Monday, May 23, 2011

The story of Brie Hackett

The Story of Brie Hackett 05/23/2011


Today, we welcome Sarah Hackett as our guest blogger. Sarah and I met at the Memories Support Group at Lexington Medical Center, and I believe her story will touch you. Thank you for sharing your story, Sarah!

My name is Sarah Hackett, and I'm a 31 year old high school teacher in Lexington, SC. I have been married 2 and 1/2 years to the love of the my life who I didn't even meet until I was 27. We got married in a garden in Lexington, SC in October 2008. We decided to start a family about a year after we got married, but it took us about 9 months to conceive. We found out we were expecting in April 2010 the same week that my sister found out she and her husband were expecting! It was crazy!

We found out we were having a girl and decided immediately to name her Brie after seeing her move around on the ultrasound pictures. She was such a dancer! She was moving and grooving in my belly the whole pregnancy. She was definitely my little dancing girl! My pregnancy was textbook. The day my sister gave birth to her son, we had both hit 38 weeks. I remember waking up the next day and saying to Brie, "Well, sweetgirl. It's just you and me now!" I expected to be pregnant for two more weeks and go through natural childbirth...nervous about it but at the same time looking forward to the challenge.

However, that was the day I stopped feeling my dancing girl. I started having contractions, and my husband and I decided to go in to the hospital to see if it was our was our say goodby to our little Brie. We realized she had passed away the day my nephew entered the world. In my heart of hearts I believe my nephew remembers her in heaven.

Since that day my life has been turned upside down. I miss my little girl every second of every day. I live every day for her. I look forward to the day I will see her again in heaven. Heaven is a very real place to me and a place I look forward to going to. There are only a handful of things that have helped me accept what has happened to us. We found out that Brie had a defect in her umbilical cord that the doctors didn't know about. She was perfect size with a perfect heartbeat...until she simply couldn't handle it anymore. My research has found that babies in her situation will simply adjust to the umblicial blockage and compensate throughout the pregnancy...until they can't anymore. That was my girl...strong and a survivor like her mommy.
In the past six months since I lost my little girl, there are honestly only a few things that have helped me deal. I am a part of the "Memories" Support Group from Lexington Medical Center. The group meets every 2nd Thursday of the month and has been absolutely incredible to me and so supportive. I actually look forward to our meetings because I feel so welcome and so free to talk about Brie with other women in my shoes...whether they are farther ahead in their grieving or behind me...they are so supportive and encouraging to me.

If you or someone you know have gone through a pregnancy loss whether early in pregnancy or farther along, visit a support group and I'm sure you will find the same support and love and encouragement that I have found. If you don't know which one to attend, try out "Memories" every 2nd Thursday at Lexington Medical Center and I can't wait to see you.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Opportunity to give to others

A friend of mine recently wrote to me about something that she is involved with, the "Fresh Air Fund" that enables kids from inner city NYC to have a two-week vacation in the suburbs or country. They place children in homes (any size family) in the 13 northeastern states and Canada.  If you're interested, click on this link:  Sounds like a good opportunity to reach out!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Read "In Exile" on Hannah's Prayer Blog!

Monday, May 16, the Hannah's Prayer Blog, Held, will publish an article I wrote about what it felt like to be "in exile" from the land of pregnancy when we lost our baby girl, Naomi Faith, at nearly 19 weeks gestation.  Come visit "Held" to hear more...

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Proverbs 31 for Pregnancy Loss

I have a love-hate relationship with the Proverbs 31 woman.  You know her – the model wife who seems to have it all together, the Superwoman of the Old Testament who takes care of everything and everyone and is praised by her husband and children at the end of the day.  I love the example – but I also hate her perfection.  What would she do if she were thrust into twenty-first century America, I wonder!

As a mother of children in heaven, I have struggled with her example, too.  Losing a child in pregnancy not only sets a woman on a painful road of grief, but it also is an awful blow to her view of herself as a woman.  I’ve lost three children in pregnancy.  In the place where they should have been the safest, my womb, my body failed them, and me.   What could I offer, if as a mother, I could not protect the most helpless of my children?

Reading Proverbs 31 again, though, showed me not a perfect woman, but a list of priorities that I could use to help navigate the waters of loss, and they focused on some key areas that I believe are potentially hazardous to women who have suffered this unique devastation.  This Mother's Day, a day that may hold much pain for you, I want to invite you into her world to see what she can offer us in our journey.

“She is worth far more than rubies.”
  It is easy to feel worthless after the loss of a baby.  But you are not.  You are valued far above earthly treasures.  Believe it!

“She brings [her husband] good, not harm.” 
It’s easy to neglect your marriage in your own pain and grief.  Don’t forget to focus on your husband and his pain and loss, as well as your own.

“She…works with eager hands.” 
It’s easy to become apathetic.  Guard against this by choosing activities that you can take pleasure in.

“She provides…for her family.”
  It’s easy to turn inward and ignore the needs of others.  If you have living children, don’t ignore them.  If you don’t, then focus on other family members – your husband, your friends, your pets, and your home.

“She considers a field…” 
When you have lost a baby, your whole future is changed.  It helps to make new plans, even short term ones like special date nights, that will allow you to still look forward to the days to come.  

“Her arms are strong for her tasks.”
  After a loss, it’s easy to neglect your body through poor eating and lack of exercise.  Don’t forget to take care of yourself physically, which will help you emotionally, too.

“She sees that her trading is profitable…”
  Take time for the things that are profitable in your life, the things that make life better.

“She opens her arms to the poor…” 
It’s easy to be self-focused when you have experienced a devastating loss.  Look for ways to bless those who are even less fortunate.

“When it snows, she has no fear for her household.” 
There are many future events that are hard when you’ve lost a baby – due dates, anniversaries, Mother’s Day, holidays.  Preparing your heart for them in advance helps when those days come, and makes them less intimidating.

“She makes coverings...”
  Another way to fight apathy is to put your creative energy into new projects around your home and yard.  Surround yourself with beauty. 

“She is clothed in fine linen…”
  The last thing you want to think about after losing a child is how you look.  But taking care of your appearance helps you emotionally, as well.  Don’t be afraid to dress up a bit and look nice.

“Her husband is respected…among the elders...” 
When we are hurting, it’s easy to want our husbands to focus on us and on grieving with us.  It makes the loss easier to bear.  But your husband also has needs and responsibilities, many of which are outside the home, and focusing on those feeds his spirit in a way that will enable him to give at home as well.  Take the time and effort to praise your husband and to encourage him in his activities and friendships with other men. 

“She…supplies the merchants with sashes.”
  Can you use your artistic abilities to make something that will bless others, especially other mothers of babies in heaven?  I know of many mothers who have used their natural talents in art, music, poetry, gardening, photography, and writing to remember not only their children, but the children of others as well.  What can you do?

“She can laugh at the days to come.”
  It’s hard to imagine ever laughing again after a loss.  But you will.  It’s okay to smile, to laugh, to lose yourself in a happy moment.  Remember, your child right now is experiencing unceasing joy!  It’s okay for you to have some, too.

“She speaks with wisdom…” 
When we are hurting, it’s so terribly easy to lash out at others, especially those closest to us, including our husbands.  Be careful of this.  Guard your tongue and ask God to give you wisdom in what and how you speak.

“She does not eat the bread of idleness.” 
It can be easy to fall into the trap of escaping from our pain through busy idleness – surfing the Internet, watching soap operas, losing ourselves in fantasy novels. Take time to rest, but also make the most of your time.

“Her children…call her blessed; her husband also…”
  Did you notice this is the only reference to children in the whole passage?  Being a woman of God is so much more than being a mother.  But if you have a child in heaven, you are a mother!   You will see your child again.  And as women, we have the wonderful potential to "mother" others, to encourage younger women in their walks, including those who walk this path of loss.  Seek out those opportunities. 

“A woman who fears the LORD is to be praised…”
  This is also the first mention of a woman’s relationship with the Lord, but it clearly underlies everything else.  You may have very mixed feelings toward God right now – confusion, anger, disappointment, distrust.  Take time to work through them and to nurture your relationship with Him.  He will carry you through this time, I promise, and there is life on the other side.