Thursday, February 5, 2015

The Heartbroken Mother


When I wrote "A Letter to My Doctor" a few weeks ago, I had no idea it would have the span that it did. I am so excited the post has reached so many and continues to make a difference. Because of the chord the post struck with people, I wanted to create something that would be even more meaningful and have even greater of an impact.

I thought that if the letter was powerful by itself, then a video would be even more powerful. It would show real people affected by loss. It would help connect the viewer with the true emotions felt by parents when their baby dies. It would make the letter human. I decided to ask the babyloss community to submit pictures of their children for this project, and was blown away by the response. Within the first hour of posting in two Facebook groups, I had dozens of emails, all from mothers who jumped at the chance to be a part of this, and who, more than anything, want their story told and their baby remembered.

I did not limit the video to pictures of babies born still. Some of the babies in the video lived for minutes, hours, and even days. Some passed away from birth defects, infections, illness, or SIDS. Honestly, for me, it doesn't matter why these children are gone. What matters is that they are - and they are so very missed, so very loved.


90 children appear in this video. 90. Let that sink in for just a moment. 90 children of Heartbroken Mothers. Some of the pictures were professionally taken, some were snapped with a personal camera, some have been retouched, but all of them are the most sacred possession each mother has of their child. Every picture in this video has been sent to me in good faith that I will tell their story honestly and with fidelity. Every picture is the result of a mother going out on a limb to support a cause by sharing the most vulnerable part of her motherhood, her baby's birth and death. This video is not just a video of me reading my blog post. This video is the heart and soul of every mother who has lost a child. When you watch it, remember that. Remember just how loved every single one of these children are. Remember that these pictures are all we have of our children. Remember how brave each of these mothers are to share their story and their baby with you.

Please Note: This video is "unlisted" on Youtube, and can only be accessed through this embedded link. If you share, please share the blog post and not just the YouTube link.

 In order to share this video in a group setting such as a face to face support group, or with hospital staff,  please let me know you are doing so.  You may email me at Kenleyninja at Gmail.



If this video moved you, please consider helping out a worthy cause.  The US Cuddle Cot Campaign is dedicated to make sure every maternity ward in the nation has a Cuddle Cot.   One of the beautiful Heartbroken Mothers from the video is working with the Campaign to bring a cuddle cot to her local hospital.  You can check out that link here.    Every hospital is required to be up to code in all sorts of areas, but they aren't required to have a Cuddle Cot.  Help get one into every hospital so that the next Heartbroken Mother (and there will be many) can have as many precious moments with her baby as possible.

Some of the resources mentioned in the video:

The TEARS Foundation
SOBBS
Still Born, Still Loved
Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep
The Sweet Pea Project
Cherishing the Journey
The Brianna Marie Foundation
Kaleb Kares
Still Birthday
Return to Zero (movie)

Also, check out Carly Marie's Project Heal.  I hadn't realized I didn't add it to the video until I had already published it.  Carly Marie does beautiful photography to remember our babies!

Once again, thank you for watching the video, reading the letter, and remembering the babies.





19 comments:

  1. Thank you Rebecca. Thank you for being our VOICE and helping to break the silence of Pregnancy & Infant loss. You have done an amazing job and an honor to all those beautiful babies recognized in this beautiful video.
    Natalie

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  2. Thank you so much Rebecca. I sent an email, on Friday, requesting permission to share the video with staff and students in presentations. I am hoping that I have done it correctly. If possible I would like to share in a meeting tomorrow - If I do not hear from you I will not share until I receive your permission and the correct video.

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    Replies
    1. Patti, I just looked through my emails, and I can't find one from you. It is possible it got lost in the shuffle of the several emails I have been receiving. I believe I just finished up the photo releases today. If you email me one more time, I will send you the link tonight! Kenleyninja @ gmail.com

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    2. Thanks Rebecca - I have resent it (from my work email instead of my home email) - I look forward to hearing from you

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  3. Hi Rebecca,
    I am a current VCOM studnet and we were just shown your video today. I want to thank you from myself and all my classmates for this personal letter. Your words were vital in helping us as future physicians to understand and be able to help all of our future mothers.Thank you again and I hope we can make you proud in holding these words close to our hearts.

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  4. My daughter died last May when she was only 7 days old. Most of the health providers where supportive but I regret not doing things like keeping a lock of her hair. Nobody suggested it and I was in shock to think about it...The death of a baby is taboo in Argentina. I've read other bereaved parents' thoughts and some of them had a really hard time with the medical professionals...I'd love to translate your letter into Spanish to share with the Latinamerican community of bereaved parents. Can I do so? I'd send you a copy if you'd like to have your video in Spanish as well.

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    1. Nadin, I am so sorry for the loss of your daughter. There are so many things moms can't think of on our own. It's so important for the medical professionals to help us through that. I would love for you to translate the letter and use it wherever you feel it can be useful! You are welcome to email me at KenleyNinja at GMAIL.com if you ever need anything.

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    2. Thank you so much. It really means a lot to me.

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    3. Would you be able to share the letter that was translated into Spanish so that we can share it with our Hispanic patients that prefer written materials in Spanish? Our population at our hospital obstetrical unit is 80% Hispanic.

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    4. Here is the link for the Spanish version https://drive.google.com/open?id=171lvM0UHc2c0lz8o0VF51VwdOfRO0kfE

      I have also updated the blog page to include it. :)

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