There is something on my mind and in my heart that I must let flow out of my fingers on onto this small blog post to share with all of you. The heart of Stillbirthday.com.
I can not even remember the first time I had contact with Heidi from stillbirthday.com, but I know that she has forever changed a part of me. In running Birth Without Fear we obviously deal with pregnancy and birth. With that comes loss. When I first began BWF (and I was pregnant), I didn’t know how to handle that. I hurt every time I read a loss story or one of our moms went through a miscarriage and stillbirth, but I didn’t know how to share loss within Birth Without Fear.
I began to see and learn that women who experience loss and try to share their stories were being shunned in a horrible way in the online community world. Not to mention, in their daily lives. The things that are said to loss moms are usually not ideal and they feel they can not find support or grieve or heal.
Then came stillbirthday.com and Heidi Faith. There are other wonderful loss support resources out there, but it was through Heidi that I learned how to becoming inclusive and include loss moms within Birth Without Fear Community and in a way where everyone felt safe. It took time, but it is doable. Being sensitive to our pregnant mamas while validating and sharing the journey of our loss moms is so special. Not to mention the incredible amount of resources stillbirthday.com offers. Things I would never think of.
And guess what? More moms experience loss than you would think. It is heartbreaking. What do you say, what do you not say, how do you validate a mom’s loss without internalizing it? For me, Heidi has been instrumental in helping me learn how to do this. Her heart is truly incredible. She serves God and through Him, serves women. Women who don’t have a voice, are shunned, alone, scared, and hurting.
Recently I’ve had two close friends experience loss. One was 18 weeks pregnant with her beautiful son. The other a close friend and very recently lost her baby. I can not begin to describe the support Heidi brought to my friend(s), but also me. The friend of the loss mom. To know how to support a mother when going through the hardest thing she has ever been through…well, I couldn’t have done it without Heidi.
Through Heidi’s, and now all the support people with stillbirthday.com’s support, I have learned how to listen to my soul, my heart and humbly support loss moms. It’s not me. I don’t know what I’m doing. It’s through the Lord and through the support of Heidi. I have learned to grieve, support and heal with the constant of this amazing person. I can confidently share stillbirthday.com with loss mothers and know they will be so loved and taken care of. That…is priceless.
Here’s the thing. I am a loss mom. I don’t talk about it. I avoid it. Suppress it. My husband knew it, but I didn’t want to…know.
It is through Heidi’s gentle words at the right moments that I am able to admit it to myself. That when I was bleeding and clotting so heavy…and hurting so deeply on the bathroom floor… that it was not a 3 month post partum period I wanted it to be. That I lost a sweet baby who now waits for me in Heaven. Through the support that I have found with her, I have learned that there is part of my soul who relates, empathizes and understands. We are all connected more than we realize.
If you have experienced a loss, if you know a woman who has or is, please give them the gift of this amazing resource. I plan on participating in their next Birth and Bereavement Doula training that begins in August. If your heart leads you in that direction also, you can learn more here.
<3 thank you for sharing!
Thank you for sharing this. There is a lot of stigma about mothers who have lost children. We got told things from, “Well, it was just meant to be” (which doesn’t really help) to “you aren’t a mother if your children never come home” and I’ve once even been told “you would have been a horrible mother, which is why your son died”. I lost a son in 2008. Then my wonderful husband / companion / care giver / rock of two years and I have lost two in the last two years. We are currently pregnant with our rainbow child of three, should s/he make it here. I found out I was expecting two days after my son’s birthday. I have been wanting to share my story with you…hoping it touches someone and helps someone. However, thank you…thank you for sharing this!
Can you recommend any sites for parents who have lost older babies?thank you
I replied in another post to you
kahu- Still Standing is for Anyone with a loss, miscarriage, stillbirth, loss of older childern..you’ll love it!
Thank you so much for sharing!
I have several friends who have miscarried multiple times (one who is happily going to birth her first baby next month!!)
My own brother and sister-in-law have experienced a miscarriage before the birth of each of their daughters. It’s heartbreaking because I don’t know what to say to these people I care so much about; everything comes out as empty platitudes and distanced sympathy.
Thank you for providing a resource that gives the grieving a voice!
I too have suffered to miscarriages, one in .07, one in 08, then had my first baby December of 09!!!
Thank you so much for sharing this. I’ve just witnessed an outpouring of support for a mama in our community that recently experienced a loss. I’m so grateful to have this framework of support and resources to offer.
I have 37 children. I am raising 4 children on this earth.
I have held 37 lives within me. Only 4 have breathed beside me.
My body was broken, and a surgery meant to save my life has ended any hope of another biological child. I will never again hold a life under my heart. I will never again gaze in wonder at the tiny being that I have miraculously been allowed to shelter.
I have been told that it is heartbreaking, to hear of my losses. It is not.
My heart is not broken, and my children are not lost.
Let me say it again. My heart is not broken. My children are not lost.
Why should my heart break? My heart is full. My heart has room for both joy and sorrow, and there is no way for it to shatter like an imperfect vessel.
My children have never been lost. I know precisely where my children are: they are waiting for me.
When I pass beyond this life, I have my own choir of angels awaiting my presence.
33 shining faces, every one with a name, will greet me. They will cry out in joy, “Mommy! We missed you!”, and I will hold each of them as close to me as I once held them within my womb.
My heart is not broken. My children are not lost. To think in any other manner would drag me into despair… and I will not tarnish the beauty of their innocence with the ugliness of rage.
My heart is not broken. My children are not lost.
It is my mantra. It is my saving grace.
Because my children are not lost, my heart is not broken.
And I will have peace.