• Informed Pregnancy and Parenting Project
  • Feb 14, 23
  • 46 min read

52. Ep. 323 – Christina Perri , 2 of 3: After – Informed Pregnancy Podcast

Elliot: Welcome to the Informed Pregnancy and Parenting Podcast. I'm your host, Dr. Elliot Berlin.

You have tuned into Part 2 of a two-part pre-birth episode. My guest today is Christina Perri, and we’re going to jump right in from New Year of 2020 when Christina had a beautiful husband, child, and was nine weeks pregnant at Disneyland and took an incredible picture of what was supposed to be amazing New Year. For none of us did it turn out like that and especially for you, what happens next?

Christina: Okay. So, I really enjoyed our trip, I have to say. We were there for a whole week. We were in Florida and 2020 came. And, as you know, the whole world thought it was going to be the best year ever. Everyone had really interesting, beautiful dreams about it. And I was pregnant, so I just thought this was going to be amazing. And we flew back to New Jersey. I want to say it was January 5th, and I went in for what would have been my 10-week checkup. But I went in at week 11. So, I must have been a smidge late for the appointment and there was no heartbeat.

So, I experienced my very first miscarriage. And the truth is this, there was a heartbeat at our 8-week checkout. So, I’m not sure at this point in time in my life what has happened. It was also so fast how I went from the doctor’s office where they told us that the baby had no heartbeat. They sent us right to the hospital for a DNC. That happened really fast. The OB said, “Do you want to do a testing on the embryo? I think it had stopped at 10 weeks.” So, they considered the little life an embryo, and they asked if I wanted to testing. And I was frazzled. And I remember being in shock and just saying, “No!”

Because here’s the thing, there’s something really beautiful about the advancement of how we talk about miscarriage now in 2022. But I’ve read so much about it now. The information is there now. The support groups are there now. But what I also know is that it’s one in four, and it’s so common. This is, you know, voices echoing in my head, “You’re not alone. You’re not alone. This is really common. This is really common. It’s not your fault. It’s not your fault. It’s not your fault.” So, I didn’t even think twice to do any testing. So, I said no.

And I don’t know if I regret that or not. I just wanted to point that out that it was offered to me and I said, “No, it’s fine.” Because I just thought this was just random. Like the randomness of it was the thing that carried me through. I’m not religious anymore. I don’t practice a certain faith. I have more of sort of a universal love kind of faith and a higher power in my sobriety. So, I didn’t lean on any faith to think it happens for a reason or not. That actually didn’t make me feel better. So, I just kind of went with, genetic abnormality. Completely random. Happens to one in four women. We’re going to move forward.” I was very sort of medical and scientific about it, if I’m being honest. That was the only thing that made me feel better.

People made me necklaces with a Capricorn color because this was January 10th of 2020. That would have been their zodiac sign. I kind of rejected all of that and was just, “No, it’s random. It wasn’t my fault. It happens.” I’m now part of the club, right? It’s a humongous club. No one wants to be part of it, right? But I did not feel alone.

And I will say this is where the social media meets my story in the most beautiful way. So, social media is weird. The internet is weird. People, strangers knowing everything about your life is totally weird. And then, when you go through something like what I went through, I just want to note that I decided to share about it right away. We had a picture with Mickey Mouse holding a little onesie that said “baby,” and Carmella being like this, and Mickey Mouse being like this. And we have an announcement photo that I was six days away from posting. And so, I said that in my post. I said, “I lost the baby at 11 weeks and we were a week away from sharing it with the world.” And I thought I absolutely should share this, right? This was my first time not sharing about something vulnerable because I’ve been doing that my whole career. But this was my first thing to really qualify me into this world of infertility. This was the first thing. Because before that, everything had been just normal with Carmella.

So, now, all of a sudden, I posted this and I’ve never received more comments, love, direct messages, people reached out. It was bigger than my career. I’m not even going to lie. I didn’t know that this community was bigger than the community of people that listen to my music. Or maybe they’re the same thing. Maybe we’re all just growing up together, you know what I mean? Like, the women and the people who like my music, truthfully, might be in their 30s, all making babies. I don’t know. There was something that felt so authentic, you know? It didn’t feel like people out of the woodwork. It felt like my family reaching out. People that had been, you know, following my story or whatever. So, anyway, that happens. We go home, and Carmella is about to turn two. She truthfully did not understand the concept that there was a baby in my belly. Even though Carmella is pretty brilliant. We cried and held her in our little foyer.

I remember it happening. Our nanny, Meredith was there, who’s a huge part of the story. And our parents came. My mom and dad, Paul’s mom and dad, my brother and my sister-in-law. Everyone came to just cook and hang out with us. Because I was recovering now from whatever the DNC was. You know, they knock you out. I literally knew nothing what just happened to my body. I was flushed, had a fever for three days, but we were loved and supported through the whole thing. Like, the most warm love and messages, and flowers. We had a zillion flowers in the house, and it was really intense. It was like for how common it is, it really did feel like a loss. You know, I’m not going to lie. This was my first one. And sure, I had no idea what was coming later in my life, but I allowed it to be incredibly painful. I went to therapy. And three weeks later, everyone said, “Go back to work.” So, I had a trip to Nashville planned, and everyone said, “Go!” Because writing is so healing anyway. And that’s all I do is, you know, tell the truth and whatever. And so, I figured I would write a song about it and get a tattoo, which I did.

So, what’s interesting is this tattoo is a rose. I knew that we wanted to name that baby Rosie. So, I got this rose tattoo and I wrote a song called “Roses in the Rain,” which is maybe my favorite song I’ve ever written. And it’s on my Lullaby album and it’s on my new album. So, there’s two versions of it, one where Chris Martin of a small band called “Coldplay” is singing with me on my Lullaby record, and that’s a whole other story for another day. And then, one where Carmella is singing in a bridge and the trumpet, it’s very pretty in the album version. So, there are two versions of that song that I’m really proud of. The truth is, because everyone thinks I wrote that for Rosie, who then later comes into the story at the end of 2020. But this song was actually written about my experience with miscarriage and the little baby that we lost in January of 2020, who we didn’t get to know.

The day everybody went back to work, I remember it was a Monday. And I thought, “Wow! This is so strange.” Like, I just have to move on with my life, and I felt blown open. And so, I remember sitting with these two brilliant songwriters in Nashville named Ian Fetchick and Daniel Toshin. That was the last day because I was like, I told him on the first day, I wanted to write about it but I wasn’t ready. And then, on the last day of our week trip, we wrote this song. And I think it says it all, about grief and loss, without saying it too on the nose. You know, it’s more poetic.

Elliot: Yeah. You know what? We’ve been through miscarriage ourself several times. And also, I’ve been on that journey with so many people. And it just especially when you were ready to have the baby, you were excited for the pregnancy, even though it’s common, even though it was in the first trimester when it’s common, was towards the end of the first trimester, which I think is even harder. But it’s always hard. It’s always a loss, and I’m just glad you got a chance to process that with a kind of a wall of warmth and love around you, and that you made a song once again that will help other people. So, let’s go into break with a little bit of that and we’ll be right back.

[“Roses in the Rain” playing]

“Maybe in a little while,

I’ll put some coffee on.

Can’t stop wondering where the spirits go

when they are gone.

Maybe it was tomorrow,

but it felt like today.

You and I were walking.

You and I walking.

You and I were walking

through the roses in the rain.

Elliot: Welcome back to the Informed Pregnancy Podcast. We’re talking to Christina Perri. I feel like I’ve been talking to you for like 1,000 years.

Christina: I was waiting.

Elliot: I had to. I had to. And now, that’s going to be in my head for like 1,000 years.

Christina: They’re going to know maybe that’s how long we’ve actually been friends. We don’t even know.

Elliot: It could be. It feels like it.

Christina: I know.

Elliot: I will tell you that much, it feels like it. January 2020 started badly for you with a very tough experience. And then, probably a couple months after that, I was in the ICU trying to stay alive. And then, I recovered, thankfully. And then, you, you continue.

Christina: Yeah. After Nashville, I come home. We immediately go into the pandemic. I think it was late, at the end of February. But I want to say that while I was in Nashville, this is now a month after the miscarriage, I grew a very large cyst on my ovary. I was in excruciating pain in Nashville. Actually, flew home early because they weren’t sure if they needed to operate because it was 6 centimeters. And, apparently, it was the cyst that grows when you get pregnant. I forget the name of it, has a Latin name. And it grows with every pregnancy. But when you lose the pregnancy, it’s supposed to then shrink, and mine didn’t. It did the opposite and it grew very big and it hurt. I flew home and I had to get monitored for this.

Now, I’m only bringing this up because this was one of the, I don’t know, I think red flags that I really missed. But here I am now in 2020 and it starts out with a miscarriage, thyroid medication, a cyst on my ovary. They put me on birth control just to get it down. So, I didn’t need surgery. It went down. I went off the birth control and I immediately get pregnant.

I think it’s important to note that sort of chain of events. And then, May this is now the lockdown. I mean, a lot of people got pregnant in the lockdown. And I thought to myself, truthfully, getting pregnant is so actually difficult. As you get older, you realize that. That if I’m pregnant, I must be okay. Like, if my body got pregnant, I must be okay. The miscarriage must have been a random thing. The cyst is resolved itself. The thyroid thing freaked me out, and I had then put on about 10 pounds with the pregnancy that would not come off.

Now, it doesn’t sound like a lot, but for me, I just like have always been a similar weight. And if I wanted to lose weight very quickly, for a photo shoot or video shoot or whatever, I could just do a juice cleanse. And I get that might have been in my 20s, and now, I’m in my 30s. People are telling me, “Oh, you’re older.” But I had a weird feeling about it. I just want to say there was something about the fact that I didn’t lose an ounce. I mean, literally, the 10 pounds I put on with that pregnancy, it didn’t move from not eating carbs and working out every day, nothing. Like, nothing moved it.

So, again, I just want to point out, I think red flags that I missed. But I get pregnant. So, I’m like, “Well, it doesn’t matter now. I’m going to gain its ton of weight. So, just keep it moving.” So, May, June, July. August, September, October, okay. Completely normal pregnancy. I’m not going to lie. Every appointment — now, it was the pandemic, and it was emotionally hard, and the world was going through a trauma, but I went to every doctor’s appointment. This is my same doctor, by the way, who delivered Carmella, who did the DNC, who now is walking me through this pregnancy. This is now my third pregnancy. And everything’s normal, completely normal. Every doctor’s appointment, my blood work. I’m taking the thyroid medication. So, that my thyroid is normal. Everything is just normal. And, so normal that I’m working. I flew in my producers. She came to stay in our house in Montclair. And I will say at this point, I have now not left the house in Montclair for 168 days.

Elliot: Oh, wow.

Christina: Because of the lockdown. But we turn our house into like a preschool with a slide, and a paint wall, and Carmella is thriving. I feel like any two — now, she was 2 years old. Any 2-year-old was thrilled that their parents were home. So, Paul and I are trying to make it through our marriage, you know, it’s a different story. We’re just a little bit together, too much. But we tried to make it fun, you know? And honestly, I feel very grateful. We were healthy. We didn’t get COVID at that time. So, I know that experience was so different from so many people who lost so many people they loved. But we stayed in our little bubble because I was pregnant. We didn’t go anywhere. And that was maybe a terrible idea.

I flew my producer to New Jersey. I flew my engineer. Paul’s sister came to stay with us. We made a whole album. It was phenomenal. We had the best time. This is October of 2020. We’re in a studio in Montclair, New Jersey. Four girls making an album. It ended up being exactly what my third album is, which I love very much. So, I don’t want to take away from the joy of that. But I have to say I was pregnant. I was seven months pregnant and I had Carmella there at the studio and all these incredible women. And it really was a lovely reprieve from a really hard year, right? We thought January of 2020 was the hardest thing we were going to go through that year. Then the pandemic happened. We thought that was the hardest thing we’d go through that year. And we looked at making this album as a beautiful experience. And I go to my doctor’s appointment for my 30-week checkup.

Now, at this point, I have a high-risk doctor and my OB-GYN, because I’m considered high-risk from having not just the miscarriage actually, but the thyroid medication. It qualified me for extra scans, which I thought, “Well, that’s cool. Who doesn’t love an extra peace of mind?” So, I would go to this special doctor once a month for fetal monitoring, the anatomy scan, all that stuff. But you just get a little bit extra is what happens when you’re, you know, older and whatever.

So, I go in for my normal scan. We just finished the album. This is now November 10th of 2020. And I’m 30 weeks pregnant, and they find that the baby has a Thrissur of the gut. There’s a blockage. And they send me immediately to the hospital. So, this is trauma number one in the course of this week because Carmella wasn’t alerted to why we didn’t come home. We were at the hospital for three days. She was so traumatized from that. I remember almost worse than what happens later because we are so communicative with her. And then, all of a sudden we just weren’t there.

Elliot: Disappear.

Christina: So, that was really jarring for her. But we were really shocked. We didn’t know what was happening. And they told me I might spend the next six weeks in the hospital waiting for baby or she might come, which might be safer, or I might go home. It was very unclear. And that’s so unhelpful, you know? But at the time, it was just no one knew what was going to happen next. So, I’m in the hospital. Now, I’m seen by the specialists, the head of Lenox Hill Hospital. I’m seen by two other fetal specialists. One of them from Westchester came down, a fetal MRI specialist. We meet with the NICU. We meet with a surgeon. She said, “I’ve done 1,000 of these surgeries. Your baby’s going to be fine.” We then researched everything you could possibly research about atresia. There are five types of atresia. I knew about all five, what the outcomes would be, what would happen if she had 1, 2, 3, 4 or 5, how long we’d be in the NICU, roughly. We had ideas. I shared about it online. Thousands of moms reached out to me. “My kid had this. My kid had this.”

We were shocked, but we were like, “Okay.” Just constantly being given hope. It was not doom and gloom. It was, “Hey, this is a complication. We’re going to get through it.” And in my mind, I was, “Okay, but why is there an extra hole in her heart? And why is there fluid under her scalp?” There were other things also. I remember very clearly. But everyone was like, “We’re just going to get through this, and we’re going to weigh the risk. And your kind of going to come for fetal monitoring every two days.” And this is November 10th. She lived for 14 more days. Well, she died on November 23rd at night in utero. I went for fetal monitoring that morning. We broke every rule they have, every protocol they have. Because, apparently, you’re supposed to be good for about 24 hours unless something happens for 36 hours. So, her fetal monitoring was absolutely fine on that Monday morning.

Elliot: Just to clarify that point. When you see that everything looks good on that non-stress test. You know, it’s supposed to be some sort of near guarantee that everything’s going to be okay. And then, you do it again a couple of days later to buy yourself two more days.

Christina: Yeah, exactly. And we were driving in from New Jersey to Manhattan every two days and doing this. And we weren’t told that her dying was an option. I’m not going to lie. We were told that we would take her out at any moment if there was a hiccup. We were told, “She looks great. You look great. Just hang tight. Everybody’s okay.” You know what I mean? We were really told some helpful things. And the medicine science was there. It was like her fluid was great, her heart rate was great, her movement was great. And we went home. This was now between week 33 and 34 for me. We went home, and this appointment was 11:00 a.m. And I noticed she had stopped moving around 11:00 p.m. So, I’m not sure at what point she passed away, but I knew it, and my OB knew it in my voice. I said, “Oh, you know, I’m worried.” And she’s not moving. I’ve tried apple juice and, you know, every, every single pregnant mother’s fear, every single one. We all have the same fear at that point, you know.

So, we get in the car. We drive to Lenox Hill. I didn’t expect to see my OB. So, that made me nervous because she just showed up. They put me on the machine and it was, just honestly — I’m really sorry, this is going to make me emotional. It was like a bad movie where I’m looking at the ceiling because I can’t look at the nurse. Like, I remember her face. She couldn’t look at me. My OB had left the room for a minute. Paul was parking the car, and it’s just me and the nurse, and she’s looking for a heartbeat and there just wasn’t one there.

I’ll never forget that. It was like a time-lapse video then. Where the OB comes in, Paul comes in, everyone’s crying and or upset, or I’m so shocked, they can’t believe it. I’m just staring at the ceiling like I just was disassociated, I think is the word. I just couldn’t handle that. And I kind of come back into my body as what I know you know in psychology because I just really left basically because it was so hard. I’d later dealt with that in MDR, by the way, that exact moment. I come back in my body and I just say, you know, “How is she going to come out?” And, I remember my OB looking at me like, not like it was an odd question in that moment. Nothing is odd, you know? But I was just like such a “What are we going to do about this now” is so…

Elliot: Practical.

Christina: Yeah, practical. And Paul’s crying. And Dr. Manos is crying because she’s been working with us now for four years. Like, there was no, “No one saw it coming, but we did. But we didn’t.” It was very sad, you know? And we’ll say the next three days at Lenox Hill were beautiful for how sad they were. The nurses, unbelievable there. The people are unbelievable there. I’ll never forget the care that we had.

I don’t think it’s because of who I am, I think that that’s wonderful for anybody who goes through, you know, they put a picture on your door so that everyone knows when they come in — sorry. And we got through it. There’s a million things I can say about that experience. I was very present for it, but at the same time, I’m a human. I mean, they gave me like Ativan, just because this was the only time we laughed for three days, I’ll tell you. You know, at this point, I’m sober nine years. And Paul and I are in the hospital, and this is the worst experience I’ve ever had in our whole lives. And they give me an Ativan, they give me an epidural, they give me all these drugs because they don’t want me to feel anything.

And, apparently, I turned to Paul, just was like, “This narcotic or whatever they gave me was so good. Do you want one?” He just starts laughing. All the nurses start laughing, the doctors laughing. Like it was one of those moments — Paul’s like, “No, Christina. This is not a nightclub.” Like, you know, “I don’t think I can have one,” you know? And everyone was just laughing and I remember that so vividly because it was so sad. It was just the saddest thing of all time.

We chose to meet her. I also want to say people have a choice in that scenario to just go under, to have a C-section. I mean, Dr. Manos said she’d do anything. And I wanted so badly to not go through that, not give birth. And I’m so glad I did. I just want to say that because, obviously, I wish no one would ever have this experience ever. But if they do, I’m so glad I chose to give birth, hold her, meet her, and say goodbye. Because the other version of that would have been just to, you know. I don’t think now, I would have been glad about that choice because there’s something about meeting her, holding her, and having that, that was important, I think for us. And me and Paul are glad that we did that. And we have her little box.

They give you a box with the blanket that they put them in. And they have her little footprints. It’s a thing. And I’m proud of myself for getting through that with Paul. And we were there for two days. And I’m not going to lie, the one thing I thought about constantly was what we were going to tell Carmella. Because this is just so hard to do pregnant. Normally, I’m telling this story and I’m very composed, but I’m so pregnant. I just like, anyway. It’s just real. Telling Carmella was — oh, we thought about. Because we had the nursery, at this point, she’s almost 3. But she’s like 3 going on 10. She very much was aware at this point. And we’re in the hospital and I promised her the next time we’d go to the hospital and not come home, we would bring home the baby because we had had that experience 10 days before that. And she was scared to let us go to the doctor because she’s like, “Are you coming home this time?” Like, she had a little trauma.

Anyways, I’ll tell you this. I reached out to that community like never before. I follow six toddler specialists. Dr. Becky Kennedy, who’s the biggest rock star of all toddlers. “Big Little Feelings” is another one. They’re very popular and two beautiful women run that and carried us through that. And also Janet Lansbury, who wrote “No Bad Kids,” who’s like, literally, the rock star of just parenting in general, in my opinion. And I reached out to her because she kind of said, “If you ever need anything…” And this was like THE time to, you know, reach out to her. And Paul and I asked for a script. We were like, “What do we do? What do we say? This child, Carmella’s so smart. How do we do this?” And we practiced for a whole day what we would say, how we would say it. And we had, at this point, our families had shown up in our house. My mom says that her and Paul’s mom were too devastated to get Carmella from her nap. So, the reason why I love Meredith so much is because she was so tough and strong for all of us. She was amazing. And so, she was really helpful with being — She said she would go home from work each night and just sob in her mom’s arms. But she was so strong for us. And so, we told Meredith, you know, “We’re coming home.”

Meredith put her in her room, and our parents just waited downstairs. And so, I said, “We need to go straight to Carmella’s room. We need to get this over with. And then, we’ll see you. Because if we see you, we’re going to just lose it,” you know? So, we had this whole plan. It was so orchestrated. And I cared so, so much about Carmella. And we walk in, Carmella’s in her room. She’s playing and it’s joyful. She’s happy to see us. We’re hugging, you know, whatever. I don’t know how Paul and I kept it together, but we did and we said, “Carmella, we have to tell you something.” She’s only 2 and 3/4. And so, she’s playing like, “Okay, what is it?” And we said exactly what the doctor said, and the toddler specialist, and the social workers, and everyone we asked said, “Tell the truth.” And we were like, “Oh my God! How do you tell the truth to a 2-year-old?”

So, we said exactly what they told us to say, which was, “Carmella, you are healthy and your body works and you’re safe. Mommy and Daddy, our bodies work, we’re healthy and we are safe. And your baby sister was born and her body didn’t work and she died.” And that’s all we said. And I remember I said it’s so calm and so collected and not unemotional, but just really, really soft and gentle and not crying. She looks up and she processes it for a second. And we’re not breathing at this point, you know? I mean, literally, this is what she said. Her little brain just goes, “Don’t worry, mom and dad. You guys will have another baby, and their body will work.” And we just lost it. I’m not going to lie. We just held her and we cried, and she cried. We said, “Thank you.”

Here we are, thanking our child who comforted us. I said, “And Carmella, you’re going to see us all cry this week. We’re all going to cry. Mommy’s going to cry. Daddy’s going to cry. Momma’s going to cry and Popop. Grandma. Grandpa. We’re all very sad and we’re just going to get through together.” And she said, “Okay.” And she just help us, and I still — especially because I’m pregnant right now. Oh, my God, it’s crazy and just want a full circle, but that is what happened.

That is the story of November 24th, 2020. So, we named her Rosie, by the way. She was a girl. We walked through that, hand in hand. Together with me and Paul, and Carmella, and our families, and the whole world. I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone more sad for us. Literally, I have very vivid memory because after we got back from the hospital, I didn’t take any medication. I was fully sober. I read all the messages and we had a florist. Our house was just — at one point, I put all the flowers in one room because I just was like, “This is just too much.” Like, I can’t handle the smell and the whole experience was, it was just surreal. I was pregnant for eight months, and then I just wasn’t. I just wasn’t pregnant. I just come home. And then, I go into the fourth trimester. My milk comes in. We have this beautiful soul that we’re taking care of. And so, she carried us through. I’m not going to lie. Those next months are weeks before we ended up moving to LA on January 1st.

So, from November 24th, we got through Christmas somehow. I don’t even remember, but everyone we’ve ever known. I mean, I’m talking to my kindergarten teacher, like literally, everyone I’ve ever known in my whole entire life reached out to us, sent us food, sent us flowers. It’s so touching. I’m crying because I’m so emotional, so intense to talk about, but I’m also so filled with gratitude. Now, here I am, almost two years out of it, that was an incredibly loving time in our life. As odd as that sounds, we were heartbroken, but we were carried through the whole thing by everyone. Not just our family, our town, our community, strangers we don’t even know. People were praying for us. People are still praying for us. Like, my mom, she’s a hairdresser. She cuts nun’s hairs. I think every nun in America was, you know, still have us on their prayer list. And it really was such an incredible healing after that experience because we allowed ourselves to be loved, supported, and taken care of.

And Carmella was the star of our lives at that point. Like our little north star that kept us together, you know. I just can’t imagine — I ache so deeply for families that go through that without having a little Carmella, do you know what I mean? Because I think we would have fallen apart, you know. Obviously, because we’re human and I can’t believe I didn’t get loathed. I’m not going to lie, you know. So, many people thought I would lose my sobriety. And also, I don’t think one person would have judged me if I decided to kind of shut it off, you know, or check out. Again, I think this really has to do with so much of my work. All of a sudden, I had so many tools, you know. That I was like, “Oh, wow! The deeper I feel this, the quicker it’ll pass.” I can’t escape this feeling or this experience. I can’t delete it. I have to feel it. I have to go through it. And then, I started to understand grief in a new way.

And then, I was like, “Oh my gosh! Grief is like a house.” It’s not an experience. It doesn’t come and go. You just go from different rooms. There’s the two weeks after Rosie died, we were in a room. And then, I kind of woke up and felt different and I was in a new room. I was like, “Hey, let’s go to Rockefeller and see the Christmas tree.” And that was a new room at the grief house. This is how I described it to people. Like, I felt like it was so wild how it blew me over. And how, truthfully, I’ll never be the same. Like, I will never be the same person. Paul will never be the same person. Even Carmella, who now is 4 1/2. She talks about death beautifully. And again, I don’t wish this experience on literally anyone, but we just felt it so deeply that we leaned into it so deeply that we learned from it. If that makes sense. Like so many people are were just taught to be so afraid of death and we have such weird language around it. And everyone looked at me like I was the Grim Reaper. I’m not even going to lie. I’d walk in the room and people would just didn’t know what, people would freeze because you have people who die. Like your parents or some tragic accident. But babies are just — the worst version. And some people can’t even look you in the eye.

Elliot: I can. And you know, there’s nothing to say.

Christina: Right? But that’s okay. I think nothing to say is better than sometimes saying other things. I’m not going to lie. Like the people that said, “I don’t know what to say,” and “I love you,” and “That’s the worst thing I ever heard of,” or whatever, “What can I do?” I learned so much. I feel like I could write a whole book about grief and what to say and what not to say. All of a sudden, I was like trying to comfort everyone else because everyone was looking at me. Again, like the Grim Reaper. Was the odd couple months where I just sort of laid low, because I was like, here I am, I’m walking in the room and I am bringing the worst, I don’t want to say vibe. But the grief just goes with you. So, I was the grief house, right? To walk in the room and I would just try to kind of level the feelings. It would just be so intense. So, we really just were forced to bond and stay home.

And again, it was a pandemic, and I don’t even know what happened. I know so many people will have terrible experiences in 2020. But my life was so blown open, and so crushed, and so fragmented, and so broken. And then, we moved to LA. And I honestly almost want to say, this is another episode of your show because the healing from this is its own amazing and fascinating I think experience. Because the day we landed in LA, January 1st of 2021, we moved to seek refuge from the pain, from the winter. I mean, if you imagine just like this little cocoon of ours in New Jersey, in this house with our families. And we love our families. We love being near them. But we just need the sunshine. I need the best holistic doctors there are. I needed my OB-GYN, Dr. Mary Kerr, who was a brilliant human I knew would help me get to the bottom of it.

I woke up in a brand new room in the grief house at the end of December and said, “I’m going to get to the bottom of this.” Everyone said that nothing was abnormal. We tested Rosie, her autopsy, my blood work, Paul’s blood work, my placenta. Everything came back normal. And I said, “I don’t believe any of this.” And I’m going to start an investigation and it’s going to help me heal. So, we moved to LA and I begin my own very secret, little —

Elliot: Investigation.

Christina: Investigation, yes, onto what happened.

Elliot: Okay. Again, just how powerful and courageous you are for having shared that. And I’m so sorry that you, and Paul, and Carmella experienced that and there aren’t words to say. But I do have this idea which is that after you have this baby. Maybe we’ll come back and do another double episode and have a longer chat about grief and healing from it at that time. Let’s take a break and find out what Erin Brockovich came up with when we come back.


Elliot: Welcome back. We are talking to Christina Perri. Okay, so Erin Brockovich. Your kind of had signs that something was up already. I don’t know, you sound hard on yourself about that. Because I think, I don’t know, how many people do you know maybe they don’t tell you that who have a thyroid that’s a little hyper or a little hypo, and don’t really give it too much thought, you know? Other than maybe I need to get more sunlight, more vitamin D, who knows. And a miscarriage in the first trimester, awful to go through. But, again, your part of a very large group of people who have that. I was a medic in New York City for a while. I’ve been working in healthcare for a long time. I don’t know that I’d put those together you know in [unin 02:54]. In retrospect, it’s a lot easier to see.

Christina: Yes. Well, I appreciate you saying that. Honestly, I am hard on myself. Because I wish more than anything I caught maybe a more obvious clue. So, I guess I’m saying health issues started to occur that I didn’t have before. And yes, honestly, they’re all pretty impossible to put together and solve until we solved it and I went, “Oh gosh! You know, they were there.” So, I do want to say you’re right, I am being hard on myself. I don’t think it was possible in the time and space that I was in to have noticed these things. And I truly, really only see most of them now in hindsight. So, I just being a perfectionist, and like someone who somewhat prides myself on health and being in the know of things, I just kind of wish I noticed things just selfishly because of what we went through. I wish I could have like, you know. I feel like, any mom would think this, I wish I could have saved my family from going through what we went through by noticing something. But really, truthfully, you are correct I don’t think that they all line up together and make sense until you start dissecting things and doing all the testing that I then started to do.

So, I’ll go into what happened. So, we moved back to LA on January 1st, 2021, and I truly was in a place where I was like, “Okay. Now, I’m ready to heal.” And I will say I have to credit my sobriety in the sense that I’ve always sort of been into the solution. I’ve learned that early on in AA that like you just have to go into the fire, into the flame, and ask the questions, be your own advocate. All those things were kind of instilled in me as an Italian girl from Philly, you know. I’m also very tough and I don’t take no for an answer, and it’s almost every quality. I’m a Leo. Every quality I ever had in my personality and in my spirit came together to help me get through this. And, truthfully, I also asked an enormous amount of help. So, I think that’s a big theme here, is that I constantly asked questions and asked for help. And I really put together a team of people, mostly women, around me to help me figure it out, but also get through it. So, in so many ways, and I’m sure you know with a wife who is a therapist, there were so many layers to this where I couldn’t necessarily skip over anything. So, if I was going to investigate medically what was going on with me, I definitely needed to do the emotional work too. Because all of it felt quite heavy.

And when I got to LA, I immediately felt, truthfully, the sunshine helped. Like, I just felt better. I was breathing easier. Physically, I mean. Whether I knew it or not, literally, I was breathing easier. It was just like a new chapter and I was like, “Okay. Obviously, I can’t delete what just happened. I’m going to move it forward. It’s been eight weeks since it happened, but I’m going to sit outside in the sun with Carmella, with Paul.” We have a pool here. We bought a house in the middle of the pandemic without knowing at all that it would be our house that we would move to. And we furnished it thinking we would put it up for Airbnb, and like how magical that this became like our refuge. It was just like a furnished house waiting for us. It felt very meant to be. So, we came here. We brought Meredith, our Nanny, our super nanny, my Mary Poppins. We bring her, and the very first thing I did was EMDR. Because I thought to myself — well, first of all, I almost got tricked into it.

My therapist came over her name is Bernie and she’s been my therapist at this point for about 10 years. Very sweet, very warm, very connected, amazing human being, knows me and my core. She comes over and she says, “Why doesn’t Meredith take Carmella for a walk so we have the house to ourselves.” And this is still a huge COVID spike in L.A. If you remember, January 2021. We actually never even went in the airport. We had a car pick us up at the plane because we traveled in the middle of a massive spike. So, we weren’t seeing people when we got here. So, Bernie came over. I think she had either just had COVID or maybe just been vaccinated. I think the vaccination had just come out or something. Anywho, she comes over and she sits on my floor in my bedroom. She tricked me in the sense that I was not ready to do EMDR. It had only been eight weeks since this had happened, and I thought we were just going to hold each other. I could cry, and it would just be a normal therapy session.

And what happened, I really just want to point out I think really helped me with the next six to nine months of my life, which was I went straight into what happened. I remember very vividly. What I love about EMDR is how visceral, I could feel the fabric, I could smell the hospital room. I was sitting outside the door. And interestingly enough, my therapist, Bernie, was in my sort of memory. And I was like, “I need you to help me go in the room. I couldn’t go in the room.” I was outside of a door. I thought this was profound. And she was there. I was even shocked when I saw her in my own, with my eyes closed. I’m like, “You’re here.” I’m like, “This is crazy!” She’d never been in any of my other flashbacks or I don’t know what you actually call those. But I said, “I think I need your help to open the door.” I think I need, I’m shocked. Because this is what she kept saying to me, “You’re shocked.” I’m like, “I’m not shocked. I remember every moment.” She’s like, “No, you’re in shock.”

And so, we went in to the room. It was me, it was Paul, it was Rosie, I was holding her. I mean, I walked through the whole thing with the vibrating things in my hands, and I cried and I screamed. I mean, literally, I’ve never done that in my life. She just said, “Scream. Just scream.” Because I was like, “So, I guess I was holding it all together,” you know. And I’m so glad Carmella went on a walk because I’m sure I would terrify to her from the bedroom screaming. But, again, I think it’s a really important work. I think that was the beginning of me being okay and moved that out of the way to get to the solution. So, I was really, really felt the pain; really let myself remember; really let myself go back to that moment I said I absolutely hated when I’m staring at the ceiling and she’s looking for the heartbeat. Walked through all that all over again with the support of my therapist and doing all the things she said. And I truly felt a healing occur. And then, from the EMDR and the therapy, I added in work with the doula. I had a postpartum doula who has recommended she was going to help me with my postpartum, with my pelvic floor, with my yoga. Like things to actually get my body better.

So, now, I’m working on the physical, right? The emotional, mental, the physical. I’m starting to align this, like I said, web of really, really gentle wonderful women. But the big one for me was going to see my OB-GYN, Dr. Mary Kerr, who was my OB for 10 years in LA when I was living here. I knew how brilliant she was, but she’s also very sweet and gentle with me. I knew she would take the time. Because this is also, I want to say really important to advocate for yourself in the medical world.

A lot of times, people don’t sit there and go through line by line with you, unless you ask. I was just really, at this point, I had nothing left to lose. I was in such a state of, you know, I’m just going to ask all the questions. I just want to know all the answers and I’m not afraid because I’ve already been heartbroken more than any human in my mind could be heartbroken. Do you know what I mean? So, it’s like, I just want to now understand. So, what’s crazy is I thought I would get some answers and I thought I would maybe find comfort in some of those answers I knew it would never change the past. But what I ultimately did find was a huge life-changing moment for me in three different parts.

One is right before we moved to LA, my best friend came over to our house in New Jersey and said, “I think you should test your house for mold.” I was like, “What?” She had just discovered she had mold poisoning. It was super random. And she was like, “Just rule it out. Just do the test. Like on your vents, do the blood test that goes with it. And then, you can at least know it’s not that.” And I was like, “Okay, sure. Fine.” That was the last thing I thought that would be a thing. But I did it because she’s my friend. So, this is where all this intervention started to happen where I was just sort of listening to everyone and saying, “Okay.” I was in such a surrendered place, so I’d test the house for mold. I test my blood for mold. We moved to LA. I do all these things. I’m meeting with these people. I meet with Dr. Mary Kerr, and I bring her a stack of paper with all of my history for the past two years. I had Carmella in New York. So, I had all Carmella’s stuff, my pregnancy with Carmella. Then the miscarriage, then the cyst on my ovary, then the whole pregnancy with Rosie, and then the death and the autopsy, and everything.

And Dr. Mary Kerr, being the angel that she is, cleared her whole day, I think. She’s out with me for two hours. We sat in her office. We cried together. I mean, her and I go way back. Also, I know her husband well. And so, it really was like a beautiful sort of healing. I just kept trying to put the pieces together by doing all the healing things, and this I knew was going to be a healing piece for me because she sees me, she hears me, and she’d explain it to me, and she’s brilliant. So, sat with her, we go through everything. And she says something that I’ll never forget. It was like a scene of a movie where everything goes quiet, and you just kind of hear a train coming or something. And I kept echoing over and over and over in my head what she just said, “You know, Christina. I have a hunch and they get mad at me when I do this…” And I’ll go back and dissect this with you. But she says, “They get mad at me when I do this, but I’m going to test you for a blood clot.” And I was like, “Okay.” And then, in my mind, I’m going, “Wait. Who’s ‘they’? What is this hunch?” And then, I’m thinking, “Well, surely it can’t be this.” I’m sure it’s really rare.” Also, I didn’t have any signs of a blood clot. I figured when you have a blood clot, your leg swells up, your arm swells up. These are things I understand of blood clots. And also, there was no blood clot in my placenta, which I seem to remember my OB checking.

So, I’m just like, “Okay.” We move on. I go home. I want to say a week later, I get two calls that changed my life forever. One is I get a call from the mold company that says that there is 37 types of bacteria mycotoxins and endotoxins that are created by molds. Black mold, specifically. But also, about 11 other types of mold. Because, apparently, there are endless types. All of it is in a chart and explained and emailed to me. I’m looking at all these sort of lines that you can either be yellow, orange, or red, right? Where this is my blood. They tested the house and the blood. And they both line up together that my house is filled with mold, but my blood is filled with mold. And it’s in the red on almost every single line.

Elliot: All the same strains?

Christina: Yes. The mycotoxins, specifically. And the black mold, and aspergillus penicillin, they’re all labeled. There’s so many different types, and my blood is off the charts. So, in that moment, I then realized that this is a massive piece of the puzzle, but I’m also blindsided. Like, I don’t even know what this means. I’ve never heard of this my whole life. The house was tested for mold before we bought it. This is a common thing I didn’t think could ever get sort of overlooked or whatever. So, this is the beginning of a journey, mold-related, I’ll leave that there. And then, I literally get a call from Dr. Mary Kerr the same week that says, I tested positive for anti-phospholipid syndrome, which is the blood clotting disease. One of seven that she believes was the cause of death for Rosie and the baby at 11 weeks. Because she said to me, after there’s a heartbeat, there’s a reason. She said it fits before — I’m referring to the miscarriage. If you have miscarried before you hear a heartbeat or see a heartbeat, a lot of times, it can be completely random abnormality. Just didn’t become viable, didn’t correctly develop, whatever.

After you hear a heartbeat or see a heartbeat, they’re really most of the time is something you can discover. Like a reason. So, I didn’t know that. And she’s then telling me on the phone that it’s because I had a blood clot. And then, I say, “Well, what does that mean?” And she says, “Oh, don’t worry, my darling. That means if you were pregnant again, we would put you on blood thinner and that you would be fine and your baby could be fine.” And so, I hang up with her and completely break down. I remember, at the realization of a couple things, one, “Oh, my gosh! I found it!” What relief!” Like, what relief. I found the reason why Rosie died, the baby died — I trust Dr. Mary Kerr, you know. It was an assumption for her because, obviously, we can’t go back in time and tell but she said I have the antibodies. That means I had a blood clot that’s most likely the reason. And I have this information that I had been searching for and hoping for. And then, at the same exact time, in the same breath, I am livid that it was avoidable. In the sense of “How did we not catch that?”

Like, all of a sudden, a million questions are running through my head, right? How did we not catch that? How many women have this? It must be rare. The only thing I could wrap my head around was this must be so rare, and I must be just incredibly unlucky or just this random occurrence, but I don’t think I am. I had a gut feeling that this was bigger than I could possibly understand, and that I should probably stop there and just be glad I figured it out. But I’m too me to do that. I am too much of a question-asker, a chase-the-truth, bold brave outspoken person, that all of a sudden I felt like Erin Brockovich. And I went, “Wait a second. Who were the ‘they’?” Oh, you know what I mean now? I feel like I’m in a mystery movie. And now, I have to solve how did this go overlooked without also going backwards and blaming anyone. Because I want to be really clear that everyone was following protocol. So, I also didn’t feel malpractice, I just want to say.

I think people get really nervous when people start investigating things or ruffling you know up the past. And I want to say when we had the five best doctors in New York City like in my hospital room, all confirming the same thing over and over again that I was okay, and that they would do this, and then I was listening to them. They were all consulting with each other. They all were asking me, and I was choosing the same thing. Like, nothing feels it was wrong. And I almost feel like we’d all make the same decisions again based on the information we had at the time. I just wanted to know what this all really meant and what I could do about it, and if there was anything to do for other women. Like, I had that intuition.

So, I immediately started to now put another story together. I go, “Well, okay. What’s this mold piece?” So, I started doing research talking to a ton of mold specialists, reading a bunch of things on mold. I will just say this, the things that started to happen to me only happened to me after I moved into that house. I want to be very clear that apparently out of those seven blood clotting diseases or syndromes that you can have and develop, you can also be born with them, you know. You don’t have to get them because of something. You can just be born, genetically, with the disposition. It can run in your family. You can have blood clots, whatever. I just don’t think that’s my story, I think. Because Carmella was healthy, and I was living in LA, and then living in New York, and I didn’t have any of the other things going on. I believe I developed the blood clotting condition from the mold. Again, I’m not a doctor. This is just my theory, my intuition. Because I also then realized that I had Sjogren’s syndrome, which came up later. Six different types of viruses in my body that I was combating against, which means my toxic bucket seemed to have overflowed. I was pregnant two times in that house, which means my immune system was compromised. And I was unable to fight mold like normal people who are healthy actually make antibodies to fight against toxins. So, I can go into that for hours, I will not. I’ll just say that it was an important piece of the puzzle for me, personally, because I think it explains how I got here from being very healthy to not being healthy.

Then, this is still January of 2021. I, very quietly, hit up my entertainment lawyer who’s been my lawyer for 12 years, who is lovely and his wife is an activist, and you know. I know he’s an entertainment lawyer, but I figured he had medical people in his office. And I said, “Hey, you know, this is information I just got. Just between us, would you please do some research for me? Ask your healthcare lawyers in your firm if they can do some research for me. I just want to know how rare this blood clotting condition or blood clotting conditions, in general. How rare it is, how common and how much it’s detected in pregnancy, and whatever.” I just had a couple questions. And so, this is really where my Erin Brockovich kicks in, because he calls me about two weeks later, and he’s in tears. And he says — which again, I kind of felt intuitively. He said, “I don’t know how to tell you this. But just in New York state alone,” which is where he is. He said, “the research came back my team came back to me and discovered that 55% of multiple miscarriages are due to one of the seven blood clotting diseases.”

Honestly, I knew it in my gut, but I was pretty blown away. And also, I was angry and activated and grateful almost that this information came to me. Because in that moment, I realized that I was going to make a massive change. I would spend the rest of my life doing it no matter how long it takes in honor of Rosie. Because she only got to live 34 weeks. And someone said to me in my healing journey, “What if Rosie was only supposed to live 34 weeks?” Like, “What if that wasn’t a mistake in her destiny? What if she was supposed to live that long?” She was supposed to get you, Paul, and Carmella out of a house that was poisoning all three of you. So, she was supposed to teach you just something that’s being overlooked in women’s health, right? It’s not intentional. Nobody’s trying to miss this. I’ve done so much research now and talked to so many doctors and so many people. There’s not been one human being that’s like, “No, I don’t want to save babies.” Like everybody wants for this to not be overlooked anymore.

But I have to say, it’s a huge piece of my healing with Rosie because I just believe that this is what her little life can do. Like, sometimes, I don’t like that narrative and I just wish she was here. You know what I mean? I don’t want to say that I think it was meant to be that she’s not here. I just think that because of what happened, I almost feel like most women don’t get to then turn their biggest tragedy into something so healing, so important, and so life-changing for other families and other babies that I feel I’m responsible. Like, I can do it. I was walking on the treadmill, I’m not even kidding, and I was crying. I was also like, “I can do this.” Like, I’m strong enough to do this, to sit in a room and present it in front of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Like, I wore a little power suit, you know, covered my tattoos, and I presented a massive presentation to them of a year worth of research.

I was like, “This is all. I’m a singer. I’m not a doctor. I’m not going to pretend to be a doctor.” I didn’t go on TV right away I spent an entire year working to prove my point in so many ways, medically, I mean. Emotionally, duh! I got that. I got the story. All I have to do is start singing and I can make anyone cry, you know. I have brought the emotional part. I met with the doctors to bring the medical part. I met with my lawyers to bring the financial part. I met with the women who used to work in hospitals who knew about the test. Because all of a sudden, I’m saying, “Well, why aren’t we tested for this?” Well, “What does the test require?” “Oh, 1 cc of blood.” Okay. And, “What does it test for?” “All of them in one.” So, it’s just one blood clotting test that someone needs to do. It’s $42 if you don’t have insurance. It’s free if you have insurance. If you do it in the first-trimester prenatal screening, it is one of 13 tests that already happened. It’s absolutely no extra effort even, you know, for anyone. And every door I looked behind — first of all, every single person I met said yes. It instantly became an ally, right? I didn’t have to convince anyone. It sounds almost ridiculous that this has been overlooked where a woman has blood clotting antibodies for whatever reason, right? Whether it’s their history, their health, their environment, their whatever it is. But they’re not tested.

And I forgot to mention, the only time they’re tested is after two or three losses, which is why I go back to what Dr. Mary Kerr said. And I’ll never forget when she said, “They’d get mad at me when I do this.” Because I only had two. But from listening to my very long episode with you, so you can see just those two miscarriages changed my life forever, right? So, the depth of how important it would be to be able to stop families from having to go through what I went through, what Carmella went through, what Paul went through, what our families went through, what my body went through, right? Like, it doesn’t make any sense to me. I’m not even trying to do something that seems luxurious or extra. It’s like, no, it feels pretty basic. Like, “Hey, what if we just tested women for this in the first trimester? Because the solution is so simple. It’s just to take blood thinner.” So, this is what’s really cool about doing your show before birth and after birth, because I really hope this baby makes it in the next eight days when I deliver.

And if and when, you know, I’m knocking on wood, if she does make it here, the true difference, the really only difference, medically aside from lymphatic massages, and sitting in a sauna, and detoxing from mold, the best I could with diet and exercise and acupuncture, and things like that, and vitamins, you know, the only real difference that I’ve done now with this pregnancy is I’ve taken blood thinner every day. I took Lovenox shots every single day until 36 weeks. And I’ve switched to Heparin, and I take that twice a day. And so far, this baby’s alive. I’m oddly grateful for this experience because I cherish, literally, everything so much more. I also feel it’s important that this happened and I’m glad I could be of service. I had the time, the money to do it. I had the resources to do it. I reached out. Everyone showed up for me. Everyone met with me. Everybody gave me a chance. Everybody listened to me. I spoke as well as I could on the topic. And then, I passed the ball, you know. And said, “Okay, ACOG. It’s up to you now.” That’s their job. They make the protocols for All Women’s Health in the U.S.

And so, that sort of the story. I’m also in a little bit of a standstill with them where it’s taking a while. So, I’m now speaking out about it. This is also my part. So, I was quiet. I did things in their sort of way, and you know, hoped it would be quicker. It’s taking a while. So, I’m also using word of mouth, which is what women just do so great. And I speak to women, mothers, grandmothers, girls that want to be pregnant, girls that know people who are pregnant, families, men, dads, Paul’s, and allies. He tells everyone he knows. We just tell everyone, “Hey, if you’ve had loss or even if you haven’t, there’s no harm in asking your doctor for this blood test and just knowing. And then, maybe, the choice is yours if you want to take blood thinner.” Since there’s no side effects and there’s no harm in taking it. When you want to know if you have a antibodies that could make a blood clot, could not make a blood clot, maybe you’re totally fine, maybe you’re on the scale on the low end, maybe you’re on the high end. To put the choice into the woman’s hands is like my dream, and then to save millions and millions of babies along the way. That was a really long answer.

Elliot: Yeah. I mean, a couple of points here. Back when you were pregnant with Rosie and doing those non-stress tests every day, the clot is not really something that tests can pick up.

Christina: Right.

Elliot: Right? So, with the information that you had, everyone was following protocol. But it was the information that you didn’t have that would have almost definitely changed your decision to not leave Rosie inside longer, to get Rosie out earlier. And so, this is literally you know a life and death piece of information in your case. And again, to happen to someone who wasn’t going to just sit back and be broken entirely by it. But on the other hand, to be strengthened by it and to go out and empower other people with it. It’s just you. It’s the you I’ve known for less than a week. And the you I’m just so inspired by in a million different ways.

I mean, I hope that everyone this thing will also go out then and you know share this episode. My commitment to you is also I’m going to get an expert on and do an episode very soon about blood clotting disorders, and what they are, what the variations mean, how they’re tested, who gets tested, who can get tested even if it’s not been recommended for them, and what treatments look like. And, you know, I want to help also everybody’s your ally because you’re such a magnet.

Christina: Oh, thank you.

Elliot: And I want to make your experience and Rosie’s life, you know, as meaningful as possible and helpful as possible to other people. Right now, though, you’re pregnant and beyond 34 weeks.

Christina: Yeah.

Elliot: And the protocols with the clotting are to get induced to take blood thinners and switch blood thinners to ones that don’t stay in your system as long and they can do. So, that’s coming up very soon just a week.

Christina: I know. I’m terrified. Sometimes, I make it look so easy to be, I don’t know, not anxious or to be brave because I speak about. Like, I’m always talking about it, which I think also I learned in therapy. To make the implicit explicit, and that is how I get through it. But the truth is some days, I feel completely impossible. Some days, Paul breaks down and cries hysterically. If we’re not sure she’s moving, and then I have apple juice, and then it takes her a minute, you know. She’s probably sleeping. She’s probably like, “Why? Why are you bothering me?” I’m trying to give this baby in my uterus, but obviously — I say “belly” all the time to Carmella. I’m trying to give her her own story, you know what I mean? I really don’t want to put Rosie’s story on her. But to be pregnant after loss is probably the hardest thing I’ve ever been through. Obviously, after losing Rosie, but the amazing things that women go through. And obviously, partners. Paul’s right there with me. But the trauma’s in my body, you know.

And when we passed the 34-week mark, I mean I woke up the anniversary of the gestation of the day that Rosie died in my body in this new pregnancy, I woke up crying before I woke up. Like, my body remembered before I did, my brain. I cried that whole day, and I made room for it. And I just leaned on everyone I know. Again, I just never want to sound like I’m doing this alone. I’m asking everybody I know. I have my best friends. I have my mom friends. I have my internet friends that don’t even know, thousands of women who reach out to me. I’m not even kidding. And I do write them back. And I really hope they feel appreciated because I do appreciate them so much. I have this community and I’m grateful for it. I’m so deeply grateful for it because all I have to do is say one thing and I just get all these messages that say, “Me too! Me too! Me too! Me too!” So, I’m still in this terrible club, but I really do appreciate the ability to turn something tragic into something beautiful, and that’s it. Because I definitely don’t wish I went through this, you know. I’m so sad about it. I’ll be sad about it for the rest of my life. But I’m also so joyful at the same time to give Carmella a sibling.

I keep joking with Paul that I’m just going to hand the baby to Carmella. I’m done. I tried. I mean, for three years, I’ve been trying to give her sibling and she’s such an incredible human and I just want to see her have that. And have her little friend and Meredith. I want to just bring her back in the series. She’s flying here in three days. I’m flying her here just to, hopefully, go through this experience with us and hold a little baby who’s alive and heal. Because if you think about it, we really are coming around and the joy this little baby might bring us, she won’t even ever get to know. Like, how healing it could be in a week or so, you know, I’m still so nervous. But I dream of the moment that we’re all holding her and healing, you know, and honoring, thinking of Rosie. Obviously, she’s — oh, my gosh! She’s in our conversations all the time. We talk about her all the time. Carmella is so protective. And when people say to her, “Oh, you’re going to be a big sister.” And Carmella immediately goes, “I already am a big sister. My sister is in my heart.” Like, she’s a stranger on the street, that fast. She’s like almost offended, people don’t know.

Elliot: Wow!

Christina: So, she’s a special little girl. And I’m just hopeful that it all goes well. And I guess, we’re going to have to do the next episode to find out.

Elliot: Yeah. The special little apple doesn’t fall from this special little tree.

Christina: Oh, thank you!

Elliot: And I’m sure, the way you even just talk about him, Paul is also a special little tree. I just don’t know him personally yet, but it’s coming. I can’t again thank you enough. You’re so expressive and you do make it look easy. Like, I don’t see the fear in you. But I know it’s in there. And I’m just hoping that the next few days, you know, you get through them. And then, there’s calm and peaceful way as possible. And then, have an amazing beginning of the next chapter.

Christina: Yay! Thank you.

Elliot: Thank you. We agreed that’s the easiest way to find you online is @christinaperri on Instagram and click on the little link tree-like thing, and we have access to your whole world.

Christina: My whole world, yup. All of my records, and regular records, and I don’t know, whatever I’ve been up to.

Elliot: Yeah, and whatever you’re going to be up to. And then, for us, we’re easy to find too. We’re @doctorberlin on Instagram, D-O-C-T-O-R-B-E-R-L-I-N.