About Me

My name is Annalee and I am a twenty-something wife, daughter, friend, and mother.  I am also a teacher and a lover of the arts.  My first born and only child is an angel baby.  You can read her story by clicking on “Maya’s Story” at the top of the page.

Happiness at the Core started before I was pregnant with Maya in September 2011.  It was a graduate school assignment: Do something you’ve always wanted to do but never got around to and then present in a creative way.  I have always prided myself on being a happy person.  Those around me would comment that I was always smiling and spreading cheer.  I had always felt the urge to write down my happiness story and write about my secrets to leading a genuinely happy life.  So I did.  The exercise was so helpful, I decided to ask others to do the same.  Family and friends came through and I was able to compile a book of happiness stories, which I called, “Happiness at the Core”.  I presented, aced the assignment, and made copies of the book.  As I discussed the assignment with my husband, I casually mentioned a blog where I could share my happiness story and invite others to do the same.  At the beginning of November, he surprised me with this website.  On November 16th, I found out I was pregnant and focus shifted.  I didn’t touch the site or ever start the blog.

When Maya died, my world came crashing down.  My genuinely happy self, my happiness that lives at the core of my being went into hiding.  As I have begun the grieving and healing process, I have found great comfort in reading the journeys other baby lost moms have been on.  For now, this blog is for me to write and release the grief, fear, guilt, and pain that I feel.  It’s for me to find the happiness at my core once again and live on.  It’s for Maya to live on through me.  Eventually, as I proceed on this journey, I hope others can find comfort and hope by reading my story.

Please comment as I would love to know who is reading and connect with those who understand my pain.

11 Comments

11 thoughts on “About Me

  1. Hi dear friend. You are such a beautiful writer. You inspire me. You inspire me to invest my time in meaningful things–as you did with your happiness project, with graduate school, and now with this blog–and also to live my life in gratitude. Every time I see you I remember that I don’t get to see you often enough, but I know that you are and always will be a significant and dear dear friend in my life. I am grateful for that.

  2. My dear Annalee – I think this is a wonderful thing for you to be doing. You have always been a joy to know and, while I cannot say that I understand your pain, I can say that I’ve seen my sister and brother in law go through this and survive. I’ve seen my family grieve and, just over a year later, I still think of my precious nephew every day. You, Hackie, and Maya are in my thoughts and prayers every day as well as everyone close to you guys as everyone is affected in different ways through this. *hugs*

  3. Hello-
    I came to your blog from Megan’s (A Baby Makes Four). I am so sorry for your immense loss. I can’t imagine what it would be like, and I’m sorry you have to experience this. I hope that writing this blog will be cathartic and help you grieve. Thank you for sharing with us. God Bless!

    PS- What a sweet husband you have- I love the name of the blog- it seems fitting, even after such a terrible tragedy. Even with a heavy heart- you will always have happiness at your core, your Angel Baby, Maya, will make sure of that.

  4. Dear Annalee,
    Your journey has only begun..my thoughts and prayers are with you..you will never forget your sweet baby, and my heart breaks for your loss and pain and I truly hope you get relief and some source of saneness by writing about it. Keep up, and you may relieve another young mother going through this as well. Linda

  5. Hi Annalee,
    Your blog was forwarded to me by a good friend and I was so sorry to hear your news. I experienced something very similar to you almost three years ago when my baby daughter, Holly, died during labor at 36 weeks. I had no idea what was happening and I was so confused.
    I’m not a great writer but I’d love to contact you in person if you are able to, or if not I’d love to be able to write to you in private.
    No one really knows the right thing to say, so I’ll just say that I’m thinking of you and I hope you don’t mide me contacting you,
    Catherine

  6. Hi Anna,
    I came to your blog following your comments on the shared blog space lossthroughthelookingglass.blogspot.com. I am so sorry for the loss of your little girl Maya. I have had 4 losses now. Molly at 21 weeks, Grace at 22 weeks and 2 little stars lost in early pregnancy. This journey is so incredibly hard. It is a great thing to share your story with others, it helps so much for people to know they are not alone.
    Clara x

  7. Dear Annalee,
    I came across your page, because someone posted about October being Pregnancy Loss and Infant Loss Awareness month and I googled to find something related. The name of your webpage caught my attention. I loved the title and thought it was somehow a page about how to achieve/regain happiness.
    My life hasn’t completely gone the way I had wanted it, like yours. I had two miscarriages in early pregnancy, then I had my daughter, and then three and a half years later I had my son. My husband and I thought we were done until most likely another very early miscarriage made meI realize I wasn’t. I could feel someone was still missing in our family. It took me a while to convince my husband of having another one. My present for mother’s day last year was his yes. I got pregnant right away. Everything went smoothly, until two weeks before due date when my son got himself turned the wrong way. I had intended on having a homebirth and was worried. The midwife comforted me, telling me that babies can still even change positions during labor. I believed her. I trusted her. My story is a very very long and very traumatic one, like yours and I don’t want to post it here, as this is about your story. All I can say is that both me and my husband made wrong decisions along the way, but the midwife made horrible decisions, unprofessional and unethical and she terribly abused our trust. The result of it all is the same as in your case- our beloved baby is dead. After two days my husband and I decided to turn of the machines. This was eight months ago. We have since dealt with all the emotions that come with grief. Shock, sadness, anger, guilt… We’ve been riding the worst roller coaster of our lives. I am slowly coming out of it all , especially now that our midwife “voluntarily surrendered” her license three days ago, after an investigation that took more than seven months. I feel some relief knowing that she will never be able to practice in the State of Colorado again and hurt families the way she hurt ours.
    There is not a day where I don’t think of our son, but I can tell that the pain has gotten bearable. I’ve developed a gratitude. I’m grateful that I got to see my son, got to hold him, got to say goodbye. My mother in law lost a baby 43 years ago during birth and never got a chance to see her or say goodbye. She is still to this day hurting.
    I know it all hurts and there doesn’t seem a sense in it. At some point I stopped asking why it happened. It’s hard to live with the fact, with the emptiness left behind. Your little one had already found its place in your family. You’ve had hopes and dreams of a life with her, just like I had those hopes and dreams about a life with my son.
    In the beginning i couldn’t stand seeing babies , especially newborns and pregnant women. They seemed to be everywhere. I avoided them and turned around if someone came my way. Then came the time when I started almost stalking them, just to get a glimpse of baby. To see if they looked anything like my son. I started myself on therapy pretty quickly and that helped. I joined a grief group for a while and that was a big help, too. Just to realize I wasn’t alone. I am not religious and I had my share of moments where I wished i could be. I’ve become very spiritual though. Now I meditate, and I try (yes, some days it’s only a try) to be positive. I’ve gotten calmer. And I see my son in a lot of little things- the little butterfly that flies right in front of me, a beautiful red atumn leaf in an otherwise all green hedge, the sun that all of a sudden shines on me on a completely cloudy day….. For other people all these things might not have a meaning, but for me they do and they make me smile.
    Annalee, it’s been only only a very short time for you. I hope you can at some point come to terms with it all. There will literally always be a scar that will remind us of the tragic events and of the beautiful babies that we carried.It’s such a painful journey-one, I wish you and I never would have had to go through.
    I send you hugs and wish you strength and that the sun will shine again. Please feel free to get in touch.
    Sincerely,
    Silke

  8. i just read Maya’s story and it made me cry… im so sorry for all that you went through that day. i know that theres no comfort that my words can give you, but i am truly sorry.
    sincerely, Annalee (my name is Annalee too)

  9. I understand what you mean about your happiness going into hiding. Mine also disappeared after losing my daughter, but it has started showing it’s head here and there, which I’m so grateful for. Writing and reaching out to others has really helped me in my grieving process. I look forward learning more about you and your experience remembering Maya.

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