In 2020, when the whole world turned upside down, my son died. His name is Cole Vaughn Taylor Fulton. I had been pregnant for 39 weeks and 5 days when I found out his heart was no longer beating. There was no explanation. What ensued was the most devastating and traumatic experience of my life.

The experience did not end. Things did not go back to normal. I was changed and my family was changed.

In my efforts to grieve and process and heal — in my efforts to mother a baby who was not physically with me — I started to collect stories about pregnancy loss from mothers and fathers all over the world. I wanted to give a voice to loss parents, I wanted other people to understand what this pain was, and I wanted to be a part of changing what the future of pregnancy loss would look like. Perhaps my ideas were lofty but every fiber of my being was afire to do something.

In an age where so many controversial subjects are openly discussed, pregnancy loss is still considered taboo. When, on average, 1 in 4 pregnancies end in miscarriage and 1 in 175 end in stillbirth (and the lasting pain and suffering from those events radiate out from families and ripple for years and years to come) we are doing a disservice to humanity by letting our discomfort keep our mouths closed — I am speaking to everyone, not just those who have lost a baby before birth, and not just those who have never experienced such a tragedy.

If nobody speaks, there is no problem; if there is no problem, then why allocate money for research? If there is no research, little to nothing will be discovered and nothing will change. It has already been discovered that there is capacity for change, for improvement; we can see it in the statistics … but it is progress at a slow and frustrating pace. There are people speaking out, but we need more. The future of our children, the future of humanity should be at the forefront of all we do.

On Feb. 10, at Healthy Hippie Trading Co. in Tehachapi, from 2 to 4:30 p.m. there will be a book signing and resource fair for the release of “You’re Not Alone: Shared Stories of Pregnancy Loss” published by TrineDay. I will be there in person to speak about the book and how you can use music to heal. Guest speakers, including Bakersfield’s own Trinity Brown (Founder of the Noel Alexandria Foundation and story contributor), will be there to discuss the journey of loss, concepts of remothering, and creative ways to grieve, process and express love for a child that is no longer physically present.

Speakers include Susan Harris (local therapist), Nikki Echabarne (a postpartum doula with a focus on grief who will lead attendees through a thought exercise) and Justina Engen (a story contributor and creative staple in Tehachapi who will lead a workshop on creating a memorial keepsake).

When there is too much pain, we live in denial. It is a human survival response. But in order for us to heal and progress, we must be vulnerable and open. It is not time to censor ourselves to make others comfortable. It is time to shine a light on the shadowy places and expose the depths and transformative nature of pregnancy loss.

Whether you are a mother or father who has lost a child during pregnancy, know someone who has, or know nothing about pregnancy loss, you are welcome to attend this event. You will find a community rich with love and support where there is no room for shame and no need for seclusion.

Join the memorial keepsake workshop, enter the free raffle, take part in the group exercises, enjoy the complimentary refreshments, and discover that no matter how isolated you feel in your experience, you are not alone.

After the fair, Dr. Jim will be leading a healing drum circle. If you wish to join, please bring a percussion instrument of your choice.

Follow Michelle Fulton on facebook: Join the event page:

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