Tuesday, July 30, 2013


With the retreat behind us, I think my mind is finally catching up and Im able to start processing some of it. I never know how to answer when people ask me how it went. Good? I mean the fact that there even needs to be a ministry like this breaks my heart. The fact that mothers and fathers are still having to go through burying their children makes me sick. But its happening, and so since its still happening, Im glad we can offer something to help them through. I've done 3 retreats so far, but this one was different in the fact that couples were there, not just women only. I was able to hear the' stories and not get in the pit with them-thats a big step for me. Overall, I left the day feeling alright and not nearly as emotionally drained as usual. I think having Nathan there to co-facilitate with me helped a lot.

We are planning to do the third women's retreat in the fall. So far we've done one on emptiness, one on brokenness and then this final one will be called "Into the darkness." In the next few years Nathan wants to develop 3 mens retreats to balance the women's ones. So that's that. Please if you could continue to pray for this ministry and what God wants to do. Thank you for all the prayers for the couples and us this past Saturday, we appreciate them so much!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Go Time

Gearing up for our retreat on Saturday. Asking for prayers for my husband and I to actually do a good job (and not waste people's time-always my fear!) leading the retreat. Also prayers for the couples, that they would have the courage and energy to show up and that God would give them some healing through the experience. Registration is open the morning of, so if you know of anyone who is in need of this ministry and hasn't signed up-just send them on over Saturday morning. Thank you in advance for the prayers and for so many of you out there who are helping behind the scenes.

I'll leave you with this verse that I've been reflecting on all week:

"With such affection for you we were determined to share not only the Gospel of God, but also our very selves, so dearly beloved had you become to us." 1 Thessalonians 2:8

Doing this retreat requires Nathan and I to share a lot of the Gospel, but even more of ourselves, our grief, and our son's story. But it's worth it because that's the whole Gospel message-give and you will receive. Praying that the Lord would open hearts this weekend and heal the brokenhearted.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

You're Still Missing

I put Abigail down for a nap. I start the process of cleaning and picking up the house while trying to stay quiet. These months, when the grief is less intense, have been refreshing.  I can go days without breaking down or crying and mostly when I think about Caleb I just feel happy that he existed. But even at a time when things feel most "normal," my heart still knows he's gone. As I put things away I keep thinking, "theres something else." I couldnt shake this feeling today of something being out of place. And then it hit me-he's still gone. It sucks to realize it over and over again that your baby died and isnt coming home. I searched for this song today because it always says what I cannot. He's still missing, and even in the good months,even when everything seems to be falling in place, my heart still feels it, still feels the empty space that he should be filling.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Two Weeks to Go...

For any couple who has experienced a pregnancy loss at any stage. Please contact me for more details and to register. Spread the word!

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Do we Know?

I'm Catholic. I'm pro-life. And I had no idea until Caleb died that babies were being killed inside the womb of mothers who desperately wanted them. That there were adult women out there with families and other kids of their own who were "terminating or interrupting" their pregnancy. Why? Because the babies they were carrying had "defects" or "terminal diagnosis" and would not make it once they were born. These babies are being cut short of their already short lives in a "decision" that is usually swayed by the medical professionals. My heart breaks for these babies, but more for their parents who have to make a "decision" that should never be a decision in the first place.

I want to say that I firmly believe that termination of pregnancy at any stage is wrong. I believe that interrupting a pregnancy (inducing before viability when the baby has terminal diagnosis so that mother does not have to carry to term) is wrong. I also want to say that I firmly believe most couples make that decision without the knowledge, support, care, compassion and love that they desperately need at such a traumatic time. Most women are told that if they choose to carry their terminally ill baby that the baby will suffer in utero.

I want to share this story of what it is like for a mother and father who are joyfully expecting their third child only to be told, "sorry,your baby has defects, please terminate."This story broke my heart open and pushed me to write this post. The cruelty and harshness this couple was treated with is unacceptable.  As one mother who commented on the story put it "I can live with killing my baby, I cannot live with torturing her." WHAT! Are you kidding me? That's the best we can do as a society? Give parents the option between killing (through abortion or induction) or torturing-(carrying to term)? There has to be another way....(Just for the record-Suffering is a subjective phenomenon. Its impossible for the doctors to know for certain that a baby would be "suffering" inside their mothers womb...wouldn't aborting them also cause suffering? Wouldn't inducing early so that they are born premature and cannot survive cause suffering? We do not have the technology to judge weather a fetus is "suffering" inside the womb. So this common lie that the doctors tell their patients cannot hold up against philosophy and reason).

My husband just finished his ethics position paper on this exact topic, so I'm a little fired up about it. What I'm fired up about is the fact that there is so little being done to stop it. And I'm not talking about posters being held outside an abortion mill. That doesn't reach these parents, that doesn't relate to them, that doesn't help them. We have to do better people. As a Church, we HAVE TO DO BETTER.

So what do we do? What am I doing? 3 things that I think would help change this horror:

1.Change the minds and hearts of the medical professionals-I'm not in a position to do this, but I'm hoping someone who is does something about it and soon.

2. Bring perinatal hospice to all Health Care facilities. Think of hospice for your elderly family members- it helps make the end of life as peaceful as possible. Now add perinatal on to that and its a group who tries to make the life of a baby with a terminal diagnosis as peaceful as possible for mom, dad,family, and all involved.

As a pro-life Church we should be at the forefront of this. Perinatal hospice meets the family where they are at and gives them a way to make memories with the limited amount of time they have. In one study done, couples given the choice to terminate the pregnancy or carry to natural death (with a terminal diagnosis) with the help of perinatal hospice, 85% chose to carry to natural death!

No one wants their child to die-not now, not 3 months from now. Every parent wants more time with their child, not less. With perinatal hospice we can say to the parents, "we will walk with you during this dark, dark time. We will help you when so many are unwilling to help." So perinatal hospice-my husband is working towards it, I'm spreading the word and praying for it. You can do the same.

3. Spread the word about whats happening. Like I mentioned in my first paragraph-I had no idea this sort of thing was happening. And Ive been pro life for a long time. I'm convinced that most pro-lifers have no idea that this type of thing is going on. When we found out about it, my husband and I started calling it the "underbelly" of the abortion movement. No one knows it happens, and therefore it continues to go on.

But how can spreading the word about it help? Well because it keeps happening to couples who have no idea it happens. So maybe you know about this and you also know about perinatal hospice. And then your cousin, or another mom in your play group or co worker or neighbor gets pregnant. Then they go in for the 20 week ultrasound and instead of leaving happy knowing the gender, they leave devastated knowing their baby will not live. You can help direct them. You might be the voice to try to give them another option, one that does not involve torturing or killing their precious child. The more we bring this to the light, the better.

As a Catholic community of pro-lifers I feel like we have an obligation to fight against this. It's  a touchy subject in the pregnancy loss world. I want to emphasis again-I'm not judging the people that choose this-I'm judging the act itself. Its wrong to abort.period. Its wrong to induce early before viability just so the mother doesn't have to carry to term a terminal baby. It does the couple no favor. It often leaves them with the guilt that no parent should have. Doctors think it will help end their grief and suffering, but the reality is that it prolongs it and often leaves them regretting a lot of decisions.

James 2:14-17 says

"What use is it, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but he has no works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister is without clothing and in need of daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and be filled,” and yet you do not give them what is necessary for their body, what use is that? Even so faith, if it has no works, is dead, being by itself"

As a Church we cannot simply let these couples fall through the cracks or simply mutter a prayer and move on...They need more, they need a better option, one filled with compassion and empathy.

I want to end by saying if we fail to do anything about this then we let the culture of death recruit another disciple. I cannot handle that, I won't stand by and let it happen. Please pray with me, educate yourself on this, spread the word. Give mothers and fathers another option -kill your baby, torture your baby....or the only option- carry your baby until natural death, make the most of their precious life.

Link to Perinatal Hospice

Video on what perinatal hospice is about: