Hi, all! My name is Jean Monska, and I attended my first Empty Arms meeting less than four weeks after losing my first child, Addison, to a stillbirth at 41 weeks gestation on April 3, 2008. For the first year after losing Addison, my husband, John, and I were at every Empty Arms meeting. These meetings were our lifeline; they literally kept us from going crazy and gave us a safe place to discuss our feelings with people who truly understood our grief. When we were ready to start trying for another baby, I joined the Subsequent Choices group, which helped me deal with the constant fear that I felt during the pregnancy.
Now almost eight years and two beautiful healthy boys later, I continue to honor Addison and work with Empty Arms on their Board of Directors as their Treasurer. I feel blessed to be able to work with such a great group of individuals on a cause that is so close to my heart. I am able to use my background in banking (as Assistant Branch Manager at a local bank) to help Empty Arms. This gives me such a unique and special way to honor Addison. I am still amazed at how much this tiny organization from eight years ago has grown into the organization that it is today.
While I never imagined that I would lose Addison when I got pregnant, I am thankful that Empty Arms has given me a safe and positive way to honor and parent Addison.
When I am not acting in my capacity as the Treasurer for Empty Arms I enjoy reading, exercising and most importantly, hanging out with my family.