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Technically, I didn’t lose him, I find that to be such an odd term. I know exactly where he is. His body is buried in a cemetery at my childhood church, just a mile or two from my home. His grave, meticulously maintained during his grandparents’ daily visits, is peppered with tiny trucks, tractors and superhero figures. I drive by that church every day and even after all this time, its still such a stark reminder. There’s a small stepping stone that reads, “If love could have saved you, you would have lived forever.” So true. He was certainly loved. Because of my faith, I know his soul is in heaven with someone who loves him even more than I do. His laughter fills my mind sometimes as if he was right beside me. I can still hear his voice, “Fol, fi, sis. Come find me, mommy,”….

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The following piece was supposed to be submitted to an anthology that will be titled “Mothering Through the Darkness.” The stories it will contain when it comes out will center around mental disorders during and after giving birth and especially postpartum depression. This was difficult for me to write, and despite sitting down to work on it periodically, I missed the deadline. I chose to finish it though because I felt that it has been an important part of healing and a testament to what my daughter has done for me.

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To tell this story is to tell its end first. On Sept. 1, 2012, Makenna, the only child of Heather Thompson and Geoff Duff of Alexandria, Va., was born dead. She had been alive in her mother’s womb on Aug. 30, but no heartbeat could be found the next day. Her umbilical cord had knotted, then wrapped around her neck, and, at 39 weeks, she was stillborn. Until her baby’s heartbeat could not be found, Thompson says, the pregnancy had been medically uneventful.

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Marirosa Anderson was still sweating from a workout when her cell phone rang at 8:20 p.m. on Nov. 11, a particularly cold night in northern Virginia. Anderson had planned to spend the evening with her husband and two small children. Then she saw the caller-ID number. She took a deep breath, readied herself and answered the phone. Karen Harvey, a labor-and-delivery nurse at Inova Fairfax Hospital, gave her the rundown. A baby was about to be delivered by C-section and the parents wanted photographs. Could she come right over?

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HAND would like to invite you to come together with other families and celebrate the memories of your precious babies.

Sunday, October 7, 2012 1:00pm – 3:00pm
Sanborn Skyline Park, Sequoia Peterson Grove
16055 Sanborn Road, Saratoga, CA

The service will have music, poetry readings, and a potluck meal afterward where you can reconnect with old friends or make new ones with families who have experienced the loss of a baby. Families and friends are welcome to attend this memorial celebration.

View invitation, directions and more here…

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October is National Pregnancy & Infant Loss Awareness Month. Each year HAND families gather for a Service of Remembrance.

HAND would like to invite you to come together with other families and celebrate the memories of your precious babies. The service will have music, poetry readings, and a potluck meal afterward where you can reconnect with old friends or make new ones with families who have experienced the loss of a baby. Families and friends are welcome to attend this memorial celebration.

HAND will provide beverages. Please bring a potluck dish to share.

Sanborn Park is a County park and charges a $6.00 entrance fee. Parking is available close to Sequoia Peterson Grove. Please keep in mind it gets cool under the trees so you may wish to bring a sweater or jacket. There will be picnic tables available for the potluck after the service. You can find out more information about the location at www.parkhere.org.

We realize that after the loss of a child it can be painful to see other children. Please remember that the children present at the service have suffered the loss of a brother or sister or may be subsequent children. Parents who have children in attendance are very sensitive to the fact that there are newly-bereaved families present. We all attend the service for the same reason: to honor these special family members who have died.

Sunday, October 2, 2011 1:00pm – 3:00pm
Sanborn Skyline Park, Sequoia Peterson Grove
16055 Sanborn Road, Saratoga, CA

Learn more here…

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“ If I had a single flower
for every time I think about you,
I could walk forever in my garden.”
— Claudia Grandi

HAND would like to invite you to come together with other families and celebrate the memories of your precious babies. The service will have music, poetry readings, and a potluck meal afterward where you can reconnect with old friends or make new ones with families who have experienced the loss of a baby. Families and friends are welcome to attend this memorial celebration.

Learn more…

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