Search Results for: kara

create. heal. inspire. kara jones (mother henna).

So glad to have Kara Jones sharing her ideas here with you today. Kara is such a beautiful creative soul and I know you’re just going to appreciate her healing prompt and artistic vision. She is also including a giveaway here today for oue readers, so be sure to read through to the end of the post for the details. xo. ~Beryl

Body Map 
creative prompt from Coach & heARTist Kara LC Jones
inspired by Arts For Social Change by Beverly Naidus

When my son died at birth, I quickly checked out of my body.  There was so much disappointment, so much grief, and feelings of how my body betrayed me and him entirely.  Later on when talking with a local law maker about getting a state law changed for stillbirth documentation, I was told to my face that I did not give birth to a child.  I was told I had a fetus and *it* was dead.  The law makers were trying to intimidate and shame me — and other mothers like me — into being quiet, leaving them alone, to cease our efforts in the fight for women’s rights.  While I knew intellectually what they were doing, it was hard on me emotionally because I was still in a crisis of faith about how my body failed me.  With time, conscious processing, and art making, I’ve been able to explore these issues and try to find ways back into my Power.

So today’s prompt is a share for you to explore your relationship with body.  Of course this could work for anyone, but I’m also offering this specifically to women who’ve had pregnancy or infant death losses.  Just seems to me that this kind of loss complicates our relationships with our bodies, and however empowered we felt prior to the death, there is some shake up with our bodies in grief’s wake.  So here’s how you can creatively explore this:

  •     The first thing you need is the outline of your body or a body shape you feel represents you.  You can either:
    -Get large sheets of butcher paper on which you outline your real body, full size.  This can be a very powerful way to work because you are looking at your actual body shape.
    -OR you can do line drawings in a more representative shape — click the image at the top of this post to see full size version.  You’ll see that I used a very simple outline.  For me, this worked to show the plump, roundness of my body – and it also showed how dis-empowered I felt in my arms.  Empty arms idea.
  •     Once you have your body shape, duplicate it three times.
  •     Then consider how you feel/felt in your body
    1) at the moment of trauma,
    2) when in an unsafe environment, and
    3) when you feel like you are in a safe environment
  •     Ask yourself what color represents each of these times?  Consider how your body felt in each of these times?  Are there areas that felt achy or soothed?  Are there words to represent various parts of your body?  What did the areas surrounding your body feel like?



Mom to Kara Chase

March 26, 2016

Glen Burnie, Maryland

March 26, 2016 was supposed to be a normal day. My four year old daughter, Kayleigh, had her first t-ball practice and my husband and I were excited to watch her. The very next day was Easter and I would officially be 28 weeks pregnant. I was happy that I would finally be in my third trimester with our second daughter, Kara. We were looking forward to welcoming her into our family in June. Kayleigh was excited to have a little sister. We were so happy. Little did we know that our entire world would come crashing down on us and it would turn into the worst day of our lives.

[Read more…]

Multiple Losses


A Beautiful Journey – Shannon – Mom to Xavier and Tristan

a blank page – Miranda – Mom to Kristopher Noble and two Angels

A Day in the Life of a Moody Person – Rian – Mom to September, October, November, May and Pumpkin

A girl and a boy – Laura – Mom to Mila Louise and twins, a boy and a girl

A Grieving Mothers Journey – Jamilyn – Mom to Dallin and Anthon

A Half Baked Life – Justine – Mom to Sweetpea and Baby

A Little Blog About The Big Infertility – Jess – Mom to three dearly missed little ones

A Mourning Mom –  Lanie – Mom to Jake and Sawyer

A Teacher, An Officer And their Squad –  Emily – Mom to Avery Mae, Trinity Noel and Langston Todd – Abigail  – Mother of a little girl and Freddie

[Read more…]

Second Trimester Loss


A Grieving Mothers Journey – Jamilyn – Mom to Dallin and Anthon

A life after Olivia – Megan – Mom to Olivia Marie

A Mother Lost… – Stephanie – Mom to Identical Twins Emmerson Claire and Vivienne Catherine

a reason to stay alive – Helene – mom to Andreas (Lille)

a second line – Ioana – Mom to Adrian

A Teacher at Heart – Sarah – Mommy to Eli Michael McCoy

A Teacher, An Officer And their Squad –  Emily – Mom to Avery Mae, Trinity Noel and Langston Todd – Abigail  – Mother of a little girl and Freddie

Aiden’s Light – Larissa – Mom to Aiden

Almost a Mother – Christy – Mom to Aiden and Sophie

[Read more…]

Adverse Prenatal Diagnosis


A Little Bit of Hope – Amanda – Mom to Aubree Hope

ALo’s Insights & Nonsense – Aimee – Mom to Charlotte Jean

Amanda Kern – Amanda –  Mom to 3 Angels

Baby Michael Christian – Rebecca – Mom to Michael Christian Church

Baylee Grace McCoy – Emily – Mom to  Baylee Grace

buddedtobloom – Angela – Mom to Lily Rose Lambert

Butterflies in Heaven – Kiley – Mom to Isaiah David and Baby A

Carried Through Grief – Stephanie – Mom to Amelia Rose

Caring for Carleigh – Holly – Mom to Carleigh McKenna

Ethin’s Heart Still Beats – Jessica – Mom to Ethin RaiLuc

[Read more…]

Neonatal/Infant Loss


2camsinmylife – Elly – Mom to Camden Katherine

A Blessed Life – Brigette – Mom to Kael

A life too brief – Nikki – Mom to C.R.

A Journal for Jovi – Molly – Mom to Jovi Sloan

A journey of the heart – Holle – Mom to Declan Lloyd and Peanut

A Mourning Mom –  Lanie – Mom to Jack and Sawyer

A not so “Goodhart” – Brittney – Mom to Laura

A Reason to Live – Jill – Mom to Naomi Hope Marish

After Jillian – Megan – Mom to Jillian Hannah

Always in our hearts – Sarah – Mom to Charles Avi Edward King

[Read more…]

create.heal.inspire. it begins

Hi, I’m Beryl. Mom to an angel, Bella Rose born September 11, 2009 at 20 weeks gestation; and her rainbow sister Brielle a 15 month old miracle. I am a teacher. A photographer.  Founder of the Illuminate e-course. And a true believer the magic and beauty of using photography to heal the soul.  You’ll get to know a bit more about me, Bella, and our family a little later this month, but I wanted to give a proper introduction as I’ll be your ‘tour guide’ of sorts  as we take time this January to explore the link between our grief, creativity, and healing. Let’s begin, shall we?  It’s time to:

The start of a new year is a lot like cracking open the freshly pressed pages of a brand new book.  That first day you settle in, anxious anticipation washing over you as you wait to meet a new cast of characters and watch the story unfold.

Unfortunately, all of us in this community have had a story that didn’t end in “happily ever after”.

It’s why we’re here.

For some of us that story was last year. For others it may have been many years ago. And for some of us this tragic story may be repeating over and over again.

But, the wonderful thing about starting a new year, and writing a new chapter in our story is the HOPE that we can feel as we are granted a “fresh start”. Not to wipe away the past, but to start to build a stronger tomorrow.

January is International Creativity Month.  And this year at Faces of Loss, Faces of Hope we thought it would be fitting to get the story of 2012 started off right by sharing some incredibly creative baby loss mamas and their angels with you. As I’ve learned myself over the past two years, creativity was key to me learning to love life again and live a life without our Bella.

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Missed Miscarriage

Diagnosed May 3rd, 2011

Miscarried May 5th, 2011

Mandan, North Dakota

My husband and I started trying to conceive our first child shortly after we got married.  I had been on the pill for nearly 14 years and had never tried to get pregnant, so I didn’t know what to expect.  To our surprise and delight, I got pregnant during my second cycle!  Like any first-time mom, I was excited and anxious at the same time.  We shared the good news with our close friends and family, but planned to wait until we heard a heartbeat to tell the rest of the world. [Read more…]

Kara Masi

Mom to Filomena Lucille Masi

Stillborn on March 10th, 2011 at 24 weeks and 3 days

Newark, Delaware

Ever since I was little, I knew I’d always have a house full of children. [Read more…]


November baby

November 2, 2005

Faith Elisabeth

December 5, 2007

Westminster, Maryland


I always thought that baby loss was something that happened to other people.  No one in my family had suffered any type of pregnancy loss, so why would I have anything to worry about?

When our son was about a year old, my husband and I decided to try for another baby.  We conceived our firstborn easily and our second pregnancy wasn’t much different.  I got pregnant within 4 months of trying.  I went in for a dating ultrasound and I knew something was wrong when the technician said to me, “Oh!  You’re very early.  Are you about 6 weeks?”  I was 8 weeks pregnant. [Read more…]


Mom to Marin Louise

Born and Died March 2nd, 2011

Sydney, Australia

I conceived my daughter whilst on holidays where her father lives and works as a fisherman. I went there for a week to escape the world and process the heartbreaking things I had seen whilst on deployment in Asia with a humanitarian mission. [Read more…]

Mom to Jude Faye Malling
Lost on May 8th, 2007 at 17.5 weeks gestation
When I was nineteen years old I was told that I could not have children. 
My family doctor believed that Ii had PCOS. She then sent me to an OBGYN to have him make sure that my ovaries were alright. The first appointment with him, he did not run a pregnancy test on me. He prescribed me the nuva ring and Prozac for the pain. I was glad to take the prescriptions thinking they were going to help. The following month I went back to his office. When the nurse asked how I had been I told her my body was acting weird. I had a stomach virus for over eight days when my sister and room mate had only had it two days. I was also running a fever of 102.00 for most of the eight days. Tthe nurse then told me she would run a pregnancy test and I told her “it will be negative, I can’t get pregnant!” The nurse did not return to my room, however the doctor did. He then told me that I was over three months pregnant. I told him that could not be so he did an ultrasound to prove me wrong.

[Read more…]

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.   

[Read more…]

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.

[Read more…]

Mama to Julia Rose
Miscarried at 17 weeks, November 24th, 2008
Logan, Queensland, Australia
Everything was going right. We just celebrated our 1st wedding anniversary (a huge milestone for any couple) and found out we were pregnant after my first month of being off the pill. (I stopped it on our anniversary in June, had my period in July and didn’t have one in August.) 

[Read more…]

Mom to Evan Riley
Born June 18, 2010, died June 22, 2010
Logan, Queensland, Australia
I woke up with a funny feeling in my stomach. It was 5:45am on June 18th, our baby boy’s due date.  My stomach felt like it was a giant rubber band  being stretched for 10-15 seconds. It went away and I tried to get back to sleep. 10 minutes later another one hit. I knew instantly these weren’t Braxton Hicks contractions, but the real deal. I got up, went to the bathroom (it felt like I couldnt’ stop pooping, small wonder as my body was cleaning itself out in preparation for baby’s arrival) and sat there for another cycle and knew I wouldn’t make it back to bed any time soon. At 6:30 I woke up my husband telling him “I think its time. He’s trying to come out.” Hubby went back to sleep and I headed back to the bathroom to poop and get through another contraction. At 6:43 I sent my mom and mother-in-law a text telling them what was up. My mother-in-law was the only one to get it as my phone ran out of credit after I sent it. I made my way downstairs to our laundry room toilet so I could be by the house phone incase things took a wrong turn. This was truly an instinct that I’m glad I acted on.

7am – I called my mother in law, my mom, my dad and my neighbor (who was my lift to the hospital if I needed it). I called the hospital and asked what I should do as my contractions were starting to hurt and I had to grit my teeth and breathe hard to cope with the pain. The midwife on the other end said to clock myself and to call back when my contractions were harder and closer together. I could come in but they’d most likely send me home to wait it out. I started to count how long my contractions were (easily 20-25 seconds every 6-8 min now) and at 7:30 I felt and saw my mucus plug (the bloody snot plug) come out. I called the hospital back at 7:30am and they said to keep clocking myself as it sounded like I was still in really early labor. The new midwife I talked to (shift change happened since I last called) told me to take 2 panadol (acetaminophen) have a light breakfast and take a warm shower if I wasn’t coping with the pain. I hung up, got myself to the kitchen to get some panadol and a cup of water and immediately had to get back to the toilet because another contraction came. I took the two painkillers and drank the water at about 7:45. Two minutes later my contraction was 30-35 seconds long and I had to hold onto the doorframe and try not to scream. I knew something wasn’t right. I felt another one coming on and knew that this wasn’t normal. Something was up and my little guy was in distress. I heard and felt a huge “pop”. It was my baby boy’s foot. A split second later my waters broke. I hollered: “Glenn I need you down here!” I heard “I’m in the loo.” I *SCREAMED* and heard the toilet flush and my husband running down the stairs. I told him to dial 000 (Australia’s version of 911) now. He asked if he should call the hospital. I said “No, don’t call the hospital, call 000 NOW!” He did, the operator asked all sorts of questions and I was handed the phone to answer them. I told the operator something was sticking out of me and he had my husband check to see that it was a foot. It was. Paramedics arrived within 3 minutes of my husband dialing. Thank God for such quick response time! The paramedics arrived in 2 ambulances. One for me, one for Evan, just incase. They got me off the toilet and onto my hands and knees so I was on a floor rug instead of the cold tile floor. They asked all the questions they needed to, put me on oxygen which was more of an annoyance than a help so I had it taken off me. 3 of the 4 guys were crowded behind me and said “We’re here, we’re going to try to deliver him at home. If you need to push, tell us and PUSH. Don’t hold back…” In between trying to crawl forward to give them some more room and breathing through another contraction our baby’s 2nd foot came out. He was out from his belly button on down. The paramedics couldn’t get Evan into the right spot to deliver at home so the decision was made to get me onto the gurney, STAT!

It took a few minutes to get from our laundry room floor to the dining room (all of 10 feet, if that) by crawling. One guy had our baby boy’s legs and half of his torso wrapped up in space blankets and towels. One guy had me, another had the foot of the gurney, another had the head of the gurney. My husband grabbed my hospital bag and my purse. I was carefully loaded into the ambulance and my husband locked up the house. One guy left in the 2nd ambulance as his wasn’t needed. My husband rode shotgun while 2 guys were attending to me and baby Evan. We got to the hospital less than 10 minutes later and were draped with a blanket so the emergency room patients wouldn’t see half of a baby sticking out between my legs. Being on hands and knees still, I was wheeled into the Emergency Department (not even a labor and delivery room, although one was set up for me, as well as an OR on standby) where we were met with atleast 20 people or so my husband tells me.

8:50am – I raised one hand, did a beauty queen wave and said something like “Good morning, thought we’d give you an interesting call first thing this morning…” It’s amazing how much you keep your wits about you and distract yourself any way possible during a crisis. The head of midwives/birthing (Hilary) introduced herself and said “now we have one more undignified thing for you to do… we need to get you from your knees onto this gurney and onto your back. we’ve got baby just take it easy and we’ll roll you over.” I was in heaven! Finally off my knees and onto my back! A swarm of people introduced themselves, gave me their title and asked if I was allergic to anything. Then they gave me a cannula (never had to use it), they gave me some shots (oww), they told me that the doctor was delivering our baby boy. I think I screamed for my husband and he was instantly at my side and holding one of my hands. Dr. Basu (the breech birth specialist that happened to be on-call that day) twisted Evan’s shoulders out one at a time while Hilary pressed on my stomach to get Evan’s head and chin facing down and Evan was born. It was 8:55am. Evan was 7 pounds 14 ounces and 22 inches long. Full head of dark hair and lovely gray eyes.

[Read more…]

Mom to Preslie Quinn
Stillborn at almost 41 weeks on October 22nd, 2008
Lansing, MI

On October 20th, 2008 we were almost 41 weeks pregnant. We went in early that morning for a twenty minute non-stress test. Preslie passed with flying colors, they said everything looked good. They were going to do another non-stress test two days later, and then induce me a day after that. My husband Chris and I went throughout the rest of our day excited to know that by the end of the week, we would be parents. October 21st, 2008 was the last day I felt Preslie move. I remember like it was yesterday. Chris and I decided to carve our pumpkins a little bit early, so we wouldn’t have to worry about it when she arrived. I remember being so excited to carve pumpkins with Chris, since we had never done it before. I took on the big one for Chris and I, and he carved the baby one for Preslie.

The next morning, October 22, 2008, Chris went into work and I woke up at 11:00am. I knew instantly that something was wrong with Preslie. I laid there for about 5 minutes just wanting for her to move. I kept poking her, and moving a lot and still nothing. I got up, called my mom and she suggested that I eat some sugar and relax and just wait for her to move. I then called Chris at work and after that I called the doctor’s office. The nurse told me that sometimes babies go into a deep sleeps and to not worry but to eat a lot of sugar, lie down and count her kicks. I knew my baby and my baby moved… a lot. I went upstairs after eating 3 snickers bars, turned on America’s Next Top Model, and laid there and waited. Five minutes later Chris arrived home.

We arrived at the hospital and went to the triage. There they hooked me up to the monitor and searched… and searched… and searched. I lay there knowing that she was gone, pleading that somehow the heart would just start beating. The nurse kept saying “Come on baby. Please come on baby.” She also kept reassuring me that she was probably asleep and just in a weird position. She then called in a woman to do an ultrasound. Right when the ultrasound machine hit my stomach, there was Preslie’s chest with a heart not beating.

I remember just laying there in a daze of no emotion saying to myself “This can’t be happening. This isn’t real.” I don’t remember what everyone was saying to me, I only remember their mouths moving. I was so determined to have a C-section, so I wouldn’t have to wait knowing my baby was going to come out not alive. Of course they weren’t keen on that option.

I remember calling my mom, and then Chris’ dad Chad and then my own dad. I remember the sounds of their voices as I cried that Preslie was gone. I remember telling the doctor that we needed to start getting me set up to be induced ASAP, and that I could not carry around my dead child.

We had outstanding nurses, and Erika came to the hospital the minute I called her. I remember Chris and Chris Finley giving me a blessing, and then Ejay and Ann coming to see us, and then shortly Kara. Brian came later that night, and I remember all sitting around talking for hours and hours just waiting for Preslie to come out. I was having contractions, but I didn’t really feel them. I think the prayers of everyone helped me out so much.

I had an epidural around midnight, and shortly after that they gave me a sleeping pill and told me to rest. Not even 2 hour s later my water broke, and 2 hours after that I was pushing. I remember asking for a mirror to watch, but I think I closed my eyes most of the time. Preslie was born into heaven at 4:55am. She was 22 inches long and weighed 7 pounds 14 ounces.

I remember a lot before the sleeping pill, but not so much after. I don’t remember holding Preslie for the first time, which just KILLS me. I have pictures to prove I did, which is comforting. She was SO beautiful, with curly brown hair, long legs, cute little boobies, big feet, little cheeks, and she was just perfect. There was not a single imperfection at all. Although she was my baby, she was the most beautiful baby I had ever seen. EVER!

Chris’ parents arrived a few hours before Preslie was born, and were with us the whole time. This was such a comfort for Chris and me. My parents arrived the next morning after Preslie had been delivered. I remember having to make tough decisions on what was to be done as far as the funeral, etc. Right when my parents came, Preslie was given a name and a blessing. My Dad, Chad (Chris’ dad) and Brian Hogge, were in the circle. Preslie’s blessing was so powerful and strong it was unbelievable. My mom’s friend Leeann made her dress, and added extra beading and sequins to it because it needed to be the most beautiful dress, and it was. An old friend of mine Andra made the headband that matched. She looked just like a princess, and all I could do is just hold her and wait for her to squeeze my finger. I held her for a long time, my finger in her hand just waiting and waiting and waiting.

After I had some time alone with her, Chris came in and we said goodbye. That was probably one of the hardest things, even harder than giving birth to her. Knowing that in a few days I was going to be leaving without her. I decided to stay one more night, and then go home the next day.

Going through the hospital in the wheelchair holding my coat, was another one of the hardest moments of my life. I remember in a baby story when they would wheel the moms out to the car holding their babies, and I would just cry. And now here I was crying because I did not get to leave with my baby. It was the longest ride through the hospital, and I will NEVER forget it. Every time I pass the hospital, I remember those exact feelings.

We later found out that week that there was a hemorrhage in the umbilical cord. There was nothing wrong with Preslie; it was just a fluke thing. We know that she was here just to get a little body, but the pain is still so real. It doesn’t hurt less knowing that she fulfilled her purpose. I miss her more and more every passing day and knowing that I am the mother of an angel is what helps get me through.

Thank you for taking the time to listen to my story, and I hope that Preslie has touched your lives as she has mine. She will never be forgotten. She will always be a part of our family.

[Read more…]

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