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Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Guest Post: Lisa

Today we are lucky enough to have Lisa with us - she is such an amazing  person who is willing to share her story with usPlease take a moment to read this post and feel free to leave comments in response on our Facebook page

When I was 19, I had gotten pregnant and I lost the baby..it was a hard time for me. I felt so alone. It wasn't my boyfriend's, at the time, and mine baby but it still hit home. 4 months later, I became pregnant with my baby boy Jaxx and he almost didn't make it... he has Williams syndrome and is ok now but still has been in and out of the hospital. When he was 6 months old, I had gotten pregnant again and this time with twins. I was soo happy and I did everything to keep them... about four weeks ago I stated losing blood and I was rushed to the ER. They told me several times there was nothing they could do. A few weekends ago, I found out I miscarried the twins. I was 12 weeks pregnant. I have been in so much agony and pain these last few weeks. I couldn't find it in me to talk to God...but then one night after coming home from the hospital, I saw a shooting star and I felt a big sigh of relief and burdened lifted. I have turned to the Almighty One because I know he does things for a reason. I never felt a kick. I never heard the heartbeat but I know in my heart the Lord above is taking care of all three of my sweet babies. I still question to this day but have to remind myself it all is for a reason and a purpose.

if you would like to guest post with us this month it isn't too late, please send us a message via our Contact Us page. 

Friday, October 16, 2015

Guest Post: Rikki

Today we are lucky enough to have Rikki with us from Happy Haws Homeshe is such an amazing  person who is willing to share her story with usPlease take a moment to read this post and feel free to leave comments in response on our Facebook page

When someone says "1 in 5" what do you think?
I'll give you a hint, it's a statistic.
A statistic I hope you never have to experience.
1 in 5 pregnancies end in a miscarriage.
Recurrent miscarriage consists of 3 or more miscarriages in a row and only 1 in 100 women will have a recurrent miscarriage.

I'm one. I am 1 in 100. 
As for the 1 in 5, I am 1 in 5 in a different way. 1 birth and living baby out of 5 pregnancies.

In December 2012 I married my handsome husband Alex! In February 2013 we decided it was time for us to start our own little family. In March and then later in November I miscarried. With both those miscarriages I had no clue I was pregnant until after I had miscarried and I only made it about 6 weeks (According to my falling hormone levels). 

On March 12 2014 I saw the most beautiful two lines I have ever seen... 
For me, this was the first time I actually got to see the lines and know I was pregnant. I ran downstairs to my husband and I emailed my mom. I was beyond thrilled. I scheduled an appointment with an OB but they wanted me to wait until I would be about 10 weeks. For me, 10 weeks was a LONG time considering I was not very good at making it passed 6 weeks. 
When it got closer to my appointment, I got more and more excited. The day before my appointment I woke up about 9 o'clock at night in the worst pain imaginable. I'd had kidney stones but they could not even TOUCH the pain I was feeling. I got up and went to the bathroom thinking I was just passing the largest stone ever, but there was blood... LOTS of blood. 
I was doubled over in pain i could barely talk. Once i finally caught my breath I remember screaming "ALEX!"
He jumped straight out of bed from a dead sleep. I couldn't catch my breath again to tell him that something was wrong but he knew. He could tell I was in way too much pain. So, we got up and rushed to the nearest Emergency Room. 
It was there that I went through full labor and passed my twins. We had no clue we were having twins and I was crushed. This was my first time really experiencing a miscarriage. Feeling the pain. The loss. The broken heart.
I spent another few hours in the hospital after I passed the babies to make sure there were no complications. 
We got home at 1 in the morning on a Sunday. Alex was kind enough to pin up blankets on all the windows in the room so that I could sleep as long as I wanted. 
Later that day I got up to grab some food and curl back up in bed when the doorbell rang. It was one of my very dear friends and I had to put on a happy face. She noticed I had an ER bracelet and asked. I was not ready for someone to ask. She was one of the only other people I had told that I was pregnant so of course she asked if the baby was ok. I quickly responded it was just another kidney stone and she left. For the next hour I sat in my bed crying. Eventually I cried myself asleep and didn't wake up until the middle of the night and only got up to eat. That routine basically became my life for the next two weeks. I slept. I ate. I cried.

My friend ended up coming back bringing up dinner. She and her husband stayed for a little while, so of course, the truth came out. I had only told our mother's what had happened and that was just through an email. It could never have prepared me to say it out loud to someone.

One evening when I woke up after sleeping all day, I started going downstairs to get some food. I heard Alex crying and talking to someone so I stopped on the stairs to listen.
He was on the phone with his mom. There he was, crying his eyes out, telling his mom how hard it had been on him to go to school while grieving the loss of out babies. 
That's when it hit me. I was being selfish. I wasn't the only one who had lost the babies, my husband had too. I went back upstairs to bed since I knew Alex was coming up to bed. 
That night we laid in bed crying together. 

This was the moment I realized I was not alone, that I would never be alone. Maybe that is what made my next miscarriage much easier to get through.

So, 10 1/2 short weeks later I was losing another baby the morning of my first OB appointment for the baby. This may be too much information (You've now been warned) but I was able to catch the baby. So, we took the baby with us so they could test it to see why my body could not hold on to even one baby!
A few weeks later we went back in for the news. I was so afraid. Afraid of what my doctor was going to say. Afraid I would never be able to have a child of my own.
You know what she said? 
"All the tests on the fetus came back fine. There was nothing wrong with it. Your hormone levels are great, your uterus looks great, so my conclusion is you are too fertile."
Too fertile?
TOO fertile?
What does that even mean? 

Well, this is what It means:
There was a small study recently that looked at women who’d suffered recurrent miscarriages. It found that the endometrium of these women might be extremely receptive to embryos, allowing even poor-quality ones to embed and survive for longer. So, the women studied were falling pregnant very easily, but the embryos weren’t necessarily healthy enough to survive – hence the repeated miscarriages. The media went crazy with claims of ‘super’ fertility, which makes it sound like a positive thing. However, these women don’t have lots of babies, they have lots of miscarriages.

At this point, my doctor said that I may never have a live birth, but she was determined to try!

Only a few short months later I was pregnant again! Thankfully I had the wonderful doctor I did, she calmed all my nerves and fears. She got me on progesterone and closely monitored me my entire pregnancy. Out of my miscarriage storm FINALLY came my rainbow baby boy! :)

My pregnancy wasn't easy and we had many scares but it was SO worth it!

I hope everyone that is going through or has gone through miscarriages gets their rainbow baby(s). 

There are many people who have asked me how I got through all my miscarriages. My answer will always be that same. I let myself grieve, I cried, I prayed, I cried some more, and I prayed a little harder! I've gone through miscarriages that I let myself grieve and miscarriages where I tried to hold it all in. The ones where I let myself grieve were a lot easier to get through. You lost a baby. A human being. It's going to hurt physically and emotionally!The grieving process is the same as if you lost a different family member. I never needed counseling, but some people may need it! Do NOT be ashamed if you do! 

The reason I am sharing my story today is October 15th is National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness day. The entire month of October is to be aware of those mothers who grieve in silence. Today is the day we all come together and remember who we lost.
Leave a link in the comments if you end up doing something in memory of your lost ones. I would love to see it! Thanks for reading and sharing with me.

Always Smile!

You can visit Rikki's blog at Happy Haws Home: http://happyhawshome.blogspot.com
f you would like to guest post with us this month it isn't too late, please send us a message via our Contact Us page. 

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Join the Wave of Light...

Join the Wave of Light! Don't forget today is October 15th - Pregnancy & Infant Loss Remembrance Day. We invite everyone, wherever you live, to join us in lighting a candle at 7 PM to help remember all of our Angels. Help us by sharing this image above. 

Capture Your Grief Days 8,9,11 & 13

Day 8 – WISH LIST What are your wishes for this grief journey? What do you need from others? It might be that you want your child to always be remembered. You may wish to educate others on grief and healing. Maybe your wish is to turn this tragedy into something beautiful. Spend some time thinking about what it is that you hope to be able to do, learn or gain from this experience.

My wish has always been to remember Gage and give his life purpose.  I have always wanted to turn our tragedy into something positive and that is why we started GAGE.  I need others to remember him and to not act like he didn't exist. I always include him whenever asked how many children I have.....he was and will always be my child.

Day 9 – FAMILY – What does your family look like today? Who is your family to you? What do they mean to you? 

My family today includes my husband and Gage's five brothers (two of which were born after his death). My family is the reason I continue to live. They understand this process because they too live it on a daily basis. They are my biggest support. My extended family and friends have and continue to provide me with love and support along this journey.

Day 11 – GLOW IN THE WOODS Today I want to honour the beautiful writers at Glow In The Woods, past and present. This was the first place I found on the internet where I could read about other parents experiences with grief. They were literally my light in the darkness. When we become bereaved, in the beginning, many of us look outwards for help. We set out in the darkness of night with a blanket and a lantern in search of others like us. Along the road we usually find someone or something and it is with that discovery that we can walk this road with understanding company and with that, we watch the sun begin to rise over our worlds again. Who was your glow in the woods? Share some resources that have aided you in your healing journey. It may be a website, charity, organization, a person/teacher/therapist/new friend etc. Whatever it is, share what is so wonderful about that resource and how it has helped you. Please feel welcome to share links so that others can benefit.

I immediately joined an online SIDS support group after Gage's death. It really helped me in the beginning to know that I was not alone and that so many others really understood the pain that I was experiencing. It was a safe place to go and get questions answered from people who had experienced this type of grief first hand. I reached a point in my own journey that I had to step back from the group. It was consuming too much of my time and was no longer a healthy part of my personal journey. 

I received a kit with various items from a local organization (Sewing For Babies) after Gage died. The items did and still continue to provide me comfort. This was one of the reasons I wanted to make kits of my own. Here is the link to their Facebook page https://m.facebook.com/profile.php?id=257458498746

Day 13 – REGRETS + TRIGGERS What are some regrets that you have about your experience with grief so far? Do you believe there is a way to heal that regret? Do you have any grief triggers? Maybe it is the pregnant woman in the store or a scent that reminds you of that time in your life. Perhaps it is a sound, song, season etc. Share what pulls on your heart strings.

The trigger that I have has been watching the milestones of my other children. When my now 3 month old flashed me his first real smile I was in awe of the moment but quickly realized that I never got to experience that same moment with Gage.  These moments often bring tears to my eyes. While I'm happy and excited to be sharing these moments with each of my children it's hard to ignore the fact that I will never have the same experience with Gage.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Guest Post: Rudy's Story

Today we are lucky enough to have Sandi with us- she is such an amazing  person who is willing to share her story with usPlease take a moment to read this post and feel free to leave comments in response on our Facebook page

 Rudy`s Story
            In July of 1991 I became pregnant with my fifth child. I can remember it was an extremely hot summer. I was tired and feeling sick from pregnancy. My two and a half year old, Mihkela often took baths with me and one day she asked me why I was feeling so sick. I told her that soon she`d have a new brother or sister. She was thrilled and told me that she would pray for me. We are Christians, I gave my life to the Lord, my Savior, Jesus Christ in December 0f 1974.

        I was informed by two physicians before my marriage that I would be unable to conceive and more than likely be sterile. Remember after being married awhile, I went to my Heavenly Father, knowing He can do ANYTHING because He is Creator most powerful, great and mighty! God is faithful, and Seth Isaac was born. My receiving womb continued to bear four other children, Corey Williams, Johnna Elizabeth, and Mihkela Estelle-Virginia and the child to be born in March of 1992.

       Sure I had the normal feelings of sickness that accompanies pregnancy. Each pregnancy caused its own cravings and this time around it was plums. FINALLY made it through the sick times and I felt so blessed to be pregnant again. It also thrilled me in a special way as this time I was still grieving over the recent death of my father.

       My pregnancy was progressing normally and I felt great, just a bit uncomfortable toward the end. Went for an ultrasound in January and son Corey, and daughters, Johnna and Mihkela accompanied. They were able to see their little brother turn around and 'look' right at us. He wanted us to know who he was. Truly awesome.

       I was quickly approaching my due date and we were busy getting everything ready in order for the big day. I had two friends that both were pregnant also and we had gotten together a few times. We`d kid each other about how big we were getting and strange eating habits.

      Mom arrived beginning of March and was staying until the baby was born. Friends gave me an wonderful shower.

     Went to the doctor`s on Thursday, just before the baby was to be born. Steve was planning on delivering our baby and he was with me when we heard a strong heartbeat. This baby was ready and we were anxious to meet him.

Made this wood carving. Broken Heart.

     Sunday was sitting with my feet elevated, Indian style. My daughter, Mihkela was nuzzled in close and her brother Rudy John gave her such a kick. I saw her move and she said; "Whoa Momma" and she giggled. Never realized he was saying good-bye.

    Monday morning around 5am. I was in my usual comfortable position. I didn't know it yet, felt Rudy move for the last time. That afternoon went for a stress test with my husband to see if I needed to be induced or not. It was March 23. We were joking with the nurses about simple things. Nurse applied the jelly on my belly. Laughed about how cold it was. The nurse moved the monitor around and nothing registered. She tried another monitor. Nothing. Another nurse came in to help, nothing. They called the doctor in. The doctor told us the baby was most likely dead. 

    Reality...it was already hitting Steve. He was being strong for me. We had a ultrasound and a neurologist came to us and looked us straight in the eyes and said, "I`m sorry, your baby is dead." I began to sob and it snowballed into uncontrollable sobbing from the depths of my soul. Steve said, "Sand, its alright" because he wanted so much to console me but I started screaming.  Reality Hit.

    We could of stayed at the hospital. We decided we needed to go home and tell everyone first hand. I didn't feel much like a woman of faith. God is gracious and merciful. I have since learned that we have faith in the midst of terrible pain and sorrow.

Our Adopted Kids. Andrew, Ethan, Grace Rose, and Luke.

    All the tears that were shed when we got home. The kids were looking forward to their new little brother. My labor started. When we arrived at the hospital the nurses were advising me to hold my baby and spend time with him. I said, "I don't think so". I wanted a C-section or to be knocked out. I begged and pleaded and demanded. No one listened. I knew somehow the Lord was with us. At 2am my water broke everything started to happen pretty quickly. Rudy John was born at 8:30 am on his due date, March 24th.It was a rough delivering for both of us. Had trouble delivering his shoulders. He was a big boy. 22" long and 10lbs. 5ozs. The nurses were wonderful. They took pictures and we held him. They left us alone and told us we could have as much time as we needed. We counted all his fingers and toes. He was gorgeous. Strong looking with beautiful dark hair. Then we realized what was wrong with this picture. The joy that comes with a new baby was missing. We held him close and rocked him. I nursed all my other children and could already feel my milk coming in. This little one will not be nursing. We had so much trouble leaving the hospital, Our little boy would not be leaving with us.

     The day we went to the funeral home was beyond painful. Our children and their Grandmom got to meet Rudy and a couple of close friends. Know the Lord was carrying us and holding us extra tight. We held each other tight as well.

     Grief does come flooding in. We joined a club we never wanted a part of. Many days of not knowing how we
Our Bio Kids Today. Johnna, Corey, Seth, Mihkela,
and Luke(he is our youngest adopted-He loves his sibs). 
would ever survive minute to minute. SLOWLY, ever so slowly. Our days were just that days. God somehow picked up or faces and our hearts off the floor. Many people tried to help. Cards and visits, phone calls. One day, a dear person sent a card with this Scripture, Romans 8:38,39.Where it talks about God`s Love is real even in death. Appreciate her reaching out, knew that she had been in the same club as me. She had had a few Miscarriages.

     Its twenty three years since Rudy went to Heaven. We all grieve differently. Looking back someone how we gave each other room during those extremely rough days. We have song that we call Rudy`s song we play every year on his birthday. We all call each other on his day. Not one day goes by that we don't miss him. It hasn't gotten better its just different. 

     We were given a ministry to help other families. Its called "Little Lambs". We share our story and give the family a little lamb. Then six years after losing Rudy we felt we were to bring in kids who never knew the joy of a loving family. In 1999, we got our Foster License and have adopted four children from the system.  -Sandi and Steve

If you would like to guest post with us this month it isn't too late, please send us a message via our Contact Us page. 

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Capture Your Grief Days 6 & 7

Day 6 – BOOKS So many of us turn to reading in the wake of the death of our children. We take solace in other people’s words, stories, journeys and wisdom. Have you read any books that have helped in this journey of healing after loss? They don’t have to be specifically about the death of a child, just anything that helped you. Share about how they helped you and what you loved about them. You can share books that help grieving children too. Please feel welcome to share links.

I loved reading Heaven is for Real after Gage's death. I've always believed that there is life after death. Knowing that I will be reunited with Gage one day is truly what keeps me going and helps push me through my grief. There is also a kid version of the book which I was able to share with my other children. 

Day 7 – MEMORY Share a memory of your child. It doesn’t have to be a positive or negative memory. Just share whatever it is that you want or feel drawn to sharing. You are the story teller here.
Gage only lived 3 days but his little life has forever changed me. I often think of all the memories that I'll miss with Gage which makes me cherish the few that I do have like bringing him home from the hospital, meeting his siblings, the only bath I would give him, the night before/morning of his death, the last time I held him and the last time I would see his precious little face. I keep a box with all of the outfits he wore and blankets that swaddled him. My biggest fear is forgetting my memories of Gage, both positive and negative. I'm grateful for all of the pictures we have because I never get tired of staring at his sweet little face.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Guest Post: Camilla

Today we are lucky enough to have Camilla from Happy Hancock'sshe is such an amazing  person who is willing to share her story with usPlease take a moment to read this post, visit her blog,  and feel free to leave comments in response on our Facebook page

out of nowhere, unstoppable.

it came totally unexpected.
this moment, this sadness, this crying that i haven't cried since before christmas.
i knew it would eventually come, the pain of sorrow that comes after loss.
the loss of a beginning, the loss of a miscarriage.
december 2nd, jay + i went into our first ultrasound to find there was no more heartbeat,
no baby, no more beginning. + on december 4th, i went in for a d+c.

of course i had cried, of course i was sad,
nothing will compare to that cry in my kitchen after learning we miscarried
 that left me with no more tears,
no more cries that sounded like animal noises,
just jay + i clinging on to each other.
but i had s u c h a support system during the whole process, 
i felt like the lucky one who had a trial,
+ made it past it with a few bump + bruises,
 extra padding + advice to give to others who felt what i felt.
christmas was different, it was when we planned to tell our families
so it came + passed with a sting, but no real sorrow.
new year goals centered around health, love + new beginnings, but again,
i was fine, i was okay.
but today it came totally unexpected,
this moment, this sadness, this crying that i knew it would eventually come, 
the pain of sorrow that comes after loss.
the loss of a beginning, the loss of a miscarriage.

how do we honor our losses + the fact that life doesn't always make much sense?
especially when the topic of miscarriage is hushed, not talked about 
+ has the stigma of feelings of failure.
take a look around you.
chances are, if you're sitting in a room with four women,
one of them has or will have a miscarriage.
i get to be one of the lucky ones of that sad statistic
but, since having my cry, since having my moment, i realized,
this is what i wanted when i told jay after finding out about a friends miscarriage.

i want to feel the joy of motherhood, or the pain of a miscarriage,
 but either way, i wanted to feel it + i wanted to start trying.

i realize that may sound strange or if you believe in fate, a curse on what i wanted, but i think that having this miscarriage change me for the better.
i finally want to be a mother.
i had a small taste of it for about 8 weeks.
the excitement, the already consuming love that surrounds the joy + the pain.
hearing jay say in our prayers,
please please bless our little baby that it will grow healthy + strong
will be something i'll always remember + never forget.
+ this miscarriage will be another egg in my basket, 
another experience to add to my life that i'll be able to share with others,
to help them through their pain or fears,
because let me tell you,
trying/being/loosing pregnancy is hard, 
but oh so so worth it.

who am i? 
i know almost nothing of it,
but what i do know is that any + all of it is worth it,
the pain or a miscarriage or the joy of a pregnancy,
it will be worth it.

a friend of mine posted a picture of me with this quote today:

"she was unstoppable. not because she did not have failures or doubts.
but because she continued on despite them."
-beau taplin

+ it was exactly what i needed in this minute, that quote.
because i am unstoppable, not because of my sorrows, pain or doubts, 
but because i continue on, because i learn + because i grow 
+ when my time comes to be a mother happens,
again, i'll be unstoppable, i'll continue on.

If you would like to guest post with us this month it isn't too late, please send us a message via our Contact Us page. 

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Capture Your Grief-Day 3. In Honour.

Day 3 – IN HONOUR Who are you doing this project in loving memory of? Share their name. Share their story. Share who they are to you. This is a time to shine a light on your children and tell the world about them. Honour them beautifully. A lovely idea is to create an acrostic poem with your children’s names (a word for each letter of their name) If you didn’t name your babies, you can still share your experience. What were your hopes and dreams for them? How has this experience changed you as a person? Share as much or as little as you feel comfortable with. 

I'm doing this project in memory of my son Gage.  Gage died unexpectedly at the young age of 3 days and we were told it was a classic case of SIDS.  You can find his story on this blog. The only way that I have been able to continue living is by keeping his memory alive and honoring him through the non profit organization we started in his memory, GAGE. He is just that....God's Angel Gone Early.

Friday, October 2, 2015

Capture Your Grief-Day 2. Intention

Day 2 – INTENTION Set yourself a new intention to inspire your next path in grief and healing. It might be to live your life with more kindness or maybe you might intend to live your life more wholeheartedly in honour of your children. Spend some time with this one. Go and get some fresh air. What is it that you want out of this project? Whatever your new intention is, write it down with the words “I intend to ……………. in honour of my precious child/ren ……………..”

I intend to live life fully with no regrets.  Life after the death of my child has been anything but easy. A part of me died that day and I have struggled with living my life to the fullest ever since. I often wish that I could join Gage and give up on this life but I know that is not the answer.  I made a decision after his death that I would not let fear run my life.  It has been difficult to do but I have been blessed because of this decision. I know that Gage wants me to be happy and to live the rest of my life here on earth fully and with no regrets. This is my intention along with honoring and remembering my sweet baby boy. #captureyourgrief #whathealsyourheart

Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month

October is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness month. We will share new guest posts throughout the month. I will also be participating in the Capture Your Grief project again this year. The details for the project can be found here http://carlymarieprojectheal.com/capture-your-grief-2015.

Capture Your Grief-Day 1. Sunrise

Day 1 – SUNRISE Let us celebrate the beginning of this healing month by waking up early to watch the sunrise wherever we in the world. This will be a beautifully, poignant way for us all to feel connected and energized for the month ahead. When you go outside to watch the sunrise this morning, don’t just snap a picture and upload it right there on the spot. Make yourself a nice cup of tea and sit down to breathe in the fresh air, the scent of the new morning and all of the colors and sounds as they transform around you. Take some time to breathe the sunrise in.  Spend some time reflecting upon your children and your journey so far. If there is no visible sunrise in your part of the world because of the weather, that is okay, this is life and nature, and it really doesn’t matter. All that matters is that you take the time out of your day to be with us all in spirit and make space for a new beginning. Take a photo of your surroundings, no matter what the weather is like, don’t visit google to use a more pretty sunrise picture. This is about you and the place where you are right now. If you share your photo online make sure you write what State/Country you are in and the time of the sunrise. You can google the sunrise time in your part of the world and set your alarm if you are a sleepy head like me. Send some love out to everyone else in the world who is grieving the death of a child and remember those gone before us who were made to grieve in silence. We honour these people too.