Family


Hi, it just occurred to me OurHopePlace.com has been helping women cope, hope and heal after miscarriage for just over 6 years now…

It has been a humbling experience helping people. We have been touched by so many people’s pain as well as stories of hope. We know the devastation and loss of hope with each miscarriage. We have found joy with the birth of every baby, and equally joy with each adoption… The road to motherhood can take many paths, each one equally important, equally blessed.

Each time someone sends a bracelet of hope or an angel token (or other gift) from our site, we believe we are enabling good in the world. We know we are when we see repeat order or ones that say, “I hope this bracelet helps you as much as it helped me”.

This has been a journey. I thank each of you for reaching out, for helping others (or helping yourself – bc it is still hard for people to know what to do and what not to do.)

We have come a long way, with more to go… It is great to take a pause, reflect, and say thank you.

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Miscarriage and Father’s Day.  Miscarriage affects all family members.  Would-be-dads, grandfathers, uncles and brothers all experience their own grief.  While miscarriage is all too common, as a society we are not good at helping women or men with their loss.

Sunday, June 19th, 2011 is Father’s Day.  It is a day that day can be filled with many emotions.  As part of a couple we know this can be a stressful, sad day.  But there are things we can do to help…  we don’t have to “just ignore” it or not recognize it.  We know this all too well because we are two women who have experienced miscarriages with our husbands and have gone on to heal.  We created Our Hope Place (www.OurHopePlace.com) in order for friends (and family members) to help cope, hope and heal after miscarriage.

 

We have put together some suggestions to help you and your partner get through the day:

 

-Be true to your feelings.  As the man, you may think it will be easier not to show how you are feeling about the miscarriage as you think your emotions will upset your partner even more. (Men & women can grieve differently.)  You decide you want to stay strong to protect her but only end up feeling alone and isolated.  As the woman, you were thinking of how nice it would be to buy your partner a “father-to-be” Father’s Day card and now after the miscarriage —Father’s Day is just another reminder of your loss.  Take time to communicate before the day arrives.  Really express to each other how you are feeling about both the miscarriage and what Father’s Day will mean to you this year.

 

– Realize that your emotions can sneak up on you…  that you might think you will feel one way, but on the day a whole other set of emotions may set in…

 

-Be patient with each other.  Do not criticize each other (or yourself) for how you are feeling.  Grieving is a very personal process and should be respected. Do realize that everyone copes with the same loss in different ways.  You may not be able to take away your partner’s pain but letting your partner know that you are there for him/her and that you love each other will go a long way.

 

-Plan ahead to do something meaningful for both of you.  Take a walk with each other in a favorite park.  Plant some flowers or a tree in your yard to remember your baby.  Go to church and say a prayer.  Get together and enjoy time with your extended family.  Even stay home, order take-out and just enjoy each other’s company.  There is no “wrong” way to spend the day.

 

-Don’t be afraid to say “NO”.  Do what you both need to do on Father’s Day even if it means not participating in traditional family events.  Explain why you would rather not participate to your family.  (“Right now we are feeling too emotional to be with everyone on Father’s Day.”)

 

-Try to focus on the positive.  Being grateful for what we already had in our lives and thinking positively is what helped us with our healing process and led us to create Our Hope Place  (www.OurHopePlace.com).  We decided to share our friendship, a special bracelet of hope and it’s inspiring story to help others who have also experienced miscarriage.  (We have a special section for the partner/spouse to visit – http://www.ourhopeplace.com/partnertodo.html)

 

Only by being there for each other and celebrating Father’s Day together in your own way will you both be able to remember your loss, continue with your healing process and look to the future.

 

Here’s to celebrating Father’s Day your way,

 

Laura & Sharon

I was so impressed and touched when I read about International Babylost Mother’s Day in Perth, Australia.  (They even have a Facebook Page.)  At Our Hope Place we  enthusiastically support any group, person, event that helps women and their families who have suffered loss.

Why do I like International Babylost Mother’s Day?   They recognize that once you become pregnant you are a mother.  You are your baby’s mother, forever.  Regardless of loss.

Women who suffer from miscarriage often feel alone.  On Mother’s Day it is worse.   So here is their own day…  right before Mother’s Day, to help them through…

So on this May 1st, these flowers, and these candles are for all of you, all of us…  all the women who have lost…  and we will do the same next year!

If the stats are right, and from personal experience I know they are, either you and/or someone you know has suffered a miscarriage.

The sense of loss is overwhelming.  The sense of failure rocks you to your core.  And then you go through this alone… because, well there are many reasons.  No one knows what to say, they don’t want to say the wrong thing, they feel uncomfortable…  and so on.  At the time when we should most help someone, society leaves them alone and suffering.

That’s where we come in.  At OurHopePlace.com we give ideas on how to help someone.  At our blog OurHopePlace.wordpress.com we share pain and loss.  We share stories of hope.  It’s all about healing and hope.

That’s why we find stories of hope, stories of healing we are compelled to share…  Lisa Ling recently suffered a miscarriage.  She share’s her story here on the View In addition, she started a company:  The Secret Society of Women.

At OurHopePlace.com we talk about having a miscarriage is like joining a sisterhood you didn’t want to or didn’t know about.   If you or someone you know becomes a member, acknowledge her loss.  Offer help…  don’t let her suffer alone.  Make a difference!

From a recent contact at OurHopeplace.com.

Hi there, I wasn’t sure where to send this, but I would like to extend an invitation to you to read my recent blog entry regarding my miscarriages and the old saying “things happen for a reason” it may give someone hope..
http://oneaquariusmama.blogspot.com/

When you read this blog you will be amazed at the strength of our friend.  Our heart goes out to her.  We are so sorry for you loss.  And we are very happy for the joy you have found…

Thanks for sharing your story!

My friend Kim (Thanks Kim!) sent me this link from TED… ” Let’s talk parenting taboos:  Rufus Griscom + Alisa Volkman” .  Feel free to watch the entire link, or if you want to see what they say about miscarriage, try 9:17-11:30.   Griscom and Alisa seem like any couple USA; people you want to be friends with.  They fall in love, get married, start a family, and then try to add a second child to their family.

Seems like the fairytale, right?  Not so much.  Alisa suffered the loss of her unborn child when she is 5 months pregnant.   (Before I go further, we are so sorry for her pain and loss.)  They talk about  how she wanted to crawl into a hole. That she felt ashamed, embarrased that she couldn’t do what she was genetically designed to do.  She didn’t know how she would find her way out of the hole, back to her life.  She ultimately did get back to her life.  What helped her was the outpouring of stories from friends and family all who either suffered the same, or knew someone who did.

Alisa shares so many thoughts that we talk to as well:

– Miscarriage is so common; 20% of all pregnancies end in miscarriage

– That very often women feel they have somehow contributed or caused their miscarriage

-That once you have a miscarriage, it is like membership in this secret society/sisterhood that you didn’t want to join

-Miscarriage is a loss like no other – there are no pictures (well maybe a sonogram), no memories, no common rituals (like a funeral, though sometimes people will have one or a ceremony they plan).

It is amazing to us that at a time when people most need help, society leaves them to suffer alone.  Really, is that what we should be doing?

At Our Hope Place, we want to help women and their families find their way forward, to grieve and to heal… how I wish I knew Alisa years ago.  I would have sent her a bracelet from OHP to acknowledge her loss.  I would have shared my story.  If someone you know has suffered a miscarriage, acknowledge her loss.  Check out our tips on how to help at Our Hope Place.com.    Won’t you help?

PS:  TED is a non-profit.  TED = Technology, Entertainment, Design —  Ideas worth spreading…  check them out…  really interesting stuff going on there!

Do you find the holidays difficult after your miscarriage?

…from a contact at Our Hope Place: It wasn’t supposed to happen this way. No, this Christmas I was to be buying pjs that say “baby’s 1st Christmas”. But that didn’t happen. Instead of being happy I have been dreading the holidays, I have been waiting to “check the box”. Wishing it was all a bad dream… It is hard to be around kids, and pregnant friends. I get angry, feel guilty, and am always so sad. Will it ever get better? Is it normal to feel this way? Is it bad that I am happy the holidays are over? I have a friend who also suffered a miscarriage, and she doesn’t seem to feel the same way… Any advice? …

First I am sorry for you loss, and what you are feeling is totally normal. The same is true for your friend. Everyone grieves differently, and no one way is right. Miscarriage is a real loss, one that needs to be grieved for. I remember the time after my miscarriage, but before my son was born. I had a lot of dread on all important dates, holidays, family events, and even seeing friends. Not to mention any “anniversary” associated with the baby I lost (this would have been my 5th month, this was the 36 week point, this was my delivery date, and so on). While I remember a lot of sadness, I also remember the dread prior was worse than the actual
day (might be different for you).

So I came up with coping mechanisms to help me… Thing like I didn’t go to everything. If I thought it was too hard, I gave myself permission to take a pass. And then would do something fun for me. I also used my ouhhopeplace.com bracelet… I needed to grieve, and then I needed to find hope, to feel the sun. When you are ready you will to. I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers.

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