Overcoming loss to become a warrior

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photo by Brooke Welch | Bethany Baker poses with her bees in Hayden. Bethany is the wife of Perry Baker, formerly of Granby, and an owner at Outlaw Apiaries.
photo by Brooke Welch | Bethany Baker poses with her bees in Hayden. Bethany is the wife of Perry Baker, formerly of Granby, and an owner at Outlaw Apiaries.

by Bethany Karulak-Baker

This isn’t just a photo of a woman with honeybees on her belly.

About a year ago, I suffered an extremely traumatic miscarriage. I was hospitalized, broken hearted, filled with self-blame, and distraught. As we drove away from Yampa Valley Medical Center, after losing our baby, I recall tearing up with the realization that my baby was left alone inside those brick walls; ultimately to be shipped away and examined.

I fell into a deep depression for months following the unexpected surgery. I struggled with my mental health, with how to interact with friends and family, and how to continue my responsibilities as a mother and wife.

A few months later, we became pregnant again. Instead of embracing our new miracle, I remember feeling confused and apprehensive. As time went on, well into the second trimester, I knew I couldn’t tell anyone about the pregnancy because of the fear of a repeat miscarriage. How would I explain the loss all over again?

Then, our country had succumbed to the pandemic. The next months involved me vomiting, sleeping all day and night, unable to help around the house, and feeling inadequate and defeated. There were no visitors, no lunch dates, no meetings, and because I had chosen not to tell anyone about the pregnancy, no one checking in. This time was not only unfamiliar and bizarre but was also extraordinarily emotionally challenging. In spite of all this, our family grew stronger, and, in hindsight, I realize that the quarantine allowed me to grow my baby in a stress-free environment with phenomenal nurturing from my husband. There was a massive silver lining to this presumably dark cloud. We, as a family, grew to love and support one another more than I could have ever imagined.

I am happy to say that I am 39 weeks pregnant with a healthy baby who will join us in a few short weeks. I am blessed beyond words that I have made it this far, through all the trials and tribulations, from the last 12 months. I have emerged from these events like a butterfly from a cocoon; strong, beautiful, and ready to take on the world. So, you see, this isn’t just a photo of a woman with honeybees on her belly. This photo symbolizes much, much more. My only hope is that one day my children will look at this photo and see the warrior inside of me.

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