Thursday, February 25, 2016

After the Diagnosis: A Love Letter

To The Mother Who’s Learned Her Baby Won’t Live
(Advice From Carry-to-Birth Families)

There are few days as vivid as the day a doctor tells you that your baby will likely not live outside your body. The colors of the room, the smell of the hospital soap on your hands when you bring them to your face, the sound of a phone ringing down the hall, the crack in his voice when he says, “I’m so sorry”, the way every specialist in the room has a face that just blurs through your tears.

In a perfect world, these would be our worst days… just the agony we feel when the probable outcome- a prognosis of death- has been put on the table.

But this world is not perfect and so, for many of us, our worst days do find themselves taking place simultaneously with our best days- the days our very loved but sick children are born.

As women who have been in your shoes, and as a part of the majority whose babies with fatal diagnosis do leave us, we want to share our hearts with you.

First of all, we are sorry.
We don’t want you to be here.
We don’t want anyone to ever have to walk the path of child loss, and we pray for an end to all terminal birth defects.

But since you are here, we are with you. Our hearts break with you. We will love and cherish your child with you.

We will walk beside you in your anticipatory grief. We will rejoice with you when your baby arrives in your arms. We will mourn with you when you have to say goodbye.

And we will be here in the sacred dance of pain and joy that follows. We are a community of sister-mamas that have nothing but open arms for you as you walk this unimaginable path. That’s all that love can do- love for our babies creates this tight knit group of people that can relate and love on each other.

Take one moment at a time. Try to feel and treasure the kicks and movements when your baby is in the comfort of the womb. Don't be afraid to plan for the possibility of your baby coming home ... even though my son didn't make it home, having baby things in the house after he passed was actually comforting. – Aileen

Make memories with your baby. Some ideas are to keep a journal of your pregnancy, see a favorite sports team together, or take maternity photos. When I met my daughter, I remember thinking that every second of heartbreak over her condition was worth bringing her into the world, and I continue to be amazed by the way that she continues to inspire and change lives. - Kristina

If you want to pray for the best, pray, have others pray over you. It's okay not to tell strangers your little ones diagnosis and just find joy in being the regular pregnant lady. It's okay to have a shower and let friends love you. Your spouse may have a different approach, that's okay. I was told to terminate and that NO ONE EVER carries to term with this diagnosis, not true because I did. It’s okay to be scared. It's okay to hold your baby after they've passed and its okay to stop holding them soon after. You will find the strength to do what's right for your situation in the moment. Talk to the Lord, and meditate on the scriptures that speak to you. Listen to worship music. Finally, see a counselor type now and through the first year after. –Bethany

No child is defined by his or her diagnosis. Make memories of your journey while you carry your child. – Jenna

Be hopeful for a "miracle ", but also be prepared for a miracle of different sorts. Make a list of the all the things you want to have; to do; to sing/read, and all the ways you want to connect. Then, do them (alive or having had passed). Buy duplicates of everything. Let people help you. – Kristin

Enjoy every minute you have with your little one. Even if they are gone you will never get this opportunity again. Hold them, cuddle them, kiss them, dress them how you feel like. Your little one is more than their diagnosis. – Brittany

Hope is what gets me through this time. But I also have to be realistic. -Emily

Some may think a miracle didn’t happen for my family, but it did. My son was and is the miracle. Because even in death his life continues to manifest such power and such hope. The lives he has touched, the impact he has left — it is all pretty miraculous to me. How one tiny little baby, who never took a breath, could reach the hearts of others and speak to them in a hundred different ways is nothing short of a miracle. Not exactly the miracle everyone had in mind. But I now know there are different kinds of miracles. Little ones that present themselves in unexpected ways. We just have to be able to see them through the disappointment of not getting the miracle we wanted more. I had to rid myself of the false idea that miracles only come in grand gestures of divine intervention. Because sometimes miracles dwell even where there are crushed hopes and dreams, and those are the ones that are so incredibly hard to see. - Jessi

One of the "gifts" of receiving our diagnosis when we do is to be able to make memories with our child and to savor every moment. I know that looks so different for so many. For me it was cherishing her kicks, making her lots of hats and picking out special outfits and blankets. It was learning to be 100% present in the moment because I had no idea if we had a tomorrow. My diagnosis day is still the hardest and worst day of my life, I am still grateful for it because it gave me 5 1/2 months to cherish moments I might have looked over. – Kellie

You are amazing for walking this path. Truly courageous. Cry when you need, and remember your baby is here with you now. It's not over yet. Focus on loving your baby with all your efforts. In the end, you'll know you did everything a mama can do. And I promise, saying hello will be the best day of your life. - RaeAnne

In the midst of it, you can choose to find the minutes of beauty, while simultaneously cursing the injustice. – Sarah

You are brave. You are doing a brave thing. When people tell you that, they mean it. It takes courage… and well, you have it. Give yourself the most grace, and extend it to everyone around you. They won’t understand unless they’ve been here. It’s good that they don’t know. Just smile and nod and then do whatever feels right for you, moment by moment. – Megan

We want you to feel loved and supported. We want you to vent to us, to share your joy with us, to laugh and cry and smile and frown with us because we will do it with you too.

Perhaps you are feeling overwhelmed mostly at this moment. Here is a link to many wonderful resources for you- just the tip of the iceberg. If there is something specific you are looking for and can’t find it, we will be happy to help.

Welcome, Mama. We are the mothers who have gone before you and will go after you. May you feel the warmth of our arms wrapped around you. You are not alone.

We are so sorry that you’re here… but we will love, honor, and remember your precious child with you.

Please join us in the private group for mothers who continue pregnancy after a fatal diagnosis. We are here for you <3

Monday, February 22, 2016

Jesse's Story, by his mama

Written by Diana Quinones

2015 was a hard year for me. I lost my father in January 2015, when he unfortunately lost his battle with cancer. However during that time I was watching him wither away, I discovered I was pregnant. This was my little glimmer of hope, something I was so happy about. As my father was lying on his death bed, I whispered into his ear, “Your going to be a grandfather again.” He opened his eyes, lifted his eyebrows whispered, “I love you.” 24 hours later he was gone.

All of my family members were ecstatic about our baby news. This was our peace during the storm of my father’s death. My husband and I were expecting our first baby! We couldn’t be any happier during the grief of my father leaving this earth. I had my first check up on February. I was indeed pregnant given the due date of September 18th, 2015.

Everything was going fine. Every appointment I heard the heartbeat, every appointment I looked forward to, just to see my baby grow. Until my last appoint in May. This is when my world came crashing down. My glimmer of hope was flickering.

My midwife came in with the results of my anatomy scan. I was about 22 weeks pregnant. She had a concerned look on her face. She told me they found an anomaly, and she wanted me to see the fetal specialist. I was experiencing this all on my own. In a different state from my family, but thankfully my in-laws lived in Los Angeles, two hours from San Diego where I was living at the time. I was to stay with them until we figured out what was happening with my baby. I think this was the most dreadful part of my journey, being poked and prodded by doctors as they figure out what is wrong with my baby. I finally got to see my fetal specialist; she began to do an ultrasound for me. She was quiet the entire time; taking pictures, stilling images, listening to his heartbeat. This had to have been the longest day of my life. She began showing me what she was looking at. My son had a neural tube defect, an encephalocele. His cerebellum was growing outside of his skull, the words, “not compatible with life after being born,” were mentioned, and they wondered if he would even survive the nine months inside of my womb. She also said his heart was not in the right place, I would need to see a fetal cardiologist, however what was concerning was the degree of his encephalocele.

We learned he would not survive. I was advised to terminate. However in the state of California termination after 24 weeks is not possible, so I had two weeks to figure out if I wanted to keep my baby or carry him to term, despite the prognosis. I had to tell my husband the sad news via email, as he was somewhere in the Pacific Ocean. He was devastated. I then saw the fetal cardiologist. Even more bad news, my baby had a diaphramic hernia, he was also diagnosed with DORV (Double Outlet Right Ventricle). Which basically meant his little body would have to undergo tons of heart surgeries right after birth. However, his cardiologist said he wouldn’t even be able to undergo surgery with the severity of his encephalocele. It was just one horrible diagnosis. One right after the other.

Our families were devastated. My mother had a peace and calm reaction. She is such a strong woman of God. She had the most calming words to me. She said, “Everything is God’s will, you are a woman of faith! You know in your heart you cannot terminate this pregnancy. If he survives, he survives, and if he goes to heaven, you will see him again someday. He has his grandpa with him.”
My husband and I decided I would carry to term, despite the prognosis. I would stay with my in-laws until September; my husband would be home at that time anyways. We prayed for a miracle.

Those four months were the happiest and saddest times of my life. My baby grew inside of me. He kicked and moved. Whenever I wouldn’t feel him, I would be scared. “Is he gone?” “Did he die inside of me?” But then he would punch or kick me, letting me know, “No-mama, I am still her.” I could then breathe again. My belly got bigger, he measure smaller than normal due to his neural tube defect.

My family came to visit me, we had full days on the beach with my baby inside of me. We were enjoying our time with him, no matter what the doctors said.

Doctors ran all sorts of genetic testing. However everything came back normal, this wasn’t a genetic disorder; they said it was a “strike of lightening.” Why did God choose me for this “strike?” “What did I do to have my baby this way?” I am still asking these questions to this day.

September rolled along; my husband flew back to California to be with me; to be my rock during the birth of our son. I was to be induced. I was in labor for about 48 hours. My son came at 10:30 at night on September 5th, 2015. He was born not breathing. It was a stillbirth. They swaddled him. I got to hold him, everyone in my family held him, and what broke my heart the most was seeing the tears in my husband’s eyes. The heartbreak. Here he was saying hello and goodbye to his little boy. Our son.

I held him tight, exploring every little piece of his body, drinking him in. I didn’t want to forget any inch of him. He had his father’s cheeks, a head full of curly black hair, his appearance looked so peaceful. To me there wasn’t any bit of defect; his was perfect in my eyes. He was mine. I think September 5th will always be a day of happiness and sadness for me. It is a day that will forever be in my heart. The day I died, and the day that I also came alive.

My husband and I decided we would live for our son. Live life for the life he was denied. Every step we would take would be for him. I now know why God gave this to me, so I could be a voice and inspiration to women who are going through the same thing. To choose life! Not terminate it. Give your baby a fighting chance, despite what the doctors say. We now are in Japan and we are taking every bit of it in. Exploring its wonders. Letting the world know, Jesse Alberto was here! He may not be on this earth, but he is here! We are living through him. Don’t get me wrong, there are days where all I want to do is curl up a weep. Feel sorry for myself. I look at mothers with their babies, and wonder why that could not have been me. But who am I to question God’s will? I still have life and everyday I pray that he blesses us with a rainbow baby but until then my husband and I have been closer than we have every been, we hold each other’s hands in this pathway through grief. We smile, we cry, we laugh, we pray, but most of all we live. Living for our son, living for Jesse Alberto Castillo.

~ ~ ~

Diana Quinones is an educator, and wife to her wonderful husband. They are presently living in Japan enjoying life to the fullest.

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Sunday, February 14, 2016

Love Letters

The following letters are part of our 
Love Letters series.

You can learn more here

If you didn't get the chance to submit a letter this year, please feel free to leave your love letter in the comments. 

We wish all loss families a gentle Valentine's Day, as we miss our little loves. 

~ ~ ~

To Elliot Kathryn Davis, from Ellie Davis

Dear Elliot, 

It's been over 10 months since we said hello and goodbye in just a few hours. 
We were so broken that you couldn't stay with us, so many dreams and plans unfulfilled. 
But we know now that you haven't left us for good. We see you in the pink sunrise, in the cardinals that shine in the snow-covered trees, and the many good words our family has done to honor you. 
You will always be part of our family, sweet love, and we look forward to meeting you again in eternity.

Your loving Nana & Papa
~ ~ ~

To Maeve, from Jess McCormack

Dear Maeve,

It's dawn, the sun beginning to rise, although hidden behind the grey clouds that are dominating this winter. I am woken abruptly from a hazy dream by your little sister calling from the room next door. I grumble a little, it seems so early and I was quite content lost in my dream. But I am happy too, to hear her sweet voice and to know that some lovely little cuddles await. I open my eyes and reach for the lamp beside my bed. And then, like every morning, my eyes go straight to the picture of you on my wall. My Maeve. I whisper your name into the morning light. My love for you rises up from my soul and finds its place in my eyes, my smile. I feel so grateful to know you, to have carried you, to be able to call you mine. But I miss you so much too. Every morning I feel this avalanche of feelings, of love, of desperate sadness, of a longing like no other, for both the baby you were and the almost-3-year-old you could have become.

Your sister's calls become louder: "mummy, mummy, mummy!". Would you have called for me like that too, Maeve? Sometimes I hear you, even though I know it can't be true.

I crawl out from under the covers, my feet searching for my slippers, my eyes still on your picture, still breathing in your peaceful face, marvelling again that something so beautiful could have come from me. On the most difficult days, I ask you for help. It seems so backwards and all mixed up, almost unfair of me to ask my baby girl for help. It should be the other way around, me helping you to tie your shoes, to brush your hair, or reach the crayons from the top shelf. It should be me comforting you when you're sad or afraid. But instead it is you who gives me the courage to keep going. I have a mountain to climb without you. I have a mountain to climb because you're no longer here. There are days when I don't know if I can take a single step and others when the path seems more gentle. But every day I feel you with me, my love for you lighting my way, lifting me when I fall and carrying me when I can no longer walk alone. Thank you, baby girl, for being my strength, my courage. Thank you for being the first thing I see each morning, for reminding me what's important and what really matters: love. I love you Maevey, for always <3.

~ ~ ~

To Orion, from Jill Sakowski

My dearest Orion, 

I miss you so much.  Two years ago today you taught me the true meaning of love and motherhood.  I felt your body shake with the violence of seizures, I felt your soul slipping away.  You died around 2am on Valentine's Day, and all I could do was rub my belly and tell you over and over how much I loved you.  How my love would find you wherever you were headed, that I didn't want you to suffer, that if you were ready to go I wanted you to let go and move on, to find peace.  I thought the pain of those words might kill me, but it was my job as your mother to ease your pain any way I could. 

I wasn't ready to say good-bye, and I never will be.  

My love for you over the last two years has spanned the universe, seeking your soul wherever it is dancing now.  And I know that you are dancing because I feel it in my heart, like waves of laughter and light reverberating through the stars to reach me here.  We are still connected.  We are still mother and child.  And nothing will ever change that.  Oh my sweet boy, I hope you know how cherished you are!  

With Eternal Love, Mommy

~ ~ ~

To Cassie, from Stacy MacCormack

To my sweet Cassie, 
It's been a year since Daddy and I learned that you wouldn't be with us for very long, only a few fleeting moments on the "outside" world, or maybe not at all. In May, it will be a year since hello and goodbye at the same time.

How I have grown and changed this past year, and all because of you! You have helped me truly appreciate the sacredness and absolute miracle of life in all its forms. Having the opportunity to carry you, Cassie, and honour you has shown me the true meaning of motherhood, which is to love, nurture, and protect to the best of one's ability. I wanted to give you that because it was all I could give and I wanted you to know only love and protection for your entire life. Carry you until God decided it was time was both the easiest and the hardest thin I have ever done. You are the strongest girl I know, and Mummy, Daddy, and big brother E miss you and love you so very much!

Love, Mum
~ ~ ~

To Marissa Rachael Poznanski, from Elizabeth Poznanski

Marissa, my love, I thought we had a lifetime to make memories. You were gone too soon. My heart feels shattered; jagged with torment from your loss.  My mind still struggles to grasp the reality of it all, and yet, I live it every day and it's all too real. The house reverberates silence without you. Lump in my throat. Tears welling in my eyes. Endless tears, but that's alright because my love for you is endless.

I'm sorry for all that you didn't get to do. Your Make-A-Wish was too were gone too soon.  I'm so sorry.  You should have had more time. It wasn't supposed to turn out this way. You should have had less pain, more joy. It's not fair.  Life can be incredibly unfair. Marissa, you had the name of your future bakery chosen:  Peace of Cake. You had the name of your future daughters chosen: Isabella Rose and Anneliese Marie. You would have been a fantastic mommy. There will be no children, no wedding where your daddy could walk you down the aisle, no college, and on and on. There was a tearful "honorary" high school graduation during which your big brother courageously walked up to the stage to accept your "honorary" diploma.

The brief respite we had from the hospital is a time I will always treasure. The Ronald McDonald House was our home then. I called you "Sweet Pea" a lot during those days and you corrected me by saying, "Salty Carrot."  You were, after all, a self-proclaimed "Savory Girl" since you much preferred foods such as cheese and other salty things over sweets. The month of May this year will mark four years since you left. My heart senses peace and comfort when I think of you opening your eyes, Heaven-side, free from pain and suffering. Although I am grateful for the peace and comfort, it is such a modicum of relief compared to the searing ache that resides in my soul. My darling firecracker. My beautiful, brave Marissa. Oh, how I love and miss you to Heaven and back. Salty Carrot, you are forever in my heart. <3

In loving memory of Marissa Rachael Poznanski, 1996-2012

~ ~ ~

To Barri, from Heather Bassham

Dearest Barri, 

What to express to someone who just learned to hear sound? As sound blesses our ears, it points us to the One whose sounds carry our dearest prayers across time and space, Whose words are never destroyed. This Source of life gives me courage to write and to live. I don't know or understand the why of it all, yet  I know that miss you, the innocence you were, and, most of all, what you could have been. 

As I blew bubbles over the rose on the plot of ground in which you rest, I  thought of the thousand hopes and dreams that I had for you.  A thousand bubbles as fragile and lite as the baby I carried for 12 weeks. I  hoped to see you at the end of summer,  yet I saw you at the beginning of spring, with small , tight buds soon to smile upon us all and geese flying the heavens. You were not to be our child, but our angel, our brightling encouraging us  to do better, be better. The returning warmth of spring leaves an absent scar, but one that we may behold in joy. Daddy, Spencer, and I  were glad to know you. 

Your life brought joy and laughter the world; my blithe pregnancy colored my world with hues that I had never imagined. You were born in February,  on a moonless night lit by glowing stars.  In the grey garden of my heart there will always be a perfect pink rose radiating the perfect light of my own little star.

Love always,

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

My New Friend, Mad

by Megan Cocker

It has been seven months since we held a sweet baby in our arms as she died. 
We’re creeping up quickly on Diagnosis Day.
I had a miscarriage this month. 
Someone has stolen my daughter’s identity through her remembrance photographs. 
This week, I’m awaiting a call from yet another friend to drive to her and hold her hand as she says goodbye to a second child.

Yeah, January has been hell. I think everyone can agree with me on that.

But, for some reason, people expect me to be acting/feeling/thinking differently than just plain furious.

It didn’t take this long for outsiders to impose their expectations, but it’s just now starting to get on my nerves. Everything is starting to get on my nerves. Some accused me of being angry and bitter around the birth and death and burial of my daughter and then again just three months after when expressing disappointment in people who were supposed to be supportive… I’m glad those who thought I was angry then cannot see me now. 

Now, I do feel angry. I am experiencing a little bitterness.

I fought anger so much in the anticipatory grief and in the days when I had to bury my child and in the times when I felt I needed to serve others and when we packed up and moved again and when I had to watch another friend say goodbye to her baby too and when I didn’t get to dress Eden up for Halloween and when Thanksgiving should have been her five month birthday and when Christmas came and there were no baby presents beneath the tree. 

I fought it so hard. Actively rebuking anger, deciding I didn’t have time for anger,foolishly thinking that anger is wrong. 

What I didn’t know and what no one told me is that if you keep skipping the angry feelings, they will come back tenfold. And so now here I am with a year’s worth of anger piling on top of this month’s grief… and it’s a crime to choke the next person that looks at me funny.

Having a coffee date with a friend right before New Year’s Day when I found out I was pregnant again, I confessed to her that I felt resentment creeping in. You know what she told me?  She told me to LET IT.  Finally, someone said to me that not only is it OK to feel angry, but it’s necessary. She told me how important it is to feel what I need to feel, and allow myself to be vulnerable and honest about who I am, where I am, and what is going on in my heart.

And so when my husband took my hand in the emergency room bed and asked how I was feeling about losing our second child… for the first time since my daughter’s diagnosis, I told him I was mad. And he said, “me, too.”

After that, I have been able to say how mad I am at this whole past year. I have been honest with myself and anyone who would listen in this past month. 

When my blog about the woman who faked that the girl in Eden’s pictures was her own baby went viral, I let her know that I’m mad at her.

When I had so many people comment and tell me, “please don’t let anger consume you”, I got mad at them too. 

When friends have expressed how much they wish their babies would stop growing and “just stay little forever”, I got mad at them. (Listen, you DO NOT want your children to stop growing.)

When they complained about how hard life is with babies, I got mad at them.

When they said, “life was meaningless before these kids,” I got mad at them too. 

Obviously, parents of living children can’t win with me lately..

When it rained for five days straight I got mad.
When the sun came out I got mad.
When Ryan tried to read my mind I got mad.
When Ryan didn’t read my mind I got mad.
When the radio played happy songs I got mad.
When the radio played sad songs I got mad.

Oh, it has consumed me all right.

And all of it has prepared me to admit to God that I’m mad at him. For others, it may look like a curse and a scream and that’s okay. But for me, it has been a quiet admission, and that is okay too. I have been like a student emailing a ruthless professor about a problem- “Just checking in to let You know that I’m still mad. Is that okay?”

And every day, I feel the mercy and receive the email back, “That’s okay. Take your time”.

I have confidence in the stage of grief I’m finally experiencing, but for some reason I still feel the need to justify it to everyone else. It’s in my nature- “this is how I feel if you can accept that, if not I’ll be happy to change for you”.

I’ve noticed that bereaved parents are some of the biggest perpetrators of “You’re feeling sorry for yourself at this point” and “Don’t become THAT woman.”

Moms that that have “completed” the grief “cycle” a few times and find themselves not crying anymore believe that since they are 15 years out from their loss, *time must heal all wounds* and so people who lose their children should feel “better” over time… and if they don’t, they’re not working towards “healing” (ugh, why is grief treated like a sickness?). For me, I do believe in healing my heart. And I believe it requires taking my time to feel whatever I want or need to feel. If twenty years from now I’m still angry, I dare someone to try and check me on it. I can almost guarantee that there will be many times in my life that I go back to being angry.

Its bad enough to know that as I type this there will be outsiders who think “she’s being THAT person”, even worse when people who have some idea of how I’m feeling go on and think that too.

I’m just having these normal emotions and normal feelings and expressing them in normal ways but everyone only wants to hear the good, the joyous, and the peaceful.

I’ve gotten “don’t wear that anger label” a few times when expressing my grief in groups of other loss parents. So, I’ve decided that I will not put on a label or a hat of anger. I have never been one to allow myself to be defined by any bad feeling, anyway.

So instead, I’ll introduce my anger as my friend. I’ll call her “Mad”.

She is a redhead and she smokes a lot of cigarettes. She likes to cuss and flips the bird instead of waving. Mad is a little selfish, as she requires a lot of my focus.

I tried to push her away again this time, but like a pile of rocks, she won’t budge until I work through her many layers.

Don’t be confused… when Mad is around, I’m still genuinely happy. 

I’m not a huge complainer just because things suck and I’m still pouring praise out of my heart for 
all the blessings I have. 

I’ve also been choosing immediate and intentional forgiveness* inside my anger, and that is one reason I can embrace this stage of grief without letting it take me over. If you learn to accept apologies you won’t receive and not allow the incidents that injure you to dominate your heart, you are free to then find peace with your own Mad. “Just deal with Megan and her Mad today”, as I like to tell myself. She needs more attention than the things that make me mad.

* I wanted to elaborate. Many people believe that in order to forgive you must forget and say that everything is okay. And that just isn’t the truth. No definition of forgiveness requires us to forget that we are hurt and reconcile and drop our heartbreak forever. Forgiveness is for us, so that the “what” or “who” that hurt us and “why” does not consume our minds and then we can focus on just the truth that we are hurting. *

Contrary to popular belief, you can still be blessed when your Mad comes. You can still have a joyful heart. I know I do. Yes, I have been hanging out with Mad a lot lately. But she and I agree that life is still good. 

I was so upset when Mad finally arrived at my doorstep. 

I felt like I lost a fight with myself. I felt like I let my little innocent baby girl that never felt anger down. But that’s not true. 

There is ultimately balance. 

I finally allowed Mad to come inside and open a new door of honesty in my heart. 

I’m not done with Mad. I’ve got some confronting to do in time with myself, with God, with people who hurt me. Mad is important to this process. If Mad weren’t here, I would keep repressing and delaying all the pain I’ve been unknowingly drowning in that she came just to help me get out of. 

She’s only visiting. She isn’t going to live here, because sometimes she will become too much to handle. But she will be welcomed back in anytime in healthy doses.

Listen, take the time to be angry when you feel you need to.

Don’t worry about what anyone else thinks of your Mad (trust me, they almost ALWAYS think she’s ugly and full of hate and spite). Let me be the one to tell you if you don’t let her in when she knocks, she’ll bust the doorframe down later.  

And if anyone tries to check you on your Mad, if anyone even for a second implies that you aren’t entitled to have your Mad pay a visit… call me and mine- she can be real bitch if needed.

~ ~ ~

Megan Coker carried Eden Olivia to birth in June 2015 after receiving a diagnosis of a severe Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia in the Bilateral form. Eden lived for 40 minutes. Megan is Ryan’s wife and together they follow his Army career. She has found a way to honor Eden’s short life in capturing the beautiful moments of others through starting her photography business, Eden’s Garden Images. Each day has its new challenges for both Megan and Ryan but they are learning to lean on each other through it and work steadily on strengthening their marriage. Megan finds healing through writing about Eden and remembering their beautiful time togethe

Monday, February 1, 2016

2016 Love Letters

Coming soon!

Once again, ATLCD is hosting Love Letters for Valentine's Day! 

This is a beautiful way to honor the sweet baby in your life who is being carried with a fatal diagnosis, or the baby/child who lives in heaven. 

Anyone who loves these precious children is welcome to participate!

What are Love Letters?
A love note written to a very special baby/child who died, or a baby who is being carried with a fatal diagnosis. Simply write a note to this extra special little one, and we'll share it for you! It can be a few words, or several paragraphs. Whatever feels right to you. 

Who can participate?
Mothers, fathers, siblings, grandparents, friends, family, whomever! Anyone who holds a very special baby/child in their heart. 

What do I do?
Take some time to sit down and write a note to the baby/child. What would you like to say to them? It can be simple, "I love you and miss you so much!" or anything more you've been wanting to say. Let this sweet baby know how much he/she is LOVED. 

Send your Love Letter in a private message to the All That Love Can Do Facebook page HERE, starting February 1st. You may include a photos, if you'd like. 

Your letter will be posted on this blog, and the All That Love Can Do Facebook page on February 14th. 

To read letters from last year, click HERE

Each baby/child may have multiple letters from anyone who wishes to participate, but only one letter per person, please. 

If you have any question, you can send a message to the All That Love Can Do Facebook page HERE.

We look forward to seeing lots of LOVE <3!
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