In October of 2012, I was diagnosed with HELLP at 26 weeks into my first pregnancy. It had been 2 weeks since my baby boy had grown, and ultimately, we lost a beautiful soul who we named Josia. I don't mean to gloss over this experience, but my focus for this post is to make sure people know there is hope following such a diagnosis and tragedy. After mustering a lot of bravery and talking to several specialists, we decided to try for another baby. The decision was not made lightly. I felt so blessed to have made it out of HELP without seizure, chronically high blood pressure, and my eyesight intact. Where we pressing our luck by trying again? Perhaps, but I just needed to know I had tried before looking into other options. During the time between pregnancies I got in the best shape of my life. I even became a fitness instructor for a barre class called The Dailey Method. At very least I knew I was starting the pregnancy in a wonderful state of health. I started taking 81mg of baby aspirin once daily as soon as it was even possible that I was pregnant. In my opinion, just as important was beginning acupuncture treatment with herbal therapy once a week starting as soon as deciding to give conception another go. My diet was not extreme, but overall very healthy. I stayed fit throughout the pregnancy, and when I could no longer do barre classes, I swam laps. My pregnant life was not stress free. I was still working, we were remodeling our house, and I had adopted a puppy, but those distractions were often welcome. The acupuncture helped keep me calm, made me take the time out for wellness, and I believe with every ounce of me led me to the happy ending I am now enjoying. The perinatologists said my goal was to make it to 34 weeks--well, we made it there!---and then we past it, by a lot. At 41 weeks a whole set of other concerns flooded from my doctor's mouth. I was induced, and gave birth to an amazing baby boy we named Levi. I felt blissful and relieved, but the challenges were not over. After Levi's birth my blood pressure elevated for a time and concerns grew over postpartum preeclampsia. Now 2.5 weeks after giving birth, pressures are lower and not dangerous, but also not perfect. What is perfect is the baby boy I hold in wonder and appreciation. I still feel the intense life long sting of Josia's loss. At times the love I feel for Levi even heightens the pain I feel for Josia because I know I'll never get to hold and care for that boy the way I am able to for this one. That's the reality I need to accept to keep this train of life moving forward. Ultimately, I am proud I was brave enough to try, and thankful that I was lucky enough to get to experience this part of motherhood. Choose the path that makes sense for you, but know that success is a very possible outcome. Wishing all my fellows happiness, acceptance and health.