sharing your stories and remembering your children
By: Stephanie Gordon EPLA Editor
Many of you might already know that October is national pregnancy and infant loss awareness month. Here at the Early Pregnancy Loss Association we honor those babies lost year round, but this month we will highlight what pregnancy and infant loss is and what it means to us, personally.
When I had Eloise and Flora, I knew I wanted them to know about their sibling in heaven. In my last post I told you about the flowering tree my husband, Matt, got me to remember our baby. I shared the story of our “angel” tree to our girls as infants, and continue to do so. Today, the girls comment on how pretty our angel tree is, and they even ask about their sibling in heaven from time to time. Every year on October 15 (National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day), we light a candle together to remember our baby.
I sometimes wondered if these traditions would cause confusion, but if anything, they have made our girls aware of pregnancy loss, and they have developed a deep love for their sibling in heaven.
I recently met with Emily Carrington, founder of the EPLA, and she gave me a book called Our Heaven Baby, by Leah Vis. I skimmed through the book, and was impressed with the words and beautiful illustrations. Reading the book to my girls helped paint a better picture of pregnancy and loss.
Vis goes through each stage of pregnancy and miscarriage in the book. The mother in the book has two children, and she is pregnant with her third. The two older siblings are excited about the new baby, and have dreams to teach their baby sibling new things. Suddenly, the mother and father inform their two children that the baby has died, and has gone to heaven to be with Jesus.
I appreciate Vis’ beautiful depiction of heaven, which got my own girls excited for heaven. In the illustrations their baby sibling is in heaven with past pets and family members. Heaven is a happy place, and the children in the story believe that their sibling is happy and safe in heaven with Jesus.
If you’ve experienced miscarriage or infant loss, adding this book to your child’s library would be beneficial for all. I even felt comforted after reading this book to my girls. It was a good reminder that my baby is safe and happy in the arms of Jesus.
I hope that you can start your own traditions each October with your children. It might be hard to reopen a chapter that could be closed, but I believe honoring your baby with a tree or a plant, a lit candle, and even a book like Our Heaven Baby, will open the minds of your children. They will learn that loss does indeed happen, and that it’s OK to grieve and remember something that holds such a special place in your heart, for forever.
The Early Pregnancy Loss Association loves to review, suggest, and summarize books about pregnancy loss here on our blog for the benefit of our readers. If you are an author or have a recommendation for a book for us to review email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Just like the rest of our work on this blog, we like to offer recommendations for books from a variety of perspectives and experiences.
Stephanie Gordon is a paleo food enthusiast, wife, full-time SAHM, marketing professional, and blogger.
By Maria Servold EPLA Editor
After a miscarriage, it often feels like nothing will help - nothing will make the pain go away and nothing will bring joy back into your life. While those feelings are valid, there are ways to find hope and healing after a loss.
Previously, we have talked about the importance of sharing your story, relying on friends and family members, and even attending support groups.
There are also printed resources that mothers may find helpful - this blog included!
“Loved Baby - 31 Devotions Helping you Grieve and Cherish Your Child After Pregnancy Loss,” by Sarah Philpott, Ph.D., is a lovely book that you may find helpful in your healing journey.
Philpott is a wife, mother, and author. She founded the Loved Baby support group and the #HonorAllMoms Mother’s Day movement, according to her author biography.
Published in 2017, the book features themed devotions and reflections, each ending with practical ideas and a prayer. The reflections take on different issues and themes surrounding pregnancy loss, like “When your Mind and Body Remind You of Your Loss,” “Celebrating the Baby: Creating Rituals,” and “Dads Hurt Too.”
The reflections are well-written and personal and the helpful topic-based index allows readers to find the reflection that they need that day.
We encourage grieving mothers, or those who know one, to use this book as a resource during pregnancy loss.
Maria Servold is an Editor at the EPLA, Assistant Director of the Herbert H. Dow II Program in American Journalism, and Lecturer in Journalism at Hillsdale College.