day 26 // celebrating, remembering, + the wave of light.

Wednesday, October 15th, is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day, but you know that already because you read my blog.  And so many of you supported us by remembering our sweet baby G, along with many other babies who are no longer here.  I want to thank you for your support — for us always and for so many others who come here for this great community.  Thank you for loving on mamas and families like us.

 

Here was our Morgan family candle ::

WaveofLightMorgans

On this Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day, I’m lighting a candle on remembrance of our son, Gabriel, and all the other precious babies who are not here. I hope tonight that all mamas who have lost a baby know they are loved and their baby is remembered.

Candles from you all ::

WaveofLightAmyRoss WaveofLightBeccaE WaveofLightCarolinaBeth WaveofLightCaseyA WaveofLightFrancesca WaveoflightJennyColvin WaveofLightLauraJ WaveofLightmomanddad  WaveofLightShellyM WaveofLightSheriMae WaveofLightSueS

 

 

Thanks for sharing love and hope!

 

xo!

day 19 // Project Gabriel meetings :: what it is and what it isn’t.

For several months now we have been having Project Gabriel peer support group meetings once a month.  And for several months it has been such a sweet time of being together with other women who know loss like I do.

Because it’s hard to know what a meeting like this will be like and because the words “support group” and “meeting” sound stiff and intimidating, I want to share some more details about what a Project Gabriel peer support group meeting is and what it isn’t.  Here we go! 

What It Isn’t 

  • A big room of women 
  • Out in the open — we are behind closed doors. 
  • Judgmental — this space is so safe and the women are so kind; there is no judging!  Your feelings, your decisions, your story will not be judged.  Feel free to safely share. 
  • Forceful — you’re welcome to talk if you want, or just sit and listen if you want. 
  • For women with big losses — often women will tell me that they feel their loss isn’t big enough to come to the meeting.  I absolutely disagree with this!  The loss of a baby, at ANY point — 4 weeks, 8 weeks, 12 weeks, 16 weeks, 32 weeks, or at months of age — is hard.  There’s loss of a life, a child, dreams, and plans.  Grieving takes place with all losses.  Your loss is big and worth grieving and celebrating the life that was, no matter how big or little your baby was. 
  • A lecture — I don’t lecture.  No one does.  It’s just a safe place to share. 
  • A counseling session — I don’t have a background in counseling.  I am just one mom who has lost a baby, wanting to connect with other moms who have lost a baby. 
  • Shared with other people — This group stays private.  You are welcome to share with others that you are coming, but I never will without your permission. 

What It Is 

  • For women who have lost a baby — through miscarriage or infant loss [including miscarriage at ANY point!] 
  • A small group of women 
  • A sweet time together 
  • A chance to share your story 
  • A place to listen to others’ stories 
  • Somewhere to nod your head in agreement because you have had the same thought that someone else just shared 
  • A space where it’s ok to say “if I see one more baby announcement, I just may cry.” 
  • Somewhere where you can just be quiet 
  • Somewhere where you can talk the entire time if you want 
    A private room with closed doors 
  • Drinks and cookies for all  🙂 

 

Do you have more questions about what it might be like?  Contact me at laurengmorgan@gmail.com   I would love to talk with you! 

day 15 // pregnancy and infant loss remembrance day 2014.

October 15th is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day.  I seriously cannot believe it has been a year since we marked this day in 2013.  It’s crazy how a day I didn’t even know existed, is now marked pretty big on my calendar.  I’m a big supporter of this day.  I think it’s really important to take the opportunity to remember women and families who have lost a baby.  It’s easy to feel forgotten and alone when you’ve lost so big.  Especially when we are surrounded by people who have what we so desperately longed for.  Our family has been so incredibly blessed by so many people as we walked through losing our son in 2014.  The love and support we’ve been shown has blown us away.  I know many women who don’t have any support.  Not from a husband, family, or anyone.  Today is a day to share hope with all the women who have lost, and especially these women who really need to see some love.  It’s all around us.  One in four women will have a miscarriage.  That number doesn’t even include stillbirths or neonatal loss.  It’s all too prevalent.  Let’s spend today taking time to remember the babies who are no longer here with us.

 

8months_thumb.jpg

So today, just like last year, I am asking you to light a candle.  At 7 pm tonight [or another time if that doesn’t work for you!] light a candle wherever you are in remembrance of a baby who is no longer here and to give hope to their parents.  Then send a picture of that candle — text, email, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or anything else you want to us to help spread awareness of infant loss and most importantly share hope.  Help mamas know they aren’t alone.  I cannot wait to put all of the pictures together to see the beauty that is people coming together, encouraging, and sharing the burden of loss.  Thank you for loving us, thank you for loving others, and thank you for remembering our sweet Gabriel.  We can’t wait to see your candles!!

Pictures870_thumb.jpg

 

Check here for some of last year’s candles!

 

ourfamily_thumb.jpg

And in case I haven’t adequately expressed how much last year’s candle lighting meant to me, here is something I wrote on October 16th last year ::

I want to thank you all so so very much for remembering Gabriel last night.  I was BLOWN AWAY by the love.  That is what hope is.  I wish I could have bottled last night up so I could take a big whiff of it whenever I needed encouragement.  We feel so loved and so blessed to have people who not only haven’t forgotten our baby but also took the time out of their lives to do a kind act for him and us.  So touched. 

 

Tonight I will be lighting a candle at 7:00 and remembering many babies.  I will remember a sweet little baby who just passed away a few days ago.  I will remember twin boys who passed away a handful of years ago.  I will remember a baby girl who passed away just over a year ago.  I will remember a baby girl who’s parents fought so hard to keep her here.  I will remember a sweet baby who passed away in the womb.  I will remember my friend who had an ectopic pregnancy almost a year ago.  I will remember the women who are pregnant with a baby who they know won’t live.  I will remember the women who have had a miscarriage.  Many friends of mine who have known that pain.  There are a lot of little and significant lives to remember today especially.

 

 

pregnancyandinfantlossbyShanaSmith.jpg
via

 

 

why i don’t care about the prince’s birthday.

I hope I’m not kicked out of America for this.  Because Americans love them some Royal family news.  But I don’t care that it’s Prince George’s first birthday.  In fact, I am going to proclaim to the inter webs that I’m not celebrating it.  I don’t wish against him or his family.  They’re lovely people, I’m sure, and I mean, who doesn’t look on admiringly at that family wondering just for a moment what life is like to be royalty.  However, we focus on them and this baby way too much.  We are obsessed and following his moves and pointing things out and so focused.

But I think our focus is on the wrong things.  Did you know that 1 in 4 women have a miscarriage.  Next time you’re in a room with women, look around know how many around you have lost a baby.  The last girls’ night I went to there were 5 women and 2 out of the 5 have had miscarriages and I lost my baby after birth.  This is a real thing, and women all around us are hurting, grieving, and not holding their babies.

So let’s celebrate life and celebrate a birthday — it’s a big deal, and life should always be appreciate and celebrated!  But let’s not spend all of our energy wishing a prince in another country a happy 1st birthday, when we could spend that time writing a quick note to a woman who needs a pick-me-up.  A woman who on this day is probably a little extra sad that she doesn’t have her baby, because all around her is talk of babies and a gorgeous, healthy one year old boy that isn’t hers.

 

Thanks for listening.  Let’s love on the women around us a little more.

Project Gabriel support group meeting #2.

Monday night was our second peer support group meeting for Project Gabriel.  It was another really special night  — just like the first one.  I am so thankful to the ladies who came to be open, to love, to support, and to share.  There were wonderful women sitting in that room, and I am so thankful to know them.  I am truly so honored to be a part of this!  It is amazing.

 

The next meeting will be on Monday, June 16th at 7 pm.  Please spread the word for anyone you know who could benefit from this meeting or enjoy the support and community.

 

 

On a Morgan family note, Anni-Jack-a-birthday week has kicked off and is in full swing!  We started off the weekend of festivities by taking Jack to his first baseball game last night.  It was so fun and Tommy caught a ball!  There’s a lot more fun to come, too.

a little weight encouragement + it’s the weekend baby we’re about to have us some fun.

I mentioned the other day that I was so frustrated that I haven’t lost any weight.  Then I saw this article on Twitter which reminded me why I always told clients not to pay too much attention to the scale.  Yesterday morning I woke up and put my jeans on and they felt great.  They pulled up easily and buttoned smoothly for the first time in awhile.  It felt great.  Then I stepped on the scale an hour later and weighed the same — still.  And I felt bad, when just an hour before I had felt so good about my health and progress.  It was such a good reminder to me that the numbers aren’t as important as your overall health.

 

We are settling in for a fun weekend — I’m all about the cooler weather we are going to have.  I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

 

If you are in the Knoxville area and know anyone who would be interested in this group, please spread the word.  We are meeting on Monday evening — any woman who has been impacted by miscarriage, perinatal, or infant loss — we would love to see!

 

Peer support group meeting

 

 

 

 

happy weekend!

 

 

project Gabriel support group meeting.

adventures of jack and me-2

 

Monday is the first peer support group meeting as a part of Project Gabriel.  It is for mamas who have lost a baby through miscarriage, perinatal, or infant loss.  And any woman who has experienced this is welcome!  This is our first meeting, and I’m hoping for a time of community and for women to just gather and not feel alone.  If you are thinking about coming, please do.  I would love to meet you and know you.  And if you know someone who should come, please pass this on and encourage them to.  It doesn’t matter if it happened last week or 10 years ago.

 

We are meeting on Monday, April 14th at 7 pm at the Chick-fil-A at Homberg Place in Knoxville.  I am so excited for this.  And just really hopeful of what the evening will be.  Thank you for your support and kinds words.  This wouldn’t be happening without all of the support and love from you all.

 

 

happy monday, last week, + the weekend.

It’s Monday and today is the start of a new, short season in our lives.  Tommy goes on shift work for awhile starting today, so we will be adjusting to a new schedule.  This week will be different learning that new routine, but we’re up for the challenge.

 

The weekend was… interesting.  I started potty training on Friday and we continued through the weekend.  Friday was rough.  I kept texting my friend, Megan, who is basically a potty training pro, asking her if everything was normal.  It didn’t help that Thursday night was rough for Jack for some reason, so he and I were both tired on Friday.  But he did really well, and I think he learned quickly!  Just in the moment, it felt pretty hard on Friday.  Especially when he was crying that he didn’t want to sit on the potty after we had been doing it all.day.long.  Ohh… the joys.  But seriously, he is awesome, and I’m so proud of how well he did!  He’s doing great, but we are definitely still working on it.

 

I’m thankful that the things that have hung over my head for awhile with regards to him becoming a big boy are getting crossed off, and I’m so so proud of Jack for doing so well with getting rid of the pacis and potty training.  Whew.  Can we get a lot of ice cream now to celebrate??  Maybe a nice Carribean trip?  Potty training and paci dropping deserve that, right?

 

 

And last week.  Whew.  It was a crazy, busy week.  But a beautiful week.  I felt so honored to get to spread the word about Trisomy 18 Awareness Day, and I am so thankful to Jessi at Naptime Diaries for allowing me to share my story on her blog last Tuesday.  I’m also thankful that Natalie at Knoxville Moms Blog has been so encouraging about me sharing my story over there, too.  I wrote about our G and hope on Jessi’s blog last Tuesday.  And then I got to share some about T18 on the Knoxville Moms Blog.

 

My big news of the week was the announcement of Project Gabriel.  Man, I was blown away by the support.  I’m so thankful and so blessed by the encouragement and positive feedback we have gotten.  I am also so hopeful that this little project can meet some needs and spread some love.  Thank you so much for supporting us!  If you haven’t like our page on Facebook yet, would you go do that?  Click here and it will take you to the page.  Thank you so much!

 

Wednesday I had a reporter filming my closet for a piece on organization and getting rid of stuff, and Thursday it aired.  I wasn’t nervous to be on there because I love cleaning and organizing and getting rid of stuff.  So that was all fine with me, but I was definitely nervous about my closet being filmed.  My house is not TV ready.  But she was so sweet and it went well.  And now that I have broadcasted that I have 40 hangers, I have some serious accountability!

 

I hope you’ve had a nice Monday!

thank you.

Wow!  I am so overwhelmed by the love and support yesterday.  Thank you for your encouragement, love, and words of kindness yesterday on Trisomy 18 Awareness Day.  And mostly thank you thank you for all of that about Project Gabriel.  I am so thankful for how you encourage me.  Seriously, I am blessed.  So thank you.  Truly.

 

If you missed my post yesterday, you can read it here.  And if you haven’t headed over to Facebook to like the new Project Gabriel Facebook page, please do.  I want it to reach those who really need it, and having support and people sharing and spreading the word is the best way to do that.  Click here to be taken to the page.  Or you can find it at Facebook.com/ProjectGabriel

 

Thank you!  My heart is overwhelmed with love and just so thankful.

 

If you are new here, thank you for reading.  I am so happy to have you here reading.  I’m off to watch Tennessee in their first [and hopefully not last] game in the NCAA tournament.  Go Vols!

it’s trisomy 18 day!

Dear friends,

It’s Trisomy 18 Awareness Day!  A day where we focus on T18 — the chromosomal syndrome our sweet baby G had.  We are going to spend the day remembering him, celebrating his life, and spreading awareness about T18 but also infant loss in general.

T18 Awareness Day

via

 

 

Today is one of those days I’ve set apart and made really special in my own heart.  I think the reason it is such a big deal to me is because I feel helpless, I am helpless.  As I learned about this day last year while I was pregnant with our T18 baby, I knew that in the future I would have to take advantage of what this day was set up for and spread awareness — do something.  And I have all of these dreams and big ideas in my head.  Some of them may happen, some may never come to be.  But I want to do something.  As a T18 parent, I have been helpless.  I would have done anything to save my baby’s life.  Any amount of procedures, doctor’s appointments, whatever it took.  But there was nothing that I could, nothing that our doctors could do.  Our Gabriel had Trisomy 18, and his days were numbered just as each of ours are too.  Feeling helpless is a terrible thing.  It’s something that doesn’t sit well with me.  So for over 14 months now, I have been learning to rest in that and rest in God’s powerfulness and not my own.  It’s been a hard lesson and one that I imagine I will continue to learn for a long time.

 

However, within that feeling of helplessness, I believe that God has stirred something in me.  I believe He has been at work for over a year now on my heart.  Seeds were planted a year ago, and they have taken root, taken hold of my heart, and are bursting forth.  And I am busting with excitement to share what all of this means with you!

 

A year ago, while I was still pregnant with Gabriel, Tommy and I knew that we wanted to do something to honor our sweet G.  We weren’t sure how that would look, what form it would take, and when it would happen, but we definitely had the stirring that we needed to do something.  We explored several very different ideas — I mean incredibly different ideas.  But we weren’t ready for it yet and none of the ideas really felt right.  In September, it hit me!  Just like that.  I knew exactly what we needed to do.  So I introduce to you first, dear friends, Project Gabriel.

 

 

Project Gabriel is a support network for women and their families who have experienced miscarriage, perinatal, or infant loss.  Project Gabriel is brand new and just getting started, and I am beyond thrilled to share and have this safe place for women who need some love, support, and encouragement during the most difficult time in their lives.

 

As the first act of Project Gabriel, we will be having a peer support group for women who have lost a baby either through miscarriage, perinatal, or infant loss.  This first meeting will be on April 14th at 6:30 pm with the location to be announced.

 

Project Gabriel

 

This is the passion of my heart, and it is with great joy that I share it with you today.  It’s both terrifying and exciting to share this little secret with the world!  And now, I need your help.  I want to reach as many women as we can.  If you know a mama who needs this support, who could benefit from being around women just like her who know that deep pain of losing a child, would you please let her know about our group?  I know the way for us to make the most impact is to have support from friends and the community.  Thank you friends for how you have supported and loved me over the past 14 months.  Now let’s do it for other women, too!

 

First up, would you head over to Facebook and like our Facebook page?  You can click on like our Facebook page, or find the site at Facebook.com/ProjectGabriel

 

And please share this post with anyone you think could use it.

 

so much love!

 

\\\\today I have the incredible privilege of sharing on one of my very favorite blogs Naptime Diaries  so head over there and check out Jessi’s great blog and incredible heart\\\\

 

Last year’s Trisomy 18 Awareness Day post.

_____________________________

If you are new here, thank you for coming over to read.  If you’re interested in knowing more about our story here are some posts to catch you up quickly:

when we shared that our 2nd baby was very sick

the definite diagnosis of T18

sharing details about baby G in the womb  

when G was born

Click on the Gabriel category to read more about our precious baby.  We celebrated every day with him — the special, the mundane, the hard, and the joyful, and I’ve shared a lot of it here.