My husband and I have lost our 3 children to miscarriage during our third month. In addition to our losses, I was a birth coach to my sister during my Nephew’s stillbirth at 38 weeks gestation. As a result of these experiences my husband and I created a national tax exempt public charity called Hiring for Hope. We would have been lost without building our charity. It has had such an impact on so many lives and helped my sister and I to save our own.
My daughter Scarlette was stillborn on September 22, 2008, at 19 weeks, as a result of a congenital heart defect as well as bronchial isomerism syndrome. In January of 2009, I began a fundraiser to benefit the program at the local hospital where I delivered Scarlette, that assists families who are going through a loss. This February will be our third year and going strong! We are hoping to branch out to help more hospitals designate programs such as the Child Remembered Program at our hospital.
Joey Skylor ~ born into heaven in the end of December 2009.
Bryson unexpectedly passed on October 28th, 2010 and was stillborn on October 30th at 20 weeks due to complications from a lower urinary tract obstruction (LUTO). Joey Skylor was born into heaven at 13 weeks in the end of December 2009, and was born on January 5th, 2010.
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.
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.
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.
Victoria Elizabeth Noel: miscarried at 6 weeks 12/98,
Nicholas Sean: born still at 16 weeks, 12/5/2002
We have had three first trimester losses: our oldest son had a twin, and we lost two at 6 weeks when our son was three. Our son Nicholas was stillborn at 4 months in December of 2002, due to a food born illness.
Riley was a missed miscarriage at 6 weeks and Peyton was a missed miscarriage at 10 weeks. In order to work through my grief I began creating art to help others remember their angels. It has helped me see my children all around me. Seeing their names brings them further into my life. This has helped me to process my grief and to understand that hiding my feelings was never going to help me.
After trying for a year to get pregnant, I was overjoyed to see those double lines in the fall of 2009. Unfortunately, it was not meant to be: after several ultrasounds, blood work, and waiting, it was confirmed that we had a missed miscarriage in December of 2009. Since my body wasn’t taking care of it, I took medication to force my body to expel the baby on December 5th, 2009. I was at a loss after this happened, as I never thought it could happen to me (that’s what everyone says, right?).
I suffered a missed miscarriage at 12 weeks. And in order to work through my grief, I created a support group on Facebook. It has helped, by allowing me to express my feelings and to know that I am not alone.
I want to express the privilege that I have each time I read a ‘Story of HOPE.’
It always starts the same way. . . I have to wipe my eyes in order to read through the inevitable tears that spring forth after seeing another story of loss. Knowing that another family has experienced the death of a baby rips my heart out. But, as I read each story, my emotions swell and my faith in humanity is repaired bit by bit. It is nothing short of inspiring to see an example of HOPE that comes in the wake of despair. Thank you for being so bold and confident as you share your stories!
Pregnancy is supposed to be a time of new hope. Yet, as we all know, it can quickly turn into our worst nightmare. No parent ever anticipates the death of a child ~ yet many of you are making beautiful things grow from your pain. You cultivate and nurture, you survive and look for an opportunity to memorialize your child. The world needs to know that it is possible to live again after death.
Calypso was born at 29 weeks 5 days and lived for 23 short days. I’ve started an Angel Wishing Tree. I put the names of angels onto the tree when requested and post the photos on my blog and to their parents.
My 28 weaker passed at six months after many premature complications. I am a nursing student now, hoping to one day make a difference in the NICU. It has helped me understand that many families go through what I did, and unfortunately many babies are born in need of NICU attention.
I hope to one day bring hope to all parents with sick babies just like I was given hope the whole six months my baby was alive and in the NICU. In the meantime, I’m volunteering at the NICU’s in my area and help with making ‘threads of love for the babies.’ Threads of love can be anything that is sown by a volunteer. Whether it’s a threaded hat, a threaded blanket, or a lovey (little dolls). In the NICU it is important to keep a parents scent with the baby ~ these loveys are placed in the baby’s incubator.