After the holidays I was overjoyed to be back in the studio for a very special newborn session. This precious little one is Enzo and he is my very first Extraordinary Love Session of 2020. I couldn’t have asked for a better way to start 2020.

Extraordinary Love Sessions honour a family’s struggle with infertility, miscarriage, or infant loss. If you haven’t heard of these special sessions yet, you can read more about them on my website here.

Congratulations to Natasha and Steve on the birth of their son, Enzo, and thank you to them for sharing their lovely family and story with us.  

newborn baby in a sunflower

Natasha and Steve welcomed their first daughter Etzia three years ago via cesarean after experiencing rare complications that led to an early delivery. Their first days together were spent in the NICU and once home they faced the challenges that can come with bringing home a premature baby.

Last year, Natasha and Steve were excited to be welcoming their son Nico to their family.

Tragically, during the early stages of labouring, Natasha experienced a uterine rupture that threatened her own life and resulted in Nico experiencing a severe brain injury.  Three days after his birth, Nico succumbed to his injury and died. 

The tragic loss of their son was extremely difficult for Natasha and Steve and not a day goes by that they don’t miss Nico. 

A year later the family felt so fortunate to be expecting another son but the layered emotions that come with pregnancy after the loss of a child are complex. 

It’s been an extremely difficult and sad past year and we miss our little boy, Nico, every day… The pregnancy is truly a blessing but doesn’t fill or mend the hole in our hearts. It’s also considered a very high risk pregnancy because my uterus is very thin. We have an incredible amount of stress… 

Pregnancy after such a loss brings a lot of mixed emotions, including guilt… I feel guilty for Nico that we are moving forward without him here in the physical sense. I also feel guilty that Enzo is being hosted and born to a mother who’s heartbroken. -Natasha, October 2019

As a precaution, Natasha was hospitalized at 32 weeks to avoid any risk of contraction that could lead to another rupture.  A few weeks before Enzo’s expected early arrival Natasha began experiencing pain around her c-section scar and at 33 weeks along her uterus ruptured again.  Enzo was delivered safely and although he needed to spend time in hospital after 10 days in the NICU Natasha and Steve were thrilled to be able to bring their second son, Enzo Nico Mika, home.

The pain of not having Nico physically there with them will never leave but Nico is remembered and kept a part of their family always. 

We want to thank Natasha and Steve again for sharing their story and their beautiful children with us as part of the Extraordinary Love Project. They want to share their story with the community in the hopes of helping others in similar circumstances and would love to pass on the things that they have found helpful in their grief and journey. 

newborn baby on a bear
newborn baby wrapped in blue


Some of the things Natasha found helpful, for those experiencing infant loss: 

-Support from their bereavement group: One of the most important help throughout the past year was our bereavement group from the Roger Neilson House. We’ve since become close friends with our group and don’t know how we would have coped without them. Having a group of friends who can truly understand the difficulties that come with grief made our journey more easy to navigate

-Support from family: Steve and I are fortunate that we are close to both our families. Their support has also been instrumental in surviving this past year. 

-Writing: I’ve found it therapeutic to write about our journey. Every month last year, on the 8th (Nico’s birthday), I posted an anecdote about the different challenges that come with grief and tried to teach/clarify the grief “myths”. Unfortunately, most of us are not taught how to deal with death (especially neonatal deaths) and my goal was to help get people to talk about it more openly. 

-Remembering Nico: Finding ways to incorporate Nico in our holiday traditions and in our daily lives has been very helpful too. For instance, we identify the bear silhouette with Nico as it was used on a sign that I made for him in his nursery. Our close friends and family are aware of the significance of the bear in remembering Nico and have participated in finding ways to incorporate the bear silhouette in their/our lives. For example, wearing bear pj’s in their family pictures, jewelry with the silhouette, candle holders, etc. 

-We also had a tree planted in the park behind our home in honour of Nico. Having somewhere to go to be “with him” brings us comfort. Every holiday we decorate the tree for him and we often have picnics there with him.