Today we are starting a new series titled “Finding Triumphs in the Midst of Tragedies.” As someone who has experienced a loss, I can tell you that it is often hard to find the “triumphs” when you are knee deep in a tragedy. I am constantly reassured by Romans 8:28, however: “And in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.” God can still work wonders in the midst of our despair. These stories were carefully penned by some very brave women. They are raw and heart-wrenching. But I hope you will find encouragement by reading how God was able to bring triumphs out of even the most unthinkable of tragedies.
Guest Post by Kelly of Elise’s Honor
On April 6, 2009, my fourth child, a little girl, was stillborn at 36 weeks gestation. She had her umbilical cord wrapped tightly around her neck 5 times as well as a knot in it. It never once crossed my mind that my baby could die inside of me at almost full term. I had no idea what to do, how to feel or how to go on. But I had 3 other children at home who needed me. I fumbled through those first few months just trying to function and trying to make sense of what had happened. I don’t know that it will ever “make sense”.
In the 2 years since this tragedy for myself and my family, I have become very vocal about the frequency and devastation caused by pregnancy loss. My hope is to create awareness and comfort others in similar situations.
Each year in the United States almost 30,000 babies are lost to stillbirth (death of an infant in-utero after 20 gestational weeks). That is 1 in 115 deliveries is a “still” baby, over 90 babies EVERY SINGLE DAY. Most stillborn babies are at or near full term. Another 500,000 are lost to miscarriage (death of an infant in-utero before 20 gestational weeks) each year. The majority of babies lost during pregnancy are completely healthy. There are no identifiable risk factors for stillbirth and it cuts across all socio-economic classes, races, religions, body types and maternal age groups.
October is National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month as proclaimed by President Ronald Reagan in 1988. Specifically, October 15th was declared Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day by Congress in House Concurrent Resolution # 222 in 2006. This year, in observance of that date, I will be hosting a family dinner at a local restaurant for all families who have been touched by pregnancy loss. On this evening they will be able connect with other families who have experienced similar losses and celebrate the child they never knew. I have spent the entire summer contacting businesses with my story and asking for donations to be used for a raffle that evening. All proceeds raised from “Elise’s Honor Pregnancy Loss Event” will be donated to First Candle, the nation’s leading organization committed to safe pregnancies and infant health and survival.
In addition to this event, I am a volunteer leader for a “Face 2 Face” group in my area that brings together people who share a deep common bond, the death of a child. I am also a support group moderator for a local mom’s group for their grief forum.
Once my event is over, I will be partnering with my local hospital to help raise awareness and funds to directly benefit their Perinatal Bereavement Support Group.
In short, I have made it my mission to educate the public about pregnancy loss and support those affected by it in some way or another.
You can visit Kelly over at her blog Elise’s Honor.