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"Sharing" Our Stories/Thoughts
Along this Path-2000-08

First Anniversary...2000-08

Why does the first anniversary affect us so strongly?

This should be our child's first birthday. As with a first birthday, we remember back to the birth and all of the circumstances around that time. Obviously, for us that means recalling all of the memories and, of course our child died. Usually, this comes after we have started to have some peace around our loss.

Briefly, we return to a level of pain that we have left behind. For most of us, it is not the same as a year ago, but it is difficult to face. It helps if we can recognize this time and gather ourselves together enough to plan something "positive" to do.

Please be gentle with yourself - one small event such as lighting a candle - may be all you can handle for now. Marcia McGinnis '97-2007

Poems and Thoughts on this page....

"In Loving Memory of Callum Jacob Jones 3 Dec 98" by Dyanne (2000)

"My son, Wyatt Sawyer, was born December 22, 1998." by Amy (1/6/00)

"Noah William Hill 01-19-99 ~ Your first Birthday such plans we had." by Tami (1/20/00)

"Saskia's first birthday" by Gypsy (July 14, '00)

"One year anniversary, and impending new arrival" by Kathy (12/17/00)

My Miscarriage Experience by Brianna (4/01)

"Gwendolyn" by Angela (4/29/01)

"Lucas Kent Westerhold, April 30, 2000" by Jen (7/10/01)

"In Loving Memory of Levi Douglas O'Bryan ~ 10/7/00" by Jeanie

"In Loving Memory of Lane Pearson ~ 11/11/2000" by Mimi (10/17/01)

"Hannah Grace Fooks" by Ruth (1/17/02)

"In Loving Memory of Madison Elizabeth Schreck" by Katie (10/13/02)

"One year later... The story of Avery Nava" by Janna (2/21/03)

"Memories of Brilea Celeste Duchac Turner ~ September 13, 2002 - November 29, 2002 by Cat (10/15/03)

"A Lost Child Never to be Forgotten" by Amanda (11/17/03)

"In Loving Memory of Gabrielle Rain ~ Dec.4/02" by Tena (12/11/03)

"Briana Debra Marie Warner" by Missy (5/10/04)

"A YEAR LATER" By Jennifer (12/4/04)

"7/18/05 ~ Wow! I survived the first year..." by Crystal (7/20/04) Forest Park, GA

"I love my Thomas." by Jennifer (8/26/05)

"My precious Khoury..One Year Later" by Janice (8/31/05)

"Valerie's First Year Anniversary and "El dia de los Muertos"" by Trischa (11/8/05)

In Loving Memory of Callum Jacob Jones 3 Dec 98

Miss Maddison Holly is one today
A year has gone since that sad, happy day
When you and Callum came, we thought to stay
But all too quickly your brother was taken away.

It happened so quickly when you came along.
After you joined us everything went wrong.
It then seemed an age, concept of time was gone,
Before the doctors told me Callum didn't have long.

So happy yet so sad
Our good day had turned to bad
We were told we should be glad
But that's just not possible when you're so sad.

Thank the Lord we have you my dear
But how we wish Callum could also be here.
Our memories are treasured and dear
And photos are all that keep him near.

Maddison, my dear, may you have a happy birthday
And Callum, I hope good fortune has come your way.
May we all be together again one day
At least that is what we pray.

Take care and have fun wherever you may be
And may the sun be shining brightly
To fill your day with glee
As you are one today, and together, with us you will both always be.

Callum Jacob Jones
3 Dec 98
Died soon after birth
Townsville, Qld Australia

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Forever in Our Hearts~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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My son, Wyatt Sawyer, was born December 22, 1998.

He was born with a heart defect called Coarctation of the aorta. He had heart surgery when he was one week old and passed away from pulmonary thrombosis when he was two and a half weeks old.

His Anniversary date is in two days... I miss him so much.... I want all to know that my heart breaks for everyone of us and I pray that we all can find peace.....


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Forever in Our Hearts~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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In Loving Memory of Noah William Hill 01-19-99

Your first Birthday
such plans we had.

Many decorations and balloons all done in blue
and cake and ice cream too.

Presents and toys
and lots of little girls and boys.

Hugs and kisses all around
everyone laughing and playing along.

Your first Birthday
What a Birthday you shall have.

There's nothing that can compare
to the celebration Jesus has planned.

Happy Birthday my sweet little Angel.
We Love You and Miss You Very Much!!!!

We know that one day we will be together again
and we will get to celebrate lots of birthdays together.

Daddy, Mommy, Tony, Josh, and Hannah

Noah William Hill
Lawrenceville, Ga

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Forever in Our Hearts~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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The day before we left was Saskia's first birthday- we got her birthday cards for her scrap-book and a bunch of flowers very similar to those that we got her last year.

I am in the process of making a blanket to donate to the local hospital for the parents of the next still born baby to have as a keepsake. I think that all of these things will become tradition.

Only a few members of our family acknowledged that it was her birthday which was a little disappointing and I was upset to learn that my sister-in-law had been made to feel bad (by my mother-in-law) because the balloons they took to her grave had left a mark on Saskia's cross. Personally I am absolutely delighted that they cared enough to make the effort as far as I acn tell no one else did!

Visit Gypsy's Story about Saskia, her daughter who was stillborn

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Forever in Our Hearts~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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One year anniversary, and impending new arrival

One year ago I wrote to your wonderful site to talk of my grief after my miscarriage. It was of course a difficult loss for our family, and to happen right before the Holidays just made coping that much more difficult.

In the end of April, we found out we were expecting again, imagine my elation. It has been a difficult pregnancy with many problems, I have visited this site on many occasions and still cry now for my previous loss, but I also thank God for the baby I will deliver within the next two days. I have to be induced because of PIH, but am almost 38 weeks, so I feel the baby is ready.

It's bittersweet, to remember just one year ago I lost a baby, and now will bring another into our family. I will never forget the baby I lost, but now December will be a better month.

Thank you so much for this site and all the wonderful info and support you offer.

"My Time To Grieve, My Lost Angel" by Kathy (12/23/99)

Announcing Collin Jacob ~ Dec. 14, 2000


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Forever in Our Hearts~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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My Miscarriage Experience

I suffered a miscarriage during my fifth month of pregnancy. I was so excited to finally be over the half-way point when I suddenly came down with an severe infection which lead to me losing my baby, Kaleb.

I was really depressed because this was my first pregnancy and I had gone on a baby shopping frenzy. Coming home after a week in the hospital, I saw a beautiful baby room with every toy and baby book imaginable. Except I didn't have a baby to occupy it anymore.

I felt as though noone understood what I was going through, so I tried to isolate myself from family and friends. Many people tried to comfort me by saying things like "You'll be able to fill that baby room soon". But to me I just wanted to scream, "Well I had a baby to fill it and I want that baby back." I knew they were trying to help, but I just wanted to be alone.

The first two months were so hard to get through. The hospital gave me a baby book with pictures and foot prints but it took me almost a month to even be able to open it. Then when I finallly did, I cried every time.

Finally, after three months of trying to isolate myself, my husband stepped in and said the one thing that I realized I wanted to hear all along, "Would you like to talk about what happened and how you're feeling?".

Now it's been a year and a half. I still have days where I think about what happened and I still get sad.

After sharing my feelings with family, I realized my mom went through the same unfortunate experience and just never liked to talk about it. Now she and my husband are my support team whenever I get sad and depressed.

It really helps to just talk about it. Share your feelings and cry on someone shoulder. There's nothing worse than holding things in and blaming yourself. "Do you want to talk about it"--Those were some magic words!

Second trimester loss

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Forever in Our Hearts~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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I am writing this with hope it will offer encouragement to those who have experienced a loss and those who will offer support. It is not only the story about my daughters birth and death, but about the support I received which is what help me live-literally.

On the morning of October 12, 1999, at 21 weeks pregnant, my husband and I went into the emergency room of Crawford Long Hospital because I noticed fluid in the bed that morning. I feared my sac may have ruptured and it had, but unknown to me I was also 5 cm dilated.

We were petrified and since my husband and I have no family here, the first person I thought to call was one of the pastor's of my church, Rev. Sharma Lewis. Rev. Lewis is the Assoc. Pastor of Evangelism at Ben Hill United Methodist Church, and among other things leads the Monday night women's Bible study class which I attend. She had been supportive during my previous miscarriages (I had been pregnant three previous times, but never reached 12 weeks) as well as my four weeks of bed rest earlier in this pregnancy.

What happened after we made that phone call proved that God was continuously in the midst of our situation. Not only was Rev. Lewis going to support us, but the entire church family was going to be there for us. Rev. Lewis was not near by at the time of my call, but instead of having me wait for her to arrive she wanted to make sure the church presence was immediate by asking one of the other pastor's to see me. Once Rev. Lewis's meeting was over, she came to the hospital and also prayed, encouraged, joked with and cared for me.

We were preparing to be in the hospital for 8-12 weeks and my church family was preparing to be there for the long haul with visits, call, flowers, plants and most importantly scheduled and unscheduled prayer. Unfortunately I was only in the hospital for 11 days. During that time I received visits from three of the six associate pastors of the church and the senior pastor, plants from the church, and cards, calls and visits from members.

On the morning of October 20, 1999, the nurses came in to do their scheduled check of the baby's heartbeat and that was when the true nightmare began...they could not trace the baby's heartbeat. In between their several attempts to get the heartbeat, I was able to call Rev. Lewis and my husband.

My message to Rev. Lewis was "They can't find a heartbeat." and she made the 20-30 minute trip to the hospital in 10 minutes. Upon her arrival she ran into a member of the church in the hallway (that I did not know) and they prayed for me and the baby.

After calming me down, Rev. Lewis headed back to the church, or so I thought. It turned out that by the time I started labor, Rev. Lewis had received a page that she decided to answer before leaving the hospital and then began talking to one of the nurses and was still in the hallway and the midwife was able to get her (another true sign for me that God was working for me). Rev. Lewis then did something I'm not sure many pastor's have done...she assisted in the delivery of a dead child. She prayed and held me through 5 hours of labor, and she cried when my daughter, Gwendolyn Gerforne, was born. In the past year she has counseled and comforted me.

In the months since Gwendolyn's birth, I decided to have a memorial service to honor her and again my church family was not just supportive, they were extraordinary. Rev. Lee Pendleton, Assoc. Pastor of Christian Care and Counseling, assisted in arranging the memorial and offered counseling during our preparation meetings.

I was able to arrange the service to my liking, but Rev. Pendleton and the church held my hand every step of the way. When we arrived the Friday morning of the service, members of the church were there to volunteer as greeters, the church supplied lunch and a beautiful balloon and teddy bear centerpiece to honor Gwen.

As I mentioned earlier, the members of Ben Hill UMC were very supportive. Lillie Ann arrived to visit moments after Gwen was born and instead of shying away from a dead baby, she told me how beautiful Gwen looked. Texanna called every morning while I was in the hospital and during the weeks after when I was at home by myself to offer encouragement. The women of my Bible study who collectively prayed at appointed times as well as during their own prayer time, the members who sent cards, called, visited and prayed, and all the people who wished me a Happy Mother's day when that special time arrived.

I write all of this over a year after Gwen's birth/death and I am still alive and am able to experience joy in life in spite of my loss. I hope that knowing this will help another woman feel that she can live. I also hope if you are in someone's life that has experienced such a loss, you will look to Rev. Lewis and the members of Ben Hill United Methodist Church as an example of how to offer the support and love that parents like my husband and I need.

Angela Johnson
Atlanta, GA
SHARE Atlanta

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Forever in Our Hearts~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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Lucas Kent Westerhold, April 30, 2000

Lucas, my angel,I miss you so. It has been a year since I lost you. Since I held you. The pain never goes away.

You have a little sister now. I know you can see her from heaven. She is beautiful - just as you. Watch her and your older brother and sister, be there angel ~ there gardian. Iknow you will always be there.

I love you so. Someday I will hold you again.

Lucas Kent Westerhold
April 30, 2000
Lake St.Louis, MO.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Forever in Our Hearts~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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In Loving Memory of Levi Douglas O'Bryan ~ 10/7/00

Our precious son Levi
Heaven's bright star
Soar high, blessed angel
Because we hear from afar
Your sweet baby laughter
And fluttering wings
And we join in the chorus
Of the angels who sing
"Happy Birthday in Heaven!"

Oh, how we miss you down here
Now a child of our hearts
And a memory so dear.
Too brief was the moment,
The time that we had,
But forever you're with us.

Love, Mommy and Dad.

In sweet remembrance of our special little boy who was stillborn at 34 weeks on October 7, 2000.

Levi Douglas O'Bryan
Paintsville, KY

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Forever in Our Hearts~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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In Loving Memory of Lane Pearson ~ 11/11/2000

My dearest Lane,

You would have been a year old next month. I am still deeply saddened by your death. Our family was looking forward to the joy your very presence would bring. Your older sister prays for you everynight and misses you terribly. I remind her what a great big sister she would have been. No one has been able to explain why you were taken away from us so close to your due date, I just pray everyday that you remain happy and safe.


Your Mom

Lane Pearson
Pittsburgh, PA

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Forever in Our Hearts~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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Hannah Grace Fooks

This past January 5th was our daughter's first birthday that is if she were alive. We still celebrated like Hannah Grace was with us.

I made a cake and decorated our house in pink steamers with a happy birthday sign. We also took flowers to her grave.

This has helped us alot to celebrate her birth because Hannah was a living baby and a big part of us. She had died three weeks before she was born. We had brought in the New Year together. My husband and other children were sleeping.

She was a special little girl who is still loved and missed and will be remembered every year on her birthday til the day we see her in glory with Jesus.

Right now she is playing in Heaven with other children and also playing patty cake with Jesus. This is what we tell our 9 year old and our 2 year old.

Hannah Grace Fooks

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Forever in Our Hearts~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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In Loving Memory of Madison Elizabeth Schreck ~ 9/6/01- Died 10/15/01

My little one, my dear one, my love,
You will beat with my heart,
See through my eyes,
Hear with my ears,
Feel on my skin,
Because your soul is mingled with my soul,

My sweet little Madison,

In two days it will have been a year since I lost you. But it feels like it happend only yesterday. My heart is broken. I hate living without you. You were the greatest thing that has ever happen to me. I cry for you daily and my arms ache to hold you again.

I miss you. You are my best friend. I heard your heartbeat and felt your life inside of me. The night you died-I held you in my arms. I didn't want to let you go. I could have held you forever.

But I couldn't bare to see you suffer. I wanted to protect you from everything. You were so brave. You put up such a good fight, but your little lungs were just too small. I can't believe I lost you.

I have peace in knowing that when I let you go-the LORD was there waiting to take you home. I know you are happy and healthy in heaven, waiting for us to hold you again. I can't wait!

Your face is engraved into my thoughts. You were beautiful. I miss your soft brown hair, and how those two dark blue eyes sparkled. I can't wait to kiss your little nose, tickle your tummy, and kiss those big feet and beautiful hands. You were perfect. I was blessed. I still am. You're part of my soul. I love you so very much pooh-bear. You are the greatest gift that GOD has given to me.

You will forever live in our hearts. You will never be forgotten. You touched so many people. We all love you. You will always be my first born baby girl, my brightest star, my angel in heaven. I will continue to hold you in my heart until I can hold you in my arms forever. I wish you were here.

I love you Maddie.

Love Always and Forever, Mommy

"My Little Sweetpea" by Katie (10/15/03) Second anniversary

Madison Elizabeth Schreck
Born premature 9/6/01- Died 10/15/01
Died soon after birth
Marietta, GA


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Forever in Our Hearts~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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One year later... The story of Avery Nava

I can't believe I've made it through the first year! Now only 2 days away from what would have been her first birthday, Avery is still in my thoughts every single day. I still don't know the best way to celebrate her birth or memorialize her death. I've chosen to focus on her birth date instead of the date of her death. She was born on February 23rd, 2002 and lived just 5 short days in the NICU. These last few weeks have not been easy. Memories of all that happened have flooded my waking moments and sleeping moments. At times, it's been like I've had to relive everything over again even though I was not consciously trying to remember. But today, as her birthdate grows closer, I feel a bit more at peace with what has happened. It's taken this long to get to this point, and I'm not saying I won't regress back, but it's a start.

The nursery we had prepared for her has been closed off from the rest of the house for the last year and although it may seem strange to some, her ashes have remained in the bassinet, where we placed them almost a year ago. My heart would break anytime I had to go into the room, so I felt it was best just to leave it as is. But finally, in the last 2 weeks, I also decided it was time for a more permanent place for her ashes. I'm still not ready to release them, so we found a beautiful butterfly box to place them in and had her name, birthdate, and a special message engraved. I moved them out of the "baby" room and into my own special place in the house with her picture as a constant reminder of how beautiful she was.

Now I can begin to prepare the baby room for a new arrival, because you see, I am now 22 weeks pregnant again. We found out this one is a boy, which was hard to accept at first, but he has become his own special unique person to us. I am being followed as a high risk patient this time, which means I get level II ultrasounds every 4 weeks! This has helped so much with my bonding with this new baby. He is due June 27th, 2003, and so far seems to be healthy- even his kidneys! Don't get me wrong- I am still quite scared something will still go wrong. I worry everyday, but at the same time, try not to worry because I don't want to stress the baby! What a strange situation for any pregnant mom to have to be in! Our innocence is lost- we can no longer have the blissfull belief that pregnancy will end with a healthy baby. I wish so badly for that blissfullness again!

Now that I am showing, people ask me all the time, "is this your first baby?" I refuse to lie despite their usual reactions of shock and sympathy. Avery was my first baby- I did have a daughter! She changed my life forever. I could never deny her in order to "spare" someone else's feelings.

Life does go on somehow- even though there were times, I must admit, I would have been just as happy if it had not. This new pregnancy has given me hope again, something I thought I had lost forever with Avery. In many ways, this new baby is a gift. We had originally planned to just have one child- so Avery would have been an only child most likely. This new baby might have never happened if circumstances were different. Our perspectives on life have certainly changed. I just hope that Avery will be looking after her baby brother, helping to assure his safe arrival into this world and a long healthy life for him. How many people are lucky enough to be born with an angel already watching over them? I heard a quote recently that completely touched my heart- "some people spend their life in search of angels; I actually held one in my arms." What better way to think of my precious baby Avery.

We will always love you my precious Avery!!!!!

Love, mommy and daddy

Janna and Aaron

"The story of Avery" by Janna (6/11/02) Newborn Loss/Known Cause (GA)

"Janna and Aaron Seskin announce the arrival of their healthy baby boy, Rowan Micah ~ Born June 20th, 2003 (GA)

Avery Nava
2-23-02 to 2-28-02
Died soon after birth
Decatur, Georgia
Feb. 21, 03


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Forever in Our Hearts~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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Memories of Brilea Celeste Duchac Turner
September 13, 2002 - November 29, 2002
Estimated birthday June 6, 2003

A faint pink line on a little stick announced your presence,
An unexpected but miraculous surprise,
I welcomed you into my life
And I fell in love.

Morning sickness, changing moods let me know you were with me,
Expected events, but still surprising,
I held you under my heart,
And love grew stronger.

My heart whispered to me I was carrying a tiny rosebud girl,
My body and soul smiled with the knowledge,
I prayed for you to bloom and grow.
And love grew stronger.

Days were brighter and nights no longer cold, long and lonely,
A tiny little being was creating light in my life.
Thoughts of you made me want to survive.
And love grew stronger.

With each passing day hope soared higher and higher,
Looking forward to holding you close,
Safe in my arms, my sweet daughter.
And love grew stronger.

I whispered and made plans with a small, unseen baby,
And I found you a gown for you to wear home,
Tiny pink hat, Pooh Bear and flowers.
And love grew stronger.

On a cold, fall night in the Hotel-Dieu Grace,
I had my first glimpse of your beautiful face,
A tiny heart beat beneath mine,
And love grew stronger.

Despite all the hopes, dreams, plans and prayers,
I knew it was time that we were to part,
I was losing a piece of my heart.
And love grew stronger.

We were now separate beings our lives torn apart,
I sang lullabies and whispered my love
To a perfect little girl born too soon.
And love grew stronger.

Counting ten little fingers and ten little toes,
I then gazed at the lovely face
Of a far , far too small rose.
And love grew stronger.

I never held you in my arms you were too tiny,
I held you in the palm of my hand
And forever in my heart.
I miss you.

And love grows stronger.

A piece of our future is missing.

Parents, David and Vicki
Siblings, Ashlea, Brian, Kevin, Rebecca and Steven
Brilea Celeste Duchac Turner
Oct. 14, 2003


Marcia's thoughts: This poem is very, very touching and reflects how dear and special these little ones are from the very first. As I read it, it pulls together so many thoughts and expressions of endearment that I have read and heard throughout my 20 years sharing with mothers and fathers who have lost their baby. Our theme for this years Memorial Service is from Dr. Seuss: A Person's a Person No Matter How Small and your poem is all about that truth. Thank you for sharing with us...

Dear all...We asked Vicki if we could read her poem in our service and she said yes. We had hoped she could join us, but Jennifer Greer read it. It touched us all deeply. You can read the entire service if you will click on this link - the blue ball: SHARE Atlanta's 2003 Memorial Service

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Forever in Our Hearts~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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A Lost Child Never to be Forgotten

I was only 16 when I found out about Maddison. I was a young and scared girl, but in a sense excited and anticipating what our life would be like with my new husband and a baby on the way. I was always reading the 'books' eating the balanced diet and exercising. I felt like I was doing everything in my power to bring a beautiful, healthy baby into my arms around Christmas time.

Months passed from the morning sickness to the back pains and finally the movements of my daughter growing inside my womb. At the end of October I noticed her movements seemed to slow down quite a bit. But everyone assured me I had nothing to worry about. Then on November 3rd, I felt what I thought was braxon-hicks contractions. But they got worse and didn't go away. Finally I decided I needed to go see the doctor.

It was early on a Monday when my husband and I traveled 45 minutes away to see my doctor. At that time he told us he couldn't detect our child's heart beat and ordered an ultrasound.

I remember laying there on the bed looking at the monitor trying to see if Maddison was moving. When all of a sudden it hit me like a brick. My child died inside of my womb.

I felt like a failure like my body had just let me down terribly. I coulnd't even look at myself because when I did I felt like I saw my child's death place.

I remember how small and fragile she was with the softest pink skin and she smelled so perfect. I still feel like it was yesterday even though it's been just over a year.

It doesn't seem fair to bury your child. Your children are supposed to bury you.

I'm still dealing with the grief and pain. The doctors said she had a condition known at hydrocephaulus.. But I still think of her so often... I would love to hear from somone with my similar experience.

A Letter To Maddison

Dear Maddison,

This is your mommy I want you to know no matter what you will always be my first child. You are still loved more than you would ever know. I don't understand why this happened and somtimes it angers me that God got to hold you first. Just never forget I love you more than you could know.

With Love,
Your Mommy

Maddison Nicole Jones
Muskogee, Oklahoma
Nov. 17, 2003


Marcia's thoughts: Amanda, your feelings are normal. You are very right that we should not have to bury our children. It is one of the hardest things any parent would have to do. Under Grief I talk about secondary losses and the loss of self-worth (or feeling good about our bodies) is one of those losses. We discuss these issues in our groups all of the time. We gradually know that we gave our child life and we did all we could to protect him/her. We come to a place where we forgive ourselves for any preceived wrong. We loved our child, and, as you state, always will.

Please read some of the information on the site about anniversaries and about "Allowing Grieving to Happen to Heal" - it takes work and work takes time to heal. Coping ideas are listed under that topic in our Drop Down Box. The first anniversary is the hardest one to move through. Please be gentle with yourself...

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Forever in Our Hearts~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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In Loving Memory of Gabrielle Rain ~ Dec.4/02

It has been 1 year since i gave birth to you and it seems like yesterday. the pain and tears are there everyday may be in heaven but you are in my heart forever.. your mommy's very own special angel..mommy loves you so much Tena
Gabrielle Rain
Cape Breton, Canada

"Gabrielle Rain MacIntosh Moore named by her big brother, Tylor" by Tena (4/3/03) Third Term Loss/Known Cause


Gabrielle's Memorial Candle

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Forever in Our Hearts~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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Briana Debra Marie Warner

Hi. My name is Missy. And i had a beautiful baby girl named Briana, she was stillborn. I can't even begin to describe the feelings i had and am still having, one year later. She was born on March 5,2003.

One year later on March 5,2004 my cousin gave birth to her 4 child a boy. The pain of that day is so hard to explain. I am very happy for her, but at the same time I am so upset and angry. Angry that her son survived and my daughter did not.

She looks at it as a gift to me. But all i want is my own baby. My little angel. I had written a poem for her.


With excitment and joy I waited for you, for 36 weeks my love only grew.
I heard your heart, felt your kicks, how was I to know this was it?

The Dr. tried, but with tears in his eyes, looked at me and said my baby had died.
Suddenly, my heart dropped to the floor, now my joy was no more.

Pain and anger I knew quite well. I thought my life had went to hell.
How could I let you go when your tears and laughter I would never know?

You were a gift to your Daddy and I, but God missed his angel, so He called her up high.
Someday we will be together again, Briana, our love for you will never end.

Love, your mommy

Briana Debra Marie Warner
March 5, 2003
Piqua, Ohio

Marcia's comments: Your feelings are very well expressed in your incredible poem. Your love and pain are all there...a year later. Grief takes time to know and to cope with. It is normal to be confused and to think that there is no way to say it. You have said a lot in a very clearly stated poem. Many will and can identify with your hurt. Thanks for sharing with us.

Your cousin means well but no child will ever take Briana's place. Of course you wish for you give yourself permission to grieve healing can happen. That does not mean you will ever forget Briana...but she would want you to heal and to feel joy again, some day.

Please be gentle with yourself as you continue to work through your grief.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Forever in Our Hearts~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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On December 4, 2003, we lost our twins, Kaitlin and Braxton at 21 weeks due to preterm labor - cause unknown. Our hopes and dreams were shattered, never thought anything like this would happen to us. Everyday is difficult... but you have to keep your faith and trust in God. And that is exactly what we did.

Three months later, after being cleared by our physician, we attempted to get pregnant again. By the end of the month, I was pregnant. I was happy and I was scared. I knew how real it was and how painful it was to lose a child. But, I kept my Faith and Believed that God would take care of it and put it in his hands.

On November 16, 2004 , I gave birth to a beautiful little girl, named Baylee Rae. She weighed 6lbs 60z. and is doing wonderful.

Through this website, I met a friend whom had a similiar loss a few months before me. We wrote back and forth to each other and started trying to get pregnant at the same time. And we did.

My friend had a little boy on November 22, 2004. I'm sharing this with you, because I want you to know that losing a child is very difficult, but never give up Hope, Trust in God and in yourself - this is where I found my comfort. I was scared to try again - esp. so soon after my loss, but for me it would have been even scarier and harder to not try again.

God Bless everyone and keep your Faith. If you would like to email me - I would love to hear from you. A year ago, I never thought I would be able to write this email and share with you the birth of my daughter. Take care, Jennifer in Ga.

SHARE Atlanta's Announcement of Baylee's birth

Kaitlin and Braxton


Marcia's thoughts: Thank you for sharing your story with us. It is wonderful to learn of Baylee's birth. I know that you could not attend our Memorial Service because her birth was so close. It is always a blessing to hear about the safe arrival of our subsequent babies. Remembering Kaitlin and Braxton and welcoming Baylee...

A note for those who are reading this and trying to decide "when to try again."

I do want to share that "when to try again" is a very personal decision. Some decide to try again after a few months and all is fine. Others need and should take time to deal with their grief therefore waiting anywhere from 6 months to 1 year or more depending on you and your situation.

Sometimes moms will find that they need to spend some time with their grief after they birth their subsequent child. I have had mothers - several years later - come and say they need to revisit their memories and deal with some part of their grief at that point in their lives. All are normal responses and each parent should be aware that everyone's grief needs to be approached differently. Being open to your own personal needs is very important. There is more discussion on this on our Subsequent Pregnancy page.

Grief and Future Pregnancy

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Forever in Our Hearts~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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Wow! I survived the first year...

Well, the 1 year "angel"versary date came and went. Al and I went to the cemetary and put new flowers on my darling little boy's headstone. I was truly surprised at the intensity of grief I felt as I sat there, thinking about last year and the excitement I had felt about his birth. It was still quite an emotional rollercoaster for me that day.

NO ONE REMEMBERED but Al and me. I was blown away that not even the grandparents, who so badly wanted him, asked how we were doing that day. I was hurt and a little angry about that. I felt as if my heart was going to fall out of my chest all over again and yet, for everyone else, the world continued to turn.

I guess because I am pregnant again, everyone expects me to be okay and move on and forget CJ. NOT GONNA HAPPEN!!! Al and I still tell him Goodnight and we love him every night before bed. Some people might think that is weird but that is something we are going to do, even after our little Hope gets here. I am planning on having her say it too, once she is old enough to understand.

I still think about him all the time and cry for what could've been and if that makes me strange or stuck in grief, as I have been told, so be it. I love my little boy and it doesn't mean that I will make Hope feel inadequate or unloved. IT just means that I LOVE MY SON and always will.

Sorry to rant but I have had some very cruel things said lately to me because I still bring up CJ and that pregnancy, even though I am pregnant again. Well, sue ME!!!

4/41Charles Jeffrey Shoemaker, July 18, 2004 by Crystal (Newborn loss Between 20 and 32 weeks/Incompetent Cervix) Forest Park, GA

5/2"I SURVIVED..." by Crystal (1/10/05) Grief: Month by Month 4th to 8th Month; GA

"How do I move forward?" by Crystal (9/8/04) GA

Charles Jeffrey Shoemaker
July 18, 2004
Second trimester loss, Charles lived for three hours. /Incompetent Cervix/
, Forest Park, Georgia


Marcia's thoughts: I hear you about other's responses...or lack of and I agree that if you are pregnant again t this time it usually is seen as the overriding factor in your life. I know you and Al love CJ and Hope both...and you always will. That is what is important here. I will post your letter on the First Anniversary page with my response and then I hope that I will have your diary to you so you can read it and decide what you wish to put in next.

I would definitely say that what you have shared for that first year has sounded like so many of the others who have shared with us. The anniversary brings up many thoughts of the year before and tears are normal. The "what ifs" and "only ifs" often resurface and new regrouping has to take place. Knowing that we will never forget and our love will always be there can help us a great deal. As always, thank you for your thoughts...

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Forever in Our Hearts~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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"I love my Thomas. "

I try and try to not let the loss of my baby boy, Thomas Matthew, bring me down. I have two other children whom I must go on and be happy for. I do not visit his grave often the guilt I feel for that is enough.

I used to talk to him everyday but that seems to have stopped. I only talk to him when I feel I need his help e.g. getting on the plane, to help Mommy stop smoking, etc. Am I wrong to feel guilty or ashamed for not being a depressed mess? I was depressed for a long time but with the help and support of friends and family I have come a long way.

I miss my baby everyday! Not a day goes by that he doesn't pop into my head. I love my Thomas. I just want you all to know it does get easier and you won't ever forget. God Bless You All!!!

Hackensack, NJ


Marcia's thoughts: Jennifer, you sound as though you are going through the anniversary emotions...all very common. Read more about them and how to cope with them in the section about Holidays, Anniversaries, and Due Dates. Recognizing this time for what it is - is the first step to coping. Then, deciding something special to do in memory of your baby might really help you. Having the sadness lift as you move through the year is normal...please do not feel guilty for that. Sometimes we fear we will forget our baby if we let "happy" feelings in. You will not forget your special baby. Thomas will always be in your heart and there for you to love. Take care...

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Forever in Our Hearts~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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My precious year later

I found one week before I turned five months that my son had Renal Agensis. The doctor told me he would not survive. My Doctors induce my labor eight day after I found out.

I started my induction at nine am Monday, July 12, and did not give birth until seven forty three Tueday night, July 13, 2004. My labor was very hard on me. I felt like why must I go through this pain for nothing.

Why did god have to take my precious son from me. My precious Khoury died at birth. I held him the whole time I was in the hospital. My son left alot of people that loved him even though they did not know him.

I had him blessed before I left the hospital. I took pictures and had hand and feet prints done. That hardest thing for me was giving him up and leaving the hospital with out my precious son. I had a funeral and I buried my precious son.

I won't ever forget my precious son and he will always be my first child, my first everything. I love you my precious Khoury - your mommy Janice.

Entry #2, 9/8/05

Hi, I was wondering if you could help me find some one that knows about renal agensis. I cant really find any information on renal agensis. thank you

Marcia's response: I have here a few helpful sites...perhaps you have found them already...or not. We have had several parents through the years to have babies with Potters. All grieved their little ones and were able to have subsequent living children. Understanding the condition and seeking support is important for healing. You will want to gather all you can together as you are doing. I hope these help. (Many different conditions, etc. are found under our Links/Medical and Emotional in our Drop Down Box.} If you already have these sites and information, let me know and I will try for others.

  • Renal Agenesis (Potter's Syndrome): *Renal agenesis is the complete absence of the kidneys. The kidneys are the organs that filter the blood of waste products, eliminating them as urine. There are two kidneys in the human under normal circumstances. Absence of the kidney could be unilateral or bilateral. If it is unilateral, it means only one kidney is absent. However, if it is bilateral, it means both kidneys are absent. Unilateral absence of the kidneys is compatible with life whereas bilateral absence of the kidneys is incompatible with life.
  • good description
  • A Potter's Syndrome Parent's Support Group....

    Janice's Response: Dear Marcia, Thank you very much these site are very helpful. I am so glad that I have some one I can ask questions and just to talk. you and the web site of very nice to have. I can already feel a little differences. I dont feel like I am alone anymore.

    Janice Roark
    Khoury James Roark -Rios
    Albuquerque, New Mexico


    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Forever in Our Hearts~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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    "Valerie's First Year Anniversary and "El dia de los Muertos""

    Last year we found out that Valeria had died in my womb on "El dia de los Muertos" the Mexican Day of the Dead. My husband Ricardo, who is from Mexico, has always enjoyed the celebrations surrounding it. His experience of these celebrations are not morbid, creepy, sad or scary like Halloween can sometimes be, but rather joyous.

    The people make sugar skulls and decorate them with the names of their loved ones. Gravestones are elaborately decorated with bright coloed flowers. People put pictures of their loved ones on a special table or altar and light candles and hold vigils. They prepare food that their loved ones once enjoyed and offer it because Mexicans believe that on this day their loved ones will return...and might be hungry. It is quite beautful and touching.

    People laugh and tell stories and its not a sad day at all. I'm learning alot from his culture. The year before that, his grandma passed away on el dia de los muertos. I like to think there was a reason for this. I like to think that she was there in Heaven waiting to hold and keep Valeria for us til a later time. I know that this day will always have a special meaning for me too now. And that makes me feel closer as a family.

    This year I found a few whimsical skeleton votives to sort of represent the sugar skulls. All of our stuff is still in boxes in I didn't have any pictures (of grandparents, Valeria's ultrasound etc.), but it was nice. When I was pregnant, I couldn't get enough of my mom's beef stew. So, I ate some beef stew and imagined that I was sharing it with Valeria, just as we once had. I don't know if this is what my husband had in mind or if other Mexicans would agree with my liberal interpretation of el dia de muertos, but for me it was sweet.

    For Valeria's anniversary, two days after(the day they induced labor), we kept it simple. I bought some flowers and placed them in a vase next to her ashes. I was surprised at how "at peace" I felt. I was expecting to cry all day, but rather I felt good knowing that I was once pregnant with my daughter and happy that I have an unexplainable and profound connection to Valeria.

    If I live the rest of my life and am never pregnant least I know that there was a time, a wonderful time when I was pregnant...and that pregnancy produced Valeria...and although I would love for her to have lived longer, at least I do know that she did indeed live and continues to live in my heart, forever.

    Marcia, thanks again for everything you do. Thanks for listening and thanks for your support. Thanks for being there. I'm so grateful. God bless.

    5/71"It just kind of hit me hard tonight. And these feelings feel crazy." by Trischa (11/05)


    Marcia's thoughts: I am touched by what you share here...I have had others who have been part of "El dia de los Muertos" share the same kind of thoughts and activities. One father told me that the food and treasures they leave on the graves often "disappear" and they believe that their loved ones came for them. He told me that in reality, the poor most likely received it. But, he said that he thought that was just fine. I thought so, too...because of the way he expressed it.

    BTW, the people of the Victorian age here in the USA often picniced by their loved ones grave and spent "family" time there. The Oakland Cemetery here in Atlanta has a Sunday each year where they remember this era with stories, decorated gravesites, and reflections about that era. It is a very special day! I love to go and spend a few hours is a very happy and peaceful fall afternoon.I love the special activities that you did around Valerie's anniversary. Connections and remembering is what caring and healing are all about, in my mind. As we reconnect with our memories of our special baby, our healing continues. I love the idea of "sharing" the beef stew with your daughter and the miniature skulls like the ones that people lovingly remember their loved ones with.

    Yes, you will always have the memories of Valerie and she will always be your first born child. To bring peace and meaning to our child's short life is so very important. And, knowing that we will have them "forever in our hearts" helps us to continue to heal. Thank you for sharing all of this.

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