The tremendous Lindsey Henke and rainbow baby Zoe (4 mo). Lindsey is also the mother to Nora, who was born still sleeping at 40 weeks + 4 days in December 2012. Lindsey had a perfect first pregnancy with Nora, she hadn't felt her baby move as much but didn't suspect anything was wrong. Labor had started, and she stayed home to sleep before heading to the hospital in the very early morning hours. It was upon getting to the hospital, thinking she was going to finally have her baby that Lindsey and her husband Nick learned that their daughter's heart was no longer beating. It was later determined that Nora had died due to an E. Coli infection in Lindsey's membranes. She was able to have a vaginal delivery with vacuum assistance and while her daughter's delivery was filled with sadness, it was also beautiful. She was able to spend time with her and have her photographed. Both sides of their family flew in, surrounded Lindsey with love and everyone was able to hold and spend time with Nora. Lindsey's second pregnancy was understandably anxious, and she went to the hospital several times just to have Zoe checked and be reassured that she was okay. It was recommended, based on her experience with Nora that Lindsey have an early cesarean delivery. She chose to deliver at 37 weeks via cesarean, and things went really well. Zoe was born healthy and Lindsey was able to hold her right away. After about 45 minutes, it became clear that her lungs were not fully developed, and she needed to be taken to NICU for assistance. Lindsey was worried that she was losing her second daughter but was grateful for a nurse that let her spend several hours with her girl. After 5 days in NICU, Lindsey was able to bring Zoe home. She says that the moment of walking out of the hospital with her baby, rather than an empty car seat was incredibly healing. Like many moms of loss, Lindsey chose to participate because she doesn't feel that in her daily life, both of her children are visible. Because she only gets to carry one in her arms, it's often as if the other doesn't exist. It is her hope that through sharing her story, being photographed with Zoe and her memento of Nora that she is acknowledged as the mother of two.
Lindsey added on the reasons for participating in the project: "I believe there is a tremendous amount of shame and feelings of failure that manifest as anger towards our bodies when we experience a loss during pregnancy. It has taken me many months and another pregnancy that resulted in the birth of a living baby for me to come to find a loving relationship with my body again. I'm at a point now where I can forgive her (my body) for what I thought was betraying me, and I have come to the realization that my body did not fail me but was attacked just like my daughter was by the infection that stole my eldest child's life. It has taken a lot of work, but by carrying my rainbow baby and bringing her into this world safe and sound, I feel a deep sense of love for my body again, and I just wanted to capture that love and gratitude for my daughters and my body in some way. Participating in the 4th Trimester Bodies Project was a way of doing that. A celebration of sorts for my healed relationship I now have with my body."