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.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Seeking Tiny Hats

For a few years I made and donated tiny hats to the Calvin's Hats ministry. They collected hats people made and sent them in batches to hospitals and other ministries, and mailed out individual hats to people who requested them. The hats ranged in size from absolutely tiny to that which would fit a small orange.

Sadly, Calvin's Hats was a victim of its own success and the ministry had to shut down. My good friend Michelle started a ministry, Common Care, for those who suffered a pregnancy or infant loss and she had been distributing hats from a batch donation from Calvin's Hats. They're all but gone now and she needs more hats in stock to be able to give to grieving families. I volunteered to make and send her some but realized that I am only one person! Can any of you who knit or crochet consider making a few hats and setting them aside for Common Care?

There are some linked patterns on Lost Innocents as well as available by internet search. If anyone has specific questions about size, material, etc., I am happy to answer them. The majority of the hats will not be actually worn by the babies in question, but should still be made of soft, not scratchy or very bulky yarn. Hats in all lighter colors would be good, avoiding super-saturated brights. Having a good number of gender neutral colors is also good. Feel free to add any tiny bows or embellishments that make the hat personal. I will attach some photos below this post to serve as some examples.

Michelle is in the middle of moving between states so the address I have will not be active until August 26th. In addition, because it is a private address, please email to ask for it (lostinnocentsorthodox@gmail.com). A dedicated PO box will be set up at a later date.

God bless you for your efforts! From what I have heard from bereaved families, these hats are treasured more than you can imagine.





New photos and stories

A big 'thank you' to Sandra and Leonie for sharing their stories and photos of their miscarried children. I am always humbled by the generosity with which women contact me and ask me to post their photos and stories. This helps other suffering women so much! May God bless you all for your kindness!


Sunday, July 5, 2015

Memorial Video: Isaiah, 13 weeks

You might recognize Isaiah from his photos here on Lost Innocents. You can read his story, and that of his older brother Micah on the blog, Always Their Mother.

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Lost Innocents on Facebook

Lost Innocents is now on Facebook. There probably won't be many things there that you can't find here, but I will share any new posts or site updates on the FB page. There will not be photographs of babies on that page because of the tendency for such photos to be misused/vilified on FB.

https://www.facebook.com/lostinnocents

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

New page: Help for Men

I started a new page, "Help for Men", to address some specific concerns that men have during and after pregnancy loss. It is a work in progress. If you have suggestions, please leave them in the comments on this post! I appreciate any help.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Encouraging news from Russia

In Russia, Fr. Daniel Goryachev is insisting that mothers and other family members be given a chance to see their stillborn babies and bury them. At the current time they are not shown to the families and are disposed of as medical waste, regardless of gestational age.
“Even if abortions are finally outlawed, the public conscience should be prepared for it. Otherwise such laws will be ineffective. People should have a particular culture of perception of life, which is formed through religion,” related Fr. Daniel his speech during the round table, dedicated to protection of life on early stages of pregnancy, held at the Civic Chamber. “Serving in an Arkhangelsk maternity home, I come across the following situation: When a woman gives birth to a stillborn baby, she is not given her baby and cannot see it. I have proposed to amend the legislation so that bodies of stillborn babies might be given to their mothers at their request, regardless of the stage of pregnancy”.
 May Fr. Daniel's work be blessed!!

Monday, May 25, 2015

Site Update: Nina's babies

Many thanks to Nina for writing down and sharing the stories of her miscarriage at approximately 7 weeks (naturally at home) and a subsequent pregnancy of twins, lost to a missed miscarriage from unknown causes at about 10 weeks, 2 days. You can find her stories on the Your Stories page.

May the memory of Nina's children be eternal!


Wednesday, May 13, 2015

A Kind Email

Letter published with permission from the author:

Hello,

   I tried to leave a comment on your site, but I don't think it worked. I want to tell you how much you have helped me.

   I miscarried our fourth child at 8 weeks in August 1994. I had been brought up to believe that at this early stage there was no baby, just a clump of cells. So, I didn't think to look for our baby, and put the grief to the back of my mind. August 1995 saw the safe arrival of our daughter. Family life continued and every time thoughts of our missing child arose, I ignored them.

   In October 2008 our eldest child died aged 21. In coming to peace with this, the earlier loss was harder to ignore and I started mentioning the miscarriage to family and friends.

   In September 2014, I developed post viral fatigue and have had to stop rushing about. I spend much time meditating and just thinking quietly about things. My little one kept coming to mind and I have recently been drawn to the you tube videos made in memory of angel babies. I suddenly knew that little one had not been just a clump of cells and I really needed to see what he/she would have looked like.

   I searched " what does an 8 week gestation baby look like." And your site was the one I looked at. I cannot start to tell you how helpful I have found it. 19 years later, I can finally grieve for my baby. Even though I am not yet able to talk about this with my family, I know through the stories and photographs that I am not alone, that little one was a real baby. I never held him/ her but he/she grew next to my heart and will always be there.  I take comfort from the fact that my two children in heaven have each other.

   The strength of my reaction suggests to me that part of my health problem has been caused by being in denial for all these years. I am confident that my health will improve. I love knitting and crocheting and will be making hats, blankets etc for preemies as well as angel babies as a way of honouring the lives of my two in heaven.

   Thank you so much for being there.

Peace and love

Fiona

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Nicki's story: Forgiveness

Many thanks to Nicki for sharing the story of the loss of her baby, Forgiveness, at six weeks and two days, delivered much later at home. May Forgiveness's memory be eternal!

I am anticipating a few more stories and photos will be submitted soon, so there should be more site updates before long. Thanks to everyone who has submitted their stories and photos, or commented on the pages, offering comfort to others and even sharing their own stories in the comment sections, or who have emailed me to let me know how helpful this site was. As you can imagine, while the role of managing this site isn't exactly cheerful, it is very rewarding and those words of encouragement certainly help! Lost Innocents has been online for almost exactly four years and in those four years many babies have been honored and many people have found some measure of peace (and help). While I started this site, it is by no means a solo work. Again, thank you all. May God reward your labors!


Friday, March 20, 2015

Cards to acknowledge pregnancy loss

I saw this card at Walmart a month ago or so, and snapped a photo of it today. You know the culture is changing when you can find a card to commemorate a miscarriage, not at a specialty shop. I remember a time not long ago when I had to find general sympathy cards or blank cards to send friends who had lost a baby.


This is a good opportunity to point out that there are sources for cards to acknowledge the loss of a baby before birth, including subsequent birthdays, loss of multiples, cards in Spanish, etc. One good source I found recently is A Loss Remembered on Etsy. The cards are very reasonably priced and can be ordered in bulk at a discount.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

In the news...

(Source, and additional photos)

   A subcommittee of the Committee for Pastoral Practice of the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops was convened from March 12-14 in Antiochian Village in Pennsylvania for the purpose of addressing the current lack of a common service for miscarried or stillborn infants and associated pastoral guidance. In attendance were: (L-R) Mat. Elizabeth Lein (OCA), Mat. Anna Crawford (OCA), Fr. Peter J. Gillquist (AOCA), Bishop Mark (OCA), Archbishop Benjamin (OCA), Fr. Ian Pac-Urar (AOCA), Kh. Linda Ellison (AOCA) and Dr. Phillip Mamalakis (GOA). [Mat. Jenny Shroedel (OCA) was present by skype.]

   It was a very positive and productive conference. The completed work will be a booklet for Orthodox pastors to address the following topics: basic medical information including a glossary of terms, suggestions for pastoral care of grieving families, guidance on burials, etc. The second half of the booklet will consist of prayers appropriate to a variety of circumstances and a service of burial and memorial service. This will be presented to the parent committee in May, and then, if approved, to the Assembly of Bishops in the fall. In the meantime a separate booklet for women and their families will be in progress.

   Please keep the committee members in your prayers as they address this important work.






Site Updates

Crystal is sharing photos of her baby, Amos, who departed this life at 11 weeks, 5 days, and was born at 14 weeks, 1 day. [She also thoughtfully included a photo of her placenta to aid in identification. This can be seen on the Actual Process page.]

Brittany had just previously shared photos of her baby, Sprout, who departed this life at 9 weeks, 1 day. Now she is sharing the photos and story of her first baby, Marshall, who departed this life at 24 weeks.


Many thanks to both Crystal and Brittany for generously sharing their children on Lost Innocents. May the memory of Amos and Marshall be eternal!



A helpful reminder: both photos and stories are arranged in order of gestational age at time of death, beginning with the earliest.

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Site Updates

Two more generous women have shared their babies with us. Zara provided photographs she took of her baby Joey (shown under the Seven Weeks heading) even though we have not been able to determine his exact age at death. Brittany provided several photographs of her baby Sprout (shown under the Nine Weeks heading) and a detailed birth story (found on the Your Stories section). Thank you to both of these ladies, and to all of you who have so lovingly opened your hearts to share your departed children with us. I continue to get emails of gratitude from people who have sought help during their miscarriages. These photographs help more than you can imagine.

May the memory of Joey and Sprout be eternal!


Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Upcoming meeting...

Next week I will fly to Pennsylvania and stay at Antiochian Village for a few days. I was invited to work with some other Orthodox Christians to help draft a memorial service for miscarried and stillborn babies and put together resources for priests and parishes to use to assist grieving families. Other than having put together this site, and having lost four babies, I don't know exactly what I'm bringing to the table, but I am happy to contribute however I can. This group will be meeting under the auspices of the Committee for Pastoral Practice of the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of the US. Please pray that we will have a productive meeting and that we will all have safe travels.


Thursday, February 5, 2015

Site Update: Twins Ethan and Jonathan

I have just added photographs and a story about the loss of sweet identical twin boys. Their mother Lori has been gracious enough to share them with everyone. Because the boys died several days apart they are different sizes, but the doctor confirmed that they were, in fact, identical. May the memory of Ethan and Jonathan be eternal!

[Ethan was 11 weeks, 3 days and Jonathan was 12 weeks, 3 days. I posted their photographs under the "12 week" heading.]

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Site Update: New photos and story

Thank you to Faith for sharing the story and photos of her son, John David with us. He was miscarried at 10 weeks, 6 days, and was a much-beloved member of his family. May his memory be eternal!

Friday, January 16, 2015

Story and Photo Update: Angel

Xochitl was kind enough to share the story (and photos) of her little one, Angel Maradonio Pacheco, who departed this life at 11 weeks, 5 days, but wasn't born for another two weeks. Thank you, Xochitl. And may Angel's memory be eternal!

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Icon of He Who Loves the Innocent

I believe the intent of this icon was to commemorate the victims of abortion, but all of our babies who die before birth are loved dearly by God.