Welcome to Paradise
by Sarah Grandfield-Connors
There is a short essay called “Welcome to Holland” which is meant to comfort a parent who has recently received information that their child has some type of developmental disability. The premise is that you have booked a trip to Italy, but your plane was re-routed to Holland. You miss the idea of Italy, the culture of Italy may always be a mystery with its own language and art — but Holland is stunning itself. Beautiful but different.
When we first understood that things with Beatrix may not go well someone sent me this essay. It was welcome as an affirmation of the life I was embarking on — the life I assumed included a child with Down Syndrome — because whenever there’s a problem in pregnancy, that’s the “worst” that could happen, right?
(Disclaimer here — I was excited about the possibility… there was a not so tiny part of me that was thrilled that I would be given the opportunity to mother a baby with exceptional chromosomes. I do not see a baby with Down Syndrome as a negative. It’s just the first thing that people imagine when they learn that their baby is going to be atypical.)
Jason Versus the Pennsylvania Division of Vital Records Part 1
by Jason Kimble
When Hannah passed away, Heather and I were absolutely devastated. Having been given a fatal diagnosis, we knew the tragic day would come when we would face the this heartbreaking and difficult time. Knowing this did not make the time any easier, but it did allow us to consider some things about what was happening. That said, one thing that came up was the idea of a birth certificate. Initially this did not cross my mind. At this point, I can’t recall where I heard about it first. I think Heather told me she had seen something about it online. There was a birth certificate that our state would produce for families called the “Birth Resulting in a Stillbirth” certificate. It sounded like something that would be a great thing to have and would add just a little bit of peace in the recognition of our baby girl… or so we thought…
This was a way for families to have their baby recognized by the state as more than just a “medical issue.” It was a way for the family to mark this moment and remember the baby that was lost. It was something that a family can have as something to hold to and show that while their baby couldn’t come home with them, the life of their baby was no less important than anyone else. I didn’t NEED this certificate to allow me to know my daughter existed or mattered, because she did, but in my mind it was nice to have that simple piece of paper just like a “normal” family would.
Dealing with Stress – 10 Practical Ways
by Heather Kimble
Stress is completely unavoidable after our baby dies. I wish it was. I hate it. But then again who doesn’t hate stress? The emotional and physical reactions suck. We all react in different ways. I just want to break something to release the stress. Chunks of my eyebrows literally were falling out. My hair overall got much thinner and one section completely broke off. I have also felt physically sick and just extremely nauseous. I am trying to learn to release this stress. I’m still learning different ways that work for me. It’s not an easy fix as some would like to think. It doesn’t make us bad people, it makes us human.
I just want to share some ways that have personally helped me release the stress even if only slightly. Continue reading