About this blog

The intent of this blog is to form an interactive community where parents of dead babies can come together and swap information, stories, tears, memories and encouragement. This is designed to be a neutral place. We are not religious nor are we anti-religious. Come as you are. You can sign the guest book, add your baby(ies) to the baby name memory list, review books on infant death, add warnings about movies and books that contain a dead baby, add your blog to our directory or a number of other things. Don't hesitate to contact us if you have any questions or would like to see something added to this blog. Rule One: be kind to each other. We're all in this together. We all suffer and miss our babies madly.

What's New?

If you are new to blogging and would like to be featured please let us know! Looking for parents who are new to this community and are looking for some peer support.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Surviving the Holidays

The holidays are always tough after a loss. But when that loss is your precious little one it is exceptionally tough. Some of us are experiencing our first Christmas with broken dreams. Instead of picking out stockings and "Baby's First" accessories we are trying to find ways to memorialize and honour our children. I found the below article on this website and wanted to share. Please feel free to leave any of your own experiences or suggestions in the comments. I pray you are all able to find some peace and joy in the holiday season. xoxo Elaine

In our lives there are many holidays or special days, such as birthdays, anniversaries graduations, weddings, and Easter, to name a few. These are all difficult days for the bereaved, but for many, the most difficult holiday of the year is Christmas. This day more than any other means family together. They are synonymous and it is at this time we are so acutely aware of the void in our lives. For many the wish is to go from Dec. 24 to Dec. 26. We continually hear Christmas Carols, people wishing everyone, “Merry Christmas”; see the perfect gift for our dead child, spouse, or relative and suddenly realize they will not be here. Listed below are some ideas and suggestions that others have found helpful in coping with the Holiday Season. Choose the ones that will help you.
1. Family get-togethers may be extremely difficult. Be honest with each other about your feelings. Sit down with your family and decide what you want to do for the holiday season. Don’t set expectations too high for yourself or the day. If you wish things to be the same, you are going to be disappointed. Do things a little differently. Undertake only what each family member can handle comfortably.
2. There is no right or wrong way to handle the day. Some may wish to follow family traditions, while others may choose to change.
3. Keep in mind the feelings of your children or family members. Try to make the holiday season as joyous as possible for them.
4. Be careful of “shoulds.” It is better to do what is most helpful for you and your family. If a situation looks especially difficult over the holidays, don’t get involved if possible.
5. Set limitations. Realize that it isn’t going to be easy. Do the things that are very special and/or important to you. Do the best that you can.
6. Once you have made the decision on the role you and your family will play during the holidays, let relatives and friends know.
7. Baking and cleaning the house can get out of proportion. If these chores are enjoyable, go ahead, but not to the point that it is tiring. Either buy baked goods or go without this year.
8. If you used to cut your own tree, consider buying it already cut this year. Let your children, other family members, neighboring teens, friends, or people from your church help with the decorating of the tree and house. If you choose not to have a tree this year, get a ceramic tree or a small table top tree.
9. Emotionally, physically, and psychologically it is draining. You need every bit of strength. Try to get enough rest.
10. What you choose to do the first year you don’t have to do the next.
11. One possibility for the first year may be to visit relatives, friends, or even go away on a vacation. Planning, packing, etc., keeps your mind somewhat off the holiday and you share the time in a different and hopefully less painful setting.
12. How do we answer, “Happy Holidays?” You may say, “I’ll try” or “Best wishes to you.” You think of many answers that you don’t say.
13. If shopping seems to be too much, have your relatives or a close friend help you. Consider shopping through a catalogue.
14. If you are accustomed to having Christmas dinner at your home, change and go to relatives, or change the time (instead of 2 p.m., make it 4 p.m.). Some find it helpful to be involved in the activity of preparing a large meal. Serving buffet style and/or eating in a different room may help.
15. Try attending religious services at a different time or church or synagogue.
16. Some people fear crying in public, especially at religious services. It is usually better not to push the tears down any time. You should be gentle with yourself and not expect too much of yourself. Worrying about crying is an additional burden. If you let go and cry, you probably will feel better. It should not ruin the day for other family members, but will provide them with the same freedom.
17. Cut back on your card sending. It is not necessary to send cards, especially to those people we will see over the holidays.
18. Do something for someone else, such as volunteer work at soup kitchens or visit the lonely and shut-ins. Ask someone who is alone to share the day with your family. Provide help for a needy family.
19. Donate a gift or money in your loved one’s name.
20. Share your concerns, feelings, apprehensions, etc. with a relative or friend as the holiday approaches. Tell them that this is a difficult time for you. Accept their help. You will appreciate their love and support at this time.
21. Holidays often magnify feelings of loss of a loved one. It is important and natural to experience the sadness that comes. To block such feelings is unhealthy. Keep the positive memory of the loved one alive.
22. Often after the first year the people in your life may expect you to be over it. We are never over it but the experience of many bereaved is that eventually they enjoy the holidays again. Hold on to hope.
23. Don’t forget, anticipation of any holiday is much worse than the actual holiday.
from *Hope for the Bereaved* (now out of print)
GriefNet grants anyone the right to reprint this information without request for compensation so long as the copy is not used for profit and so long as this paragraph is reprinted in its entirety with any copied portion.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Suggested Read or Holiday Gift Idea

A new book, shared to us from Rowman & Littlefield Publishers

"They Were Still Born is a thoughtful and intimate volume written with first hand accounts of stillbirths to help heal and guide others who must deal with this heartbreak. Stillbirth, defined as the death of an infant between 20 weeks gestation and birth, is a tragedy repeated 30,000 times every year in the United States . That means more than 80 mothers a day feel their babies slip silently from their bodies, the only sound in the delivery room their own sobs. Eighty stillborn babies a day means heartbroken families mourn the death of children who will never breathe, gurgle, learn to walk or go to school.
In 2006, author Janel Atlas became one of those mothers who left the hospital with empty arms; her second daughter, Beatrice Dianne, was stillborn at 36 weeks. Reaching out for comfort, she realized a dire need shared by so many others like her and so was born a collection of new essays by writers each sharing their firsthand experiences with stillbirth. Not limited to mothers, she has selected mothers, fathers, and grandparents, all of whom have first person narratives to offer readers. Grieving parents will turn to the book for the comfort of knowing they are not alone on this painful path, for validation of their babies' lives, and for guidance from those who have gone before them. Finally, They Were Still Born will inspire readers to write their own stories, as well as show them how to do so.
No parent- or grandparent-to-be sets out planning to purchase They Were Still Born. Unfortunately, there will always be readers-devastated, grieving, and searching for voices to help them through-who need it."

Do you have any book suggestions OR holiday gift ideas for bereaved parents or family?

Thursday, December 2, 2010

December's Feature - Subsequent Pregnancy

Sorry, this is late. My daughter and I have had the stomach flu. :( I also didn't get any submissions for this month so I'm just going to write a bit about my own experience, ask some questions and list some blogs that I follow where the BLM is having a subsequent pregnancy.

I found out that I was pregnant with my Pheonix baby on September 17th. The day before my son's due date. It was a blessing because I knew his due date would be rough on me. All of the expectations of having him here with us. We are obviously thrilled but considerable nervous. I stay pretty calm and collected most days but some days I am a wreck of worry and anxiety. Luckily I am getting more medical attention this time around so I have more chances to relieve my fears. I just posted today on my blog about how I am treating this pregnancy differently than my other two (I have a living daughter who is 5). If you are expecting congratulations! How are you treating this pregnancy different than the last? Are you attending a subsequent pregnancy support group? Did you delay telling people this time around? Are you finding a lot of support online for subsequent pregnancy? Have you already had your baby and are a success story? Please share any links to your blog that you'd like to share regarding your Rainbow. Here are some links to BLM's I follow who are pregnant after loss.

My World

A Rainbow and A Butterfly

Dot's Diner