SHARE Atlanta Pregnancy and Newborn Loss Support My*Our Experiences

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"Sharing" Our Stories/Thoughts - Along this Path

Grandparent's E-Mail and Story Exchange...Page 1

E-Mail Entries for 2003 and 05

"My Grandson, Christian Joseph Walker" by Sandra" 1/12/03 sent to SHARE Atlanta 12/20/02 and 1/22/03


"My grand-daugher ~ Laura Nicole Trahan ~ 9/15/04" by Carolyn (10/11/04) GA

"BROKEN HEARTS....." by Sharon (5/6/05)

"To Grandmothers... " by Brenda (2/28/06)

""My Grandson, Christian Joseph Walker"

Hi Im so sorry that there even has to be a place such as this for us to come to. My situation is a little diffrent than yours. You see it was my daughter who lost her baby. His due date was Feb 14, and he died just a few days before, and was deliverd on Feb 14.

I worked at OB. Soon I left there. The babies didn't bother me it was the birthing process that I just couldn't bear. The babies were sweet and comforting to me. Some of the mothers seemed uncaring and that really bothered me worst of all. I just wanted to scream and tell them you just don't know what a gift you have here.

Well my daughter is expecting again in June. It has been so rough for her and to top it all off about a month after her baby died her husband started abusing drugs and he has been in and out staying gone for weeks at a time.

As a parent I have watched my child go through this hell and there isn't anything I can do. I feel so helpless. She dosn't like to talk about it and I don't push it.

It helps me to talk. I always respect her wishes and most importantly I talk to my Heavenly Father who knows all the begining and the end.

Shelly my daughter is 21 yrs. old. When this happend to her an innocence was lost forever. For me there is so much hope for the new baby. I really think she is afraid to let go, to become too attached. Sandra
Christian Joseph Walker
Donalsonville, Georgia
1/2/03/ sent 12/20/02

Marcia's Comments: Your concern and love for your daughter has been shared many times in our group. It is hard to see our children suffer. You suffer the loss of your grandbaby and feel the pain that your own child is going through. Mothers are suppose to fix situations and hard times for their children, and you can't do that for Shelly. You can do what you are doing - try to understand her pain (yes her innocence is gone and her fear is real) and learn all you can about her situation.

Her reactions sound very normal and it is very special that you do see this for her. If you look at our "Subsequent Pregnancy Menu" you will see that this is very hard for our mothers. Those nine months of the next pregnancy are very difficult. Moms handle them in many different ways. Some do not bond with their subsequent child until after the baby's birth. But, the love is there and it most often happens.

Your anger and confusion at the moms in the hospital is also normal. We often talk about how our losses bring a deeper understanding of the very specialness of our children. Prayers and our faith, I believe, are what helps us survive these times.

Entry #2

Dear Marcia, Sorry it has taken me so long to get back to you. My name is Sandra Yates.I am the grandmother of 4 grands - one in heaven. My other grandson is autistic.

We found out yesterday that Shelly is expecting another boy.Your letter helped me alot. I don't really have anyone to talk with about Christian, and it helps me to talk. God has given me peace about him but of course I still long to hold him our arms ache for him. We know that one day we will be together.

At first words don't help thoughts don't help nothing really helps during those first days. I think that the pain is just so intense. There were so many loving arms wrapped around us during those first weeks just being there was the greatest strength.

The Lord also showed me that I had 3 other grandchildren who needed me, Christian was ok and didn't need us like they did.

You see down here we need each other, we are supposed to take care of the little ones.

Well sometimes I just go on and on. I read your story I guess we all have our own cross to bear. We are all here together we should care for one another.

Have you heard a song written by Steven Curtis Chapman called With Hope and Be Still and Know I highly recomend his music. You take care now and thanks for everything. Love Sandra

Marcia's comments: I so appreciate your insightful letter. You care so much for those grandchildren of proud you are. God wants us to be with our living loved ones, he wants us to care for our families. I agree about outreach, too. We each have to grow from within from our losses and from those celebrations in our lives, but I believe the grand plan is for us to support one another as we work so hard to make things happen in our own lives.

Yes, Christian "doesn't need" you, but I think you might feel as I do, he rejoices that you are here for your other grandchildren, that you care about others and that you look forwards to being with him one day. OUr arms ache for the one that is not true, so true. But, I believe we hold each one in our hearts, always.

I am so glad you had the support of others during the time after your loss. Just having them there is what counts. You are right, no words or thoughts can help, too much. Knowing you are not alone is very important.

I wish that I had more grandparent "input" on this site. I know the need is there...but maybe someone will email you. Grandparents hurt for their grandbaby and their child. There pain is two fold. My prayers are with you.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Forever in Our Hearts~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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We found out my daughter Melody was pregnant on Oct.29th, 2002. She called us at midnight that night to let us know. We were surprised but very happy.

She had one ultrasound when she was 2 months, and everything was fine. Then they planned for her to have a routine one at 5 months. Well I live in Mi so I went down on the night of Feb. 4th to spend the night with them. They live in OHio about 3 hours from me.

The next morning we were excited, and we went to the office to have it done. Her mother-in-law met us there also. We were so excited as we were also going to find out the sex of the baby, and go celebrate afterwards. Our celebration turned into mourning when we found out the diagnosis.

The tech came out and called us grandmas in, and we knew by looking at her face that something was wrong. When we walked into the room, my daughter and husband were standing there crying their eyes out. When the doctor told us what it was I just looked at him numbly for one thing did not know what he even said.

I asked him to explain in terms I could understand. I had not ever hear of this before. It was the worse nightmare of my life. My head was reeling. I felt like I was going to pass out.

They did send us to the hospital to have another one to confirm it. Later on they even had a 3 D one done. I was so hoping they were all wrong. I kept saying why us.

They decided to carry the baby to almost full term. They were not going to abort the baby.

By the way we found it was a boy. On May 18th her father and I went down to Ohio so that we could be when the baby was born. She went in on Monday May 19th she went in to be induced.

She had him on Tuesday evening at 7:33 p.m. without any problems. She was 3 days of being 35 weeks. Connor Michael weighed 4lbs. 1.5 ounces 16.5 inches long. He was a doll. He looked just like a angel. He lived for 55 precious minutes. He passed away at 8:28 p.m.

They were thrilled to have that much time with him. There miracle they had asked for was only 5 minutes with him. They kept him with them until the next morning at 8:30 a.m.

The nurse that was with him the whole time, was wonderful. She worked a 16 hour shift for them. Stayed with them and helped them do the hand and feet impressions. Which turned out beautiful. They also did one with my daughters hand and Connors and Mikes hand and Connors.

They took lots of pictures and videos.

We had a funeral for him on Sat. May 24th, 2003 at the church that Melody and Mike attend. Their pastor did the funeral and he did a awesome job. It was a beautiful funeral. they had Jesus Loves Me played in the beginning, then their pastor read the obituary, Mikes mom read a poem, then I read a letter that I had written to Connor. Then we had a song played and dedicated it to Mike and Melody called Jesus Rocking Chair. Mike and Melody each also read something they read to Connor.

The preacher brought a wonderful sermon. He talked about how many lives that Connor touched. He said that it is told that each one of us touch at least 11 people in our lifetime. But Connor surpassed that. Mike and Melody also had a song played A Visit from Heaven by Twila Paris.

We went to the cemetery. Each one from the family laid a rose on top of his casket which was buried with him. The amazing thing was, that Melodys doctor and the tech was at the funeral and cemetary. They were so touched.

It is now been 9 months since Connor has been gone. I have gone down to Ohio at least once a month to visit his grave and put something on it. But sad to say I have not been there since Dec. due to some circumstances. I hope to be able to go next month.

Right now, my daughter just found out on Valentine's Day that she is pregnant again. We hope and pray that all goes well this time. I know Connor will be looking down on his baby sister or brother and taking good care of her or him.

I will never forget Connor, he will always be my first grandbaby, grandson. I have a Memorial for him in my home, with pictures, angels, musical bears etc.... When it gets warm out, for his 1st birthday I plan on having a Memorial Garden. I am going to put a Angel Winchime outside also.

I very much miss him, but know he is in a wonderful place, and could never wish him back.

Connor Michael Morgan
Died soon after birth
Akron, Ohio


Marcia's thoughts: I am a week or so late in getting this beautiful story on the site, but it touches me greatly. I read this just before I went and did an inservice for 25 Stephen Ministery people (lay people who help people cope in a crisis). Your story was in my heart as I did my power point presentation and panel on "how to help the family after a pregnancy loss." We had a minister and his wife attend as well...all wonderful people.

Your story supports how we feel about how important it is to 'parent" our baby and then to remember the traditional meaningful practices that make our baby real and special...the funeral/memorial service is most important. Your love for Connor is so present and what a gift that you have given your daughter and son. Your own healing is helped by the special things you have done.

Hopefully, your openness and love will help other grandparents to know that it is normal to want to love and parent our manner how long they will be in our presence. We then hold them in our hearts forever. Thank you, Genene, for sharing your story. Our thoughts will be with you all as your daughter moves through this pregnancy.

Entry #2: After we lit a candle for Connor...

Dear Marcia,
Thank you so much for your kind words . They meant much. Thank you for posting my story. I hope that it does help someone. Thank you for lighting the candle for me. I appreciate it much. I have a candle in my bedroom, one of those kind that lights when it darks and goes off if it is light. It is so nice at night when I go to bed and that light is burning. It makes me always think of dear sweet Connor. He is forever in my heart.

Once Again,
thank you,

Marcia's thoughts: I have never heard of the type of light that you are describing. I can imagine that others would like to have something like that. If you don't mind my asking, where did you get it?

You are very welcome. We mutually help each other all along the way and that helps each of us heal. I would love to have more grandparents share their stories and thoughts on our site. I just don't know how to get their attention. I know it helps to write and to email each other.

Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts with me. It helps me know what to continue to do when I have people tell me how we/I can help.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Forever in Our Hearts~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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My grand-daugher ~ Laura Nicole Trahan ~ 9/15/04

Such a short visit you made to us... My daughter Katie had been going through a very difficult pregnancy from the beginning. Every appointment with her doctor was one of concern for the health of both mother and baby. Fear of miscarriage was constant, so Katie took special care to keep the baby safe and healthy, even at risk to herself.

Then, at only 23 weeks, an emergency delivery was eminent. Katie was told that her baby would not make it through normal delivery, so she insisted on a C section to give her baby every chance.

Laura was born, fought her little way through five days of life, and then lost her battle to all the obstacles.

In those five days, she made a place for herself in all of our hearts. Although I never had the chance to see her, I know that my granddaughter was beautiful, and I know that I love her dearly and will miss seeing her grow up and will miss having her help me bake cookies.

4/61"The Loss of My Daughter---The Birth of an Angel" by Katie (10/10/04) Making Your Child's Presence Meaningful.

Laura Nicole Trahan
Died soon after birth
Atlanta, Ga.


Marcia's thoughts: Your thoughts about your daughter and your grand - daughter are very dear. My mother shared how hard it was to see her grandchildren die and her daughter and son-in-law suffer their loss when she too was grieving. Through the years here at SHARE Atlanta many grandmothers have joined their daughters at our groups. I started this part of the site in response to grandparent email and comments.

Grandparents grieve, too...for their child's grief and pain and for the death of their grandchild and "what would have been." Please consider taking time to read more of the site and of this section on Grandparent Grief. Join us at our forum. Thank you for your thoughts...I wish that more grandparents would share their thoughts because it helps our parents as well...they begin to understand what their own parents might be feeling.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Forever in Our Hearts~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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On Thursday, the 7th day of April, 2005, I had just buried my 55 year old brother when I received a phone call from my son-in-law Steve. My daughter Colleen had to have an emergency C-section earlier that day or her daughter would be dead within 6 hours. He also said that the first 3 days would be the most critical in this infants life as Alaina was only 29 weeks in gestation.

I immediately began to make plans to be with her (she lives in PA and I in MA). The next morning my son-in-law called again to say that Alaina Elizabeth was doing better, but still had some problems, although the Doctors said they could medicate Alaina to alleviate the problem. I told him I would be there as soon as possible.

I hadn't spoken with my daughter yet as her condition would not permit me to do so.

Saturday morning, I called Steve to find out how things were going around 9:00 a.m. and got no answer. I assumed he was at he hospital with my daughter and his newborn daughter. At 10:30 the phone call came; it was my daughter. "Mom, we had to let her go this morning" and I fell to my knees and cried out Oh God NO!!! We cried together and I ached so back inside just wanting to be there to hold her and comfort her but I was 8 hours away and wouldn't be arriving until Sunday morning.

My daughter and her husband are blessed to have a son named Zachariah who is 16 months old. But the loss of her beautiful daughter is deepening within her day by day. Her milk still coming in and the scar of the C-section is a constant reminder of the precious one she lost. I stayed with her for 3 weeks and just returned last week.

I will be going out there again at the end of this month to stay for another 2-3 weeks to do whatever I can to support, help and comfort my daughter, her husband and my grandson. She is the one who told me about this web-site and I am so grateful.

I was numb for the first few weeks because I was trying to be strong for my daughter and help her however I could; taking care of Zach, cleaning, laundry, cooking, anything I could do.

I only saw picture of her holding Alaina as she was dying and those pictures break my heart each time they come to mind. The crushed look on her face knowing her baby was dying!

As I sit here typing this through tears, I feel so helpless to do anything for her. She is 26 years old and has a very strong faith in God, but finds herself as I do asking "Why?".

Colleen had been in pre-labor with Alaina since December. Colleen had contracted CMV (Cytomegalos Virus) prior to Thanksgiving therefore transferring it inutero to Alaina. Shortly thereafter she began to experience pre-labor pains every 2 minutes .... for the next 5 months. We know that Alaina was a very sick little girl and is now with the Lord, but those of us left here to deal with the loss....I just don't understand.

Fortunately, Colleen will be seeing a grief counselor next week. Steve is handling his grief in a different way, as we all do. Their church has set up meetings with other couples that have experienced the loss of their children to meet with Colleen and Steve, which I know will be good for them, but I'm not sure Steve will be going.

Thank you for letting me SHARE my story. I will never forget holding her little 3 pound body in my arms after her death. Some may think that to be morbid, but I found it to be healing for see her, touch her and kiss her sweet face, and say good-bye. My ex-husband held her and cried like I've never seen him cry before. What a sad day and Mother Day is Sunday. God help my child.....her heart is so crushed.

Memorial Candle for Alaina

Alaina Elizabeth Forry
Died soon after birth
York, PA


Marcia's thoughts: Grandparents have several levels of grief - the loss of their grandbaby, the pain seeing their own child/ren in grief, and the loss of innocence and hope in the loss of their grandbaby. That is why we have a section for grandparents...your grief is real and needs a safe haven to be expressed. How kind it was that your daughter pointed you in this direction.

We never really understand the whys of our loss, but we try to give ourselves permission to grieve in order to heal and hopefully make our little one's presence in our lives meaningful in some way. We offer support with coping ideas and outreach options. As we do special things in memory of our baby healing gradually happens.

Understanding the grief process (more than 2 weeks, please...we put untold stress on ourselves when we limit the time - see Allowing Grief to Happen to Heal Menu) and doing special things (like writing, sharing our story, lighting memorial candles, etc) gives us a place to put our grief and allows us to know that we will never forget these special children. Counseling and/or groups or forums - or contact with others who have had a similar experience is often helpful for the parents and family. Dads and moms grieve differently and that is normal and healthy. (see Father's Grief Menu for more thoughts on this.)

Holding our baby is very dear and a memory that we all hold forever as well. You have done so much for your daughter and her husband and for is in the "parenting and grandparenting" (holding and loving them as we would any other baby) of these babies that healing begins. The bond of support and care is there already...continue this and allow the process to "be" and you will slowly heal. I feel that grief is "doable" - hard, very hard, but doable with guidance, love and support. Know that my thoughts are with you.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Forever in Our Hearts~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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To Grandmothers...

To Grandmothers....I left my daughter yesterday in Atlanta. I live in California. I know she has contacted SHARE Atlanta. I hope she continues to reach out.

My daughter Tamera contacted SHARE Atlanta last night. Her son Kenny was a stillbirth, born Feb 13th. I am sure you can appreciate the pain she is experiencing. I am very glad you contacted your organization. Today she was admitted to the hospital with High Blood Pressure. This is one more situation she and her husband has to experience. I am so concerned about her. I have been in Atlanta with her since she went into Labor. I was planning on leaving tomorrow. Depending on her condition, I may change my plans. My heart aches so much for Tamera and her husband. I feel so helpless. I hope someone from SHARE will keep in touch with them as I know it will take a person or person's that really understand what they are experiencing.

I feel helpless, especially since I can't be with her. My husband is not my daughter's father. He lost a child many years ago at six months of age. I do not believe he ever really dealt with his grief. He feels I need to get busy doing various tasks, like buying a new car and landscaping our yard. He does not think I should be in constant contact with my daughter.

I know he is trying to help me. He said "it is over, you can't change it, you have to move on with your life". He feels my daughter and her husband need to do the same.

I have been a Grief Counselor. I know I can't get busy and make this awful pain and feelings of loss just go away by doing or thinking about other things. I do not have an appetite. I just feel numb. I know my husband is concerned about me, but I can't forget about what my daughter is going through.

My daughter's father died 10 years ago. My other children say he wouldn't be much help as he always believed in "keeping the Faith" and Moving onward and upward". I feel like my friends are not calling because it is too difficult to talk about.

Some feel it is morbid that we had the baby for two days, held him and that I have a video of the funeral and other memento's that bring me comfort. I realize no one wants to hear about this tragic experience.

I just need to talk about it. Thank you for giving me a place to express my feelings. I love my daughter and my heart is broken, seeing her suffer. I am so sorry you have experienced this also. If you care to share with me, I would appreciate it. Sincerely, with love Brenda Pfeifer

Kenny Partis
Atlanta, GA


Marcia's note:

I am so very sorry about the loss of your grandson, Kenny. I am also sorry that Tamera had to re-admitted to the hospital. Unfortunately, many of our moms have medical issues after the death of their baby. We hope for good medical support, as well as emotional support, at this time. I hope she is safely home by now.

Let me share a little about SHARE Atlanta. Everyone in our group has experienced a loss and worked through our grief with support from one another. We volunteer in honor of and in memory of our baby. We also volunteer to return the *support* that we felt from others as we moved through our own grief.

Many of your concerns and feelings are what we each have thought and/or shared. Though each person's grief is *unique* because when it is happening "to" us - it is ours and very personal, we learn in our groups that the grief "process" has some universal "givens." Our group recognizes these realities of grief. Within our group, we help each other "move through the time span of grief." The time span, itself, varies for each couple/family/individual. I believe it is a positive sign when a family reaches out for support - at any point - but the sooner they do, the more blessed they could be.

We are here for you and your daughter and son-in-law as you/they wish for us to be. We will offer "tools" for healing, and a support group from those who know these feelings because we each have "been there."

Your outreach/concern for your daughter is a true and meaningful way to "help" both her and you. Your grandson has died. Your grief both for him and for your daughter and son-in -laws' deep pain and loss is very real. You grieve, also, for yourself and the pain you feel around the death of your grandson. All of this comes at a time when this is totally not what you expected or even thought about -so your confusion and fear are high. It is also "out of order"...our babies and grandbabies are not suppose to die. At SA, we do understand this intense grief. This grief is "doable," but it takes *work*. We offer support to help families through this time.

Please consider reading some of the materials that are on our site under "First Visitor Page"...about Grief. I pulled this section together based on our group and our website. We also have a Grandparent section on our website. It has not had a great deal of activity lately because many of the grandparents are local and see each other. But, there are some positive articles, links, and notes.

If you would like, I could give you the email address of some of our local grandmothers who have participated in our group. I know that each has felt similar feelings as you, because they have shared very similar feelings with me around their daughters.

I think it is very important to realize the importance of extended family support for grieving couples and different members within the family. The death of our baby touches a couples' entire family, their friends and co-workers. We actually will be discussing this in our meeting in March.

Of course, parents/grandparents love their adult children intensely. As my mother says, "We never stop being "mom." (I believe a good thing!) As best as they can, they must believe and trust that their grown children will be capable to work through this grief. They can. I have seen it over and over again. And, the most comforting *gift* parents/grandparents can give their adult children is their unconditional love and trust in their ability to survive this tragedy. When the baby's parents know that they are not being rushed and that they are loved "as they are" in the moment of time, then they can do the hard work of healing.

Just knowing how much you care is important to them. Giving them (and you, too) space to move through the process...will be part of the *love* that is gained from these special babies and given back to each other.

Your daughter has contacted us, and I hope that she will join us as she can, and that we can help both she and her husband. That is what we have been doing for 21 years, and we hope to continue to offer "hope."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Forever in Our Hearts~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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