Mom finds healing after heartache with motherhood podcast

June 22, 2023 | by Kate Gawlik, RN
Categories: Healthy Driven Moms

Pictured above: Jacqueline and Josh Baird are parents to Hunter and Noah, as well as their miscarried twins, Charlotte and Cecilia, and their stillborn daughter, Maren.

A listen to the podcast Motherhood Intended leaves you recognizing what true vulnerability means. Jacqueline Baird, a Naperville native, gets personal about her motherhood journey while pulling in guests to discuss other parenting topics. In the backdrop of her stories is Edward Hospital, which she calls “my hospital.”

“Edward means everything to me,” Baird says. “I was born there, I've had multiple surgeries there, my sons and one daughter were born there, I've held my babies born too soon there, I spent 30 plus days on bedrest there when pregnant, said goodbye to grandparents there, watched my son take his first steps at Edward while on bedrest and so much more. The people I've encountered at Edward Hospital have made such an impact on my life. Edward not only helped with the physical pain but supported our mental health through it all as well.”

How she and her husband Josh spent four months in the Newborn Intensive Care Unit (NICU) with their oldest son, Hunter, is a topic of episode 2. Hunter was born at 24.5 weeks while Baird was on her eighth day of bedrest at Edward Hospital.

Baird has also delivered Noah, a full-term son, and Maren, their stillborn daughter, at Edward Hospital. She was cared for at Edward Hospital after miscarrying twins Charlotte and Cecilia. The couple plans to add to their family in the future via surrogate.

Bob Covert, MD, an independent neonatologist and immediate past medical director of the Edward Hospital NICU, says, “When I first met Jacqueline, it was so apparent how much she wanted to be a mother. Through this podcast, I got to know Jacqueline on another level — and that was after spending four months with her and Josh in the NICU. I applaud her for creating a resource about fertility and a community for moms to feel validated and connected.”

As one can imagine, that admiration is reciprocal. Baird says, “Dr. Covert was such a calm and trusted presence for us during such a hard time. Doctors kept us steady in our positivity, and more nurses than we can name got us through one of the scariest times of our life. Not only did they take care of Hunter like he was their own, but everyone at Edward truly took care of us as new parents as well.

The maternal fetal medicine doctors have guided us through our entire journey in building our family, and Dr. Madsen has been a comforting sounding board for us through some really tough decisions. I am eternally grateful for everyone at Edward Hospital.”

The podcast launched on Jan. 9, Baird’s 35th birthday, after blogging Momming Miracles for a few months.

“In 2015, my husband Josh and I often talked about starting a podcast to document our journey to becoming parents, but life just got too overwhelming,” Baird says. “We had no idea the next eight years would include multiple IUIs (intrauterine insemination), two miscarriages, IVF (in vitro fertilization), a micro-preemie, 120 days in the NICU, months of bedrest, surgeries, two boys under the age of 2, a miraculous conception and a stillbirth that officially put my health at risk.”

After the death of Maren, Baird knew it was time to find an outlet for her grief. With her degree in broadcasting and an eight-week podcasting course under her belt, she announced a show launch date and got to work. The podcast's trailer was listed as a "Top Trailer" on Apple podcasts before its launch, ranking above ESPN, Baird is proud to note.

The experience of interviewing other women has been filled with meaningful connections and the full support of her family, even through the obstacles of launching a new podcast.

Baird says, “Our families have been by our side on every twist and turn to parenthood, so I think they are proud to see me creating something helpful and positive in honor of all the heartache we've experienced. Josh is for sure my biggest fan.”

Her fan section also includes Edward Hospital staff, who know the Baird family on many levels.

In describing Motherhood Intended, Baird says: “I share my own experiences, I interview other parents to share their story, and I also welcome experts in the field of infertility, women's health and parenthood. While I sought out to help other women, I never realized just how healing podcasting and sharing my own journey would be for me.”

Some babies are born needing special care. At Edward-Elmhurst Health, we’re fully equipped to care for newborns who require special attention, such as extremely premature infants, infants on ventilators and newborns with congenital conditions. Edward Hospital provides a Level III NICU and Elmhurst Hospital provides a Level IIe Special Care Nursery. Learn more.

Edward-Elmhurst Health offers a Perinatal Bereavement Program with a dedicated, multidisciplinary staff of nurses, social workers and chaplains — all trained to provide family support in the event of a perinatal loss. Families can also receive support through the SHARE Program, a local and national organization that serves and supports those who are touched by the loss of a child through miscarriage, stillbirth or early infant death.

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