On Sun., Mar.30 we hope to see you at Gardens of Gethsemani for this special Mass. Details are here: https://littlelightofheaven.com/upcoming-events
Sometimes when couples suffer the loss of an infant or child, their marriage can also suffer. Retrouvaille is a “lifeline for marriages” that are in trouble. I have personally met a number of couples who thought their marriages were over until they decided to participate in the Retrouvaille program.
Here is information on upcoming weekends:
*** Pregnancy mentioned
A friend sent this blog post called “Why miscarriage matters when you are pro-life“, it is well worth a read. After we conceived the 2nd time, we were fearful as there was a chance that I might have an ectopic pregnancy. After losing Keaton and trying for so many years to conceive again, we were overjoyed when we found out that we were going to have another child. But we were also scared.
At the time, I was on a waiting list for surgery to unblock my fallopian tubes. A few months prior, I was told one of my tubes was completely blocked and the other was virtually the same, so it was a nice surprise that we were able to get pregnant. Because of the blockages, the risk was that our 2nd miracle baby wasn’t going to be developing in my uterus and we were going to lose this little one too.
I contacted the Perinatologist who monitored us during our 1st pregnancy with Keaton as he was well aware of our situation. Unfortunately, we were told we would have to wait to find out. The earliest he could tell via ultrasound whether or not the baby was developing in the right place was 6-7 weeks gestation.
For the next month, I was on the edge of grief. It was unnerving. I waited in frustration – praying, happy at times and thankful; trying to be hopeful, yet I was anxious, angry and sad too. “Dear God, just tell me already!”…I so wanted the date of our ultrasound to come quickly, but dreaded the days leading up to it and felt so sick inside.
The moment I found out we were pregnant, I became attached. How could I not? Yes, part of me wanted to protect my heart from being broken yet again, but the other part reminded me that I was indeed a mother to this baby too. No matter how young, no matter how small, my reason for being was to love and protect my children the best way possible. It would have been a hard fall.
The day finally came and driving to the hospital I couldn’t help but think “today I will find out if my baby will live or die”. If I was having an ectopic pregnancy, I had to prepare myself for emergency surgery. It was one thing to mentally prepare for having to go in for surgery, it was another to mentally prepare to say good bye to someone I had quickly grown to love so dearly.
I can’t describe the relief I felt when the Dr. showed me at 7 WEEKS, the ultrasound image of our baby on the screen. The Dr. reassured me that this little one was developing in my uterus where s/he was supposed to be. At that moment, peace settled in and gave me a chance to take a deep breath, something I had not done for weeks.
Once I heard confirmation that my baby was being given an opportunity to live, I could not take my eyes off the screen. All I could see was this tiny heart beating steadily in front of me. I was in awe of this wonderful blessing. Another life was growing inside of me and for now, he or she was going to be ok!
I will be honest, the rest of my pregnancy did bring about a lot of stress and anxiety. How long would this baby be able to stay? What if…? Would I be able to see my newborn open his/her eyes and hear the sweetest coo I so longed to hear? Would I be able to bring this little person home? Thankfully, Keaton’s baby brother is now 18 months old and safe in our arms. I still shake my head at times that he is actually here. It has been quite the journey.
Indeed, I do believe that every life has value. Before I lost Keaton and before his little brother came along, I didn’t realize the impact that perinatal loss had on families. This is why it has been so important for me to bring Elizabeth Ministry to our area, to help support other bereaved families and also create awareness to others. If you are reading this and feel the same way, contact me if you think you might want to start up a chapter at your Parish.
To my precious baby boys, I loved you the moment I knew you existed. Thank you Rachel for sharing your story, my prayers are with you.