As many of you know, October is Respect Life Month. It is also Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month. Many mothers and fathers-some who we know personally- have suffered incredible heartbreak from saying goodbye to their precious babies before birth and in infancy. Please join me in lifting them in prayer.
In today’s post, we introduce you to a courageous mother who will be sharing her inspiring journey of motherhood with her first son, Kolbe Scott Hurd. He is a brave little boy who left our world too soon. While he is in Heaven with our beautiful Savior, Kim, her husband Colin, and her family strive every day to keep Kolbe’s legacy very much alive. This post is the first installment of an entire series for this month. Please join us as Kim shares her powerful story. -Joan

The Beginning


I want to be completely raw and vulnerable with you because my story is a story of suffering and beauty. I was recently told that we are called to be the hands and feet of Christ. For some reason, that inspired me to share my story and to share my journey of grief and motherhood with you.


To truly understand our journey, we must start from the beginning.


My husband Colin and I met on a March for Life trip to Washington D.C. when I was fourteen and Colin seventeen. From there, it took a while for Colin to initiate dating, but we started dating and dated for a short period of time. I broke up with Colin and we kept that “love/hate” relationship for about a year.


Both of our families were involved in a movement within the Catholic faith, so we still had that connection. I remember seeing him his senior year of high school, when he got up in front of a group of families to share that he was doing a mission year with Regnum Christi. At that point, I was like, “Ah, what was I thinking? He was such a great, Catholic guy!” So, right before he left for his mission I sent him a text to tell him that I still had feelings for him and of course he played hard to get. Before he left, we met. He told me that if I waited the year that he was gone and didn’t date anyone then, then at that point we could talk about dating. But there were still no guarantees because he was discerning priesthood or it may just not work out.


Obviously, things did work out and God’s will was for us to marry. We married three years ago, on July 27, 2013. We were married at St. Anthony’s Catholic Church in Des Moines-, which was the same place Colin announced years prior that he would be doing his mission year with Regnum Christi.



Kim and Colin on their wedding day


In 2014, Colin and I had been trying to conceive for a couple months and in January 2015 found ourselves pregnant. I couldn’t believe it! I was so excited. Right away, I felt the connection with our baby. I knew at that moment, we were no longer two, but a family of three. Our love had expanded into this new form of life and we were responsible for loving, nurturing, and caring for our baby.


We kept our news to ourselves until about 9 weeks along in our pregnancy. To share the news, we got personalized wine labels that said, “Drink for me, baby Hurd arriving October 2015!” We gave our parents the bottles and both were thrilled. Right away, they were purchasing gender-neutral items and periodically stopping by to see how I was doing.


Overall, my first trimester was pretty “uneventful.” I was extremely exhausted from the beginning and felt really nauseous, but it was manageable. Not feeling so great was just a part of motherhood and I wanted to embrace it entirely.


At our first doctor’s appointment we were supposed to hear the heartbeat. I sat on the table and laid back. The doctor came in, put gel on my stomach and began the search for our little one. All we could hear was a sound that seemed like movement: swoosh, swoosh. The doctor turned to us and said the baby was moving. She told us that to elevate some of the stress of being first time parents she wanted to do an ultrasound. She said the baby is very active and that was a great sign. We went into the ultrasound room and there our baby was with such a strong heartbeat. It was all starting to feel real as we saw our baby on the screen.


As each day passed, I became more calm and the nerves began to subside. Society tells you that once you hear the heartbeat and/or make it past 12 weeks you are guaranteed a successful pregnancy. No one talks about the possibility of an in-utero diagnosis or infant loss.


Around 18 weeks, I started to experience pain and discomfort in my side. The doctor had me come in and we did an ultrasound of my kidneys to rule out a kidney stone. The tech looked around and did not see anything unusual. As she finished the ultrasound she asked if we would like to see our baby. Of course we did! So, she moved the wand down and there our baby was again with a healthy heartbeat and forming beautifully. She asked if we wanted to know the sex as she could tell. We had been going back on forth on whether we wanted to know or not. We decided we were going to find out, well, my patience decided in that moment that we would, anyways! She said, “It’s a boy!” Looking at Colin in that moment was unforgettable. He looked so full of joy. The tech told us that the doctor still wanted us to come in at our 20-week appointment and that we would be amazed at how much our baby would grow between now and then.



Kolbe Scott Hurd


Naming Our Son


We went back and forth throughout the first 18 weeks of my pregnancy. Finally, we decided upon a name that we thought was strong- Kolbe Scott Hurd. His first name was a result of two things. First, it came from St. Maximilian Kolbe. He was a strong saint and had a beautiful story in his devotion to God’s will. Second, that was literally the only name we both liked and could agree upon. His middle name came from Colin’s Dad’s name. His Dad passed away from Melanoma a year before we found out we were pregnant with Kolbe.  We wanted to incorporate his name in our son’s.


St Maximilian iPhone wp

St. Maxmilian Kolbe, design by Cassie Pease Designs


20 Weeks


Our 20-week appointment was first-thing in the morning. We sat in the waiting room together waiting to be called back. They called us back and started the ultrasound. As I looked at our son on the screen I was a little concerned. I was recalling the tech’s comment about the growth we should see.  The tech kept pausing and got up. She did that a couple times during our appointment. The last time she left the room, I turned to Colin and said, “I think something is wrong.”


The tech returned and escorted us to one of the exam rooms. My eyes were filling up with tears. I knew something wasn’t right. The doctor walked in and told us that the baby wasn’t hitting the measurements they would anticipate at this point. In addition, she had some concerns with his heart. Her hands were full of pamphlets. She said for the remainder of my pregnancy I would need to be seen, in addition to these appointments, by a high risk OB/GYN. She gave me tissues and escorted us out without scheduling my 24- week appointment. I left thinking, “Did they not schedule my follow-up appointment because they think our son will die between now and then?”


There was no way we would be returning to work that day, so we left in our separate cars to meet at home. I was crying. I called my sister, Katie. I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t know what was wrong. I felt helpless. She answered. I sobbed. I couldn’t even speak. When we got home we sat on the couch and embraced one another. We sobbed. I will never forget that moment- the uncertainty, anxiety, and fear. The three of us just sat there.


Please check back for Kolbe's Legacy: Part Two, coming soon.




We are parents to a lively, squirmy, joyful, life-loving one year-old. Before God made us her parents, our faith life looked very different than it does now.

We used to arrive very early for Mass to make sure we had enough time to pray and prepare ourselves beforehand.

I would journal during Mass and write notes during the Homily so I would retain more of what I learned during the Mass.

We attended Eucharistic Adoration once a week.

We were constantly reading enriching books or listening to talks about our Catholic faith.

We prayed together for a good fifteen minutes every night.

I was saying the Rosary often and had a lot of time to spend in reflection and prayer every day.

I would read through countless Catholic blogs and stayed up-to-date on everything developing with our Pope and our faith. I felt so "plugged in"!


Our little one just hit the nine month mark. HOW did this happen? Time has flown and I cannot believe she is so grown up already! Any week now she will be walking. She has teeth coming in constantly. She is on the move.....get out of her way!

I have to be honest....while I love watching her grow, explore, and discover the world around her, part of me mourns the loss of those days when she was cuddly, tiny, and well.....immobile! I could put her down in one spot and know she wasn't going to go anywhere or get into trouble. I could take her into Eucharistic Adoration with us and she would coo and sleep and snuggle the whole hour! Going to Mass was a breeze! Now, about 20 minutes in she's pushing and pulling for me to let her down so she can crawl through the mysterious tunnels under the pews and between the jungle of parishioners' legs. She wants to play on the hymn books like they're drums or she screams when I don't let her chew on the tithing envelopes.

On a daily basis, the tasks that were once super simple are getting to be much harder. She has outgrown her "click 'n go" system, so I can't strap her into her carseat carrier and move her seamlessly from the car to her stroller. Now, I have to completely take her out and either carry her or put her into an actual stroller. "Running" into the store takes longer. Going to a doctor appointment is more difficult because she is now wanting to crawl all over the floor, tear up the tissue paper on the table, eat the cotton swabs, etc. Am I complaining? No-I am SO grateful for this gift of motherhood! These are just my observations of this awesome adventure! This experience is helping me to understand how much of an adjustment it is for new moms through the first year. It also makes me appreciate and admire the moms who tackle the day-to-day with multiple kids! How DO you do it?!

My husband and I are completely open to as many children as God wants to give us, but I cannot help but wonder.... as a stay-at-home mom, will I be capable of juggling multiple children at different stages of development? While pondering this question, my gut tells me, "Absolutely. OF COURSE you can! Helllooooooooo Phillippians 4:13?! You are not in this alone, sister!" But as I dig even deeper into reflection, I think about all of those small (but HUGE) moments when a complete stranger has stepped up and opened the door for me when I was having trouble getting the stroller through; when a stranger in our pew at Mass started making goofy faces at our baby to distract her while she was crying; when a family member or friend graciously gave or let us borrow a super helpful baby item when they know my husband and I are agressively trying to save money and get out of student debt; or when someone in an online mom group took time out of their day to research and answer a question I had about breastfeeding! 

While we struggle to stay above water in our overwhelmed minds and think, "HOW am I going to get through today, tomorrow, or when she starts walking?!", we have to remember that it really does take a village and we aren't in this alone. The other day, I was visiting a fellow momma friend of mine and, no sooner had I come through the door with my little one and she offers me HOMEMADE COOKIE DOUGH/CHOCOLATE CUPCAKES. WHAT?! These little things are like God filling our lungs with fresh air and giving us a little rush of adrenaline. Moms, He loves you so much that He is constantly finding little ways to spoil you and push you through your hard days. That sunrise you're admiring on your way to drop off your child at daycare at way-too-early-o'clock in the morning? He is written ALL OVER that! The extra few minutes that allow you to finish your meal or drink your cup of coffee while they're still hot while baby sleeps? Yep. God.

Whether you're a working mom, a stay-at-home mom, a fostering and/or adoptive mom, a single mom, a frustrated and sleep-deprived mom.... He's right there with you and sending you His strength through small acts of kindness from others or little moments of bliss in the midst of our crazy days (and nights!). Take a step back, look around you, and know that He is there. If it's really hard for you to see Him in the day-to-day, don't be afraid to reach out! Your fellow moms believe in you and we are here for you! 

Here are some ways to build your "village" and help you on this incredible and oftentimes crazy adventure!

1. Become active and involved in your parish. Seek out mom groups, playdates, women's prayer groups or Bible studies. Become part of a "village" that helps other moms and may in-turn offer you support when you need it!

2. Volunteer with a local pro-life or crisis pregnancy center that really helps women who are in need.

Not only are you participating in an INCREDIBLE act of mercy, but serving other moms will give you so much perspective and makes you so grateful for what you have. It also helps you channel any negative thoughts into doing something good for another. AND you are channeling Him through your own hands and feet and becoming a support network and village for other moms!

3. Join a facebook/online Catholic mom group.

Most major US cities have a Catholic mom group on facebook. I've been a part of one for a while now and I cannot tell you enough what an amazing and valuable resource it has been! So many moms have tons of helpful wisdom and information to share and you can tap into it from the privacy and comfort of your own home! Not to mention, it's a huge comfort to know there are moms out there rooting for you and praying for you, too!

4. Follow a handfull of quality mom blogs.

Some of the blogs I follow have been great resources in teaching me ways to balance my new life as a mom, how to be thrifty, parenting skills and tricks, etc. A few of my favorites are: Carrots for Michaelmas, Whole Parenting Family, A Knotted Life, Under Thy Roof, Now One Foot, and Mercy in the Mess. These moms are warriors and are so generous with their honesty, wisdom, and encouragement.

5. Reach out!

Mommas, the devil is all too aware of the power of motherhood and he is constantly trying to break it down. That insecurity you're feeling? That voice that tells you not to reach out for help because people will think you are a bad mom? That's him. Tell him to SHUT UP and STEP OFF! The journey of motherhood is made all the richer when we share it with other moms. One of the most amazing parts of my journey has been the wealth of information and wisdom I've been blessed with when I've reached out to women in my family or girlfriends who have kids or are doting aunts, Grandmothers, and Godmothers. They've been there and are so happy to share their advice and encouragement! 

On a greater scale, when we come together as moms to support each other, we are empowering one another. We are creating a culture that values all life and shows moms in crisis or unexpected pregnancies that there is help and support for them and they are not in this alone. We are creating a culture that tells new moms who are scared or are doubting their abilities as moms, "Hey! YOU are AMAZING and YOU have what it takes! God gave you this incredible body and the wisdom to bring up this baby. He believes in you and I believe in you! We're here to help you!" 

I want to leave you with this amazing quote I read in a beautiful publication by April Oursler Armstrong from the 1960s. She was so brilliant and her message is absolutely relevant now as it was then! 

From: How to Have a Baby, by April Oursler Armstrong

"THE MOST tremendous thing a human being can do is to consecrate the Host at Mass. The next most tremendous thing is to bear a child for baptism. A priest by God's power changes the substance of bread and wine into the flesh and blood and soul and living presence of Christ. But you as a mother, by God's power, change the substance of your own flesh and blood into a child. You are bringing forth a person who will become part of the Mystical Body. That is a sacred and overwhelming task. You honor the nuns, who make altar bread, the artists who create chalices or build churches, altar boys carrying wine and water. Your honor in pregnancy is not different. The child whose heartbeat rests on yours is one day to be transformed spiritually into Christ, to hold His life in the chalice of his own. I think perhaps one reason God did not choose women as His priests is because in motherhood all are priestesses unseen and unsung."

If you'd like to read this phenomenal piece in its entirety, go HERE. It is brilliant, beautiful, and will leave you in awe of our God who has entrusted these precious little souls to US. He believes in YOU. He has chosen YOU to be their mother. Now, you must believe in yourself! 




In part two of this series, I'll be listing some recommended items for helping the new parents welcome baby! For photos and current pricing, click on the product name for a hyperlink! Feel free to leave a comment if you'd like to share your recommendations!

1. Marimekko Bib

These are so durable, easy to use, and most important....clean! Just rinse with soap and water underneath the faucet and hang to dry!You can also machine wash for a deeper clean and hang to dry. The bib clasps with a soft velcro and have a pocket in front to catch the run off from baby. You can find all kinds of designs online. They run around $20 for one and around $38 for a set of two. They seem a bit pricey, but trust me-they are so worth it!

2. Phase 5 Bottles

My aunt and cousin surprised me with these at my shower and I am so glad! I love how durable and safe these are to use. They have a glass interior and plastic exterior so if baby drops it, it doesn't shatter! They are very easy to cean and are BPA free! You can find them at, at Kohls, or on Amazon. They run around $20 for a 4oz bottle starter set and around $40 for a full starter set. They are so durable we haven't even had to use the glass or nipple replacements!

3. Hallmark Gift Card

So mom can go shopping for all of her baby sentimental needs!

4. Gift card to a nice restaurant or coffee house

So mom and dad can have a date after baby is born!

5. Aden and Anais Muslin Swaddle Blankets

These are a must have-especially for summer babies! They work great to swaddle baby, drape over mom during breastfeeding, lay on the floor for tummy time, wipe spit-up, cover baby when they are in the stroller/carseat, etc. They are so useful, durable, and easy to clean! I LOVE their beautiful designs, too! You can find them at Target for around $40 for a set of four, or you can pay a bit more for organic cotton at They have so many beautiful prints to choose from and they are SUPER durable!

6. Baby Banz Headphones

Life shouldn't stop once you've had a baby! We bought these to protect baby's ears when we're on the dance floor at weddings, at loud sporting events, or concerts. They are so worth the investment and they are super adorable! You can find them on Amazon or at Buy Buy Baby. They are usually around $20. 

7. Ingenuity Booster Seat

Save money and space and get the new parents this smaller and efficient booster seat! It has a removeable and easily-stored tray that you can snap on, and an insert that you can remove when baby needs more room in the chair! We could start using this to prop up our little one around 4 months and just strap it onto our dining room chairs when she joins us at the table during meals! It's super easy to wipe it down and the detachable tray is dishwasher safe and fits easily into the sink for washing. It is very light and can be taken with you to grandma and grandpa's house or for a family night out at a restaurant. Runs around $40 and can be found at Babies R Us or Target.

8. Amazon Prime Membership

We have saved SO. MUCH. MONEY. on shipping for the various odds and ends we've needed to buy for baby. From diapers to clothing to baby gear-this membership pays for itself! It is $99 a year and has so many benefits. Not only do you get free shipping on almost every item you are looking for, but you also have access to free online streaming of great movies, family-friendly programming, tv shows, and music. 

9. J.J. Cole Diaper Changing Clutch

This is one of my favorite baby products! It's super durable, cute, and is easy to throw into your diaper bag or stroller when you're on the go! You can even buy a spare to keep in your car or keep at Grandma and Grandpa's house. There is a concealed inside pocket to store wipes and diapers! The interior lining is waterproof and easy to clean. It runs around $20 at Target, Babies R Us, or Buy Buy Baby.

10. Eye Spy or Peek-a-boo Bag

These are a hit with little ones! They just love to sift through them, shake them up, and search for the interesting objects inside! You can find them on Amazon for around $17. They are totally worth it!

I hope this blog series was helpful to you! If you have any further questions on a product, don't hesitate to contact me!

*I do not make any commission from these recommendations. I am just passing on my motherly advice!

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It is RAINING babies right now. Every where I turn, it seems another friend or family member is pregnant! I LOVE babies and we are so blessed to live in an age where there are so many thoughtful, useful, and clever gifts to shower on expectant mothers. 

When I was pregnant with our little one, I found it SO overwhelming to build a registry. There is SO MUCH out there! We felt incredibly blessed that so many people wanted to come to our shower and spoil our family! During that time, my husband and I were in a tight financial place so every gift was very welcomed and NEEDED.

So, as I was researching item after item, I kept thinking to myself, "Will I actually end up using this or will it end up collecting dust? When will I need this item? Can I do without this item? Is there a simpler way of doing this baby-caring task that doesn't involve a big and bulky piece of equipment?"

As you go shopping for the expectant moms in your life, or if you are expecting a baby of your own, here is a list of thoughtful items I've put together that many of us don't know of or think about! In this installment, I will be recommending items for the expectant mother during her pregnancy. In part two, I will cover recommended items to put in a registry or give at a baby shower!

For moms during their pregnancy:

1. Baby Bargains

This book is AWESOME. A friend recommended this to me and it was a life and money saver! They come out with a new addition every year so it is up-do-date on all the latest trends and products in babyland. It contains honest reviews and safety ratings on everything from baby-wearing wraps to diapers to cribs to strollers, etc. The main thing I loved about this book was that it's main goal was to help you save money by simplifying the baby gear buying process so you don't overspend on things you don't need, and when you do spend money, it's money well-spent. This makes a great "Congratulations, you're pregnant!" gift!

2. Hallmark Gift Card

Moms, let's be honest. We are SO sentimental and thoughtful. It's one of the amazing gifts God gave us as women! When I was expecting, I wanted to catalogue every milestone and sentimental moment! It only got more intense when baby was born! Hallmark has some BEAUTIFUL gifts and creative ways to memorialize the motherhood journey. I love their picture frames for holding ultrasound images and I really love their archival and acid-free photo albums. I REALLY love their beautiful and thoughtful Baby's First Year books! We have this one and just love it! It even contains tailored pages for mom's whose babes are growing in their hearts instead of their wombs! 

Also, if you are thinking about making a creative birth announcement for baby's grandparents, you can surprise them with this really neat story book where the grandparent can record their voice, reading the book to baby! There are many other titles to choose from.

3. Pool Membership

Find out where the expectant mom's local YMCA or health club is and offer to buy her a pool membership for her pregnancy. When I was pregnant, it felt SO GOOD to walk in the pool when my legs were tired and swollen from being so pregnant-especially in the final months! We were strapped for cash, but felt it was necessary to keep me healthy and sane during the last trimester. 

4. Pregnancy Journal

A friend of ours gifted us with a pregnancy journal so that I could catalogue every emotion, thought, discomfort, health concern, baby movement, etc. I love reading over it and know I will look back at it should we find ourselves blessed with another pregnancy! It is also a thoughtful way to remind the mom-to-be that her journey is so important and sacred! 

5. Pregnancy Devotional

Motherhood is physical, emotional, and also very spiritual! Here is a BEAUTIFUL testiment to the sacred vocation of motherhood. It can be read as a devotional. My brother gave this to me several years ago and I loved reading it in the months and days leading up to our baby's birth. I found it comforting, encouraging, empowering, and so relevant-even though it was written over fifty years ago! Here is the link so you can view and print it off for free!

How to Have a Baby, by April Oursler Armstrong

Another beautiful devotional I found was A Catholic Mother's Companion to Pregnancy: Walking with Mary from Conception to Baptism. I didn't find it in time to use it myself, but it looks really neat. If you get it and try it, let me know what you think!

6. Massage Gift Certificate

When our baby was born, my neck and shoulders became SO sore from bending over and admiring our newborn and from breastfeeding. My husband is very good at giving shoulder rubs, so thankfully I didn't need the skills of a professional masseuse. Not all moms are so lucky! A massage certificate for her to use before or after birth is a great gift! It doesn't have to be a long massage-even a 15 minute chair massage at those walk-by masseuses at a shopping mall work great!

7. Hospital Self-Care Kit

Labor can be very unpredictable, so no matter how long the hospital stay is, here are some thoughtful items to put together for the mom-to-be so she can feel loved and pampered-even during delivery and recovery!

-Cozy slippers or socks with bottom grips

-Non-scented chapstick or lip gloss-I LOVE Waxelene-you can find this at Whole Foods. It is safe for everyone and is all-natural

-Green Tea packets-this is safe for pregnant and nursing mommas. A hot cup of tea during my recovery was so nice! Not every hospital cafeteria has this. 

-Hair head bands with grip-my hair was a mess during and post-birth, and having a working hair band to pull back all of the fly-aways was so nice!

-Hair ties

-Soft bathrobe (if mom doesn't already have one)

-Fragrance free lotion-Hospitals can be very dry and this is something that can be used to rub on sore feet and calves pre/post-birth

-Large water bottle with straw-Sometimes the nurses don't refill your water as quickly and as often as you like, so having a large container to keep you hydrated is very necessary! The straw makes drinking easier while you're in labor and need the use of your arms!

-Large pack of sensitive and fragrance-free diaper wipes-No body tells you what a mess birth can there. So having wet wipes on hand to keep you feeling fresh and clean is really helpful! These are also great for cleaning up messes, washing off make-up, etc. 

-Maxi-pads-See above reasons

-Writing pens

-Pack of Kleenex

-Mint Sugar-free gum

-Throat lozenges-because the hospital can be very dry

-Contacts case and solution, if they use contact lenses

-Small bottle of hand sanitizer

8. Organize a Meal Train

Once the new proud parents and baby are home and resting, it is a HUGE relief not having to plan and prep meals. You can use an online organizer like to plan a meal schedule so friends and family can pitch in a meal or more during the first few weeks after baby arrives!

Tips: Make sure to check in with the parents-to-be to find out any dietary needs, a drop off location, best times to drop off, and a contact phone number. Also, be sure to confirm that it's okay to give out their address. This meal organization site is password protected, so only those given the password can see the meal recipient's contact info.

*I do not make any commission from these recommendations. I am just passing on my motherly advice!