Friday, October 27, 2006

Stories of Pregnancy and Infant Loss

I've been busy, busy, busy this month. I FINALLY got our book, Stolen Angels: 25 Stories of Hope after Pregnancy or Infant Loss to the printer! I can't believe the writing and editing portion are actually completed. This journey has been absolutely grueling, but so worth it.

Here's a few starter tips for getting your own book out of your head and into print:

  • If you have been playing with the idea of putting a book together, share your ideas with a few close friends. If they seem enthusiastic about your idea, maybe you're on to something. Despite popular belief, most people aren't plotting to steal your ideas and turn them into books before you have the opportunity to take action. Besides, word of mouth is one of the greatest marketing tools in a writer's arsenal.
  • After you have a great idea, do research to see what others have done on that topic. There are probably many books on the subject, but find a hole and make that your niche.
  • Carry your research and writing materials with you everywhere you go. If you leave them at your desk with only a cursory commitment to "write when you can" ... more than likely that idea will remain just that - a great idea.
I am a huge advocate of writing about your loss(es). After writing my own story and helping almost 30 others do the same ... I can say with conviction that writing is healing. There are some things a person is just plain scared to say aloud, but with a keyboard or pen, the hidden feelings come tumbling out.

When you dig deep and allow yourself to feel - truly feel - healing will happen. As a bereavement counselor and friend, I have counseled countless women who've lost babies in more scenarios than I can name here. In my experience, those who spend time doing real grief work are most likely to heal. Those who hide or choose "not to think about it" or cry are more likely to suffer silently - for years and beyond.

I've been thinking about teaching an (Internet-based) writing class ... where I teach parents to write a heartfelt, professional version their baby's story. Would any of you be interested in such a class? I haven't worked out the details yet, but if you're interested ... shoot an e-mail to

In the meantime, check out some of the writers who've made Stolen Angels the healing work it's come to be. Just click on "Author Bios."


Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Infertility Resolved (for one couple anyway)

A friend sent me an amazing story of hope featured on the Today show October 12. Kathy and Rob Adzich lost three babies within three years. (Their story is similar to my own - in that respect) ... but amazingly a nurse at the hospital offered to be a surrogate to the Adzich's. They now have three children through the love and generosity of a stranger!

I think of how many women have offered to be a surrogate for me ... My sisters, friends and even my Mary Kay consultant! I never took any up on their offers. I chose to suffer. Maybe it's due to my own fears, my hope to bear my own children or something else. I don't know.

I do know that I'm wowed by this couple's courage to trust and believe that they could - and would - have a family. Watch the clip here.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Why Ask Why?

Earlier, I reflected on a young lady at my mom's job who was only two weeks behind me in her pregnancy ... only God will know why one child was taken, another spared.

Asking "why" has been one of my life's most fruitless endeavors. Why brings zero closure ... it only keeps grief a gaping angry wound. I had enough anger to fuel Air Force One on a world tour ... I didn't need why's inflammatory presence!

So, why do we continue to ask why? Is it simply human nature? Or do we just like to occupy or time with empty ponderings?

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Foreward by Aliza Sherman Risdahl

I am thrilled to announce that noted author, producer, international speaker and entrepreneur has written the foreward for our much anticipated first book, Stolen Angels: 25 Stories of Hope after Pregnancy or Infant Loss. If you haven't done so, I encourage you to visit Aliza's Web site and pick up a copy of Stolen Angels so that you can read the wonderful comments she's written.

Aliza is the author of six books including:

  • Babyfruit: The Miscarriage Poems
  • PowerTools for Women in Business: 10 Ways to Succeed in Life and Work (ENTREPRENEUR), Cybergrrl @ Work: Tips and Inspiration for the Professional You (PENGUIN PUTNAM) and Cybergrrl: A Woman's Guide to the World Wide Web (BALLANTINE)
  • The Everything Blogging Book
  • Working Together Against Violence Against Women
  • Everything You Need to Know about Placing Your Baby for Adoption

Why I Lost My Faith

I thank God that He's kept my love for Him alive despite the tragedies I've experienced. To sum them up: Three infants. Three years. No living children.

In this post, I'll detail why my faith has taken a beating in the past and how I've arrived at a place where I'll never lose it again.

In the past, I lost my faith because

I did not have a strong spiritual foundation. Sure, I went to church, I knew the basic facts about Jesus, I prayed and I even served on a ministry, but I didn't know the Bible's promises, nor what God's expectations were for me. I definitely did not have a relationship with Jesus ... I only had knowledge of him. I lived through others' perceptions of God (the Pastor, a teacher, a friend). I did not realize (or perhaps care about) the importance of spending quality time praying and reading the Holy Bible for myself... reading devotionals are not a substitute for spending time in the Bible.

I did not make a "til death do us part" commitment to God. My faith flapped in the wind. If times were good, I was a good Christian. When times grew unbearable, I put distance between me and the Lord. In those times I chose to "ease back into a relationship with him." In essence, any relationship that is sometimey is doomed to fail. I would never approach a relationship with my husband or best friend in this way ... why would I do so to the one who gives me life? The parable of the seeds that were planted, growing but then choked off by the thorny worries of the world described me perfectly.

I only saw God for what He could do for me. The most important thing God could do for me was bless my womb. Give me a baby. The end. I couldn't see the blessings He allowed to fall on me in spite of the fact that I wasn't even a very good friend. I wasn't even grateful that he gave me the gift of eternal life! What was I willing to do for HIM? What was I willing to do for others? Not very much, at that time. When my attitude - and my selfishness - changed, so did my perspective about God's goodness even in my trials.

I did not trust God, nor believe His promises were true (for me). I made up my own truth. In His Word He says All things work for the good to them that love the Lord and are called according to His purpose. I didn't believe that my losses could actually be for my good or that they could turn into something good. I didn't believe that pain and suffering established and strengthened a believer. I had to get to a point where I realized God's plan is bigger than my desires or my personal pain. My goal should be to overcome life's obstacles so that my life can be a blessing and testimony for others.

I was not a Spirit-filled believer. I genuinely believed that because I had prayed the "Believer's Prayer" all those years ago, that meant I was Spirit-filled and Heaven-bound! No transformation had taken place and my mind was certainly not renewed after simply praying aloud that I believe in Jesus and am sorry for my sins. It wasn't until I fell on my face and cried out to Jesus to save me, help me and fill me, that His Spirit was poured out on me. In that moment several things happened ... first a beautiful heavenly language poured out of me. Then, I felt new ... I didn't feel like the old gal I had been lugging around! Then, I actually developed a passion for the things of God. I wanted to love, share, teach and forgive. My life was transformed and others would stare at me and with a smile say ... "you are not the girl I knew last week! I actually like the new you!" Guess what? I like the new me, too.

In truth everything that caused me to stumble and fall away had a lot to do with not having a strong spiritual foundation. With the Holy Spirit's help, I have commitment, the desire for serious study and the power to apply Biblical principals to my life and I won't go back to the faithless gal I was before. I encourage you to not let tragedy keep you from obtaining the best gift yet ...

For "Without faith, it is impossible to please God ..." Hebrews 11:6

For more on Faith, its importance and how to cultivate it, spend time in Hebrews 11 and 12