My husband, Robert and I found out we were
expecting a baby in early July 2002 and excitedly told our 4 other children
over breakfast at Dennys. There were mixed responses from our oldest 20
year old, engaged daughter to our youngest 7 year old little girl who was
afraid of being dethroned. We are a blended family with the
his, hers, and ours complications that go
along with creating a new family unit and then adding to it. But after the
initial surprise, everyone was happy and looking forward to the new addition to
Around 8 weeks along, I began spotting but never really
thought much of it I just never ever thought it could happen to me. I
had an ultrasound to make sure everything was fine. And they assured me it was.
I heard the babys heartbeat and had pictures. So, when I went in again at
11 weeks after more spotting, I was stunned by the nurses words,
Well, were not seeing what we would normally see
hit me like a ton of bricks. Ill never forget the image of the black hole
on the monitor as she moved the wand over my belly.
I was shaking and
crying as I tried to get dressed. I called my husband who immediately came to
the doctors office to be with me. We decided to schedule a D&C for
the next morning. I was handed a very clinical brochure the morning of the
surgery briefly describing the medical procedure. Afterwards, I felt so empty
figuratively and literally. I was surprised at the intensity of my
emotions and the deep sense of loss I felt. For weeks I alternated between
crying and numbness and even with loving and supportive family & friends, I
still felt very alone in my grief. I spent many tear-filled hours reading
others stories on the internet and voraciously read everything I could on
miscarriages and infant death. All the while, I felt compelled to do something
about the emptiness of it all.
The idea of Heaven Born emerged in my
mind and as an artist, I began to visualize the logo, and found the perfect
poem to combine with it. I began compiling information and writing down points
that I had found the most helpful. I discussed this with noone and kept these
thoughts to myself for fear of people thinking I was obsessing about it. My son
David, who was 11 at the time, unknowingly lit the spark that started this
whole project. I was having a rough time one evening and as I was quietly
crying when David said to me, Mom, I think this happened to you so that
you could help others. It was a goose-bump moment for me as I felt like
God had spoken directly to me through my son. That night I stayed up late
designing the logo and incorporating the poem. I set it up as two cards on a
layout and brought the file with me to work the next day. That morning at work,
a co-worker hesitantly approached me and asked if I would mind helping her. The
night before, her sister-in-law who was expecting twins, found out that at 19
weeks her babies had died. I printed out the cards I had made and on one I
wrote a note expressing my deepest sympathy as well as noting some websites to
visit that had helped me. And the second card I took with me to my six week
follow-up appointment with my doctor that just so happened to be the same day.
I didnt know exactly what to propose, but I felt like I needed to do
My wonderful doctor, Kent Snowden of St. Johns
Hospital, listened to my thoughts and then, much to my surprise, said he would
support me in this endeavor. I spent the next several months writing the
booklet and then a printer friend of mine, Chris Kuhl of Trio Printing,
produced it for me. The idea of the pillows emerged thereafter as a way to
present the booklet as a gift and offer something real that could be held.
Every time I carry a box of pillows into the hospital, I feel I am carrying the
precious souls of those sweet little angels. There is a sense of purpose and
peace that transcends any words I can use to describe it.
We named our
baby Katie (Kathleen after my mom and Therese is my middle name). I thank God
every day for the gift of this child that I have yet to meet. And I dream of
spending an eternity getting to see her, know her, hold her and love her. Her
sweet little life, so brief, has already made such a difference in this world.
And that is what truly matters.
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