Tuesday, December 23, 2008

SiDS/SUID and Stillbirth – A National Research and Advocacy Symposium March 23-25, 2009

from First Candle

SIDS/SUID and Stillbirth –
A National Research and Advocacy Symposium
March 23 - 25, 2009 | Embassy Suites Hotel | Washington, D.C.

Welcome and Opening Speaker – Dr. Yvonne Maddox, NICHD

Space is limited, so register early to attend this innovative meeting. Leading researchers will present updates on current research and strategies for saving infant lives. There will be interactive workshops and a networking dinner for all researchers and attendees. The symposium will conclude with visits to Capitol Hill to encourage our nation’s lawmakers to support critical legislation and programming that will help us reach our goal of a future where all babies survive and thrive.

More details on the agenda will be posted on the First Candle website as they become available.

Family members affected by stillbirth, SIDS and SUID will be given priority consideration. After January 15, registration will be open to a more general audience. A non-refundable $25 deposit will hold your spot and be used to offset your food and beverage costs during the conference.

Hotel rooms will be available for $219 per night (plus tax), but more affordable housing options are being pursued; details to follow. If traveling by air, be sure to book early to take advantage of any discounted fares!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day

On Oct 15th please participate in the Wave of Light to remember all the children that have died in the years past.
For more information on the Wave of light please visit October15th.com
Stillbirth Statics are tough to find and quote, but it is far more common that you may realize. I have heard everything from 1 in 125 births result in Stillbirth, to 1 in 1000. I have also read that as many as 71 infants are born still each day worldwide. I did read through the WHO (World Health Organization) 2006 Neonatal and perinatal mortality Global estimates which contained estimates of stillbirth rates worldwide. Now, I am even more sure that this is something that affect many families.

So light a candle on OCT 15th @ 7:00pm and remember all the babies; pregnancies, stillbirths and infants loss the world suffers through silently.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Research study about how parents cope with pregnancy and infant loss

please please participate.

Who is Doing the Study and What is it For?
The study is conducted by researchers at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan in the United States. We are trying to understand women’s experiences with a pregnancy loss or loss of a baby and how women use on-line message boards after a loss. This will help us to design on-line programs to help parents cope with this difficult event.
What are the Risks of Completing the Survey?
The main risk to mothers is simply that remembering a loss can be emotionally difficult. To protect mothers who participate, this survey is confidential. In addition, this study, like all research studies, was reviewed and approved by the Institutional Review Board at the University of Michigan (HUM00023103). You may choose not to answer a question or may stop the survey at any point. Message board staff have given us permission to post this survey, but they will not see any of your individual answers.
What are the Benefits?
There are no direct benefits to you from completing the survey, but your responses will help us to develop programs for other parents who have similar losses in the future. It is estimated the survey will take about 10 minutes to complete.
Can I Contact the Researcher or the University of Michigan if I have Concerns or Questions about the Study?
Yes. You may email the Primary Investigator at ktgold@umich.edu (University of Michigan, Department of Family Medicine, Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology) or you may contact the University of Michigan Institutional Review Board at 734-763-4768.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

5 Months

Hello my little Peanut,
I can't believe today has been 5 months that I have been without you. I love you & miss you everyday! I hope you are peaceful and having fun with all your friends you have made. I will be sending you your balloons today, so keep a watch for them!!
I can't help thinking about what you would be doing if you were still here with me - rolling over, giggles, wearing pretty little outfits. I have to stop thinking about it cause it only makes me cry. I'm having a real problem seeing other little girls cause I get so jealous and I want you here so bad. I feel horrible for getting jealous and feel like I'm not showing you a good example, but sometimes I get weak and these feelings come through.
Come for a visit today as Daddy & I really need it! We miss you terribly and just wish we could turn back the hands of time and change how everything turned out. Until we figure out how to do that, we will just go on missing you and longing for you to be with us.
You are my daughter that I will never watch grow up, never hear your precious giggle, the list goes on and on. Just know that you are always in my heart and always on my mind.
I love you peanut!
Love, Mommy!

Friday, May 9, 2008

Happy Mother's Day angel Mommies...

I don't know if this poem has been shared, and if so, it's always a good one to see again I guess,a friend of mine emailed it to me, so I thought I would share with you guys..........

Dear Mr. Hallmark,
I am writing to you from heaven,
and though it must appear
A rather strange idea,
I see everything from up here.

I just popped in to visit,
your stores to find a card
A card of love for my mother,
as this day for her is hard.

There must be some mistake I thought,
I saw every card you could imagine
Except I could not find a card,
from a child who lives in heaven.

She is still a mother too,
no matter where I reside
I had to leave, she understands,
but oh the tears she's cried.

I thought that if I wrote you,
that you would come to know
That though I live in heaven now,
I still love my mother so.

She talks with me, and dreams with me;
we still share laughter too,
Memories are our way of speaking now,
would you see what you could do?

My mother carries me in her heart,
her tears she hides from sight.
She writes poems to honor me,
sometimes far into the night

She plants flowers in my garden,
there my living memory dwells
She writes to other grieving parents,
trying to ease their pain as well.

So you see Mr. Hallmark,
though I no longer live on earth
I must find a way to remind her
of her wondrous worth.

She needs to be honored,
and remembered too
Just as the children of earth will do.

Thank you Mr. Hallmark,
I know you'll do your best
I have done all I can do;
to you I'll leave the rest.

Find a way to tell her,
how much she means to me
Until I can do it for myself,
when she joins me in eternity

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

a really great post on another blog

the blog i was reading was that of Dr. Joanne Cacciatore

excerpt of her post:
Our own grief can suffocate our senses, the very senses that would grant us deep compassion for others. Empathy requires us to stand outside our own grief and recognize pain in the lives of others. When we are able to truly do that- to reach beyond our own boundaries of loss, our hearts become bigger, and we are able to find healing in our connection to and concern for others.

check it out the full post if you have the time. it is worth the read.

peace, light, love,


Friday, April 25, 2008


My Dear Alexandra,
Today is my Birthday and all I want is a visit from you. (Well we both know what I really want but I'll see you again one day) I'm very sad about my Birthday today because all I can think about is never being able to celebrate your sweet birthday with you by my side. I know you are in my heart but I ache to have you with me in person. So for my birthday wish I wish for you to come and stay close to me today so I can feel you near and visit me in my dreams tonight.
I love you & miss you with all my being. Hugs & Kisses Peanut!
Love, Mommy!

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Research Survey: Experiences Receiving Stillbirth/Perinatal Loss Diagnosis

got this in the email ladies so i am passing it on... please feel free to do the same.
Hi folks-

Suzanne Pullen here. I'm wondering if you would be willing to forward this email and link about a study I am doing involving parents who have had a loss to anyone you think might be interested.


As you may know, I am a bereaved parent who had a stillbirth three years ago. I am currently co-conducting a survey about medical bad news delivery and the communications between patients and care providers about their diagnosis. I am specifically hoping to reach parents who have had a stillbirth, neonatal death (death of a child within 28 days of birth) or a pregnancy loss.

We are hoping to learn more about this kind of communication and offer insights to care-providers about the effects of these interactions. Data collected from this confidential survey will be used for completion of a course project in the master’s program at San Francisco State University. The survey is confidential and should take approximately 25 minutes to complete.

If you have any questions, I would be happy to answer them. I can be reached by email at spullen@sfsu.edu.

I have attached a copy of the survey announcement, in case you would like flyers to post or circulate.

I also have hard copies of the surveys and if you send me an email with the street address, I would be happy to mail them to you.

I send my sincere thanks for considering helping get the word out about this study,

Suzanne Pullen

If you like, you can also post a link to the survey on a website by pasting this link:

Click Hereto take a survey on neonatal loss

I thought I would share Tristan's story on the group page....I apologize as in it's long.....

Tristan Alexander Goodwin
After losing 2 pregnancies early in pg, I lost the first a little boy Xavier Ahren at 9 w 5 d, and then a blighted ovum at 8 w 3 d, well in June of '07 we were blessed with our little Tristan, we were trying so I was kind of hoping for my bfp, I will never forget the day 6/27/07, 2 days after cutting my hair for the 1st time in 5 years!! Well fast forward, we have some first trimester bleeding, I start on Prometrium ( I always have progesterone issues) and put on bedrest from 5 weeks to 12 weeks, at 12 weeks everything was perfect, you can about imagine how exited we were, we were finally going to be parents, we had passed that trying first trimester....On to 19 weeks, we have a boy's name and girls name picked out, we are so elated to find out we're having a little boy, Daddy's little huntin buddy and mommies cuddle bug, oh we were so excited, we would talk all the time about Tristan, I was getting his nursery done, slowly, but having fun with it......fast forward to 30 w 5d we are having 3/d pics made of our little guy, how cute was he!? He loved his foot, he constantly had his foot infront of his face, he was smiling, and just looked so precious and perfect, there was one time he got upset, you could just see it on his face, it's like leave me alone already I'm trying to sleep in here!! It was so funny and cute, I just knew he was going to be full of personality, little did I know what was ahead of us in the next couple weeks....
31 w 3 d I was admitted into the hospital for a virus, I was throwing up, couldn't hold anything down and we were afraid of getting dehydrated and going into preterm labor, well I get better and get to go home, everything is perfect, Tristan is moving around like crazy, and since I was so tired from being sick, I was just relaxing and resting as much as I could, well 33 weeks exactly and I'm sitting at my desk, posting on my baby board when I was finished I was going to get up and start cleaning up well tmi I had been a little on the constipated side and was starting to get a cramp, so I thought I was just going to have to use the restroom, well I didn't realize how sharp the cramp was til I stood and it was like a hot poker going from the center of my abdomen straight through my back and out the other side, I tiptoed to the b/r, and when I sat and pushed just a little, enough to empty my bladder, I hear a pop, and then a gush of liquid just started pouring out of me, the cramp was getting more intense, and I sat there and thought to myself ok my water just broke, i'm 33 weeks, we can handle nicu for a few weeks, Tristan is coming today!!! Then I notice the water looks really dark, so I wipe and there it is blood and lots of it, and clots as big as my hand! I was so scared I put some tissue there and went to get the phone called my husband, and he was on his way home, he called 911 for me as I was starting to feel really faint, the room was spinning, I was so hot and sweaty, and felt so much pain, like a ripping sensation circling around my stomach to back, it was intense. Then the ambulance arrive, a couple of incompetent morons, when they walked in the house they look at me and ask me the stupidest question
amb: are you bleeding
me: yes
amb: are you passing clots
amb: well you miscarried
me: crying and begging please don't say that
amb:well that's what happens when you're pregnant and bleed, can you get yourself on the gurney
me: yes, (throw up all over my floor)
amb: shoves bag in my hand and informs me not to throw up in his bus
then proceeds to carry me out of my house with no blanket in only a tshirt and panties, I was appalled then roll me over those stepping stones, instead of picking the gurney up, then they leave my house after being told on 3 different occasions that we're going to Women's and Childrens, and my dr is dr hill they went the wrong direction TWICE!! I notice out the back window that we're passing Lafayette General which is about 15 minutes from my house, vs. W&C that is 5 mins from my house.....Well my mom, and Aaron both beat me to the hospital, we finally get there and all they've done for me is give me an iv of saline, by this time I'm not 100% completly coherent anymore, I vaguelly remember seeing my mom and brother, but I do remember getting into triage up at L&D she couldn't find the heartbeat and I kept telling Aaron that Tristan's gone, they kept telling me no maybe he's just in a position where we can't find it! Then I remember hearing Aaron say her eyes are rolling back, the next I remember hearing her say she's 2cm dialeted then o shit I need help in here, and they started rubbing my chest rather hard, and slapping my face, I remember hearing and feeling this but I couldn't respond, I remember a room and a lot of people and the words start cpr, we need to intubate, and then I remember opening my eyes and my dr was there telling me they couldn't find any fetal heart activity,and needed to operate fast to see where I was bleeding from cause I was losing a lot of blood, they wouldn't let aaron back there with me, well the next thing I remember was someone saying there's going to be a slight pinch in your throat, well at that exact moment my throat closed up, I couldn't cry, scream, nothing, I was so scared I remember grabbing the 2 people next to me and at that moment I remember the feel of my dr cutting me open and I tried to move my legs and couldn't as they were strapped down, then everything went black.....When I woke up they were wheeling me into recovery(happens to be the exact same place they took me after my 2 d&c's....) well I remember reaching for my belly and asking crying out for Tristan, and the nurse and social worker and Aaron were there, (he'd already seen Tristan, I didnt' know this yet) But the look on his face told me everything I needed to know, and that's when I lost it, and Ms. Mary the social worker then asked if I would like to see and hold my son, and she explained what he would look like and what i should expect, and that he was bleeding some so I had to keep a wash cloth under his mouth..oh he was so beautiful, I will never forget the feel of him in my arms, the smell of him, the feel of his lips when I kissed them, and the brown of his eye, when I snuck a peek...there he was my little Tristan, the same little guy that was having a kick boxing class that morning was now laying lifeless in my arms, it's still so hard to grasp, it's been 10 weeks and i am just now getting to the point where being around my bff's baby is pleasurable, I can play with her and yearn for what I don't have, and it hurts, but it also feels perfect....I can't explain the feeling I have when I have her in my arms....I"m just now cleaning my house, getting out in public, and it sucks, but I have to push forward, Tristan wouldn't want me to remain sad, although my sadness will never leave me, I had/have to force myself out of severe depression, and the only way I can do that is to keep my hands and mind busy!! I still have and still visit his room/crib several times a day, i will hold his outfit and rock it, as if I were rocking him and look out the window up at the sky and just talk to him, his outfit, socks, bonnet, and the little plastic brush they used on him still smell so much like him, I smell them daily, I feel him all around me.


Saturday, April 19, 2008

March of Dimes

it time for the march for babies . one of our mom's is walking her team is

Lily & friends

please support her walk efforts if you can.

if you are also wlaking and would like me to link to your team page please comment.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

NY State: Certificate of Birth Resulting in Stillbirth Bill--STALLED

Dear readers of this blog I am asking you all once again to help us in memory of all our children that are remembered here and all over the internet.

Please click the link below and let this assemblyman know just how important it is for families like us to be validated despite our loss. Especially, families that live in NYC we do not and will not receive a death certificate. So as far as our federal and local government is concerned our our children never existed. We know this is not the case but it sure would help to have a CBRSB. it would cost them very little to pass this bill, but it would have far reaching affects in healing many families.

The link below will take you to a web-form that will take just a few moments of you day to complete. There is only 1 undecided assembly vote, which is the Leading assemblyman of the Way and Means Committee where the bill has stalled for the second year. this is a simple request for families suffering a terrible tragedy. Give the the gift of validation that they their children count that they matter, that their child that has died had a life that mattered.

Even if this particular type of tragedy has not touched your life personally please take the time to click the link and send Assemblyman Farrrell a message of support for this bill, if you live in another state please also click the link you never know what might reach him by way of support.

The Certificate of Birth Resulting in Stillbirth bill has passed the Senate and is now STALLED in the Assembly's Ways and Means Committee under the leadership of Assemblyman Herman D. Farrell.

This is the same committee where the Bill stalled last year!

They get to decide:

+ Do parents who gave birth to a stillborn child deserve recognition of the birth process?

Assemblyman Farrell needs to hear from you. He needs to know that this bill is important to you -- as a mother, father, family member, friend, co-worker -- one who has suffered the tragedy of a stillborn child.

Your immediate help is needed NOW and will take less than one minute of your time.

Log on to the link: http://missingangelsbill.org/~jnevels/support.php?se_id=22

And send your SUPPORT for the CBRS Bill. It will only take 30 seconds.

Then *very importantly* forward the link to family, friends & coworkers. Ask them to log on to show their
support and to forward the link to their family, friends & coworkers.

This system works and to be effective we need hundreds of families to click on the link. Doing so will show Assemblyman Farrell and the Ways & Means Committee that this Bill IS important to NY families. The passage of this bill will allow parents who have suffered the tragedy of a stillbirth, the option to receive a Certificate of Birth Resulting in Stillbirth to acknowledge the birth process.

To watch the progress of the CBRS Bill, visit: cbrsbill.blogspot.com

Thank You for your support!

I all thank you for your support of this bill and bills like it your state. It does make a difference and it is something each of you can do to make a difference in our life and the lives of others like us.

with much love and gratitude for you help in this matter
Christine (Lucy's mom)

Friday, April 11, 2008

Sorry Peanut

I'm so sorry little Peanut,
Alexandra my last message to you was thanking you for bringing me another little peanut. Seems I can't hold on to this one either. I'm so sorry I have failed yet again. How could I not know about you being all tangled up and not being able to bring you into this world safely - that's my job as your Mommy & I failed. Now you bless me with another peanut and I can't even hold on to this one for 6 weeks. Alexandra please find it in your heart to forgive me and know that I would have done anything to save you.
I love you and miss you terribly.
Love, Mommy xoxox

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Stillbirth Research Survey

hope you are all doing well. thought i would share something. this came into my inbox this morning i am sharing it please pass it on and in the box where it asks where you heard about the survey please put this blog. it is just so that Peggy knows where you are coming from. please feel free to pass the info on.


From: Peggy Lambert Peggy.Lambert@mail.wvu.edu

Subject: Re: Help

I am a nurse having worked 15 years in Labor and Delivery and now doctoral candidate at West Virginia University. Would your website be willing to post the link to my survey about stillbirth interventions in the forum? Participation would assist me in learning more about what interventions were important to women at the time their baby died and what feelings they experienced then and currently. This research is intended to improve the care provided to women at the
time of stillbirth.

The survey is online and will take about 30 minutes
to complete. If you have any questions, don't hesitate to write or
call me. For your review, the survey may be found at:

Peggy Lambert Fink, MSN, FNP-C

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Isabelle Hope

My name is Sarah, and my husband James and I lost our beautiful baby girl on feb. 28, 2008.

When I first found out I was pregnant I was scared to death. I was 19, living with my parents, and going to college full-time. After going to the doctor and seeing my baby on the ultrasound though, I was changed forever. My baby was perfect and I loved her so much.

At our first ultrasound appointment we were told that there was no fluid around the baby and that it looked like the baby was dieing. The ultrasound tech also told us the baby was not measuring correctly. My heart was broken thinking that my baby was dieing in there. We were immediately sent to get a level 2 u/s. The u/s techs at the level 2 u/s told us that our baby was measuring fine and that the fluid was on the lower side of normal but everything was ok. We got pictures of the baby and left feeling like everything was going to be okay.

The rest of the pregnancy seemed to be going fine. The doctor said I was measuring good and everything seemed fine. One day I got in an accident and immediately went to the doctor who said everything was fine and he wouldnt give us an ultrasound. I had to get a rogham shot because I was rh- and the baby was rh+. Trusting the doctor I still thought everything was fine. In late January however I began to swell and showed my doctor that I was swelling but he said it was fine. We had told the doctor that my mother had pre-eclampsia and we thought I was developing it but he assured me that even though my bp was up and I had gained a lot of weight fast, that because I didnt have protein in my urine I was fine. Once again we believed him and thought everything was fine.

At 36 weeks we thought we would get another ultrasound but the doctor said I wouldnt get another ultrasound unless he felt there was something wrong with the baby. We fought with him to get an ultrasound explaining that our other preggo friends got one at 36 weeks and shouldnt he make sure she was ok especially since before we were told she had low fluid. He told us no.

On Feb. 26th I went in for my normal OB appt. and my bp was elevated. The doctor had me lay on my left side which made my bp go down some. He sent me home and told me he wanted to see me again on the 27th to check my bp again and possibly admit me.

I woke up on the 27th and had a weird feeling. When I ate breakfast I noticed that the baby was not moving like she usually did but I figured it was normal since it was the end of the pregnancy. I met my mom at her work and talked with a few of her colleagues about the baby. I still had a weird feeling but thought it was just nerves about possibly being admitted. My mom drove me to the doctors office where they checked my bp. My bp was still high so they made me lay on my side and took it again. It was still high. They decided to get the baby's hb on the doppler but seemed to be having a hard time finding it. The nurse thought it was just the doppler so she got another one and she still had trouble finding it. She went and got the doctor who came in and tried to find it and said he had found it. He hooked me up for a nst and they noticed I was having contractions. He told me he wanted to get a reading for 15 mins and then decide if he wanted to admit me. He ended up leaving me for 30 mins and came back and said that he didnt like what he was seeing so he was going to admit me and do a 24 hour urine and that he would be over at L&D in 2 hours to see how I was progressing and possibly induce.

We were so excited. We called everyone and told them that we may be having a baby today. We got the registration papers and walked to l&d. We got our room and I got into my gown and I was so excited. A nurse came in to hook me up to the monitors but was having trouble with getting the baby's heartbeat. We told her the doctor had the same problem and we showed her where he found it. She placed the monitor on the spot we showed her and then she left the room and came back with a nurse and 2 u/s checks. She said she didnt want to scare me but did we just walk over here after hearing the heartbeat. We told her yes. The 2 u/s techs, which happened to be the same ones we went to the first time we had a scare, started to look for a heartbeat. They couldnt find one so they tried using color and still couldnt find one. They called my Ob and he came over and looked at the u/s machine and then proceeded to tell me he was sorry but there was no heartbeat. My mom freaked and kept asking him how when we just heard it. He explained that what we could have heard was my hb echoes. I was devastated. My husband had to call everyone and tell them our baby was dead. It was awful and all the doctor proceeded to say was some grief is expected but dont let it get out of control. We wanted to kill him. We just lost our baby and all you can say is some grief is expected?

I was put on magnesium that night to bring my bp down and given a cervadil to help progress. The next morning I was given pitocin but was still not progressing very well. My Ob came in and broke my water and when he did there was hardly any fluid.

At 9:34pm after 15 min. of pushing, Isabelle hope Burford came into this world. She was 6lbs. 1oz 19in. long. She had a head full of red hair just like me and she had my big feet.

The first thing out of the doctors mouth while Isabelle was still making her way out was that my baby had mold which proves she had been gone for awhile. We went off on him and told him that it was not mold and that she had not been dead very long because we knew for a fact that she was moving that Tuesday. We sent the placenta off but the results were normal. We will never know what caused our baby Izzy to die because we opted not to have an autopsy.

After losing Izzy we decided we wanted to switch doctors and find one who was more compassionate and who knew more about what he was doing. One of the main reasons we decided to switch was because our OB said that if I get pregnant again he wouldnt do anything different with the next pregnancy. We retrieved our records from the doctor and found that I had been having some warning signs throughout the pregnancy. In January at the same time as my bp went up and my weight, the baby's hr had dropped and I had protein and a trace of blood in my urine. I was never told of this. They would not check the urine until we left usually or right before, and when we asked about how it was they said it was fine and had no protein. The next time I get pregnant I am going to make sure the doctor shows me my records and I am not going to take everything for granted.

Monday, March 31, 2008

Little Peanut?!?!

I have been crying so much lately and even as I sit here now and type it is through tears.
I was wondering why you haven't been to visit me in my dreams and I haven't had a sign from you in awhile - I miss you soooo much!! So now I think it is because you were finding us our next little peanut! How wonderful! I know that is is still really early days, but I know it is a blessing. Thank you so much.
You will always be my little angel, my daughter, my peanut. Nothing will ever make me love you less, not think about you as much or fill the little baby girl sized hole in my heart.
Please watch over us and stay close my love.
I love & miss you every day!
Mommy! xoxoxo

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Missing you & holidays

My Sweet Baby Girl,
I can't tell you how much I miss you and wish you were here. To celebrate St. patrick's Day or Easter without you............I got you little holiday things but just wish that you were here to play with them. I cry for you all the time and feel so weak, broken, sad. I hope you can't feel any of this sadness as it is for me to carry. I would do anything for you. You are my daughter. God I miss you!
I sent you up your Easter Balloons with little chickies and I also sent up your Angel friends their balloons. I hope you are all playing with them. Now I send up the precious little Angel babies their balloons on the day they arrived on earth. Mayda who I met on BBC thread gave me the great idea. I love watching the balloons float up to heaven!
So my little peanut - I love you and miss you everyday! Know that, feel that, and come visit me, I miss you!

Love, Mommy!

St.Patty's Day


Monday, March 10, 2008

What Can I Do?

My sweet little Alexandra,

Please forgive me, I have been feeling unsettled more than usual lately. Some ladies I have met recently have posted some beautiful slide shows, websites, etc. to remember and share their precious little angels. It has really made me want to do the same for you, but I am so poor at computer stuff that I am scared to because I don't want to mess it up. I come on here and post my thoughts, then I print them out and place them in your little memory box. I really hope I can make you proud by being able to make a pretty slide show or something. I have no website for you or for people to leave messages for you and I feel bad for that. I think I'm really go to try but be patient with me as I really have no clue how to even start a website!! : )

I miss you so much and have been talking to you lots, I hope you are listening. The 15th is approaching and I can feel myself getting uptight. 15 used to be my favourite #, now I will never think of it the same. I dread it. I wish I could rip that day out of my memory and replace it with a different outcome - where you come home with me, you have your brother, me & Daddy fussing over you. You would be with us on this earth, so I could hug & kiss you everyday. It's not the same kissing an urn........ I still do every night. I know you are in heaven but I like to think that you are close by watching us and knowing just how much you are missed.
So even through I haven't figured out with website thing, know that I am thinking of you every minute, every day!!
I love and miss you more than my heart can take!
Love Mommy

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Had a visitor today

My Dear Alexandra,
You really are listening aren't you! Sorry I've been having such a rough go at it the last few days, I just miss you so much and my arms feel so empty without you.
Today I had a little visitor - the owl. Since talking with some of the wonderful ladies I have met on the BBC threads, the mention of the owl has come up a few times. So I'm not sure if this owl is you, Lucy or Little Hawk sending a sign. All I know is that it has me thinking of you precious little angels, and how all of us Mommies miss you so much. We think about each of you all the time, and I think of all the Mommies who I have become close to since you have been gone.

So Peanut, Lucy, Little Hawk, Jack, Carter, Aubrey, Ava, Hannah, Gabrielle, Brooke, Aaliyah, Nathaniel, Sophia, Devin, Caleb, Gabriel, Braylyn, Carter, Norah, Macayla, Lucas, Nathan, Tristan, Kayden, Joshua, Caden, McKenna, Sophie, Mackenzie, October & all the little angels that I have grown to know & love - stay peaceful & know that we love you & miss you!

Love Mommy! xoxox


Saturday, February 23, 2008

NY State: Certificate of Birth Resulting in Stillbirth bill

If you live in NYS and i have your email you may have gotten this from me already if not here you go! a call to action from our home to yours. please support this Bill.

From the MISS foundation

The Certificate of Birth Resulting in Stillbirth bill is being considered by your New York State Senate and Assembly members right now.

The bill is moving quickly in both the Senate and Assembly.

Your representatives get to decide:

  • Do parents who gave birth to a stillborn child deserve recognition of the birth process?

They need to hear from you. They need to understand why this is so important to you -- as a mother, father or family member -- one who has suffered the tragedy of a stillborn child.

Write, call or email your Senator and Assembly member today (sample letter below). Forward this email to family, friends & coworkers and ask them to contact their representatives.

Who is your Senator?

Find your Senator

Who is your Assembly member?
Find your Assembly member

Contact them now. Ask them to support the Certificate of Birth Resulting in Stillbirth Bill.

Then, Please forward this email to everyone you know. Ask them for their help.

Your representatives need to hear from you. They want to hear from you on this issue.

Thank you.

[sample letter]

Name of Representative
Legislative Office Building
Albany, NY 12248

Re: Certificate of Birth Resulting in Stillbirth Bill

Dear _____:

I am writing to ask for your support of the Certificate of Birth Resulting in Stillbirth Bill (Hyer-Spencer). This legislation would allow parents whose children are stillborn the option to receive a Certificate of Birth Resulting in Stillbirth to acknowledge the birth process.

Your support of this legislation will send a message of hope and compassion to bereaved parents who suffer the devastation of a stillbirth.

[Include personal story, if you choose to]

Nearly 30,000 babies are stillborn in the US every year, making it the leading cause of infant death. In half of all cases there is no medically discernible reason, causing many to liken it
to an intrauterine SIDS. In fact, stillbirth kills more than eight times as many babies as SIDS every year.

Approximately 2,000 babies are stillborn in New York State annually, and for every stillborn a minimum of 10-20 people are affected. Thus, this issue impacts 20,000 - 50,000 individuals
every year in New York State.

These certificates will bring much needed attention to this issue and may be instrumental in uncovering stillbirth's mysteries, thereby saving precious lives.

You have the opportunity to enact legislation that has the potential to save lives and has zero cost implications.

Your community trust you to represent it. I urge your enthusiastic support of the Certificate of Birth Resulting in Stillbirth bill and will be following it closely.


Address & Phone

Friday, February 22, 2008

New Normal??

I haven't written in awhile as I feel like I'm in such a strange place, no words would really make sense of any of it. The whys still creep in and break my heart again and again. I'm finding it hard to look at any little girl now - not just the little babies anymore. It's almost impossible not to think of what should have been. I fight within myself not wanting to accept this new normal life - I don't want it, I want Alexandra here with me raising her to be a good little girl, playing with her Daddy and brother. We are a good family, kind and gentle to others, I can't understand why this would happen to us. I'm afraid Alexandra was the last chance I had to have a baby, a sibling for Tommy. My heart is broken and I feel my spirit is too.
Somedays Alexandra I miss you so much I wish I were in heaven just to be with you.
Hugs & Kisses Always my little Peanut. xoxox

Monday, February 4, 2008

1st Baby I've held since you Peanut

Sunday was the first day I held another newborn baby since I held you in my arms and told you how much I loved you and will see you again. I was so scared, as soon as I saw the baby in the room I started to cry. I just wanted YOU so bad! Even now the thought and aching of wanting and needing you brings me to tears.
You are a sneaky one I must say. When I asked you Sunday morning to give me the strength to see this baby, I wasn't expecting the sign I got!! How in the world does a little boy end up wearing the same outfit, that we put you in on the last day we would see you on this earth? Amazing. Thank you for the sign.
I remember picking that outfit for you thinking how cute it was, then going to buy a pink onesie to go with it. You looked soooo cute and cuddly, I don't know how they got me to walk out of that room without you.
You know I think about you everyday and I really am trying to be a good person so I can make you proud. I will see you again, I will hold you in my arms, rock you to sleep, kiss your face, kiss your belly & toes. I don't think I will ever put you down when I do see you again.
I ask every night to see you in my dreams, but you are busy playing right now. Make sure to come and see me Peanut Butter. I miss you so much and don't know how to express myself to you except having the heaviest heart and biggest lump in my throat.
All my Love, hugs & kisses

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Missing you xoxo

I haven't been able to post in awhile mostly because I'm not sure what to say anymore. It's a strange place to be in - not sure how to move on, not wanting to move on, not wanting to forget, wanting to forget the pain and empty space.
I've been told not to hold it in and sometimes I'm ok to cry and scream, but I always have this aching pain in my chest and lump in my throat. If I smile one moment there are tears and sobs right behind it. This is my family now.
I find myself thinking how to respond to questions like - "how many children do you have?" I can't say "one son", but I also know saying "two children" will bring on me having to tell them Alexandra is in heaven and I can hardly say the words without bursting into tears and the lump in my throat getting bigger and bigger.
Don't really know why I am posting this as I know it's not interesting reading for anyone, but maybe it's therapy for me.
Alexandra I miss you everyday and I love you so much. I saw a saying the other day that really touched my heart and just put into words how I feel about you my little peanut. "Before you were conceived you were wanted, Before you were born you were loved."
I pray everyday that you are safe and peaceful and can feel the love that Mommy, Daddy & Tommy are sending to you.
Hugs & Kisses Peanut Butter. xoxox

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Certificate of Still Birth: CA

Copied from the Modesto BEE

for the full article click here.

Posted on Wed, Jan. 16, 2008

Legislation allows parents to obtain a stillbirth certificate

Stephanie Gray keeps memories of her son, Noah, on a shelf in the family's Modesto apartment, complete with picture books, a plaque with little footprints and a candle that is often lit.

The only thing missing is a certificate acknowledging his birth. She and her husband, David, received only a death certificate after Noah was stillborn Sept. 21, 2002.

"We had dreams, hopes, everything for this baby, and in a blink of an eye, he was gone," Stephanie Gray said.
Under a new law, effective Jan. 1, parents of a stillborn can receive a type of birth certificate through a county office of vital records or the state Department of Vital Statistics.

California, which is calling the document a "Certificate of Still Birth," joined 20 other states that issue the documents to parents who request them. Formerly, any kind of birth certificate was denied these parents because the pregnancy did not result in a live birth.

In California, a fetus must be beyond 20 weeks of gestation for the parents to receive a certificate. The cost for that document is $20.

An estimated 26,000 stillbirths occur in the nation each year, with birth defects, infections or accidents with the umbilical cord among the most common causes. Often, all appears well within days of delivery.

Nurses couldn't hear heartbeat

Supporters of California's Missing Angels Act say the certificates are a tangible memento after a grieving mother. According to the Arizona-based Mothers in Sympathy and Support Foundation, which supported the laws in different states, the documents also are a genealogical record and help the parents to heal.

Gray, 25, said her first pregnancy was going well, then at six months she had episodes of premature labor pains. During each stay in the hospital, she was given drugs to stop labor and sent home, she said.

Everything appeared to be fine during a checkup three weeks before her due date. When she and David went to the hospital for the delivery two days later, however, nurses who put a monitor to her belly couldn't hear a heartbeat.

An ultrasound determined the boy had died.

"I just remember yelling and screaming; it was like an out-of-body experience," Stephanie Gray said. "It's like someone else stepped in, and I lost it."

Stephanie gave birth to the 5-pound, 14-ounce Noah at 12:40 a.m. and pulled herself together to spend precious time with him. For seven hours, the parents held Noah, caressed his brown hair, bathed him and dressed him.
Noah had his father's hair and chin dimple, and long fingers for playing the violin like his mother. Stephanie snipped a lock of his hair and took his footprints as keepsakes.

The cause of death was never known, although their doctor said the placenta was small and might have stopped providing oxygen.

When the funeral home gave the parents a death certificate, Stephanie said, her first thought was about getting a birth certificate. She called the hospital and was told she didn't qualify for one, she said.

In 2002, a state bill to officially acknowledge stillbirths failed to pass, because of fears it could weaken abortion rights and foul up the state's birth records.

Senate Bill 850, sponsored last year by state Sen. Abel Maldonado, R-Santa Maria, was amended to alleviate the concerns. The stillbirth certificates will be issued only to parents who ask for them and they are not counted as live births.

Parents need to request a form

Gray said she wrote letters to Gov. Schwarzenegger and state legislators, urging them to approve the California law. She said her desire for a certificate is part of dealing with the worst crisis of her life.

She didn't want to eat, see people or look at young children, she said. She went on to have two boys, Cameren, 4, and Jayden Noah, 2.

The parents said the Stanislaus County clerk-recorder's office in downtown Mo- desto wasn't aware of the new certificates when David inquired early this month. Stephanie was able to get assistance from the Department of Public Health office at 820 Scenic Drive, which also handles birth records.

Dr. John Walker, county public health officer, said the health department will issue a Certificate of Still Birth for local parents who who had a stillbirth after Jan. 1.

Parents need to submit a request to the state Department of Vital Statistics for stillbirths before that date. Stanislaus County public health can give parents the request form, which must be completed and mailed to the state office, or parents can call the state vital statistics office in Sacramento. Certificates will be issued even if the stillbirth occurred many years ago, the law says.

Stanislaus County had 51 stillbirths in 2007 and 50 in 2006. As of Tuesday, three people had requested the new certificates, officials said.

Stephanie Gray said she was told it'll take 12 weeks to get the two certificates she ordered, one for framing, the other for Noah's baby book. On holidays and his birthday, the family has celebrated Noah by going to Monterey or taking a boat ride under the Golden Gate Bridge to throw flowers on the water.

"I am not in so much pain as before," Stephanie said. "I think of him but don't hurt as bad as I did."

Bee staff writer Ken Carlson can be reached at kcarlson@modbee.com or 578-2321.

How To Apply For Certificate
Stanislaus County parents who lost an unborn baby after Jan. 1, 2008, can request a Certificate of Still Birth from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. from county Public Health, 820 Scenic Drive, Modesto. Call 558-8070. Parents who lost a baby prior to Jan. 1, 2008, can get a request form from county public health or call the state Department of Vital Statistics between 8 a.m. and noon Monday through Friday at (916) 445-2684. Parents in other counties can inquire at county vital records offices or call the state number.

Edited to include Addtional articles:

Inside Bay Area.com

More info on the Missing Angles Bill and how you can make changes in your state.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Another Day

My Dear Alexandra,
Today we started putting away our Christmas decorations, which I have been dreading. I look at your Christmas stocking that I never got to fill with little presents and my heart breaks. I don't know where to put all the presents I had bought for you....... I feel lost without you my sweety.
I think about you all the time and don't know how I'm suppose to move on. Right now I feel like moving on would mean I'm forgetting about you and I could never so that. Everyone keeps telling me it will get better, easier, things happen for a reason, I don't understand this. I would rather have my daughter in my arms giggling, smiling, than being an angel in heaven. Can you understand?
Maybe one day I will find out the reason you where taken to heaven, but I hope until then you can feel how much I love and miss you. Please give me strength to go on. You are my little girl and I will always love you more than I can ever express in words.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Everyday Life

Today I am struggling with what my everyday life is going to be.......I will never be what I once was. That lady who never knew the heartache losing a baby could bring. Ignorance is bliss. I think I'm jealous of 'that' lady.

I've have a couple of really bad down days lately and today seems 'a little' better. I believe I got my first sign from Alexandra this morning and it was beautiful. It made me calm to think that she was close to me. If I can't hold her in my arms then I'll carry her in my heart. Some days that helps, others days, well, I'm still a Mommy missing her baby girl too much I think my heart is going to stop. Alex must have known I needed to see from her today. Thanks Peanut!!

I seem to find that writing about my little peanut is helping, which I find strange because I'm not the type of person who usually enjoys writing. I think it's because I'm sharing her with the rest of the world. Thank you for reading.

I know I've tried begging, pleading, anything I can do to get my peanut back and as we all know - it hasn't done any good. Maybe it's the realization that these things aren't going to bring Alexandra back to me that have made me so sad these last few days. So now I turn to the strength of my new friends I have found here to help me learn to live with my angel, and hopefully I can help a friend too.

Alexandra's Mom

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Strength and Courage

Strength and Courage
Author: Sylvia Kelly

It takes strength to be certain,
It takes courage to have doubts.

It takes strength to fit in,
It takes courage to stand out.

It takes strength to share a friend's pain,
It takes courage to feel your own pain.

It takes strength to hide your own pain,
It takes courage to show it and deal with it.

It takes strength to stand guard,
It takes courage to let down your guard.

It takes strength to conquer,
It takes courage to surrender.

It takes strength to endure abuse,
It takes courage to stop it.

It takes strength to stand alone,
It takes courage to lean on a friend.

It takes strength to love,
It takes courage to be loved.

It takes strength to survive,
It takes courage to live.

more about memorializing

I knew i had more links and here they are.

this site has a few different pages and tips that i liked i found their site easy to navigate which when you are crying can be very helpful. the right hand side navigation of their site has links the follow list of use full tips in categories so you can refine you search quickyly.
After Loss events
Father´s Loss
Funeral services and details
Helping Parents Cope
Memorializing Your Child
Relationship after Loss
Siblings Loss
Sudden Infant Death Syndrome
The Grandparents Loss
Funeral FAQs

The church of the holy innocents

this is a catholic parish in NYC that has a Book of life where your child name can be entered you will receive a certificate via email that you can print for you record.

Emily Post's Advice on Funeral etiquette
I found this excerpt from Ms. Post's book on Etiquette to be a through look at bereavement from a different perspective. I have included an excerpt of the opening paragrah

Chapter XXIV

AT no time does solemnity so possess our souls as when we stand deserted at the brink of darkness into which our loved one has gone. And the last place in the world where we would look for comfort at such a time is in the seeming artificiality of etiquette; yet it is in the moment of deepest sorrow that etiquette performs its most vital and real service.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Memorializing our baby

saying goodbye to your child is an important part of grief work. all the experts tout that the ritual of burial and memorial services bring closure to a loss. I am not sure i agree entirely when it comes to the burial of babies, but i do agree that to an extent Burial rites do bring closure to some aspects of grief.

that being stated i would like to share with you my thoughts on the matter. I am not a professional griever by any means, i am just a mom that lost her baby and as such i was forced to make some kind of plans for our daughter's interment and memorial. Our daughter was buried less than a week after her birth, so all of our planning and arrangements took place while family was still arriving from out of state and just the day after i was release from the hospital.

our pregnancy was very public as a result so was our loss, many many people were aware that we were about to have our baby. We never even thought to have just a private funeral we went about our planing as if someone other than us would want to come to the funeral. we had aprox. 75 attendees more than we had even thought and everyone of them said that it was important to them to come because they needed to say their hellos and goodbyes. To me/us it was the only opportunity we would have to parent our child publicly, it gave everyone including family a concrete proof that Lucy was real, she does matter and always will.

For Lucy and for us we did the following:

At her birth:
  • Watson was raised Catholic so she was baptized.
  • I was raised Mormon so she was given a name and a blessing.
  • she was held and kissed an photographed and held and kissed some more.
  • her footprints were taken.
  • we made a shirt for Watson with her actual foot prints on the chest.
  • we let our family that was present hold Lucy. this was only my mom and our nurse friend
  • those that were not present were notified by phone in as safe a way as possible.

Preparing for her funeral:
  • met with the funeral director and explained our wishes
  • arranged a private & public viewing, memorial service and graveside service & burial.
  • we selected memorial card for the funeral attendees and ourselves,we have since ordered more.
  • chose her outfit right down to her purple cloth diaper and a receiving blanket to be included.
  • we asked that her casket spray NOT have just pink & white flowers but they they be colorful and joyful like she was
  • we placed an obituary in the local paper. I knew without a birth certificate this would be one of the only ways genealogist would be able to "find" Lucy, i also thought it would reach some people that might not have gotten the email and it did.
  • we looked at the local Cemetery's children's garden to be sure it was where we wanted to bury our daughter.
  • we tried to arrange for a priest that knew us to say the burial rites this was not possible but it was something that was important to us.
  • we asked a few close friends to get the info out by way of email. We composed a master Email with the pertinent information. after we spoke with our selected friends on the phone we sent them the info and they handled sending it out. we also sent out the email to our entire email address books. (we still missed people believe it or not)
  • We asked family members to notify extended family so we would not have to make all those phone calls.
  • We posted all of this information on our blog so that it would be easily accessible from all over the world and we continue to have it there.
  • We arranged for our favorite children's charity to receive donations in Lucy's name in lieu of flowers.
  • we asked that family and friends light a candle for us and our daughter and that they send up prayers and words of comfort for us.
For the Memorial Service
  • we made a CD of music to be played during her viewing.
  • chose the people we wanted to help us remember our daughter to participate in the service
  • selected poems, and passages to be read at the service.
  • asked a few musician friends to play & sing "You are My Sunshine" with my brother and father, for Lucy.
  • asked family members to to read the selected poems & passages and give prayers.
  • I asked one of my sisters (Lucy's God Mother) to read her a book that she selected.
  • I asked my other sister to read the Poem by W.H. Auden which was adapted by Watson
  • My brother and Watson created a slide show of Lucy's Journey which played during the viewing.
  • Family members were asked to write Lucy a letter, which was included in her casket, along with a toy, some candy, a pacifier from her youngest cousin, pictures of all of her family. we kept photo copies of each letter to be included in her memory box here at home
  • we also gave a portion of the services over to those that attended that they might be able to say what was on their hearts and minds.
  • Watson and i spoke
  • everyone was invited to join us for lunch after the graveside service
There are a few helpful site that have more about how you can memorialize your babies. Here are some of their links

March of Dimes

SIDS Austraila

The TEARS Foundations

Personal thoughts on funeral planning from another parent.

i will post more links as i find them. Watson and i read a lot of this stuff after we had made plans for Lucy. It was sort of natural to us to want celebrate rather than mourn Lucy at her funeral.

Friday, January 4, 2008

My Peanut.

I thought I would post my picture of Alexandra on here as I'd like her to be remembered, and this is a safe place for me to do it. I tried to post it on the Baby Center thread but I can't seem to figure it out. I'm so glad the hospital took pictures of her for us, I thought I wouldn't want pictures but I feel so different now.

Alexandra I love you so much and miss you more than I ever knew I could miss someone. I hope you hear my voice when I talk to you telling you how much I care. My heart aches for you to be peaceful, safe and know that we will be together again one day. Take care my sweet angel, hugs & kisses, Mommy.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Lucas Emmett

Lucas Emmett Nettles
August 20, 2007
6 lbs. 13 oz 22" long
My baby boy was due August 10, but as the days past we had no idea what was in store for us. On Sunday the 19 I realized the last good movement I felt was Saturday, I was worried but kept thinking he is 9 days over due he is just getting settled. I had a NST the Monday and Thursday before and had no problems through my whole pregnancy. Finally Sunday afternoon the reality I had been trying to avoid hit me. At 4:30pm my Robbie and I went to L&D. As the nurse put the monitor on, we knew right away something was wrong. His heartbeat was always so strong and she put it right where his back was. As she searched, our hearts broke more and more, there was nothing. She called the midwife and she did an ultra sound, but stood where I couldn't see the screen but Robbie could. She told us she couldn't find it but she isn't qualified to do ultra sound so she called a Dr. and bless his heart. I could see how bad it hurt him to tell us. It was like we were in a dream; there was no way this was really happening. Thankfully my mom had an intuition to turn around on their way to church and come to the hospital instead of waiting for us to call. So my parents were there and shortly so was the rest of my family and so many friends and a lot of people from church. They gave us unlimited visitors and people were standing in the hall. It was such a blessing. It was the boost of love I needed to get through the night. They gave me cytotec to induce labor around 9 and I got an epi around 12. My nurse was amazing and so sweet. Some of my good friends stayed with us until 2am and brought me some jolly ranchers and a soft monkey for me to hold on to. One also crossed my right leg for me when I needed to since it was completely numb! By 7:30am my epi was completely wearing off on my left side but the midwife wanted to see if I could push him down some so we pushed for about 5 min, the pushing helped the pain. My contractions were right on top of each other. She said I could take a break and get more epi or keep pushing and be done in 30 min. I kept pushing. It was painful and when the pain set in so did the reality that my baby wouldn't be crying. A tiny piece of me wanted to give up but I felt like I had to finish my job of being Lucas' s mommy. As bad as things were, they were on the best side of bad. Robbie and I both felt the delivery was nice and peaceful and it is something nice we will have to remember. Lucas was perfect. He looks just like his 3D us pictures, we are so glad we did them now. They cleaned him up and swaddled him and put a little hat on and handed him to me. I never thought if this happened to me that I would want to hold the baby. But, that was the best thing for us. He is our son, and he needed to be real to us. They took me off that floor as soon as they got me up to get away from the other babies, which is normal practice I guess. We left the baby with them until a local photographer came that does free photos of stillborn babies. We didn't know how we felt about it, but the photographer gave my mom some good advice. He said the choices we make now aren't for today or tomorrow but months and years from now, so we don't have any regret. They brought Lucas back to us dressed in the clothes and soft blanket I had my mom bring for him. More of my family got to see him and Robbie's parents made it from VA in time to see him until it was time to send him back. That little boy did a lot for us in his short time in my belly and I wouldn't give up those 9 months and 9 days for anything! He brought Robbie and I closer together. We will never know why our little boy didn't get to come home with us. All of my test came back fine, and he, the plecenta and cord were perfect. In this sadness I only want to hold on to the good things, because there are. He will always be our first-born. God has wrapped his hands around us and has sent so much help our way. I'm not mad at God, just severally heartbroken. Lucas has his own little place in my heart, and always will. He has brought a love to me I never knew exsisted and I am hoping for the day I can share that love with our children one day when we finally bring home a crying baby!
Gwen Nettles

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Missing my Angel

Well Hello 2008. Can't say I'm sorry to see the end of 2007.
Woke up this morning hoping for some miracle, change, hoping to feel different in some way. But of course the pain and sorrow is still here. I said Good Morning to Alexandra and hugged and kissed her urn letting her know how much I miss her, and hope that she is peaceful & safe.
I am really going to try to think differently about things. I need to try to stop the 'what our life is suppose to be like' thoughts - like 'I'm suppose to be changing diapers, feeding a baby right now, I'm suppose to be playing with my daughter.....'
I need now to believe that Alexandra is watching us and wants us to be happy and be a good family. I will always have her with me, and embrace the day we will be together again. I need to be thankful for what I have and hope that the future blesses us with another miracle.
I wish thinking like this would take away all the pain and heartache.

Alexandra's Mom