Lindsay
Mother to Sophia
Born still at 28 weeks on April 3rd, 2010
Central Illinois

In one day your whole world can change. October 12th, 2009, we found out that we were expecting our first child. On April 2nd, 2010, we found out that our precious daughter’s heart had stopped beating. In one day we went from a thrilled, exhilarated expecting couple to a couple that had everything swept out from underneath them. In one day, I became a Mother and lost a Daughter.


In the early hours of April 3rd, I delivered our baby girl, Sophia Marie. She was a tiny, beautiful little girl who was the perfect mix of the two of us. My heart swelled and broke in the same instant. I have never, we have never, been through a harder experience in our life.

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Audra
Mom to Jack Benjamin
September 22nd, 2010
Columbus, Ohio
Our baby boy went to heaven on September 22, 2010. I can’t believe that I can sit up at the computer long enough to type this, but here is our story:

I am 26, my husband is 30. We were overjoyed to find out 2 weeks after our wedding anniversary that we were expecting our first baby!! We did not expect it to happen so soon, so we considered ourselves incredibly lucky to have gotten pregnant so quickly. We do not know how two other people could be as happy as we were to be becoming parents. We knew that we were the happiest people on this planet, and we quickly began planning our baby’s arrival.

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Sarah
Mommy to Harper Lynn
Born Sleeping on July 12th, 2010 at 25 weeks
La Grange, Kentucky
December 2009: My period was ALWAYS 28 days on the nose, I was on birth control but for some reason I was late. I was happily married to my best friend and had two beautiful kids, Brianna and Kaden. I came home from helping a friend and told my husband I was late. It made him realize that he did want more kids like me. But soon after that I started. We made the decision to just not restart my birth control when I finished my period. 
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Stephanie
Angel Baby 
July 2nd, 2009
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Funny thing life is…

May 28, 2009. The 14th anniversary of my dad’s death. The preceding few months were extremely difficult for me emotionally. However, I am aware that life throws unexpected curveballs all the time and no matter how difficult they may seem, I always know I will come out on the other side. That day, I received some answers.

I stopped off at Rite-Aid after dropping my 9 year old son, at school that morning and while I was in the store, I received a text message from a dear friend that simply said, “Thinking about you today and the legacy of your dad’s life.”

Little did she OR I truly know how right she would be about that legacy….
  I found out that day I was pregnant!

I told my fiancé, now husband, and he was surprised, but excited! I, on the other hand, was very cautious and not quite sure how I felt yet. We had been through so much stress the previous 2 ½ years surrounding custody of his 5 year old daughter and I wasn’t certain how I felt about bringing another life into that chaos. So, I struggled internally with already loving this life inside me created WITH the love of my life and the potential drama this baby would endure being IN our lives and I truly didn’t want to do that to another human being. It was an awful mixed-up feeling that I went through for a couple weeks.

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Story of HOPE

Tiffany Lopez
Mother of Genesis, 3/16/07
Tiffany’s story of HOPE ~ Names on the Sidewalk and Genesis Birth Services

My daughter Genesis was stillborn March 16th, 2007 due to Anencephaly.  Her life has inspired me in many ways.  Because of her I have launched my own doula business, offered support to other baby loss mothers by writing their lost child’s name, donated to my local hospital, I advocate folic acid awareness, I have participated in my local walk to remember and I am in the process of making awareness videos to help eradicate the taboo of talking about child and pregnancy loss.

My daughter has inspired everything.  Loosing Genesis has given me inspiration to do all the projects that I would have never attempted before. I have grown as a person and a mother. I have made some good come out of this horrible tragedy and which has made me feel that her death was not in vain.

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Story of HOPE
Beryl ~ Be Young Photography
Mother of Bella
Stillborn 9/11/09


Our daughter Bella was born sleeping on September 11th, 2009, at 20 weeks, as the result of multiple birth defects.  After Bella’s passing I followed my passion for photography and began a business photographing babies, children, and families.  

When we lost Bella last year I immediately felt strong feelings of loss, anger, misunderstanding, and being alone. On one hand I wanted to run and hide from the world, but on the other I just wanted everyone to understand what I was feeling and experiencing. I had developed an interest in photography when I became pregnant and was dabbling in the craft but after Bella’s loss I took a HUGE amount of comfort with being behind the lens. I was able to use artistic expression to convey my emotions and I began a blog to put some words to those images. Shortly thereafter friends began to ask if I was interested in taking their photos which added a new dimension to my healing.  Hiding behind the camera lens allowed me to begin to interact and socialize again. Photography has allowed me to totally redefine my world.  It gave me a way to express my range of emotions and sparked an amazing opportunity to explore a new found hidden talent.  

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Carla
Mom to Jody Michael April 10, 2009 8:57 p.m. – 9:57 p.m.
Gilbert, Arizona
On February 4, 2009 our lives took a tragic turn after hearing the word “I wish I did not have to give you this news.” That day we learned our son would not survive, he was classified as “not viable” a condition which is 100% incompatible with life. We learned our sons condition was caused by a rare genetic disorder called Autosomal Recessive Polycystic Kidney Disease (ARPKD).
Eight weeks earlier we told that very same doctor given the opportunity we would not terminate no matter the situation. Never did we expect to hear our little guy had 0% chance of survival, 0% chance of making it to term or a 0% chance of surviving delivery. On February 4th we shut the world out, closed the curtains and our hearts to others as we tried to come to terms with the diagnosis. After a few weeks we were ready, we shared with others, went to all the specialists we could and after hearing more bad news we prepared to love our little guy in the time we had him.

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Amber
Mom to
Elijah born August 27, 2010 at 14 weeks 2days due to Acrania
Hope Marie born still on July 25, 2009 at 13 weeks 5 days
Cumberland, Virgina

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Rachel
Mother to Michael Joseph Milner, Born Sleeping November 14th, 2009
and Mother to Hope, Miscarriage July 23rd, 2010
Kalamazoo, Michigan
I was so excited to see that second line on that little strip.  It was so faint but I was sure it was there.  My husband said he didn’t see it so I took a digital test and there it was in plain English.  We were pregnant.  We couldn’t wait to tell EVERYONE and we did.  We were blissfully happy and there were no doubts, everything was great.

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Allyson
Mom to Baby Jackson
October 14th, 2009
Missouri City, TX
Matt and I got married on July 15, 2006.  We started trying to have our first child just shy of our 3rd anniversary.  I wanted to try sooner since I was already 35, but we decided as a couple to wait and enjoy being married for a little while.  On June 28, 2009, I had a pregnancy symptom and decided to take a pregnancy test.  It was positive!!!  Matt didn’t believe it, but a line is a line, so I went to the drug store and bought a digital…”Pregnant”!!!  My parents were visiting that weekend and told them over lunch right before they left.  We told our immediate family and closest friends right away.  We were all so excited and was going to have the first grandchild on both sides of our family.  I love kids and wanted to be pregnant for as long as I can remember.  I even pursued a career to only work with children.  I called the doctor the very next day to make my first appointment. 

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Jennifer
Mom to Lucas Benjamin
Lost April 1st, 2010 at 21 weeks
Humble, TX
We were starting all over! Our daughter Jade would be 17 and our son Vincent would be 11 when this baby would be born, but we were so ready. 


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Maisie
Mom to Aaden Dean
Born still on July 7th, 2009
Logansport, Indiana
I had just turned 16 when I found out I was pregnant. I was scared I wouldn’t be a good mom because I was so young.  I was scared I wouldn’t be able to give him everything he needed, but as lucky as I am I had a wonderful set of parents who said they were ready to help raise my sweet baby boy Aaden Dean.  
 

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Jessica
Mom to Eveline
Born August 30th, 2010 at 4:57 a.m.
Died August 30th, 2010 at 9:45 a.m.
Turpin, OK
When I was a little girl and people would ask me what I wanted to be when I grew up, my reply was always “A Mommy”.  Years later my answer is still the same, although I am no longer that innocent child who doesn’t know of all the injustices in the world.  For I was once a mother and I suppose in all accounts I still am, although I have no child to call me “Mommy”.  This is my story, my journey through infertility and the loss of my daughter, Evie.  
   

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Scarlett
Mom to Ayamé Ulloriaq, D&C at 17 weeks on April 5th 2010
Brighton/Southampton, England

Jayme
Mom to Raime Kailani, April 17th, 2001
Elora Jade, June 27th, 2006 – August 28th, 2006
and Connor Jackson, April 12th, 2007
Jacksonville, NC

Angie
Mom to
Tred, born still on June 5, 2008 at 21 weeks
Talya, born still on April 10, 2009 at 38 weeks
Twin Cities, Minnesota
 
I have had 3 healthy pregnancies so having any problems with pregnancy was never something we thought about. We found out I was pregnant in January of 2008 and at the time my husband was in a job transition so we didn’t have insurance. I thought it had been a while since I had my AF so I went to the store and bought a home kit and it was positive, I also went to the free local clinic and took a test and that also was positive. I was so excited! We weren’t trying but the surprise is always a welcome one. I called my DH at work and said “Are you sitting down”. I told him “We’re pregnant”. He couldn’t believe it. He was excited and scared as I was. We weren’t trying and it just happened. This has happened with all of our pregnancies except one. I started my prenatal vitamins and was on cloud 9 because I was going to have another baby!! I loved being pregnant!!
As time went on we slowly started to tell friends and family that we were having a 4th. Holy buckets, I was going to have another baby. I went on ebay and craigslist to find maternity clothes, baby clothes and then of course I was determined to breastfeed. I went online and was looking at cover-ups. I found a beautiful green one that was for both boys and girls. DH and I decided this would be our last baby because we were running out of bedrooms for the kids.
 

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Yvonne
Mom to Matthew Christopher Joye 
 Born on January 10, 2003 and died on January 11, 2003
Dublin, Ireland
My name is Yvonne Joye, I am 41 years old and eight years ago we lost our fourth child and third son Matthew, 24 hours after his birth.

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The Beginning ~ Stories of Hope

Faces of Loss, Faces of Hope has connected us to one another in amazing and intimate ways.  Loss has a FACE…shouldn’t HOPE? 
Hope is often what we loose when a baby dies.  It isn’t supposed to happen, not in this advanced time of medicine and technology . . . but as we all know from personal first hand experience, it does. 
The work of grief is hard ~ it never really ends, but is rather endured as time marches eternally on.  Sometimes though, something special can come from the devastation.  Sometimes, even the smallest stride is taken when a person chooses to make a change for either personal or greater good after the loss of a baby.  Weather it is a personal goal or triumph, perhaps something a bit larger or more global ~ we want to know about it! 
Faces of Loss, Faces of Hope is boldly taking the next step with a weekly feature spotlighting Hope.  You now can share how you’ve chosen to embrace Hope and mold it into something that inspires others.  No matter what your story is, we would like to hear it.  Hope can take on any form and we want to feature those who have found Hope in the face of Loss.  You can be a face of HOPE!
The pain doesn’t end, but hope can still be found.

Please consider submitting your Face of Hope story here (a few of you already have, and those will be posted shortly!).  Sharing your experience can make a difference.

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Andrea
Mom to Maaike Rose 
Born still October 27, 2009
Patterson, CA
 
I “officially” found out I was pregnant on May 6, 2009. Of course, I knew I was pregnant before I went to the doctor – they just confirmed my fears. I was scared and had no idea what I was going to do. I was raised to be pro-life, and I was wholeheartedly…until I was faced with that choice. I didn’t think I could face the shame that I was sure would be coming. I set an appointment for an abortion. About four days before I was scheduled to go in, I had the overwhelming urge to tell my cousin that I was pregnant. Being a person of faith, I took that urge as a bit of a divine intervention. Once it was out, that was it. I knew that I could not kill the life growing inside me. I was going to have a baby.
For the first bit of my pregnancy, everything seemed to be going well. My baby was growing and I was healthy apart from the fact that I wasn’t gaining much weight. That fact nagged at me, but I asked my doctor about it and he told me I was doing fine and ­ not to worry about it too much.
 
Things started to take a downward spiral around my 20-week ultrasound. The technician said that the baby was a little small, but that it was nothing to worry about. The doctor told me the baby was only measuring at about 17 weeks, so the he wanted me to have another U/S done a few weeks later to see if anything changed. At 23 weeks I got another one done and at that point the baby was only measuring at 19 weeks.
I was sent to a perinatologist to get a more thorough U/S in order to see if they could determine what was causing the baby to be so small. They found that the flow in the umbilical cord wasn’t very good, and it was assumed that the baby was probably not getting all the nutrition needed from it. That day I was given some of the worst news of my life…that my baby was probably going to die, and that there was a good chance it wouldn’t even make it another month.
 
I could not believe what was happening. Hadn’t I made the choice to keep my baby? It was very loved and wanted. I couldn’t understand what I had done to deserve all of this.

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Carla
Mom to Miscarriage at 10 weeks, May 2001
Miscarriage at 6 weeks, November 2001
Delia lost to Anencephaly May 30, 2010
Kent, Ohio
 
My husband and I will celebrate our 10 year anniversary in January. Our first year together we lived through 2 miscarriages. A missed miscarriage at 10 weeks in May, and another miscarriage in November at 6 weeks. We were worried that we would not be able to have children so we asked for tests to find out what was happening. I was diagnosed as having a MTHFR mutation and lupus anticoagulant disorder. We were told a daily shot of heparin should prevent any further problems. We were terrified to try again… so we waited, and then 4 years later and lots of needles in my belly, we had our first child. Sophia was born healthy and perfect after the longest 9 months I could imagine. Another 4 years and a switch to Lovenox, we had our second little girl, Polly.

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