M.E.N.D. San Antonio Leadership Team

Katie Mcclelland - CHAPTER DIRECTOR

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I have known I wanted to name my first baby Dylan since high school. I am a huge Bob Dylan fan, and I have said for years and years that my first baby, boy or girl, would be called Dylan.

When my husband and I found out we were pregnant, we were both over the moon! When it came time to find out what we were having, the great name debate started. My husband wanted to have a junior and I was still set on Dylan. So we compromised; a boy would be called Michael and a girl would be Dylan. We soon found out, it’s a girl!  

I loved being pregnant, watching my belly grow bigger and feeling her happy kicks and dancing up a storm! I knew she was going to be a total daddy’s girl too, because the first time she kicked really hard, Mike was talking to her and rubbed my tummy. It was such a sweet moment for our little family. We welcomed her into the world on August 26th of 2016. 8 pounds and 6 ounces of perfectness and I could immediately tell she was going to look like me, dark eyes and red hair! We were so  happy! Everything was going perfectly, until it wasn’t. When she was 6 days old we lost her after an accident at home. 

My world stopped.  My heart shattered.  We had an amazing support system. So many friends and family offering love and support.  But I needed something else. I donated my breastmilk until I naturally dried up and that was great. Doing something that could benefit babies was comforting but I knew I really needed to find someone who understood what I was going through. When a friend told me about M.E.N.D. I instantly wanted to check it out. I knew during that first meeting in Bryan / College Station, this group was going to be so important in my journey to heal. I needed M.E.N.D., it was such a good fit.  I looked forward to meetings all month. The relief from finally having people to talk to that understood was unbelievable. When I found out I was going to be moving to San Antonio, I knew I would miss my ladies in College Station. I had become so close to this group but realized what an amazing opportunity I had to share this ministry with this part of Texas. I’m grateful to be the Chapter Director of M.E.N.D. – San Antonio to help bring peace and comfort to the grieving parents in our area.

M.E.N.D. is a registered 501(c)(3) and was founded in Irving, TX in 1996.  Please take a moment to meet our Board of Directors and national leadership team.


Chapter Assistants

Meet Jaecee...

I lost “Ladybug” in November 2015 due to a first trimester miscarriage.

When I first became pregnant, it was as if I immediately knew. Before I was even late, I had a dream that I was pregnant and I just felt this sense of calm and confidence. The next day, I took a test and my husband and I were thrilled to celebrate the news on his birthday! We attended the first 2 doctor’s appointments together and everything looked great with a strong little heartbeat at each appointment. Since we made it to 10 weeks, we decided to share the joyous news with our family and close friends. My husband and I felt so much love and excitement from our family! My mother even gave me this sweet little baby book, “On the Night You Were Born”, for me to start reading to the baby as they grew in my body.

On my third appointment to meet with the hospital’s midwife, she asked if I wanted to take a peek at my baby since I was already dressed for an ultrasound (this appointment typically does not do an ultrasound). I jumped at the chance to see our first little baby.

But next, silence filled the room… and it seemed as if everyone held their breath… On the screen, there were no heartbeats or little wiggles. And I immediately knew… our sweet baby had passed.

The midwife and her student offered their sincere condolences, printed out the last pictures that we would keep of our tiny baby, gave me a few minutes to process, and then kindly offered some advice and my options.

The very next day, our 3rd wedding anniversary, my husband and I chose to bring this once joyous turned disheartened chapter to a close.

One day during the following weeks as I returned back to work after my loss, I walked through the parking lot to my building. A ladybug landed on my shoulder, and rode with me all the way to my office door. I immediately thought back to the book my mother had gifted us for this precious child and I felt this overwhelming sense that it was a gesture from my lost little one.

“If the moon stays up until morning one day,

Or a ladybug lands and decides to stay,

Or a little bird sits at your window awhile,

It’s because they’re all hoping to see you smile…

For never before in story or rhyme

(not even once upon a time)

Has the world ever known a you, my friend,

And it never will, not ever again…

Heaven blew every trumpet

And played every horn

On the wonderful, marvelous

Night you were born.”

– Nancy Tillman, “On the Night You Were Born”

I was so anxious to attend my first M.E.N.D. meeting, but I needed a place to be where people truly understood the emptiness and the heartache that I was experiencing. In M.E.N.D., I found a new tribe; one that gave no judgement on my feelings, gave me the sense that I was no longer alone in my grief and experiences, provided me a place to discuss my innermost thoughts without any of the awkward and unknowing responses. M.E.N.D helped me to learn how to grow through my loss. I enjoy being able to give back to this organization that gave me so much hope and peace about my loss of Ladybug.

Meet LaRhesa...

When I found out I was pregnant with twin girls I was shocked and overjoyed, but those feelings turned into feelings of grief and uncertainty when, on October 21, 2009, my water broke while laying on the couch. Two days later, on October 23, 2009, Kaiya Dawn was born at 23 weeks gestation. She lived for 49 minutes. 6 days later her twin, Kaidyn Jamiel was born at 24 weeks gestation and spent 113 days in the NICU. For the first four months after Kaiya was born, my focus was on Kaidyn and my desire to take a baby home. It was not until after Kaidyn was discharged that I truly began to grieve the loss of Kaiya. That is when I found M.E.N.D.

I attended my first M.E.N.D. meeting in March 2010. MEND has been my place to be Kaiya's mommy and help other women who are grieving. I have enjoyed helping the families of the Brazos Valley and letting God use my sweet Kaiya Dawn as a testimony of his grace. Although I never got to bring Kaiya home, her life and death has helped me not only help other but also strengthen my relationship with God and realize she was fearfully and wonderfully made.

Meet Melody...

My first loss was in 2009 after telling my family at Christmas we were pregnant. I was so excited after 4 years of infertility. I miscarried my baby at 10 weeks. I felt a physical and emotional pain that I had never felt before. Pregnancy from now on would never be the naïve excitement I had once felt. Shortly after I became pregnant and miscarried again at 7 weeks. I remember going for a ultrasound since I was bleeding, seeing a heartbeat and a little baby but then finding out there was nothing anyone could do for me. Once again I was completely devastated when I miscarried later that night. Later in 2009 I found out I was pregnant again. We were thrilled to go for the 20 week ultrasound. We found out we were having a boy! He was perfect and we decided to name him Andrew. Everything went as planned until my 35 week ultrasound when I went to the doctor after he noticed at my last visit a moderately high blood pressure. The doctor couldn't find any heart beat. I couldn't believe that anything was wrong but with the ultrasound came confirmation that our baby had passed. At the time I was in total shock but then broke down as more people at the office came to my side to comfort me. I gave birth the next day to Andrew at 36 weeks due to a cord accident. His cord was wrapped twice around his neck and once around his chest. We went through denial for so long and went through the motions at the funeral. Around September of 2010, my sister got Jennie's business card about M.E.N.D. from a mutual hair stylist. I went to my first meeting in October. I was so scared to go and afraid that I would have to talk. I am normally scared of speaking to new people in big groups. It took me a few meetings to feel more comfortable but once I did I was able to open up and find moms that can relate. I did have an ectopic pregnancy in 2013 at 7 weeks in which I was blessed to have M.E.N.D. to support me.