10.15.2011

National Day of Loss & Remembrance

Today, October 15th is National Day of Remembrance for Pregnancy and Infant loss. This includes all babies who have died because of miscarriage, stillbirth, SIDS, or any other infant death.
I have shared my story of loss before and I will continue to share it every October 15th because it is a reminder to me (and hopefully others) about God's love & faithfulness.
It reminds me that
God has a plan for my life (and yours!) and that HIS plan is better than my plan - Always.

I had 2 miscarriages before I had my girls.
Ectopic Pregnancy at 6 weeks on October 22, 2002 (due date June 23, 2003) Miscarriage at 10 weeks D&C on October 25, 2005 (due date May 26, 2006) I still think about them & wonder.
Were they a boy or a girl?
(I have a gut feeling/instinct they were both boys)
I could have a 8.5 year old and a 5.5 year old.
But then I wouldn't have Kate or Claire.
God has a plan. His timing is perfect. Trust in Him. This is what would remind myself during my saddest days.
In the process of having miscarriages & sharing about them, I have met many, many women who have lost their sons and daughters. I have friends, family & co workers who have had miscarriages. I have several friends who have lost their babies at full term, days & months after having them. I can't imagine the pain they have suffered.

The Lord has broken my heart for families who have to endured these types of losses. I don't fully know the pain these families have gone through, but I have felt a small fraction of it.
This is one of the reasons I felt called me to become a volunteer photographer for Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep 2 years ago. I cannot take away the pain of someone's loss, but I can give them something to remember their child by. You can read about my journey to become a volunteer with them HERE. For those of you who are new to my blog, here is my story of loss:
(I also posted this last year on October 15)
Kevin and I got married on August 24, 2002. We wanted to wait 3-4 years to have kids. I was on the pill and took it religiously at the same time every day. Imagine my surprise when I found out I was pregnant 2 months after we got married. We had always wanted kids, just not so soon after getting married. I went to the doctor & they gave me a due date of June 23, 2003. I was FREAKING out & couldn't believe I was pregnant. This pregnancy was our "honeymoon baby". Apparently I got pregnant on our honeymoon. Unfortunately, a few days after I found out I was pregnant in October of 2002, I woke up to an intense pain on my left side & when I went to the bathroom I was massively bleeding & then I passed out. Kevin rushed in and woke me up & we rushed to my doctor & after some tests, he informed me that I was having an ectopic pregnancy & that I had to go immediately to the hospital for emergency surgery because the condition was life threatening for me. So, that Tuesday night in late October, I was rushed to the hospital for surgery. Luckily, I have one of the best doctors in the area & he was able to save my left fallopian tube (it was already starting to rupture). I am glad that I was unaware of how serious ectopic pregnancies can be. I didn't realize I could have died if my tube ruptured. Even though my doctor saved my fallopian tube (and my life!), I always wondered how this would effect my ability to get pregnant & have kids. One of my biggest dreams was to be a mommy & for the next few years I wondered if that would ever happen. Fast forward to the summer of 2005. This is when we decided to start "trying". We got lucky & I got pregnant the 2nd month after we started trying. I was due May 26, 2006. Kevin and I were thrilled. I couldn't wait to have a baby & be a mommy. I was relieved that the ectopic pregnancy didn't effect my ability to get pregnant. As soon as I found out I was pregnant, I went in for blood work to make sure my numbers were doubling. My dr called and told me my progesterone was low & I needed to be on progesterone suppositories 2 times a day. Let me tell, you , those are NOT fun. Nasty. My pregnancy was progressing, at 6 weeks the nausea hit big time & I was throwing up 2-3 times a day. I was miserable, but it was worth it. We had our first ultrasound at almost 6 weeks to make sure the baby was in my uterus and not my tube. The baby was in my uterus & I scheduled another appt at 8 weeks for the heartbeat check. The 8 week ultra sound was no so great. There was a heart beat, but it was very low & took my doctor a long time to find it. He said I needed to come back in a week for another heartbeat check. At that appointment, there was still a slow heartbeat, but the baby was not growing on track & was only measuring 7 weeks. My doctor warned us not to be too optimistic, but I still had really bad morning sickness and was getting sick a few times a day. I thought that was a good sign. I had to go in again at 10 weeks for another heartbeat & growth check. At the 10 week appointment, the heart had stopped beating. We had lost the baby & my doctor scheduled me in for a D&C that night. It was a Tuesday night in late October, just like 3 years before. As I walked into the hospital for surgery, I felt like I was on Groundhog Day. Another surgery to remove another baby from my body that didn't make it. After my D&C, I was going through the motions of life. We were told to wait 3 cycles before we could try again so that my body could heal. Those were 3 very long, hard & dark months for me. I was numb. My 2nd miscarriage hit me so much harder than my first one. I was mad at God for taking this baby from us. It took me about 6 months to process it. During that time, I had a lot of support from family & friends and for that, I am thankful. I am thankful to my awesome & supportive husband who would hold me as I cried many nights mourning our loss wondering if I would ever have a baby. I would cry myself to sleep whenever a friend told me they were pregnant. I was truly happy for them, but SO sad for me. It was just another reminder of what I didn't have. I am thankful to our pastor who helped me process some of my feelings & emotions during the months after our loss. I am thankful to my mom who encouraged me during this time & gave me hope (she had 4 losses in between me & my younger sister including an ectopic & a placenta separation at 21 weeks). I am thankful for my best friend AK. She had 2 miscarriages around the same time I did. I was able to call her & cry with someone who was going through the same thing I was. She understood my pain. I am thankful to my dear friend Lorie who had suffered 2 losses. She shared her prayer journal with me & held me up in prayer when I was too sad to pray for myself.
After we good the go ahead to start trying again, it took us 3 months and we got pregnant in May of 2006. We found out on Kevin's 31st birthday, (a week before my "due date" with my 2nd miscarriage) We were excited, but I was really nervous about having another miscarriage. I was a stress case & paranoid my entire pregnancy.
On January 23, 2007 , I gave birth to our beautiful Katelyn Grace.
It was a moment I will never forget & an emotion I can't put into words.
One of my favorite pictures EVER (30 seconds after Kate was born)

I was reminded again at the miracle of life when Claire was born on September 9, 2008.

God has a plan. His timing is perfect. Trust in Him.

These 2 girls are a reminder of that truth...

I never thought I would say this, but part of me is grateful I have been through miscarriages because it has given me compassion & a heart for those who have also suffered losses. My miscarriages caused me to cling to God & put my faith, hope & trust in HIM instead of myself.
It drew me closer to Christ as I clung to Psalm 20:4: "May He give you the desires of your heart and make your plans succeed."God was faithful to me even though many times, I have been unfaithful to Him. I am thankful to God who carried me through a dark time & showed me that He was there for me & He did have a plan for me & that HIS timing is better than my timing.
Because of this, when I hear of others who have suffered a loss, I mourn with them. I pray for them, I listen, I cry with them. My heart breaks with them.
I can't make them feel better or make their pain go away, but I can make it less lonely.
I have learned a compassion that only comes by walking in those shoes.
I was reminded again & again that God has a purpose & a plan even when I don't understand.
Another thing I have learned through this is that I was NOT alone during a time where I felt so alone and when it seemed like EVERYONE around me was pregnant, except me. God was there, carrying me through this tough time.

I discovered that intercessory prayer is powerful. To have people praying for you when you don't have the words to pray yourself is humbling.

If you have lost a baby through miscarriage or infant death, I want to pray for you on this day of remembrance.
So, if you are one of those women, will you please leave a comment on this post and tell me your name so that I can be praying for you?
If you are someone struggling with infertility, I want to pray for you.

If you are waiting to adopt, you will also be lifted up in prayer.
If you want, you can include the nature of your loss, and the child's names so that we can pray for you. If you want to leave an anonymous comment, you can do that also.
If you haven't lost a child, will you join me in praying for those who have?

34 comments:

  1. Am always humbled when you post this, and of course, remember alongside you. Will never forget the feeling of my loss, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Everything is in His timing and though I wonder to this day, I am grateful for this timing as I would not have my beautiful Tatum. Prayers for you and others on this day, especially those who may be experiencing the pain of their loss at this very moment. xo

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  2. What a beautifully honest and uplifting post!

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  3. Madeline Josephine Sapyta Sept. 4, 2006. She was delivered to me stillbirth due to the cord being wrapped around her neck at 27 weeks. Thank you for your prayers.

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  4. I too loss two babies to miscarriage. God put it on my heart to share a series of our story and I posted the first part a few days ago. I didn't even know that the National Day of Remembrance and Loss was this month. God works like that, doesn't He? I can relate to so much of what you shared. I know your story is going to bring peace and hope to many others.

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  5. I linked up to your blog because your post is perfect...I lost a little angel in April of 2008 and your words were like reliving my own experience. I now have a 2.5 year old and am due with my 2nd little girl in 2 weeks! Oh the amazing plans God has in store for us...

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  6. Beautiful post. We had a miscarriage at 10 weeks (my D&C was 4 years ago last week). Our dr. didn't give us a three cycle rule, which for us was probably healing. Our due date was 5/1/2008... we ended up getting pregnant very quickly and on May 1, 2008, I was 7 months pregnant expecting a little girl. Our third child, our first girl. A dream come true.

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  7. Thanks for sharing Mel... Loss is hard and often times confusing. Thanks for putting it into words. Won't it be a glorious reunion to meet our little ones in Heaven?!

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  8. We miscarried early but the pain is the same. The excitement and immediate loss of possibility for your little one is heart wrenching. I was the first in my circle of friends and Family to experience a miscarriage...since then several women close to me have experienced this loss. I firmly believe God uses me in helping to comfort them. I believe she is in heaven waiting and playing until we meet again.

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  9. We faced our first miscarriage in April of this year, I was due Oct 31. We got pregnant again quickly after waiting the suggested 2 cycles and I just went through our second miscarriage this week, I was due May 19 (my birthday). I have always been healthy so the first time I think I was just shocked, each time it has been heartbreaking. I don't know yet how our story will turn out, but throughout this year God has been so faithful in His comfort and peace. It is very encouraging to hear stories from real women, now I just pray for patience while we wait! On a practical note, I am now at the point of deciding if we should do tests before trying again, what tests, etc. Has anyone been through that or have suggestions of resources? We have a great Dr. but I just want to be as educated as possible so I don't feel we are going into this blindly. Thank you so much for sharing your story, I had never heard of National Day of Remembrance & Loss and this came at the perfect time. I was led to your site just looking for some crock pot recipes! But got much more... :)

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  10. Thank you for sharing your story. It is so helpful knowing we are not alone on this journey. Jeffrey George (lost 8/14/01, stillbirth at 24 weeks, due date 12/4/01). Baby 2 (lost 4/28/03, miscarriage at 8 weeks). I posted on my blog: http://fontenblog.blogspot.com/2011/10/thankful-thursday-12-giveaway.html which also has a link within the story to Jeffrey's story. Thank you for your prayers.

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  11. Thank for your sharing your story (I was unaware) and for bringing attention to ALL of our babies.

    Hugs,
    Trisha

    PS- One day I am going to talk to you about becoming a NILMDTS photographer. Not ready just yet. In fact, I still haven't even held a baby since my son died 3 1/2 years ago. But I know that this is something that God is calling me to do and I will figure out a way to rise to the occasion.

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  12. Thank you for sharing your story again. So painful. I had a miscarriage just 4 months ago. I shared my story for the first time on my blog today:
    http://ttbowtique.blogspot.com/2011/10/pregnancy-and-infant-loss-my-story.html

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  13. Thank you for sharing and being an inspiration! We have suffered from 2 miscarriages this year on April 14th (5 weeks) and July 21st (8weeks) requiring ER visit. This month, we have been cleared by our wonderful doctor to continue this journey. I know God has a perfect plan for us. Thanks again!

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  14. Beautiful post Mel!

    Last year I asked you to pray for Jon's brother's wife (and brother) who had suffered multiple losses and had just gone through a failed IVF. I am happy to report she is 32 weeks pregnant with fraternal twin boys via IVF. Even more happy to report she had a very huge scare with pre-eclampsia last week while we were in Chicago and they were able to get it under control.

    This year I ask that you pray for Jon's sister Liz. She has suffered multiple miscarriages as well and is doing her IVF transfer on Monday.

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  15. This is the most beautiful, uplifting National Day of Loss and Rememberance post I've read. What an inspiration you are.

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  16. Thank you for continually posting this, Mel. You have no idea who it helps and how you are impacting other's lives. Crazy to think that it has been a year since we miscarried-- and here we are exactly one year later with another baby due in February. God is so good and He does have a plan!

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  17. I love how open and transparent you are in sharing this post. Being a Labor & Delivery Nurse I often have to help woman through this experience. You inspired me to do a blog to acknowledge this day and all the demise babies that I have seen delivered. Thank You for sharing your life!

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  18. Hugs lady. It isn't a fun club to be a part of, but I'm so grateful for the example of so many that shoulder it with grace. Thanks for sharing.

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  19. Thank you for this post. I have experienced three miscarriages. The second was particularly hard because I had went to an ultrasound alone and was expecting to hear a heartbeat and get a "picture" of our baby. My husband had a meeting for work and I told him not to reschedule - there would be more appointments and I would be fine. At that appointment the tech could not find a heartbeat and told me I had a "nonviable" pregnancy. I was broken. I had to pull myself together and then walk through a room of pregnant woman by myself.
    Within a few months of that ordeal three of my four best friends became pregnant. I was depressed, jealous, angry, you name it. It seems incredibly selfish, but I was angry with them for being pregnant.
    I was due in Feb of 2005 and I still have moments of pain with that miscarriage because I see my friends daughters (they all had girls) reach milestones, start school, and grow up together and I think that I should have a child sharing in all of that.
    I truly appreciate your post, because so often I feel that miscarriages "dont count" as child loss to people. However, to me, I had three miscarriages, so I lost three children.
    Sorry to go on and on, but your post touched me, and I felt ok sharing my story.

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  20. Yes, I will join you in prayer.

    I would have a a nine year old today...in addition to my 4 kids here with me today. I, too, wonder...

    In my grief and sadness, my Priest hugged me and said, "I know it is difficult...this is when you HAVE TO TRUST IN GOD'S PLAN."

    I love seeing God's plan unfold before my eyes.
    It IS our experiences that bring us to our knees, and to God. You can not create desire in a person...they need their own experience.

    The good times and bad the times..I am thankful for them all.
    But it is in the bad times that I see the most growth :-) I thank God for the sorrow most of all.

    this is a beautiful post...thank you..you are amazing...xo

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  21. I have never been pregnant and often wonder if my body will be able to do it. I have spondylolisthesis a severe issue with my back... the doctor has told me I will be able to but it'd have to be via c section so that gives me hope... I can't imagine going through the loss you have suffered. You give so much hope and inspiration. Thank you for sharing! YOu are so right, God is good. His plans always surpass our own understanding!!

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  22. praying for you, sweet mel! xo
    loved this post!

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  23. Thank you for sharing your story and promoting this important day.

    Thank you for also providing photographs to parents who have experienced loss.

    God Bless you,

    CBO

    xoxo

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  24. I came across your blog..and was drawn to this post. I have had one ectopic pregnancy and two miscarriages..(one just a few weeks ago)..it was heartbreaking.. we have been trying for 9 years..

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  25. Wow. I just found out yesterday I'm pregnant again. I have a beautiful 7 year old boy and my husband and I have been hoping for another child. I had 2 short term miscarriages last year so since yesterday I've been praying non-stop for God to let this one stay with us. I accidentally stumbled on your blog by looking for recipes. No, I guess it wasn't an accident...God brought me here. It reminded me to stay patient and look up because His plan is always better than mine. Thank you so much for writing this and refocusing me.

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  26. Beautiful post. Thank you for sharing. I've been there and know a bit of what you shared. A mother's loss is painful no matter what stage of pregnancy.

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  27. I've been reading your blog for almost a year and I've always enjoyed it immensely. This topic, especially, is dear to my heart. I've had three miscarriages in the past 12 months and, despite all the tests, no real answers at the end of the day. The only one I can come up with is that it just isn't God's plan for us right now. I find comfort in that contemporary Christian song "While I'm Waiting." It says, "I'm waiting on you Lord, and I am hopeful...I'm waiting on you Lord, though it's painful, but patiently I will wait."
    We are so blessed to have a sweet little boy who will turn 3 in a few days--each day with him seems like a gift. I want so desperately for him to have a sibling, but all we can do is wait and pray. God bless all those ladies who have shared in this heartbreak--and thank YOU for helping us to feel a sense of community and fellowship in our losses.

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  28. Such a wonderful post. On October 27th, 2010, I found out I had lost my baby somewhere between 8 and 12 weeks pregnant. It was extremely hard but now I am holding a three week old little girl that would not be here otherwise. God's timing IS perfect. So happy you have such a sweet perfect family after your losses.

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  29. my mom came to visit and she was shopping in talbots and i was sitting there reading blogs while i waited. tears were streaming down my face while i read this. thank you so much for being so vulnerable and sharing.

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  30. I just came across your blog and I'm so thankful I did. I have not been through the loss of a child, but I have friends who have. Your faith in Christ is evident through this post. Thank you for being so open and honest.

    I'm your newest follower :)

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  31. Thank you for this post. Your story is so similar to my own. I'm so glad I found your blog. :)

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  32. My mom has 5 kids including me (the baby of the fam) and after me, she got pregnant 4 more times. 3 times with twins and once with triplets but lost 3 pregnancies to miscarriage and with the other, a set of twins she lost one twin, a girl midway thru and the other twin, a boy made it to 36 weeks but was a stillborn. In May of 2010 at 22 yrs old i had a miscarriage and only months later found out I was pregnant for the second time. On May 23, 2011 Andres Manuel Garcia, Jr. was born. Hours after he had arrived we got the devastating news that he would have to be airlifted over to another hospital due to the fact he had a rare heart defect that had gone undetected my entire pregnancy. Andres fought for 7 long hard weeks but lost his fight on July 11, 2011. I thank god every day for the time we had with him. I know one day we WILL meet again and I will see him healthy and happy. He went through so much and he is and will forever be my hero. My fiancé Andres has been the glue that has held me together these past months. I am so grateful to have him and my wonderful family and friends. Most of all I am thankful for my faith because without HIM I would not be able to get through these tough times. On October 24, 2011 we lost my nephew Michael to TTTS (Twin to Twin Transfusion Syndrome). Our survivor Jacob has been the light at the end of my tunnel. To see what he's been through and overcome gives me so much strength and hope. Andres and I will be getting married on June 23, 2012 and we hope to be blessed again with a healthy baby soon after. Thank you for the prayers. I truly appreciate you sharing and letting others share their stories. God bless you and your family.

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  33. Mel,

    I found your blog after you found mine (gutter bookshelves:)), and I somehow stumbled on this post, which I can relate to completely. My husband and I were quickly able to get pregnant with our daughter and son who are 21 months apart. We love them dearly and feel incredibly blessed to have them in our lives. That being said, we had 'planned' to have a total of 4 children, but 2 miscarriages (at 13 weeks and 5 weeks) and 2 plus years later, we continue to struggle with fertility.

    At 32, I still feel hopeful. I just need to remember your words: God has a plan. His timing is perfect. Trust in Him.

    Thank you for the reminder!
    Blessings,
    Beth

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