Entering the season ready for a three-peat, Texas state, girls volleyball championship, pregnant with her second child, and seemingly having the world by the longhorns, learn how this week's guest went from having all her dreams realized, to learning the importance of when wishes change.
Watch or listen now to this Remarkable and life-packed episode. Within it you will find hope in the midst of tragedy, opportunity in the middle of trials, and peace and joy after suffering great loss. Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to the Tricia Roos story!
Tricia Roos is a Dallas wife and mother who built her career coaching young athletes. Multiple state volleyball championships pale, however, next to what she gained through tragedy. Against the advice of medical experts, Tricia completed her pregnancy with a child diagnosed with a fatal chromosome condition. That season her team won, the child in her grew, and eventually Tricia held and loved the daughter no one expected to live. Then in six searing days, Tricia and her family rewrote the medical chapter on Trisomy 18, living out a story that galvanized the large high school she worked in, the media in her city . . . and inspires her audiences and readers today.
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Tricia Roos | Dealing with Pain, Living Out Your Faith, & the Power of Visualization in Your Life
Hello friends! I'm David Pasqualone, and welcome to this week’s remarkable episode of the Remarkable People Podcast, The Tricia Roos story!
Tricia is a girl's high school volleyball coach, but not just any volleyball coach. She's one of the most winningest girls' volleyball coaches in Texas history. She's an awesome. Of not just a book. But a true life story. That's helping people grow and heal through tragic loss of their child and [00:01:00] just the pain of life. She teaches us how to live out our faith and to do it the real and balanced way. Theresa is also a coach, a consultant she's married with two kids, but she's going to go through in this episode, how learning as a child.
To deal with pain and kind of pour herself into activity. It led and bled over in a good way into her teenage years into her college years into her adulthood. And now she's sharing these experiences with us so she can see how she not only grew and thrived, but we can too. So at this time, get out your pen and paper and unless you're driving, get ready to take some great notes.
And then apply them. Cause like our slogan says, don't just listen to the podcast, but do what you hear. That's good repeated every day. So you can have a great life in this world and [00:02:00] attorney to come. So I'm David Pascoe alone. Get ready to hear Trisha's remarkable story. She even goes into goal setting and visualization and a ton more of it mentioned on this episode right now.
Tricia Roos Dealing with Pain Living Out Your Faith and the Power of Visualization in Your Life EPISODE: Hey Tricia, how are you today? Good. How are you, man? I'm pumped to hear this episode and spend time with you and learn and grow. So thank you for being here. No problem. I just told our audience and our community around the world.
Little bit about you don't want to steal your thunder or ruin your amazing, remarkable story, but at this time, can you share with us, you know, tell us about Tricia. What was your formation? Like what journey to God bring you on? And then we'll come up to where you are today and where you're going. So the first half you're helping us and hopefully that second half we're helping you.
So do you have any questions before we start now? I'm good to go. All right, then. Thank you for [00:03:00] being here. I'm going to mute my mic cause everybody wants to hear you. Not me. So Trish, please share with us your remarkable. Sure. Well just a little background. I was born in Dallas, Texas, and I have a little sister named April and our parents divorced when we were pretty young.
And so we spent a lot of our childhood flipping back and forth between our parents' houses. And we primarily live with our moms. So we grew up in a little town called Pottsboro Texas, and it was in the middle of nowhere. And as frustrating as it was to not have a grocery store within 30 minutes. The good thing about it was that in high school you kind of got to do everything.
And so I found a really true passion in middle school and high school for sports. And I even found out in my mind that I thought I might want to be a coach someday because I just enjoyed learning about this. And so again, being from a small town, [00:04:00] they make you do everything. And so in high school I played volleyball, basketball, ran track, did cross country played tennis and was a cheerleader.
And then student council and, you know, all the other activities, NHS. So you got a real, you know, a lot of free time. Yeah, exactly. I was just sitting around doing nothing. But I, I definitely think that that taught me a lot about independence and managing my schedule. And I learned how to play a lot of sports and do a lot of different things.
And so I decided to attend Baylor university for college and there, I kind of continued my passion and love for volleyball through playing for the school. I'm actually on the club team. But at the same time, I actually had a friend in the dorm that just said, Hey, there's a Catholic school in town.
And they're looking for some part-time coaches, if you're looking for some extra money. And again, that voice in my head that [00:05:00] I always said I wanted to coach became very intrigued about that opportunity. So I inquired, I interviewed with those little local Catholic school in Waco, Texas, and they hired me my sophomore year of college as the head middle school volleyball and basketball coach.
And so it was a part-time job is a lot of fun, got to meet a lot of families. And I can't remember the circumstances, but by the next year, in the summer, before my junior year of college, they last-minute fired the varsity volleyball coach at the high school and asked me if I would take the job. So I think I had just turned 20 years old and.
They gave me the keys to a, a bus that I had to drive and told me I was the varsity had math or volleyball coach. And then I also started coaching freshmen girls basketball. So I, I [00:06:00] entered the coaching world really young. And at the same time I was playing and learning from coaches that I had there.
And by the time I graduated from Baylor, I had a degree in marketing and public relations, not in education, but I somehow wanted to coach. And the way that works around here anyway, is that a lot of the private schools can hire people that are part-time or you don't have to be a certified teacher. And so I spent one year teaching, like the business elective courses in Waco.
Along with coaching and then my husband and I got engaged and moved to Dallas, and I landed as the director of marketing at this really large Catholic high school and as a freshman volleyball coach. And so both of my passions were kind of coming together. And then within a year, I actually moved to the head varsity volleyball coach [00:07:00] and moved over to the admissions office and became the director of admission.
And so that's really where my career has been. The last 16 years is in the world of high school admissions. And in coaching in I built a really solid program. We were known statewide for having a championship volleyball program. After my second year of coaching, we won our first state championship with the group and then continued to move on to the finals every year after that.
And then in 2012, one another state championship, 2013 one to seek championship. And then in 2014, we were gearing up for that three peat, which is a really big deal, you know, in the coaching world, especially with such a competitive sport in volleyball. But at the same time my husband and I were trying to build a family.
And so we did have our first son Cameron in 2011. And in [00:08:00] 2014, he started asking for Lily baby, which in his mind was a baby sister. And, you know, I'm busy coaching and doing admissions, but we really wanted that sibling for our son. And so I found out I was pregnant within a few months and. It was really in that summer that my entire life changed.
We got a call from my doctor that we were having our lady, baby, our baby girl, before you go on, wait, I don't want to cut you off, but let's cover. Cause you got to, this is where the story is going to really take the focus and the intensity. So let me go back and let's cover the ground. We've hit so far.
So at what age were you again, when your parents got divorced? I was in fourth grade, so nine or so. You're old enough to be aware, but not fully understand. And you said you're going back and forth between the two? Yeah. My parents couldn't decide what they wanted and they did split up and get back together [00:09:00] about five or six times.
And You know, eventually they, they got divorced. But it did cause my sister and I to move schools a few times and to just bounce back and forth between the parents probably between fourth and fifth grade for me before we finally got settled into a routine of living with our mom most of the time, and then with our dad, you know, every other weekend.
And do you think like while they were going back and forth, that kind of, because when you're telling your story from the outside, it's like, you're a go, go, go in high school, go, go, go in college. I mean, you're like, go, go, go, go, go all the time. Do you think, was that just how you were wired from birth or is that something like you just said, Hey, I got time, they're distracted.
I'm going to pour myself into activities. You know, I think in, you'll find this as we talk a little bit more about my story is that when I'm faced with more difficult things going on, like in my life. I [00:10:00] don't want to be very busy. And so I think likely in middle school and high school being super active and video was part of who I am, but also it's a release from the painful thing going on at home.
And that, you know, isn't always the best way to deal with things. But for me, especially being a kid, my sister and I kind of found our way through our friends and through our activities and sports as a part of our identity and who we wanted to be. So that we weren't always stressed about our family situation because it wasn't an easy divorce.
It's a very clean divorce. It was definitely nasty at times between our parents. But we relied really heavily on our friends and our activities to get us through that. Sadly. I mean, 60% of homes go through divorce. And some, like you said, are messier than others. Our audience [00:11:00] is youth all the way to adulthood.
You know, most of our audience is middle-aged where a lot of divorces happen. So they need to be thinking about the effects on their children. So what would you give advice to the listeners? If they're so young, their actual parents are going through a divorce. What are some steps you'd recommend, you know, to start healing or dealing with it.
And then the next question I'll ask you is as the parent, what are the no-nos like, don't do that cause you're hurting your kids and your selfishness. So the first question is as a kid, what can you do to heal? Like, it sounded a lot, like you got involved in activities, you had good friends, but what are the other things?
These kids. Well, you know, I think that it was also helpful for me to confide in friends that were like me. And again, I can relate to that again later in my story, because sometimes you just need to find somebody who you can be really honest with. And, and it may be a friend that doesn't have [00:12:00] divorced parents, but as a really good listener.
But for me, I think that some of my closest friends were also products of divorced families. And that was likely intentional on my part because I wanted somebody else that understood what I was going through and what I was experiencing. And I've always been very relational and it almost makes you feel more like you're not alone and that there's somebody else that can relate directly to what you're going through.
And I do know as a kid, there was never a point in time where I reached out and told my parents I was bad or needed help dealing with. I think I tried to go through all of that by myself because I didn't know how to ask for help. And I don't know if that would have helped me or not, you know, seeking therapy or something like that because I never experienced it for myself.
But I do think that if a kid feels extremely overwhelmed by any of life's circumstances, you have to recognize that there's a point where you can't [00:13:00] give yourself the self help that you need, that it needs to come from an outside source. I need to have trusted adults in your life to go, to, to talk to about those things.
More, the kids that. All right now flipping the coin to the adults. They're wrapped up in their selfishness, their sins, whatever the circumstance is, divorce isn't the children's fault, but they tend to suffer the most. So as a teen who went through it, looking to parents right now, thinking about divorce, listen to this podcast other than, Hey, work through the marriage and make it work.
What kind of stuff would you say is, Hey, these are things you should not be doing because you were to damage your kids. And the number one thing for me was that I think my parents, Sam, that we didn't know as much as we did, I knew a lot more and I still remember a lot more than they think I do. And so I think that phone conversations and in-person body language and [00:14:00] conversation.
Well, ultimately have a pretty devastating effect on your kids because they see your actions, your behaviors, your words, and your body language and how you're acting all the time. And no matter what you do. And I thought some pretty nasty behavior and actions and words from both of my parents that maybe they didn't think I heard, or maybe they didn't realize that I was overhearing, but I did.
And you know, you can't try to get your kids to take a side. I think that's definitely not fair to the kids. I don't think it's fair, really for them to get involved in any of the middle of what's going on between the parents, because that's not something they should have to worry about. They should be focused on their academics and being a kid and just growing up.
And so I think that parents would have to be really careful in what they say around their kids. About the spouse or the ex [00:15:00] spouse, because they just hear more than you think. And, and that long-term, I think did have an effect on how I see my parents. And and that took some working through as an adult to have more respect for them, you know?
Yeah, absolutely. And you know, not all parents are, they're not even realizing the damage they're doing. They're not doing it intentional, but it's happening. So I think that's great advice to really try to keep your relationship, your relationship, and love those kids through it. So, okay. Now you meet your husband, you guys meet at college work.
Where'd you guys meet? Yeah, we met at Baylor through a mutual friends and our friend groups just hung out a lot. And there was a lot of mutual friends that we had and. We both came from divorced families and we're both the oldest sibling. And we were, I mean, I think we were pretty responsible college aged kids and [00:16:00] we were both ready to be married and for adulthood, I think younger than most at our ages.
And so we actually got married at 22, which I know is not as normal as it used to be. And we've been married for almost 17 years. So thank you. I think for both of us, we took the lessons learned from both of our family situations of what not to do of how to be different in our marriage and to raise our kids differently.
And I think we've found great success in that. I know that's not everybody's story and sometimes behaviors repeat, you know, generation after generation. But I think for us, we were mature enough to look at the rights and the wrongs. Of our parents and their marriages to figure out what we wanted in our marriage.
And we were married six years before we had our first child. And so I also think that we spent enough time together dating for a few years and then married [00:17:00] to just kind of figure out who we were and to build our careers and have fun with our friends in our twenties and kind of explore and experience life through travel.
then let's ask this question too. We all have learned behavior. So you learned from your parents good or bad. Your husband learned how to be a husband, good or bad from his parents. So you have two people who. Flawed learned behavior, just I do. You do. Everybody does pretty much. We all have flaws, but what I'm seeing is you have two people who experienced divorce or statistically.
Now it's harder. What are a couple of tips for people listening that you'd say, Hey, these are things that we saw thought were normal and then found out together in marriage. That's not normal. So what's some tips you have for married couples to have success. Yeah. Well, first of all, above all things is communication.
I think that, you know, we were friends and dated and [00:18:00] continued to be best friends. And I think our philosophy on communication is that, like you talk about it when it happens, you don't Harbor emotion, you don't, you know, bottle it in and then there's this harboring anger over something over time. I think we're pretty good about vocalizing if we're annoyed by something.
And I think we're both just really good at compromise. If he needs something that's good for him. And I need something that's good for me. Like I think we listen really well and, and hear that out with each other. He tends to love to work outside on different projects. He does a lot of running with my brother-in-law and you know, the things that he needs to like stay more than right.
And centered are different than what I need. I need to talk. Our phone bill is a hundred percent my minutes, so I have my really [00:19:00] close friends. And as a guy, like I don't ever see him on the phone with friends. That's like not his thing, but he'll go to a friend's house and they'll hang out and they'll do a project or something together.
And so understanding communication between each other and then understanding. I mean, if he wants to go hang out with a friend or he going to speak in out my brother-in-law, he's running a a hundred mile race. I get it. He loves running. He loves helping my brother-in-law. He's had, he's done this like six times crazy.
I don't mind taking the kids for the weekend because I know that's something he really enjoys doing. And there will be weekends. Like last weekend I was gone a lot because I was coaching volleyball and he had to have the kids. And so we don't, you know, tally like you owe me or IOU, it's just helping each other out, compromising and communicating.
I think that's some great advice. So thank you for sharing that. So now we went through [00:20:00] chronologically your childhood, your high school, your teenage your college years, you met your husband. You guys are married, you have a child, and then you have your second child or you're pregnant with your second child.
So pick up the story there. Yeah. So being 28 with my first pregnancy, it was perfect. It was a healthy pregnancy. Everything went really normal. He was, you know, a big chunky baby boy and every parent, I think when you experience your first child, you're shocked by not sleeping and just being overwhelmed by having to care for another human.
But we didn't experience any health issues or any problems at all with Cameron. He's just a really good kid still is. And so the idea of having another child four years later we had finally started having friends that were also having children, but not very many. And the idea of any kind of miscarriages or infant loss or anything happening wrong with the pregnancy [00:21:00] hadn't even crossed our minds.
And so my doctor at 12 weeks asked us if we wanted to do a blood test to find out the gender of the child. And we immediately said yes, because we're planners. And we were just excited to know, well, it turns out that when you do that blood test to find out the gender, it also revealed other panels of information that could be things that are wrong with the child.
And so when I received the call from my doctor, letting us know that it was a baby girl she had a very concerned tone to her voice. And she also let us know that our daughter tested positive for trisomy 18. So you all know try, what is it called? It's called trisomy 18 and the most known chromosome disorder, if you will, is down syndrome and that's called trisomy 21, [00:22:00] trisomy 18 is typically a more severe version of down syndrome.
There would be you know, developmental delays, but a lot of trisomy, 18 babies also have heart defects, like pretty major ones. And obviously just overall health concerns and issues. And what we were told statistically is that only about 10% of those pregnancies will make it full term. Now, those statistics can be skewed because a lot of people choose abortion as opposed to continuing the pregnancy.
But. It is also contributed to a lot of stillbirth because the baby is not healthy or functioning well in the womb. And so when we found out this diagnosis from our eye OB, she immediately referred us to a specialist. We met with that specialist the next day. So all of this was happening within a 24 hour period of receiving this [00:23:00] news.
And, you know, he essentially ran some tests, confirmed the diagnosis. And on top of that immediately recommended that we have an abortion. And, you know, our world turned upside down really fast because everything that we had hoped and dreamed of, of just having it easy, second pregnancy like we did with our first was now turned upside down on its head.
And I kind of assumed by being told to have an abortion, that there was a possible risk for my health because. I thought that if you were going to recommend that to a patient, there may be some concerns for me. And so we really spent the next couple of days besides crying all the time, exploring and Googling and trying to find anyone we could that knew about trisomy 18.
And so the more I researched, the more I found out that, yes, it's rare for these babies to make it [00:24:00] to birth full term and alive, but that my health was not at jeopardy. And so we told the doctor that we wanted to continue the pregnancy and, you know, for us, there were two reasons. One was our faith.
I think that we believe that this was not an accident and that God was going to write her story and that it was not our choice to end her. 'cause what if we were in the 10% that made it full term and get, even if it was meeting her alive for one minute, I was willing to accept that I was really willing to accept whatever circumstance God would provide or, or having our lives because I didn't want it to be my decision.
And then the second thing is, you know, I mentioned that my whole life, I wanted to be a coach and it's just always been in my blood. And I think the [00:25:00] thing that my athletes would tell you about me is I'm very competitive and stubborn and I want to win. And the way to win is to fight and to fight. It means that you give it all, you put everything out there, you don't hold back and you put up a fight.
No matter the opponent, it could be the best team in the state, but you're still going to try your best and give it your all so that you have no regrets after you leave. And there's just something inside of me that told me that this was an opportunity for me to live out my words into action, personally, because instead of giving up my fight for my child, that by choosing to pursue her life and to let God write her story and be there for her, whatever that meant it was showing that I was willing to fight until the end, whatever the end look like.
And so, you know, we made that decision [00:26:00] and timing wise, we got this diagnosis on July 15th and in the state of Texas, you know, the start date for volleyball season is the first week of August. And so I was about to enter a very, you know, exciting time in my year at a time of extreme optimism. When everyone is, you know, believes that their team is going to do it this year.
And when I was going into a year where we had a possible three-peat, which was you know, an overcoming, an overwhelming task, but one that I was really excited about, and I just had a great junior senior class that had been with me and had won previous state championships that were wanting to finish out their careers on top.
And I found myself starting off this season, you know, that's filled with optimism, letting them know that I was pregnant with a child that would likely die maybe even before their season ended. And then I may not get to finish the season with [00:27:00] them. And I know a lot of people were really concerned about me and just how I communicated that message to a bunch of teenage girls.
But what I found in those months after with me living out my faith and my commitment to my daughter, I had this whole high school team of athletes that instead of worrying about the drama of boyfriends and, you know, things that go on in their lives that they usually worry about instead, they were highly committed to a higher purpose and a higher cause.
And that was to making the season as memorable and as fun as it could be to help boost my spirits and help my family get through a really hard time. And so we ended up winning the 2014 state championship, and
I think that I had a great team, [00:28:00] they were talented, but we'd also graduated really, really key players the years prior. And I really accredit that win and that season, the them being selfless and. No playing for a higher purpose in a, in a higher cause. And just us being there for each other, no matter what.
Yeah. And not to, to add, but to add to the audience knows we have listeners in 93 countries actively. So in America, there's sports like wrestling, wrestling, new England is popular, but wrestling in Iowa is like off the chart, right? So an average Iowa wrestling team can probably tool a new England champion team just because that's what they're good at and not to exaggerate.
And you correct me if I'm wrong, Tricia, but volleyball and Texas is like a game. So if she's wearing three championships and [00:29:00] these girls are marching towards God with a purpose and they went three in a row, that's just like incredible. Yeah, volleyball is very, very popular in Texas and across the club world.
It's almost frustrating because when you play select, you could be up in Philadelphia for a huge tournament. And it's all Texas schools playing each other in the final, because that's where the talent comes from. And that's not to say there's not as talented, you know, volleyball players and big regions that are also very talented, but particularly our region in north Texas is extremely competitive in the sport.
Yeah. And I think, what do you think? Cause listening from the outside and outside and just life experience, the higher level, the competition, the higher level people rise. So once you're around greatness, you just become great and the level just keeps going up. Is that what happened in Texas? Somehow just somebody became passionate about women's volleyball and now it's just [00:30:00] dominant.
Oh, absolutely. I mean, I think that kids are starting to play younger and younger. And as the talent keeps getting better and the game keeps getting faster and girls are hitting harder and the sport is becoming bigger. You're just around that all the time. Even the little school teams around here, elementary school teams are pretty talented.
And so I think that's part of it. You know, it's popular the most athletic kids want to play it and be good at it. You know, in Texas boys, volleyball is, is not very popular. But in Illinois it's really popular. So the most athletic boys are playing volleyball in Illinois. The most athletic boys in Texas are, you know, playing football.
And so down here, the most athletic girls, we don't really have field hockey as much or other sports. They're all playing volleyball. So. Yeah. And there's a lot of people in America who don't even know what field hockey is. I'm from Boston, [00:31:00] I'm from outside of Boston and over in that a field hockey team, but many states don't even have field hockey.
They have no idea what it is and lacrosse, and these are great sports, right? Yeah. All right. I didn't want to derail. I just really like with, I wanted people to understand in different areas of the world that to win a championship in any country, it's impressive, but to three-peat in Texas with girls' volleyball, it's pretty impressive.
So so that's it. So now you get through this season, the girls take it to the next level and win, and then what's going on with your pregnancy at this point. So at that point, I was getting into third trimester where it just became increasingly more likely than I was she wasn't going to make it too long.
And I was very blessed that I did make it through the volleyball season and. Still there, but you know, the frequency of my doctor's appointments were increasing. And I ended up [00:32:00] having her December 29th, which was about a month or so months in a week after volleyball season ended and timing wise, that really gave me that time to focus on the pregnancy.
And I think I allowed for a really long time from the possible scenarios and from the possible pain. But at some point, you know, when you have something big coming up in your life, you've got to, you've got to think you've got a plan. You've gotta work through the different scenarios. And I had to Work through a lot of scenarios.
I had to work through. What if she dies tomorrow? What if she lives one minute? What if she lives one hour? What if she lived the day? What if she lives a week, a month? What will her disabilities look like? What are we as parents as believers, like how far do you take it [00:33:00] medically, you know, whether we allow her to be on a ventilator or, or what are we okay with?
And so much of that you do have to discuss with your doctor in the hospital because they want to know in that situation, what are you expecting us to do for you and for your child? But it was a lot of prayer. It was a lot of just heartache and anticipation. But I think because I had that downtime as hard as it was every day was painful to get through.
When it was time to have her, we had to do a scheduled C-section. To have a chance of having her alive because of the stress on her heart, I was ready. I mean, I was focused. I had done my visualization. I had kind of practiced all the things that I've learned through coaching into my pregnancy. And we found out about halfway through the pregnancy that she had a two chamber heart.[00:34:00]
So for everybody that's taken freshman biology, you know, that your split that four chambers and not two. So that was already going to be something that was a challenge for her to be able to breathe. So of course, with the anticipation of the birth, and this was POS, this was going to be, if she was born alive, the first live trisomy 18 birth that the doctors and nurses at our hospital that we were working with had ever experienced.
It was kind of a big occasion. And so the room was full. There was a lot of people just ready and on hand. To figure out what we would need to do for this child. And she didn't read for about the first four minutes, you know, as being warned that she would likely not make it. And then all of a sudden we heard this little lion, Cub cry and she was breathing.
And so they immediately got her to me. And they [00:35:00] worked really hard to just stitch me back together and get me to a room where my entire family was meet her because we anticipated that her life would be very, very short I'm talking minutes or an hour because of her heart. And so I was able to introduce her to my family, my parents, my sister, our son, Cameron.
But then she kept going you know, knowing everybody, knowing that I was, you know, a very governor. Coach that was a fighter that always wanted to win and find a way. I don't think anyone doubted that I would, you know, have a daughter that was the same way. And with every nursing group that we would have in a 12 hour span, they would cry at the end of the shift of like, oh, this has been such a blessing to meet this child.
And you know, we're going to miss her and assuming, you know, that she [00:36:00] was about to die and that they wouldn't see her again only to come back a day or two later. And she was still there. And so I believe that, you know, we were given this amazing opportunity to be her parents, that we were given a child who defied odds and surprise doctor's expectations and, and really just went against everything that they were taught in medical school to prove that there's a larger picture and a larger point that we can't determine the life before.
The meaning of a human being, God, it's God's role to do that. And after, you know, four and a half days or whatever in the hospital, they sent us home because our time was up. And and she did end up passing away at home, going into her seventh day. And although, you know, you can look at that and say, oh, you know, your baby died and she didn't live.
And this is extremely tragic and sad, which of [00:37:00] course I was devastated and it was really hard for me to get through. I think that now that it's been seven years, I can just look back on that time in my life and be like, man, what a miracle and what an amazing testimony and an opportunity to see something happen that wasn't supposed to happen because we made a choice to just fight for life and allow God to write her story.
And you know that since then sparked me to write a book and to be a public speaking and honestly, to change my entire trajectory of my life because of our story and what happened with our daughter Annabel. And I think that all of us have those turning points in our lives. We have obstacles that we have to go through.
And when you look back on those times, those are really the times that define who you are as a human and who you become. And I think for me, that was a really big turning point in [00:38:00] my life for. How I approach that situation with circumstances now than I did prior to her life and prior 2014. Well, if you don't mind me asking, there's so much in that story, and I know you wrote a book so people can learn more, especially people who may be going through this, how to not just hear your story, but to have that strength learn what you've done and how you guys were able to do it.
And it'll never be easy and there's no formula, but you went through it successfully and you can help them with tips. So definitely I'll put a link in the show notes to your book, but for parents right now who are listening or family members, you know, you know, someone we love or we're having a child that the doctors say aren't going to make it.
What kind of tips would you give them to cope and to prepare like for you, what kind of tips, if you were to give like three top tips that [00:39:00] helped you in your home. What would those be? Sure. Well, one thing, you know, with infant loss with miscarriage, I mean, all of us are going to know somebody going through it, whether they make that public or not.
My sister had two miscarriages last year before she had a baby that is now 16 months old. And I think I want to speak to women in that a lot of people hide it and want to lock themselves inside and mourn the loss by themselves. And then I think when I speak to men, I say, you know, you want to be the protector and be the strong one, but it's okay to not be that way sometimes.
And because that's how my husband and I were, I was like the crier, the emotional one. He was trying to be the strong rock. But the thing [00:40:00] I think helped us the most one kind of going back to saying that I had friends, the kids that also had divorced parents because they looked like me. I needed to find people like me specifically, like me that had gone through the loss of a child or had had a similar diagnosis.
And in this day and age through podcasts, through Facebook groups, through, you know, other social media avenues and networking, there's always a way to find somebody experiencing the same type of circumstance as you. And I found that really helpful for me personally, to talk and correspond with people like me.
The second thing is I think it's really important to know that you don't have to do this alone and that there are grieving, you know, support groups for grieving mothers and for You know, whatever, again, your life [00:41:00] circumstances, whether it's cancer or the loss of a parent or job loss or a change in your life circumstances.
And so finding either a therapist or somebody that's a professional in the world of your circumstance is helpful. And then for me, I think I had to find passion and purpose within my circumstance. I had to say, okay, God, you're throwing me a curve ball. And this is really difficult. Help me find the good in this.
And the good for me was God telling me that there's a bigger plan for her life that I even know. And that message came through me being told to write a book for me, sharing my story through podcasts, through public speaking. And the book title is actually when wishes change. [00:42:00] And, you know, I started writing at the end of 2019 pre pandemic.
I finished editing last year at this time, or was in the editing process. And I realized that my book wasn't just about my situation, you know, my pregnancy and in my loss, it was about having a wish or a dream of something your whole life for whatever amount of time and it not coming true and finding out how to navigate that and still find hope in your life, enjoy in your life and purpose in your life without being completely defeated.
And I think I have done that successfully since the loss, because I realized I had to find passion and purpose there, what I was going through. And when I found that passion and purpose to help others to write, to share my experience, I found [00:43:00] healing through that. And so, you know, like I said, the book you'll hear the story I summarized, but also much more.
But I think the book can be read by anybody because we've all experienced an enormous amount of change over the past two years. And it's really about navigating change and allowing our wishes to change as our lives change.
So after you got to be with Anabel and that literally was a miracle and you got those days with her, what was like life after that? And then how did you kind of pick up and move forward? And I know we jumped to the book and that was a great tool to help you heal, but the daily practical getting back on your feet, what did that look like for you?
So, you know, back to the whole story with my parents being divorced and kind of staying away from home, sometimes living in [00:44:00] sports and activities, I did the same thing in my adult life when this happened. So of course, since I had had a full-term pregnancy, I was given maternity leave. I was also given a brief time for having a loss.
And so, and then I'd worked at the school for, at that point, you know, the decade. So I had a lot of vacation time. I was given a lot of time off to heal from this, but I chose not to, I think about two weeks after the funeral, when I still had significant pain from a C-section, I was back in my office at my desk and I would not recommend that for everyone.
However, I have been asked this question, would you do that again? If you went back and you know what you know, and I say, yes, just because that's what I needed at the time. I wasn't ready to face all the [00:45:00] stages of grief. I didn't feel like it was right to just sit in my house by myself, without a child on maternity leave.
And because I'm a person of relationships and community, I needed people and I needed normalcy and I needed a routine. And all I knew was my routine of working, you know, being at my desk by seven 30, answering my emails, getting back into my work, seeing my students and my team on a daily basis. My husband had to go back to work pretty quickly after the loss.
And so it was just me by myself at home and I stayed busy. And the warning, I will say that comes with that is when you push off your grief and your circumstance. It catches up with you later. It just does. It always does. And so I was more or less faced with waves of grief throughout the last seven years.[00:46:00]
And I had to deal with the different stages that came at me and the different emotions that came at me along the way. But that's part of grieving anyway, is dealing with it over time. And then last year I ended up leaving my job because again, it just felt uncomfortable. I didn't think that's where I needed to be.
There were some circumstances that my wishes had changed and things had changed. And so I found my book, title being thrown in my face, like, Hey, when wishes change like the year or something else, that's going to make you happy and not so depressed and such high anxiety. And so I kind of relive this experience of loss and change in the last year.
Different than losing a child, but similar in a lot of ways when I left my job. And so I use this phrase a lot when wishes change, when I'm talking to a friend that's dealing [00:47:00] with something they didn't plan on or a change, because if you wallow in those emotions and the sadness and they so fixated on the past and what you didn't get in the wish that didn't come true, you're missing out on the opportunities that God has for you.
That's even bigger than you have imagined because what's come out of my life in the last seven years, you're in better than imagine yet I lost a child and I had to go through a really hard time. Like that seems counterintuitive, but that's what it's been.
Now, what is God's role in all this? Because a lot of people they're like, oh, if there's a God, why would he allow bad things to happen? And or why would he cause bad things? And as a Christian, I know that's not true. And you know, that's not true. And you've, they've just listened to you. So for our listeners who aren't yet Christians explain to them how God's not causing harm.[00:48:00]
He might allow it, but it's only for benefit of everyone long-term but he never causes harm. So explain your relationship with God and how he got you through it. Yeah. Well one thing that is really in the book a lot are my emotional. In my interaction with, I wanted to be vulnerable for people to understand that just because you're a Christian doesn't mean that life is easy.
It doesn't mean that you're always like happy and joyful and thankful to God, because in real life you don't understand everything that comes your way. And so I did have anger and I did have emotion. And I asked why with the tears, you know, hysterical, you begging the question, why me, why is this happening to me?
And I will say that when you have honest dialogue with [00:49:00] God, when you ask for answers, you get them, but they come in different forms. Sometimes it's just a piece in an understanding. Sometimes it's more in your face obvious. There are several stories I have. I could not have been workers treated any other way than the hand of God.
You know, I have a very vivid dream that I mapped out that I had about Annabel in her life and in her life, meaning when I was pregnant early on, that all came true. And then a couple other circumstances that happened that could not have been any other reason besides God panned in it. But again, I realized that I suffered through a loss.
However, the greater good was the hospital that I birthed her at changed their [00:50:00] policies and procedures for trisomy 18 babies and other babies after us lived longer or just plain lives because of our situation. I think that the. Sharing of our stories, our personal testimonies are helpful to other people that are going through situations to help them navigate.
Actually a few days ago, another trisomy 18 baby that I had kind of counseled the mother through her pregnancy. She had an abortion scheduled and I told her like, you don't have to do this. You know, please don't that little girl just turned seven years old and she didn't have the same heart defects.
And she had a different circumstance, but much like my specialist, hers had also recommended an abortion and she thought that was her only choice. And so there's another child that possibly is on this [00:51:00] earth because of the impact that Annabelle had. And the things that I had learned because I was a month ahead of this other mother in my research and my.
And none of that is me. Like, I don't want to give any credit to myself for like saving lives or being that person. But I'm like the conduit that was able to experience something and go through something tragic and difficult to then help other people. And to me that makes it worth it. I mean, I, I understand again, but maybe back to coaching and going through some other really difficult life experiences that some times things come crashing down in a bad way or something tragic happened for something better to happen or something bigger to happen.
And we did end up having another child after Anabel. I was pregnant about. Months later with my little rainbow baby, Andy [00:52:00] little girl, and we wouldn't have her if it wasn't for Annabel, because I don't think I would've been pregnant six months after my second child. First of all. And second, you know, we had planned on wanting to have two children because we have a small house in three bedrooms and that made more sense to us.
And so I know that Andy was a gift out of animals, lost to us. And she's crazy and she's little curly haired, blonde little girl. But she rocks this world and you know, probably wouldn't be here without what we went through. Yeah. And what's your, thank you so much Tricia for sharing all this, because I know this isn't necessarily easy.
And when it comes to the point of healing, I know it's easier to talk about, but I really, truly thank you because there's a lot of people that are going to hear this interview. And it's going to connect. And one [00:53:00] thing, not one, you said many things, but one thing that you said in this last segment was about how, you know, God always reveal the answer, but we don't know the timing and we can't let that get us down.
And we can't go off the beaten path. And I don't want to give anybody listening false hope if you're like Trisha right now. And your daughter has been given you a diagnosis that your child is going to be sick or die, and you should get an abortion they're doctors. And sadly, they're programmed by the insurance companies to take certain actions.
That doesn't mean they're always right. Sometimes they are, but not always. I have a personal friend. I have actually a couple friends who were told their parents were told this child is going to be severely. It's going to have issues and die. You know, it's going to mentally [00:54:00] one of my friends, they just said, your son's going to be mentally retarded, kill him.
Don't go through that kind of pain kids. He's perfect. He went through, you know, through, through life he's married. He has kids. He's a preacher out in Oregon, you know, Tim Tebow. There's so many stories that if you just ask, these daughters are not God. Now granted they have gifts and they have tools and they're usually in it for your best interest, but not all the time.
So like Trisha said, the friend, she Trisha went through this incredible pain to help this woman. And now she has a daughter who's seven years old and that's something that no doctor would have predicted. So, I mean, I don't want to add too much, but is there anything else on that topic you want to address?
No, you're right. I mean, I, and, and you know, what I would say is, you know, I still don't have all the answers. Right. I don't know why. Everything happened the way it did. And, and we can say that about all of our circumstances in life, [00:55:00] right? Not just the loss of my child, but just the way things go down sometimes can hurt us and bruise us and cause pain.
But if it's meant to teach us the bigger lesson and to grow the next time we're in circumstance similar then it has more purpose. And, you know, I think about raising my own children and like, yes, I have to, if my daughter tries to just run across the street without looking both ways, I mean, I'm a fuller arm off to get her back, you know, on the safe side of the street.
And that may cause pain. And that might be really terrible. And she may be in a cat, but if it lets her know that you look both ways and it prevents her from getting hit by a car, that pain was worth it. And I think a lot about that with parenting and just with. You know, seeing how others parent and learning about parenting, how many people that they want to be their friend, and they don't want to hurt their feelings, but sometimes we have to have those [00:56:00] painful conversations or our kids, you know, have to experience things for themselves to learn life lessons.
And that's the same thing as adults do. I mean, we have to go through hard times that we can learn and that we can grow. And, and I think it's all in your outlook. Like if you see things not going your way, and you're just constantly mad about it and depressed about it, instead of looking for the opportunity or the upside of it, it's just going to be a tough life.
Because I think every day we can find something that doesn't go our way or something that doesn't make us happy. But as long as you can see some opportunity in bad circumstances, it will allow you to grow in the future. Oh, I think that's incredibly well said. So now you have a son and a daughter you've written a book you're grown in your healing.
Did we [00:57:00] miss anything from today back? Is there anything that we missed that you want to talk about before we get to where Trisha is today and where you're heading? Yeah, no. I mean, I think that the last life change was really when the book was coming together and I knew that I had a calling to do some public speaking and to just get this message out in the world.
Everything that I knew before that routine of having a job and showing up at the same time every day and doing the same thing for 16 years I left. And I had to learn kind of a different way of when we should change because in the situation with Annabel, I know that I did everything I could and, you know, I can look on that situation now and be like, man, I'm really like proud to be her mom and have gone through everything that I did.[00:58:00]
Some things with the situation of leaving my job last year were messy and did not go well. And so I can say I have a situation where I still don't get it and I still don't know why certain people acted the way they did and treated me the way that they did. And it wasn't perfect. But it was to get me on a better path for myself, you know?
And, and I think that I can say it's been seven years since the loss of my daughter. And I've learned so much in those seven years, that may be a similar case with leaving my job. Right. And and I think that this last six months has been a huge time of learning and growth. And it's almost like I was reliving a lot of the lessons learned seven years ago, but in a new and different way.
And, and so I would give called that last year, like a pretty big valley and a pretty painful time of leaving a community I'd been in love with, for a really long time. And there [00:59:00] were some really great people that were like family to me, but it was time to move on and it was time to do something new. So I'm glad to be where I am, but it's taken a lot to be here now.
Yeah, and I'm glad you're here and I know our audiences, so where we know where you're at, we know where you've been, where are you heading? How can we help you get there? Yeah, well so my main calling are kind of interesting. So I really believe in the message of the book. I also know that the attention span of people has gone down.
And so I hired this amazing editor and we worked this thing down from probably 65,000 words to 40,000. And that ends up being about 150 page book. And everybody that's read it has literally read it in like a day or two, like very fast and they couldn't put it down. And I think it's because sometimes we need to hear [01:00:00] things in different ways to learn life lessons and to get us through circumstances.
And a lot of people don't know. Am to read a big novel, you know, 400 pages. And with the message of when wishes change, I feel like between the book and then speaking, I love speaking to churches. I love speaking to high school kids, college kids, because as we know, that's when so much of our dreams and wishes are really starting to take form, but also as we know as adults, they don't all come true.
and then I think the important message your industry to understand even if you're not Christian, that the patient you need to respect patients and their wishes for like us not having an abortion and you know, compassion and care for your patients that are going through their wishes changing. [01:01:00] So any speaking opportunities, I mean, I'm jumping at as fast as I can because I love it.
And then I am in the consulting world. And so my nerdy admission side of me that worked as the director of admissions for 16 years, loves educational consulting. And I love helping schools that are struggling with their branding and their messaging and their marketing and their mission to support them and help them grow.
Because I loved doing that as a professional and know that that world really, really well. So that's like my other job, and then I'm still doing volleyball. I love coaching so much. And so I have kind of a part-time job as the director of coaching at a local club. And I do a lot of private lessons.
That's where I really get to train kids one-on-one and help out with weekly practices and I get to coach coaches. So I get to take, you know, [01:02:00] new young coaches. Are so excited about starting in this new role and help them and mold them become the best they can be for their team and to be the best version of themselves.
And so I'm kind of all over the place, but I'm speaking and I'm still, you know, doing publicity for the book and consulting and doing volleyball and all of those make me really happy. Oh, that's amazing. That's awesome. So if there's a school out there that wants to get ahold of you, or maybe another coach that wants to pick your brain and do some one-on-one coaching through zoom or anything out there that you do, what's the best way for people to read?
Well, my website is pressure.com and you can also get there through when wishes changed.com, but I have a speaker page. I have an author page. I have a consulting page and I have a contact page. And one thing I want to note about that specifically is that under the author page [01:03:00] this, our story was actually made into a documentary and I had kind of like a little film crew with me from the beginning of my pregnancy all the way post-pregnancy.
And so the documentary is there. There's like a two minute video of my team winning the state championship, that championship game. And then a couple other little sneak peek videos. And of course I'd love for this to be a movie someday, because I think it has the faith element, the sports elements, and just selflessness and love, which we more of in this world.
But I think that's kind of, I'm a, I love those like based on a true story books and shows because I immediately go to the website and like, oh my gosh, I can't believe this really happened. And I love the behind the scenes stuff. And I agree with you completely. Why, why deal with fiction though? No, there's nothing wrong.
Thank you. But to me, it's like, there's so much great reality. Why do we think. Yeah. And so [01:04:00] it was a little bit unique in that everything. I mean, I can truly tell you everything I wrote was true because I have it documented. And I have, I went through hundreds of hours of interviews and footage to make sure that everything I was writing was true and accurate.
And so if you're the kind of behind the scenes kind of person, I think it's really fun to go to the website and watch some of those videos. Wow. Well, thank you so much Tricia for being here today. And before we wrap up this episode, is there anything, anything of any sort that you want to talk about you want to state, or just convey to our listeners before we go today?
Yeah, I think whatever you're going through right now, So important to let your wishes change. I mean, you need to have your dreams and your goals. I mean, in my planner today, I spent an hour in the morning setting my goals and my wishes for [01:05:00] February, you know, because it's the last day of the month right now as we're speaking.
But it doesn't mean they're all going to come true perfectly. It doesn't mean that every goal I have is going to be accomplished and that's okay. So I'm not saying, you know, don't wish big wishes and big dreams. But as you navigate life and all of it, circumstances and changes let your wishes change.
And when something bad happens in your life, try to find higher purpose and meaning for that so that you can see the good that can come out of your circumstance. And if you don't mind, I want to talk about one more thing before you go about what you just discussed. Not to give you a fat head or toot your own horn, but you're one of the most winningest coaches in taxes, correct?
Yeah. Okay. You mentioned goal setting and visualization. Yeah. I'm a strong believer in that. And I [01:06:00] can show people how it lines up with the Bible. It's to take anything too far crazy. You're crazy. Here's balance, right. But goal setting and visualization is biblical. Give us a quick summary, help people understand just the basic definition.
What is goal setting? What is visualization? And obviously it works in your life. So give us a sample of how you apply that each day. Yeah, absolutely. So I think that because of my coaching background and coaching for over 20 years, I started realizing that the more specific we can get with our goals.
The better chance we had of accomplishing them, because you really have to, instead of just saying, I want to win a state championship, I had to have my kids say, well, how are we going to get there? Right. The steps that we have to take. So then you have to break it down. And so, for example, in like a volleyball season, over three months, we would have our pre-season goals.
And then at the end of preseason, we'd look at those, review them and go into our district [01:07:00] season. Then we would do it again. And then we would look at the post season. And then as we got closer and closer to the big moment, our big games, we practice group visualization, where we would literally lay in a room with the lights off and we would go through the entire game for the next day in our head with, you know, good things happening, bad things happening.
Crazy chaotic scenarios and scenarios that we're in complete control so that they can navigate those situations and for any sports fanatics. I a lot that changed in me was when I read this book called the mind gym. And there's a chapter in there about visualization, where they talked about how the great Nolan Ryan and Texas Rangers pitcher used to go through the batting line up in his head the night before a game or the day before a game, and imagine each pitch that he would pitch that particular batter.
And so that when he got [01:08:00] there in the game the next day, he felt as if he had already practiced through all the scenarios in his head and felt more confident. And since I have applied those principles so long in coaching, I now do that in my real life and it kind of ebbs and flows and I use different systems and.
Different kinds of ways of doing it. But for me, I think that setting weekly goals and monthly goals and yearly goals are kind of my big three because I need to know my big goal. So I keep my eye on the prize, like the big picture. Then I need to know how that's going to get accomplished and the big things that have to get done each month in order to get to that goal by the end of the year, and then weekly, I have to know what I'm going to do every week to get to the monthly goal, to get to the yearly goals.
And, you know, I set goals with health and [01:09:00] wellness and working out and spiritual goals and career goals and ways to help my family out differently and more efficiently. And so it can really speak to every aspect of your why, but it's a game changer and as tedious as it can be. And sometimes time-consuming, you know, journaling things and writing all these things down.
It's so amazing to look back when you have it in writing and be like, oh my gosh, look how far I've come and what I've accomplished and what that does for you as it sparks you to be even more motivated to your future. And so what's to come because when you see what you can do in just one year or one month or one week that continues to keep you motivated year after year.
And I'm also obsessed with John Gordon. Please listen to this, like interview me, John Gordon. But well, if anybody knows John Gordon out there, shout [01:10:00] out for this episode. Oh 11. Well, you know, he does the whole, like one word challenge where you have like a word of the year and last year my word was deeper and, oh my gosh.
Like I thought of that word all the time in relationships and in my writing. And then being vulnerable and in exploring myself deeper for, you know, where my career was headed and it changed my life. That last year was a game changer. And this year my word is habits. And I'm really focusing in on the habits of, you know, eating and health and wellness and my time management skills and how I spend my day.
And I'm 31 days in, and it's, it's been pretty life changing already. So I can't wait. What's the next 11 months look like for my habit to keep forming. But I'm a big believer in like focusing [01:11:00] on a word and it motivating you in all aspects of your. Yeah. And even like how we read our Bible, we'll read a scripture and we meditate on it and then we apply it.
But the more we just think on it, the more it starts to actualize in our life. And the same thing with the word, Santa can, I want to be disciplined or whatever your word is, right? Like you said, this year it's habits, the more we put attention to something, the more it comes to fruition. And I know that it's not like one study, you know, you, you want to slap the people in the head that say, oh, a study has been done that prove this.
Well, yeah. One study in the people were probably paid to come up with those results. But what Trisha's talking about with that mental act, actualization and visualization, that's been studies for E for throughout history pretty much, but it's proven. I mean, you have Olympic athletes that they sit in a chair, you have Olympic athletes that they send on the track.
Both of them go through the workout and the physiological [01:12:00] muscles fire, the same. The mental synapses fire the same. So thinking through it and doing it, it's almost identical. So that's what makes Trisha and one of the most winningest coaches as she figured that out. So, and if you think it's silly, all right.
If you had a football coach, you wouldn't laugh the football coach by watching video. Yeah. But yet that next level is just running through the program with visualization. And that visualization is more powerful because it's not static. It's dynamic. You can change the scenarios. Like you said, no one Ryan did, you know, all of a sudden, oh, I need a curve ball for this guy.
It really works. So give it a shot. And you said, I haven't read that book. But you talked about w I just scrolled the mind gym. You said that was one of the books that really helped you. Yeah. And they just, like you said, they talk about Olympic athletes that goes through visualization. I mean, they all do.
And I'm sure you'll hear a lot about it. You know, when the winter Olympics, because if you, you know, [01:13:00] remember cool running where they're in the bathtub, like visualizing the turn, when you think about seeing, and when you think about sports where it's like, you're just turning on a dime and it's so fast, they have gone through that route in their mind, in the mind gym, probably more than they've done it physically.
Because your mind is such a powerful tool to use for your development. And like I said, I mean, I learned it through sports. That's where it originally came from. But when I learned that it was applicable through the birth of my child and through navigating really difficult circumstances in my life, and even my five-year-olds or my ten-year-old I've had them do exercises in visualization to better understand, you know, maybe a situation that they're in I've I've watched it work in all different scenarios.
So it's, it's really powerful. Yeah. And I agree completely. So if you, [01:14:00] we have other episodes, you know Newsome, we've got episodes that people talk about this all over the place. Cause high level achievers apply it just like Tricia. So Tricia, thank you so much for being here today. Thank you for being on the podcast.
Put all the links we discussed in the show notes. If there's anything else that you want to convey to our listeners, man, by all means do so. And if not, I just wanted to say thank you for being here today and share your remarkable story. Thanks for having me. Oh, that's it. So I'm David Pascoe alone.
This is Trisha ruse and we love you. We only want to see you succeed. So like our slogan says for the podcast, don't just listen to this remarkable content Trisha brought you, but do it, repeat it, visualize it so you can have a great life in this world and an attorney to come. I'm David again. Thank you Trisha for being here and have a great life [01:15:00] chat.