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Woman shares how she’s coping with her pregnancy loss using the arts

Woman shares how she's coping with her pregnancy loss using the arts
Woman shares how she's coping with her pregnancy loss using the arts(Fort Wayne's NBC)
Updated: Oct. 4, 2021 at 4:02 PM EDT
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FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Fort Wayne’s NBC) - October is ‘Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness’ month and one women in Fort Wayne is sharing her personal story about how she’s coping using dance.

One in fort women are affected by pregnancy or infant loss and Mandie Kolkman has gone through it herself.

“In February 2021 my husband and I found out we were pregnant,” Kolkman said. “A few weeks later, we found out we unexpectedly lost it.”

Kolkman is the artistic director at the Fort Wayne Dance Collective. After that loss, she began to choreograph a piece to get through her pain.

“While I was creating that piece, I became pregnant again,” she said. “I was so hopeful, my husband and I thought surely this is going to be a better outcome, but unfortunately it wasn’t.”

Kolkman experienced a second loss within months of each other.

She says she continued working on her piece called ‘Rising Sun Blues’ with her dancers at the Fort Wayne Dance Collective.

“There’s moments where each dancer is dancing while others are doing different choreography,” Kolkman said. “The world kept going while I was grieving. That was one of the most challenging moments.”

Kolkman says, as a dancer, she expresses her emotions through performance art.

“Since I don’t have words, this is best thing I can do,” she said.

Sunday would have been her daughter’s due date and that’s when she decided it was time to open up and share what she’s been through.

“When the due date came around for the first baby, I was trying to figure out how to recognize her,” she said. “So many women in our community who have been through this, got it, and that meant so much to me.”

Kolkman says pregnancy and infant loss isn’t talked about enough and she wants to start that conversation in our community.

Woman shares how she's coping with her pregnancy loss using the arts
Woman shares how she's coping with her pregnancy loss using the arts(Fort Wayne's NBC)

“For women who are dealing with body issues, infertility, miscarriages, self-doubt; I encourage them to engage in the arts,” she said. “We can get through things together, there’s no reason for us to suffer alone.”

Kolkman says her experience has inspired her to reach out to help other women and help them process their grief in the same way she did using the arts.

If you would like to learn more about the Fort Wayne Dance Collective, click her

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