In 2014, Wendy and Nate Harvey were over the moon to be expecting their first child. With only 7-weeks until the due date, Wendy and Nate were making final preparations for their baby’s arrival. They had already been showered with gifts and the nursery was complete.
“I had just been to the doctor for my 33-week appointment,” recalls Wendy. “Then, a couple of days later, I couldn’t feel anything. That’s when we found out Blake was no longer with us.”
After receiving the devastating news that their unborn baby had passed away, Wendy was induced and gave birth to Blake Lee Harvey on April 12, 2014. “We don’t have a reason why he left us,” said Wendy. “It was so hard to come home from the hospital with empty arms.”
During their stay at HSHS St. Mary’s Hospital Medical Center in Green Bay, Wendy and Nate received information about Share of Northeast Wisconsin, a resource for families who have experienced the loss of a baby through miscarriage, stillbirth, early infant death or SIDS. Heavy with grief, the couple didn’t give it much thought at first.
“We aren’t the type of people to open up about our personal lives,” said Wendy. “Coming home was hard. I was depressed and couldn’t get out of bed. I had to find a positive way to heal.”
To help with the healing process, Wendy and Nate met with their pastor, created a scrapbook of the photographs they took of Blake and donated his clothes and blankets to other children in need. Then, they decided to attend a Share of Northeast Wisconsin support group meeting at HSHS St. Vincent Hospital. The meetings provide insight and understanding of the grief process and are an opportunity for those who have experienced this type of loss to share their feelings in a non-judgmental atmosphere with other parents who have walked a similar journey.
“It felt so good to be around people who could understand what we were going through,” said Wendy.
Share of Northeast Wisconsin was there for Wendy and Nate again, when Wendy suffered a miscarriage not long after the loss of Blake. Despite so much loss, Wendy knew she had to continue to stay positive. After attending a pregnancy and infant loss awareness walk in Minnesota, Wendy proposed a similar event for the Green Bay area. She helped to launch the very first A Walk to Remember, hosted by Share of Northeast Wisconsin at the Bay Beach Wildlife Sanctuary in October 2015. Nearly 500 people were in attendance.
“I just want other people to know that they’re not alone,” said Wendy.
Wendy continues to play a large role in A Walk to Remember, held each year in Green Bay. Her and Nate’s biggest blessing came June 21, 2015 when their son, Blair, was born. The family keeps Blake’s memory alive every day, including a bedtime ritual of Blair kissing a picture of Blake before he climbs into bed–something he requests to do each evening.
“With everything that’s happened, it’s just brought us all so much closer together,” said Wendy.