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Posts Tagged ‘pregnancy and infant loss’

Pride is crushed by desperation to keep the home, family and dreams of a stable life. I am asking for financial help and after reading this story, maybe you can find it in your heart.

2003- Our first child was stillborn, his name is Tanner. An umbilical cord accident and I don’t know if I caused it to tighten by raising my hands over my head during the last week. This will always be on my mind. Alcohol was my best friend for the month following his death. Not knowing I was Bipolar at that time, mania set in and the idea of constructing a memory garden turned into an obsession.

Soon afterwards, pregnant again against doctors wishes and the pregnancy followed the same season as with Tanner. This was a curse to endure wearing the same pregnancy clothing, seeing the same weather patterns and feeling unsure of baby movements. I did not want any family members to show their happiness for fear they weren’t grieving Tanner. My living son and Tanner’s birthday are 2 weeks apart.

2004- Our first living son was born by induction and I went into a deep depression shortly afterwards. Doctor prescribed antidepressants for postpartum because of unhealthy thoughts. Not knowing that Bipolar Disorder patients are sent into mania if a mood stabilizer is not also taken, ideas to help bereaved parents rushed my brain.

2006- Just a Cloud Away was incorporated as a resource for bereaved parents of baby loss. A scrapbook kit was the product designed to help bereaved parents work through their grief by memorializing their babies with the kit. I had a business coach and a one woman marketing company. I now see how many mistakes were made by their counsel with the biggest being a $60,000 home equity line used for new business ventures.

2007- Realization the kit would be a failure and the loan taking a lifetime to pay back. Started having relationship problems with friends and spouse

2008- Focusing more on Diana Digs Dirt

2010- In a manic state without thinking through, decided to open Cornerstone Garden

2011- Claimed bankruptcy because all credit cards were used for Just a Cloud Away. This horrible experience that rips your insides into oblivion sent me into another deep depression and decided to seek psychiatric help. In addition to existing ADHD, SAD and Panic Disorder was the forever  diagnosis no one wants to hear, Bipolar Disorder. It took many months for myself and family to accept. One travels the same process as in death; Shock, Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, and Acceptance. The main goal is to stabilize the condition, called Bipolar Remission or Recovery. This is at least 6 months without mania or depression. The norm for Bipolar people will never be that of those without the condition.

2011-2014- Medications- It takes years to find the right combination for each individual. Everyone tolerates medicines differently, several different disorders could be present, tolerating side effects or dosage and the interactions of medications could cause confusion.

2012- First hospitalization for suicidal planning in an unfamiliar unit.

2013-Emergency Room visit for a severe panic attack. Another 9 days later, an over night stay in the hospital for Lithium Toxicity. Physical pain sets in causing difficulty moving in the morning and evening hours. Painful numbness in hands and forearms

2014-Trip to the crisis unit for severe panic attack and a week later to the ER for physical pain that cannot be identified.

Currently I have a Landscape Design company called Diana Digs Dirt, a garden shop named Cornerstone Garden and Just a Cloud Away. Loosing them would throw me into depression because the passion  keeps me moving forward.

If you can help out it would be appreciated from the bottom of my heart

Diana Williams    2652 NC Hwy 62 East    Liberty, NC 27298

Read how hospital rejects me

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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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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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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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I am now on Citalopram, the generic form of Celexa and this is helping tremendously. When I first started taking this medication I was quite tired and zombie-like. For some reason that fatigue has subsided and I can multi-task like nobody’s business. Citalopram is the second medication my doctor prescribed, Lexapro being the first. $70 a month or $9 a month, I chose 9 (citalopram).

I am relieved of such intense bouts of anxiety and panic and did not know life could be this way. I am very confident that generalized anxiety disorder or GAD is a condition I’ve had most of my life and now can experience life with a calmer nature.

September is my stillborn son’s angelversary (death date) and this will be the true test of the prescribed medication. I told my doctor that 1 month prior to Tanner’s angelversary and 1 month after I am incredibly tense and not fun to be around. So he scheduled another follow up visit for September to see how I’m doing.

I don’t know if I will be able to describe this to its fullest since these are just feelings where I have no control. There has been a pattern of high anxiety around Tanner’s death date that begins sometime around my birthday, August 23. I have a shorter fuse than usual and I do not get along with my husband and make it very clear to stay away from me.

I don’t know if its because Tanner and my husband share birthday’s or just the fact that we are approaching a bittersweet day, September 28. On the birthday cake it will always read “Happy Birthday Todd and Tanner” and sometimes it ends up being a very melancholy day with a great deal of silence.

I hope Citalopram will alleviate this anxiety and panic so I can enjoy my husband’s birthday and honor my perfect and beautiful stillborn son Tanner.

Peace Love and Hugs from Above  www.justacloudaway.com

Diana

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Angel Jars can be created as memorials for our babies in heaven. This is a simple craft to hold all of the Angel Pennies our sweet children leave us on the streets, sidewalks, doorsteps and other places. Living siblings, cousins or friends can also help create Angel Jars. This craft project may give younger children an outlet to express their love and their grief by creating a memory keepsake.

Here is a list of possible craft supplies you will need:

  • A glass jar with lid
  • Colored paper, stickers, and magazine pictures
  • Elmers glue (dries clear)
  • Paint brush
  • White spray paint
  • Glitter
  • Decoupage
  • Dried flowers
  • A button
  • Cotton balls
  • Needle and thread
  • Hot glue gun
  • Ribbon and cording
  • Piece of cardboard
  • Small piece of fabric

First, select a glass container you would like to use as your Angel Jar. I am using an instant coffee jar.

Next, tear the colored paperand magazine pictures you have selected and adhere with elmer’s glue to the jar making sure to overlap.

I used green and yellow colored craft paper and pictures of flowers from a calendar. Paint on the glue to adhere your dried flowers. The blooms can be gathered from your child’s memory garden or even wildflowers on the side of roads. The smaller the better for this size project. Foliage is also used.

Butterfly stickers were placed onto the torn colored paper.

Don’t worry if the flowers are sticking out a bit, the decoupage solution will seal them in later steps. I wanted to mute and soften the intense colors of the flowers so I used white spray paint. Hold the jar 2 feet away and gently shower the jar with the spray paint. It gives the Angel Jar a cloudy look.

Let the jar dry completely. Now begin designing the lid. Place the lid upside down onto a piece of cardboard and trace. I used a shoe box. 

Cut out the circle and make sure to cut a little smaller to properly fit on your lid. Poke a small hole in the center for a needle and thread later on.

Gather your cotton balls on top and you may hot glue them, but it isn’t needed.

Cut your piece of material a bit larger than your circle. I have selected my grandmothers handkerchief because I just love the delicate fabric and the fact I am able to use them in crafts. Hot glue the fabric at one point and make sure it dries before moving on so you can pull it tight.

Pull tight and glue the next point directly across from the first. Keep moving around until the fabric is all secured.

You will not see this part, so do not worry about how it looks. Place the button you have chosen in the middle and sew into place. I made only one trip through with the thread and hot glued into place on the ugly side. Take your cording, ribbon or rope and glue onto the lid. This will hide any imperfections. I also glued a pink ribbon onto the lid under the cording.

When your Angel Jar is completely dry it is time for glitter and decoupage. I used my paint brush to gently apply the decoupage. This substance will seal your Angel Jar and protect the dried flowers. While still wet, white glitter was applied to the jar.

Because I have many memorial keepsakes for Tanner, I have wrapped one of his necklaces around the lid. It is a charm of a little boy with his gemstone, sapphire.

Angel Jars for Angel Pennies is another way we can create awareness of pregnancy and infant loss and remember our children. They are still a part of our families, even in their absence. Donate your angel pennies to your favorite charity on October 15th ( pregnancy and infant loss awareness day) or your child’s angelversary.

There are many different ways to create Angel Jars. Tear family photographs, gemstone colored papers, family fingerprints, sentimental pictures, pictures of the season your angel passed and others.

Peace Love and Hugs from Above  www.justacloudaway.com

Diana

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