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"A person's a person, no matter how small"-Dr. Seuss
October is a special month for us here at The Band. Miscarriage, Stillbirth, and other types of baby loss and child loss affect families every day. Too many people suffer silently through the devastating loss. For those going through it, we want you to know, your little ones matter.
October 15th, is Pregnancy, Infant and Child Loss Remembrance Day.
Tomorrow, our Remembrance Wall will go up. We want all our little ones to be remembered. Please send us a comment or an email to firstname.lastname@example.org so that we can abide with you and remember your little one(s) as our own. Today, and every day, our hearts ache for those tables forever missing one.
As we go through this month, we want to hear your stories. Stories of miscarriage. Of babies born still, still born. Of baby and child loss. This is your month and there is no story too small.
Our other loss families need to hear your stories.
Please share how your losses have affected you. There is strength in numbers and comfort in knowing you are not alone.
This is her story:
At 5AM on Tuesday, the 5th of February 2013, I gave birth to a baby boy at home.
He was 20 weeks and 1 day gestational age; he weighed a mere 340 grams.
I held my son his whole life; eight minutes.
I named my son Cash Alan. I watched Cash as he struggled for life; an image that will forever haunt me. I shared his pain and fear but there was nothing I could do to save him.
An autopsy revealed that premature labour was caused by an infection of the uterus and placenta due to low levels of amniotic fluid.
Cash was cremated on Thursday, February the 14th 2013 and I keep his ashes with me in a small urn. I've found some comfort in knowing that all Cash knew of Life was my love for him, but I will never truly come to terms with his death.
Prior to my loss, I spent over 15 years building a career as a publicist. I loved my field and felt passionate about everything I was doing.
After I lost Cash, everything changed.
I became someone else, none of the little stuff mattered anymore. I see Life so differently now. I was at a crossroads, lost in my grief. A few weeks after losing Cash, I packed up and moved 1600 kilometres away for a fresh start. I knew I no longer wanted to be a publicist, the late nights and time away from home kept me away from my other children.
The idea came to me after spending hours upon hours searching the internet for keepsakes to honour Cash. On 24 June 2013 (the date Cash was due to be born) I started a business called "In Loving Memory Of Cash;" a dedication to the brief Life of my son. The official launch is planned for 5th February 2014; his first angelversary. I want to to ensure that bereaved parents have an opportunity to save the moment without thinking about the details.
I now handcraft unique memorial keepsakes full-time. 100% of the profits are used to support pregnancy and infant loss projects and campaigns. Creating memorial gifts is a great outlet for my own grief. A piece of my heart and soul goes into every one of my creations: IT'S NOT JUST ABOUT MAKING SOMETHING SPECIAL, IT'S ABOUT HONOURING A PRECIOUS LIFE, HOWEVER BRIEF.
The most comforting words when grieving are "You Are Not Alone." I'm able connect with bereaved parents on a level that not everyone else can. I understand the intense pain and sorrow, the never-ending heartbreak, and the heavy burden of empty arms.
The response so far has been tremendous. I have already helped many families honour their angels. I have my bad days where I want to stay in bed and grieve all day long. I live for my other children, but now I have a purpose, a reason to go on:
I want to make sure no angel gets forgotten.
I recently lost my first grandson.
He was born prematurely and only lived a few days. It was heartbreaking when he passed away in his mother's arms. Our family grieved together for a few months; we were very close.
My daughter recently became pregnant and I knew this would cause my daughter-in-law pain.
It really did.
I think she may have had a nervous breakdown. I told her about the pregnancy a little over a month ago and haven't had any contact with her since then.
My son said that she just needs the time to get herself together; that our family now causes her pain because she feels we are going to move on with a new baby while her baby died.
I know this is so horrible for her.
My son said that she doesn't want a card, email or anything until she is ready. He stops by several times a week so we are always kept up to date.
I will completely follow this because I really love her and pray every day that she can find peace with the situation.
I pray that she gets pregnant and has a healthy baby and we can all be together again someday soon.
I'm also very sad for my daughter because she was so involved in everything with my daughter-in-law. Planning the shower (which unfortunately we never had), buying special gifts and always being there.
It's so sad that she has to spend her pregnancy feeling like she has made others feel bad. It is just such a sad situation.
I have no hard feelings for my daughter-in-law - she's a wonderful loving person who just has to step back.
I guess it just makes me feel better to put this down on paper.
Every day in the United States alone, 26 babies are stillborn.
This is Ruth's story:
i don't have any leather pants to strap on, as i have been invited to do on the homepage, but i'm gonna share my story. i'm 37 years old, happily married, and the proud mother of three (living) children.
last year, almost this exact time of year, i found out i was pregnant with our fourth child. the news came as a bit of a surprise, as i was on the pill, and we'd thought we were "done" - our kids are 12, 10, and 8.
after the initial shock wore off, we were thrilled. it was going to be so much fun this time around, knowing what we already know about having kids and whatnot. all the stress of just keeping the little buggers alive and well until they started school was behind us. we could relax and just enjoy having a little one to hold and snuggle.
at our 20 week ultrasound, we discovered that it was a girl we named ruth, and her umbilical cord had only two blood vessels instead of the usual three.
the doctor explained the problems this could cause, and after educating ourselves about the risks involved, we felt confident that we could handle whatever GOD chose to bring our way. her due date was set for january 11, 2013. because mine was considered a high-risk pregnancy, i had weekly ultrasounds scheduled for the last two months of the pregnancy.
on january 2, just nine days before our due date, my ultrasound revealed that there was no heartbeat. ruth was dead.
i headed to labor and delivery to be induced. early the next morning, I delivered my baby girl who had already left this world.
the pain and shock have been enormous. i am so grateful to my husband for being my strength over these last 4 months. he lost a daughter too, but somehow he manages to rise above his grief when i need him.
our families have been wonderful, letting me grieve in my own way, never judging, always loving. we never did find out what happened; why she died. now the big question is, do we want to try for another baby? we know we can't replace the one we lost, but it just seems so sad to end our baby-making years with a tragedy.
if anyone reading this is interested, Jason Collins, MD of knoxville, tennessee is an ob-gyn studying the causes and risk factors for stillbirth. i was able to get in contact with him after losing ruth, and discovered that this tragedy is all too common: every day in the united states alone, 26 babies are stillborn.
i'd become concerned during the last few weeks of my pregnancy that the baby wasn't moving enough, but when i contacted my doctor, i was told that it was fine; babies slow down as they get bigger.
listen up, everybody! babies DO NOT slow down. all pregnant moms: do a kick count. be a pain in your doctor's ass. drive the nurses at the hospital crazy. do whatever it takes for that little one.
s/he is counting on you.
GOD bless all of you who read this. GOD bless ALL the unborn babies.
thanks, the band, for letting me have the floor for a moment.
This post was written on the night after the horrible school shooting in Newtown, CT.
I let my emotions get the best of me, but it was necessary.
All of it.
To see what happened in our world today; not a lick of sense in it.
Who walks into a school - A SCHOOL - and does something like this?
Who takes the lives of precious children into their own hands like this?
What's wrong with our world that an individual with this violent agenda can walk into a school and do this to our kids? Our babies? Someone's CHILD.
This is fucked up. Beyond belief.
We're upset. We're pissed. We're angry. We're crying.
Some of us walked away from the coverage early on. Others sat on Twitter and Facebook, watching streams and feeds and took in every word; hung on every possible link.
Picture of the guy who did it? Sure - I'll check him out.
Thousands upon thousands of people shared the image that was *supposedly* him on Facebook. I seriously mean thousands. I saw it. I clicked some news reporter's link on Twitter and I saw it. And I felt sick. And you know what? I still don't even know if that was him.
The reports changed. It was his brother. He killed his mother, his father, his mom's students.
What the HELL is wrong with people?
People are talking about where we failed this 20-something year old man. As a society. As a country. State. Nation. Whatever you want to call us.
I honestly don't know.
Right now I'm awful, because I honestly don't give a shit.
I can't understand his actions and I am glad he's gone. But then the part of me that is a mother wants to know why he doesn't get to suffer. Why parents don't get their justice.
But would there even BE justice? What sort of justice comes to someone who shoots up a room full of kindergarteners?
Do you know my baby is in kindergarten?
She is. It's her first year of school.
I'm shielding her from all of this. Many people won't be that lucky.
Many moms and dads tonight are holding their babies so closely. Their babies who today walked, eyes closed shut, hand to shoulder (you've seen the pictures, haven't you? Who the hell shared those picture) away from danger into who knew where. Who knew?
The grown-ups taking care of them didn't know. They just did what they knew to do. They protected those small beings as best they could.
I can't even begin to imagine the loss. The ache. The pain. I can't begin to think of what the parents who dropped their kids off this morning, walked them to the bus stop and ran their final steps, blowing kisses, quick hugs, here's your backpack - what are these people even thinking? How do you stop crying when this happens to you? How do you begin to believe again? To trust?
Do you? Do you ever? Is there a faith that brings strength to people during such a hell? Something magical that lifts them up and lets them move forward? How do you be a mother or father to your other children when one of yours hasn't come home? How do you teach their brothers, sisters, that they will be safe, even though their sibling was not?
What happens then? What does school represent? A place of learning, turned sour. Solid framework, so much of our lives, our childhood, our memories, gone. Shattered. Do you build that back up somehow?
I sure hope so. Because if there isn't a way I don't even know where to begin.
I think of these moms and dads tonight. Curled up in the darkness holding their loved ones close. I pray for strength and light, and I send love and healing. I don't know what else to do. I'm not really a praying person. I'm usually one who sends positive thoughts. But I need something to hold onto tonight. Something that reminds me that there has to be a hope, a strength, a greater something somewhere.
Because this? Today? Whatever it was - it was wrong. Horribly, terribly, all kinds of wrong.
And I'm sad. I hurt. It pains me.
And I would love answers for us all, but I don't think we'll get them. Because the mean man is gone. Or, as I believe, we should try to define him to our children, should we choose to approach the topic with them, the man who did a very bad thing. It's hard when you're trying to teach kids that behaviors are not nice, behaviors are mean, people aren't. But today he is. The mean man is gone. And it's all gone with him.
Including those children. Those adults who were there with them - I don't forget them.
But as a mom of a young child, it's the children that are foremost in my mind. I just cannot stop seeing the children I have never known, will never truly know. Because they could have been anyone's. They could have been yours. They could have been mine. That is the scariest freakin' thought ever and it's really hard to move past.
So instead I wallow a little bit, and I hug my baby about nine hundred times tonight. Because she's here and I love her and she's safe and she's mine.
You do the same.
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