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Episode 6: Show Notes

Tiffany Plutowki’s first daughter, Alivia, spent the entirety of her short life on hospital grounds. Even though she is no longer on this earth, her presence is so strong that Tiffany, her husband, and her two living children refer to themselves as a family of 5. Despite a heart defect, a blood clot in her umbilical cord, a chromosome disorder, two open-heart surgeries, and a fungal infection, Alivia fought for her life for over a year, before Tiffany and Jared made the impossibly hard decision to end her suffering. In today’s episode, Tiffany shares Alivia’s story with such honesty that it will leave you feeling raw. She also shares invaluable advice for any parents who are dealing with the loss of a child that we hope will help make your healing journey a little bit more manageable.

Key Points From This Episode:

  • The members of Tiffany’s family.
  • Information that Tiffany and her husband, Jared, received about their unborn daughter, Alivia, at her 20-week
  • Truncus arteriosus; the condition that Alivia was diagnosed with in utero.
  • Concerns that Tiffany had about Alivia that encouraged her to see her doctor before her scheduled appointment.
  • Why Alivia was born via emergency C-section, and her weight at birth.
  • Numerous procedures that Alivia had to undergo during her short time on earth.
  • A major setback that Alivia experienced at 6 months old.
  • The infection Alivia picked up, which was detrimental to her organs.
  • Alivia’s first time outdoors.
  • How Tiffany and Jared made the decision to remove Alivia’s trach and the feeling of pride that washed over Tiffany when her daughter breathed on her own for the first time.
  • The moment that Alivia passed away, and what the coming months were like for Tiffany and Jared.
  • Tiffany’s darkest moment after Alivia’s passing, and how her approach to dealing with her grief changed afterwards.
  • Words that Tiffany found comforting at the time of Alivia’s passing.
  • Advice for any parent going through the loss of a child.
  • Challenges that Tiffany struggled with during her subsequent two pregnancies.


“They brought her over to me and told me that she was four pounds, five ounces, which is small for 36 weeks. She should have been bigger. I remember looking down at her and then looking back at Jared saying, ‘She’s too small,’ because we knew that she was going to have a heart surgery and the surgeon had told me, ‘Keep her in as long as you can. She needs to be big and healthy for heart surgery.’” — Tiffany Plutowski [0:08:40]

“She spent her entire life in the hospital. One year, one month, and one week old. She spent the entire time in the hospital. Two open-heart surgeries, about 15 various other surgeries, hundreds of pokes, hundreds of X-rays. I mean, that little girl, she was poked and prodded her entire life.” — Tiffany Plutowski [0:10:31]

“We had a great family support system and all of that. But it is definitely hard in those moments to be grateful or be blessed. I know people say count your blessings, but it’s really hard to even come up with a couple shortly after you lose a child. I mean, it’s just impossible.” — Tiffany Plutowski [0:31:33]

“Don’t try to go back to the old normal. There is no going back. You’re going to ache for it, you’re going to want it, you’re going to try to do everything to be that normal, but there’s always going to be something missing. So, just don’t try for it.” — Tiffany Plutowski [0:40:00]

Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:



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