Thursday, March 31, 2016

Innocent: The Baby at the Beginning



Five years ago today I sat in the cold, scuffed exam room with my purse clutched in front of me and heard the words, "I'm sorry, there was no movement [on the ultrasound]." When we got to the car I cried so hard I thought I would tear the lining of my throat out, as if by wailing, I could will my baby back to life. The unthinkable had happened: My baby died.

In the days following I was thrust into the world of loss, the harsh clinical world of "pregnancy loss", "tissue", "products of conception", "spontaneous abortion", etc. I fought for the only thing I had left that I could do for my baby: honor his or her body. I had joyfully carried him while he was alive, nourished his growing body, prayed for his health. Now his soul had departed, but the body remained. And the last thing I was going to do is let some unfeeling and efficient doctor tear him out of me.

I needed information. I needed support to labor and deliver my baby on my own since the medical field had abandoned me. Kind friends and even some strangers reached out and told me the details of their own losses. For some I know the memories were probably almost unbearably painful to dredge up, but they did it anyway. With their love, support, prayers, and the information I had gleaned from them and from painful internet searches, I prepared to honor my baby's body. Late one night, after I had almost lost hope, my body finally relinquished its grip and I held my son in my hands. My beautiful baby.

This is a journey I have made four times now. Thankfully after the first time I did have support and care from medical staff. Their love and respect has gone a long way toward healing the festering wound left by the first doctor. And, I dare say, by traveling this road with me they too have learned something about human dignity.

Lost Innocents was born of this pain. It was born of the need to honor the women who had gone before me and then supported me in my agony. It was born out of a wish to provide others with the same information and support. It was born to honor the love for my son Innocent, and then in turn, Andrew, Gabriel, and Demetrius.

Innocent did not live long by human standards. He was less than 13 weeks in this life and never took a breath. He did not hear me sing to him, never felt me kiss his head. But this tiny baby, this miracle created in the image of God, has birthed an entire ministry to bereaved parents and their precious children.

Today is the feast of St. Innocent in the Orthodox Church. I gave my son the name Innocent in his honor and today I remember him. May his memory be eternal!

Monday, February 22, 2016

Long-awaited updates

I apologize for the extreme length of time between site updates! There are several to mention:

Many thanks to A., Inga, Rebecca and Sara for sharing photographs of their sweet babies, and to Inga for sharing her story as well. You can find all of these on the Your Stories page and the Photographs page. May the memory of these babies be eternal!

The service released by the OCA will be added soon to the Prayers and Liturgics page. I also have some other maintenance duties that will be attended to.

Thank you for your patience!

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Baby Dani

Thanks to Eve for sharing the story of Baby Dani (10 weeks, 3 days) with us. His story is linked in the Your Stories section and a few (not all) photographs are in the Photographs section. The full story and photographs are on Eve's blog, Ever Evolving Eve.

May Baby Dani's memory be eternal!

Monday, October 26, 2015

Some Updates

 As I mentioned previously, the Assembly of Bishops was to consider our proposal of a miscarriage/stillbirth booklet for clergy when they met in mid-September. As it turns out, time was too short for it to make it to the agenda. This is disappointing, of course, but our subcommittee is considering publishing it independently. When I have any news on this, I will post it.

 Surprisingly, the OCA Holy Synod of Bishops approved a service for miscarried or stillborn babies when they met this past week for their fall meeting. I hadn't been aware that this was on the agenda and I'm not entirely sure of the source of the service (although it is possible that the overlapping members of the Assembly's Pastoral Practice Committee and the Holy Synod presented the service that we had worked on). In any event, the good news is there IS an approved service! It was just posted today and you can find it here. I am most grateful to the Holy Synod for approving this and making it available.

October is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance month (along with a host of other things). In addition, today is the feast of St. Demetrius the Myrrh-Gusher and the first birthday of our youngest baby, Demetrius. He died at 5 weeks, 5 days and was born a few weeks later on October 26th. Father buried him at the foot of his older brother Gabriel's grave. May his memory be eternal! In his honor I mailed today a package of small hats to Common Care, an organization which distributes care packages and tiny hats to bereaved parents.




Thursday, October 15, 2015

October 15th: International Wave of Light


October 15th is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day, the day set aside to remember those babies who died before birth or shortly after. In every time zone across the world candles are lit at 7 PM, and kept lit for at least an hour, in remembrance of these sweet souls. As the day progresses a "wave of light" sweeps slowly around the globe.

Join me and millions of others today in remembering our lost babies. Light a candle at 7 PM, no matter where you live, and say a prayer for the souls of these departed children and for the grieving families who love them.


May their memory be eternal!

Friday, September 4, 2015

100 Hats for Common Care


I have a challenge for my readers: can we make and donate at least 100 hats to Common Care during the next two months? I sent off nine little hats in the mail today (shown in the photo) so that's a start! Michelle (the director of Common Care) is flat out of hats and needs more to send to grieving families.

You can find more information about making hats on my post here, and information for Common Care here or on Facebook here.

If you make some hats and send them, feel free to post a photo of your hats on the Lost Innocents Facebook page!

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Fake?

It's unbelievable to me that you can have someone with the appendage "MD" saying that the photographs on this site (and others) are faked. I guess it goes to show that just because someone has MD after their name it doesn't necessarily mean they know what they're talking about. Sheesh.