Stillbirthday–new miscarriage resource

I have accepted that the timeline for writing my Empowered Miscarriage book is going to be quite a bit longer than I originally hoped, partially because I didn’t get as many stories as I had hoped for and so the “feel” I had envisioned for the book is evolving. If you submitted a story, rest assured that I have not forgotten it and continue to hold it with the honor and respect it deserves. I have also decided to turn this blog into a book and I’m working on that project first, since it is more readily completable in the context of the rest of my life.

In the meantime, I just discovered this helpful resource: Stillbirthday. It is EXACTLY what I wished I had available to me during my own miscarriage experiences and in part, it contains exactly the type of information and support that I envisioned my own book providing. It has a section about birth methods, including a good one about natural miscarriage. The most helpful part is the “early pregnancy home birth plan” printable and customizable document. It is exactly what I wished I had when I faced my own miscarriage-birth of Noah. His birth was such uncharted terrain for me and I felt the lack of a “guide” for it very keenly.The website does say that you should not have your baby at home alone and that natural miscarriage is safest for pregnancies 10 weeks or younger—my baby was over 10 weeks and I did have him at home alone (with my husband). These are not decisions that I regret, but I do think it is important to be aware that what I chose to do is not necessarily the safest route. I did not realize that at the time and looking back I feel somewhat horrified that the doctor’s office just sent me home to go it alone! Since my outcome was “positive,” I wouldn’t change how I handled it, but knowing everything I know now, I would probably make some different decisions if I ever had the experience again.

As an example of the kinds of things I wish I had known or had available to me before my own miscarriage-birth, the birth plan section of the Stillbirthday site makes the suggestion to have saline solution and a clear jar available to put the baby in. This is to “restore the baby’s fullness” and give you a chance to spend time looking at the baby without worrying about damaging its skin. While I’m happy that I knew enough to take pictures and to look at the baby at the time, I think I will always regret that I didn’t spend more time with his body. By the time my dad brought him back to us in the afternoon to bury, his form was very different (less full) than it had been originally and I feel like we missed out on important time and observations.

The Stillbirthday website does seem to assume that most women will be coming from a Christian/traditional spiritual belief system, which is not the same as my own, so do be aware of that.

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5 responses to “Stillbirthday–new miscarriage resource

  1. Are you still accepting submissions? I wrote my story many months ago when you called for submissions, but didn’t wind up editing it down and expressing myself quite how I wanted to. I would still like to “clean it up” and submit it if possible.

  2. I am the creator of stillbirthday.com. What a tremendous honor to find this very beautifully written description of the site! I am just marvelling at your kindnesses! Thank you so very, very much.

    Please, please know that ideas and tips do change a lot. Please don’t have any regrets about your birth of Noah. You did exactly what you knew to be best, and you did everything you could to have the experience be as meaningful to you as possible. That is what is most important.

    I am definately Christian, and so that just sort of happens to leave its print on everything I touch. I am glad that it wasn’t extremely offensive to you. Following my miscarriage, I received a very large amount of emails and letters of mothers sharing their experiences with me. One common theme in so many of them, regardless of their faith or religious background, was just the deep God questions. You know, “Why did God let this happen?” “Does my baby go to heaven?” “Is this some kind of punishment?” And, these things challenged me to not take my faith for granted, but to really sit in my agony, despair and grief, and ask myself, “Well, what DOES God say about all of this?” I found that to be such a very important part of my healing, that I included that in the website. I don’t want it to be a place only for Christians, but I want it to be a place that says, “Your questions–your ANGER–at God is OK. I’ve been there, too.” I hope that better explains the flavor of the site a little bit. (:

    I am just absolutely thrilled to see this article. I am very excited for your book and will be looking forward to it.

    May you find continued healing…

    Heidi Faith

    • Thank you for commenting! At the time of my first miscarriage (I found out at 14w5d that the baby had died and then he was born the next day–so, I had almost a day in between to think about what was happening), I tried very hard TO find ideas and tips and kept coming up short—I’ve been a childbirth educator and midwifery activist for quite a few years and I was shocked at the dearth of “how to” information about miscarriage in all of my birthing books. Yes, some addressed miscarriage as a subject, but it was almost always about the emotional side of things, never about how to actually cope with a miscarriage in progress. I love how your website is designed for women who are *currently* facing the experience–that’s just what I needed!

      I was not offended by the Christian element at all. In other posts and on my other site, I’ve touched on the fact that I almost feel like my miscarriage was a “religious experience” for me and after birthing my tiny son, I felt my life become infused with more sacredness and sense of divinity than I have ever felt before. I just don’t use Christian terminology for it. My feeling of being held in the hand of the Goddess/Sacred Feminine was very potent and has continued to affect my life in very significant ways since that time. I marvel at the gifts my little son brought into my life in this way.

  3. Hey again! I wanted to let you know about stillbirthday’s newest contest – a blog contest. All you have to do is write up a quick little blog post about stillbirthday (just like this one) and you can be entered to win! This one wouldn’t count because it was from before the contest. The person with the most comments added to their post wins – and there’s a few pregnancy loss organizations chipping in on a special prize. Here’s the link: http://stillbirthday.com/2012/02/03/blog-contest/. I also wanted to let you know that stillbirthday has your book as a part of our book listing. You can see that here: http://stillbirthday.com/2011/07/25/international-long-term-resources/. Thanks for all you do!

    Blessings,
    Heidi Faith

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