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Category: stillbirth (Page 3 of 3)

Miscarriage and Stillbirth Poems

Miscarriage and Stillbirth Poems

I didn’t write any of these miscarriage and stillbirth poems but many have been used by others. We used the second verse from “If Tears Could Build a Stairway” for Ruby’s miscarriage announcement. It seemed perfect for a miscarriage. There are so many quotes and poems online, but I wanted to post a few here for people to find easily. If you would like yours listed, please contact me or add it to the comments in the section below.

Heaven and earth – author unknown

Heaven and Earth may separate us today,
but nothing will ever change the fact that,
you made me a mom.

Glory Baby – Nathaniel Nockels

We miss you everyday, miss you in every way,
But we know there’s a day when we will hold you,
And you’ll kiss our tears away, when we’re home to stay,
We can’t wait for the day when we will see you, we will see you,
But baby let sweet Jesus hold you, until mom and dad can hold you,
You’ll just have heaven before we do.

Grow Little Flower – Author Unknown

Grow, little flower reach for the light,
your sweet little spirit forever will bloom.

Glow, little star, tucked into the heavens,
cradled with care in the curve of the moon.

Blow, little leaf, to a beautiful someplace
safe in the sheltering arms of a breeze-

Know, little one, that you’ll always be with us…
forever held close in our love’s memories.

EXCERPT from Wherever You are My Love Will Find You – Nancy Tillman

In the green of the grass… in the smell of
the sea… in the clouds floating by…
at the top of a tree… in the sound
crickets make at the end of the day…

“You are loved. You are loved. You are
loved,” they all say

Author unknown

The moment that you died, my heart was split in two;
one side was filled with heartache, the other died with you.
I often lay awake at night when the world is fast asleep;
and take a walk down memory lane with tears upon my cheek.
Remembering you is easy, I do it everyday;
but missing you is a heartache that never goes away.
I hold you tightly within my heart and there you will remain;
until the joyous day arrives, that we will meet again.

If  Tears Could Build A Stairway – author unknown

If tears could build a stairway
And memories were a lane
We would walk right up to heaven
And bring you back again

No farewell words were spoken
No time to say goodbye
You were gone before we knew it
And only God knows why

Our hearts still ache in sadness
And secret tears still flow
What it meant to lose you
No one can ever know

But now we know you want us
To mourn for you no more
To remember all the happy times
Life still has much in store

Since you’ll never be forgotten
We pledge to you today
A hallowed place within our hearts
Is where you’ll always stay

The White Rose – Myrna Cox

All the earth’s mothers where gathered together at God’s garden of flowers. Those beautiful budding spirits who would someday come to earth were nurtured and tended in the garden.

A loving father spoke to the mothers, “See the works of my hands? Some day you will be the mothers to these radiant spirits.”

The garden glowed with a mixture of all kinds and colors.
“Choose you,” He said.

Now in the east corner of the garden, pure white roses stood as sentinels. They were not so colorful as the rest, but glowed with a kind of purity, which set them apart. One by one, mothers stepped forward.

“I want the blue eyed, curly haired one, who will grow to maturity and be a mother in Zion.”

Yet another chose a brown eyed, brown haired boy, full of life and love, who would someday be a prince in a grand country. The garden buzzed with excitement as others chose their own special spirits, those whom they would soon welcome into warmth and love of an earthly home.

Once again the loving father spoke, “But who will take the white roses, the ones in the east corner of the garden? These will return to me in purity and goodness. They will not stay long in your homes, for I must bring them back to my garden for they belong with me. But they will gain bodies as was planned. You will miss them and long for them, but I will personally care for them.”

“No not I, “many said in unison. “I couldn’t bear to give one back so soon.” “Nor I” said others. “We will take those who will remain and grow to maturity and live long lives.”
The loving father looked out across the multitude of mothers with a longing in his eye for someone to step forward. Silence.

Then he said, “See the most pure and perfect of all the white ones? I chose him. He will go down and be a sacrifice for all mankind. He will be scorned, mocked, and crucified. He is mine own. Will not anyone of you choose like unto him?”

A few mothers stepped forward. “Yes Lord, I will.” Then another, “I will as well.” “Yes, we will Lord.”

Soon all the pure white roses were taken and they rejoiced in the choices of their mother.

The father spoke again, “Oh blessed are you who choose the white roses. For your pain will be a heavy cross to bear, but your joy will be exceeding beyond anything you can understand at this time.”

The white ones embraced their mothers and so full was their purity and love that it filled their souls with such endearment. Each mother knew that they could endure the task and the greatest of all the white ones gathered them as a hen gathers her chicks.
The outpouring of love surrounded each mother and child, consuming all the white ones as He prepared them for their task. And each mother who bore the weight of the white rose would feel the overwhelming love of God as they all shouted, “Thy will be done.”

– Breaking the silence of First Trimester Miscarriage


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Bereavement Services for Miscarriage and Stillbirth

My bereavement services for miscarriage and stillbirth were featured at Denver Natural Mom in honor of Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month. I was so honored to be able to share. There was so much to share and just not enough time. Kathryn Roman with Denver Natural Mom did an amazing job of putting this interview together and I hope to work with her again in the future on other topics related to miscarriage and stillbirth.

I can’t share enough how amazing Stillbirthday is and all they have provided for me, as well as the world, on bringing awareness and training on this common loss. If you have thought about becoming trained, stop procrastinating. Just do it! You won’t regret it. If you have questions, contact me although you can hear all about what a bereavement doula does in my interview with Denver Natural Mom.

Without further adieu, here it is!

Denver Natural Mom

Audio of interview with Elizabeth Petrucelli on her Bereavement Doula Services with Dragonflies For Ruby.

Learn about how I got into this line of “work.” It’s not work for me. It’s a calling. It’s my ministry.

Other things you will learn from the interview are:

How common is miscarriage and stillbirth?

When to tell people about your pregnancy.

More about Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month.

How you can support a friend who is experiencing or experienced miscarriage and stillbirth (even if they live out of state or far away).

What not to say.

What a bereavement doula can provide.

Bereavement services for miscarriage and stillbirth is still relatively new. At least certifications for it are. Following my certification, I opened Dragonflies For Ruby in honor of my daughter that I lost to miscarriage. It is an amazing journey and my services keep growing and expanding in places I never thought possible. Thank you Kathryn for allowing me the opportunity to share this with the world!

If you or your organization is looking for a speaker, contact me today!

– Breaking the silence of First Trimester Miscarriage

Did you like this post? Click the links below to share it on Facebook! Or buy my book by clicking here! Don’t forget to subscribe to my blog by entering your email in the box to the right.

Candlelight Vigil to Remember Babies

On October 15th, 2014 at 7pm, families gathered for a Candlelight Vigil and Remembrance at Rock A My Baby Family Enrichment Center in Castle Rock, CO to remember and honor babies who were lost to miscarriage, stillbirth, SIDS and other reasons. The event was hosted by Dragonflies For Ruby in coordination with Rock A My Baby. This was the 2nd annual event where families traveled from across Colorado to attend, some traveling more than an hour to light a special candle for their loved ones. October was deemed Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month by President Ronald Reagan in 1988 but October 15th was deemed Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day in 2006 through House Resolution H.CON. RES. 222 which Robyn Bear of Remembering Our Babies worked diligently to achieve.

The night began with families finding their loved one’s candle and meeting inside the yoga studio attached to the enrichment center. Families sat quietly as young children toddled around and giggled from time to time. The scent of warm apple cider emanated throughout the center.

After all the families had gathered their candles and remembrance cards, Kelli O’Brien and myself began the ceremony by thanking everyone for coming. My son, Joseph, shared his story about his baby sister, Ruby. Several poems were read before the names of 56 babies and children were announced; the names we all gathered to remember. After the names were read, a father shared the beautiful story of his daughters short life and death. It was a touching story and it was amazing to see a father step forward to share. Once his story was finished, another mother came forward to share the story of her baby who died from miscarriage. It was beautiful to have families sharing their stories. A picture was taken of all the families and then the candle lighting began on the deck to the center.

As all the candles were lit, families took pictures of their candles, shared stories, and sat in silence. The candles were placed in the form of two hearts. A small heart encased by a large heart.

As my family stood in silence, Timmy, my rainbow baby, ran over to me and tugged at my pant legs. I picked him up gently and held him in my arms. Timmy leaned in and gave me a kiss on the lips. It was unexpected and yet so perfect. My heart leapt with joy. Timmy doesn’t usually kiss anyone without prompting but somehow, he knew I needed a kiss. The night was so overwhelming and my heart was full of love for all the families that were there, I think he just knew. The tears I shed were happy tears.

After conversing with families, the event came to a close. I hesitated to blow out the candles but we needed to wrap things up and head home. As all the candles became dark, I felt humbled and fulfilled. I am looking forward to the event next year and plans are already being created so that siblings can participate more fully. Hope to see you all there next year!

– Breaking the silence of First Trimester Miscarriage

Did you like this post? Click the links below to share it on Facebook! Or buy my book by clicking here! Don’t forget to subscribe to my blog by entering your email in the box to the right.

Return to Zero Movie

Tonight, there was a movie on Lifetime Television. A movie that many people won’t watch because of the subject matter. A movie that others will watch to find normalcy. A movie that will break some, heal some, and help some. The Return to Zero movie had it’s premier tonight. As promised, here are my thoughts on this movie.

Return to Zero - Blog Post from All That is Seen and Unseen

First, I am lost for words. The movie focused well on all the parts experienced by parents who have lost a baby to miscarriage or stillbirth. This movie, was based on a true story of the passing of Norbert Krekorian Hanish who was born still on July 12, 2005. I met Sean Hanish (Norberts father) at the annual Walk to Remember last year.

Sean spoke about his upcoming movie and I wasn’t sure if this would ever really make it into mainstream TV because of the content…stillbirth. I took notes during the movie. Notes about how I felt, statements, and the feelings I shared with the main character (Maggie). I shook for the first 15 minutes of the movie. I was numb, scared of what was to come. Scared of the feelings of losing Ruby when she sat in the room and they couldn’t find the heartbeat. The commercial break that came shortly after just brought more numbness. I was relieved to have my online friends in my Stillbirthday group who watched as I watched, cried as I cried, and healed as I healed.

I was impressed with the doctor who called their baby by name (Arthur) while they sat in a room hearing of their options for delivery. I was annoyed by the social worker who began asking questions that—as a bereavement doula, I felt were completely unnecessary for the time in which they were presented. This family had just lost their baby, why was she asking if they had discussed what they wanted to do with their baby? Ugh!

At the memorial service for Arthur, Maggie’s sister said a few words that I thought were wonderful. “Arthur was never hungry, never cold. He only experienced love. For a baby, a day is 100 years.” He was loved. I was appalled by her mother’s response (as I am sure others were including Maggie), “Everything happens for a reason.” We all hear that. It sucks…don’t say it.

I wept as Maggie walked in a field overlooking the city. She was smoking and drinking alcohol, which was something both her and her husband Aaron turned to during their grief. All I could think about was, she is supposed to be holding her new baby, nurturing him, loving him, and here she is…walking all alone, with nothing to hold. Nothing to show of her pregnancy. Nothing to show of her motherhood.

Arthur never got to see everything they prepared for him. There were clothes he would never wear, toys he would never play with, a crib he would never sleep in, and a painted wall with appliqués that he would never see which they pulled from the wall and painted over the blue after the loss.

Aaron gave Maggie a birth present. He had been saving it to give to her following a live birth but didn’t know when the right time was to give it to her so over dinner, he presented her this gift. She didn’t want it stating who would want a gift to remember the worst day of her life. She called her uterus a lethal weapon (as many loss mothers do).

They visit with the perinatologist and are given the results of the autopsy. Once the reason was revealed the perinatologist goes on to state that 1 in 160 babies are stillborn. As Aaron is looking for answers on why the condition of his baby wasn’t diagnosed prior to birth, you can hear a baby’s heart beating on a Doppler in another room.

The movie does well showing how men and women grieve differently. We are so engulfed in our own grief that we have a hard time seeing outside ourselves (if ever). With this movie, you can see Aaron grieving and Maggie grieving. You observe that they aren’t talking to each other at all even though Maggie is a therapist (I think). This brought awareness on so many levels.

I was happy (as anyone can be) that this movie focused on the aftermath of the loss and not just on the drama associated with the loss. Maggie doesn’t ever speak the words that her son died, that she has a dead baby or anything that recognizes the death of her son. She attends her sisters baby shower (I couldn’t have done this, I can’t believe she did). While there, a Christian woman approaches her and tells her that this was in God’s perfect plan.

After the woman stops talking, Maggie takes her glasses off and for the first time nearly states that her son is dead but replies “God’s perfect plan was that I would experience a loss so great, so devastating, that I would lose my faith in God?” I could relate to these thoughts and feelings in every way. I too lost my faith in God. While I have it now, I didn’t following my loss. You read about it in my book so you know that I felt this way too. I don’t understand (and still don’t understand), why God would allow such pain to be experienced. I know I was meant to write and share my story and I always say that this is the reason for my loss and for my pain (to bring healing to others) but it’s still so painful. I know in Heaven we won’t experience this pain.

Miscarriage and stillbirth were compared twice in this movie and both times Maggie stated that miscarriage and stillbirth were not the same. Now, I don’t like the way the first person brought this up in the movie and I was appalled by the nonchalant way this woman discussed it but it definitely didn’t help me feel like I have the right to grieve my loss. This is discussed in the Return to Zero Discussion Guide. I am glad they talked about this.

I think the first time I saw Maggie have any real tears was when she was talking with her doctor during an examination and the doctor revealed that she lost her son at seven months gestation. I absolutely loved how she shared her feelings. “You’ll always be Arthur’s mother. Be proud of that. He is.” She also made a statement to the effect of “You will forever be available and treat that child better than anyone ever can,” when talking about a future child. This scene brought up a wealth of emotion.

I was overwhelmed with guilt. I did not feel that way when my son was born. In fact, that is part of the premise of my next book. I don’t think I treat Timmy better because I lost Ruby. If anything, I am scared to love him.

Around six months after the loss, after she finds out her husband is cheating on her, she says, “My baby died.” Aaron also says his baby died too. She asks for a divorce at this point but he doesn’t want a divorce. Maggie discovers she is pregnant again. The movie then flashbacks to the delivery of Arthur.

I wept as she was pushing and Aaron was trying hard to be there for her. Holding her leg as she pushed and suffered with each agonizing push, he held back his cries for her. He tried to be strong for her…he was. I wept as Maggie screamed while pushing, “Come on baby, you can come out. It’s mommy. I love you!”

Arthur was born silent. He was handed to his mother who held him briefly and then she handed him to his father who immediately kissed his forehead and rubbed his cheek. These are the moments I wish for all my stillbirth clients. I wish they would cherish these moments and not be afraid. I wonder if Maggie and Aaron were so accepting of this because the doctor had prepared them and told them to take the time to love him?

They spent an hour with Arthur and had pictures taken but the nurse came in and took him and placed him in a cardboard box. I will never understand that (the box) and I don’t understand why they only had one hour with him. Maggie described that one hour: “Hugging him, kissing him, it was the most beautiful hour of my life. I didn’t want it to end.”

I feel that many women can relate to some of the statements Maggie made about after the loss. “The pain…I love it. I embrace it. I am afraid if I let it go, I am going to lose the last little piece of him that I still have.” “No one tells you about the relationship that begins with them after they die. If I can quiet my head down enough, I can feel him, I hear him.” When she is describing her feelings during her rainbow pregnancy, she says she is afraid to get close and she is afraid of everything. This follows along the lines of the survey I recently took. Many women share these feelings.

Maggie visits her mom and reveals she is pregnant. Her mother makes that dreaded statement again, This was like the eighth time I wanted to kill her mother. She seemed so dismissive of Maggie. I wonder how she feels about this movie in real life? Maggie then makes the statement, “Miscarriage is not the same thing as a stillbirth.” I tried not to tune out and I was surprised at her mothers response. “It’s a loss. It still hurts. It’s the loss of a possibility of what might have been and that is exactly the same.” I just blogged about this as well!

The rainbow pregnancy was treated differently, much like how I treated Timmy’s pregnancy. I didn’t want to do the same things (in the movie she didn’t want to read to the baby like they did with Arthur’s pregnancy). I tried hard to keep things “normal” and be excited but deep down I was scared I was going to lose Timmy. I know this was what Maggie was thinking too and I lost Ruby at eight weeks, not thirty eight!

Maggie goes on to deliver their daughter. This part of the movie confused me. She didn’t hold her daughter. She seemed dismissive and uninterested. What was she expecting? She seemed disappointed it wasn’t a boy. My mind was grasping at straws as to what she was thinking. A visit with the doctor revealed that Maggie didn’t know what she expected. She didn’t feel happy and she didn’t feel sad. She said she didn’t feel anything. The most powerful statement she made during this moment was, “What about joy? When does that come?” She felt she would be a terrible mother.

The movie ends with the new family on the beach and Aaron releases the small sail boat he made out into the ocean. This was his grief journey as he constructed the boat in the early days following the loss.

This movie was so powerful. I am thankful it came to life. It has broken that silence. So many now feel they have the right to grieve. We always have but now society knows. They can see how much this hurts and our babies mattered. They do! Your baby matters! Thank you Sean and Kiley!!!!

– Breaking the silence of First Trimester Miscarriage

Did you like this post? Click the links below to share it on Facebook! Or buy my book by clicking here! Don’t forget to subscribe to my blog by entering your email in the box to the right.

Did you watch Return to Zero? What did you think?

 

Thoughts on Return to Zero Movie

Tonight, there was a movie on Lifetime Television. A movie that many people won’t watch because of the subject matter. A movie that others will watch to find normalcy. A movie that will break some, heal some, and help some. The Return to Zero movie had it’s premier tonight. As promised, here are my thoughts on this movie.

Return to Zero - Blog Post from All That is Seen and Unseen

First, I am lost for words. The movie focused well on all the parts experienced by parents who have lost a baby to miscarriage or stillbirth. This movie, was based on a true story of the passing of Norbert Krekorian Hanish who was born still on July 12, 2005. I met Sean Hanish (Norberts father) at the annual Walk to Remember last year.

Sean spoke about his upcoming movie and I wasn’t sure if this would ever really make it into mainstream TV because of the content…stillbirth. I took notes during the movie. Notes about how I felt, statements, and the feelings I shared with the main character (Maggie). I shook for the first 15 minutes of the movie. I was numb, scared of what was to come. Scared of reliving the feelings of losing my Ruby when Maggie sat in the room and they couldn’t find the heartbeat. The commercial break that came shortly after just brought more numbness. I was relieved to have my online friends from my Stillbirthday group, who watched as I watched, cried as I cried, and healed as I healed.

I was impressed with the doctor who called their baby by name (Arthur in the movie) while they sat in a room hearing of their options for delivery. I was annoyed by the social worker who began asking questions that—as a bereavement doula, I felt were completely unnecessary for the time in which they were presented. This family had just lost their baby, why was she asking if they had discussed what they wanted to do with their baby? Ugh!

At the memorial service for Arthur, Maggie’s sister said a few words that I thought were wonderful. “Arthur was never hungry, never cold. He only experienced love. For a baby, a day is 100 years.” He was loved. I was appalled by her mother’s response (as I am sure others were including Maggie), “Everything happens for a reason.” We all hear that. It sucks…don’t say it.

I wept as Maggie walked in a field overlooking the city. She was smoking and drinking alcohol, which was something both her and her husband Aaron turned to during their grief. All I could think about was, she is supposed to be holding her new baby, nurturing him, loving him, and here she is…walking all alone, with nothing to hold. Nothing to show of her pregnancy. Nothing to show of her motherhood.

Arthur never got to see everything they prepared for him. There were clothes he would never wear, toys he would never play with, a crib he would never sleep in, and a painted wall with appliqués that he would never see which they pulled from the wall and painted over the blue after the loss.

Aaron gave Maggie a birth present. He had been saving it to give to her following a live birth but didn’t know when the right time was to give it to her so over dinner, he presented her this gift. She didn’t want it stating who would want a gift to remember the worst day of her life. She called her uterus a lethal weapon (as many loss mothers do).

They visit with the perinatologist and are given the results of the autopsy. Once the reason was revealed the perinatologist goes on to state that 1 in 160 babies are stillborn. As Aaron is looking for answers on why the condition of his baby wasn’t diagnosed prior to birth, you can hear a baby’s heart beating on a Doppler in another room. Another true account of how we often are managed during pregnancy loss.

The movie does well showing how men and women grieve differently. We are so engulfed in our own grief that we have a hard time seeing outside ourselves (if ever). With this movie, you can see Aaron grieving and Maggie grieving. You observe that they aren’t talking to each other at all even though Maggie is a therapist (I think). This brought awareness on so many levels.

I was happy (as anyone can be) that this movie focused on the aftermath of the loss and not just on the drama associated with the loss. Maggie doesn’t ever speak the words that her son died, that she has a dead baby or anything that recognizes the death of her son. She attends her sisters baby shower (I couldn’t have done this, I can’t believe she did). While there, a Christian woman approaches her and tells her that this was in God’s perfect plan.

After the woman stops talking, Maggie takes her glasses off and for the first time nearly states that her son is dead but replies “God’s perfect plan was that I would experience a loss so great, so devastating, that I would lose my faith in God?” I could relate to these thoughts and feelings in every way. I too lost my faith in God. While I have it now, I didn’t following my loss. You read about it in my book so you know that I felt this way too. I don’t understand (and still don’t understand), why God would allow such pain to be experienced. I know I was meant to write and share my story and I always say that this is the reason for my loss and for my pain (to bring healing to others) but it’s still so painful. I know in Heaven we won’t experience this pain.

Miscarriage and stillbirth were compared twice in this movie and both times Maggie stated that miscarriage and stillbirth were not the same. Now, I don’t like the way the first person brought this up in the movie and I was appalled by the nonchalant way this woman discussed it but it definitely didn’t help me feel like I have the right to grieve my loss. This is discussed in the Return to Zero Discussion Guide. I am glad they talked about this.

I think the first time I saw Maggie have any real tears was when she was talking with her doctor during an examination and the doctor revealed that she lost her son at seven months gestation. I absolutely loved how she shared her feelings. “You’ll always be Arthur’s mother. Be proud of that. He is.” She also made a statement to the effect of “You will forever be available and treat that child better than anyone ever can,” when talking about a future child. This scene brought up a wealth of emotion.

I was overwhelmed with guilt. I did not feel that way when my son was born. In fact, that is part of the premise of my next book. I don’t think I treat my second son any better because I lost Ruby. If anything, I am scared to love him.

Around six months after the loss, after she finds out her husband is cheating on her, she says, “My baby died.” Aaron also says his baby died too. She asks for a divorce at this point but he doesn’t want a divorce. Maggie discovers she is pregnant again. The movie then flashbacks to the delivery of Arthur.

I wept as she was pushing and Aaron was trying hard to be there for her. Holding her leg as she pushed and suffered with each agonizing push, he held back his cries for her. He tried to be strong for her…he was. I wept as Maggie screamed while pushing, “Come on baby, you can come out. It’s mommy. I love you!”

Arthur was born silent. He was handed to his mother who held him briefly and then she handed him to his father who immediately kissed his forehead and rubbed his cheek. These are the moments I wish for all my stillbirth clients. I wish they would cherish these moments and not be afraid. I wonder if Maggie and Aaron were so accepting of this because the doctor had prepared them and told them to take the time to love him?

They spent an hour with Arthur and had pictures taken but the nurse came in and took him and placed him in a cardboard box. I will never understand that (the box) and I don’t understand why they only had one hour with him. Maggie described that one hour: “Hugging him, kissing him, it was the most beautiful hour of my life. I didn’t want it to end.”

I feel that many women can relate to some of the statements Maggie made about after the loss. “The pain…I love it. I embrace it. I am afraid if I let it go, I am going to lose the last little piece of him that I still have.” “No one tells you about the relationship that begins with them after they die. If I can quiet my head down enough, I can feel him, I hear him.” When she is describing her feelings during her rainbow pregnancy (pregnancy following a loss), she says she is afraid to get close and she is afraid of everything. This follows along the lines of the survey I recently took. Many women share these feelings.

Maggie visits her mom and reveals she is pregnant. Her mother makes that dreaded statement again, This was like the eighth time I wanted to kill her mother. She seemed so dismissive of Maggie. I wonder how she feels about this movie in real life? Maggie then makes the statement, “Miscarriage is not the same thing as a stillbirth.” I tried not to tune out and I was surprised at her mothers response. “It’s a loss. It still hurts. It’s the loss of a possibility of what might have been and that is exactly the same.” I just blogged about this as well!

The rainbow pregnancy was treated differently, much like how I treated Timmy’s pregnancy. I didn’t want to do the same things (in the movie she didn’t want to read to the baby like they did with Arthur’s pregnancy). I tried hard to keep things “normal” and be excited but deep down I was scared I was going to lose Timmy. I know this was what Maggie was thinking too and I lost Ruby at eight weeks, not thirty eight!

Maggie goes on to deliver their daughter. This part of the movie confused me. She didn’t hold her daughter. She seemed dismissive and uninterested. What was she expecting? She seemed disappointed it wasn’t a boy. My mind was grasping at straws as to what she was thinking. A visit with the doctor revealed that Maggie didn’t know what she expected. She didn’t feel happy and she didn’t feel sad. She said she didn’t feel anything. The most powerful statement she made during this moment was, “What about joy? When does that come?” She felt she would be a terrible mother.

The movie ends with the new family on the beach and Aaron releases the small sail boat he made out into the ocean. This was his grief journey as he constructed the boat in the early days following the loss.

This movie was so powerful. I am thankful it came to life. It has broken that silence. So many now feel they have the right to grieve. We always have but now society knows. They can see how much this hurts and our babies mattered. They do! Your baby matters! Thank you Sean and Kiley!!!!

– Breaking the silence of First Trimester Miscarriage

Did you like this post? Click the links below to share it on Facebook! Or buy my book by clicking here! Don’t forget to subscribe to my blog by entering your email in the box to the right.

Did you watch Return to Zero? What did you think?

 

FMLA Leave for Miscarriage?

Can I get FMLA Leave for Miscarriage? ANSWER: Maybe

I am often asked whether or not a miscarriage warrants maternity leave. The answer is a bit complicated. When you give birth to a living baby, maternity leave is really just an extension of the Family and Medical Leave Act, aka FMLA and the reason for taking FMLA is due to the birth of your child. Not all companies are covered by this federal act and you have to meet certain criteria in order for you to be eligible. This is a great fact sheet on FMLA.

If you find that you are eligible for FMLA and you recently experienced a miscarriage, you might be able to use your FMLA leave for miscarriage, which secures your employment, while you recover. I always encourage women to take as much time off as they need in order to recover both emotionally and physically from their miscarriage. All that is needed is for you to talk with your care provider about the need for time off following your miscarriage and you may be granted “maternity” leave for miscarriage.

You might still be bleeding, cramping, or experiencing pain which can help you gain FMLA leave for miscarriage. If talking with your care provider doesn’t help, you can also work with a therapist to gain eligibility for FMLA. The therapist would work alongside your care provider to complete the forms needed in order to take the time off to recover emotionally. You don’t have to have a broken leg or other physical impairment to get time off from work. Emotional and mental reasons can qualify you as well (so long as you are eligible for FMLA).

Often following a miscarriage, we are so emotionally distraught that we cannot concentrate on tasks, every day duties are difficult to accomplish, let alone getting ready for work and actually working. I remember my first day back to work following my miscarriage. I cried the entire way to work. Then, when I got there, I cried every time I went into the bathroom because the last time I was there, I was pregnant. I cried in certain places because the last time I was there, I was pregnant.

We have certain triggers yet we don’t know what will trigger us following the miscarriage. We need to take time to heal a bit before returning to work. FMLA for your partner might be a bit tricky unless your partner can articulate that they are taking care of you while you recover.

It can be disheartening to learn that your might not be covered for FMLA leave following a stillbirth as well. Much of this depends on your care provider and how they articulate this event. It is important to work closely with your care provider during a pregnancy loss and if you find your care provider isn’t sensitive to your needs, you should find another care provider.

– Breaking the silence of First Trimester Miscarriage

Stillbirth

This morning I received a notification about a stillbirth. I am always so saddened by these notifications and I know there are many stillbirths throughout the day but for some reason this morning, I received this one and read about it and watched the video created by the doula that attended to this family. For the doula, this was her very first birth.

That was a HUGE fear of mine as a new doula. I was afraid that my first birth would be a stillbirth, death, or there would be something wrong with the baby. I was blessed to have a “normal” first birth as a doula (although it was over 48 hours). The next one came and went with no issues either but as the months of normal births came and went, I knew that one day, I would be faced with the inevitable “unexpected outcome.”

My unexpected outcome DID arrive. I had two during my busiest time as a doula. 1 was where my doula client lost her uterus due to complications during a C-section and the other was a baby with a terminal heart condition. He survived but it was a very rough start. I also had a client hire me where their baby had HLHS (Hyperplastic Left Heart Syndrome) and they wanted compassionate care for their baby.

Unfortunately, during the prenatal process, they changed from a hospital birth to an unassisted homebirth and I could not ethically attend that birth. As much as I wanted to support this family through the death of their baby, I knew I was the only one there with any form of medical background and I would have been held liable. I don’t think the family would have done anything but I could not risk my family to attend their birth.

I wrote a letter to the family but never mailed it. I still have the letter. I should post it some day. I know that the family had a blog and I learned that they ended up going to the hospital only to have the hospital NOT respect their wishes for compassionate care and attempt to save their son’s life. It was a very traumatic experience for them as they did not want this at all. What a difficult decision it must have been to say goodbye only for the doctors to try to save his life.

I digress…

The post was for Sophia Marilyn. She was born in the hands of her creator on July 26, 2013. This was just so recent. I clicked on the link entitled Random Acts of Kindness in Memory of Baby Sophia Marilyn. Within the link was a note from her parents thanking everyone for responding and their post was the video. I hesitated to click on it as I KNEW it would be very emotional but I performed the inevitable “click.”

Beautiful music and I was touched immediately. Timmy, was just 4 feet in front of me in his bouncer. He was facing away from me and we were separated by my computer and a banister. I could hear him bouncing away with his bird toy jingling as he bounced. As the video played and I watched, the tears flowed down like rain. The raw emotion in this family was displayed in the pictures. I couldn’t imagine going through this kind of birth.

I was devastated and torn. Why? Why did this happen to them? Why does a baby have to die? She was full-term. She was over 38 weeks. The mother experienced what is called a placental abruption and because of this, her only daughter died. The last 9 months could not be taken back. 9 months of expectation, anxiety, joy, excitement, doctor’s appointments, bonding with her husband and two sons, the growth of her belly, and the kicks of her daughter within her womb could not be taken back. Her thoughts and dreams for her daughter remained, as did the scars from her pregnancy and the milk that would fill her breasts to nourish the baby that passed.

As I continued to watch this video, I felt guilt. Guilt that my son was playing in his bouncer just a few feet away. Guilt that I wasn’t holding him. Guilt that I wasn’t looking into his eyes and soaking up every moment, every smell, every smile…GUILT…that my baby was alive and hers was dead.

I am horrified when I hear about the death of a baby; whether from a miscarriage, stillbirth, infant loss, or abortion. It hits me so deep inside. It’s not fair that a baby has to die. It’s not fair that we, as parents, have to bury our child. It’s just NOT FAIR!

Tonight, I will pray for this family. I will participate in their request for a “Random Act of Kindness” which is to take place on August 26, 2013, just one month after Sophia’s death. I have posted this event on all my pages. I will post this blog on all my pages and I will ask my readers…whoever you are to PLEASE sign up for this event. Please help to bring some peace and comfort to this family, in honor of Sophia Marilyn Seymour.

God Bless!

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