Claudia lives with her husband Andrew, their two sons, Andrew and Matthew, and their dog Teah. A former elementary school and preschool teacher, she now runs a hands-on, inquiry-based STEM enrichment program for children called Cool-ology®.
Claudia Esposito has volunteered for Hope After Loss (formerly the Hygeia Foundation) since 2004. Twenty-one years ago, Hygeia’s founder, Dr. Michael Berman, was attending physician at Yale New Haven Hospital the night she and her husband Andrew found out their twin sons, Andrew and Joseph, had died in-utero at 24 weeks gestation from twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome. “Dr. Berman was so kind and compassionate, and even wrote a poem for us,” Claudia explains. “I had suffered a miscarriage before the twins, and another miscarriage after, with lots of infertility in between.”
At the time, Hygeia provided only online support. Dr. Berman wanted to do more. He gathered five women, including Claudia, who had all experienced losses of their own, and they formed the first Hygeia Parent Advisory Board. Over time, they started providing the first local peer-to-peer support groups in person and provided support on the phone to anyone who called. “We collected books to create our first lending library of bereavement support resource material. We reached out to staff and students at Yale New Haven Hospital- educating them about pregnancy loss from a patient’s perspective.” During this time, Claudia and her husband were featured on the CBS Morning Show and the Discovery Channel, sharing their story of grief. “Eventually, I received formal bereavement support training through a program called RTS (Resolve Through Sharing) and trained volunteers to be support group facilitators.”
Claudia has advocated for funding for stillbirth research on Capitol Hill in Washington DC. She also wrote a perinatal bereavement support blog called Soundwaves http://bubbaandbutch.wordpress.com/. She served on Hope After Loss’s Board of Directors for many years, including for a time as chair. She currently sits on Hope After Loss's Compassionate Care Award and Standards of Care committees, and facilitates support groups in Guilford.
“I've made so many life-long friends through Hygeia, now Hope After Loss. There is a unique bond between bereaved parents that truly connects us on a deeper level. It’s been amazing to watch the growth of this much needed program. I’m thrilled to still be a part of it all as a volunteer and donor.”