Joy In The Journey

Joy In The Journey

Joy In The Journey is a podcast dedicated to supporting families with critically ill kids. Life brings unexpected circumstances, but choosing joy makes all the difference. Your host, Jamie Freedlund, knows this better than anyone. Her world changed when her daughter, Mattea Joy, was born with several severe medical complications. Jamie and her husband were given a very small chance that Mattea would survive at birth, but were able to share nine and a half wonderful months with her that they didn't expect to have. This experience led to a deep level of gratitude, shifting Jamie’s life as a result, and allowing her to discover joy in every day—even the tough ones. Most of Mattea’s life was spent in the hospital. It was there that Jamie came to understand what it means to be a parent of a critically ill child and the challenges that go with it. Through this podcast, she hopes to help other families going through similar struggles. Join us on a journey of connection and learning through beautiful stories, expert content, and finding more joy in the everyday!


November 29, 2022 39 min

As parents, we try to shelter our children from as much pain and danger as possible. But for a parent of a child with Brittle Bone Disease (Osteogenesis Imperfecta), even something as soft as a carpet can lead to a broken bone.

Rachel Glad’s son, Nathan, was diagnosed at birth with a severe form of this disease, which causes him to break a bone on a monthly basis (if not more) due to his bones being extremely fragile. But his famil...

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This week felt like the perfect time to share my sincere thanks and gratitude to everyone who has been a part of the podcast.

It's been such a wild ride since I recorded the first episode. I've had the pleasure of speaking with so many amazing human beings, and it fills my cup to hear their stories and nuggets of truth and to have the privilege to share them with you.

In this episode, I wanted to talk about how gratitude is...

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Becoming a caregiver is typically not a journey you ease into: much like the poem "Welcome To Holland" reminds us, it's often like suddenly landing in rainy Holland when you set off to vacation in sunny Italy.

"But... if you spend your life mourning the fact that you didn't get to Italy, you may never be free to enjoy the very special, the very lovely things ... about Holland."

And since November was recentl...

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As a mom who has had a sick child in the NICU, and later in the follow-up clinic, I cannot imagine how different our journey would have been if I had not received the help and care that I did from Mattea’s medical team. Being in the NICU with your child can be an extremely scary experience and their support makes a world of a difference.

It’s my pleasure to introduce you to the doctors that completely changed my experience, Dr. Bre...

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When tragedy strikes, it’s normal to want to turn inwards and shut out the rest of the world. But while focusing on the challenge ahead is important, it is also important to remember to stay open to receiving medical and emotional support to care packages… and even unexpected friendships.

When Mattea was in the NICU, and I was in the thick of adapting to this life-changing event, Joann Martyn came into my life. Her baby boy, Theo, ...

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As a parent of a child facing a medical challenge, it can be tempting to try to put on as many hats as possible: mom/dad, caregiver, nurse, and sometimes even a medical expert.

We often hear doctors ask patients not to Google a diagnosis, but seeking out as much information as possible in the face of a challenge can feel like regaining some control. However, the problem is that carrying all this information can take parents away fr...

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When a parent drops off their child at daycare, getting a phone call during the day is rarely a good thing. And for Tim Eaker, it was life-changing.

On Valentine’s Day in 2014, Tim received a call from daycare that his son could not breathe and was headed to the hospital in an ambulance. After a few weeks in the ICU, Piersen’s medical team broke the news that his son Piersen had been shaken at the daycare, which caused massive brai...

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Announcing a pregnancy and bringing a baby into the world can be one of life's most joyful experiences. Yet, according to the CDC, 1 in 5 couples struggle with infertility, and it's a topic many people don't feel comfortable talking about when they're in the middle of it.

That's why I invited Laura Andersen to share her story with us today. Laura and her husband struggled with infertility for four years. After y...

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Navigating infant or pregnancy loss is confusing, heartbreaking, and can feel very lonely. So many things become difficult, including simple questions like “How many kids do you have?”

Since October is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month, I wanted to invite a guest that would be able to help the many families out there who may be walking through life after the loss of a child.

I’m thrilled to introduce you to Joy Harris. Joy ...

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“Our body is made up of water, and music vibrates us.” - Paul Cardall

If you've ever had the perfect song start playing on the radio when you needed it most, listened to a song that made you cry, or felt nostalgic as music carried you back in time, then you know just how powerful music can be.

I'm beyond delighted to welcome Paul Cardall to the show to have him share his insights on how music can help us heal in times of gr...

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We’re often told that to be “tough,” we have to push through our pain, show no signs of distress, and simply persevere.

But Steve Magness’ newest book, Do Hard Things, challenges that definition and outlines a much more beautiful and useful way to understand what it truly means to “be tough.”

And since such a huge aspect of finding joy in our journey is to learn how to embrace the less pleasant moments in our lives, I’m thrilled to...

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Today’s episode is a very tender story about loss, and while it might tug at your heartstrings, it’s also an incredibly inspiring story about finding joy and hope within grief.

Only three short days after taking her very first child home, Heather Earl noticed a devastating rash on her little newborn, Shealyn. After rushing to the doctor, getting redirected to the children’s ER, and having to wait two agonizing weeks for a diagnosis...

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Is it possible to experience incredible joy through moments of extreme pain?

Jennifer Trepanier has dedicated her life’s work to bringing happiness into the lives of those going through difficult health journeys.

But she is no stranger to hardship herself: having struggled with a rare autoimmune condition her entire life and even facing the prospect of death, Jennifer joined her personal experience with a Masters Degree in psychoph...

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When you’re in the thick of a hospital journey or visit, even the simplest tasks can leave you feeling disheartened. Suddenly, finding parking, getting food, asking questions, and preparing for the next visit can become overwhelming and daunting.

But there are extraordinary professionals out there whose entire career revolves around guiding, comforting, and empowering parents and children during their hospital visits and stays. My ...

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Walking into the NICU world for the very first time can feel scary and overwhelming. But with the right support, a little bit of hope, and some expert advice it can turn into a space where you and your family feel heard, supported, and safe.

If you or anyone you know is navigating life in the NICU, I hope you’ll share this special episode with them.

We brought together a group of wonderful professionals to form our NICU Professiona...

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In 2005, Dr. Michele Arnold went through a very traumatic loss. Before delivering her daughter Camille, she was told there was no heartbeat at her final OB scan. A few days later, she delivered her stillborn baby girl.

But even though life threw one of the toughest challenges at her, Michele has found ways to create something beautiful from grief. She shares her story openly and with a lot of vulnerability, and I’m so thankful to h...

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NICU doctors and nurses work tirelessly and passionately to keep babies safe and their families informed. But the experience and uncertainty that comes with it is never easy. 

Thankfully, there are truly amazing nurses out there that help soften the blow of the experience. And today’s guest is Kelley Thompson, and she is a ray of sunshine to anyone who has had the pleasure of meeting her.

Kelley has been a neonatal nurse for the pa...

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Navigating an illness with a loved one is a journey that requires perseverance, strength, and community. But when you add a hospitalization away from home to the mix, it can truly feel unfathomable. I can certainly relate to this after my own personal experience with Mattea.

Thankfully, I had the honor of witnessing firsthand the love, hope, and community that lives within the walls of the Ronald McDonald Houses.

It's my privil...

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How can we take the traumatic challenges that life presents us, like a difficult diagnosis or the loss of a child, and create something beautiful? 

Today's guest is Jessica Lindberg, and her story is a lovely example of what is possible when you let your passion be your guide. 

Jessica is a mom to four beautiful boys (three living) who tragically lost her oldest son Ethan to congenital heart disease when he was only seven. And ...

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It’s perfectly natural for people to take things for granted from time to time. But when you’re raising a child who is completely blind, today’s guest will tell you that you definitely gain a new perspective and truly see the beauty in everything.

Joining me for this inspiring conversation is Nicole Carr. Nicole is a nurse and a beautiful mom to 3 kiddos, Nora, Aubrey, and Mac. Now that she has seen the challenges firsthand, she is...

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