A MESSAGE TO BEREAVED PARENTS
You’re here because your baby died. Your precious little one is now in heaven and your loving arms feel the ache to hold and cradle your baby. Maybe your baby is still with you, but you have found out that your baby won’t survive and you must plan to say goodbye one day. We are deeply sorry…the gravity of your loss is tremendous. We want you to know you are not alone as you face the path in front of you which is much different than the one you had imagined and planned. Your baby’s life, no matter how brief on earth, is so very important and you have found a safe place to grieve, connect with other grieving parents, heal and find hope again.
Our hope is that you will find the support you need on these pages as well as through the resources we offer.
In Rogers, Minnesota we have the Center for GRACE where you can receive support. If you are not local to us, we also offer phone support and items which can bring comfort in our GRACE Gift Shop such as our GRACE Care Baskets, that can be shipped to you.
A MESSAGE TO FAMILY & FRIENDS
It can be very difficult when someone close to you is grieving the loss of a baby. Often, you are grieving with them and wonder how to support them as they mourn their loss. It can be hard to find the right words. Here is a list of things to say and do that are helpful as you prepare to reach out to your bereaved friend or family member
. Depending on how close you are to the person grieving and how well you know them, you may decide between giving them time and space to heal or offering a practical helping hand. It’s normal to feel helpless though. Your friend or family member must now find a new normal. This simply means that life as they knew it has changed because of this and the death of their baby will affect them. They can’t help but be changed by this experience. Be encouraged and have hope though! They will come through and your love and support will make all the difference in the world in their healing process.
We are sorry for your loss, for this is our loss also. Grief’s ripple affect goes far and wide from the epicenter of the home of the parents who’s baby died. Friends and family all feel the shock waves and each person will be affected and will grieve in their own way. It is important to give the parents your listening ear, to not try to fix or make things better with platitudes and to let them know you care and will never forget their baby. It is common for the grieving parents to distance themselves for a time while they go through deep grief. Just keep sending loving messages by text, by snail mail, by voicemail and through the occasional visit. Doing something is more often better than doing nothing at all.
You can show your support through giving unique comforting items found in our gift shop particularly by giving them the gift of the GRACE Care Basket or Tote. We are also just a phone call away. We take the time to listen and can help answer questions you may have.
Missing GRACE Foundation aids care professionals in helping families as they face the loss of a baby. Though the family suffers with having empty arms, we want to ensure that they are not empty handed. Our goal is to help parents create healing memories during their brief time with their baby; ensuring they they are aware of options for what they can do during that time so they will look back without regrets.
We supply care professionals and hospitals with GRACE Care Baskets and Totes. These are a bereavement resource created specifically to comfort, guide and assist parents who receive a poor pregnancy diagnosis (i.e. a baby with Potter’s Syndrome, Trisomy, or Anencephally), a miscarriage, stillbirth or neonatal loss.
How do you describe priceless? Parents who have received the Baskets or Totes often send letters of appreciation and describe how invaluable it was to receive such a timely resource filled with so many helpful items. They say it was " priceless. " They share how the literature in the GRACE Resource Folder was key for them in making the difficult decisions they faced. The items of comfort like the bear, the GRACE Memorial Candle and the figurine are proudly on display in their home in curio cabinets and on fireplace mantles. They sleep with their baby’s handmade blanket and they enjoy the scent of the essential oils that come from the GRACE Comfort Warmer which help to soothe their aching muscles and it brings back tender memories of their precious baby. The memorial bracelet is worn proudly on their wrist and they enjoy when people ask…because it allows them the opportunity to share about their baby and keep their memory alive.
Missing GRACE Foundation's staff and volunteers are here to listen and offer a safe outlet for families who are grieving. They can call or email for support and can attend one of our area support groups or events. We also assist care professionals by offering education in the form of literature and classes. This includes information about best practices of care for parinatal loss, proactive prenatal care and subsequent pregnancy care.
Struggling to get pregnant or maintaining a pregnancy can feel like riding a roller coaster. Each month, so much weighs on whether you achieve your hopes of having a baby. This is true whether trying to conceive or while pregnant hoping you make it to the end with that much anticipated baby in your arms. Infertility can be a lonely and frustrating struggle. Often you can have feelings of jealousy and resentment when you hear of friends around you who are pregnant or just had a baby. The people close to you may not know how to show support. Missing GRACE Foundation can be that safe place to express your feelings concerning your struggle to have a baby. We offer a listening ear as well as provide practical resources to help you as you make decisions about fertility care.
Links to explore~
Pope Paul VI Institute
~ Founded in 1985 by Thomas W. Hilgers, MD, is internationally recognized for its outstanding achievements in the field of natural fertility regulation and reproductive medicine – 30 years of scientific research and educational program development; allied health professional education programs for couples and professionals.
~ (Natural Procreative Technology) is a new women’s health science that monitors and maintains a woman’s reproductive and gynecological health. It provides medical and surgical treatments that cooperate completely with the reproductive system. This is the first women’s health science to network family planning with reproductive health monitoring and maintenance. It is a fertility-care based medical approach rather than a fertility-control approach to family planning and gynecological health. NaPro TECHNOLOGY uses the Creighton Model FertilityCare System biomarkers to monitor easily and objectively the occurrence of various hormonal events during the menstrual cycle. NaProtracking provides valid information that can be interpreted by a woman and by physicians who are specifically trained in this system.
Unlike common suppressive or destructive approaches, NaProTECHNOLOGY works cooperatively with the procreative and gynecologic systems. When these systems function abnormally, NaProTECHNOLOGY identifies the problems and cooperates with the menstrual and fertility cycles that correct the condition, maintain the human ecology, and sustain the procreative potential. Women now have an opportunity to know and understand the causes of the symptoms from which they suffer.
Are you pursuing adoption? Missing GRACE Foundation can be of help to you in offering support during the process. Have you perhaps experienced a failed adoption? If so, grieving what was lost is most certainly a true grief. The hopes you had for raising your much planned for child have disappeared. You have experienced a loss of a child because they are not a part of your life. Sometimes couples pursuing adoption have already experienced grief either through infertility or through the loss of a baby. We are available to help at the Center for GRACE and through online and phone support. If you have experienced a pregnancy loss or a failed adoption, we are deeply sorry and we want you to know that you are not alone.
Links to explore~
Adoptive Families Circle
~ Find friendship and support in an adoption community from Adoptive Families magazine. Join groups, share photos and stories, get answers, and connect with families like yours. Includes online support groups and forums for those facing adoption challenges including failed adoption as well as information and resources for pursuing adoption.
New Life Family Services
~ New Life is one of the few pregnancy centers in America, and the only one in Minnesota, that incorporates both pregnancy services and licensed adoption services.
Are you currently expecting a baby? If you have had a previous pregnancy or infant loss, you may have heightened anxiety about the care during your pregnancy and birth. We offer education for families on how to be proactive in your prenatal care by making informed decisions and taking some of the control back by learning how to listen to your instincts and having an open relationship with your provider concerning your worries and desires during your pregnancy. One of the challenges of expecting a baby after loss is cherishing each day with the baby while pregnant and waiting to hold them in your arms. It can be difficult for some to bond with their unborn baby for fear of losing them. This is a natural feeling after loss but we encourage parents to try to overcome this and treasure each day and try to focus on taking one day at a time. Missing GRACE provides resources to optimize your prenatal care and birth experience to provide for a good outcome whether you have experienced a loss or not.
The Center for GRACE
The Center is a cozy and safe place for grieving parents and their loved ones to gather to find support and to connect with others who are grieving. The Center offers a gift shop with memorial items, a library, and meeting room. The volunteers who staff the Center are prepared to offer resources, comfort and guidance. Please call to schedule an appointment.
Missing GRACE Foundation offers educational literature and events for both professionals and families. Ultimately, the goal is for support of families as they struggle through pregnancy and infant loss, pregnancy after loss, infertility and adoption challenges.
Founder and Executive Director, Candy McVicar can be requested for speaker engagements in the community, at conferences and at health care facilities. She delivers messages on G.R.A.C.E., marriage survival, male/female grief, facilitating support groups, best practices of care when there is a perinatal loss and other related topics. Candy has 10 years experience volunteering in hospitals providing services to newly bereaved parents. She developed a Crisis Care Team program and trained volunteers to assist parents during their tender time of "hello and goodbye" to their baby; spanning the time from labor, delivery and the days after birth, providing professional photography and videography, memorial service planning and grief and loss care.
To request Candy as a speaker, please send an email
with the details of your event.
GRACE CARE BASKETS
Missing GRACE Foundation provides bereavement services for hospitals and clinics and has created a resource called the "GRACE Care Basket and GRACE Care Tote," to be given to parents at the time of a perinatal loss. The hospital pays a discounted fee for the Baskets and Totes. The newly bereaved parents receive the GRACE Care Basket or Tote filled with comforting items, supportive materials and resources at no cost to them. Baskets and Totes are personalized for the family to include gender specific items or white or neutral colors when the gender is not known. The totes are less cost to ship and take less space to store. The baskets make a nice presentation for hand delivery and the basket is useful later to store special items of remembrance of baby. GRACE Care Basket and Totes can be ordered by anyone as a gift for a loved one. They can be ordered HERE
or at 763-497-0709 ext 3 and can be picked up at the Missing GRACE offices in Rogers, Minnesota, delivered by courier or shipped. It is important that baskets and totes are received by the parents while still in the hospital with their baby whenever possible. The resources are critical and offer ways to capture the special moments as well as resourced to help in making difficult decisions. The resources are of great value to parents receiving them after they are home but the contents will be altered to suit their situation. When given as a gift, a personalized card is included from the person purchasing the basket or tote.
Large baskets are intended for those who's baby has died at 20 weeks gestation to term. The small baskets and totes are specifically created for a baby miscarried at 19 weeks or earlier gestation.Click here to view information about basket/tote contents and pricing.
A GRACE Support Group is a safe place to find community with others who have had a pregnancy or infant loss, young child loss or who face fertility challenges. The groups are open to individuals and couples looking to work through grief in healthy ways, and to commemorate their loved ones who left this world too soon.
GRACE Support Groups meet either once or twice a month for 2 hours at each meeting. Meetings start with introductions and often include a time of open discussion and sharing of individual stories. Members have an opportunity to share any recent challenges they are working through or are anticipating as well as any areas of progress they have made in their journey. The facilitators often prepare hand outs and materials for topics that are pertinent to the current attending member needs and requests (i.e. Marital issues, strained family and friend relationships, and difficult days on the calendar such as anniversaries, due dates and holidays.) Facilitators may offer a book for purchase for members to collectively read over the course of several weeks.
On occasion guest speakers are invited and videos may be shown.
Currently we have groups meeting in Minnesota
, but we would like to offer groups wherever there is an absence of support. Let us know if you would consider starting a support group in your area. Interested individuals are screened and go through training.
CARE BASKET ASSEMBLY
Missing GRACE Foundation relies upon volunteers to hand make the many items contained in the GRACE Care Baskets and Totes, to assist in assembly and to help with hand delivery or packaging when orders are placed. This allows for families to receive their baskets and totes at such a critical time. A specific time is scheduled and a place is set up to put items together into the baskets and totes. This is a wonderful way to pay it forward and allows bereaved parents to give back to the Foundation and the families we serve.
Please consider contacting the Foundation if you are interested to give of your time this way. Click here for details on the handmade items needed.
OCTOBER 15TH MEMORIAL
October 15th is National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day with the purpose of promoting support, education and awareness nationwide and internationally. Missing GRACE Foundation gives families opportunities to come together for support and to commemorate their babies and offers an annual event for this purpose. Please check back as the date approaches for more information.
Helpful website dedicated to October 15th and pregnancy and infant loss awareness:Remembering Our Babies
~ The Official Site of Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day was created to provide support, education and awareness for those who are suffering or may know someone who has suffered a miscarriage, an ectopic pregnancy, a stillbirth, or the loss of an infant.
HOPE & HEARTS EVENTS
What are Hope & Hearts Events? Here is how the first event got started and what it is all about…
The first Hope & Hearts Run/Walk was held in Minnesota in 2005. April and Dan Wurst and Candy and Steve McVicar founded Hope & Hearts Run and began hosting the event in honor of their daughters, Kaila and Grace, who were both stillborn due to cord issues at 38 and 33 weeks gestation respectively. Proceeds from all Hope & Hearts Run/Walks benefit the Missing GRACE Foundation.
The banner of a Hope & Hearts event is “Raising Awareness About Pregnancy Loss & Supporting Stillbirth Prevention.” At the first event, more than 150 people participated and over $13,000 was raised. By the 4th year, more than 1000 people joined to run and walk and raised over $80,000.
Would you like to create an event in honor of your baby that will help provide resources and support for families in your community who have experienced a pregnancy or infant loss, and will fund programs that prevent further loss for others? We invite you to partner with Missing GRACE Foundation, a 501(c)(3) Nonprofit, to create a Hope & Hearts event in your area! Hope & Hearts is about hope for the future through education and research and supporting the hearts of families who have lost to move forward. Help make a difference and join us as we…Run. Walk. Give Families Hope!
Currently, our Hope & Hearts benefit is in Minnesota and is a 5K run/memorial walk event.
We are looking to grow Hope & Hearts Run/Walk events into many other states as well as to offer additional kinds of Hope & Hearts events. Creativity is encouraged! If you want to make it a memorial event, your baby’s name can be included in the title example: “Baby Rose’s Hope & Hearts Bike Across America.” Some great Hope & Hearts events to organize are sporting events like golf tournaments, marathons, duathlons and triathlons.
Annually in December, Missing GRACE Foundation offers a gathering for bereaved families to remember their babies. We understand that the holidays can be a difficult time after experiencing a loss. We have a potluck dinner and provide supplies for making memorial ornaments and stockings for our babies in Heaven.