Hi world, I’m Katie Blanchard. Im a wife, a mom, passionate salon owner, and a survivor. I’m a Midwest girl by birth and by heart, living in Wisconsin, where it can go from 95 degrees to below 20. I am a girl who has overcome abusive relationships, divorce and loss. I am now happily remarried but have experienced more loss over the years.
A big part of my story is 4 years ago, my husband and I lost our first child at birth. His name was Nolin Thomas, and he was born still on July 9th, 2014. My husband and I were crushed. I can honestly say my heart physically cracked that day, but also in a weird way I felt a strong presence during that dark time that I couldn’t really explain. I felt safe and loved during that whole day. I gave birth to a beautiful baby boy, that had my Irish nose and my husband legs. He had dark hair and couldn’t be more precious. My husband and I got 13 hrs with him to say goodbye. The hospital and photographer volunteer were wonderful. Thirty six hours later, after I was told he was gone, we left the hospital. After I was discharged, we left to go pick out his urn at a funeral home. Let me just say that this was not what I planned as a mother. After the rush and shock of it all I had to go on living. At the time I was renting a chair in a salon so I still had a business and bills to pay. Then, the postpartum phycosis kicked in. I had hallucinations that were very vivid of a dark evil man following me around wherever I went. I almost committed suicide, and my husband found me in the bedroom basically sitting there but not blinking or responding for 10 mins. In my opinion that is what hell feels like. After some help, reaching out to my higher power, God, and a few other things like flooding my body with supplements and detoxing, I started to feel like Katie again. That was only the beginning of healing. Three months later, I was pregnant again with our rainbow baby Finnegan. I really didn’t know how to feel at that point, but I knew I had to survive for this child. This was a very high risk pregnancy, and I suffered from major birth trauma that has taken honestly until now to fully feel healed from. Finnegan James was born August 11th, 2015 and honestly is the most special boy. I’m grateful he chose me as his mom. I can tell this boy is going to be a force of massive good for this world!
It’s taken lots of personal development, growing faith beyond any human measure can comprehend, chiropractic and cranial therapy to help the physical side of the birth trauma, and feeding my body what it needs. I pray some day I can keep sharing my story to bigger platforms because I know the shame child loss, abuse, birth trauma and PTSD can do to a person, so it needs to be talked about.
My tip to anyone suffering is please don’t shut yourself out. It is easy to shut people out, but please reach out to someone you can trust for help. Trust the process and cry. Cry your eyes out and process EVERY feeling because it is needed. Save a sacred space for yourself and the child you love and always will love, it’s important! Don’t be ashamed and don’t carry the shame forever, it’s not how we’re meant to live. Find things you love in your journey to healing. Yoga, meditating etc. You can do this and you are not alone. Xoxo Katie, a bereaved mother and survivor