Hi! We’re Kayla and Jessica - two SickKids Mamas, Advocates and Educators. Together we created the Beyond the Beads website and blog in the fall of 2020. We met each other in April 2018 in the NICU where our boys were roommates. After our experience, we connected again on social media and made it our mission to provide support, resources, and education to those of hospitalized and/ or medically complex babies and children. We both felt very alone in the process of becoming a parent of a medically complex child, and therefore are determined to make sure other caregivers feel that their emotions and struggles are valid and also heard. In the Beyond the Beads Podcast, we share raw stories of our experiences in the hopes of helping parents, families, and friends of medically complex children cope with similar struggles. We are not medical experts, and even though our experiences were/ are primary with Mount Sinai’s High Risk Pregnancy Clinic and The Hospital for Sick Children, we do not represent either hospital. We laugh, we cry and we always say it like it is! And sometimes we swear....a lot!
eposide 1 - Intro
Kayla: Adam’s mama. Adam was born in 2018 with a condition called Esophageal Atresia (the esophagus is not connected to the stomach). Kayla spent 8 months in the hospital with her son Adam, while living at the Ronald McDonald House.
Jessica: Theo and Christian’s mama. Theo was born in 2016 and Christain was born in 2018 with a condition called Gastroschisis (baby is born with the stomach outside of their body). Jessica spent 4 months in the hospital with Theo (Theo has had 3 stays in the hospital post discharge) and then spent 3 months in the hospital
with Christian. Jessica also stayed at the Ronald McDonald House.