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.