The days after first-time parents welcome their baby to the world are supposed to be some of the happiest times of their lives as they begin the adventure of parenthood together.
For California dad Matt Logelin, the moment he and his wife saw their baby girl for the first time was one of the best moments of his life. However, 27 hours later, his entire life was turned upside down and the best time of his life also became the worst…
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High School Sweethearts
When Matt Logelin met his future wife, Liz, in a Minnetonka, Minnesota high school, they instantly had chemistry and started dating. And when it was time to go to college, they decided to stay together even though Matt was staying in Minnesota and Liz had chosen a school in California.
Matt and Liz worked hard to maintain their long-distance relationship. Their patience and commitment paid off when they were finally reunited for good when Matt moved to Los Angeles after he got his master’s degree from Loyola University in Chicago…
Life In L.A.
Liz had been working as an executive at Disney and once Matt moved to California so they could be together, he got a job as a project manager at Yahoo!. Everything fell into place and after so long apart, it was the happiest time of their lives thus far.
New Level Of Happiness
As their careers and their relationship flourished, the couple didn’t think life could get much better. However, Matt and Liz discovered a new level of happiness in 2007 when Liz discovered she was pregnant with their first child…
It was a thrilling time for the first-time parents, but the pregnancy wasn’t easy for Liz, who suffered from severe morning sickness. At one point, the morning sickness got so bad that doctors ordered her to take bed rest for three weeks.
After those three weeks, however, Liz was admitted to the hospital for two more weeks of bed rest. During those weeks, Matt had started posting updates on their travel blog so friends and family members could stay up to date with what was going on…
On March 24, 2008, Liz gave birth to baby Madeline after she was rushed into surgery for an emergency C-section. Liz only got to see her baby girl for a few seconds before the nurses took her away to the neonatal intensive care unit.
The Good News
“Madeline is here! The proud parents will continue to update everyone on our beautiful baby. Look forward to even more good news,” Matt wrote in an update on their blog. But, tragically, there wouldn’t be any more good news to share in his next post…
27 Hours Later…
27 hours after giving birth, Liz couldn’t wait to see her daughter and hold her for the very first time. But when she stood up for the first time since the C-section to get in the wheelchair, she complained that she felt light-headed and then fainted.
Nurses told Matt it was very common for new moms to faint shortly after giving birth. Then they realized it wasn’t just a harmless fainting spell but an emergency. “All of a sudden it hit me,” Matt said. “She was going to die, today, here in this hospital. And she was never going to hold her baby…”
Gone In An Instant
The nurses and doctors fought to save Liz, but nothing could save her. Liz died almost instantly after suffering from a pulmonary embolism, which is a dangerous condition where an artery in the lungs becomes blocked by a blood clot.
It should have been the happiest time in Matt’s life, but at the same time, it was the worst time of his life. Not only was he grieving the sudden loss of his 30-year-old wife, but he was struggling with the realization that he now had to raise Madeline all on his own…
Hanging On By A Thread
“I always thought I’d be a good parent alongside Liz,” Matt said. “Doing it alone had never occurred to me.” The grief nearly consumed him, but Matt knew he had to keep it together for the sake of their daughter. Soon after returning home from the hospital, Matt was struggling so he reached out for support from an online parenting forum run by his home town’s newspaper, The Minnesota Star Tribune.
Matt also turned to his blog, which became a place he could speak honestly about what he was going through. “Liz’s death has really f***ed me up,” he wrote in a post from April 2008. But then something unexpected happened…
The blog was attracting more and more readers every day. At first, they offered their sympathies. But as some time passed, readers began offering advice and support. A group of local mothers that found the blog even invited him to join their parenting group and brought him food when they noticed he was rapidly losing weight.
Life Goes On
The support from the blog was invaluable for Matt since he was not only navigating the world of parenting for the first time after the death of his wife, but all their family lived hours away in another state. As time went on, the blog turned into a sort of scrapbook of his life with Madeline…
A Love Letter
“In many ways, it’s a love letter to Madeline and to Liz,” Matt said. “Liz will never read it, of course. I want Madeline to know that her dad didn’t just curl up in a ball and start drinking heavily. I want her to know I was out there, doing as much as I could for her, and trying to make her as happy as I could.”
A Place To Cope
However, Matt had always planned on stopping the blog after a year. But each day, 50,000 people were visiting his blog, which was no longer just a place where he was getting support. The blog had transformed into a space where young widows and widowers went to find ways to cope…
From Tragedy To Hope
Because of the blog’s success, Matt was able to quit his job in 2009 so he could take a trip to India with Madeline and work on his memoir called Two Kisses for Maddy, which went on to become a New York Times bestseller. Matt also started The Liz Logelin Foundation to help families struggling after the loss of a parent.
Time Heals All Wounds
While Matt will never stop missing Liz, the pain and grief of her loss slowly went away over the years. According to Matt, his now 9-year-old daughter is identical to her mother, both in her looks and her mannerisms. And while Matt has found love again, he talks about Liz every day so Madeline will never forget her mother.