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Archive for the ‘Pregnancy,infant & baby loss, grief support’ Category

Postpartum depression or bipolar disorder, here is a good article. After the stillbirth of Tanner we had another baby. Afterwards was not the feeling I was expecting. I was extremely anxious  or panicked and did not want to be home alone with him. Not that I was thinking of hurting him, I just did not know what to do with him. The days were long and I would count the minutes until my husband came home.

I did not tell anyone of these feelings because it would make me look as if I was not in control and have the situation in check. My son slept with me for the first 7 months because crying would put me in a frantic state. The idea of bringing him out in public (with just me) was out of the question. What if he would cry, then what? It was only when he turned 5 that I was somewhat as ease with being alone with him. He now had some independence and his life wasn’t in jeopardy with my care.

Loved ones gave me journals and calendars to keep track of his momentous events like his first step. The idea of documenting this was overwhelming and I do not remember much of his younger years. On top of this I was going through a deep depression, our marriage was suffering and I wanted a divorce and our  new home was being built. We had to live with my in-laws for 3 months during construction and this was not what I needed. The added stress of my son crying and me not knowing what to do while under constant watch by my husband’s parents. I also had landscape projects going on the add to the demands upon me.

Putting the pieces together now. I have been on Lamictal for over a week and notice that I have no energy or the window has narrowed a great deal and I am eating more.

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In the house for 7 days, could not get out and wanted to. Searching and reading stories of those with bipolar disorder was my activity for the week. All the signs and symptoms add up beginning early in childhood.  Here is a good article looking at potential signs in your child.

All these meds are confusing, I don’t know which does what and don’t really care as long as I can feel some sense of normalcy soon. The frightening thing is my normal is not normal, but it is the only thing I know. What I can say is that my emotions are INTENSE. A few years ago after Tanner’s death I thought about heaven and I was sure I DIDN’T want to go when the time comes. It’s a strange thing, but I don’t want to be happy all the time because I am used to the severe fluctuation, the only thing I’ve known for 30 something years.

At a young age I remember crying a lot in my bedroom because of intense emotions. Another issue was me having to leave classrooms because of my anxiety and this started in first grade, school and religion. My mother would bring me back and I would just walk home again. I needed to get out and I do not have an explanation, just terrified and sad to be trapped again.

I loved music but always tended to listen to the slow songs with sad lyrics. I still gravitate towards them today and because I have lost interest in music lately, all I can do is listen to the sad songs of the 80′s. Maybe it gives me some comfort, who knows.

In second grade walking home from religion during the winter the bratty boys would throw snowballs at the girls. I remember thinking I had some kind of super power that would electrocute them if they continued.

Maybe third grade I wrote my parents a letter that God had spoken to me (or something like that). My cousins had left our house after a party and I felt absolute dread and lonely. I will never forget that feeling. How could a little squirt endure such shitty emotions.

Maybe fourth grade in my favorite class, Art with Ms Graham I remember her taking me out in the hall trying to calm me down from crying. I had a crush on a boy and because of my shyness, he did not know. My outgoing friend quickly started a puppy love relationship with him and I was devastated beyond words. I was not a happy child and would never want to relive it even though my family was so loving and caring.

Tomorrow we are off to see friends who experience bipolar disorder and I am looking forward to the visit.

Diana

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How many children do you have?

The dreaded question and the guilt surrounding it could be overwhelming. The hesitation of the parent being questioned is much more than a mere pause. A child born (subsequent pregnancy) after or before the loss of a baby is recognized as an integral part of the family, in most homes.

My subsequent pregnancy was another son and he is well aware of his older brother. He is now six and draws pictures of our family, including Tanner.

When in preschool, he was asked how many brother’s or sister’s he had.

As you can see the teacher painted white out over the number one, for how many brothers he had. In a way, Tanner dies again. I do not blame the teacher, but if a child acknowledges a deceased sibling, they should too.

I asked my six-year-old about this questionnaire and he said, “Yes, I told her I had a brother named Tanner and he died.”

What you tell someone in the grocery line may be different from telling someone who works out at the same gym as you, it is your decision. We only do the best we know how and what feels right for the family.

The warmth inside my heart is tremendous when my 6-year-old wants to let a balloon go up to Tanner, draw a picture of him or just ask how he is doing.

People ask, “Doesn’t it make you sad talking about him?” No, I choose to remember my angel son because I love him and that love is manifested through me in my willingness to help, give, and support others. It is nothing but positive energy and it’s all because of Tanner.

How many children do you have?

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 No one ever dreams of loosing a baby, however, 1 out of 4 pregnancies end in miscarriage and 26,000 stillbirths occur in the USA every year.

If the parents have not named the baby, you may want to suggest thinking about this. Even if the loss was an early miscarriage, naming the baby will give them an identity and validation.

What do I do to help a friend who has lost a baby regarding the funeral or memorial service?

If you have not lost a child yourself, it may be very difficult to find the words to comfort them. There is a list found here to help  support your friend. Another list is available regarding, what not to say to bereaved parents.

Some funeral homes offer free memorial service for stillborn babies and give discounts for a funeral. Help them by making these necessary phones calls.

When the parents of the deceased baby have decided to have a funeral or memorial service, they may need additional help from you with the logistics. It is important to involve both parents as much as possible in the decision making. Even though this is a very sad time, this event will be remembered for a lifetime.

Areas of the funeral:

  • Notifying people of the service
  • Location
  • Music
  • Readings, Poems or Stories
  • If a priest or pastor will be present
  • Does the baby need to be baptised
  • Cremation or Burial (small caskets for later miscarried babies are available at Heaven’s Gain)
  • Burial Clothes
  • Container or urn for ashes
  • Headstone or marker
  • Obituary in paper
  • Would the family like flowers or encourage donations
  • Helping to assemble the altar with keepsakes and other memorabilia
  • Contacting Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep if  parents want professional pictures of the funeral and baby after declining at the hospital
  • Choosing an outfit for the baby
  • Donating organs

Remember that the scents of the season, colors, music on the radio, the landscape, the ambiance of the month will all attribute to the memories etched into the minds of the  parents, later triggering thoughts of  their baby.

Usually about the time of the service or funeral (2-5 days after the baby’s death) the mother’s milk will come in if she was further along in the pregnancy. The milk can be donated to save another child’s life. The program is The Breast Milk Project.

Wedding gowns can be donated to the Mary Madeline Project or Heavenly Angels in Need  to make burial gowns for babies that have died. Sewers are also in great need.

Some of the smallest burial gowns were made for 18-22 week old babies.

Here is the Triad, Busy Bee Crafters, a non-profit, volunteer their time sewing, knitting and crocheting. This group, led by Sandra Vernon and has been in place for over 20 years. Some of the garments created are: bereavement pocket or bereavement dress and blanket, and prayer shawls in pastel colors. 

These are some of the logistics family and friends can help organize for the bereaved parents of pregnancy loss or infant death. Having this knowledge could someday be the gift providing a grieving family direction and assistance in a time of devastating grief.

Please feel free to leave additional suggestions and comments.

Peace Love and Hugs

Diana

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TTC for those not familiar with this acronym means, Trying To Conceive. For those who are trying to conceive, these 3 letters are frequently used in emails, forums and message boards.

Knowing all of our losses are unique, do we share a common waiting period from the doctor when it’s safe to start trying again?

For us, after Tanner was stillborn and our doctor informed us that a 6 month waiting period was recommended. He did explain that this includes physical and emotional healing.

Because it took us 6 months of SERIOUS PLANNED intercourse to conceive Tanner, having unprotected sex after his death was safe, so we thought.

I would have never thought seeing the 2 pink lines (or PPT) would happen so fast. No, I was not ready emotionally, but 3 months after our little angel left us, another baby was developing in my womb, ready or not.

Another boy and he is healthy.

I had talked to a few friends who have had miscarriages and they too say 6 months is the waiting period and one said 3 months.

What did your doctor say and did you listen?

Peace Love and Hugs from Above

Diana  www.justacloudaway.com

 

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For those who have lost a baby or pregnancy, our month to remember the dreams we had  is October. We also share this month with those who have been touched by Breast Cancer. Angelversary Pregnancy Loss Ribbon Garden Flags create awareness of  those suffering “silent grief”.

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An angelversary is the death date of a much wanted baby. Miscarriage, molar pregnancies, cord accidents, incompetent cervix , stillbirths, and SIDS are tragic ways our children become angels.

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Bereaved families of pregnancy and infant loss may not have a public angelversary get together, but they do acknowledge the day their world changed forever.

The angelversary garden flags can also be hung like a banner by inserting a hollow PVC pipe or dowel. If you know the gender of your baby, tie a bow of the appropriate color and adorn with remembrance keepsakes. If placed outdoors, use rust proof keepsakes.

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If you do not know the gender of your angel, green or yellow ribbon can be used.

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Your garden flags can also be placed into your memory gardens.

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 Angelversary Pregnancy Loss Ribbon Garden Flags Please allow 2-3 weeks for delivery. A $20.00 check can be sent to:

Just a Cloud Away, Inc. Po Box 327, Julian, NC 27283,

The costs include shipping, handling and taxes. If you live out of the Continental United States, an additional fee may apply. If this is a sympathy gift, please include the mailing address of bereaved family.

PVC pipe and garden stands can be purchased at your local hardware or garden shops for under 12 dollars.

 Happy 6th Angelversary Baby Tanner-September 28, 2003

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Peace Love and Hugs from Above

Diana 

www.justacloudaway.com

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My sister-in-law has always been very supportive after the death of my stillborn son Tanner. I remember her sitting on my porch 2 days after his passing and saying, “Don’t they know what happened, why is he mowing the lawn?”.

The world should have stopped after Tanner died and as well as the death of every other wanted baby. Don’t the people around us know the magnitute of our grief? No, and most of us don’t want you too. What is important to us is remembering what should have been. Our angels now have angelversaries to memorialize the moment we found out they left us. Every bereaved parent has a date.

My sister-in-law created her own memorial to honor our sweet angel baby and her nephew. 5 years later and it still remains on their living room wall.

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Those are Tanner’s actual footprints and I have made copies for all family members for a keepsake. Some are placed in a scrapbook, some framed on a wall and others tucked away in bibles or journals.

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Our little angels aren’t here physically, but they are always present mentally. It is true I think of him everyday and everyday I do not cry but the only 12 pictures of him in existence, vividly adorn my memory.

Some family members hold a special place in my heart because of their warmth, love, support and just loving my little angel by honoring him with memorial keepsakes.

Who are the special people in your life and who has created a keepsake memorial honoring your little angel?

Peace Love and Hugs from Above

Diana
http://www.justacloudaway.com

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The night after my baby was stillborn was the first time I felt Jesus hug me. It is now 5 years later and as I relive the tragic day in my mind, I know now that Jesus hugged me with all of His love.

As a parent of an angel, I do not want to forget one detail of Tanner’s existence or death. He is a very special little boy who has brought many good things into my life BECAUSE of his passing. Looking back at the night after he was born dead, I know that Jesus was responsible for me to have the most wonderful and peaceful sleep in over 8 months.

Tanner was stillborn in the late afternoon on Sunday and I was then placed into a room on another floor, away from all of the happy new mothers. It was a ghost town with minimal staff and patients.

I told everyone, including my husband to go home. I wanted to be alone, rest and think about what was really happening. I had no wires, no tubes or anything hooked up to me, so there was no reason I would have to be disturbed by nurses in the middle of the night. My room was quiet and my sleep was heavenly and silent.

The lyrics to “Silent Night”

Silent night, holy night
All is calm, all is bright
Round yon Virgin Mother and Child
Holy Infant so tender and mild
Sleep in heavenly peace
Sleep in heavenly peace

This is how I truly felt. All was calm in my heart and all was bright for my sweet child entering into his home with Jesus. The warmth and comfort could have only come from Jesus, my Savior.

I miss you baby Tanner and Mommy loves you always

Peace Love and Hugs from Above
Diana

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Haven of Hope and Healing, Inc. held their Annual Memory Tree Ceremony in Historic Providence Christian Church, December 2, at 7pm. This tiny but incredibly quaint church is the perfect setting  honoring children who never had the chance or for a brief moment, looked into the eyes of their parents.

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Darrell K. Moser and Christie Moser founded Haven of Hope and Healing and are dedicated to helping other bereaved families of pregnancy and infant loss. This is their 6th Annual Memory Tree Ceremony where families have an opportunity to honor angels by hanging an ornament while stating their child’s name and any other words reflecting undying love.

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Haven of Hope and Healing was the support group my husband and I seeked out to help us after the loss of our stillborn son, Tanner Lee Williams.

I would encourage other bereaved families to participate in yearly events to honor their children and to share ways of coping  with other parents of similar losses. No one understands like a bereaved parent of pregnancy and infant loss.

This years Christmas ornaments were beautifully decorated and hand painted by Pat Scheible.

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After the ornaments were hung by the families, the tree was then lit and an appropriate song played as we reflected on our children and the scripture read at the beginning of the program by Reverend Darryl Pebbles and Dr Steve Tucker.

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Our angels matter and our always loved. Merry Christmas my sweet Tanner and I love you always.

Mommy

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