A friend of mine posted the above video to Facebook. I knew what it was as soon as I saw it. A reader had sent it my way and said maybe I should think about sharing Myla's story as a way to break the silence.
I'm not there yet. But I am really, really glad that there is a push to get stuff like this out in the open.
When my friend posted this, he said something great: "I didn't realize the prevalence of this event. I love how families are allowing the child to remain a part of their family and honoring her/him at special times - birthday, thanksgiving, christmas and/or other winter holidays. For those who are uncomfortable with sharing this, GET OVER YOURSELF! The child was part of life however briefly, is loved and will always be remembered."
I immediately thought, Right on, we WILL always love and remember them! And of course you didn't realize the prevalence. NO ONE realizes the prevalence because no one talks about it.
I then wondered why. I mean, on a personal level, I know why I don't talk about it. But on a grander scale, there had to be a reason. It hit me, and I commented the following:
Still birth and miscarriage are so taboo in our culture because we have conditioned ourselves to "accept" that life doesn't begin until that child is outside the womb.
I put "accept" in quotes because it's a conditioned belief that isn't a belief so much as it is a justification for the murder of a child.
Because that uneasy "acceptance" of an obvious falsehood doesn't sit well with the public, things like open grieving of life lost within the womb or at birth is taboo since open acceptance of that life causes folks who don't believe in life at conception to confront the validity (or invalidity) of that belief.
And as someone who has experienced condemnation and ridicule for grieving the life of a child considered worthless by society's standards, I can understand why some families choose to suffer in silence - why this topic is rarely spoken of. It's difficult enough to endure losing a child - you don't need people lashing outwards as they struggle with an inward paradigm shift on top of it, ya know?
Just my two cents.
I know this is a good chunk of the reason I keep silent. I'm not ready to handle their emotions on top of my own. I'm not ready to handle the questions or the judgement or even the sympathy that might result from Myla's story being out there amongst family and friends.
But the point of this video is spot on, and I do think the reason so many of us don't speak out more is because our culture - a culture steeped in death and selfishness - cannot accept the grief of parents who prove their misguided stance on life within the womb is not compatible with reality. We are a thorn in their logic.
Horsemen by M.C. Escher
For someone who hates math as much as I do, my favorite artist is a mathematical genius.
Truthfully, his symmetry and creative outlook on the impossible are what originally drew me to him. Also, he has an uncanny way of making the impossible seem true... of causing two diametrically opposed objects to work together as if they were always intrinsically the same.
So when I think about the dichotomy of secrets, I think of an MC Escher piece.
Because secrets contain a built-in paradox. Half the horses in your mind want nothing more than to keep that secret private. They're content in their stalls, munching on their hay and reflecting on what amounts to be a very personal, intimate matter.
Those other horses, however... they're chomping at the bit and pawing at the stall doors to escape and spread the secret to anyone and everyone who will listen.
My secret? Myla Therese.
Today, Remembrance Day, made me keenly aware of this inner dichotomy. Myla's existence is still mostly unknown. My mother, my SD, you folks and a tiny handful of friends (6 or 7 maybe?) are even aware of what happened. No one else on either side of the family knows, and I don't bring her up to anyone but the closest to me. It's those pesky horses... the half that wants to keep her private and mine - all mine - they're content to sit in their stalls and keep her memory there.
Those other horses, though... sometimes they get creative and find ways of slipping out. A few days ago, I commented on a Facebook thread that was far away from anything my group of friends would ever stumble across. It was a bunch of Catholic moms talking about babies. My friends and family would steer so far away from "Catholic" "mom" and "baby" that they'd be happily on their ways to China so as not to accidentally find themselves in a spot that combined them.
However, what I wasn't aware of was the fact that Facebook doesn't care about that. Facebook took a personal comment on a wall of a group that is "no man's land" to my friends and put it in the newsfeed. In the NEWSFEED.
Everyone then had the chance to see my comment of comfort. It was originally meant to reach out to another mother who had lost her child an felt secluded in her grief. I wanted her to know she wasn't alone, so I said something along the lines of, "I'm the mother of a baby in Heaven, too. Our little saints are playing together on the lap of Our Lady, I bet!"
Several minutes later, I got a private message from a friend of mine. She asked me about the comment and I immediately felt like someone had walked in on me in the shower.
My mind began racing...
If she saw it, who else saw it? Is John going to get these questions from our friends? Is John going to be MAD that I posted this on Facebook? Oh God... did anyone of his family see it? Will anyone else send me questions? What am I supposed to say to this one? And why does Facebook have to notify her that I'd already read the dang question?!
Before bothering to respond to her e-mail, I called John. I explained the situation and asked how he wanted me to handle it. After all, this was a mutual friend. What I said to her had the capacity to reverberate through our friends and back to him. He might not be able to push the situation out of his mind so easily.
His response surprised me. He said, "Answer her however you want to. Whatever makes you feel better because you're the one handling it. I really don't care how you respond."
Now try not to bristle at "I don't care how you respond." He didn't mean that in a harsh or demeaning way. He meant it as "I'll support you whatever you choose."
I repeated that his family might find out... his Mom. I didn't think she would from that basic exchange, but it was a possibility, and if he still said that he didn't care what I did after thinking about it in those terms (moms tend to paint a black and white picture for us better than most things), I could trust he really meant it.
Apparently he did, because he still gave his stamp of approval even then.
I went back to my computer. How do I respond to her? I didn't know. On the one hand, I wanted so much to tell someone else about Myla's existence, but on the other, I didn't want to share something so personal. I honestly didn't know what to do, so instead of answering her, I went through my newsfeed to clear out any possible reference to miscarriage I could find.
Finally, I went back to her message. I was back in control of my feelings, so I could respond logically. I trusted this particular friend, so I explained in very simple terms that yes, John and I had been expecting in July and I had miscarried around the 5th or 6th week. I also explained that we weren't really making that information public, but I thanked her for sending me the message. It really did mean a lot.
She quickly responded with love and support. I felt better that another person was pulled into the circle that knew Myla existed. She was such a blessing, and I sometimes ache that more people aren't aware of her. However, I do fear what knowledge of her existence would bring.
Questions that I'm ill-equipped to handle. Questions that would make me cry. Questions that would tear me apart and leave me pounding my fists into the floor.
Disbelief that she was real. At 5 or 6 weeks, she's nothing, after all, right? Society tells us she's nothing. Society assures us that my sweet little baby is completely inconsequential.
And the list drags on.
So for today, I reposted a few things and commented on a few others, but I kept my tone ambiguous. Instead of posting Myla's story, I posted things "in solidarity with" or "together with" others who have shouldered this cross. Folks seeing my posts could easily think they were akin to wearing pink in support of breast cancer awareness though I never had it myself. It was my safe way of publicly spreading awareness without opening the door to something I'm not ready to handle.
Again, I know this might come as a surprise to you readers who see my most personal thoughts on a routine basis, but I am just not this forthcoming with many people. Behind the safety of my monitor, I can vent with the knowledge that none of you will ever be able to treat me differently or judge me harshly because of what you read here.
Truth be told, in real life, I'm scared. Very, very scared. I like being in control... in charge... even-keeled. Being upfront about things so sensitive and emotional for me... it's just not something I'm good at. And for as much as those horses want to call out Myla's name from the rooftops and share my experience with other women who might be going through (or will go through) miscarriage, I am not strong enough to handle it at this point. I feel selfish and weak for admitting that, but it's the truth.
I do hope to one day be able to tell other people about Myla. She is a blessing, and I want to share her with others - especially family and friends.
I just don't know when (or if) I'll ever be ready to do so.
For those of you who have endured miscarriage, did you ever tell family/friends? If you did, when and how did you go about doing it?
I spent a pretty good portion of this weekend caught between two worlds. The first was created entirely by you fine folks. My inbox was full of pictures, poems and stories. The depth of love you each testify to cannot be understated. I was so touched and humbled by the images you chose to share. I sorta felt like Frank Warren from Postsecret (or what I assumed he'd feel like). Each item shared was like a tiny peek into the heart and soul of the person who sent it in. My heart was greatly moved by each and every one of you.
I only chose to show names along with the photos. I figure that if you'd like to share your personal stories, you may do so in the comments. I left out last names and birthdays as well (given that many of these children were born into Heaven before ever being born upon earth).
Bless each and every one of you. No doubt these little saints hear our prayers and feel our love. May we constantly feel their pull on our soul as they gently lead us after Christ to our forever home.
Quick heads up...
The blog community CatholicSistas
has a Remembrance Day linkup. Check it out and participate there!
For the story, click the photo above.
Grateful that God allowed His guardian angels to save this little one.
This sweet child and his parents are symptomatic of the larger problem sweeping humanity - the complete disregard for human life.
And that, itself, probably stems from the fact that, by and large, we feel "hindered" by the mere thought of caring for another person. Isn't that what birth control, euthanasia and abortion are for?
Forgive us, Lord, for we know what we do and we do it anyway...
So many of my friends have been posting articles about a couple who lost their 2nd child because they believe medical science is unnecessary. I support their feelings of frustration, confusion and heartbreak that two children are needlessly dead because their parents have not taken every available avenue to ensure the care and survival of innocent children.
However, these same friends who have posted vitriol about how disgusted they are with this couple... how this couple should burn in hell for their neglect... how folks like this should be sterilized / mutilated, etc...
Not a one of them has said two words about the gruesome infanticide that has been committed by Dr. Kermit Gosnell. The same infanticide that occurs daily all around the country at the hands of Planned Parenthood and abortion mills just like it...
Forgive me, but if you're gonna go ahead and condemn the neglect of two parents in the deaths of two children, you'd better damn right well condemn abortionists and supposed nurses / staff who allow millions of children to routinely die in painful, scary and terrible ways ON PURPOSE.
If you're gonna get preachy because two innocent children are dead due to neglect, you'd better go Billy freakin' Graham due to the neglect of an entire nation that refuses to acknowledge the snuffed out lives of millions upon millions of innocent babies on a daily basis.
If you cannot or will not, you are a hypocrite of a most vile degree.
My morning started off pretty awesome. My son gave me hugs and kisses before I dropped him off at daycare, several of my friends were already on their way to the Pro-Life March in D.C., and I was on my way to the most awesome job in the world (made that much more awesome by the fact that my coworkers are pretty much the best people in the universe). That all being said, I looked something like this:
LIFE IS CRAZY AWESOME - YAAAAAAY!
About an hour or so after getting to work, however, one of those aforementioned awesome coworkers sent me this article which put me in a mood decidedly...
That smell isn't my diaper - it's the smell of St. Thomas More vomiting from Heaven.
After a few minutes of fuming - loudly - I checked to see which diocese St. Thomas More was actually a part of. I wanted to make sure it wasn't Archbishop Chaput's old Denver stomping grounds. When I found out the hospital was located in the diocese of Pueblo, I hopped over to their site to find out if any statement had been made by the bishop there. When I got to their homepage (found here), I took a moment to read the press release posted there. While reading, I probably looked a little something like this:
Money, yo. These bishops are MONEY.
The quick (and pointed) response to this situation is incredibly heartening. In fact, I was SO pleased that they responded that I wrote the wonderful folks over in Pueblo to tell them how wonderful I thought their bishops were in a letter to the Office of the Bishop. I would suggest all of you do the same. When you're done praising them for being defenders of Life, go ahead and exercise your fingers by then moving over to St. Thomas More Hospital's site to unleash a lesson or two on what TRUE Catholics stand up for and defend.
This, my dear friends, is what today's version of Defending the Faith looks like. We might not need to shed our blood in the Colosseum (yet), but we do need to take a stand and refuse to back down on our beliefs simply because it's financially beneficial to do so. Those hack-job lawyers in Colorado have just destroyed so much of what the Pro-Life movement has worked hard for. How DARE they claim that fetuses aren't people only to kick a lawsuit under the rug!
My heart goes out to the father who lost his wife and children. How invalidated he must feel that a set of Catholic representatives (whether or not they were Catholic themselves doesn't matter - they represented a Catholic Institution, and thus should have reflected Catholic values in their actions) basically told him his two children were nothing... that they were undeserving of proper care because they weren't technically alive by the standards of the law...
I am sickened by that! At the very least the firm representing the hospital should never again be allowed to step foot in the courtroom in defense of St. Thomas More. I'd also like to see the administrators of this particular hospital feel a little fire for their part. SOMEONE over there had to have given some sort of consent to this diabolical argument. Ugh - I just... I can't.
Anyway, after you spit some of your justified venom their way, refresh yourself by viewing some of the incredible, uplifting and thought-provoking images of today's incredibly successful March for Life. These imagines? They'll remind you that you're not alone in your desire to see a better, brighter future for this generation and all generations to follow. They'll remind you that you're part of something bigger... something mystical... something militant - the Body of Christ.
Mobilized and militant - we will not remain silent!
Simply put, the sham that is our media is only able to get away with this courtesy of the willful ignorance enjoyed by those they opiate with their trash.
Taking some good advice from Fr. Levi of The Way Out There, I'm seeding you his entry on an impossibly tragic case involving a pregnant mother, her unborn child, possibly a misunderstanding of Church teaching, severe miscommunication, and definite mistreatment resulting in a grieving husband, family and friends who are left with more questions than answers.
Please keep these folks in your prayers. ALL those involved need prayers right now. May the mother, Savita Halappanavari, find herself encompassed by Christ's mercy, may the father, Praveen, find solace and peace. May their family and friends use this tragedy to better the treatment and awareness for other mothers in potentially similar situations. May these doctors / nurses / medical staff gain understanding, wisdom and compassion to handle such trials in the future.
Oh Ireland... you are enduring such a period of confusion right now. You were always my favorite country outside of the US. I'll keep you, your leaders and your people in my prayers. Keep us in yours. We need each other now more than ever.
I'm sharing this with all of my readers in the hopes that these wonderful Sisters and the work that they do is not only helped along through your generous donations, but also your prayers!
Please keep these beautiful women and the cherished families they help in your daily intentions. We are blessed to count these brides of Christ among our own.
Dear Friends and Co-workers of Life,
'Emmanuel', God is with us. As we prepare to welcome the Christ child anew in our hearts this December, we are welcoming the new life around us in the women we serve. It is our desire that as they have courageously chosen life for their child, they may know the joy of Christ's presence and loving support, so often through the hearts of others. And that they may know truly, God is with us!
We are organizing our December 15, 2012 Christmas party for the women we serve and their children, and sending out some gift ideas for anyone who is interested. We have added websites for your convenience but you are certainly not limited to using them. Thank you always for your prayers and generosity!
Baby Boy / Girl Clothes
Snuggle Baby Carriers
Snap-on Baby Carriers
Five Languages of Love Book (Gary Chapman)
Diapers / Wipes
Other Gift Cards
Scented soaps / candles
Children's / Family Bibles
Veggie Tales for the kids
We need shopping bags! We always need big bags with handles to give to the women when they stop by. We fill them with maternity clothes and baby clothes, etc***
T-SHIRT BAG - PLASTIC- CLEAR - 90121 Store Supply Warehouse: Your Source for Retail Supplies and Store Displays 9801 Page Avenue | St Louis, Missouri 63132 | Phone: 800-823-8887
All gifts need to be delivered by Monday December 10th, 2012.
For shipping purposes this is our address:
Sisters of Life
257 East 71st Street
New York, NY 10021
Questions concerning drop offs contact: (212) 737-0221
Any other questions and concerns contact: (347) 843-8900
We are so grateful to you for all your sacrifices, big and small, for our mission of building a culture of life.
In Christ Our Life,
The Sisters of Life
I've been sitting on this post for about a week because I haven't had a proper camera with which to take my photos. *GRUMP GRUMP*
Anyway, my iPhone ended up taking the ones you're about to see, so I really, REALLY apologize for the blur and lack of clarity.
A wonderful friend of mine asked me to create a pair of Pro-Life earrings for a friend of hers. This friend works across from an abortion facility and it breaks her heart that she must work across from this place day after day.
She wanted some small way to remember their suffering throughout the day... some small way to speak out against the atrocity and remind others that there were those willing to speak for these voiceless children.
Thus, these earrings were born.
I went through several charms and versions, but the Precious Feet (though pricey) were the way to go.
Thus, I've created a whole batch for those who wish a pair for themselves. These can be customized with pink, blue or red beads. However, one crystal will remain on all of these to remind us of the innocent souls that are being torn away from us each time an abortion is carried out.
10% of all sales go towards the Pro-Life Union of Greater Philadelphia. They do some incredible, incredible work. Please spread this particular entry along. I want Pro-Life jewelry to spread just as much as ribbons for breast cancer, puzzle pieces for Autism, or bracelets for Alzheimer's.