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Loss & Life w/Vanessa Ragland!

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Totally Mommy Podcast

Episode 32

This is a very special, but very heart-wrenching episode wherein the extraordinarily brave and beautiful inside-and-out VANESSA RAGLAND (Pop My Culture & The Groundlings) shares her story of loss and life through motherhood. Please grab some tissue and have a listen… I’m really honored to share this one.


Laura L says:

Wow… the beginning of this episode demolished me- I had to hit pause so I could drive without tears streaming down my face. Thank you for sharing your experience, Jessica, it’s so valuable to hear your strength.

Jessie S. says:

Thank you to Vanessa for the invaluable gift she has given all of us listeners by being so forthcoming with her story.

My partner and I are currently trying to conceive and though stories like this can be so frightening, I actually found it very comforting to know that someone can go through the worst and it doesn’t have to destroy them, their relationship, or their dreams of having a family.

Thank you.

Jackie says:

I almost stopped listening to this episode after the first 5 minutes because as a first time pregnant woman I thought this would send me spiraling. I am so glad I finished the episode though. It was a heart wrenching story yet it was comforting to know that someone can overcome such an unbelievable loss. It was also helpful to hear Vanessa’s insight on preparing yourself for the worst and trusting your instincts, even if it contradicts your doctors. Thank you Vanessa for sharing your story.

Anita Banks says:

Thank you so much to Vanessa for sharing such a heartbreaking personal story, she is such a strong brave women.
Elizabeth, thank you for all your amazing podcasts… They really help me get through my work week 🙂

Tara says:

Thank you so much for this podcast. I wrote you a letter awhile back about my own stillbirth experience, and I do think that this episode was cathartic to me. It’s the worst, worst club to be in, this club of parents who don’t have a baby. But Vanessa’s raw honesty was amazing and inspiring.

I also really appreciated your discussion about how it is important to be informed about your birth because a lot of things that women are forced into that cause issues later on regarding bad births can be avoided. For almost five years I’ve been really angry with women who were disappointed with how their births went when they got to take home a healthy, living baby. How DARE they be upset when they get a baby? All that matters IS a healthy baby. But your discussion really helped me out. I think I understand a little more that the issues really come when doctors make bad decisions or women don’t empower themselves to stand up for what they want, or don’t have the information prior to birth to feel empowered to challenge judgment calls.

So thank you for your amazingly honest and excellent episode. And thank you to Vanessa for being so willing to share.

Steph says:

My best friend lost her baby just before 24 weeks as well. Having been a close supporter of someone who has been through a similar hell, listening to this was both hard but also a great additional perspective at the raw emotions that come along with a tragedy like this. Hopefully none of your readers end up in that situation as well, but my friend had found and shared this: which was a great resource to me, because I had NO CLUE what to say or what not to say when it first happened (and still sometimes struggle with finding the right words to say).
Congrats to Vanessa for her rainbow baby. Thank you for sharing!

Diane says:

This was such a sad episode, but inspiring, too. Thanks Vanessa for sharing, and Elizabeth for creating a space where people feel comfortable to be so open. I was really moved. xo

Leah says:

Thank you so much for this episode! I feel like she opened my life’s story book and read directly from it. I just cried and cried as she told her story because it’s basically identical to mine. When my husband and I lost our precious baby boy on Christmas Eve I felt so broken. As women I feel like we are expected to just chalk it up as a loss and move on when really that is completely unrealistic. I was so fragile during this time and the way people tried to “relate” to me was pathetic. Looking back now I was so blessed with a wonderful support system but not all women have that. I now have a perfect 6 month old baby girl and I know my son is her forever guardian angel. That’s how I cope. The thought of my little boy looking out for his baby sister for the rest of her life makes my heart so happy!

I look forward to listening each week, you are truly an amazing woman! 🙂

geri says:

thanks so much for this episode. so incredibly sad. my heart breaks for Vanessa and her husband. so glad they have little Oliver now. thanks again. really enjoy all of your podcasts.

Anna says:

Listening Vanessa’s story brought back my emotions…heartbreaking. Last year I had a stillbirth 24 weeks, 5 month later I got pregnant again and have a healthy baby now. So related to this story, new pregnancy helped to overcome the grief. Thankful for this gift from God

Sarah says:

Heartbreaking but so glad I was able to experience and listen to Vanessa’s story.

I really took away the strength she was sharing in that I will definitely be more empowered next time I give birth, and it helped me to see that even with such a deep loss, healing can happen.

Loved this episode so much. Thanks for sharing, Vanessa!

Christina S. says:

I lost my son at 24 weeks in 2012. We tried for so long to conceive and to lose him was devastating. I struggled for a long time and still have hard days. I related to Vanessa’s story in so many ways, it was hard to listen to. We have since had the incredible opportunity to adopt our daughter. She is our christmas blessing(born Christmas Day 2013).
Thank you for opening up and I’m very sorry for your loss.

Lauren says:

Late to listen but completely moved. What a beautiful response to a tragic event. I could never imagine being so composed in a time of loss. I really respect and admire Vanessa’s ability to persevere and especially appreciate her request to donate books. What a selfless act. Teddy should totally marry Oliver because he is raised by class acts.

Amy Barba says:

Having just lost a baby it was so nice to hear you both speak about how we should be open about this. How we shouldn’t hide our emotions or not speak up because it makes others uncomfortable. Talking about my experience has really helped me start the healing process. Thank
You for sharing!

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