Friends of Naomi's Circle, especially in Columbia, SC, we need your help!
The Mommy to Mommy Outreach begun by Sarah Hackett and Rachel Raper is truly having an impact. More than 50 bereaved mothers in the greater Columbia, SC, area have received Brie Bags and Embracing Evan bears in the last several months through our outreach at three local hospitals. Unfortunately, this is a need that will never be satisfied this side of heaven.
Can you help? We need people to donate fabric for the bags, diapers, and hats; time and talent to sew these items (not hard, promise!); and finances to help purchase the books and bears. Do you have a church or community group that would like to hear from us? Go to our Mommy to Mommy page for more information, and to our "Donations" page to find out how to help financially. Thank you! Please share this need with others!
Many today will light candles in memory of their babies in Heaven...but many will also do so not knowing how or why October 15th came to be the singular day in the month of October to remember them. The woman behind the day is Robyn Bear, who longed for one day when grieving parents could come together and be surrounded by love and support from family and friends. Her website, www.october15th.com, has valuable information about events associated with Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month and resources available to help in the healing. She also has a Facebook group where parents may offer support to one another. Thank you, Robyn, for envisioning this day!
The website "Perinatal Hospice and Palliative Care: A Gift of Time" is a wealth of information for parents who have received a negative prenatal diagnosis for their unborn child. Often, parents in such a situation are encouraged to terminate the pregnancy rather than continue it. However, there is another choice - to carry a pregnancy, even with a negative diagnosis. There is help and support for parents who choose this road, and one of the best places to find it is on this website, which is edited by Amy Kuebelbeck, author of Waiting with Gabriel: A Story of Cherishing a Baby's Brief Life (Loyola Press, 2003). The website includes lists of resources for both parents and caregivers, supportive organizations around the United States and the world, and the positive stories of parents who have chosen to carry their child for as long as they were allowed to. Please share this with others or, if you have been presented with this choice, check it out yourself.
Still Standing magazine began only a little over a year ago and has had a huge response, with nearly ten thousand Facebook followers in addition to e-mail subscribers and those who drop in from other placed on the Internet.
Still Standing is an online magazine about pregnancy, infant, and child loss - but not only about the time of loss and the grief that follows. As the title implies, Still Standing is about parents who, after surviving one of the worst losses, manage to still stand, embracing life. The stories, some written by regular contributors and others by guest posters, touch on all kinds of topics within that larger umbrella - self-care, fathers, faith, sibling grief, parenting after loss, pregnancy after loss, and grandparents, to name a selection. It is a marvelous place to find quality writing from others who have walked the same road and who understand the complex emotions that accompany parents who have lost a child and have found the strength to stand and move into the future with hope.
Not many children book's have been written about pregnancy loss or infant death, and even fewer that are both high quality and line up with Scripture. Where is Chloe? by Donna Wilkins does both. This book is targeted at 4-to-8-year-olds and speaks through the voice of a little girl with questions about her little sister who passed away. Some of the pictures and questions seem to refer more to an infant or a late pregnancy loss, but the book could be used for siblings of a baby lost earlier in pregnancy as well. Told from a Christian perspective, this book provides reassurance that the families left behind will see their baby in Heaven. With its gentle rhymes and pictures, it is a wonderful book to share with young children who have questions about the brother or sister that they miss.
You may feel abandoned by God, you may be confused, you may feel like pushing God away.
But please - don't.
In this time of trouble, God promises to be your refuge and strength.
He can be trusted.
He is good.
A Guide for Fathers: When a Baby Dies by Tim Nelson is a small book that makes a big impact. Written by a dad for dads, it is perfect to share with a father dealing with the death of his baby at any stage of pregnancy or early infancy. It is especially helpful immediately after a loss, as it covers topics such as talking with medical providers, supporting one's partner, telling the news to children, and planning a funeral. However, it also contains information helpful down the road such as going back to work, seeking out a support group, communicating in the months ahead, and going through a subsequent pregnancy. The book is small enough to slip into a pocket to read when the opportunity arise and I wish this were given to every dad when confronted with the loss of a baby.
This Bible study by Teske Drake takes the bereaved mother by the hand and shows her how God's promises of love, goodness, peace, and purpose, among others, are not null and void in the aftermath of losing a child. Teske, founder of the Mommies with Hope ministry, is a three-time bereaved mother herself and she artfully weaves her story, as well as the stories of other women, throughout the study. Unlike some other pregnancy loss Bible studies that place much emphasis on Loss and the grieving process, this book keeps the emphasis on Christ throughout while at the same time never minimizing the great loss that a baby's death is. Journaling questions are placed at appropriate moments in each chapter, and these also provide places to begin discussions in a small group study environment, along with the additional study resources that are available on the Mommies with Hope website. This is a truly wonderful, and potentially life-changing, book for anyone wanting to experiencing hope after the loss of a child.
Reading the One Year Book of Hope, by Nancy Guthrie, is like having a daily visit with a good friend. Nancy is no stranger to the world of infant loss, having lost two children in infancy from the same genetic disorder. She is transparent in sharing her story and the gut-wrenching grief that comes from the loss of a child. But at the same time, she challenges us to bring our brokenness before God and allow Him to keep us from a life of bitterness and fear. The book is divided into weekly themes such as "Brokenhearted", "The Presence of God", and "Heaven: Longing for Home". and each day then includes a thoughtful essay from the author, followed by a "Digging Deeper" question, and each week concludes with a meditation and prayer. If you are looking for easy questions and shallow answers, skip this book. If you want to pursue God's hope from the depths of your pain and disappointment, then I strongly recommend The One Year Book of Hope.
Hannah's Prayer (www.hannah.org) is a ministry specifically for married Christian women struggling with fertility issues, including infertility, pregnancy loss, and infant death. Hannah's Prayer was begun by Jenny Saake, author of the book Hannah's Hope: Seeking God's Heart in the Midst of Infertility, Miscarriage, and Adoption Loss.
The heart of the ministry is the online forums, which include topics such as Primary Infertility, Secondary Infertility, Loss, Assisted Reproductive Technology, Adoption, Pregnancy, Male Factor Infertility, Complete as Two (for those who are no longer pursuing parenthood), Adoption Loss, Embryo Adoption, Life Outside Infertility (for those days you need a break from the heaviness of life!), and many more. The forums are led by volunteer moderators who help keep conversations on target and respectful and, most importantly, pray for the women who frequent them. The ministry is nondenominational and welcomes women from a wide variety of backgrounds and, while it is based in the United States, its members span the entire globe.
The Hannah's Prayer website states, "With all of our differences, we have at least these four things in common: we are married, we are Christians, we are women, and we are seeking God to aid us in surviving our fertility challenges." If you are looking for a supportive group of women on-line, women who "get" the grief and struggle you are dealing with, Hannah's Prayer is a great place to find one!
Naomi's Circle News
Here you will find articles intended to help you in your journey. Some will be reviews of websites and books. Some will be devotionals, some general articles, and some will be guest bloggers. Feel free to comment and let us know if there is something you would like to see addressed here.
Week 1: Devotional
Week 2: General article about loss
Week 3: Testimony/guest blogger
Week 4: Website/book Review