My Infertility and Pregnancy Loss Story: Maureen Piantedosi

During Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month, FAM patient Maureen Piantedosi hopes that sharing her journey will help break the silence and bring comfort to others who have experienced loss. Surprisingly, the heartbreak of pregnancy and infant loss is more common than you might think. In this special blog post, we tell Maureen’s story.

The Piantedosi Family

A patient of Dr. Amelia Bailey since 2015, Maureen Piantedosi and her husband Michael experienced the highs and lows of fertility treatments like so many others when they set out to grow their family, including medicated cycles, intrauterine insemination (IUI), and eventually in vitro fertilization (IVF). After two embryo transfers, they welcomed their beautiful daughter Ava into the world in 2017.

About a year and a half later, Maureen discovered she was pregnant again on her own with a second daughter they named Nora. They felt elated. The pregnancy seemed to be going smoothly, but then tragedy struck when Maureen was 28 weeks along – about one month from delivery.


Devastating Tragedy

Maureen realized after a birthday party that she hadn’t felt the baby move in a while, and something seemed off. She went to the ER, where she says no one would tell her what was happening. It was only when she saw the ultrasound with no heartbeat that she knew she had lost the baby.

“My OB/GYN doctor said it was like a lightning strike on a sunny day, just a freak thing,” Maureen explained. “Everything was fine until it wasn’t, and it felt like a double whammy dealing with infertility and trying to grow our family.”

What happened next is something most people don’t think about. Maureen still had to deliver her baby. She had a C-section. Her daughter weighed 2 lbs., 3 oz. Maureen was postpartum, with her body going through the changes a mother typically experiences after delivering a baby, but she had no baby.


Rainbow After the Storm

Navigating the devastating combination of infertility struggles and pregnancy loss, Maureen remained resilient. In 2020, she experienced another setback with a chemical pregnancy. Undeterred, she pursued IVF once again, resulting in the birth of her precious daughter, Emma, who is now a joyous two-year-old.

Despite the happiness of expanding her family, Maureen says she carries the profound grief of her lost baby Nora every day.

“I don’t know how to describe it. You’re so grateful for your children, but it’s an awful feeling like you’re missing your other baby so much,” she explained.


More Common Than You Realize

According to the CDC, approximately 24,000 babies are stillborn annually in the United States. Additionally, the World Health Organization reports that infertility affects around 15% of couples of reproductive age worldwide.

Miscarriages, in particular, are even more widespread. The March of Dimes says that up to half of all pregnancies may result in miscarriage, although determining an exact number is challenging since it can occur before a woman realizes she is pregnant. However, for women who are aware of their pregnancy, approximately 10% to 15% end in miscarriage. Many individuals and families endure this heartbreaking experience in solitude, grieving silently.


Breaking the Stigma

Maureen emphasizes the importance of understanding that not everything is as it seems, and she wishes people would recognize that there are hidden battles others may be facing.

To support others who have experienced pregnancy and infant loss, Maureen actively participates in a grief group offered by Methodist Hospital, called In His Arms Grief Support Group, which organizes monthly meetings. The group also hosts the Celebration of Remembrance in Memphis every year to honor families that have lost children at any time in pregnancy or early life. She has also connected with other “loss moms” through an organization in Memphis called the Helen James Foundation that sponsors the annual “M” Bridge light up on Oct. 15, which is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day.

Maureen believes that pregnancy loss, whether it’s an embryo or nearly full-term baby, is a profound loss that should not be compared. A loss is a loss.  She also believes that creating awareness and providing support is crucial. Maureen says it’s therapeutic for her to say her daughter’s name and talk about her, and she hopes others will remember Nora, too.

She concluded, “My journey has been a complicated way to grow a family, but I’ve learned that it’s okay to feel devastated and grateful at the same time.”

Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day is observed annually on October 15th. Communities across the world show support with candlelight vigils and international waves of light. There will be a special remembrance ceremony in downtown Memphis beginning at 6:00 pm at the I-40 Welcome Center for Memphis/Shelby County. Click here for more details.


For a listing of local bereavement support groups and other resources, please click here. 

Fertility Memphis Infertility Infertility Awareness Miscarriage Pregnancy Loss

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