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For a family woman, Ann Shrake is a pretty good time.
She has written TV scripts, killer copy, and memorable rap parodies.
Ann’s Onward Stories podcast reflects on the experiences of those who have lost a baby to miscarriage, stillbirth, or infant loss.

Onward Stories Ann Shrake

    • Kinder und Familie

For a family woman, Ann Shrake is a pretty good time.
She has written TV scripts, killer copy, and memorable rap parodies.
Ann’s Onward Stories podcast reflects on the experiences of those who have lost a baby to miscarriage, stillbirth, or infant loss.

    105 - On Faith, Infertility, and Empowering Black Women After Her Losses - Erica McAfee

    105 - On Faith, Infertility, and Empowering Black Women After Her Losses - Erica McAfee

    Erica M. McAfee is a bereavement doula who helps educate families on what to expect after losing a baby via her Sisters in Loss podcast. I discovered Erica’s podcast and am a big fan - you can also find the podcast on iTunes and subscribe. Erica is an advocate for black women and women of color, both in the hospital room and in the larger national conversation of equality in maternal healthcare.

    It was an honor to hear her journey to motherhood and how it has transformed her path in life. My favorite part of this episode is hearing about how Erica has wrestled with surrendering to God's plan. I know you're going to love hearing Erica's takes on loss, family, and faith.

    ABOUT ERICA MCAFEE
    Erica M. McAfee is the founder of Sisters in Loss, LLC, a faith based Pregnancy Loss Grief Coaching & Doula Service Company that helps women replace silence with storytelling around miscarriage, pregnancy loss, and infertility. Sisters in Loss provides birth and bereavement doula services, infertility and grief coaching services to help women step beyond anxiety and fear and into trust and peace after loss.

    Erica is a Pregnancy Loss Grief Coach, Birth & Bereavement Doula, Pastor’s Wife, and Mom to two angels in heaven and one rainbow baby Maxwell, also known as Super Mighty Max. She is an alumnus of Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) with a B.S. in Chemical Engineering.

    • 38 Min.
    104 - Miscarriage, Homeschooling, & Mothering a Big Family - Megan Valnes

    104 - Miscarriage, Homeschooling, & Mothering a Big Family - Megan Valnes

    I’ve known Megan’s husband Stacey for a while, because he was our rock star realtor, but until this interview Megan and I had only been instagram friends. I asked Megan to share her story of her miscarriage, and I got her take on a lot of different aspects of mothering. What I loved about meeting Megan was seeing her happy, full, fun life in person. If you want to get a taste of that, visit Megan on instagram - she’s got one of my favorite handles - @momwifesuperstar.

    ABOUT MEGAN VALNES
    Megan Valnes is a fun loving, adventure seeking, creative-minded mom of 6. Megan Valnes and her husband Stacey homeschool their kids in Topanga, California, where they also have a small farm producing eggs and milk. Megan works as a real estate agent at her family business. Her favorite pastime is laughing, and she doesn’t do boring.

    • 31 Min.
    103 - Foster Parenting after Multiple Losses - Megan Coker

    103 - Foster Parenting after Multiple Losses - Megan Coker

    I came across Megan’s instagram shortly after my son Michael died, and was in awe of her ability to be so vulnerable and open, and to write so beautifully about the losses of each of her babies. It was such a pleasure to interview Megan and see just how warm and genuine she is in real life. I can’t wait for you to hear her talk about the love she has for all her children, and what her experiences with loss have brought Megan in her life.

    ABOUT MEGAN COKER
    Megan is an army wife currently in Central Texas. She and her husband share four beautiful children together in Heaven, and she's currently pregnant with their fifth. They were recently licensed to foster and their first placement of two toddler boys just moved away. Megan loves to write about grief and love, share pictures of her three dogs, and photograph pregnancy and birth.

    • 31 Min.
    102 - Post-Traumatic Growth & Returning to Work After Baby Loss - Gina Kornfeind

    102 - Post-Traumatic Growth & Returning to Work After Baby Loss - Gina Kornfeind

    I met Gina at the Celebration of Life ceremony that she helps put together through UCLA. It was the summer after my son Michael had died. She was so kind in my short conversation with her that I still remembered her 5 years later when I started Onward Stories. Gina was the first person I thought of as someone I HAD to talk to, and she has been an incredible resource. I really feel as though I could have a hundred interviews with Gina, because she is so knowledgeable, but for this episode we just focused on just one topic - going back to work after the loss of a baby.

    Gina, you are such a gift to UCLA and the families who need you. Thank you for sharing some of your wisdom here.

    ABOUT GINA KORNFEIND
    Gina Kornfeind is the Social worker within the UCLA Mattel Children's hospital Pediatric Pain and Palliative care program. She is also the support and bereavement coordinator of all Pediatrics at UCLA Mattel. Gina helps to provide comprehensive Palliative care to families including quality of life planning, goals of care meetings, end of life care, and bereavement care. She is the Director of the Comforting Hearts Family Bereavement support group for families who have had a child die. Gina provides staff support at UCLA Mattel and provides an annual Pediatric Celebration of Life/Family Memorial service for families and staff. She has a double masters from Columbia University in social work and early childhood special education. She is passionate about supporting families and staff during the journey of illness, end of life and during bereavement.

    • 43 Min.
    101 - Donating Eva's Eyes After Infant Loss - Keri Young

    101 - Donating Eva's Eyes After Infant Loss - Keri Young

    I read the first part of Keri Young’s story in 2017. In an essay on Facebook, her husband described his admiration for Keri after they received the diagnosis of anencephaly for their daughter Eva. Though her baby was developing without a brain and not expected to live, Keri’s almost immediate reaction was to ask whether Eva’s organs could be donated to another child upon her birth. I lost track of the Youngs after I read Royce’s essay, but I didn’t forget them. I was so glad I could find Keri and hear the rest of their beautiful story.

    ABOUT KERI YOUNG
    Keri Young is a wife and mom living in Oklahoma City. Born and raised in Oklahoma, she graduated from the University of Oklahoma in 2008 with a bachelor’s degree in education. She taught middle school and elementary special education but left the field after 6 years to focus on being a mom. She has three kids — Harrison (4), Eva, who passed away in 2017, and Everett (3 months). She is married to Royce, who works as a writer for ESPN.

    • 54 Min.

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