Story of HOPE

Stephanie Paige ~ Sweet Pea Project

Mother to Madeline Jonna, born January 5, 2007
My firstborn child, my beautiful daughter Madeline, was stillborn at 41 weeks on January 5, 2007.  A cause of death was never determined.  
I have founded a nonprofit organization, Sweet Pea Project, which offers comfort, support and gentle guidance to families who have experienced the death of a baby before, during or shortly after birth.  I have also written a book, Still: a collection of honest artwork & poetry from the heart of a grieving mother, and I am the artist behind the Beauty In The Breakdown community art project.  Working on these projects has helped me immeasurably.   Writing the book and creating artwork gave me a way to express all the unspeakable emotions that were coursing through my veins after Madeline’s death.   And the Sweet Pea Project allows me to continue parenting Madeline by mothering her memory.   

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Jessica
Mom to Lillian May
November 13th, 2010
Winnipeg, Manitoba
Canada
Friday, Novemeber 12th I was as happy as can be but I was one week and 2 days past my due date so I was a bit uncomfortable. The past couple of days I had been having a bit of cramping and light spotting, which I was told was likely my “bloody show”. I was a bit freaked out and didn’t know what “normal” was but when I called Labour and Delivery at the HSC, they said to wait it out and come in when either my water breaks or my contractions start. I was so incredibly anxious for my sweet little girl to be here and come home with us but she wasn’t quite ready, I suppose. So we waited and that day I was scheduled for a routine ultrasound because I was a week late and they wanted to check on her and talk about being induced.

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Angelina
Mom to Alana Elizabeth
November 16th, 2008 – December 26th, 2008
Tampa, Florida
On April 6th, 2008, at 15, I found out I was pregnant and my entire life changed. I moved in with my mom and enjoyed every second of my pregnancy. 
 

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Emily

Mom to Ryder Mark Schitz
May 30th, 2010
St. Louis, Missouri
I didn’t think I would ever write about this experience, for more than one reason. One, I didn’t even think I would lose a child, that Mark and I would lose a child. (not that anyone ever does) Then after losing a child I didn’t think I would ever be able to write about their “birth story.”  I worked on this for a long time, I decided not to include pictures though. I have the images in my mind. They will be. there. f-o-r-e-v-e-r. We have a few prints in a special place but I think words are enough for this post.

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Story of HOPE


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Jenel
Mom to Addisyn
Stillborn on June 29th, 2010 at 12:09 a.m.
Lake Charles, Louisiana
My story starts at the end of August 2009. My boyfriend (now husband) had just proposed, I had just started a new semester in college, and was working full time. We never talked about when we would begin to have children but we both knew it was something that would be a great experience for us.


About a week after my husband proposed I ended up in the hospital. I was in horrific pain and could not move, talk, laugh, or cry without being in the worst pain I had felt. After several tests it was determined that I had E.coli poisoning and it had travelled down and created a small hole in my uterus. The doctors said it would be quite difficult for me to get pregnant and if I did I probably would have a quick miscarriage. We didn’t think much about what our future would hold and put off talking about the issue until after I graduated from college.

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Kara
Mom to Trenton Michael
Born Sleeping September 12th, 2010
Louisville, Kentucky

The day my husband and I found out I was pregnant was one of the happiest days of my life.

We had been trying to conceive for about 6 months and finally God blessed us with another baby. We had our wedding planned for Sept 4 but with us finding out the great news we moved the wedding up to July 17. With planning a wedding and a new baby life was hectic, but I was overjoyed by everything. Finally we were going to expand our family and give my son Damien his baby brother he wanted. But my dreams for Trenton would soon become broken dreams and empty promises.

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Story of HOPE

Sarah 
Elijah 09/18/08 
I have had several early miscarriages before and after the loss of Elijah.  As a result, I have dealt with my grief through blogging and writing.
Writing through the emotions of pregnancy loss has brought clarity and a realistic point of view to my healing process.  Going back and reading my posts makes me realize that the pain is really just a short time in my life.  I will always remember my babies, but the heart does heal.  

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Lavonne
Mommy to Two Angels
November 21st, 2008
and May 1st, 2009
My husband and I got married in June of 2008, in July of 2008 I was referred to a Reproductive Endocrinologist (RE) because after a year off birth control I had only had two cycles. I was diagnosed with PCOS and was told I do not ovulate on my own. I was put on Clomid. I took it for two months, never having more than one follicle but at least that one was big enough I could take the trigger shot to ovulate. Both cycles failed. My third cycle on clomid when I went in for my follicle check my follicle was not big enough. They had me come in a few days later, and it still was too small for the trigger shot. So I decided to take a small break for a month or two. About three weeks after my follicle check I took a test one morning because I hadn’t been feeling well and sure enough I was pregnant. We were over joyed and told everyone right away. 

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Kristy
Mom to Mackenzy Lee Aiken
Lost October 29th, 2010 at 18 weeks
Pulaski, Virginia
My name is Kristy and I am 29 years old.  I have two daughters Kalee and Mackenzy.
I wanted kids really close in age and I really wanted two kids by 30.  You know how the timelines go.  It took us 6 months to get pregnant with our first daughter so I knew I would want to try earlier with the second.  On August 7, 2010 I found out I was pregnant with my second child.  August 7, 2008 was the day our first daughter was conceived so that date was kind of cool.  We were shocked that this only took ONE try and we were pregnant.  We were so excited.

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Nichole
Mom to Riley, August 12th, 2010
and Taylor, October 29th, 2010
Manistique, Michigan
People expect parents to quickly resolve the grief of a miscarriage. It’s as if since they didn’t know the child’s name, or it had not yet been named, or the pregnancy didn’t yet “show,” our loss is somehow not as devastating. People often remark to us, “At least you didn’t know him/her,” “You can always have another one,” or “Probably it would have had a defect.”

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Kelly
Mom to Elise Renee Tagliaferri
April 6th, 2009
Whiteford, Maryland
My name is Kelly.

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Kerstin
Mom to Jenna Marshal
April 3rd, 2004 – April 9th, 2004
Minneapolis, Minnesota
I was 38 weeks pregnant with our angel Jenna when I woke up feeling like something was wrong. I waited to get out of bed for a while to see if she would start moving but she never did. 

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Kristen
Mom to Zachary Logan
Passed away November 3rd, 2010 at 2 months gestation
Bellingham, Washington

This is 4 weeks from the loss of my baby Zachary Logan. I have searched for resources, for people who have been through something similar and I have grown frustrated with little support for people who have had abdominal pregnancies. So I figure there are others out there who are feeling this way too – so I am writing this for those searching for someone else who has been there. 
My story is unique. I did not know that I was pregnant – in fact i was doing my darndest to not be pregnant. I had an IUD. I had a lot of vaginal pressure at work in the morning -  thought my IUD may be falling out, and called the Dr office. They got me in at 11:00.  I found out at 11:10 on Thursday November 4th that I was pregnant. Although the initial reactions was intense shock – it turned into joy and trying to figure out how to tell my husband and family. (since they all were going to be as shocked as well). 

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Amy
Proud mommy to Bryson, stillborn October 30th, 2010
and Joey Skyler, born into Heaven December 2009
Caribou, Maine 
It’s weird to think back to when I was naive about bringing a new life into the world.  Our firstborn was a fairly uncomplicated pregnancy, aside from the hyperemesis, or severe morning sickness.  His birth had gone just as we had expected, he was a healthy and happy baby boy.  So, after 11 years of being with my best friend and 4 years of marriage, when we decided to try for a sibling for our 3 year old son, we had expected another uncomplicated and blessed pregnancy.  

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Susan
Mom to Matthew Kristopher
Stillborn on July 27th, 2002 at 38 weeks
East Northport, New York
Life is not without loss. Everyone experiences it in some form during their life. How do you move on from your darkest days, when time stands still but life goes on around you? How do you pick up the shattered pieces and move forward, to rebuild your life, rise above the pain, and perhaps come out stronger and more determined than before? How do you go on to do something positive and help others in a similar situation, while helping yourself to heal? There will be light at the end of your long dark tunnel. You will get there eventually, maybe without even realizing it, and maybe by constantly working your way out, one little step at a time. This is my story of loss, grief, healing, and passion found.


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Story of HOPE

Susan ~ My Forever Child Keepsakes

Matthew Kristopher 
stillborn on July 27, 2002 at 38 weeks

My son, Matthew Kristopher, was stillborn at 38 weeks from a complete placental abruption.  The traumatic birth nearly took my life as well from the massive blood loss.  It took several months to recover physically, but much longer to heal emotionally, which is still an ongoing process.  The death of your child is such an utter devastation, I don’t think anyone can go back to “normal” and not be unchanged in some way. 

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Natalie
Mom to Aiden William
Stillborn November 19th, 2010 at 6:00 a.m.
Weatherford, Texas
My husband and I were married in August of 2005 and we could see having children, we just wanted to wait a few years before we started to try. Finally, in 2008 we wanted to start trying, we tried and tried and tried… no luck. I decided to go to my OBGYN to make sure everything was going okay and that maybe we were just off a bit from my ovulating. Come to find out I have PCOS and I cannot ovulate on my own and I never have. We tried different drug therapies to help me ovulate, nothing helped.
 

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Amy
Mom to Baby Fletcher, Lost August 2008
and Baby Fletcher, Lost October 2009
Bloomington, Indiana
My first loss occurred in 2008. I had recently lost my father to cancer and went through a terrible divorce. In the midst of my grief I met the most wonderful man that became my rock and shoulder to cry on. In the summer of 2008, (and after only a few months together) we learned we were pregnant.


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Angela
Mom to Reese Noel
Stillborn July 7th, 2006
Albuquerque, New Mexico
I choose to share this with you as a woman and as a mother. The women who have shared their stories of loss with me have carried me through this and they will continue to do so. The woman I know who have gone through such tremendous loss are among the softest, gentlest, warmest, nicest woman I have ever been blessed to meet. They have wisdom and strength that far surpasses my own and I hope and pray to be like them. I cannot thank Becky, Katie, Jill, Darcy, Sandy, among others for sharing their stories with me long before we where ever lead down this path. I follow in the footsteps of them and remember that I am not alone in this and I never will be.


The week of June 26th, 2006 was absolutely wonderful. Linds and I spent every day that week together. Tuesday we went to CEC, Wednesday we went to the pool, Thursday we went to McD’s, Friday to another pool, Saturday was Vance’s 2nd birthday and we celebrated at Peter Piper, and Sunday we where supposed to get together but I was quite ill and Linds’ kids where a bit burnt on the pool. That Wednesday, the 28th, I was laying in bed resting when the baby started to kick like crazy…I had been feeling sporadic kicking since 12 weeks and called Levi in because I thought he might be able to feel these feisty kicks from deep within. He laid down next to me and I placed my hand on my belly, the baby let off one HUGE kick and then was silent. I thought it was a bit odd, usually our babies start kicking, it gets a little stronger and then they kick down to when they are sleeping. The kicks ended so abruptly. As you can see we where super busy. We where rejoicing that Vance was 2, we where out there playing and having fun.

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