After Losing His Wife, Husband Turns to Pregnancy Blog And It Changes Everything
Matt and Liz Logelin were the picture-perfect couple. They were high school sweethearts who got married and were expecting their first child. Throughout the pregnancy, they documented everything on their blog for friends and family. The due date arrived and everything was going according to plan and Liz gave birth to a healthy baby girl. But then tragedy struck out of nowhere. Only a few hours after bringing their beautiful little girl into the world, Liz died. As the pain sunk in, something told Matt to log into the pregnancy blog that he started just before their daughter was born. Read on to find out how his life completely changed after that moment.
1. Love at First Sight
Matt Logelin and Liz Goodman first locked eyes while at a gas station during their high school senior year. From that point, the rest was history. It was love at first sight, and it wasn’t long before the two started dating.
They both went on to attend different colleges. While Liz enrolled at a college in California, Logelin chose to study his sociology degree at the University of Minnesota. This, however, didn’t stop the two from maintaining a long-distance relationship.
2. At a Crossroads
Matt Logelin and Liz continued to date long-distance as he completed his Master’s Degree at Chicago’s Loyola University. The possibility of going for a PhD degree sounded tempting, but he couldn’t bear to away from Liz any longer.
Logelin decided to stop studying after he graduated and moved to Los Angeles to be with his high school sweetheart. After he made the move, it seemed crystal clear that they were destined to be together forever.
3. Tying the Knot
On August 13, 2005, Liz and Matt Logelin finally tied the knot surrounded by their family and friends. They couldn’t have been happier to finally start their lives together as husband and wife; something they both wanted for years.
Their marriage marked the start of a beautiful life together with their careers on the rise. Liz worked as a highly driven and motivated executive at Disney, while Logelin was a project manager at the internet search engine company, Yahoo!. They were a power couple, but their lives were about to get even better.
4. We’re Pregnant!
Liz discovered that she was pregnant in 2007, two years after getting married. Over the moon with excitement, the couple couldn’t wait to share the news with their loved ones. Adding a little one to their family was naturally the next step.
They just couldn’t contain their excitement and everyone they knew was just as thrilled for them to welcome a bundle of joy into the world. Fate, however, had a completely different plan for the couple and it was going to change their worlds.
5. A Trying Pregnancy
With the incredible news came an equally difficult time for Liz. She experienced such severe morning sickness that her doctors instructed her to be on bed rest for three whole weeks. They didn’t want to take any chances with her.
After three weeks at home, Liz was admitted to hospital for around two weeks to monitor her condition. Matt Logelin wanted to keep their family and friends in the loop about Liz’s condition and progress, so he posted regular updates on their pregnancy blog, which was originally started to share their passion for travel and life.
6. Emergency Surgery
After a tough and high-risk pregnancy, doctors performed an emergency caesarean section on Liz on March 24, 2008. It was seven weeks prior to the due date, but they had to act fast. Liz spent a short moment with her newborn baby, but, born premature, she had to be whisked off to the neonatal intensive care unit.
“Madeline is here! The proud parents will continue to update everyone on our beautiful baby. Look forward to even more good news.” Unfortunately, the next post would be anything but good news. In fact, it was just the opposite.
7. A Mother-Daughter Reunion
Liz was looking forward to seeing Madeline for the first time since giving birth. After five weeks of bed rest, she took a practice walk around the room in anticipation of seeing her daughter. The nurses prepared the new mom and, as with most women who have just given birth, placed her in a wheelchair to roll her to NICU where her 33-week premature baby was waiting.
As the nurses where wheeling her, Liz murmured “I feel light-headed” and passed out. Matt Logelin staggered to support his wife, and felt overwhelmed by how heavy she suddenly felt. The nurses tried to calm his nerves with “It happens all the time,” but he knew something was very wrong.
8. Difficult News
At first the nurses thought Liz’s fainting spell was just a symptom common to most women who have just given birth, but soon medical staff and doctors were swarming frantically around her and had to usher Logelin out of the room.
“All of a sudden it hit me,” Logelin lamented to The Guardian in April 2011. “She was going to die, today, here in this hospital. And she was never going to hold her baby.” He feared the worst, but all he could do was wait.
The next post Matt Logelin added to the blog was an obituary headed “Liz.” He had to pen a heartbreaking post about how his wife suddenly died just 27 hours after giving birth to their beautiful daughter Madeline.
Liz had suffered a pulmonary embolism – a blood clot which blocked the flow blood flow to her lungs, which then meant blood stopped flowing to her brain. It killed her instantly. By the time Logelin had summoned their families to the ward, she was gone. He felt terribly alone and went straight for NICU where tearful nurses handed Madeline over to him. His baby was only source of comfort to him during this sudden loss.
10. A Bittersweet Reality
Logelin felt completely torn after losing his beloved wife. On the one hand, he felt broken after his high school sweetheart of 12 years passed on, but on the other hand he felt complete joy over his newborn child. Madeline was his whole world now. After the funeral, he raced to the hospital to hold his baby and feed her from a bottle.
The thought of raising Madeline alone had never so much as crossed his mind. He told The Guardian: “I always thought I’d be a good parent alongside Liz. Doing it alone had never occurred to me.” He was hurled into a new reality and now had to cope with the grief of losing his wife and had to manage raising a newborn alone.
11. Torn and Grieving
Logelin barely coped through the first few weeks. Every Tuesday he would look at the clock at 3:11 p.m. and relive the moment his life turned upside down. At times he believed dying would be the only thing to take the pain away, but he never seriously contemplated doing that. “The thought of our child as an orphan turned my stomach, and I hated myself for even thinking something so selfish,” he later told The Guardian.
He couldn’t bear being at home because everything he looked at reminded him of Liz, like the hairbands she left on every doorknob to save her from searching for one when she needed it. Logelin knew he couldn’t lose himself in grief for the sake of Madeline. His instincts told him to do something; something that would change both of their lives forever, without even knowing it.
12. Dealing with the Pain
The duties of fatherhood were suddenly sprung on Matt Logelin and it all felt like too much. When he took Madeline out, people would ask where her mother was and when he replied that she passed away the day after she was born, he would find himself comforting strangers.
To ward off the loneliness he felt before it consumed him, Logelin started writing on Star Tribune‘s online parenting forum, run by his old hometown’s newspaper in Minnesota. He started posting his feelings and experiences, and surprisingly, it became the outlet he desperately needed.
13. The Blog
Writing about his feelings on the parenting forum provided great relief for Logelin that soon he turned to the personal pregnancy blog he used to announce Madeline’s birth and Liz’s death. He poured his heart out and expressed how messed up he felt since her passing and how it felt to be a single parent and widower.
Before he knew it, the blog took on a life of its own. Not only was Logelin channeling his feelings, but other parents offered advice and support through this very blog. He built a community single-handedly, not only of mothers offering support, but of young widows and widowers searching for platforms to deal with the sudden loss of a spouse.
14. The Power of Community
Logelin’s poignant writing style got readers returning to the blog on a daily basis. He described in detail heartbreaking moments like Liz’s memorial and humorous incidents of him steering his way through fatherhood with no experience.
At its peak, the pregnancy blog – now turned personal blog – attracted traffic of at least 50,000 visitors a day. Logelin received the advice he was looking for, and many widows and widowers used the blog as a forum to share their tragic journeys. He had created something so remarkable out of a tragedy, but that wasn’t it.
15. The Response
At first, readers offered Matt Logelin their sympathy and condolences, but then the comments became more pragmatic with young mothers offering advice. Scores of people provided tips for when Madeline wasn’t sleeping well or to understand what it meant when she cried.
A weekly parenting group also invited Logelin along to socialize and after noticing he had dropped a lot of weight, rallied for people to organize meals for the widowed father. People definitely cared for Madeline and Matt Logelin, both locally and around the world, but the response didn’t stop there.
16. A Chain Reaction
The blog also became a platform for well-wishers to send all kinds of items to Logelin, so he could focus on raising Madeline and grieving. Rachel Engebretson, one of the readers, set up a separate blog in hopes of coordinating all the support from a central location.
People sent diaper bags and nail clippers, as well as formula dividers to measure the right dose of formula and hair clips after Logelin wrote about his fear of not dressing Madeline the way Liz would have. Logelin needed all the help he could get seeing that Maddy’s grandparents lived 1,500 miles away from Los Angeles.
17. A Love Letter
Without even planning it, the blog that started out as a helpful platform where Logelin could express his grief, morphed into a kind of scrapbook about Madeline for her to look back on when she got older. The blog started to read like a letter to Madeline about all the father-daughter events and moments they shared that would have otherwise been forgotten.
The blog was almost a painful and funny account of Logelin navigating his way through his grief on the toughest of days. “In many ways, it’s a love letter to Madeline and to Liz. 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,” he told the Daily Mail in January 2013.
18. One Such Moment
There were many joyful and painful moments for Matt Logelin and his daughter Maddy. A few months had passed since Liz passed, and he decided to take Madeline to the Plaza Hotel in New York, the place he and Liz spent their honeymoon.
The bartender offered a whisky to Logelin after he heard his tragic story, but instead of drinking, Logelin retired upstairs with his daughter where she suddenly learned to roll over for the first time. It was notable milestones and memories such as this that Logelin proudly wrote about. The blog wasn’t the only great thing to come out of this tragedy, though.
19. Madeline’s First Birthday
Just before Madeline turned one years old, Logelin was driving when four numbers popped randomly into his head. Those numbers turned out to be the PIN number Liz created for an overlooked bank account. He used those funds to throw his daughter the best first birthday party, as he knew it was what Liz would’ve wanted.
However, there is no such thing as a linear pattern when it comes to mourning, and Matt Logelin knew this all too well. Memories continued to creep up seeing that Madeline’s birthday was directly followed by the anniversary of Liz’s death. Despite the pain of having those two important dates so close together, Logelin wrote on the blog that “[He’s] determined that Maddy’s birthday should be a happy time for her, not dominated by her mother’s death.”
20. The Start of Something New
Matt Logelin originally planned to stop blogging about his experiences after one year, but traffic on the page was at its peak. He realized that his blog became much bigger than just his story – it became a space where any single parent could deal with sudden bereavement.
Logelin didn’t feel that he was more special than any other grieving widow or widower, so as soon as he felt less overwhelmed by grief, he set up a charity organization in Liz’s memory with the help of some avid readers.
21. The Liz Logelin Foundation
In 2009, together with volunteers, Matt Logelin set up a charity foundation in his wife’s name called The Liz Logelin Foundation with his blog reader Rachel Engebretson as co-executive director. The foundation planned charity events, such as 5 kilometer walks and runs in honor of his late wife.
The first event raised $4,000, which was initially meant to go to Logelin and Maddy, but he insisted that the foundation instead raise money for widows and widowers who needed all the help they could get. He wanted the foundation to become a network of support for widowed families, so the coordinators began holding a Celebration of Hope Gala event. This was just the start of many ventures Logelin would take on as a coping mechanism for his grief.
22. When Tragedy Turns Into Blessing
After learning all too well how it felt to have a loved one ripped away so suddenly, Matt Logelin was more determined than ever to help others in a similar situation. Along with the work he did with the Liz Logelin Foundation, he ran workshops for the Camp Widow program.
Logelin was also a guest speaker at the National Conference on Widowhood and Voice of America’s Healing the Grieving Heart. The single father also guest-posted for Glamour magazine along with his blog. However, as Maddy grew older, he knew she’d develop an opinion about the blog so he made the details less intimate and detailed. “The minute Madeline says stop, that’s it. The plug gets pulled,” he told his followers. However, that didn’t stop him from embarking on a new project, which turned out to be his most successful yet.
23. A Trip to India
In 2009, Matt Logelin wanted to explore different avenues. He quit his job to go traveling in India with Madeline for two months. India held a special place is in heart as he had traveled to the country with Liz the year after they married.
India therefore served as the best place for Logelin to pen his memoir Two Kisses for Maddy: A Memoir of Loss & Love. The time out provided him with the space and inspiration to write what became a New York Times bestseller and inspiration for an upcoming Channing Tatum movie. But the universe still had more blessings in store for Matt and Maddy.
24. Moving Forward
That same year, Logelin started dating a volunteer of The Liz Logelin Foundation, Brooke Gullikson. The two had met a year before during one of the charity’s annual events, but Logelin only plucked up the courage to ask her out for a drink around Thanksgiving 2009.
It only took one date for Gullikson to realize that Logelin was the one for her. Things went extremely well, and she was introduced to Maddy during Christmas. While the couple might have thought they belonged together, other peopled begged to differ.
25. Some Negative Reactions
Some of the readers weren’t too thrilled to hear about Matt Logelin’s new love interest. When Logelin posted about his budding relationship with Gullikson, many readers were very happy to hear that he had begun to date again.
After Gullikson moved to Los Angeles to be with them, Logelin felt the need to explain the relationship to his readers. He wrote, “Even in my darkest moments there has been happiness and with Brooke now in our lives, there’s even more happiness.”
26. On the Down-Low
The couple tried to keep their relationship on the down low to protect everyone’s interests, but Brooke Gullikson eventually opened up during an interview conducted by the website Parenting.com. She spoke about how it felt to be a “replacement mom” to Maddy.
By the summer of 2013, Logelin announced that he and Gullikson had decided to go their separate ways. But it seems like things always have a way of working out, and it made way for another budding relationship.
27. Lizzie Molyneux
Things on the dating front simmered down for Matt Logelin after he broke up with Brooke Gullikson, but after some time alone, he started dating Lizzie Molyneux, a sitcom writer for the animated comedy series Bob’s Burgers.
The two were spotted together in October 2016 at a comedy benefit show for the The Liz Logelin Foundation, but rumors were going around about the pair long before that event. They wanted to keep it quiet before anything became official. Would things work out this time for Logelin?
28. A Secret Wedding
Logelin and Lizzie Molyneux kept things extremely private. They didn’t want their relationship to become the subject of gossip. As such, they had no intention of announcing their plans to marry. Logelin still kept the public in the know about some personal details on Facebook and Instagram, but their nuptials were only discovered by accident on a wedding website by some of his readers.
Turns out that the pair got married on February 24, 2018 at Parker Palm Springs in California. So word was out, but Matt Logelin’s life story and Two Kisses for Maddy: A Memoir of Loss & Love became more popular than he anticipated, even catching the attention of the likes of Channing Tatum.
29. A Channing Tatum Movie
Initially, the cable channel Lifetime considered screening an adaptation of Two Kisses for Maddy: A Memoir of Loss & Love with writer Marta Kauffman as the executive producer of the TV movie, but plans didn’t move forward. It wasn’t until in April 2016, when rumors of a potential Channing Tatum movie began to circulate.
As rumor has it, the actor is planning on producing and possibly starring in the film adaptation of the memoir through his Free Association company with Temple Hill Entertainment and Sony’s TriStar. If things work out, Matt and Maddy’s story will also became a Hollywood hit. But where does Madeline stand in all of this?
30. Madeline Growing Up
Madeline has had quite an interesting upbringing, especially with constantly being reminded about the tragedy that surrounded her entrance into the world. However, she has been raised well by her loving father and has had a very happy life.
Matt Logelin encourages his daughter to follow her interests and dreams. As soon as she started reading, she developed an interest in comic books and super heroes as well as rock music. Not all kids her age would have developed interests like that! Maddy also takes an active role in the foundation her father started.
31. Matt Today
Currently Matthew Logelin is still as involved as ever with The Liz Logelin Foundation as its president, running the organization and its fundraisers that provides resources to families suffering a huge tragedy like he did.
Matt and Maddy still live in Los Angeles and the two continue to travel together as a father-daughter duo to see as much of the world as possible. Meanwhile, Maddy Logelin keeps on growing and has developed quite a personality.
32. Maddy Today
As Madeline keeps growing up, she has become very inquisitive about her late mother and often asks Logelin what she was like and what she liked to do for fun. Her father frequently comments on how she resembles her mother in her appearance and her mannerisms.
Maddy will be turning 10 years old on March 24, 2018, which also means that it has been 10 years since the loss of her mother. With the guidance of her amazing father, a new stepmother, and plenty of friends, Maddy has developed her own distinct personality in a surprising way.
33. As Confident As Ever
Thanks to her supportive father, Maddy has learned to approach the world in a fearless, outspoken way. For example, when Hurricanes Harvey and Irma struck in September and October 2017, Maddy decided to take action.
In order to raise money for victims of the storm, she started selling cookies and even made a hand-drawn poster to advertise it. It was shared on Twitter by Kate Coyne, the executive editor of People magazine, which no doubt brought attention to the fundraiser.
34. Maddy’s Role in the Foundation
Maddy Logelin is extremely interested and actively involved in her dad’s projects, including The Liz Logelin Foundation events. She has practically grown up with the foundation, ever since the first charity event in 2009.
Aside from just attending events, Maddy has also participated in some of their charity events. She did her first run with the Liz Logelin Foundation in June 2014, at the age of six. She even has a one-mile fun run named after herself, called Maddy’s Mile.
35. The Foundation’s Work
The Liz Logelin Foundation has been doing amazing work ever since its founding and has transformed into a resource for anyone suffering the death of a loved one. According to their website, they has been able to help 163 families.
They provide monetary grants to recent widows and widowers, allowing “families to spend more energy on healing, on being a parent, a child, a family.” They also provide a “New-Widowed Checklist” and plenty of resources to find emotional support groups for parents and children alike.
36. Matt’s Second Book
Following the huge success of his memoir Two Kisses For Maddy, Logelin continued to write and in 2016, wrote a children’s book called Be Glad Your Dad…(Is Not an Octopus!) along with co-author Sara Jensen.
The picture book tells the tale of kids who imagine their father as a series of different animals, including “a monkey dad, an alligator dad, a whale dad, and even a unicorn dad.” It includes adorable lines such as “Be glad your dad is not a dog, because he would lick your face to say hello!”
37. Maternal Fatality
In the years since Liz Logelin’s passing, much has been learned about the reasons for her death and what could have been done. According to a report by online news magazine Quartz, Liz Logelin had been at an increased risk of developing a pulmonary embolism, yet wasn’t given any anti-coagulant drugs.
Her family had a history of suffering blood clots and Liz’s risk of suffering a fatal blood clot had been raised by the weeks of bed rest, yet doctors don’t seem to have factored in these issues. The article highlighted the increasing rate in the US of women dying during childbirth due to a focus on the baby rather than the mother, among many other serious issues.
38. Influencing Others
Thanks to Matt Logelin’s candid documentation of his life on his blog, other single dads have also felt comfortable to start sharing as well. One such person was Tim Overdiek, a journalist from the Netherlands who also experienced the tragedy of a lifetime.
In 2009, his wife Jennifer was killed after being hit by a police motorcycle in 2009. He took the pain of being left alone with his two sons and eventually started a blog in 2012 called Diary of a Widower.
39.A Completely New Path
As a result of this experience, Tim Overdiek’s life took a complete 180. He ended up writing a book called Tears of Love, which was translated from Dutch into English as Diary of a Widower. He has also switched gears from the reporting world.
In addition to writing, he now provides counseling to people in Amsterdam who are dealing with a variety of difficult situations. Part of his practice includes counseling in English for expats living in the Netherlands since it can be difficult and lonely to acclimate following a big move. It’s clear that no matter the trauma, people can overcome and help others in the process.
40. Help During Bereavement
Help is available 24/7 for anyone experiencing a dark time in their life by calling the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. They have hotlines for a variety of people including veterans, those who are hard of hearing, a text chat option for those who are deaf and a Spanish-language hotline.
Organizations such as Soaring Spirits International and the New York Life Foundation provide resources following a loss, such as with support groups and camps for children. The Liz Logelin Foundation’s resource page is also a wellspring of information for parents and children experiencing the death of a love one.
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