Courageous MOMS: Lyla’s Story-Love, Loss & Finding Hope Again

 I hope that by meeting these courageous mothers that have navigated their way through the toughest of circumstances, they can be uplifting and encouraging to those of you who may be experiencing the same. If you ever want to submit your story for consideration, you can always email me at: lynzyandco@gmail.com with a little snippet of what you would love to talk about! 

Meet Megan

 “Hello readers, I’m Megan Rollag, born in South Dakota  still living in God’s country. Lover of lattes, cozy robes, and all things Target and Tj Maxx. Wife to my wonderful husband Matt and mama to an angel, Lyla Jane. Living each day to honor our daughter. Expecting her brother in the spring.”

Courageous moms is a new series created by Lynzy & Co. that focuses on mothers who have managed to tackle life's most difficult obstacles.

Megan’s Story

March 12th, 2017 I lost my mucus plug and began having some mild cramping/ contractions but nothing that could be tracked.  That night, I lay in bed trying to rest but mainly tossing,turning and falling in and out of sleep. when I woke up, My contractions were easily distinguishable. We called the doctor and headed to the hospital.As new soon to be parents we were driving with such anticipation and excitement.

 Upon arrival to the hospital we were brought to triage. Within seconds I knew something was wrong. Her heartbeat was like music to my ears at every other appointment “You can’t find her heartbeat, You can’t find her heartbeat” I repeated continually.. Never did it enter our minds that her heart would stop or that something could go wrong. After what feels like a century,  the doctor came in to confirm our sweet baby had died. 

“Does your baby have a name?” they asked. Yes, I cried, “Lyla Jane!” As we were admitted to our room, the nurse wrote on our hospital board -Lyla Jane our angel in heaven-. I was numb. We immediately call my parents and sister and ask if they can come be with us during this time. “What do we do next?” we ask.  This being my first pregnancy, I was unsure how everything would go and also terrified of the pain and discomforts of labor. My contractions are now getting stronger and closer together. Each minute that passes they become a little bit more unbearable as I have to wrap my head around the fact that I must proceed with labor knowing I won’t be taking our baby home. 

My family arrives and surrounds us with love to help me get through each hour that passes.They bring my pillow and blanket from home which provides me some comfort.  My husband bravely answers all the difficult questions from the medical staff and funeral directors. Would you prefer cremation or a burial? Have you thought about an autopsy? Where would you like her funeral service? Questions that no parent ever wants to answer. 

Courageous moms is a new series created by Lynzy & Co. that focuses on mothers who have managed to tackle life's most difficult obstacles.

 I’m physically and emotionally exhausted. Tears filling my eyes and my heart tore in pieces. I don’t know how I will survive this day or the days going forward.  Finally, I am given an epidural, which lessens the physical pain enough for me to try and find enough strength to continue. Hours pass and it’s finally time to push. I’m terrified. My sister and mom  grab hold of my knees and I lock eyes and my hands with my husband Matt. I began to push with each contraction and she is born. When I locked eyes on her my heart  sank with my new found reality that she was no longer with us. She was 5lbs and 17 inches or pure perfection, she had such long fingers, toes, and big beautiful lips like her father. I couldn’t take my eyes off her. It wasn’t fair. 

We were surrounded by close family and friends and spent that night and the next day in the hospital holding on to each moment we had with Lyla. The nursing staff tried to instruct us to sleep, but we couldn’t. I was so tired.  I knew this was the only night I would have with her. Leaving her was gut wrenching. I so badly wanted to be in the comfort of my own home but also felt so much guilt and anxiety about leaving her. Our nurse Maria asked if it would be okay if she held Lyla as we are wheeled out of the hospital. I will never forget her kind gesture, this was the first of many that we would receive in the coming days.

Leaving the labor and delivery floor with all the new parents and their crying babies was the worst kind of torture I’ve ever experienced. At that moment, it suddenly hit me that I must now figure out how to navigate life after loss. Our first obstacle would be arriving home to an empty nursery and a house filled of things we had for our sweet girl.

My husband and I arrived home and I have never been so anxious to walk inside our front door. We head to our couch, sat side by side and put on a movie. We finally rest. I’m frequently woken by thoughts of labor and constant tears that soon became my new normal for some time.

Courageous moms is a new series created by Lynzy & Co. that focuses on mothers who have managed to tackle life's most difficult obstacles.

 The hardest part about coming home was that my body was still recovering from labor and would continue to for the next six weeks. Every trip to the restroom was a constant reminder that Lyla wasn’t here. I stare at my now empty belly in despair. What did I do wrong? What if I came to the hospital sooner? Did I forget my prenatal vitamin? The guilt after loss has been the hardest to overcome and is something I still struggle with.

Over the next couple weeks, our doorbell never stopped ringing. We are delivered beautiful bouquets, food, and cards filled with condolences. These sweet gestures gave us something to look forward to. I’ve saved every note and card that was given to us during this time. They are so special to me,  each new card filled me with a little bit of hope. So many people sending their love. We found comfort in that.

32 days. It was 32 days before I made it through a day without breaking down. I’m  grateful to have such an amazing sister, mother, and friends who would just sit there and let me cry. Still with all the support surrounding us, I felt alone and misunderstood.  Will I every feel normal again? I used to be an outgoing person but after losing Lyla I was petrified to go anywhere alone. I felt like everywhere I went I saw a mother and her newborn baby or was surrounded by pregnant woman. I never knew what people would say to me let alone how I would react. Every trip to the store felt like a small victory in the right directions. Grief truly is a  humbling experience and can bring even the strongest person to their knees. It’s consuming and can literally take your breath away the moment a wave of grief hits.  One minute you are feeling normal then the next you are stopped in your tracks completely broken. 

Matt and I must learn to live life as beavered parents. We get to choose how we are going to let this grief shape us.We can decide to be sad, isolated, and miserable. Or we can choose to learn and grow…we choose the latter. In this short time, I’ve learned how uncomfortable loss makes people which is unfortunate because it’s something everyone will eventually experience. Many people are scared to bring up Lyla to us in fear it will make us sad. The thing is we are thinking of her constantly, you  aren’t reminding us that she died you’re showing me that you care and remember her. That is the best gift you can give a bereaved parent. 

In truth, it has been difficult to bite my tongue when people make hurtful statements  which I know come from a place of love. Things such as  “at least you know you can get pregnant” or “You can have more children.”  These are not helpful, they are hurtful. If you don’t know what to say, a simple “I’m sorry” and a hug is all that is needed.  Most people will say their condolences and never mention it again but I would suggest to keep checking in, keep saying their loved ones name. Grief has no timeline and for most their loss will be felt forever. 

Overtime, I came to the realization that Lyla wouldn’t want us sitting around and crying all day. She would want us to live a life full of love and happiness. Each morning as time passed, I would try and  pull myself out of bed with that in mind.  I would immediately write down one thing I was grateful for and put it in a gratitude jar.These notes were left for me to read when I was feeling sad to help me pick up my mood. With tearful eyes I began reading to myself daily affirmations to make me believe I was a good mother and that I will find joy again. Journaling all the thoughts and emotions running through my head was the most therapeutic for my soul. It allowed me to be honest about my feelings when I couldn’t verbalize them. And finally, I began to see a therapist who prepared me to enter the real world again in ways I could never imagine. These small steps slowly began to build up my self worth and confidence. 

My hope is that in some small way, I may be able to help someone else who is going through a loss know that they are not alone. I also love opportunities to educate others whose close friend or family member has lost someone. I’m fortunate to have found loss moms in my area who’ve filled that void for me. Now, Matt and I wake up each morning and are thankful for the gifts we have been given because of Lyla. We choose to see the good in life, even though some days can be harder than others. 
 
 We are now approaching a little over six months without our daughter. We can look back and see how far we have come. I didn’t think i’d ever smile again or ever truly be happy. We still think of her every single day and long to hold her in our arms but we are now having way more “good days” than “bad days.” I smile with so much gratitude for the breathe that enters and exits my lungs and I’m finding happiness and gratitude in everything around me. Her life may have been brief but it’s impacted  so many.   

 

We’ve built a beautiful free little library in her honor for the kids/families in our neighborhood. It has been a true gift to be able to see people read our story and enjoy books from her library. It truly is a legacy of Love. I’ve found so much healing from sharing more with others. Lyla  taught us so much about gratitude, empathy, and kindness and I will be forever grateful that we were chosen to be her parents. No matter how difficult this journey has been.

 Although, Lyla’s story isn’t what we imagined it would be, it hasn’t ended. Her story will continue to live on. We are now currently  pregnant with our rainbow baby! Lyla’s brother or sister fills my heart with so much joy. Being pregnant again makes us  hopeful and happy. I know this pregnancy will be a lot different than my first. I know all too well what the risks are and what can happen but we will courageously walk this path in the hope of raising a baby here on earth. Lyla Jane was made with an abundance of love and was eagerly wished for. We are better people because of her.

Courageous moms is a new series created by Lynzy & Co. that focuses on mothers who have managed to tackle life's most difficult obstacles.

To anyone who has experienced a loss, I see you. You are not alone. Never give up hope, fight to find your happiness again, it is possible. Thank you to my amazing husband for his strength, friendship, and guidance. To all our friends and family who walked this path with us, we are unbelievable grateful. We wouldn’t be where we are without you.

All my love, 

There is beauty in sadness. 

https://vimeo.com/209124163

42 Comments

  1. Sheridan
    October 10, 2017 / 7:33 am

    You are SO strong!! I can’t imagibe the pain. Thank you for sharing such a personal story!! Lots of love!!

    • Megan Rollag
      October 11, 2017 / 8:19 pm

      You’re so kind. Thank you so much for reading 🙂

  2. October 10, 2017 / 8:14 am

    What a tear jerking story 🙁 and what a brave and strong woman… Truly inspiring.

    • Megan Rollag
      October 11, 2017 / 8:20 pm

      Thank you for taking the time to read our story! Xoxo

  3. October 10, 2017 / 8:18 am

    Thank you for sharing your story about Lyla Jane. Your strength is inspiring 💕

    • Megan Rollag
      October 11, 2017 / 8:21 pm

      I love seeing other people type her name. Thanks for reading!

  4. Melissa
    October 10, 2017 / 8:18 am

    Thank you so much for sharing your amazing story. I know when I see people I know who have gone through a loss, I’m scared to bring it up because I think I’ll just start crying, and in my mind that would be the worst thing. But then I don’t bring it up and feel like a jerk. Anyway – I’ll be thinking of you and Lyla today ❤️

    • Megan Rollag
      October 11, 2017 / 8:23 pm

      It’s okay to cry to someone who has lost someone, their loss is felt by many and it’s wonderful to express your feelings of sadness. Thanks for thinking of sweet Lyla and for reading! It means so much to me

  5. Brenda
    October 10, 2017 / 8:46 am

    What strong and incredible parents you are. Your loss will never be forgotten, and your courage to tell yours and your daughters story will forever be with me and my family.
    Sending so much love and strength to y’all.

    • Megan Rollag
      October 11, 2017 / 8:24 pm

      Brenda-I’m feeling the love being sent our way. Thank you for you sweet words and for reading our story!

  6. Lauren
    October 10, 2017 / 8:46 am

    Megan, thank you for your bravery in sharing. This moved me to tears. I too have experienced a loss- you never forget them but with every day it does get a little easier. I just had my rainbow baby two months ago and there’s not a day that goes by I don’t thank God for her. So much love being sent your way ❤️

    • Megan Rollag
      October 11, 2017 / 8:26 pm

      Lauren, I’m so sorry for your loss. I’m so glad my story it touched you. You too are a courageous mama…pregnant after loss is not an easy journey. Thanks for reading and for the comment.

  7. Melissa R
    October 10, 2017 / 9:01 am

    Beautifully written Megan! I cry every time I read your story and I feel like it shows people that whatever sadness they’re going through there are better days ahead and to keep fighting for happiness! Paying it forward today for Miss Lyla! Sending Prayers always and forever! 💜

    • Megan Rollag
      October 11, 2017 / 8:27 pm

      Melissa, thank you for reading this post and for the sweet comment. People like you help make each day a little better!

  8. Christy
    October 10, 2017 / 9:03 am

    What a beautiful story of loss and also hope. Thank you for encouraging people to talk about the things that are difficult. It is the only way we can truly connect with one another and we need that right now, badly. Best wishes for you and your rainbow baby! May Lyla always be remembered and celebrated.

    • Megan Rollag
      October 11, 2017 / 8:32 pm

      Christy, Thank you for reading and for sending well wishes to our family. It means so much to us. I totally agree that sharing is the only way to connect with others. we could all use a little more love!

  9. Tori L
    October 10, 2017 / 9:08 am

    A beautifully written story by one strong and courageous mama. You, my dear Megan, provide so many people with hope. Hope to have the ability to smile again after heart wrenching lost. Love you Megan!

    • Megan Rollag
      October 11, 2017 / 8:33 pm

      Love you, friend!

  10. Ayriel
    October 10, 2017 / 9:18 am

    You are incredible, thank you for sharing your story. That is such a gift to help others who have or are experiencing a similar grief. Your family and sweet Lyla will be in my thoughts and prayers..wishing you abundant blessings. ❤️

    • Megan Rollag
      October 11, 2017 / 8:35 pm

      Wow, how kind are you?! Thank you for sending all your prayers to our family and for thinking of our beautiful daughter. People like your inspire me. Thanks for reading

  11. Bridget
    October 10, 2017 / 10:29 am

    I almost couldn’t continue reading bc of how emotional Megan’s story was. Her strength is truly remarkable. I’ll pray for her continued strength through her next pregnancy.
    Such a beautiful and inspiring story. Thank you for sharing Megan.

    • Megan Rollag
      October 11, 2017 / 8:36 pm

      I appreciate your prayers for this pregnancy more than you know. It’s an emotional rollercoaster. Thank you for reading my story, and for taking the time to write a comment. All my love!

  12. Lindsay
    October 10, 2017 / 11:52 am

    I can’t help but feel so helpless after reading a story like this. That which we cannot control may destroy us. People like Megan who are able to rise above the uncontrollable and move on are superhumans. Lyla is lucky to have such an amazing mother. Wishing you a peaceful heart.

    • Megan Rollag
      October 11, 2017 / 8:38 pm

      Thank you so much for you amazing comment. I feel lucky to have been Lyla’s mommy. I appreciate you taking time to read and for writing a comment.

  13. Ludovica
    October 10, 2017 / 12:20 pm

    It’s going to be a year in four days that we lost our baby girl. As you, we also choose love because it’s the only way to go on. And we’re also expecting with all the joy and fear.

    • Megan Rollag
      October 11, 2017 / 8:40 pm

      I’m so sorry for your loss of you sweet baby girl. I’ll be thinking of you during your current pregnancy. It’s definetly not an easy journey. Take good care of yourself. Thanks for reading!

      • Ludovica
        October 21, 2017 / 6:30 am

        And I’ll thinking of you and sending love even if I don’t know you. No, it’s not an easy journey but we (my hubby and I) decided to try again and that means not living in fear.

  14. Paige
    October 10, 2017 / 9:55 pm

    Sending so much love your way ❤️ You’re so amazing for choosing love & happiness each day going forward. Thinking of your family and sweet Lyla!

    • Megan Rollag
      October 11, 2017 / 8:41 pm

      Paige, you are amazing for saying such nice things. The world needs more people like you.

  15. Nora
    October 10, 2017 / 11:52 pm

    Thank you for sharing your story. You are courageous and an inspiration. Lyla would be so proud of you for sharing her story. My husband and I have suffered through infertility, IVF and then multiple miscarriages. Talking about grief and loss is not something many can do comfortably. I do appreciate you sharing your story. Blessings on your rainbow baby.

    • Megan Rollag
      October 11, 2017 / 8:43 pm

      Nora, my heart breaks for you and your husbands journey. Infertility is so gut wrenching. Every month is like a roller coaster of emotions. Hope. Anticipation. Disappointment. I’m so sorry for your losses. I appreciate you reading our story and for your genuine comment.

  16. Taylor
    October 11, 2017 / 9:04 am

    I can’t stop reading this and just feeling so emotional for Megan and her family. I gave birth to a daughter named Lila June earlier this year so it just touches me even more. Thank you Megan for sharing your story and being so open. It breaks my heart that she had to go through that but I am beyond happy for the new baby that is coming! Praying for you and your family for a healthy pregnancy and baby!!

    • Megan Rollag
      October 11, 2017 / 8:45 pm

      Oh what a beautiful name, I can only imagine our story touched close to home. Thank you for your prayers and for reading our story.

  17. October 11, 2017 / 11:50 am

    As I get older (and wiser) I hear more stories like this. Our extended family was touched with two losses last year. It is amazingly brave of Megan to share her story. The more we can talk about these painful losses the more we can comfort those going through these hard times.

    • Megan Rollag
      October 11, 2017 / 8:49 pm

      Thank you for reading and for commenting. I couldn’t agree more, the more we share the more we can help others. I appreciate your sweet words, they touched my heart

  18. Rachel
    October 11, 2017 / 9:30 pm

    Your story couldn’t have come at a better time for me. I just delivered our angel baby, Raymond Matthew, on October 6. Never in the 38 weeks I was pregnant with him did the thought of this happening cross my mind… but it did. I really can’t thank you enough for being strong enough to share. For a moment, I feel as though we will be okay. God Bless.

    • Megan
      October 12, 2017 / 2:58 pm

      Rachel, I’m so sorry for you loss. I love the name Raymond, it sounds so strong and fierce. I’m beyond heartbroken that you are going through this. I will be thinking of you as you figure out how to navigate through life after loss. Sending you so much love. You are the mother or all mother. God bless you and your sweet son. He’s lucky to have you.

  19. Katey
    October 11, 2017 / 10:34 pm

    When you want to say something but the words are hard to find. I am so sorry Megan. Lyla was beautiful and heaven really gained another amazing angel! Your strength is inspiring and I wish you and your family all the peace and comfort and a happy journey with your pregnancy.

    • Megan Rollag
      October 12, 2017 / 12:55 pm

      Wow, Katey! Thank you for your thoughtful message. I cannot explain how much it means to me. I appreciate your opening your heart to our family!

  20. Melissa
    October 12, 2017 / 6:32 am

    The tears were really flowing with this one
    Thank you Megan for for sharing your story with all of us. Beautiful Lyla was just too perfect for this earth so she is waiting for her mommy and daddy in heaven. I am sure she is always watching over you and you are lucky that she chose you as her mommy. Congratulations on your rainbow baby! Sending all the prayers and good vibes your way during this pregnancy. You and Matt are some of the strongest people and lucky to have so many people who love and support you.

    • Megan Rollag
      October 12, 2017 / 12:57 pm

      Thanks for the note, Melissa. I do feel her presence with us a lot, I’ve had wonderful experiences with signs from her the last several months and know that she is near. Thank you for sending your prayers and good vibes are way. We are being filled with love from people like you.

  21. Anna
    October 19, 2017 / 1:30 am

    Thank you For sharing your story Megan. Sending you and your family hugs, love and light from across the miles. Reading your story really helped in dealing with some of the emotions my husband and I are experiening since we lost one of our babies in September. To you, and all the women who have shared above about loss my heart is with you.❤️❤️

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *