Wednesday, November 6, 2013

The Grieving Mother vs. Writer's Block

It's been a very long time since I've written anything. I started this blog with the grand idea of writing several times a week, posting things full of witty insight and blunt honesty. But that didn't happen.


I think the reality is, I feel much like a broken record. I feel like I live in the movie Groundhog's Day. How many different ways can I phrase just how much losing a baby sucks? How many different ways are there to explain how my soul was crushed, my heart shattered? Because in the end, it's the same story told a different way. 

But, to anyone reading this that's been in my shoes, you know exactly what I'm talking about don't you? Because that's your reality every. single. day. You wake up, you put on a smile, get dressed, take care of your family, go about your normal day. But on the inside, there's always that part of you that's screaming, "What about my baby?" 

Our world has been forever changed and so many people fail to see it. It's like suddenly the grass is pink and the sky is purple and you wonder why you're the only one that sees it. So you start faking it 'til you make it. Slowly but surely, you assimilate back into the real world. You pretend the grass is still green and the sky is still blue. And eventually, you almost manage to convince yourself the grass really is green. 


Then something happens. You see a baby or a glowing, pregnant woman. Maybe you're at the playground and you hear a mother calling a name- the name of the child you lost, a name you never seem to hear spoken. And it twists up your gut. I'll never forget that day at the playground when I heard a parent calling for "Henry!" and I immediately had to find this child named Henry. A name that I'd never get to call out at the playground. And suddenly, the grass is pink again. 

And this cycle continues endlessly. And it probably always will to some extent.

So I haven't written. Because honestly, what's left to say that I haven't already said? 

It's been nine months since we lost Henry. It's been two years since we lost Alex. It's gotten better, easier. But it still hurts. I still feel angry and sad. Not all the time. Maybe not even every day. But I've had to patch myself together the best way I can for my family and for myself. 

In that nine months, we conceived another baby only to lose that hope just a few weeks later. That baby would have arrived just a few days before Christmas. Sometimes it blows me away to think that I could have been nearly ready to have a whole other baby in the amount of time that's passed since Henry. How has it been that long already?

On the other hand, it feels like ages ago. That long day in the hospital when he was delivered. That windy, snowy day when we buried him, it sometimes feels like years ago. So much has happened.  Yet I remember it like it was yesterday.

I've been so thankful to become a part of Back In His Arms Again, to be given a voice, to hopefully try and help someone else experiencing this same thing. I have met some absolutely amazing women through the Mother to Mother group who have forever changed my life. They've lifted me up and prayed with me. Sometimes it amazes me that even though I know so little about some of them, I feel as if I know them better than so many other people in my life simply because we share a very strong common bond. I could say just about anything to them about this experience and they would know exactly what I was talking about.

As I battle with trying to move forward, trying to have another baby, I'm constantly fearful and anxious. And hopeful. And optimistic. What an awkward combination of emotions. 

I have about four unfinished blog posts I've attempted to write over the last few months, I really hope that I can finish them because actually I quite like what I've written. But I often times just simply feel too stuck to finish them. It all sounds the same to me.

But for now, I want you to know that whoever you are, wherever you are, if you or a loved one has lost a baby, I pray for you. You are not alone, you are not the only one stuck.

You are not the only one who sees that the grass is pink and the sky is purple.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Happy Birthday, Mary Claire!

Dear Mary Claire,                

Tomorrow is November 1 again..... All Saints Day. This day became very special to your Daddy and I on November 1, 2006. This was your Birthday, the day we held you. A perfect, tiny, little baby girl .

We didn't have much time to prepare and after Gabriel's death I felt numb. We just went through the motions. It felt oddly familiar. We knew what to expect. But, a few years later it hit us. We were not going to be blessed again with a child. You would be the youngest. You have a very special place in our family and in our hearts. I wanted a different chapter to end this part of our married life but Jesus CHOSE you ! Mary Claire we pray every night at family prayer time for you and all of the unborn . I love you sweet baby and as we celebrate Mass  today I'm thankful for you and the blessing you are to us. Mary, I can't wait to hug you again ...but you are truly Back In His Arms Again.

Happy Sixth Birthday!


Mary Claire's Birthday Candle at the Altar of Mary today

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Dear Mommy

Dear Mommy,

As I watch you from Heaven, I wanted to tell you a few things:

Don't feel bad when you cry. I know you miss me and I know it's one of the few ways you have to express how much you love me since I'm not there with you. And never feel bad for laughing and being happy! I'm always happy to see joy on your face.

When you smile a smile that never quite reaches your eyes, I still see it and I'm smiling back at you hoping to ease your soul.

When you feel that empty ache in your arms, try to see all the hugs and kisses I send you from Heaven. They don't come to you in the same form, but they're there. That bright rainbow in the sky was a big bear hug from me! And don't worry about me, I'm in the arms of the Angels and Saints and on the lap of our Father. It will never feel good enough for you, but I promise it's good enough for me! 

The next time you feel at the brink of tears, when you feel in such pain, remember that the only thing I'll ever feel is love. While I can see your sadness, I can not feel it. There is no such thing where I am.

I don't like it when you feel guilty. You didn't do anything wrong, in fact you gave me wings. I know it wasn't your choice to let me go, but you did and you're still standing. I wish you could see your strength the way I do. You'll never be able to see what a gift you've given me because it's so hard for you to imagine the life I have in Heaven, but one day we'll be together and I'll take you by the hand and show it all to you.

When you have those days where you feel totally and completely alone, you're not. I see you and I'm watching out for you as best I can. I can feel your love for me even still, whether you're happy or sad. When others have moved on, I know you'll still remember. 

That day when you saw the newborn baby at the park, I saw the hurt that you felt deep inside. I know you long to hold me, to smell my little head, to plant kisses on my cheeks. But never forget that even though you can't do those things, I'm still with you and I'm still finding ways to send you my love. So keep looking for those rainbows, those butterflies and those shooting stars because I'll keep sending you love and never worry about whether or not I feel yours because I most certainly do each and every day!

Monday, June 17, 2013

A Special "Hello" From Gabriel On Fathers Day

June is a fiesta at our house. We have Brendan's birthday June 3, Kieran June 7, Shawn (my husband) June 13 and then Father's day. So many years have passed that Shawn never had the celebration he deserved. I was determined this year each person would celebrate his birthday in a special way…….and that Father's day would be as I had always pictured it :)

Ah yes, I always have this picture of "how it should be" the expectation of perfection. Well, it was that and then some. We had so much home made fun for all of the birthdays with games and cake. All seven kids came home for each birthday and we had a ball! By Sunday morning we were all a bit weary from lake water, cake and camp fire smoke! But we set the alarm got up and went to 11 am Mass. This may seem like a late mass but have you ever tried to herd nine people to the same place "looking good" before noon? It's an accomplishment. We have been frequenting the 5pm Sunday Mass - so this was nothing short of a miracle. Our church is under construction, so we are in folding chairs in the 'Faith & Family" center. We all piled into a row on the far right. We are sitting and praying. I looked over my far left shoulder and there he was. The man who eight years ago was on the other side of the curtain as I was recovering from having Gabriel. He didn't mean to but he overheard our conversation over what has happened to Gabriel's body (he was handed to my husband in a bio hazard bag). He was witness to one of the most private moments of our married life. I knew someone was on the other side of that curtain. This is why we were VERY quietly talking. I saw the man leave the area. Then he came back. He walked right up to my bed… He very kindly said " I didn't mean to hear your conversation".....he paused as tears came to his face " but I just wanted to tell you I am so sorry for your loss". He handed me a box and walked away. In the box was a beautiful gold angel lapel pin. I CHERISH this pin. We knew when he approached my bed that we had seen him before. Now I know where I saw Adoration in our church.

Hello Gabriel, so sweet of you to show your Daddy the PERFECT gift. The gift you have left for us to share. The gift of unconditional love.

I still don't know the name of this man. That's what makes this so special. We made eye contact on Sunday, he knew who I was and I knew who he was........I smiled right at him and he smiled back. Nothing else needed to be said. This made Shawn's day.

Happy Father's Day Shawn Paul Malone!!! We all love you DEARLY!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Honoring the Broken Dreams

This post has been entirely inspired by something one of the mothers said to me at our mother to mother group this month when discussing a grief book. A part that really spoke to her was that a big part of grief is having broken dreams. And when you've lost your baby, that's probably the biggest majority of what your grief is. Certainly we miss our baby but we never really got to know them, to see what kind of people they'd become. From the moment you see that pregnancy test turn positive your head is flooded with dreams of this new life.

When will he be due? He'll be so little at Christmas, such a fun age by Summer! Will he have the same handsome face as his daddy? Will she have Mommy's curly hair? What will it be like to watch her grow up?

All these questions that we'll never have answers to. Sometimes I look at my son Kevin and I wonder if Henry would have looked just like him. I imagine he would, I have photos where my two kids could be twins even though they're two years apart! Would he have had that same belly laugh and that same flare for creativity and drama? Would he also have had blonde hair? Would he prefer Batman or Captain America? (a common debate in this house!)

So the point of the discussion became how can we acknowledge those broken dreams but also how can we honor them.

I've approached a time of year that I've been dreading. The time of year Henry should have been born. His due date was July 1 but I knew I would have been induced early for medical reasons and so I never had a real attachment to that date. In my mind, by the time July 1 rolled around I'd already be home with him.

But hearing this talk of how to honor my broken dreams really inspired something inside of me. A big part of my grief has been that no one got to know my son. I didn't even get to know my son besides those gentle little pokes I felt from the inside, and that for about four weeks all he seemed to want me to eat was popsicles and peanut butter sandwiches. That's all I get. I often feel grief at the fact that he can be so easily forgotten. I know no one in my family will forget him, but he had no chance to make an impact. No one can ever start a sentence with, "Remember the time when Henry....."

So what can I do to honor all of those broken dreams? What can I do to help give him more of a legacy? Well in part, reaching out to other mothers through this organization has been one thing, though honestly that feels like something that's more for me than for him because it's been so helpful to me.

So after some thought, I picked a random day at the end of this month. I have decided to make June 24 Henry's day. I hope it will be a yearly tradition, at least for a few years. I plan to do acts of kindness on this day. One thing I'd love to do is to repay some of the kindness we received from the doctors and nurses and staff at the hospital and the doctor's offices so we'll be dropping off some treat baskets and cards. I plan to go to the cemetery and bring flowers to some of the other babies that I know there. I'd like to plant some flowers.

I'd like to do even more but I haven't come up with other ideas just yet. This has become something that's very exciting to me. A day not to dread because he's not here, it's become a day I look forward to because he was here and I'm helping to make sure he's remembered and honored. Some good will come from his short little life on earth.

And to make it even bigger, I've invited my friends and family to do something as well that day. Whatever they want, big or small. And we're going to document it and make a scrapbook so that in the years to come, we can look back at all the good that's been done in Henry's name. Something good has to come from all of this pain. I can't let my only memories of him be sad ones.

So what are some ways that you can or have honored your shattered dreams? I'd love to hear what others have done or would like to do! Please leave comments!! And I encourage everyone to give this a try. It doesn't have to be a big day like I'm doing, it can be a small project, a garden in your yard, taking flowers somewhere. Something positive to do for your baby. Realize that we can still tie memories to their names, they don't have to fall silent and either do we!

Monday, May 20, 2013

Angelversary? Birthday? Anniversary?

by Kambra Malone, President/CEO of back in His Arms Again & Mommy of Gabriel Francis Malone

I’m a very private person. Not with my story of how Gabriel died but with MY feelings on his death. I keep what Shawn and I shared in these few days quiet and sacred. I have written a book. It has it all. But haven’t felt like sharing it yet. Maybe posting this blog might be my first step in being able to share a little more?

Today is May 20, 2013. It’s been eight years since Gabriel's death. I have had 7 other of these May 20th days pass already. Some of the May 20th days have been like every other day and I have felt badly that I just went about my day, always thinking of our son but not crying or overwhelmed. I found PEACE. This May 20 is a little different. Lots of memories of this day and all we went through to get our son for burial are flooding my mind.I truly think I am feeling so much pain as Gabriel was the start of something that is now my full time mission. To honor all life with the charitable organization of “Back In His Arms Again”. Even though I feel very tearful I feel very close to this little guy as he has been fast at work in heaven! And he has friends in “high” places and lots and lots of other Holy Innocents fighting the “good fight”.

For me this day is Gabriel’s BIRTHDAY. This makes many people very uncomfortable. If they had seen his tiny perfection I am quite certain that my skeptics would agree. Gabriel was perfect. The tiniest piece of GOD's miraculous work. He was made in GOD's image.

Our children are the “treasures of our hearts”. Gabriel may have been the tiniest…..but he has made the most profound impact on how we now live our lives for ETERNITY. At each Mass during the consecration we know that we are united with all I heaven. Jesus has given all of us an amazing opportunity to be with our children gone to soon. I LOVE the Mass. I LOVE the Eucharist. I am thankful for my husband who so tenderly placed our son in his casket when no one else would. I am thankful for our children who made his funeral and memory a blessed one! Most of all I am thankful that Jesus chose Shawn and I to have this baby boy who through his intersession is doing mighty things.

Happy BIRTHDAY Gabriel, your Mommy loves you!

Saturday, May 18, 2013

The Elephant In The Room

(Someone shared this poem with me and I really liked it!)

There’s an elephant in the room.
It is large and squatting,
so it is hard to get around it.

Yet we squeeze by with,
“How are you?” and, “I’m fine,”
and a thousand other forms of trivial chatter.

We talk about the weather;
we talk about work;
we talk about everything else—
except the elephant in the room.

There’s an elephant in the room.
We all know it is there.
We are thinking about the elephant
as we talk together.

It is constantly on our minds.
For, you see, it is a very big elephant.
It has hurt us all, but we do not talk about
the elephant in the room.

Oh, please, say her name.
Oh, please, say “Barbara” again.
Oh, please, let’s talk about
the elephant in the room.

For if we talk about her death,
perhaps we can talk about her life.
Can I say, “Barbara” to you
and not have you look away?

For if I cannot,
then you are leaving me alone
in a room—with an elephant.

by Terry Kettering

- - - - - - -

Does anyone else really struggle with the "silence" of your lost baby's name? I feel like whenever I say the words Henry or Alex it sounds strange. It's a name that feels familiar but it sounds very foreign because I don't hear them often. I mean it really is the elephant in the room sometimes! It's become a part of who I am and especially when the loss is fresh, you know people are thinking about it when they see you yet no one really ever likes to use the name. I have always appreciated those who use it. It makes my babies seem "real". Ok I know they were real but it's nice to have that be acknowledged by other people. Hearing someone else talk about Alex or Henry is almost like pouring a healing medicine on a large wound in my heart. It does wonders for my soul!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Just Give Me A Reason

I hope you'll hang in there with me through this post. I'm not sure yet what I'm going to write! Usually I have it all planned out in my head the things I want to say but today is a very emotional day and all I know is I want to write SOMETHING.

I wanted to be able to share a bit of my latest experience. I made a vow to myself that when I blog, even when I'm sharing with complete strangers, I want to be open and honest about who I am and my experiences in this journey.

A lot of people who have read my introduction know a little about my history, about Alex and Henry. What a lot of people don't know is I have had a total of five losses in my journey. I had one "chemical pregnancy" (please see my last post for my feelings on that word!) before my son Kevin was born in 2009. In 2011 we lost Alex at 14 weeks. The following January we lost another baby when I was almost six weeks. Then this past February we lost Henry just shy of 20 weeks. 

After Henry, I saw specialists. I pushed them, pleaded for answers. And I got none. Nothing in the autopsy report. Nothing in my tests. According to them, everything is in perfect working order. 

So we decide to put our trust in our wonderful doctors and in our faith and try again. And we were so amazed when we were pregnant on the very first try! We thought that was a sure sign that this one was meant to be, it happened so easily. 

Unfortunately, as I found out Monday, this was not our rainbow baby. When I was six weeks five days, we lost that baby as well.

Now I was blessed in many ways through this loss. I'd asked my OB for early blood work and an early ultrasound. When the numbers and measurements weren't coming back in agreement with my dating, I had a feeling this one was not meant to be. And the more blood work I had done the more sure of that I became. My hcg had pretty much stopped rising last week so Monday I was sent for a stat blood test and I got squeezed into an ultrasound at Maternal Fetal Medicine at Riverside. 

I met with Dr. M. again who I have to say is probably the most amazing doctor I've met. He held me hand, was very sympathetic and honest. There had been no change in the ultrasound and my hcg had fallen. He still maintains his belief that we can have another healthy pregnancy. In his words, we've had a lot of really bad, unexplainable things happen to us but there's just no mechanism, no common denominator. I've had test after test. There's just really nothing there. I very bluntly told him I'm just not sure I believe him anymore. He was ok that. He believes for me. 

I chose to have a D&C done for a lot of reasons, most of them emotional but I also do live an hour from the hospital and I had concerns about that should something happen. (and with a diagnosis of chronic bad luck, why take my chances??) and we had that done yesterday evening.

While I was waiting (and waiting and waiting) in pre-op I had my ear-buds on and one of the songs I was listening to was that new Pink song with Nate Ruess. "Just Give Me A Reason." and while I know the song is about something completely different, I found some of the lyrics speaking to me.

I'd been feeling very broken. Very defeated. I wanted a REASON. I want to know why this is happening? Four losses in a row, that's just insane! And we have all this technology and yet no one can tell me why. It gives me so much respect for just how fragile the process really is. It only takes one little thing to go wrong to end it all. In my case, this last one was almost for sure a genetic thing. We never had anything but an empty sac, no fetal pole or anything. So something went awry very early.

Anyway back to the song. I'm feeling so lost and angry and Pink starts singing in my ears.

"Just give me a reason, just a little bit's enough. Just a second we're not broken just bent and we can learn to love again."

And I thought about that a little. Hey- Pink is right! I'm not broken. I'm just bent! I can learn to trust my doctors, and trust myself. I've made it through worse, I'll make it through this, too.

"It's in the stars, it's been written in the scars on our hearts."

Yes. One of the things that helps me find peace  is knowing I'm following a path that's been laid out for me. I don't know where I'm going or why but sometimes it helps me to put my trust in that and accept that I'm not in control. I can't use willpower to stay pregnant. It's written in the stars but it's also been written in the scars on my heart. Five big ones. I'll always carry those scars with me. It's not something you ever forget and move on from. Even once you're healed, it's still there. You're never the same person. Not everyone can see these scars, not everyone even knows there are five of them. But they're there. 

Sometime over the weekend, I realized that yes, I'm still praying for a miracle that I just had wacky hcg numbers and everything would be fine. But the more rational part of me realized that wasn't likely. So I prayed for my doctors. They're the ones guiding us through this, I prayed for them to have the proper wisdom and respect. Which they did. And I prayed for more strength which I have been very blessed with. I'm still standing. I'm still fighting. It hurts like hell but I'm not giving up yet. Some may find this idea crazy but I know in my heart that I'm not done. I'm not broken, I'm just bent. 

And today I pray for all the other mamas out there who carry scars on their hearts too. And I pray that wherever you are in your journey, whether you're trying again, not ready to try again, can't try again, etc., you find peace with that. 

And I thank everyone who's been praying for us the last few days. I know there have been many of you and I truly believe they've helped us. I may not have gotten the outcome I wanted but I have enough strength to make it through this and I think at this point that's all I can really ask for. 

I may come across as so "together" and at peace. I'm not. Writing about it helps me and I've been over and over this post, editing and fixing trying to convey it in just the right way. Last Friday when I got our fourth blood test back and it had barely risen, I knew it was over. The nurse told me what to do if I was bleeding heavily over the weekend though she never actually told me the pregnancy was not viable. But I knew. I was driving home in a rain storm from Ella's class trip to the zoo when she called. I mean I guess if you're getting news like that it's better to have it raining than bright and sunny, no? 

I came home, put the kids down for a nap and I went into my room and bawled my eyes out. I cried more that day than I did the day I found out Henry had died. That's for a lot of reasons. The news about Henry sent me into a state of shock, for one. And I was fixated on a lot of things as I prepared to go to the hospital the next day.

Friday though was full of grief but also very full of disappointment and a lot of anger. This is not fair. This shouldn't be happening. I have to start all over. AGAIN. But one of the biggest things I've learned is to just go with it. I cry when I want to cry. I laugh when I feel like laughing. I don't pretend to make sense of it, each experience has been very different, it's impacted us very differently. In some ways, sadly, it's been easier because my wonderful husband and I are now familiar with navigating through the medical aspects of this. We know all about the procedures and the tests and the healing. The emotional stuff is familiar too, though we admit that it is different. 

And this time I have a wonderful circle I've met through Back in His Arms Again and even though I don't yet know them well, they've made me feel so loved and supported. This has been one of the biggest lessons for me. LET PEOPLE HELP YOU! The first three times we went through a loss we were very quiet about it. Losing Henry taught me to accept help and support when it's offered. People want to help! And there's no need for me to be Wonder Woman and have it all together. I'm allowed to accept a meal or help cleaning my house! There's no shame in that. In fact I've come to believe that it takes a bigger woman to accept she needs help than it does to try and do it all myself. And having that support around us has made me smile and feel loved. It's been uplifting at a very low time.

So thank you for allowing me to share this with you. My hope is that in writing, I can help other people. Sometimes just sharing with someone else is helpful. 

Monday, May 13, 2013


I've been writing a personal blog about our loss of Henry and this is a vent I've been meaning to write but I think this will be a better place for it!

Modern medicine has given us several different terms to "define" the loss of our baby.

Chemical Pregnancy. I really despise this term. Technically a chemical pregnancy is a pregnancy that is usually lost before your first missed period or just after up until about five weeks gestation.

Why do I loathe these two words? Because I don't understand why it isn't called a miscarriage for one. If you google it, you'll find a variety of definitions. One place will say it's a pregnancy that never attached to the uterine wall. Others say it's nothing more than a very early miscarriage. If you weren't trying to conceive it's likely you would have never even known you were pregnant. But you WERE pregnant because you got a positive on your pregnancy test, right?!?

I think my experience with a chemical pregnancy has jaded my views on this. I'd had three positive tests in two days, two different brands of tests. But then I started bleeding and went to have blood work done. My test came back negative, no pregnancy hormone detected. I asked the nurse how I could have gotten those positive tests. Her answer? "You must have taken them wrong." 


The other reason I find the term hurtful is because when you hear that you've had a chemical pregnancy what a lot of women are really hearing out of their doctor's mouth is, "Oh bless your heart, you thought you were pregnant! Nope, it was just a chemical pregnancy." 

I feel like the term implies there was never a real pregnancy to begin with and that's just not the case. As soon as you see that test turn positive, you are imaging a future with that baby. But it's not just the "idea" of the pregnancy that you've lost, it's still your baby. Don't let the term scare you away from feeling that.

Miscarriage This term covers a LOT of territory. Anything from conception up until 20 weeks is a miscarriage. And my only beef with this word is that I feel like there's a society stigma attached to it. "Oh it was just a miscarriage." as if it happens all the time, is no big deal.

The truth? Sure, it's very common. But that doesn't mean it happens to you all the time. There's no "just" about it. You lost your baby, be it 6 weeks or 19. I find this to be true especially with earlier losses. They aren't supposed to be as devastating according to our society. It makes women feel bad for grieving. "Oh it was just a miscarriage, why are you so upset?" I have heard other mothers say people have said things like that to them.

Technically, Henry was a miscarriage because he was a few days short of 20 weeks. But you will never, ever hear me refer to that as a miscarriage. Why? Because the experience was anything but. I still had to go to the hospital and be induced. I had to give birth to my baby. I had to deal with breast milk that was made for a baby who was not here. The term miscarriage doesn't seem to do that any justice.

I suppose I am comfortable referring to Alex as a miscarriage as the process was natural and happened on its own. It was a very different experience. But I still feel that the term doesn't do it justice. I still buried my baby in the cemetery. It can't be summed up in one word. 

I feel part of the  reason society doesn't "get it" is because we as mothers aren't really comfortable talking about it. And why should we when we hear things like, "It was just a miscarriage, it's not like you knew your baby!" I think if more people knew what it was really like both physically and emotionally there would be a better understanding of it. And I think a lot of it also has to do with the way our culture values life in general.

I would love to hear your thoughts on some of the medical definitions and how you feel about them or how people have responded to you. Maybe I read too much into them but I have always felt that the entire experience is very downplayed by the people around us and it makes it hard to feel like you have a lot of support around you.

In general, I think the point I'm getting at here is that losing a baby is never something that can be defined by one or two words. To a mother, it is never just a miscarriage, it is never just a chemical pregnancy. It is never just an experience. It's a devastating, life changing event. I understand that our doctors have to use words to define what's happened physically but there's no way to define that emotionally and there's no other way to really communicate to others the difference.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Mothers Day

Mothers Day can be a sore spot for women who have lost their baby. This past Sunday was Bereaved Mothers Day and of course this Sunday is "regular" Mothers Day.

I kind of understand the sentiment behind a Bereaved Mothers Day but part of me also wonders why bereaved mothers can't be celebrated with all the other mothers? The answer to that one is pretty simple actually: We live in a society that doesn't seem to want to acknowledge the mothers that don't have their babies with them. So we had to create our own special day.

I came across a wonderfully written article over at Still Standing online magazine (a wonderful place to browse!) and it started off with this quote:

"A mother is not defined by the number of children you see but by the love that she holds in her heart." ~Franchesca Cox

I can't agree more! I mean what really makes a mother? It really all boils down to loving your child in a way only a mother can. Which we can do even if our baby is not in our arms. I know many mothers who aren't blessed to have living children  that don't feel like "real" mothers because their babies have died. And they are often left out of being celebrated on Mothers Day for the same reason.

But guess what? Even if your baby did not make it, YOU ARE STILL A MOTHER! Don't ever let yourself be treated like you aren't. 

Personally, I am very lucky to have two living children but Mothers Day is very bittersweet because I don't have all of my children here with me. I get to spend the day with my wonderful and lively kids but I am also reminded of the two children that are missing. I keep this passage of scripture in my back pocket:

"If a man owns a hundred sheep and one of them wanders away, will he not leave the 99 on the hills and go to look for the one that wandered off?"  ~Matthew 18:12

 I know myself and several other mothers have been told things like, "At least you still have your living children."  I think of that verse often in response to those statements. Yes, I am very blessed to have my two living children. Obviously I am very aware of that. But it does not lessen my pain. And for the women who do not have living children, they are told to just be thankful for their husband or their family or their job or whatever this well-meaning person thinks to say. But it doesn't lessen the ache in their empty arms. We are still mothers, we will always grieve that loss. 

A friend of mine posted a wonderful statement in regards to Mothers Day:

"I think one of the issues in our culture is that we are better at celebrating mothers than we are at honoring them. A celebration is more likely to alienate those mothers who are grieving in some way, while honoring mothers is a more inclusive approach to Mothers Day. I do think celebrations are healthy but I think it would be better to remember the part where we honor people."

I really like that little insight. Celebrate vs. honor. It really is hard to celebrate a mother whose arms are missing one of her children. How do you celebrate that?!? But you can honor her certainly. 

And just for the record, Mothers Day was founded by a woman named Anna Jarvis to honor her mother Ann, who had survived the loss of seven of her children. Seven! Mothers day began in the first place to honor a bereaved mother!! 

So to all my mommy friends out there who have lost one or more of their children, I want to say to you Happy Mothers Day. You are a mother no matter how many children people see (or don't see) you out and about with. You are a mother because of the love that's in your heart.


Tuesday, April 30, 2013


My name is Amy Tatz. I'll be the "woman behind the curtains" of this blog most of the time though I look forward to having guest bloggers join us! 

I am fairly new to Back in His Arms Again, only learning about it after losing our son Henry at 20 weeks back in February. My family was not new to this having already lost Alex at 14 weeks back in October of 2011. 

The first time we went through the pain of losing a baby was a lot different. I was totally unable to be open about it, terrified to bring it up to people. After losing Henry, it was like something snapped. I didn't want to be silent anymore. I felt it was so unfair how many other mothers came out of the woodwork to confess their losses to me. Why didn't I know they'd been through that? Why have we been so quiet about it all? So right then and there I vowed to do things differently this time through. I have shared very honestly with my friends and family and now I hope to do the same with our readers here!

I have two children here on Earth. Ella is a beautiful five year old and Kevin is a spunky three year old. I love how easy it's been to explain this to them- the accept the most simple answers because they aren't yet old enough to question the things they don't really understand.

Losing a baby is an experience that's totally unique to you. No one's experience is the same. Not even my two experiences have been the same, but I am always more than happy to share them with other mothers in hopes that the things we have gone through might help them in some way.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013


We would like to welcome you to our new blog! We are very excited to reach out to our community and support each other through one of the most difficult experiences.

During a time of grief and pain, Back in His Arms Again is a ministry of collaborative resources providing care, compassion, faith, guidance, and support to those experiencing loss as well as those providing care.

The resources provided by Back in His Arms Again are intended to lead families to organizations who respect life from conception to natural death.

We offer many various services to help families who have lost a baby. If you are new to our organization, please visit for more information.

We look forward to sharing and hearing from others about their experiences and finding new ways to support each other!