MIS

           M iscarriage
            I nfant Death
           S tillbirth

Website by Jeff Carr

Remembering Our Babies:


www.nationalshare.org

Here's a list of local and national organizations that provide support for women and couples who have experienced early pregnancy loss, stillbirth, or newborn loss. If your the family or friend of the parent who experienced the loss, please follow this link and read these.

SHARE Pregnancy and Infant Loss Support, Inc.
800-821-6819
share@nationaloffice.com
http://www.nationalshare.org
(Support for those whose lives are touched by the tragic death of a baby through pregnancy loss, stillbirth or in the first few months of life)

SIDS Mid-Atlantic
**Please note the new location. The McLean Support Group is no longer meeting
Joani Horchler, Facilitator
- Author of "SIDS & Infant Death Survival Guide"
- Email: SIDSES@aol.com
http://www.SIDSsurvivalGuide.org
Chesapeake Life Center at Hospice of the Chesapeake
Prince George's County Office
9500 Arena Drive, Suite 250
Largo MD 20774
This group will meet the first Tuesday of each month from 7 to 9 pm.

Capitol MISS Foundation
They offer monthly support group meetings on Capital Hill, to mothers and fathers experiencing the loss of a child to miscarriage, stillbirth, or infant/child death. Their meetings are on the second Tuesday of each month. Visit their website for meeting information:
http://www.capitolmissfoundation.org/

Two Tiny Hands
Two Tiny Hands is a nonprofit providing support to families after the loss of a child.
http://www.twotinyhands.com

Still Standing Magazine
Surviving child loss and infertility.
http://stillstandingmag.com/

March of Dimes, National Capital Area Chapter
703-824-0111
DC613@marchofdimes.com
For DC Region: http://www.marchofdimes.com/metrodc
For national information, visit http://www.marchofdimes.com
(Organization dedicated to improving the health of babies by preventing birth defects, premature birth and infant mortality)
Many parents find that reading or keeping a blog helps the healing process. March of dimes has a good facility for blogs: http://share.marchofdimes.org/

Center for Loss in Multiple Birth (CLIMB), Inc.
907-222-5321
climb@pobox.alaska.net
http://www.climb-support.org
(Provide parent support for those who have experienced the death of one or more twins or higher multiple birth children at any time from conception through birth, infancy and early childhood)

The Compassionate Friends, Inc.
877-969-0010
nationaloffice@compassionatefriends.org
http://www.compassionatefriends.org
(Support to assist families toward the positive resolution of grief following the death of a child of any age)

A Place to Remember
800-631-0973
aptr@aplacetoremember.com
http://www.aplacetoremember.com
(Support materials and resources for those who have been touched by a crisis in pregnancy or the death of a baby)

Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep
877-834-5667
http://www.nowilaymedowntosleep.org
(Gentle and beautiful photography services in a compassionate and sensitive manner; photographers will come to a hospital or hospice location and conduct a sensitive and private portrait session)

Isaiah's Promise
301-681-5784
http://www.isaiahspromise.net
(Support network for families continuing their pregnancy after a poor or fatal fetal diagnosis)

PLIDA (Pregnancy Loss and Infant Death Alliance)
888-693-1435
info@plida.org
http://www.plida.org/
(A central place for parents, their concerned relatives and friends, and interested professionals, media, and policy makers to find information on the emotional aspects of pregnancy loss and infant death.)

Remembering Our Babies
Remembrance Keepsakes for Pregnancy and Infant Loss
http://www.rememberingourbabies.net

National Fetal and Infant Mortality Review
Fetal and Infant Mortality Review (FIMR) is an action-oriented community process that continually assesses, monitors, and works to improve service systems and community resources for women, infants, and families. Research shows FIMR is an effective perinatal systems intervention.
http://www.nfimr.org

A Baby's Legacy
A Baby's Legacy is dedicated to families faced with the heart-wrenching news that the precious life they are anticipating is not likely to survive.
http://www.ababyslegacy.com/default.html

The Sweet Pea Project
The Sweet Pea Project offers comfort, support and gentle guidance to families who have experienced the death of a baby. The site has many resources, and includes a gallery that features artwork and writings from all over the world, created by the parents, siblings, grandparents, aunts and uncles of the little ones who are so deeply loved and missed.
https://sites.google.com/a/sweetpeaproject.org/www/

For Friends and Family, when a baby is stillborn
The 1stbreath website has a very helpful page written for families and friends when a baby is stillborn. It simply states bullets for the following topics:
1) What Parents Tell Us They Need
2) What Parents Don't Want
3) Remember Both Parent and Child
http://www.1stbreath.org/Stillbirth/Family.aspx


Here are 6 tips for talking with parents that we've learned through many hard, great conversations with some amazing (amazing) friends after we lost out son a few days before his due date. Feel free to share.

1. Acknowledge It: Before this happened to us, I TOTALLY would have gotten this one wrong.The biggest fear we heard from friends was that by calling, it would make us feel sad by bringing it up. Turns out, though, it's really comforting to hear something from a friend, even if it's the "wrong" thing. The people who acknowledge it by addressing it are awesome. Days or months after, don't worry about "reminding" a parent of their child's death; it's pretty much all they think about, and they love talking about him or her, too (they're proud parents like anyone else). If you don't know what to say, google for advice or just say "I have no idea what to say, but I love you."

2. Follow Up For The Win: You're amazing if you call or write a letter right after it happens. You're a super star if you follow up even once later on. You'll be LOVED ETERNALLY if you reach out multiple times and--most especially--on anniversaries (monthly anniversaries at first, but later on each year: add his/her birthday to your calendar with the others, make a note to write a Mother's/Father's Day card each year). We've met many parents who--17 years later--cry like it happened yesterday; parents need support for a long, long, long, long time.

3. Baby Talk: People who talk about your baby like they talk about other babies are pretty much the bees knees. Validate the baby's life: use his/her name often if the child was named; add him/her to the family prayers; ask questions. Refer to the parents as "parents," and--if you're family--refer to yourself as an uncle or aunt or cousin, or add one more to the tally of the number of grand kids you brag about. Some parents may have pictures; ask to check them out, or ask to look at any keepsakes they got from the hospital or during the pregnancy. Did I just walk by your refrigerator and see my son's picture mixed in with the other pictures?! YOU'RE GETTING A BEAR HUG!

4. No Exchanges: The best conversations are about the individual who passed away. There's a totally understandable tendency to offer hope in the form of "Don't worry, you'll get pregnant again" (and this is another thing I TOTALLY would have done, too, and found counter intuitive after having gone through it). While many parents do want to get pregnant again, the best conversations aren't references to other, future children; those people seem to get that no other child would be a replacement for the one who was lost. If there were twins and one survived or if there are living older siblings, those parents are still mourning the loss of a child, so "at least you have the one" is not comforting. For us, we didn't lose "a baby" that we would like to replace with "another baby"; we lost out first-born son, Simon Alexander Gillette, who had a lot of hair and a million other things that make him the unique person he is. Ten kids later, we'll still miss the Si-Guy.

5. Inquiring Minds: It's sort of counter intuitive, but inquisitive folks are great, and friends who ask a lot of questions still make me happy. Though it can be emotional or sad, many people find relief in talking about their experience from early pregnancy to those final fateful days, even the most tragic parts of the ordeal. Unlike an adult who has died--who leaves behind years of stories and pictures and nicknacks--parents of infants who have passed have precious few memories to savor. Even those worst moments can be nice to think about and share for that reason.

6. Just Do It: The best ones don't ask what they can do; they just do it. Come over, make the meal, send the card, mow the grass, clean the toilets. In the first few weeks you're so out of your mind you can't make any decisions; everyone who popped by or just did things made us feel wonderful. The specific action being taken is way less important than the thoughtfulness behind trying to help.

Finally, the sucky truth of the matter is that the whole situation just sucks. A child lost a life; the parents are grief stricken; and--honestly--it's just going to suck sometimes to be the friend or family member of someone going through this. It's an unfair burden for the friends and family, and even if you do everything right there are going to be times when the other person still gets upset due to the grief. And it changes things: the parents are different people now. It's not fair to the friends and family, but those who change with us are incredible friends. Thank you, thank you, thank you all for doing so.