When Michelle Archer Stratton got the news that her ICU ward would soon be treating COVID-19 patients, she was frightened. Being a nurse during a pandemic is already stressful and exhausting, but Michelle had the added worry of not only potentially bringing home germs to her partner, she also runs a dairy farm with animals who are potentially at risk.
To say Michelle is a bad ass is almost an understatement. She works in the ICU and spends any downtime as a hands-on farmer alongside her husband who is the only other employee on the farm. Michelle put out a call on social media for a spare RV to rent as an alternative living space during the pandemic but none came through.
When Scary Mommy heard about Michelle’s story, we set out to help her find a way to isolate from her partner in hopes of relieving some of the pressures she faced during this scary time. The Avocado Organic Green Mattress Company donated a bed and bedroom furniture to the effort, while a team of remote designers went to work in record time.
Michelle’s friends and co-workers contributed good wishes, cards and helped arrange a makeover of a workshop space on Michelle’s farm. Full of tools and wood at first, the space was revamped to be a private bedroom for Michelle. Watch Michelle’s reaction to seeing the space for the first time here:
Almost more moving than Michelle’s excitement about the new space, was her retelling of her own person story. Known to be a very private person, Michelle reveals on camera for the first time publicly that she and her partner David have experienced six miscarriages. The most recent at 18-weeks which was all the more devastating. Now as an essential worker in the pandemic, Michelle and David must put their fertility journey on hold until it is safe to do so. As a nurse, Michelle describes how she is surrounded by women of childbearing age. “All of my co-workers are moms…it was pointed out to me that I am a mom, but that my child is not with us.” She says.
Through this project, Michelle told Scary Mommy that she became aware of the importance of talking about miscarriage and that it is nothing to be ashamed of. “This is my story. And my story is not over.” Michelle says.
We salute Michelle and all the brave women like her who have found the courage to share their stories while working on the front lines on our fight against COVID-19. Watch more in the I am Scary Mommy series profiling extraordinary women doing incredible things.