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Posts Tagged ‘Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness’

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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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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October 11th, Pregnancy and Infant Loss Memory Walks took place across the nation, recognizing the babies who left this earth too soon. Bereaved families came together to pay tribute by walking, lighting candles, or releasing balloons or butterflies. October 15th  being the actual day.

Heartstrings located in the Piedmont Triad Area of North Carolina had their memory walk October 11th, Saturday morning. I attended and brought all of the many angel crafts I created in memory of my stillborn angel, Tanner. Next to me was a table full of books by a local writer and bereaved parent of stillbirth, Anna Marie Smith. She would also be the keynote speaker.

She would share a similar story with me about her first born son, like my little Tanner Nanner. Her baby Mac was stillborn 4 years prior to my son. I decided to purchase her book “Sleeping Angel”. I have a library filled with pregnancy loss books, but none by someone I have met in the flesh.

While I was taking pictures of the event, my mother sat and read the entire book. I asked her how it was. She said, “It sounds like everything you went through.”

There were similarities and there were differences because no 2 people are exactly the same. A few of those differences were looking pregnant after our stillbirths and how other people would notice. For me, I wanted so much to look pregnant as long as possible. I wanted people to ask me if I was pregnant or when I was expecting so I could talk about my angel. Another difference was how I dealt with Tanner’s death the month afterward. I would start drinking wine early in the morning, smoke 2 packs of cigarettes, wander through my garden and cry all day long. By the time my husband would arrive home, I would be passed out for the the evening until the next morning. Another huge difference was that unlike Anna, I knew how my baby died, the umbilical cord. She would never know. 

I will finish the book and continue to note the differences and similarities of our journey of grief.

Peace Love and Hugs from Above   www.justacloudaway.com

Diana

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A friend of mine called a local scrapbook store asking to carry Just a Cloud Away Remembrance Kits on consignment, meaning, I would leave the kits in the store and only be paid when they were sold. He said no, I don’t want anything depressing in my store. Shit no, did he just say what I think he just said. I can tell you this, he is incredibly lucky that I was not the one making the call. So I will ponder what could have prompted such a dumb ass remark.

This scrapbook store owner:

  • must not carry memorial scrapbook products of any kind, they are just too sad
  • has not experienced baby loss himself because of his gender
  • has had no family member or friend experience miscarriage, stillbirth or any pregnancy loss (one out of four pregnancies ends in miscarriage and it is possible no one shared their loss with him because of his warm nature)
  • does not believe in Heaven and reuniting with our loved ones passed
  • no sense of hope or faith
  • is unaware of National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness month, with October 15th the actual day
  • probably feels sending flowers as a sympathy gift is safe and avoids the issue and does not condone expressing ones grief and memorializing a life is of any importance

So I may have taken his response somewhat personal and he may have a very good reason for not wanting to carry remembrance kits for babies.

2 local scrapbook stores kindly carrying Just a Cloud Away Remembrance Kits for pregnancy and infant loss are:

I cannot take these responses to heart, which is a difficult task for me. I take great offense to individuals or companies who have an opportunity to carry a product specifically for baby loss, who currently have none available for bereaved families.

We all have unique passions after our angels pass and this is one of mine. Sometimes I feel that it is us against them. It is not healthy and I would love for our grief not to be silent anymore.

 

Peace Love and Hugs from Above  www.justacloudaway.com

Diana

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If you live in the Piedmont Triad Area, there are 2 support groups I would recommend. Heartstrings, located in Winston-Salem or Greensboro and Haven of Hope and Healing, located in Burlington/Graham North Carolina.

After 3 years of attending Haven of Hope and Healing after the stillbirth of my son, my spirits were renewed. Although we don’t participate in the support group meetings, we are still involved with the group by donating money, attending the memory tree service at Christmastime, writing articles for the quarterly newsletter honoring Tanner, and playing in the annual golf tournament.

October is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month and is the time when support groups are acknowledging your angel babies. You may want to think about participating and possibly starting a new tradition honoring your children in heaven.

Below is information for Haven of Hope and Healing’s Golf Tournament

The sixth annual Darrell Kirkpatrick Moser, III Memorial
Golf Tournament is scheduled for Friday, October 3, 2008.
The captain’s choice tournament will tee off at 1:00 pm at Quaker
Creek Golf Course in Mebane. Awards and dinner will follow.
The cost for golfers is $50 per person or $200 per foursome. There
are sponsorship packages available: $200 corporate sponsor, $100
hole sponsor. Please contact us for more details. Also, if you have a
business that would like to donate prizes, please let us know. A
registration/donation form is included in this newsletter.
We are in need of volunteers, please let us know if you
would like help out.

Become a Part of Hope Notes-quarterly newsletter for bereaved parents and families

Your input is important to the content of our newsletter.
We encourage you to share your ideas, thoughts, feelings,
poetry or stories to be printed in future issues. We welcome
submissions for our newsletter via mail or email. When
submitting, please follow these guidelines: Provide title,
author, loss information, and parent’s name(s) wherever
applicable.
• If you would like to make a monetary donation or donation
of materials for our lending library in memory of your baby,
you may do so and have it printed in the newsletter. Please
send your check made payable to Haven of Hope & Healing,
Inc. to our post office box with the following information:
Name in memory or in honor of, name of donor, state
whether for anniversary, birthday, or other special
occasion, and any special message you’d like to include.
Remember all contributions are tax deductible.
• Have you had a safe arrival of a baby since a previous
loss/losses? Please submit the good news for future issues.
Include baby’s name, date, weight, etc., parents names,
along with heavenly siblings names.

Subscribe to hope notes-

 

Peace Love and Hugs from Above
Diana

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Bereaved parents of pregnancy and infant loss have many options for obtaining the support systems needed to heal and move forward after the loss of a baby. Families of similar tragedies can share their personal grief, pain, and hope. Grieving parents must know they are not alone in this journey.

  Types of support groups for different grieving styles

  • Once a month meetings (face to face)
  • Once a month craft workshops for grief (face to face)
  • Weekend healing retreats (face to face)
  • One time meetings (face to face)
  • One on one meetings (face to face)
  • One on one phone calls (private)
  • Online guestbooks and message boards (private)
  • Online chat rooms and forums (private)
  • Paid counselor meetings (face to face)
  • Paid life coaching-phone calls (private)
  • Yearly services (face to face)

Private refers to the ability to stay in the comfort of your own home if you are not ready to venture out.

Face to face refers to those willing to meet other people in person to share experiences of baby and pregnancy loss.

I participated in several of the above support settings because talking and listening to other parents helped me understand that what I was going through was normal. I looked forward to the once a month meetings for several years. I felt validated talking to other women about my stillborn son Tanner and hearing their stories. I became very good friends with the founder of, Haven of Hope and Healing and still attend the yearly Memory Tree Service for our angels.

A one time meeting or pow wow was orchestrated by my mother-in-law. Several women from her church lost babies years ago and wanted to share with me their pain and their hope. The ages ranged from 45-70 and all had such different stories. After going around the room with each woman telling their painful stories, I declined to share mine. This pow wow was held only months after the stillbirth of my son and I was unable to share. Several unlit candles were centered on a table in front of us, one for each angel baby. We then lit the candles and prayed together. I did enjoy our time together, even if I wasn’t actively participating.

I also worked with a Life Coach years after the death of my son. My son died and it was my job to walk on this horrible road to heal my soul. After some time I accepted Tanner’s death as his gift to me. The passing of my son has opened many doors for me to live a much better life on a spiritual level. Yes, it is a job because it’s hard work and absolutely draining to grieve. I realized through working with a life coach that my friends and family members did not have to work, they did not have to accept his death and maybe still thought I was cheated. We were not on the same page. I had a terrible blowout with several friends and thought I was going to have a nervous breakdown, so I called a life coach to help me. She certainly helped me swim through rough waters and my friendships are thriving again.

Online guestbooks and message boards are a gentle start to connecting with other bereaved families hurting too. It is very theraputic to journal and document how our little angels kissed our hearts. I wanted the world to know about my son because he is real and part of our family. It felt good to write his story and my feelings for him. Please visit the Just a Cloud Away Guestbook to write about your sweet child.

I seem to remember trying a bereavement chat room for those grieving pregnancy and infant loss and didn’t care for it. I am a visual person and need to connect on that plane. I wanted to be able to hug someone or be hugged. I wanted someone to pass me a tissue, give me a sympathetic look or touch my knee to let me know my tears will not always be so painful.

I also attended a weekend healing retreat with my husband. I loved that immensely. The facility was peaceful and serene. The interior decorating catered to those seeking a quiet in their hearts. There were no televisons or telephones in sight. Retreats are found online, through churches or funeral homes.

Monthly craft meetings are offered through support groups and other organizations to introduce various art activities focused on memorializing deceased children. I attended a crochet workshop (don’t have the patience for that), scrapbooking crops, jewlery making, and others. These meetings are perfect for me to use my restless creativity gene to compose beautiful memorials for my angels.

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Yearly services are also very supportive like Memory Tree Services at Christmastime, Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Walks, or any other event bringing awareness to the world about our children in heaven. I participate in all of them. Since October is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness month, it is a busy time for us. It is so nice to be surrounded by people who have walked in similar shoes. Other family can also attend these type of events to support us.

I hope this will give grieving families a better understanding of all the types of support groups and organizations available. The objective is to choose one you feel comfortable with. Over time you may want to explore other groups in a different setting.

Peace Love and Hugs form Above  www.justacloudaway.com

Diana

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  October 25, 1988 By the President of the United States of America A Proclamation Each year, approximately a million pregnancies in the United States end in miscarriage, stillbirth, or the death of the newborn child. National observance of Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month, 1988, offers us the opportunity to increase our understanding of the great tragedy involved in the deaths of unborn and newborn babies. It also enables us to consider how, as individuals and communities, we can meet the needs of bereaved parents and family members and work to prevent causes of these problems. Health care professionals recognize that trends of recent years, such as smaller family size and the postponement of childbearing, adds another dimension of poignance to the grief of parents who have lost infants. More than 700 local, national, and international support groups are supplying programs and strategies designed to help parents cope with their loss. Parents who have suffered their own losses, health care professionals, and specially trained hospital staff members are helping newly bereaved parents deal constructively with loss. Compassionate Americans are also assisting women who suffer bereavement, guilt, and emotional and physical trauma that accompany post-abortion syndrome. We can and must do a much better job of encouraging adoption as an alternative to abortion; of helping the single parents who wish to raise their babies; and of offering friendship and temporal support to the courageous women and girls who give their children the gifts of life and loving adoptive parents. We can be truly grateful for the devotion and concern provided by all of these citizens, and we should offer them our cooperation and support as well. The Congress, by Senate Joint Resolution 314, has designated the month of October 1988 as “Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month” and authorized and requested the President to issue a proclamation in observance of this month. Now, Therefore, I, Ronald Reagan, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim the month of October 1988 as Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month. I call upon the people of the United States to observe this month with appropriate programs, ceremonies, and activities. In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this twenty-fifth day of October, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and eighty-eight, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirteenth. Ronald Reagan [Filed with the Office of the Federal Register, 11:13 a.m., October 26, 1988]

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