Monday, September 12, 2011

A Little Bit of Mourning Goin On

This year has been a rough year for us. I went back home to bury my foster dad in May and things haven't been the same ever since. We tried to have a normal summer, but struggle with the costs that remain from flying home to be with family.

Things were looking up when we found out we were expecting. Near the end of July we found out the wonderful news. We would have a playmate for our youngest this coming Easter. The baby was due on Easter Sunday. We were thrilled and already began dreaming of our future.

Only a short time later, I was diagnosed with shingles. Apparently, this was to have no effect on our unborn baby. All it meant was that I was a little run down and my immune system was working overtime. As uncomfortable as it was, I coped. To keep my mind off the itch and pain, I checked a few knitting books out of the library.

I began knitting a beautiful little jacket for my baby. It was yellow. Did I mention how excited we were? It lays unfinished on a table in the den. I will tell you why...

I stopped knitting when I began spotting a few weeks ago. I was terrified that I would lose another child to God. I had miscarried twice before and the loss was so immense that I could not bear to think about what yet another miscarriage would do to me. The same day I began spotting, we were booked in for an urgent ultrasound. That afternoon we witnessed a miracle. Our baby was alive and it had a strong heartbeat. Our baby was a little on the small side for its age, but it was alive. This news however did not motivate me to continue knitting. From that moment on, I held my breath.

This past Thursday, on the birthday of Our Lady, I had another ultrasound. In the days preceding this appointment, the spotting had turned to bleeding and I feared the worst. My worst fears were that my baby was dead or would die very soon. Thursay afternoon, we saw the image of my womb with a lifeless little baby in it. I was almost 10 weeks when I found out that at any time I would deliver a dead baby. The only image in my brain was of my dead baby. I referred to myself as a walking tomb. I was devastated as you can imagine. Another life lost. Another saint in heaven.

I cried and cried and then I cried some more. I knew that my baby was in heaven with two of its siblings, but that did not console me. I was angry, I was sad, I was frustrated and relieved, too. Now I knew what to expect. Now I could move on. Now I could breath again.

My husband went to work on Friday. It was one of the hardest things that he has ever had to do. Luckily, he only had to work a half day and he was home in time. He came home only minutes before I gave birth to our unborn child. He washed our baby and made sure that what we had seen was really the baby. The eyes, the tiny arms, the tiny legs, the face.... oh my goodness, it was overwhelming.

Please pray for our family as we make arrangements for our baby. We do not have the funds to bury our baby in a cemetary and are praying for a miracle. The flight back home in May put us into debt and we are struggling while my husband hasn't had the hours he needs to keep the bills paid on time. He has a new job, but the start date is still unknown until all the papers have been signed by the responsible members. We can't justify making more debt until we are sure that it can be paid off. Our only other option is to have the baby cremated. A cremation at that age will leave us with no remains and I can't bare to have my baby burned.

I question as to whether or not I should publish this post at all. I will because I believe that being Catholic means being pro-life. If I am pro-life, people should know that I have seven children, not four. Three of my children are in heaven. Pro-life means every human is a human no matter how small. Even the unborn babies deserve a proper burial. I would love to start an organization similar to Rachel's Vineyard for women who have suffered the loss of miscarriage, stillbirth or the birth of an infant. An organization that gives women and their families support emotionally, physically and financially. No woman should be alone. I wish there was one number to call where I could receive the guidance I need to find out the way miscarriage is handled with dignity. I wish that I didn't have to ask around and keep telling people what happened to find out a solution that we can afford and that is right according to the beliefs of the Catholic church. I wish there was number to call where a woman could call if she needed someone to help her birth her baby, to catch her baby and help her deal with the delicate situation with grace and give the woman courage. How do I start up such an organization? I know that I am not the only one who is in this situation. I know that most people don't know that they should try to collect their child's remains and have them buried. I have looked online for some answers, but this is not right. A family that has experienced this type of a loss shouldn't have to look and look and call and call to get answers. The Catholic church needs an organization, a number to call, a place where families get help and receive love. If we help mothers and their babies, then we can truly call ourselves pro-life. Mothers can heal, fathers, sisters and brothers, grandparents and everyone close to the family can heal, too.

Please pray that some day this organization that I dream of will exist and will aid families.

In the meantime, I will share a prayer that has been very helpful in my healing...

Miscarriage Prayer

My Lord, the baby is dead!

Why, my Lord—dare I ask why? It will not hear the whisper of the wind or see the beauty of its parents’ face—it will not see the beauty of Your creation or the flame of a sunrise. Why, my Lord?

“Why, My child—do you ask ‘why’? Well, I will tell you why.

You see, the child lives. Instead of the wind he hears the sound of angels singing before My throne. Instead of the beauty that passes he sees everlasting Beauty—he sees My face. He was created and lived a short time so the image of his parents imprinted on his face may stand before Me as their personal intercessor. He knows secrets of heaven unknown to men on earth. He laughs with a special joy that only the innocent possess. My ways are not the ways of man. I create for My Kingdom and each creature fills a place in that Kingdom that could not be filled by another. He was created for My joy and his parents’ merits. He has never seen pain or sin. He has never felt hunger or pain. I breathed a soul into a seed, made it grow and called it forth.”

I am humbled before you, my Lord, for questioning Your wisdom, goodness, and love. I speak as a fool—forgive me. I acknowledge Your sovereign rights over life and death. I thank You for the life that began for so short a time to enjoy so long an Eternity. -- Mother M. Angelica
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  1. I am so sorry about the death of your little one! I am so glad you wrote about your experience. So many of us have no idea about miscarriage until it happens. Have you ever thought about starting some kind of support group? I had shingles this year when my dd was 6mo old. It was painful and just let me know that my immune system had had it. As a consequence most of my family got chicken pox. It took us 3 months to get through it with all of us. Anyway...God bless you and thank you for sharing!

  2. Oh, Tina Marie, I'm so sorry for your loss. I miscarried around 9 weeks between my first and second kiddos but was not able to catch the baby. The doctor said I probably lost it in the beginning when I started bleeding heavily. We Baptized the toilet. What else can a person do? Our hospital has a special service for miscarriages every spring and the babies are saved I believe by the hospital and buried that day. Check your local Catholic hospitals, if any. I will pray for you. The amazing thing for those who believe it's not a baby, is that we already love that baby, at conception. That's proof enough, isn't it?

  3. Tina Marie, I came across your blog looking for breastfeeding pictures but ran into this post in the process and I cant help but feel your pain. I am so so sorry for the loss you had in September. I too have lost 2 babies to early pregnancy miscarriage. My first was in September of 2010 at 7.5 weeks gestation. I was told that I needed to keep my blogs about my dead baby to myself and that my facebook postings were disturbing. I was mourning the loss of my child. Those people left my life. They were not pro-life and didnt see why I needed to mourn a dead clump of cells. Im so glad you posted this. It lets others know that our losses are true. A person unique to this world was guided back to Gods arms. Our babies were lucky in a sense. They never felt pain or witnessed the coldness and cruelty of this world. God spared them from that but we sadly have to pay the price through our grief.I see that you are with child again from your ticker... Blessed you are. You have a beautiful family.

  4. Oh Tina Marie, so much loss all at once. It is so hard to suffer the loss of a child. I know your pain and I am feeling this with you right now, even though it is two years later.

    Do you know about the Chapel of Holy Innocents? They have a Book of Life where they record the name of babies lost to miscarriage. I did this when I lost Nicholas. It was the only thing I could so to honor him. The website is:

    God bless.


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