10.06.2010

with love

 Last week an envelope came in the mail that made me tear up and smile at the same time. A beautiful awareness ribbon...


The pink and blue ribbon is to bring awareness to pregnancy and infant loss. The two blue roses are in honor of our sons lost during pregnancy. October 15th is pregnancy/infant loss awareness day. Most of us didn't even know there was such a day. Let's face it, unless you've experienced it, or have someone close to you who has, you probably never think about it.

After the nightmare of losing our first child I would often look back and think "something's not right in how that was handled." The doctor's and nurses at the hospital were not prepared to handle the non-physical side of a miscarriage. The process seemed cold and unfeeling. They did say they were sorry, but when we left the hospital we left empty. They offered no support and no hope. There were no materials given about grief or local support groups. We were told nothing except to come back in a week for a follow up appt. At the time we were in shock and spent the week trying to process what had happened, and me recovering from surgery. Surely at the follow up we would be given some support.

We entered the doctor's office and he asked how I was feeling. I wasn't sure how to answer him... honest answer? Broken, hurt, confused, angry, devastated, lost, alone... I think I said "fine." Then he asked us what kind of contraception we prefer - to which we replied, "umm... none, we want children." Then he said, "great - well, I'll see you back here when you get pregnant again!" And we left. Seriously... that was our follow up. There were no words of sympathy, no direction in how to deal with this, no words of affirmation that our feelings were normal and that grief was okay. 


If anything, I learned in the weeks and months that followed our miscarriage that grief was UNacceptable. Society was unwilling to recognize the loss my my precious child and therefore I was not to bother anyone with my sadness. Few understood the immense loss we had just experienced and we were told more than once to "get over it and move on." As a result, I went through a period of deep depression where I built walls around my tattered heart and shut myself out from the world. Life was simply too painful to do at the time. If it weren't for the constant love and support of my husband, our pastor and his wife, and a few wonderful close friends and a couple family members I don't know how I would have survived that time in my life. It really seemed that NO ONE understood. Now that I am out of that pit I can look back with more clarity and say that SOME did understand... but MOST did not - and still don't.

Franchesca is a beautiful woman who is trying to change the lack of attention on this heartbreaking event. After experiencing the loss of her infant daughter and working through the grief while having the joy of a second pregnancy which delivered a healthy baby boy to her arms ... she has turned her grief into giving as she tries to bring comfort to women just like us. So, she started With Love Care packages. In her own words... "It is our desire at With Hope Care Packages to give parents leaving the hospital with empty arms a tangible reminder of their baby. Leaving the hospital without your baby is the worst feeling in the world. It is our hope to provide care packages to newly bereaved parents which will include grief support information, remembrance gifts, a baby blanket, a sympathy card and much more." 




This is EXACTLY what is needed in EVERY hospital in the world! Every maternity ward, NICU, etc... should be equipped like this... to offer comfort and hope to parents leaving empty handed with broken hearts. Society needs to be aware that this subject demands attention! More support is needed!!


How can you help? Several ways! First, you can donate to With Love Care Packages... or purchase your own $5 awareness ribbon. You can also educate yourself in this area so you are better equipped to support your friends and family members experiencing this tragedy. If you are handy with a knitting needle or crochet hook you can make blankets to donate to the With Love Care Packages. Most importantly, you can PRAY... pray for those who are hurting... pray that our eyes would be opened... pray that we would LOVE ONE ANOTHER.

"...live in harmony with one another; be sympathetic, love as brothers, be compassionate..."
1 Peter 3:8


©2009 Living By Faith

22 comments:

Jenny said...

What a WONDERFUL way to support those who have lost a child. Thank you for sharing about this program!

Heather said...

That is such a neat program she's started! I will definitely check it out...it's hard to believe that the hospitals aren't prepared for these circumstances when we know that they happen so often. I lu you so much:-)

Lara said...

Two years ago at this time I lost a child. I was completely unprepared for the sadness, and it seemed like some people really understood while others just didn't.

Jim and April said...

oh my word...i'm tearing up as I read what this precious women is doing with the care kits for parents. That touched my heart so deeply for some reason because like you we didnt get anything like that with any of our four we lost. I remember leaving the hospital the next day after losing Jeremiah and they took me out the back and instead of bringing my baby out to the car with me all I had was a little teddy bear that was like 2 inches tall. It was one of the hardest days of my life. I will definitely check into her thing she is doing!

Jenny said...

Hi Lauren, I had no idea that Oct. 15 was infant loss awareness day. I lost a baby to miscarriage as well and had the same sort of experience at the doctor, maybe a bit more compassionate, but not much. It's such a hard thing for people to understand unless it has happened to them. I became pregnant again two weeks after my miscarriage, which brought up a whole new set of emotions. I really struggled through that time. I felt that I couldn't be happy about the new baby... I had barely begun grieving for the lost baby. My husband thought that I should be able to be happy for one while sad for the other, but that wasn't possible for me.

I think that what this woman is doing is amazing. What a caring person.

BTW, will you email me about doing your giveaway? I had lost your contact info and couldn't remember what your bogs name was! I still want to do it, if you want to.

thesoutherninstitute@yahoo.com

Kristin said...

That sounds like a wonderful organization. Hospitals definitely need education on how to deal with grieving people. When my Mom died, we were just shuffled to this little room. It was horrible. It seems the only support most hospitals have for this kind of thing is from caring people like Franchesca, and I think it is a wonderful ministry.

Kate said...

I will for sure be praying and remembering on Oct. 15. I know when we miscarried we weren't prepared for dealing with a Catholic hospital and them burying our child. They were great and caring, but we weren't prepared for that! Our doctor was the same, it was like he had no clue what to tell us other than "get back on the horse, and try again." Gee, thanks. Great organization!

woosterweester said...

Lauren,
Thanks so much for posting this. Although I haven't experienced this myself, I have friends who have and I would love to know more ways to comfort and care for them. Sometimes we just don't know what to do, and I don't want to do NOTHING. So thank you. I am just getting to know your story...powerful.
Love,
Rory

woosterweester said...

P.S. I'd really like to link this on my blog. It is a private blog, but if you wanted to check in on what I post that would be just fine. My email is woosterweester@aol.com. Hoping to bring awareness to this!

Our Family said...

Thank-you so much for sharing about this WONDERFUL idea!!
I am so sorry that you had such a terrible situation!! When we lost our first baby to miscarriage- our doctor & nurse were wonderful... to the point that they were crying with me! I am so thankful of her response! Thank-you for "opening my eyes" to see that not everyone is treated so kindly!
Blessings,
Jessica

Alison said...

What a neat program/ministry!! I know that it is much needed! Thanks for sharing about this and your precious heart!

Caroline said...

I wish there was something like this when Schuyler and I lost our first also! I was far enough along that we were able to get a foot and hands impression to keep as a memory of our loss. But I really wish we had some sort of grief ANYTHING.

Darcee said...

WOW! Thanks for sharing! What an amazing OUTREACH for HURTING Mommy's!

As I read your post with a huge lump in my throat and my eyes welling up with tears... I couldn't AGREE with you more - I do not know WHY Dr.'s, Nurses, anyone - the RECEPTIONIST - can't be a little bit consoling. After AI, In-Vitro, lots of $$, shots, meds, time, SO emotionally invested... I needed to hear more than - 'there is no heartbeat!' What about OURS!? Cuz, I think It stopped that day too! I remember feeling SO alone!

GOD BLESS ♥ Franchesca ♥ and 'With LOVE Care Packages'

JuliaGulia said...

As I started to read this I started to cry. On July 6th my husband and I lost a pregnancy. We don't have any children yet and it is the most horrible feeling in the world to experience losing a pregnancy.

Thank you for this post and I hope that this does get spread across the country. I wish I had had this a few months ago.

Critty said...

In the past year and a half I have had two dear friends lose their sweet babies. Both said the same thing. The medical staff was cold and seemed so unfeeling. I hate that and it makes me so sad. The loss of those darling little ones matters so very much. I love what Franchesca is doing and I am going to pass on her ministry to others.

Thanks for sharing this Lauren...your words and heart are beautiful. <3

He & Me + 3 said...

I think this is fabulous & you are right. This needs to be in every hospital for comfort and support.

MamaMimi said...

What a beautiful gift to receive and a great way to remember your child. I am so deeply sorry for your loss.

I had a miscarriage early into my first pregnancy, and that has forever changed me. Then a week before I delivered my first son a friend of mine delivered her son stillborn only halfway into the pregnancy. So even in the joy I was experiencing, I was hurting for her.

What an amazing ministry and I hope it continues to spread and touch the hearts of those hurting the most. Thank you for this post!

Amber said...

Thank you for sharing this. I have two dear friends who have endured the loss of their babies. Andrew was 10 days old and Charlie was 2 hours old. One set of parents is 2 years out and the other a few months. I know they will appreciate this step to educate people on the importance of identifying their child as something more than "Oh well"

Amy said...

What a wonderful ministry! I'm so sorry for what you had to endure, not only the loss of your babies but the way you were treated. I can't believe the lack of empathy that people have!

pinkboxer said...

I am so sorry for your loss. You are so right - it just doesn't seem like our society accepts pregnancy and infant loss as parts of life, and when it happens to you, no one wants to talk about it. I myself have had a miscarriage and I experienced some of the same reactions that you did. It felt very lonely.

Thank you for mentioning With Love care packages - I hadn't heard of them but will check them out. I started a website after my miscarriage called angelbracelets.org. We support multiple pregnancy and infant loss charities with our memorial bracelets. We also publish angel baby stories on the site.

Alison Mayes said...

Hey, I stumbled upon your blog and can definitely relate. We have had 2 early miscarriages in the past year and are still trying to get pregnant but waiting on God. Infertility is not something people talk openly about and I think you have done it beautifully here. We would love to adopt in the future. And my husband is back in youth ministry after being a senior pastor for 2 years. Love your blog!

Stacy said...

This is a beautiful post. I just found your blog through a friend of mine and was surprised to see this, because the topic of miscarriage has been heavy on my heart lately. In July of this year my sister had her 2nd miscarriage, and I found that because I have not experienced it myself, I didn't know very well how to comfort her. She expressed feelings like "I feel stupid for being sad, like I should just be able to get over it." I did my best to read about the emotions and give her support, and I sent her a couple of books that were recommended. This blog is helpful, too, for me in understanding where she's at.