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Archive for the ‘project heal’ tag

Several Helpful Resources for Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month

By Tracey Minella

October 5th, 2017 at 11:31 am

 

image credit: Luminous Light Studio


Unless you are experiencing infertility yourself, you can’t possibly understand its pain. No matter how much your heart breaks for us. You have to live it to get the hell that is infertility.

But there is actually something darker. Something sadder, harder, blacker, more unbearable.

Sometimes, just as you think you can finally glimpse the sun peeking through the darkest forest, you lose your footing and tumble into the blackest hole. To a special section of hell so awful that it forces you to redefine the term.

Ectopic pregnancy. Miscarriage. Stillbirth. SIDS or other infancy loss. Whatever the cause or the timing, the unthinkable has happened… your baby is gone.

How in the world do you possibly go on?

October is National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month (October 15th is PILA Day) and since infertility patients often suffer these unimaginable losses along their journeys, it’s important to acknowledge the pain and provide some resources to help the suffering try to cope. Like infertility itself, unless you’ve lived it, you can’t relate.

Here are some places where those who have suffered a loss, and those who love them, can start:

Project Heal I cannot say enough about this Baby Loss Community support group, available online and through Facebook. The moderator, Carlymarie, suffered the loss of her son, Christian. She helps people cope (and they help her in return) through photography, writing, beach art, short films, and many other therapeutic ways and projects. She is hosting a month-long “Capture Your Grief” event throughout October in honor of National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month. Here is a blurb from the Capture Your Grief 2017 project:

“…There are 31 acts, one for each day in the month of October. You are invited to perform each act and share a photo, artwork, video or written word that captures your own journey. Capture Your Grief is about becoming more present and conscious in your grief experience so that you may learn more about yourself and hopefully discover more ways of healing…You can join the project at any time of the month and there is no pressure to take part every single day. This year, I am inviting you to create a legacy of loving kindness in memory of your baby/child/love ones. The theme is “Their Light Shines On”.

Her site, which provides all the details, is a “must visit” for anyone who knows someone or who has themselves suffered a loss.

Luminous Light StudioIn addition, consider visiting this site or Facebook page where another artist and bereaved mother, offers support and beautiful artwork. Her history of secondary infertility, miscarriage, and the loss of her son, Silas, inspires her work. She is the creator of the beautiful image that accompanies this blog post.

Still Standing Magazine  This online magazine is exclusively related to “Surviving Child Loss and Infertility”. You can navigate your way through subjects like:  Grief, Infertility, Parenting after Loss, Faith, Siblings’ Grief, Pregnancy after Loss, and more. Everything is written by someone who has somehow survived and is “still standing”.

Molly Bears  This venture was started by an angel mom to comfort other families who have experienced pregnancy and infant loss by creating and sharing the gift of a weighted handmade bear.  Recipients of these custom-made keepsakes may find some measure of comfort in having something soft to hold which can be made to order at the specific weight of the infant that was born sleeping or who passed shortly thereafter. Loved ones who are looking to do something for a grieving couple to acknowledge their loss and pain can inquire about a Molly Bear. This organization was started by a woman who was given a 3-pound weighted teddy bear by a good friend after her daughter, Molly, was stillborn at 34 weeks. After weeks of sleepless nights, she found great comfort in holding the bear which she altered to Molly’s exact birth weight. For more information on volunteering, donating, or ordering see the site above.

Infertility/Infant Loss Jewelry and other Tangibles*: There are several sites that offer hand-made and/or customized jewelry, memory items, prints, and other things especially for those who are suffering infertility or from pregnancy or infant loss. Some people who have suffered a loss may find comfort in wearing a piece of jewelry or having an item that commemorates or acknowledges that lost life. Here is a sampling of such sites:

https://www.etsy.com/market/baby_loss_comfort

http://www.pregnancyandinfantlosskeepsakes.com/store/Default.asp

http://www.etsy.com/shop/bugaboojewelry

https://www.etsy.com/shop/HBWforaMiracle?ref=hdr_shop_menu

http://www.myforeverchild.com/

Professional Counseling   Sometimes, a professional therapist is the best option to help you after such an unbearable loss. The Long Island IVF Mind-Body Program has a dedicated and supportive psychologist uniquely-qualified to support you through infertility and pregnancy and infant loss.

We also offer Free Reiki and Guided Fertility Meditation sessions throughout the year to help with stress reduction (one is going on now every Monday night in October: 2, 9, 16, 23, 30, 2017) Register here. All are welcome, no need to be a patient, but spots are limited so reserve yours soon.

Some parents may find comfort in creating a memorial or tribute for their lost child in the form of planting a tree, a memorial public or private garden, a scholarship fund, a charity foundation, and any number of other positive and beneficial acts. It is never too late to memorialize your baby when and if the time feels right. These resources are offered merely as starting points for consideration in finding help and support in the processing of unspeakable grief and loss.

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If you have suffered from pregnancy or infant loss, do you have any advice to share or any resources to recommend to help others?

* Long Island IVF has no affiliation with any of these jewelry or other merchandise sites and offers them for informational purposes only. Use your own discretion when considering making any purchase.

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A Day of Hope 2015

By Tracey Minella

August 19th, 2015 at 5:21 pm

 

photo credit: carlymarie


Losing a baby. Unspeakable pain.

The world will never be the same after losing a baby or child, born alive or still. Or miscarried. The surviving family…parents, siblings, grandparents, and others…embark on a journey of grief over the innocent life that ended too soon. And while life does…must…somehow go on, it’s never truly the same again.

I miscarried IVF twins just before the end of the first trimester. They’d be 20 this fall. On September 5th. You never stop thinking about what they’d be doing today. Even if you’re lucky enough to have other children. And let’s not forget the very real grief over the very many embryos that never made it, either before or after transfer.

Today is a day of healing. It’s a day of hope. It’s a recognition and celebration of all those lives lost. Of lives that mattered…and still matter. Children whose names people awkwardly no longer mention.

Across the world, on a beach in Australia, a woman named CarlyMarie, mourning the loss of her son Christian who was “born sleeping” started a global movement to celebrate all these lives. It’s called a Day of Hope and Project Heal. And it is today, August 19th. I’ve mentioned this in the past. https://www.facebook.com/events/923511941049863/

Participants who’ve lost children create their own personalized “prayer flags” in honor of the babies’ memories. But despite the name, it is not religious in nature and all are welcome to join in. People create their personal flags out of fabric or paper or whatever materials they want…even a simple drawing is fine if they aren’t crafty. The main thing is to be part of this movement, not to win a prize for art. Then, they hang or display them on this date and share photos of their flags so others who are suffering can feel a collective support. This year, it’s estimated that about 17,000 flags were made in the name of healing.

If you’ve suffered a loss, I strongly recommend you check out CarlyMarie’s site or Facebook page, which is full of support by one who walks in your shoes. Not just today, but each day.

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Do you participate in the Day of Hope? Do you have any tips ways to honor the memory of your child?

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6 Helpful Resources for Pregnancy and Infant Loss

By Tracey Minella

October 16th, 2013 at 12:10 pm

 

image courtesy of small bird studio

Infertility is hell. Everyone on this journey knows that. And we all know that unless you are experiencing infertility yourself, you can’t possibly understand our pain. No matter how much your heart breaks for us. You have to live it to relate to it.

Unfortunately, the journey is longer and harder for some of us. And sometimes, just as you think you can finally glimpse the sun peeking through the darkest forest, you lose your footing and tumble into the blackest hole. To a special section of hell so awful that it forces you to redefine the term.

Ectopic pregnancy. Miscarriage. Stillbirth. SIDS or other infancy loss. Whatever the cause…your baby is gone. How do you go on?

October is National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month and since many infertility patients suffer these unimaginable losses along their journeys, it’s important to acknowledge the pain and provide some resources to help cope. Like infertility itself, unless you’ve lived it, you can’t relate to baby loss.

Here are some places where those who have suffered a loss, and those who love them, can start:

Project Healhttp://carlymarieprojectheal.com/ I cannot say enough about this Baby Loss Community support group, available online and through Facebook. The moderator, Carlymarie, suffered the loss of her son, Christian. She helps people cope (and they help her in return) through photography, writing, beach art, short films, and many other therapeutic ways. She is hosting a month-long “Capture Your Grief” photography event in honor of National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month. Her site, which provides all the details, is a “must visit” for anyone who knows someone or who has themselves suffered a loss.

In addition, please visit Small Bird Studio on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/  where another artist and bereaved mother, Franchesca Cox, offers support and beautiful artwork. She and Carlymarie teamed up to create the “Lost for Words” 2014 calendar from heartbreakingly poignant quotes contributed by grieving moms.

Still Standing Magazine  http://stillstandingmag.com/2013/10/sharing-story/ This online magazine is exclusively related to “Surviving Child Loss and Infertility”. You can navigate your way through subjects like:  Grief, Infertility, Parenting after Loss, Faith, Siblings’ Grief, Pregnancy after Loss, and more. Everything is written by someone who has somehow survived and is “still standing”.

A Heart to Holdhttp://ahearttohold.com/  This website and Facebook community’s mission is to “offer comfort to families who have experienced pregnancy and infant loss by creating and sharing the gift of a weighted handmade heart.” Recipients of these hand-sewn keepsakes may find some measure of comfort in having something soft to hold which are made to order at the weight of the infant that was “born sleeping” or who passed shortly after birth. Loved ones who are looking to do something for a grieving couple to acknowledge their loss and pain can inquire about a hand-sewn heart. This non-profit charitable organization was started by a woman who was given a hand-sewn heart by her midwife after her son was stillborn at full-term. Mamas who receive these hearts often want to pay it forward by volunteering to make one for another mom. For more information on volunteering, donating, or ordering see the site above.

Infertility/Infant Loss Jewelry*: There are several sites that offer  handmade and/or customized jewelry especially for those who are suffering infertility or from pregnancy or infant loss. Some people who have suffered a loss may find comfort in wearing a piece of jewelry that commemorates or acknowledges that lost life. Here is a sampling of such sites:

http://www.etsy.com/shop/bugaboojewelry

http://hopingbelievingwaiting.weebly.com/

http://www.myforeverchild.com/

http://www.rememberingourbabies.net/

 

Professional Counseling   http://www.longislandivf.com/mind_body.cfm Sometimes, a professional therapist is the best option to help you after such an unbearable loss. Long Island IVF offers several professional counselors uniquely-qualified to handle supporting you through infertility and pregnancy and infant loss.

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If you have suffered from pregnancy or infant loss, do you have any advice to share or any resources to recommend to help others?

* Long Island IVF has no affiliation with any of these jewelry or other merchandise sites and offers them for informational purposes only. Use your own discretion when considering making any purchase.

 

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National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day

By Tracey Minella

October 15th, 2012 at 8:24 am

Perhaps the only thing harder to imagine living through besides infertility, would be the loss of a child.

Today is National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day.

Many women undergoing infertility treatment are understandably so focused on just becoming pregnant, that they don’t even contemplate the possibility of a loss in the event they are successful. I think part of that mindset has to do with self-preservation during the infertility process.

Infertility is such a hard journey to endure that it’s only natural to tell yourself that getting pregnant is all you need to do to return to a happy and typical life. It’s only natural to think there could not possibly be anything else awful in the future. It’s only natural to believe this is the only roadblock and once you get pregnant, it’ll be smooth sailing. After all, how much heartache and pain could the universe lay at your feet?  Surely infertility is more than enough grief for one person to bear. Right?

Well, while the majority of infertility patients who do conceive go on to enjoy uneventful and healthy pregnancies with happy outcomes, there are others who do not. They may suffer a miscarriage at any point during their pregnancy…even more than once… or lose a baby during or just after childbirth. They may also lose a child to illness or accident at any time before adulthood. It’s hard to even let your mind go there.

None of us are immune from the possibility of this unthinkable experience. Many of us push the thought away, believing no more misfortune will come our way…that we’ve paid our dues. Others may hover over their miracle babies, half believing their reality is a dream that could be taken away at any moment. I admit to being a tad overprotective of my IVF babies out of fears many of my friends don’t share. Ok, maybe more than a tad.

For those who have suffered such unspeakable losses and live in the Long Island area, Long Island IVF’s counselor/psychologist, Bina Benisch, can help.

But I’d also recommend a beautiful and supportive online community for all grieving mothers to check out. The young woman who maintains this site, CarlyMarie, lost her son Christian. Her site needs to be experienced to believe. It is impossible to describe how powerfully healing her site is unless you see it yourself. Her beautiful photography and words and projects designed to help you heal are inspiring. Her website may be found at http://carlymarieprojectheal.com/. And another helpful resource would be Still Standing OnLine Magazine at http://stillstandingmag.com/2012/09/parenting-on-earth-and-in-the-clouds/.

If you or someone you know is suffering with the loss of a child, please pass this information along.

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If you’ve suffered the loss of a child and want to share your experience, or want to recommend a site or service that is helping you through the grief, please do so.

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