Thursday, November 27, 2014

Carrying To Term: Thankful

By Heather Kimble

When your baby is given a fatal diagnosis and passes away, it’s hard to be thankful for anything. How is there anything to thankful for? You are experiencing a parent’s worst nightmare. 

However, after my daughter, Hannah, was given a fatal diagnosis and passed away, I learned I had something to be incredibly thankful for; I had her, even for a short time. 

I cherish every single minute Hannah was with me. I wouldn't trade that time for the world and would choose to carry her with the fatal diagnosis all over again. Her life was worth it, no matter how brief it was.  

I’m so thankful to God that I had her briefly than to never of had her at all. 

I know this doesn't take the pain away. I know this doesn't make it all ok. I know this doesn't make it fair. 

However, I also know we love our babies. I know regardless of their fatal diagnosis, our babies are perfect in our eyes. I know we wouldn't trade our babies for the world. 

I’m sorry this post isn't very long. I just wanted to share what God laid on my heart. In the midst of this Holiday season, I am thankful for my daughter and every moment I had with her. 

I also believe that those of us who carry after a fatal diagnosis and after our babies pass away; we have a deeper understanding of what it truly means to love and be thankful.

FREE printable! Click HERE
Who are YOU thankful for today?

~ ~ ~

Heather Kimble lives in the Philadelphia area. She is married to her best friend, Jason and is mommy to Hannah Sue Kimble. Hannah is her only child. Heather carried Hannah after receiving a fatal diagnosis and was told to terminate. Heather was told to terminate based on the serious risk to her own personal health. She doesn't believe in termination and chose to carry Hannah with love. Hannah passed away and was born sleeping on December 23rd, 2013. Heather and Jason treasure every moment they had with Hannah during pregnancy and after delivery. Hannah has inspired a nonprofit started by her parents to help others and to help break the silence by sharing their journey of baby loss. Visit her blog, Hannah's Heart and Love, and follow her page on Facebook

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

A Collection of Poems, Part I

How Do I Live, Knowing He Never Got To?
By Jenni Dolezilek Sternberg

How do I live everyday without him?

How do I sleep at night knowing his cries will never wake me in the middle of the night?

How do I live knowing my body could keep him alive inside of me, but could do nothing once he was born?

How do I live knowing the last place I got to “tuck him in” was his coffin?

How do I live knowing the last time I kissed him, was the last time I kissed him this side of Heaven?

How do I live knowing all the things I didn’t get to do and remembering the things I had to do and didn’t get to?

How do I live knowing I will never again be whole, knowing when he slipped out of my body, a piece , a part of me slipped out too, never to be regained, but was instead buried inside his little coffin with him?

How could I possibly leave him at the cemetery, alone and cold?

He left my dark cocoon of a womb fully enveloped in love and has now been left in a cold, dark hole in the earth.

How do I live knowing he never saw the sun, or a snowflake, he never felt the wind, tasted chocolate, or swung on a swing?

He never got a bedtime story, ate cookies, he’ll never go to school, he’ll never kiss me goodbye.

How do I live knowing I’ll never hear his laugh, his cry, his voice, hear him sing, I’ll never hear him call me mommy, or tell me he loves me?

I’ll never feel his kisses, or hugs, or his warm breath. I’ll never see his eyes light up when he sees me.

How do I carry that burden, it’s too heavy- I don’t want to be “the woman who lost a baby-” I want to shed the title, the sadness, the heaviness, even if just for a while.
I don’t want every happy event left to come to be tainted with, “Cameron should be here.”

I hate hating pregnant women, I hate being jealous of people who have died.

I hate having to with all my strength keep myself from wishing I was dead- and sometimes coming to close to that desire and jumping headfirst into the pain- asking God to take me to Cameron, trying to tell myself there is no reason to stay.

I know Cameron is in the most wonderful place of all. I don’t worry about him- well, I do a little, I’m his mom, that’s what moms do. But I feel the pain- I want to be the one to share all of Cameron’s “firsts.” I want to show him everything and tell him everything- and I want to see his first tooth, first haircut, etc.

How do I live without him?
How do I live knowing all the dreams are shattered?
How do I live amongst the broken shards?
I injure myself on them constantly.
I feel the pain at every moment, it follows me like a cloud. 


Thursday, November 13, 2014

These are My Footprints

By Christine Russo

This is a poem that was given to us in the hospital we gave birth at with our angel Gianna. The poem below is now framed in her special 'cubby'. The cubby holds gifts that were given to us for Gianna while we carried her and after she passed. Included is a beautiful blanket with her name engraved, dried flowers from her memorial, a beautiful blown up picture of her fingers grasping mine in a beautiful, custom made frame with ruffles and sparkles (very girly), and a plethora of other beautiful, thoughtful gifts for our girl.

This particular poem means so much to me because even though her precious, perfect feet never touched the ground, she is always with us. She is with us in so many ways every single day. ❤️

These are My Footprints

These are my footprints, so perfect and so small. 

These tiny footprints, never touched the ground at all.

Not one tiny footprint, for now I have my wings. 

These tiny footprints were meant for other things.

You will hear my tiny footprints, in the patter of the rain. 

Gentle drops like angels tears, of joy and not from pain.

You will see my tiny footprints, in each butterflies' lazy dance. 

I'll let you know I'm with you, if you give me just a chance.

You will see my tiny footprints, in the rustle of the leaves. 

I will whisper names into the wind, 
and call each one that grieves.

Most of all, these tiny footprints, are found in mommy and daddy's  heart, cause even though I'm gone now, we'll never truly part.

~ ~ ~

Christine Russo is a wife to an amazing, supportive husband, and a mommy to Angel Gianna Marie, her first and only child. She carried Gianna after receiving a fatal diagnosis halfway into her pregnancy. Through the love and spirit of their special daughter, who means the world to them, they wish to help support other families who have to say goodbye to a piece of their heart.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Tommy's Story, by his Mama

Written by Kim Endraske

"Mrs. Endraske, you have three options.  You can terminate the pregnancy, you can do nothing and let nature take its course, or we can attempt an in-utero procedure to try to bypass the bladder obstruction."

"Doctor, termination is not an option for us.  We will not end this baby's life.  But, please, I don't want to go through the next six months waiting for the day my baby will die.  Please, do something to help him.  What can you do for him?  Can you save him?"

The doctor produced a blank piece of plain, white typing paper and began with a pen to outline our surgical options.  They could use a laser beam to open a tiny hole in the end of our unborn son's urethra, burning out the obstruction; or they could insert a shunt to drain his bladder out the side of his belly into the amniotic sac, bypassing the obstruction; or they could wait until he was bigger and remove him from my womb for surgical correction and then replace him for the remainder of the pregnancy.

I was only 14 weeks into my pregnancy.  I was barely beginning to show.  How could I possibly be facing these kinds of decisions?

By the next week, my unborn son's condition (officially titled Posterior Urethral Valves) had continued to worsen to the point that the doctor feared he didn't have much time left.  We hurried to operate before he gave way to heart problems likely caused by his ever-expanding bladder.

The in-utero procedure was attempted, but was unsuccessful.  Our baby boy, Tommy, was still so small and his position in my womb made it impossible to perform either possible surgical option.  After turning off the ultrasound machine guiding their instruments, my doctor asked me to return on Monday so he could check to see if his heart was still beating.  Following the longest weekend of my life, I learned that my son had indeed passed away.

At 3:35 a.m., on September 15, 1998, Thomas William Endraske was born silently into a dark, empty room.  His ten perfectly formed little fingers and toes, two itty-bitty ears and one teeny-tiny nose, dwarfed by his one big, bloated belly.

Tommy, by Kim Endraske

In the years following this tragic loss, I was propelled by the Lord to use this pain to bring Him glory. I approached my church about helping to start a ministry to other families continuing their pregnancy after a poor or fatal prognosis for their unborn baby.  It was named A Child of Promise and has maintained an online presence, providing counsel to searching families, for a dozen years.

Yet, God still would not let me stop there.  In so many ways, I had moved forward, but there was still a burning fire in my heart to comfort others who are in any affliction, with the comfort which I had received from God. (2 Corinthians 1:4).  I had indeed been afflicted, but I had also been comforted and that comfort had come in the good counsel of God's Word.

So, I began to study the scriptures earnestly, searching for the words that would bring comfort, truth, hope and peace to other families who were continuing their pregnancy.  My idea was to provide a companion for the lonely days, weeks and months that the parents spend waiting for the arrival of their baby.  I wanted it to be minister to any family regardless of the severity of their child's diagnosis.  I knew that all parents were in need of encouragement, whether their child had been diagnosed with a limb abnormality or Down Syndrome or Anencephaly.

After over ten years in the works, A Child of Promise: A Bible Study for Parents Facing a Poor or Fatal Prognosis for their Unborn Child by Kim Endraske has been published. While walking through excerpts of my own pregnancy journey, the reader reflects on applicable scriptures and journaling prompts.  Each lesson is broken up by the stage of pregnancy, from the initial excitement of finding out you are expecting; to the tests, questions and decisions faced; to the roller coaster of waiting for the child’s arrival and looking toward an uncertain future.  It is available on Amazon and other major book sellers.

Thursday, November 6, 2014


by Alex Hopper

“This is how it feels when the sacred is torn from your life, and you’ve survived. This is
what it means to be be loved and to know that the promise was when everything fell, we’d be held.”
Held by Natalie Grant

You wake up, for half a second you believe it was all a nightmare. You do a sanity check.
You look at your baby’s name tattooed on your wrist, or see their picture on your phone,
or reach to feel your no-longer-pregnant belly. You remember. You remember every
detail that led to where you are today, waking up with no child. You will yourself out
of bed. On the days you can get away with it, you do the bare minimum. On the days
you can’t, you do your best to look presentable. You pass your baby’s empty room on
the way downstairs. Some days you look. Some days you open the door, and do another
sanity check. Check the crib, bassinet, and stroller, half expecting, fully hoping, to see
your sweet baby sleepy peacefully, but they are never there. Some days you simply stare
at the floor and pretend that room doesn’t exist. You make your way out into the world.
Suddenly you are just another person getting your coffee, heading to work, sitting in
traffic. But there is no “baby on board” or stick figure family on your back window.
Instead, there is a magnet that has your child’s name written over angel wings. Once you
get to work, you do your best to be sociable and do your job well. You work hard, and try
not to look too sad when you pass the baby section or the customer with a newborn. You
laugh with your co-workers, you look so normal sometimes.

After work, you head home to a dark house. You turn on the television to cover up the
deafening silence. You spend time with your spouse and stay up as late as possible. When
it’s time for bed, you lie down, but know that sleep won’t come easily. Your mind begins
to re-play everything that led up to your loss. You relive the entire thing. Some nights it
is all sadness, other nights it is the happy memories too, but it is always on your mind,
until you finally drift off to sleep. If you’re lucky, your dreams will be sweet and you
may even see your baby. Some nights there will be nightmares. You will wake up, and
wish it was all just a nightmare. You will do your sanity check, see the tattoo on your
foot, and remember the reality.

This is how it feels when your precious child dies. When everything that was beautiful in
your world is ripped away, and somehow you’ve managed to live through it. Sometimes
you will wish you hadn’t survived, because this new world, without your baby, is just
too much to bear. But you will keep on living. As much as you want to be in the place
of no pain, you’ve made a promise. A promise to your spouse, to never leave each other.
A promise to your baby, to keep living, in honor of them. To live a life that would make
your baby proud.

You will survive. You will continue on. When you feel you can’t carry on, allow yourself
to just be held, by the only One who can.
~ ~ ~

Alex Hopper is a writer in North Carolina. She is married to her beloved, Trent, and mommy to her angel, Cyrus. Cyrus was diagnosis with a fatal birth defect in the womb at 12 weeks. He was carried with love until he was born at 33 weeks on November 25, 2013. He lived for 1 hour and 9 minutes. His life was short, but his legacy lives on.
Powered by Blogger.
Design by Luminous Light Studio | All Rights Reserved