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
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