“I am so sorry Stephanie”

I wanted to take the time to explain to my client’s in a whole what has been going on the last 6 weeks in my life. I am also going to be blogging a whole lot more for Stephanie Strydom Photography & my personal life so this will be my platform to update.

Some of you may know, my husband Paul & I were expecting twins. One boy, One girl. Cohen and Charlotte.

On October 3, 2017, I went to my MFM (maternal fetal medicine) appointment for a routine checkup on the babies. Cohen was “Baby A” so the tech was checking him out & we were making small talk, everything was great. She went on to look at Charlotte, “Baby B” & things got quiet. I could see by her expression that something was wrong, I just didn’t know what. She left the room saying something about going to view a previous ultra sound & then my doctor appeared.23602171_10215006653144414_222484845_n



He took a look at our Charlotte & said “I am so sorry Stephanie.”

Charlotte had no heartbeat at 33 week 4 days.

In February 2016, we lost our son, Caleb at 32 weeks, also stillborn. Both times in that same room. I hadn’t felt him move so my doctor’s office sent me right to Holy Family Hospital to get checked out and that’s when I met our nurse, Linda. She tried to get Caleb’s heart rate on the monitors, but was having no luck. She walked me down to the ultra sound room & held my hand while the tech informed us that Caleb didn’t have a heart beat. She stayed with us through delivery and well past her scheduled shift. I don’t know how she does what she does, but I am so thankful.

I was living this nightmare all over again. Never in my wildest dreams did I think this could happen again. I immediately asked my doctor to see if Linda was on the floor. Within minutes she appeared, hugging me. She sat with me until Paul arrived. We were discussing whether we were going to stay at Holy Family or be transferred to Boston to deliver. As much as I wanted to deliver with my doctor & Linda in Methuen, it was safer for Cohen to be in Boston. Linda administered the first steroid for Cohen’s lungs and we were off to Boston. We arrived in Boston & met with teams upon teams of people at Bringham & Women’s Hospital. The plan was to receive two doses of steroids for Cohen, 24 hours apart from each other. After 48 hours from the first steroid, we could deliver.

On October 5, we were starting the induction. That morning I texted Linda to tell her we were starting.  She texted me back: “Would it be ok if I came to be with you? I am trying to make arrangements?” I couldn’t even believe it.


Linda arrived around 1pm, it wasn’t long after that I was fully dilated.

At 2:43, I delivered Cohen & shortly after Charlotte. We spent a few hours with our girl. We took some photos and were even able to bring her to the NICU to take a photo of our girl with twin brother. (Cue the tears.)





Cohen spent 5 days at Bringham & Women’s. 4 out of the 5 days he was cared for by a wonderful nurse, Judy.

She was incredible. She had also lost a baby and you could just see the empathy and compassion in her eyes. She literally held me when our 3 year old Lucas came in the room and asked where Charlotte was. I am so thankful we had someone so kind & supportive watching our baby.


Cohen was intubated for the first two days, after the tube was removed he was placed on CPAP and finally stable enough for me to hold my boy. SO many ugly tears.

22405478_10214715191538056_158771830235345957_nOnce he was off the CPAP & was breathing room air, we were able to transfer him to Holy Family where he spent the next 29 days learning how to eat.


At 34 days old on November 8th, Cohen was finally discharged. We’ve been home just short of a week & we are so happy to be starting “our normal.”


I want to thank all of our friends and family for being so supportive (again). We literally couldn’t get through this without all of your love.

I want to thank my clients that have been patiently waiting for their images. I promise I will be busting butt over the next few weeks to get them all out to you. I will be booking again, starting in December. I want to give myself some time to catch up before taking on anything additionally.

Main photo (of Lucas & Cohen) by: Elyse Carpenter Photography LLC

Charlotte’s Obituary 

Vote for Linda : Merrimack Valley Credit Union’s Biggest Heart: Caregiver

  1. Angela Brown says:

    Stephanie and Paul,
    My thoughts and prayers are with and your family. You guys are definitely 2 of the strongest people I know.

  2. Laurie says:

    Steph you never stop amazing me.!! You are the strongest person I know. Do you know when Charlotte passed I was angry i googled, i asked how god could allow this to happen to you not once but twice!!! The reaponse that sticks out the most in my head and heart …. A baby who is stillbirth is given to A mother who is of purest heart, those are the babies God takes home with him, because the saying was that the child lost to a mother like you (pure heart) is who he picks to be his angels xoxo. Love you girl. ❤😘❤😘

  3. Ariel says:

    I am so sorry this has happened to you. I can’t imagine what your feeling, but remember, you were blessed with two beautiful baby boy’s. Just remember, this was not God’s doing… but they are with him in heaven.

  4. Sarah Drew says:

    Stephanie, you and I don’t know each other, but I’m in tears reading your story. Your ability to connect with those nurses and find that goodness in such loss is beyond touching. I’m grateful Emily made me aware of your story and your blog and will keep you and your sweet family in my thoughts!

  5. Lauren Mulder says:

    My heart aches for you and Paul and everything you have gone through. Although nothing will take away the pain of what you have been through, I hope you are able to find joy and happiness with your two boys at home! You deserve it, and I know you will! So many people love and care about you Steph! Don’t forget it!

  6. Jenn says:

    Steph, you are an amazing person and even more the perfect mother. You have definitely been thru so much which has made you an even better person and better mother. Thank you for sharing your wonderful and heartbreaking journey.


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