chapter leaders

Welcome! I am Amy Balentine. I am a follower of Christ, a wife to Adam, and a mother to Teddy, Simon, Thomas, Peter and Goldie and Founder of You Made Me Mom and group leader of the Kansas City chapter. This support group is a result of my experiences with my children who made me mom, but also our Lord, Jesus Christ, who ultimately made me mom.  

Amy Balentine

founder  kansas city, mo group leader

In October 2012, I gave birth to our first child, Theodore (Teddy) Boyd. He is so wonderful. In May 2014, I gave birth to our second child, Simon Adam, who lived 7 glorious days and 22 grace-filled minutes. He died on May 21, 2014. Simon had full Trisomy 13 - typically a life-limiting diagnosis. In November 2014, I gave birth to our third child, Thomas Job. Thomas went to be with our Lord at 13 weeks gestation. I birthed his body via induction and we were able to set eyes on his magnificent body. In September 2015, I gave birth to our fourth son, Peter Simon. He brings us much joy and happiness. In August 2017, I gave birth to our fifth child, our first baby girl, Marigold (Goldie) Joy. Goldie adds a sweetness to our family we didn't know we were missing. In May 2020, I miscarried our sixth child at 5 weeks gestation after trying for over a year to grow our family.

To read more about my family's story, visit my family's blog or click on the links below to navigate directly to the related story.

I am honored to walk along side each You Made Me Mom mother - experiencing the valley lows and mountain highs is a gift from the Lord.  All the glory to God.

 

HannahWeiland

milford, in group leader

Hello! I’m Hannah Weiland. I am married to Josh and am mama to our sweet boy, Charlie. We live in northern Indiana where my husband pastors a church and I work for an international missions organization.

Our journey with loss began in 2014 and since then we have said goodbye far too early to five little lives. We’ve experienced loss through two ectopic pregnancies, each at 7 weeks, and three miscarriages (13 weeks, 8 weeks, and 7 weeks.) Our son Charlie, born in 2015, is an absolute gift and miracle. I can’t say it was my dream to have one child on this earth but goodness, what a blessing he is.

Through these years of loss and grieving what we thought our family would look like, we have felt and have been carried by the goodness of God. While we would never choose this road, this is our story. I have been honored to be able to walk alongside women facing loss, seeing firsthand how God uses every part of our stories to encourage others and bring him glory. You Made Me Mom has been such a gift in my life and I’m so thankful to be a part of this community. 

 

Nicole Lauer

wichita, ks group leader

Hi! I’m Nicole Lauer, wife to Brian and mommy to Kade and Kinsley. We reside in Wichita, Kansas. On January 4th, 2018, we found out I was pregnant with our first baby, Kade. We were so excited and quickly began getting things ready for his arrival. However, on April 11th at work, where I am a first grade teacher, I knew something wasn’t right. I left school immediately and met my husband at the hospital. Six days later, with a terrible infection that caused me to go into premature labor at 20 weeks, I gave birth to Kade at 2:30am. It was the most physically painful and emotional thing I have ever had to do.

We were told Kade would only survive a minute or two once I gave birth. But, God gave us 99 beautiful minutes with him. Kade was so healthy and he was so strong. Kade passed away in my arms, surrounded by his daddy, all of his grandparents, and his uncle at 4:09am. I will never forget how perfect he was. I will never forget when I saw him take his final breath. He weighed 9.5 oz and was 9.5 inches long. I will forever be thankful that God let us meet our baby boy and spend time with him before he was called Home.

The night before the one year anniversary of Kade’s birth and death, his little sister, Kinsley was born at the same hospital. My pregnancy with her was anything but easy. Weekly progesterone shots given by my husband, weekly trips to see the high risk doctor, and a scary infection that led me to be hospitalized for a few days were just part of my experience. I ended up having an emergency c-section and I remember praying that Kinsley would arrive safely. I was terrified and full of anxiety throughout my pregnancy and the night of her arrival. I am thankful to say that she’s thriving and is the sweetest, cuddliest baby! God is good!

I feel incredibly honored that I get to walk with other brokenhearted mommas, pray with them, and develop a community here in Wichita that helps other bereaved mothers navigate through this horrible loss.

Alycia Thornton

newton grove, nc group leader

 

Hello! I’m Alycia Thornton, wife to Eric, and mother to Jackson. We live in Newton Grove, NC, and I’m so honored to open up my home each month to new friends and moms. 

 

Our son Jackson was born still on April 21, 2020 at 32 weeks. He weighed 5 pounds & .06 ounces and was 18.5 inches long. I noticed a decrease in fetal movement which prompted us to go to the hospital where we learned the heartbreaking news that our son was no longer living.

Jackson’s life was a gift to our family and especially to me. I’m thankful that the Lord allows me to share our story with other mothers who may find themselves in times of grief during their motherhood journey. I’m confident that the women you’ll meet at You Made Me Mom will lift you up, inspire you, and pray for you. Since Jackson passed away, God has blessed me by placing inspiring bereaved moms in my life who are walking alongside me. I would be honored to do the same for you.

 

I work for NC State University. I’m actively involved with my church and with Kappa Delta Sorority. Some of my favorite hobbies include gardening, reading, crocheting, cross stitch, and spending time with our family! 

 

Rachel Van de Burgt

barrhead, alberta, canada group leader

Hello! I’m Rachel van de Burgt.  Wife to Ryan, mother of the twins Jantiena Joy & Felicia Faith and the precious baby in heaven Dominique. We live in Mellowdale, close to Barrhead (AB) Canada where my husband works at the CooP Service Center.  I work as a full-time mom, writer and education consultant.

We were married for six years and with little hope of being able to have biological children. We had been waiting for adoption for two years, with no response. The day after we received a visit from the social worker we found out that I was pregnant for the first time with eight weeks of pregnancy; after this week, I had a subchorionic bleed. I was on bed rest for the entire pregnancy.  At 35 weeks, our daughters were born prematurely. I had the experience of spending two and a half weeks with them in the NICU.

In April 2020, we had the joy of another pregnancy.  However, on June 3, after an ultrasound, we heard the news that our little baby's heart was no longer beating. The time it took the ultrasound professional to give me the news seemed like an eternity. I could see on her face that something was going on. Hearing the news that the little heart was not beating anymore was a shock and it seemed that this could never be a reality for me. On June 21st, at home, the water broke, and then Dominique was born. He was born too soon. Only the Lord Jesus Christ can give us real comfort when we feel so powerless and weak. I also had to have a D & C.  After the procedure, I prayed with my husband that the Lord would carry us as we left without our baby. Yes! God carried us in His arms, while our legs could not move. We also saw the goodness of God during Dominique’s funeral when our pastor friend and his family said this was a time of “See you later! Not goodbye!  We will meet one day again!” 

 

My heart is inclined to listen to and cry with mourning mothers.  I will always be praying for pregnant mothers and for mothers who have lost their precious babies. It is a comfort to know that God is always with us. May His Grace fill us with tenderness, kindness and hope when our tears overshadow our vision of eternity. It will be an honour to walk by your side.

To read more about my family's story, visit my blog.

 

Sara DeVoto

virtual gathering group leader

sara@youmadememom.com • 402.681.1177

Bio Text coming soon!  Stay tuned!

To read more about my family's story, visit my blog.

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