I tried to be optimistic but when the bleeding continued after several more weeks, I returned and insisted that she send me for an ultrasound. She reluctantly gave me a requisition while still trying to convince me that nothing was wrong.


I had to book my own appointment, and when I was finally able to get in for the ultrasound, my worst fears were confirmed. The ultrasound tech said nothing…she wouldn’t look at me, she just stared blankly at the screen. I kept asking, “how is my baby?”, she didn’t answer. She left me alone in the room saying she was going to show the pictures to the doctor…moments later the technologist & doctor returned, stared at me and said “I’m sorry but your baby has died”, they did not even get my husband from the waiting room before telling me. They brought him in after when I was crying hysterically. We were sent home and told that I would go into labour on my own.


After 2 weeks, nothing had happened. I was walking around knowing my baby was dead inside me waiting for something to happen. The obstetricians were still on strike, I was still experiencing morning sickness and I started to convince myself that my baby had not died and that they somehow were wrong. How could I still be feeling pregnant if my baby was dead? I was finally able to arrange an appointment with my regular family doctor and told her that I still felt pregnant… she did run some further tests. She hadn’t seen me previously as she doesn’t deliver babies and felt that I would be better cared for by a doctor that did.


She did in fact discover that my pregnancy hormones were increasing, my interpretation of that was that my baby must still be alive or that I was carrying twins. My doctor however shared her concerns that she thought I was experiencing a partial molar pregnancy. She was able to speak with an obstetrician who confirmed her suspicions. I was immediately instructed to go to the hospital for a D&C as my body had not gone into labour on its own and they insisted that rather than delivering our baby I would have to have a D&C procedure done to ensure all the tissues were removed. I was confused and didn’t understand why until later. I woke up from surgery never having the opportunity to see or hold our baby. I was told our baby was sent for testing.


When I returned for my follow up appointment with an obstetrician, he explained that I had in fact experienced a partial molar pregnancy. I really knew nothing about them… he explained that there are 2 types of molar pregnancies: a full molar which is where cells develop into cysts, and a partial molar is where the baby develops but with many chromosomal problems that are not consistent with life. For either one it’s important to ensure all tissues are completely removed which is why they performed the D&C. My pregnancy lasted longer than most molar & partial molar pregnancies.


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We named our baby Loren (a blend of my name & my husband Rene’s name). We were devastated, how could this have happened, why were we one of the statistics for this very rare complication? To further complicate our grief, I was told that molar pregnancies can be cancerous and that I would have to go for an array of tests to determine if I had developed cancer as a result. Was losing a baby not enough? How could a pregnancy that should end with a healthy baby end like this; my baby dead and me possibly having cancer?!!?! Fortunately tests confirmed that I had not developed cancer, one good thing finally came from this nightmare I felt I was living.


It was several months before we were given the clearance to try to conceive again. During this time I cried all the time, I got up in the mornings only because our 2 year old needed me. My husband returned to work and my perception was that he “got over” our loss and life returned to normal for him. I began to feel resentful that he seemed ok and I was struggling. I finally confronted him with my feelings and he shared with me that he was in fact grieving, but that he was doing everything he could to keep it together to be strong for me. What an eye opener that conversation was for me. I realized I had been so wrong about him getting over the loss of our baby. I began to see him through different eyes. When I was having a good day, he would have a tough day and vice versa. We realized that communication was the key to getting through this together! I received support through other moms I met who had experienced losses. I did go on to get pregnant again and gave birth in December 1999 to our beautiful Rainbow baby girl Alexis.


In the fall of 2000 I met someone who would become a very dear friend of mine, Melissa. I was co-facilitating baby loss meetings with a program I had become involved with when Melissa came to a meeting 8 months pregnant with her Rainbow Baby. She had lost her first baby girl Madison in June 1999 and was so scared leading up to her due date. I could relate well to her as I had experienced the same feelings of fear & anxiety in my subsequent pregnancy. We hit it off immediately and became instant friends. I had become a birth doula after having Alexis and Melissa & her husband had asked me to be at the birth of her Rainbow baby Darby, what an honour for me!


Our friendship continued to be nurtured by our deep connection and understanding of our journey’s after the loss of Loren & Madison. Through our many conversations we realized that our philosophy’s for how we felt families should be supported after a loss were the same, and it was through these conversations that we made the decision that together with another friend, that had experienced the loss of her son, that we would start a program of our own to offer support to other families after the loss of their babies. Our dream of starting a program became reality in September of 2002 after the birth of another baby for my husband & I, our daughter Jaedyn was born on Valentine’s Day of 2002.


Little did I know when we created Angel Whispers that I would soon be requiring the support of Melissa & others in our program. We had assumed our family was complete when Jaedyn was born. How wrong we were. I decided that I should visit my doctor to get a prescription for the birth control pill until my husband was scheduled for his “procedure”. During this appointment I mentioned that I had been spotting, I didn’t think much about it as my cycles had been all screwed up after having Jaedyn. My doctor asked if I could be pregnant, and I laughed and said that there was no way I could be. She gave me a prescription for the pill and said to start taking it immediately. She also gave me a requisition for blood work for my annual physical. I noticed that she included an HCG test, which she said was only precautionary.


I am notorious for not going for blood work in a timely manner after seeing my doctor, so in true Lori-Ann style I waited several weeks to go. The day after going I received a phone message from the doctor’s nurse asking me to call. When I returned her call she said my doctor needed to see me that day. I asked if I could come in the next day as it was already late in the day, but she insisted I needed to come immediately, which gave me great cause for concern. I called my husband in tears and said I needed to go in to see my doctor for results and told him how scared I was. He told me he would leave work and meet me there. On my way to the office I called my mom and she said “could you be pregnant?” I laughed and said absolutely not.


Upon entering the doctor’s office, the waiting room was packed, but the nurse escorted me immediately to an exam room and my doctor left the appointment she was in to come see me. At that point I had convinced myself that I must be dying. She proceeded to say that she needed to run more tests. I asked why and she replied, “because your pregnancy test was positive.” I was still spotting and her concern was that I was miscarrying or was experiencing another partial molar pregnancy. I looked at her and responded, “that’s not funny,” as I looked over to see my husband with his jaw on the ground holding our baby.


The week after finding out I was pregnant I scheduled an appointment to see my obstetrician as I was still bleeding. When I mentioned to Rene that I had an appointment, he asked why. I said “because I am pregnant,” he looked at me in shock and said “you are???” I said you were sitting there with me when I found out. His response was that he thought it was only a possibility. Over the course of the next few weeks I had blood tests every 48 hrs to ensure my levels were rising normally. My levels were rising at a much higher rate than normal, which concerned the doctor as that can be indicative of a molar pregnancy.


After seeing my doctor he scheduled an ultrasound. The first ultrasound showed that everything looked normal. It wasn’t until my second ultrasound that the doctor called to ask if I was sitting down. I expected the worst as I was still bleeding, and he said that my ultrasound has revealed that I was having twins!!! My HCG levels were increasing at the rate they were because I was expecting twins. The ultrasound also revealed a sub-chorionic hemorrhage, which is where one baby’s umbilical cord had attached to my uterus and hit a major blood vessel causing the bleeding. I was assured that they are fairly common and that most heal on their own with no harm to the baby. I decided I would not tell Rene right away about expecting twins as he was already stressing about having another baby. Rene’s ideal family included 2 children!


After my bleeding became worse, I told Rene about the twins as I thought I was losing both babies. Another visit to my doctor and another ultrasound determined that one of our precious babies had died. Sadly little Brooklynn could not survive the hemorrhaging. Our surviving twin Sydney was not negatively affected by the bleeding. I continued to bleed heavily for a few more weeks before it stopped suddenly.


My grief was very unique… I was grieving our baby that we lost while trying to remain positive for our baby that I was still carrying.  Being involved with Angel Whispers was so helpful to me during this time, being able to talk with others that understood was so healing. As a facilitator with our support groups, I could openly share my story and be accepted and understood. Even though the circumstances of my losses were different than the other families, we were bonded together by the fact that we had all lost babies. Sadly I also began another intense grief journey shortly before our surviving baby was born when my mom died suddenly & unexpectedly at the age of 49.


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Our little Sydney entered the world 8 weeks prematurely weighing in at just over 4 lbs… she has proven to be a fighter since conception, overcoming all of the bleeding during my pregnancy, which took the life of her twin Brooklynn, and overcoming all of the challenges that she has faced since her birth including being diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy at age 2 and being told she would never walk or talk. Well, our little Sydney is now almost 12 and not only walks but dances and is the most talkative of all 4 of our girls here with us! She will always face some challenges, but she has proven she is here for a reason and that her determination & spirit will allow her to overcome any future challenges. She often talks about her twin sister. She has talked about visits with Brooklynn and how much fun they had together. It has proven to me that there is a special connection between twins, even after one has passed.


Angel Whispers is a gift that my 2 angels, Loren & Brooklynn gave to me. My angels knew that this was a path in life that I was meant to follow. Not every family finds meaning in their loss, but for me I know my babies did not die in vain. Their deaths have allowed me to walk this grief journey with other families, their legacy along with Madison’s legacy is Angel Whispers, and I am so grateful to my angels for showing me what my life’s passion is.


I became Program Coordinator with Angel Whispers 4 years ago. I can honestly say that I love the work I do. Knowing that I can make the difference for a family that has lost a baby by being there to support them is one of the most rewarding feelings. If I can help one family then my pain, heartache & grief was in some small way worth it. Together with Melissa who co-facilitates the support group meetings along with our husbands Rene & Blair, we have been able to reach out to provide healing and support to hundreds of families locally & around the world.


You never “get over” losing a baby. When a baby dies, the family grieves for their baby but also for the hopes, dreams & plans for the future including that baby. Their lives are forever changed. Eventually the intense emotions will soften and they find what we refer to as a new “normal”. My new normal is Angel Whispers and my beautiful family, my husband Rene and my 4 daughters here with us, Sabrina, Alexis, Jaedyn & Sydney and of course my 2 angels that I know are always with me, Loren & Brooklynn.


With much love & understanding,

Lori-Ann Huot


Please visit the Angel Whispers Baby Loss Support Program website to learn more.

Angel Whispers: “To inspire hope and healing and offer compassion and understanding to families devastated by the loss of a baby”


Thank you Lori-Ann! It is a brave and beautiful act to share ones story. You are an inspiration and I’m sure I can speak for everyone you have helped with Angel Whispers – much gratitude to you. 


Lori-Ann’s Angels have been remembered on Celebrating Sweeties. Please visit the page to honour and remember our little ones.


If you would like to share your story here and/or add your Sweetie to our Celebrating Sweeties page, please contact Alexis Marie




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