Posts Tagged ‘still birth’

Rainbow Babies after a Storm of Loss

rainbow-bellyFor generations, miscarriages have been a source of hidden grief for couples and families. Sadly, miscarriage is a relatively common occurrence.  The New York City-based Seleni Institute estimates that one in four pregnancies is spontaneously aborted.  In addition, 1 in every 160 births is still born.

Friends and loved ones continue to grapple with comforting words to say in these circumstances. And, as so many miscarriages happen early in a pregnancy, the loss may go unknown to all but the closest loved ones.  But, in recent years, this all-too-common personal loss has come into the light with books, support groups, and online communities.

A sweet, recent trend that draws attention to the heartache of miscarriage, as well as offering hope for successful births in the future, is the proliferation of mentions of Rainbow Babies.  Expectant mothers and those who’ve recently delivered have taken to social media and beyond to announce the beauty after the storm.  Their anticipated births and successful pregnancies….their rainbow babies… are the much yearned for blessings following the storm of personal loss.  No doubt this trend provides personal healing and hope for many going through this unfortunate circumstance.

Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep

Our culture has great difficulty dealing with death.  For those who’ve suffered miscarriages or the loss of a newborn, responses of friends and loved ones may seemingly minimize the overwhelming sense of grief, while professional resources are few and far between.  One service,Now I Lay me Down to Sleep, provides a shining example of real support for parents of stillborn babies or babies who die shortly after birth.  The mission of the nonprofit is simple, but powerful: to provide beautiful portraits of the child, for loved ones to keep for all time.  The photographs honor the parents’ and families experience of creation, pregnancy, birth, and, ultimately, death.

Now 10 years old, NILMDTS started with one act of human kindness when professional photographer Sandy Puc was called to take Black & White photographs of little Maddux Achilles Haggard, who was born with an myotubular myopathy.  On the sixth day of his life, his parents made the painful decision to take him off life support.  Puc took photographs of the baby, while still alive and after he passed, then released from the tubes that kept him alive.

Some time later, Pac and Cheryl Haggard, Maddux’s mother, started this charity, which has grown exponentially.  Led not only by a Board of Directors and team of Ambassadors, it is powered by an army of volunteer photographers in every American state.  These men and women generously give of their time, talents, and compassion at a most vulnerable time in the lives of so many families.  To learn more about this simple, but profound, idea which provides healing and comfort, visit their website.

In Short

Sara Ritchie As a Celebrant and Non-Denominational Minister, I create and deliver personalized memorials, celebrations of life, graveside/interment services and funerals throughout the NYC Tri-State area.
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