October 15, 2014: Their Lights Continue to Shine

“If you know someone who has lost a child, and you’re afraid to mention them
because you think you might make them sad
by reminding them that they died–you’re not reminding them.
They didn’t forget they died.
What you’re reminding them of is that you remembered that they lived,
and…that is a great gift.”
~Elizabeth Edwards~

Today, October 15, is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day. In 2006, after years of pushing for it, the day was recognized by the House of Representatives. In 1988, President Reagan had declared October as Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month. But in my opinion, celebrating this day for ONE day is much easier for a parent who has lost a child than for the whole month.

The International Wave of Light is the simultaneous lighting of candles in memory of these babies lost to miscarriage, stillbirth or infant loss at 7pm in your local time zone tonight. The result is a continuous chain of light spanning the globe for a 24 hour period. Just think about that for a minute. How beautiful!

So tonight at 7pm, wherever you are, light a candle or say a prayer (or do what you do) in memory of all the baby angels that are watching over us and in honor of all the parents left behind to grieve the loss of dreams and bright futures for their children.

These are my special Angels and members of The Club I will be lighting a candle for tonight:

  • Our first baby: Junebug – miscarriage at 13 weeks, June 19, 2002
  • Our second baby: Charles “Charlie” Fleetwood Anthoine – died at 24 days old from late-onset Group B Strep, born May 21, 2003 and died June 14, 2003 – his story here
  • Laura Kaye Anthoine – October 20, 1969-April 3, 1981 – Daughter of Kaye and Roy, Sister of my husband Jason
  • The daughter of Pam Doherty, Hannah Noelle MacDonald was born still on February 3, 2003 from Group B Strep sepsis. Her father is John MacDonald.
  • Oliver Nelson Wright, son of Chris and Danna Wright, baby brother to Walker – Born and died October 2, 2010.
  • Leighton Sophie Taylor – daughter of Amy and Chris, twin sister to Jaxon – born May 26, 2011 and died June 17, 2011 from Group B Strep
  • Stephanie and Anna Causley – daughters of Paul and Robyn Causley – miscarriages at 12 and 6 weeks, respectively in 2003.
  • Sara Kay – born still September 7, 2009
  • Susan and Matt’s baby – miscarriage at 12 weeks – December 25, 1999
  • Emma Jade – Kat’s sweet baby – miscarriage at 9 weeks in 2001
  • Cara Jennifer – daughter of Carrie-Ann – born and died on August 17, 2010 – lived 12 minutes
  • Jill and Kyle Clay’s babies – Baby Clay, miscarriage October 2004 and Baby Clay , miscarriage October 2005 – both around 10 weeks
  • Allison Reid – daughter of Robin and Sean Reid – though she was not an infant when she died, she contracted the same bacteria that Charlie did and suffered long-term challenges. Allison was born on March 1, 2002 and died on January 25, 2008. I had the honor of meeting Allison and she was a fabulous fighter.
  • Cason Heard Adams- January 27, 1989-December 4, 2001 , was called home to live with the angels. He was a bright light to all that knew him and is greatly missed everyday by his family and friends.
  • Cora Mae McCormick – November 30, 2009 to December 6, 2009
  • Skye, Dakota and Martina – Nanna Chris and Mommy Staci and Little Sister Joclynn’s triplets – July 7th, 2007
  • Drew and Amanda’s Baby – miscarriage October 6, 2010
  • Brianna Elizabeth Franzen – Daughter of my friend, Julie. Born January 29, 1998 and died March 7, 1998 from a heart defect.
  • Cecily’s Sons – Nicholas and Zachary, October 27, 2004
  • Shauna’s Babies – one at 16 weeks, one tubal pregnancy
  • Erin’s Babies – Baby 1, September 2006, miscarriage; Baby 2, January 2007, miscarriage; Baby Girl 1, December 2008, late miscarriage; Baby Girl 2, born still on August 17, 2009 at 18 weeks.
  • Elizabeth Anne’s Baby – Baby Childs, miscarried June 12, 2006
  • Elizabeth Anne’s Friend’s Son – Jonah Oliver, delivered and died on Thanksgiving Day 1997 at 18 weeks gestation.
  • Becca’s friend’s daughter – Chandler Rivers, born 13 weeks early and died a week before her due date.
  • Jessica and Mark’s Daughter: Hadley Jane, born October 9, 2007 and died October 11, 2007.
  • Chrissi’s Son: Tyler, born March 22, 1997 and died September 15, 2003
  • Trish’s baby “Peanut”
  • Michael and Robin’s babies – miscarriage at 5 weeks in April 2009, and miscarriage at 10 weeks in September 2012
  • Olivia Grace – daughter of my friend Barbara. She was born January 8, 2004 and died August 23, 2004 from bacterial meningitis.
  • Sunday’s babies – Tomorrow Dawn- December 1993, miscarried at 8 weeks and Samuel- January 2002, miscarried at 11 weeks (named our first son Samuel in his honor and memory)
  • Lindsay’s baby – little one lost to miscarriage at 10 weeks in May 2003
  • Lynn’s 8 babies – 5 lost at 14 weeks and 3 lost early at 8-10 weeks
  • Ms. Marie’s baby – miscarriage October 1977
  • Isabella Pearl De Leon – Stillborn one week before scheduled delivery. March 5, 2011. Paul & Nicole De Leon
  • Nora Henke –  Born still December 30, 2012
  • Mike & Lauren’s babies: miscarriage at 6 wks in 1999; miscarriage at 7 wks in 2000; miscarriage at 10 wks in 2001
  • Carter Austin – March 18, 2006
  • Tucker Harris Neu and Fletcher Thomas Neu
  • Fiona Jane Tully was stillborn on May 8, 2011, and her sister, Brigid Eileen Tully, lived from May 8, 2011 to June 23, 2011 – daughters of Eileen Tully
  • Leah Brook Tomlin – daughter of Bevin and Adam, sister of Taylor. Born January 7, 2013 and died January 13, 2013 from Prenatal-Onset GBS
  • Carl Martin Kerr – passed away in utero at 6 months. Born on January 25, 2013. Baby Kerr – miscarried at 6 weeks on August 25, 2013. Both children of Solanke and Cincia and siblings to Isabella.
  • Jacob, born at 20 weeks in 2006. Lived for 52 minutes. Son of Nick and Melissa Tabbert.
  • Isabella-Rose Elizabeth, born still October 12, 2009, daughter of Tia.
  • Bailey Winter Dumitru, son of Tori and Kevin, born at rest December 8, 2007.
  • Renee’s daughter, Lucielle Diane, born and died July 15, 2013
  • Caleb Andrew Franklin, beloved Son of Julie and Andy. Born at 24 weeks on August 17, 2004 and died August 25, 2004.
  • James Chadwick “Chad” son of Jimmy and Debbie and brother to Kristen, born and died November 16, 1980 due to a placental abruption.
  • Asher Vinsant, son of Kylie Vinsant, born January 4, 2012 and died January 12, 2012 due to Early Onset Group B Strep.
  • Eve, daughter of Wade & Kacey Dixon, born October 21, 2010 and died November 4, 2010 from Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome
  • Amelia, daughter of Bob and Catherine, born May 4th, 2014 and died June 1st, 2014.
  • Angel Wills, baby of Michael and Jamie, August 2010.
  • Henry, son of Sara and Brian, born May 29, 2007 and died December 17, 2007.
  • Andrea and Jay’s baby. Miscarriage in November 2010.
  • Heather’s daughter, Clara Edith Webb, who was stillborn on July 1, 2012 at 42 weeks 3 days gestation.

** I will add babies if you email me at janasthinkingplace@me.com to tell me you want me to add your angel. I know there are so many more, but I don’t want to publish without your permission. These are from previous years and I’ve added new ones. I have also decided to add older children because really, they’re all our babies.**

Group B Strep Testing: What We Know

Group B Strep Testing: What We Know

A little over 11 years ago, I was told by the OB I would “have a swab test taken and it will determine whether you need antibiotics during labor or not. There’s a common bacteria caused Group B Strep that can sometimes make babies sick and this will protect your son from it.

Later that day, my contractions started. They continued every 15-30 minutes for the next 9 days. They weren’t supposed to be “working” contractions yet. It was too early. I was only 35 weeks at the time. I needed to let Charlie cook for a few more weeks.

But the next Tuesday night, May 20, my labor kicked into gear. I spent the night in the hospital, water not broken, ambient making me hallucinate, contracting and being monitored. At 7am, the doctor came in to check me. Feet in stirrups, I remember asking my GBS status. They said negative. And then my water broke. Without anybody touching me.

I was negative. That was good. So that’s all I thought about that.

Labor lasted forever. Charlie was sunny side up so he was turned. Manually. Need I tell you how awesome that felt? His heart rate was hard to hear, so an electrode was screwed into his scalp. Hours went on and epidurals were administered. 14 hours after my water broke, Charlie was yanked into this world. Literally. Little bugger didn’t want to join us here.

But honestly? He wasn’t supposed to.

Four weeks later, we held a funeral for our 24 day old son. Group B Strep. That little bacteria that was tested for during pregnancy took my baby’s life.

Now. I feel like I have to tell you here that Charlie contracted Late Onset Group B Strep at 21 days of age. Anything after 7 days old is considered late onset and isn’t directly related to your GBS status during labor — it can come from labor OR just from “life.”

Group B Strep, Late Onset or Early Onset, is ugly.

But I want to talk about Early Onset GBS and Testing. According to the CDC,

A pregnant woman who tests positive for group B strep and gets antibiotics during labor has only a 1 in 4,000 chance of delivering a baby with group B strep disease, compared to a 1 in 200 chance if she does not get antibiotics during labor.

I don’t know about you, but I’d rather have the 1 in 4,000 odds. That means being tested and knowing your status and demanding antibiotics. Most hospitals and doctors are on track with CDC protocol, but sometimes they don’t explain what’s going on well enough. That’s where knowledge becomes power.

I want you to know that, just like the tests for chromosomal abnormalities, gestational diabetes, and amnios, you should ask questions about the very routine Group B Strep test. It seems to be one of those tests that gets done without much explanation. I mean, it’s just a swab.

But it’s serious.

You should know what the risks are if you don’t get antibiotics. You should know what the risks are if you wait until your contractions are 4 minutes apart to get to the hospital. You should know the risks if your water breaks or has been ruptured for more than a few hours. And you should also know that if you think that having a natural, home birth, or one with alternative treatments will prevent it, it won’t. If your baby comes out of your girly bits, YOUR BABY is susceptible to Group B Strep and all that entails. So get the antibiotics.

I WANT YOU TO KNOW THESE THINGS BECAUSE I DON’T WANT ANY MORE BABIES TO DIE.

I’ve written this post 4 times. This morning, as I opened my computer to write it, there was not one, but TWO emails from people who have recently lost babies to Group B Strep in my inbox. It pushed me over the edge. I’m mad that in spite of amazing tests there are still false negatives and we are still burying babies.

If you have say-so with your OB, ask for a more advanced test than most, a molecular test. An example of a molecular test in particular is the illumigene® GBS test from Meridian Bioscience.

Screen Shot 2014-05-12 at 11.52.12 AM

via GBSAnswers Magazine, Meridian Bioscience

Ask your doctor about the test.

Ask questions when you are tested.

Ask for the antibiotics, just in case they let it slip through the cracks.

Ask for more information.

And remember, ALWAYS follow your mommy instinct.

A Look Inside The Private Folder Of Grief

Tonight, on Lifetime, a movie called Return To Zero will premiere. The movie was a labor of love for writer/director/producer Sean Hanish, whose own experience with stillbirth and loss drove his passion for creating a film with a storyline based solely around the loss of a child. Return to Zero will take the audience through the highs of pregnancy, the lows of the loss, the struggles of anger and marriage, and hopefully, share that there IS hope after loss.

Over the last 11 years, I’ve heard so many people say, “I don’t know how that feels, so…” when a friend or loved on loses a child. They’re paralyzed with fear over what to say, how to say it, how to empathize, how to understand.

This movie, our community of parents hopes, will shed light on how it feels — how it looks on the inside, behind the scenes, in the marriage, in the heart.

But yesterday, as I was sharing a link on Facebook about the movie, I got a knot in my stomach. It tightened and made me lightheaded for a minute. I recognized the fear. It’s the same fear you get when somebody is going to check up behind you or search through your things, especially things that may be private.

You see? Letting someone see the heartache and pain that only comes with losing a child (no matter how or why) is like letting somebody look into your private, locked folders on your computer. It’s giving them a key to your heart and giving them free access to roam around and look.

Sure, I want people to understand a small portion of what grief feels like. And this movie will do just that. It will open the conversation and break the silence on a subject that is still, after a bazillion years, taboo.

I  want you to know there is so much more that can’t be shown on a movie, no matter how perfect Minnie Driver’s performance is.

I want you to know there is so much more that can’t be shown on a movie, and I hope you never know what it is and how it feels. That is my prayer for you.

When The Glass Is Half Empty

Being an optimist stinks sometimes.

No, really, it does.

You see? When you’re happy and positive and the one people look for to feel better all the time (read: Me), it gets to be a heavy burden to bear, especially when you really just want to have a bad day.

Right now, I just want to be grumpy.

My glass is half empty.

I want to stay in bed and watch trashy TV. I want there to be a pizza delivered to my house every night for a week so I don’t have to think about cooking or eating or cleaning up. Do you ever get sick of eating or thinking about eating? I do. Sometimes it just seems like such an exhausting thing to do. Like showering. And doing laundry. And doing all the mundane, but necessary, daily tasks.

Sometimes, even the most optimistic of us need to give in to the dark side of our brains. Because even though there is always light on the other side of darkness, there’s always darkness behind some of the light. Sometimes, even the happiest and chipper of us need to wallow in our sadness and exhaustion before we can break through to the other side.

Luckily for me, it’s often short-lived that I feel like this. I’m sure right now it’s a combination of a lot of things.

I want to be a stay at home mom again. I feel like I’m missing so much of my son’s growing up. I want the meds we started HL on to work just right every single day. I need to vacuum and mop and scrub toilets until my fingers bleed because the house is disgusting. The house is a disaster and in spite of doing 5 loads of laundry, there seems to be more that I keep finding. It’s either raining or snowing or too cold/cloudy to dry out the back yard so the dog can’t play outside as much as she needs to. She begs and barks and is generally a pain in the ass. I’ve got writer’s block. The husband is traveling almost this entire month and quite frankly, I miss him.

Depression? Maybe. Anxiety? Most definitely. The stage of life I’m in? Yes.

So what do I do?

Well, I do what I normally do. I go to the gym and run 10 miles, I order a pizza tonight, spray some lysol around, and go to bed at 8:00.

Then I will wake up tomorrow, brush the cobwebs off, and keep my glass half or more full as usual.

October 15, 2013: Always In Our Hearts

“If you know someone who has lost a child, and you’re afraid to mention them because you think you might make them sad by reminding them that they died–you’re not reminding them.

They didn’t forget they died.

What you’re reminding them of is that you remembered that they lived, and…that is a great gift.”

~Elizabeth Edwards~

Today, October 15, is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day. In 2006, after years of pushing for it, the day was recognized by the House of Representatives. In 1988, President Reagan had declared October as Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month. But in my opinion, celebrating this day for ONE day is much easier for a parent who has lost a child than for the whole month.

The International Wave of Light is the simultaneous lighting of candles in memory of these babies lost to miscarriage, stillbirth or infant loss at 7pm in your local time zone tonight. The result is a continuous chain of light spanning the globe for a 24 hour period. Just think about that for a minute. How beautiful!

So tonight at 7pm, wherever you are, light a candle or say a prayer (or do what you do) in memory of all the baby angels that are watching over us and in honor of all the parents left behind to grieve the loss of dreams and bright futures for their children.

These are my special Angels and members of The Club I will be lighting a candle for tonight:

  • Our first baby: Junebug – miscarriage at 13 weeks, June 19, 2002
  • Our second baby: Charles “Charlie” Fleetwood Anthoine – died at 24 days old from late-onset Group B Strep, born May 21, 2003 and died June 14, 2003 – his story here
  • Laura Kaye Anthoine – October 20, 1969-April 3, 1981 – Daughter of Kaye and Roy, Sister of my husband Jason
  • The daughter of Pam Doherty, Hannah Noelle MacDonald was born still on February 3, 2003 from Group B Strep sepsis. Her father is John MacDonald.
  • Oliver Nelson Wright, son of Chris and Danna Wright, baby brother to Walker – Born and died October 2, 2010.
  • Leighton Sophie Taylor – daughter of Amy and Chris, twin sister to Jaxon – born May 26, 2011 and died June 17, 2011 from Group B Strep
  • Stephanie and Anna Causley – daughters of Paul and Robyn Causley – miscarriages at 12 and 6 weeks, respectively in 2003.
  • Sara Kay – born still September 7, 2009
  • Susan and Matt’s baby – miscarriage at 12 weeks – December 25, 1999
  • Emma Jade – Kat’s sweet baby – miscarriage at 9 weeks in 2001
  • Cara Jennifer – daughter of Carrie-Ann – born and died on August 17, 2010 – lived 12 minutes
  • Jill and Kyle Clay’s babies – Baby Clay, miscarriage October 2004 and Baby Clay , miscarriage October 2005 – both around 10 weeks
  • Allison Reid – daughter of Robin and Sean Reid – though she was not an infant when she died, she contracted the same bacteria that Charlie did and suffered long-term challenges. Allison was born on March 1, 2002 and died on January 25, 2008. I had the honor of meeting Allison and she was a fabulous fighter.
  • Cason Heard Adams- January 27, 1989-December 4, 2001 , was called home to live with the angels. He was a bright light to all that knew him and is greatly missed everyday by his family and friends.
  • Cora Mae McCormick – November 30, 2009 to December 6, 2009
  • Skye, Dakota and Martina – Nanna Chris and Mommy Staci and Little Sister Joclynn’s triplets – July 7th, 2007
  • Drew and Amanda’s Baby – miscarriage October 6, 2010
  • Brianna Elizabeth Franzen – Daughter of my friend, Julie. Born January 29, 1998 and died March 7, 1998 from a heart defect.
  • Cecily’s Sons – Nicholas and Zachary, October 27, 2004
  • Shauna’s Babies – one at 16 weeks, one tubal pregnancy
  • Erin’s Babies – Baby 1, September 2006, miscarriage; Baby 2, January 2007, miscarriage; Baby Girl 1, December 2008, late miscarriage; Baby Girl 2, born still on August 17, 2009 at 18 weeks.
  • Elizabeth Anne’s Baby – Baby Childs, miscarried June 12, 2006
  • Elizabeth Anne’s Friend’s Son – Jonah Oliver, delivered and died on Thanksgiving Day 1997 at 18 weeks gestation.
  • Becca’s friend’s daughter – Chandler Rivers, born 13 weeks early and died a week before her due date.
  • Jessica and Mark’s Daughter: Hadley Jane, born 10/9/07 and died 10/11/07
  • Chrissi’s Son: Tyler, born March 22, 1997 and died September 15, 2003
  • Trish’s baby “Peanut”
  • Michael and Robin’s babies – miscarriage at 5 weeks in April 2009, and miscarriage at 10 weeks in September 2012
  • Olivia Grace – daughter of my friend Barbara. She was born January 8, 2004 and died August 23, 2004 from meningitis.
  • Sunday’s babies – Tomorrow Dawn- December 1993, miscarried at 8 weeks and Samuel- January 2002, miscarried at 11 weeks (named our first son Samuel in his honor and memory)
  • Lindsay’s baby – little one lost to miscarriage at 10 weeks in May 2003
  • Lynn’s 8 babies – 5 lost at 14 weeks and 3 lost early at 8-10 weeks
  • Ms. Marie’s baby – miscarriage October 1977
  • Isabella Pearl De Leon – Stillborn one week before scheduled delivery. March 5, 2011. Paul & Nicole De Leon
  • Nora Henke –  Stillborn 12-30-12
  • Mike & Lauren’s babies: miscarriage at 6 wks in 1999; miscarriage at 7 wks in 2000; miscarriage at 10 wks in 2001
  • Carter Austin – March 18, 2006
  • Tucker Harris Neu and Fletcher Thomas Neu
  • Fiona Jane Tully was stillborn on May 8, 2011, and her sister, Brigid Eileen Tully, lived from May 8, 2011 to June 23, 2011 – daughters of Eileen Tully
  • Leah Brook Tomlin – daughter of Bevin and Adam, sister of Taylor. Born January 7, 2013 and died January 13, 2013 from Prenatal-Onset GBS
  • Carl Martin Kerr – passed away in utero at 6 months. Born on January 25, 2013. Baby Kerr – miscarried at 6 weeks on August 25, 2013. Both children of Solanke and Cincia and siblings to Isabella.
  • Jacob, born at 20 weeks in 2006. Lived for 52 minutes. Son of Nick and Melissa Tabbert.
  • Isabella-Rose Elizabeth, born still October 12, 2009, daughter of Tia

** I will add babies if you email me at janasthinkingplace@me.com to tell me you want me to add your angel. I know there are so many more, but I don’t want to publish without your permission. These are from last year and I’ve added new ones. I have also decided to add older children because really, they’re all our babies.**

 

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...