The struggles of dealing with a small child after the death of a sibling

A grieving mother trying to cope with other small children who do not understand the death of their siblingAs we were driving home today, my five-year-old asked, “Who is going to blow out the candles on Gabriel’s birthday?”

I just looked in the rear-view mirror, faked a smile, and said, “you are.”  Read More

Our Trisomy 18 Journey: Hello and Goodbye

Bereavement photo of a mother with her child after induction of labor due to genetic abnormality and Trisomy 18

The amount of emotion we felt on this day is indescribable. No parent, no person, should ever have to both welcome their child into this world and then have to hold them as they die.

You are so overwhelmed with joy and with heartache that there really is nothing else in life that is comparable. Until you’ve been there, there is no possible way you can understand.

While it is my greatest hope that no one else ever has to experience this same sort of pain, I know now that it happens every day. Whether it be from Trisomy 13 or Trisomy 18, or from any other form of fetal demise, it will happen. Since I cannot do anything to prevent it, I at least want to share my story so that other women can go into these circumstances knowing they are not alone. Besides my faith in God, the only humanly thing that has consoled me has been hearing the stories of other women who have lived through the death of their baby and have somehow, someway, survived it.  Read More

Our Trisomy 18 Journey: The Impossible Choice

A mother faced with an impossible choice or decision after being an ultrasound revealing fetal abnormalities and the genetic disorder known as Trisomy 18 or Edwards Syndrome. She has been given the option to terminate the pregnancy for her own health or to go full term knowing her baby will die after birth.

Frankly, my choice when facing a Trisomy 18 diagnosis is no one’s business but my own. But being put in a position where I was asked to make an impossible decision has opened my eyes and my heart to others and I urge you all to do the same.

Throughout this process, I was given four options. Read More

Dealing with a pregnancy announcement after losing your child

An elated mother-to-be shares pregnancy announcement not realizing the hurt it may cause women who have lost a baby due to miscarriage, stillbirth, or defects I am so very happy for you and your family, but please do not be offended if I need some space right now. Your child is an absolute blessing to this world and I hope to rejoice with you someday soon, but I need some time to heal first.

In light of your pregnancy announcement, please do not be offended or feel as if I do not care if I have to remove myself from your life for awhile. If I stop following your social media feeds, it isn’t because I do not love and care for you. Please don’t feel like I am not thrilled for your new addition. It’s more complicated than that.  Read More

Our Trisomy 18 Journey: My Baby’s Funeral

“Here I am, Lord. Is it I, Lord?”

The sounds of children’s voices echoed through the cathedral at my daughters’ school as my husband, dressed in black, carried our son Gabriel towards the altar. My two daughters and I, along with our family members and all the small children in attendance, followed behind, carrying white roses to offer him near his casket. My mom took one of my grandmother’s tablecloth’s and placed it over top, as a pall. A Catholic priest sprinkles incense on our infant son at our baby's funeral following his death due to fetal abnormalities and a genetic disorder known as Trisomy 18.

I will always remember my baby boy being placed at the forefront of this beautiful cathedral, painted light blue, surrounded by roses, stained glass windows, and the smell of incense. My husband placed a baby blue Crucifix on top of his casket and a two-toned blue Rosary nearby.

And then it began–my baby’s funeral. My son’s official farewell.  Read More