Amanda Ross-White is the proud mother of four beautiful children, including her twin boys Nate and Sam, who were stillborn in 2007. She is eternally grateful to watch her rainbow children, daughter Rebecca and son Alex, grow around her. Since joining the sad world of the babylost, she has become dedicated to furthering research into stillbirth and neonatal death, as well as the unique parenting and relationship challenges for babylost mothers. In her day job, she helps connect people to the medical and health information they need, and sees the need for better communication between babylost mothers and their health care providers. She’s currently writing a guide for a pregnancy after a loss. (Photo courtesy of Courtesy Maryl Cook Photography).
Find Amanda here: facebook
Angela Miller is the mother of three boys, two she holds in her arms, and one she forever holds in her heart. In an instant, she irreversibly lost everything, the day her toddler son was killed. Though the pain of her loss is ever-palpable (and still quite debilitating), the infectious joy of her two living miracles & graciously supportive husband– gives her the strength to carry on–
while also gently reminding her to soak up each precious moment for all it’s worth.
As founder & facilitator of Bereaved Mamas, a grief support & social group for bereaved moms and their families, she hopes to help ease the on-going burdens of child loss by offering love, light, and a supportive, compassionate village to others walking this horrific journey.
Writing candidly, among other things, such as the unending love & compassion of certain human angels, have saved her– and still are. Angela speaks from a place of raw pain & traumatic loss, as she struggles (and sometimes still fails) to find the will to live in the wake of every parent’s worst nightmare. She cuts through cliches with a butter knife, and offers no easy answers, because there are none. Her poetry has been featured at Exhale Literary Magazine and Still Standing Magazine, and her first book of poetry is forthcoming.
Angela is very honored and grateful for this beautiful opportunity.
Find Angela here: facebook
Beryl Ayn Young serves as chief photography muse over on her personal blog and serves as teacher of photography courses aimed at nourishing the mind, body, and soul. After her first daughter Bella Rose was stillborn at 20 weeks in September of 2009 she turned to her camera to fill the void in her heart. Out of her experiences the Illuminate e-course was born, a photography class exploring creative art, healing, and connection after miscarriage, stillbirth or infant loss. Beryl believes in feeding the spirit with lifelong learning, photographic healing, & a glass half full perspective. In addition to Illuminate, Beryl leads other photography classes and offers one one one photo coaching aimed at teaching you how to improve your camera skills and cherish life’s journey.
Carly Marie Dudley is a mother of 4 children from Perth Western Australia. On January 26th 2007 Carly and her husband Sam experienced the stillbirth of their 2nd child and only son Christian. 18 months later Carly created Christian’s Beach – A childrens memorial website. Carly visits the beach around 6 nights a week where she engraves in the sand, the names of babies and children that have passed away. She then photographs the names under the sunset. Carly receives thousands of requests from around the globe each year. In 2010 Carly founded the International Bereaved Mothers and Fathers Days. She also shares a card line with Franchesca Cox (Still Standing’s editor). The card line called Lost For Words specializes in pregnancy and infant loss. Carly maintains her website at Project Heal where she writes on ways to inspire people to heal after the death of their baby or child. Carly can capture beauty and find miracles in just about anything and that is what she will be writing about here at Still Standing.
Diana blogs at Diana Wrote. Married at a young age, her and her husband Sam waited 6 years to have their first little girl Bella in 2009. In 2012 they learned they were expecting baby 2 – and 3! Identical twin boys Preston and Julian. In May at 19 weeks, her water broke. After a week of hanging onto them, the boys were born and died in her arms. Turning to adoption, they spent 6 months working towards bringing a son home only to be told for various reasons that adoption at that time wasn’t ideal. Shortly after, they were expecting another son, Kaden. After months of a high risk pregnancy that came with all kinds of medical procedures, he arrived full term and healthy in August 2013. 4 days later he was found to have a severe heart condition, and after 2 weeks in Children’s they discovered a rare virus had attacked his heart, making him ineligible for a transplant. He died shortly after surrounded by family and in her arms. Now she writes about putting the pieces of their life back together. You can also find her work on Babble, Liberating Working Moms, She Reads Truth, The New York Times, and The Huffington Post. Smaller glimpses into her day are on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
Franchesca Cox is the original founder of Still Standing Magazine, back in 2012. She has lived to tell the tale of what it means to become a bereaved mama. While her heart will always beat for the life that her daughter could not live, she finds her passion in helping other bereaved mothers work through their grief so that life might be lived with intention and purpose one day. She is the creator of Choosing Your Breath workshop, and author of Celebrating Pregnancy Again.
In 2008, Heather’s world as she knew it changed forever, with the sudden loss of her 14 year old son, Austin. Therapy, and often survival, came in the form of writing, beginning at a memorial blog remembering him. Along the way, she realized the pouring out of her story was also helping others. With a gentle nudging, she chose to take another path, challenging herself to find the JOY in every day, despite the sadness she still felt. She loves and misses Austin daily but is living her life to honor him – and celebrating every moment it brings. Aside from writing for Still Standing, you can also find Heather at Joyful Challenge. It’s an honor as well to be among the contributing authors for the book, “360 Degrees of Grief” and the sister book, “Still Standing – Because they Lived.” but she has also had the privilege of being featured on BlogHer, Exhale Literary Magazine. Her joys today include being a wife and a mom to Austin’s younger brother.
Jessica Watson began her journey through grief in 2007. After battling years of infertility, Jessica became pregnant with triplets who were born at 28 weeks gestation. Her daughter Hadley never made it home from the NICU and Jessica has been walking the bittersweet journey of parenting two triplets and the constant reminder of what could have been.
With a passion for writing, her freelance career involves regular positions at SheKnows and Childswork and her work has been featured on sites such as Mamalode, Parenting.com, Exhale literary magazine and glow in the woods. She blogs at Four Plus an Angel where she shares her journey through grief, her experience raising special needs children and the ever-changing path of parenting through loss and smiling through tears.
Jessi Snapp resides in Indiana where she is currently pursuing her master’s degree in Social Work. She is married with one child here on earth and three she carries in her heart. After the birth of her first son in 2009, Jessi struggled with secondary infertility and endured two losses to miscarriage in 2013. Shortly after, Jessi became pregnant with her son Silas Edison who was diagnosed with Trisomy 18 at 20 weeks gestation. Silas was born on August 20, 2014. Though his life was brief, he left a lifetime of love. Eight months after the passing of her son, she turned his nursery into Luminous Light Studio where she creates heartfelt art for bereaved parents in memory of their children. Through her art, she has found comfort in creating and connecting with other bereaved families. Jessi also writes about her journey with loss and grief on her blog at Luminous Light Studio and writes about carrying to birth despite a fatal diagnosis on All That Love Can Do
Kelly Gerken is the President and Founder of Sufficient Grace Ministries, serving hundreds of grieving families worldwide since 2004. From her own family’s journey of grief and healing, Kelly has created the Dreams of You Memory Book and other beautiful support materials to help families form a precious memory for their babies who leave this earth too soon. She is the mother of five children, three who dance in heaven, and two boys on this earth. She and her husband, Tim said goodbye to twin daughters, Faith and Grace, born still in 1996 at 26 weeks gestation, due to complications from twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome. In 1998, they heard the words “incompatible with life” in regards to their son, Thomas, who was diagnosed with Potter’s Syndrome. They chose to continue the pregnancy, despite the diagnosis, embracing the time they were given with their son. Thomas lived for six hours after his full term birth before going home to heaven. Kelly is a certified SBD birth and bereavement doula and the executive director of the SGM Perinatal Hospice birth and bereavement services program. She is also a writer, singer, speaker, hospital educator, and advocate for compassionate care for bereaved parents.
For more information about Sufficient Grace Ministries, visit: www.sufficientgraceministries.
In 2008, Kristin Binder gave birth to her first child, a daughter named Peyton Elizabeth, who was born with a very rare form of infant leukemia. Though Peyton fought with the heart of a prize fighter, the battle was too great, and 28 days later she left this world from the comfort of her mother’s arms.
Kristin writes about loving and mothering Peyton, as well as her struggles with secondary infertility, IVF, and the emotional ups and downs of pregnancy and parenting after loss on her blog, Once A Mother. She and her husband run an initiative to assist other critically ill infants and their families called Doing Good In Her Name. Her work has appeared around the web on sites such as Still Life 365, Meet You At the Sunset, and in Mused: The Bella Online Literary Review. She recently completed her first novel, and is working on a memoir. Kristin makes her home with her husband, a sweet black lab named Charlotte, and “The Snowflakes,” one-year-old twins conceived via IVF.
Larissa is happily married to Marcus, and has been since December 2011. In May 2012, she was thrilled to discover that she was pregnant with their first child. After a smooth, complication free pregnancy, her baby girl’s heart stopped beating at 39 weeks. Two days later, on January 30, 2013, Ariella Jade was born. No reason was ever found for her stillbirth. Unsure of what to do with herself, Larissa turned to writing as a way of processing her grief and keeping people updated on how her and her husband were going. As time went on, she became more and more passionate about sharing with people about baby loss, giving suggestions about how to help grieving parents, and wrestling with how the concepts of faith and loss can possibly work together.
For Mothers Day 2013, Larissa received the perfect present: the discovery that she was pregnant again. Her rainbow baby is due in January 2014, just in time to celebrate Ariella’s first birthday.
Articles by Lauren
Lindsey is a writer and clinical social worker who specializes in providing therapy to women, helping them recognize their inner beauty to soothe past hurts. After her first daughter and only child, Nora, was stillborn at full-term in December of 2012, she turned to the therapeutic techniques that she has been teaching to heal her own heart. Lindsey is the author of Stillborn and Still Breathing, where she blogs about her personal experiences with grief after child loss and the use of these different techniques to quiet her sorrow. Her daily blogging is a way for her to parent and connect with Nora, even in her absence. It has proven to be a great source of healing, and she hopes it can be a resource for other bereaved mothers.
Lindsey is also the founder of White Signs of Grief, a blog where mourning family members of children can share their message about grief after child loss. She hopes that a small nugget of healing can occur by seeing the many faces and messages of grief. Lindsey is extremely honored and thankful for this opportunity to share a part of herself with others.
Lori Ennis battled infertility for eleven-and-a-half years before she turned to IVF and became a mother in November of 2009. Her first son, John “Matthew”, died in his father’s arms ten hours after he was born due to a very rare and undiagnosed labor complication called Vasa Previa. Lori continued IVF treatments and brought home her second son, Samuel “Luke” in January 2011. In April 2012, Lori suffered a miscarriage and lost another little boy, Trey, at fifteen weeks, but continues to find the joy in all of her many blessings.
Lori became the owner and editor of Still Standing Magazine in December, 2013, and is grateful to facilitate a resource that didn’t exist when her first son died. A writer, speaker, amateur photographer and former elementary teacher, Lori and her United States Marine Corps pilot-husband John are enjoying raising Luke in many different places. Lori and her family currently reside in Jupiter, Florida, with their Golden Retriever, Dixie. Though Lori has a Bachelor’s degree in Communication Studies and Psychology from Virginia Tech, as well as a Master’s of Science in Curriculum and Instruction from Radford University, her favorite job by far is Mom.
Find Lori here: blog
Melissa Russell lost her first child, Aiden, in 2010 at 19 days old, after a normal pregnancy and delivery. It wasn’t until two days after his birth that it was discovered something was wrong with his digestive system. Eventually it became clear that his condition was too grave to be treated. Melissa and her husband spent two weeks in the NICU before bringing Aiden home for the last five days of his life, where he died in Melissa’s arms, holding his daddy’s finger. Losing Aiden was beyond heart breaking and having to watch Aiden suffer and eventually take his last breath was agonizing. His short life impacted and changed Melissa’s life in every way possible. Fourteen months later, Melissa and her husband anxiously but joyfully welcomed their rainbow baby Emily. Melissa will forever be grateful for the love, hope and joy Emily brought back into their lives.
In recent months, Melissa has felt the need to actively work towards healing her broken heart, searching for hope, peace and acceptance of the trauma of Aiden’s diagnosis and death. Melissa hopes that sharing what she is learning on this journey through grief will not only help her to continue to heal her own heart, but also connect with other bereaved parents so they know they are not alone. Sharing Aiden’s life and legacy is an important part of her journey to move forward with hope, love and remembrance in her heart.
Melissa is grateful and honoured to be a part of Still Standing Magazine and is looking forward to sharing more about her family’s journey through loss, life after loss and hope for the future. Anyone wishing to connect with Melissa can reach her at email@example.com
My name is Michelle Jenkins and I am a wife and mother of three, originally from a small town in Northwest Indiana, now residing in Indianapolis. After trying to conceive for 3 years, and the miscarriage of our first two babies, Connor and Melody, my dear, precious Sean was born in May of 2010. Since then, I have been dealing with another bout of infertility, which I recently found out is due to PCOS. After finding out my family’s history (my mother couldn’t conceive without fertility treatments, and baby number 3 out of five was born still at 26 weeks), I started to piece together how my own story is playing out, and how to navigate these rough waters.
I am so incredibly grateful to Still Standing for giving me this opportunity to share my story and my experiences. We, as a community, need to break the taboo that surrounds pregnancy loss, infant loss, child loss and infertility. We need to bring our stories out into the open, and share our babies with the world.
Nathalie Himmelrich the author of the book Grieving Parents – Surviving Loss As A Couple and May We All Heal – Playbook For Creative Healing After Loss. As a relationship coach and grief recovery expert and bereaved mother herself she believes that relationships (intimate and to other support people) are the foundation for a healthy grieving experience.
She works privately with individuals or couples as a grief counsellor.
Her passion is writing and re-thinking human behaving and emoting. She’s processing her own experiences using her blog and you can also read her daughter Ananda Mae’s blog, where she writes letters to her identical twin sister, who left her body at a young age of 3 days.
RaeAnne Fredrickson is married to Bryan and mama to Samuel Evan. He was diagnosed with a fluke and fatal condition called PUV early in pregnancy. She and her husband decided to carry him to term while filling his life with love. He was born alive and lived another four hours after birth in April, 2012. Her grief has been complicated by a traumatic labor, an unplanned surgical delivery and the fact that she was not able to be with her son at the hospital after he died. She finds healing through her heartfelt writing, facing her emotions head-on, and reaching out to other babyloss families.
You can read their story on her blog, The Love We Carry.
She created All That Love Can Do to support and encourage other families who make the decision to continue pregnancy after receiving a fatal diagnosis. She runs the private online support groups for these families, manages the Facebook page and writes for the blog.
RaeAnne joined Still Standing Magazine to share her heart with others who understand. She hopes that no one will ever feel alone as they face the lifetime of grief that comes from living without a piece of their heart.