Immediate Decisions Book Giveaway

For three years, stillbirthday has offered support prior to, during and after birth in any trimester and with any expected or unexpected diagnosis or outcome, including NICU, and pregnancy and infant loss.

 

Now, we are offering the most frequently visited site pages in the form of a printed book!

 

“Immediate Decisions” Books Now Available

These little booklets, about 200 pages, contain the most frequently visited pages of stillbirthday:

samplebooklets

  • **Types of Loss (“what’s happening” and how it’s explained compassionately)
  • **Birth Methods (“what my provider told me we need to do” and how it’s explained personally)
  • **Birth Plans (“how can I still have options from within the birth method my provider and I think is best?”)
  • Includes commentary and helpful healing activity and quotes pages.

 

 

We also have helpful hospital brochures
you can print and freely distribute from this page about our doulas.

 

 

About the Giveaway

This giveaway is your chance to nominate your local hospital (particularly maternity hospital), independent ultrasound facility or birthing center.  Share the name of the institution and why you’d like them to win.  It doesn’t matter how many books they ask for, stillbirthday will issue that facility enough books they need to get started in supporting families experiencing pregnancy and infant loss.

When families learn that their baby is not alive, this book reaching them can guide them into the validation they deserve, along with the immediate, real practical information they need for the many decisions they face.  This is a wonderful way to let a freshly bereaved mother hold onto something tangible as she tries to make sense of quite possibly the darkest days of her life.

Just leave a comment below to enter, with your nomination!  Each nomination will be entered into the giveaway, and this gives you the chance to express in your own words what it will mean to you to know that your nominated facility will have a way of supporting families in those most immediate moments.

One random entry will be chosen on October 10, so that the named institution can be connected before October 15, International Remembrance day.

Every location and every applicable facility can be nominated, any individual can nominate, you can nominate more than one facility, and the same facility can be nominated by more than one person!

Every effort will be made to ensure the chosen location receives their necessary starting amount, which may be any number from 10 to 100 books.  If the chosen location is not reachable, the nominee will select a second location.

Please “like” our facebook page for updates!

 

If you Want Your Own Copy/ies

Right now the Immediate Decisions books are available in these versions, and include shipping:

English

 

 

German

 

 

Spanish

 

 

If you need immediate support, please do not wait for the book.  Please visit the resources throughout stillbirthday for support prior to, during and after birth in any trimester.  We don’t offer tracking for international orders to keep a realistic cost for you.  Shipping times vary.

Please note that the versions translated from English may contain translation errors.

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Benchwarming Motherhood

Sometimes motherhood isn’t heartwarming.

Like when my baby died.

And the doctor called him “debris” – as in, “We need to get that debris out of there.”

 

It isn’t heartwarming.

Especially when the death of my baby has been, is, and always will be a wound in my heart.

Even small disappointments that otherwise might seem easy to miss, when they touch this particular wound, can grow in exponential disappointment and pain.

 

This weekend is the world premiere of Return to Zero.  This countdown has been a long time coming, something we at stillbirthday have been watching with anticipation for a year!  Many, many of us are anticipating the closing captions, where your babies names will be written (in alphabetical order) right into the movie!

But, some of us will have to work on Saturday night.

Or, some of us don’t have cable.

Some of us don’t have anyone we can relate to about the importance of watching the movie, and so in frustration or shame or loneliness are not telling others that we’d really like to see it.

One less rejection, right?

But staying alone, sitting on the sidelines,

benchwarming motherhood,

it hurts.

 

I believe that the movie Return to Zero has something substantial to speak to others not impacted by pregnancy and infant loss, and will serve as a valuable platform for us to bridge the chasm and bring awareness to so much needed support.

But I also know that many of us will be sitting out this weekend.

And I don’t want you to feel alone.

It is important for as many of us as possible to rise up to watch the movie, to spread the word, to shout this victory.  Because nothing compares to having our own living children, but any voice to echo our tears from the chasm means the chance for someone to hear, someone to hear our hearts.

But it’s important for those who can’t participate, who can’t show up, who aren’t in a place yet where this is possible, to know that we who are in this chasm still see you, too.

We’re all, in this together.

Even as we might be benchwarming motherhood.

If you have felt as though you’ve been somehow benchwarming motherhood, you are invited to be heard.  You are heard.

If you can’t attend a screening of Return to Zero this weekend but wish very much that you could, please leave a comment below, and two names will be chosen to receive your very own DVD copy of Return to Zero, anticipated to be released in June.

You can’t watch the movie this weekend – but you can own it.

Benchwarming can be heartwarming, too, when we can still feel a sense of connection, of being heard.

Sending y’all lots of love and peace through this weekend,

The founder of stillbirthday,

but more than anything, a mother,

sometimes, a benchwarming mother,

Heidi Faith

 

Two random names will be drawn and announced on our facebook page on Saturday May 17 at 5pm, so “like” the page to be sure you see the announcement.

**Update: it is May 17 and the movie is about to begin.  This giveaway is staying open until Sunday May 18, as Sean Hanish, the producer himself, is giving away a DVD to the stillbirthday community.  This will make 3 DVDs given away in honor of the Lifetime world premiere of Return to Zero.**

***NAMES: Cori Bolger (12), Ursila M.(13), Carolyn (41), your names were randomly chosen.  Please visit the stillbirthday facebook page to send in a private message, or email Heidi.Faith@stillbirthday.com to connect with your mailing address to receive your free DVD copy of Return to Zero.***

You can also click here to purchase your DVD copy of Return to Zero.

In the summer of 2013 Return to Zero extended a special offer to stillbirthday to have our babies’ names listed in the closing credits in a special place at the close of the film.  If you were part of that opportunity, you can return to our 2013 posting on that to see the babies names from our community who are written into the special closing credits of Return to Zero.

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Mothering Our Mourning means giving ourselves the discipline we need to construct our expressions in healthy and healing ways, but also that we give ourselves permission that we do release, express, and share.

Naivete Nativity

 

bathroom

wow, this stone reminds me of a mother’s womb 

Even the most elegant bathroom can be a terribly frightening place to be alone while giving birth to a beloved baby who isn’t alive.  Yet mothers endure miscarriage every minute in just the US alone.

Many mothers not knowing at all what support resources are here for them.

Many families not knowing at all what options, opportunities, rights they have.

Nativity literally means, “place of birth”.

And for too many of our beloved babies who are not born alive, that place of birth is a place of naïveté – of simply, not knowing.

We are changing that, truly we are.

But we can and should and need to do more.

Please, join our SBD electronics app fundraiser.  You’ll make a pledge, that’s it.  Your pledge will ONLY run through as an actual purchase if (WHEN) we make our goal.  And here’s the thing – I’ll honor your bronze amount pledge even if we don’t make our goal (check it out).

{click here to simply offer a pledge}

We have a strong community.  Let us welcome the mothers, the families, who find us through their darkest day.

We only have 60 days to make our goal, and the fundraiser program charges SBD 10% for your purchase, so if you’d prefer, you can simply make a payment right now to stillbirthday to go toward this cause, toward our app, and qualify for the same incentives outlined in the donation page.




 

 

 

Unconditional

During this time last year, I had an irresistible desire to make something tangible which other bereaved mothers could hold.  And it isn’t perfect, it’s chock full of grammatical errors, but I published my first book, The Invisible Pregnancy.

A month before the book went to print, however, I offered a preview as part of an exciting challenge to mothers, which I called The Grief Dare.  Each mother who participated received a free portion of the book and were instructed to simply respond how she felt best.  The Grief Dare was an arduous journey of opening up one’s relationship with her emotions, thoughts, spiritual beliefs and her spouse.  It was a difficult task to be a part of The Grief Dare, to say the least.  The giveaway itself was decided purely by endurance and transparency, not at all by perfection or by any other measure.

What incentive did I offer the participants?  A necklace and earring set, priced at $250, which was a gift to stillbirthday from the very special Dr. Laura Schlessinger (yes, really, the Dr. Laura).

The set is made with 18k gold ink, Amethyst, fresh water pearls, Vermiel caps, and beads.  With “FAITH” written in Scrabble letters on one side and beautiful cherubs on the other, the beautiful necklace is reversible and able to be worn both ways.

Why am I mentioning this a year later then, you might ask?

The mother who rightfully earned this necklace set, she did something extraordinary.

After completing her Grief Dare, Colleen gifted the necklace set right back to stillbirthday.

Just as the set was gifted to stillbirthday, unconditionally, the recipient challenged herself to her Grief Dare, unconditionally.

So I’ve held this beautiful set with this amazing history wondering how I can possibly honor the magnitude of what has already been put into it.

And I’ve decided we need another giveaway.

I’ve spent the first two years of stillbirthday keeping my face hidden from public, because I have wanted you to know that stillbirthday is yours.  But in the past few months I have felt your personal love, your personal acceptance of who I am, your invitation to remind me that I am not alone.

And so I come to you now to share with you where my heart is, to show you my face, to reveal to you what my personal Grief Dare is for 2014.

I have just one task before me, and I’m preparing for it with a timeframe – not just by the full landscape of the full year before me, but I’m breaking it down into much, much smaller portions.    Smaller than months, than weeks, than days.

My task set before me is this:  I am losing weight.

Not physical weight, you see, because physical weight is just that, it’s physical.  My hunger runs much deeper; down to the depths of my soul I have an appetite that has been tormented by unhealth.  I have consumed and fed it junk for far too long.  I must decide to ingest sustenance.

I am going to release the weight of fear.

The fear of being accountable to the littleness that I am.

But also, even more than that?  The fear of being accountable to the greatness that I am.

Together I will call this, my journey to honor my little greatness.

So I’ve layed out my long term vision, that by the end of 2014 I hope to have a certainty in this truth much deeper than I do today.

And I’ve layed out my meal plan in the smaller portions, the consumable bites, the moment-by-moment manna.  This that I need, slimming it down to even just one word, that I can keep in my mind and ready on my tongue, absolutely whenever I need to take a bite of it:

Unconditional.

I am able to receive love, this very moment.  Love, unconditional.

I am able to give love, this very moment, Love, unconditional.

I am able to be love, this very moment.  Love, unconditional.

Even in imperfections, mistakes, weaknesses, even in the moments – the long moments – when I fear that I am not able, I will learn to believe this:

I am secure.  Oh, yes this.

I am secure, unconditional.

This, this is what I am most afraid to believe.  This, though, is what I most desperately need to know.

I am aware that I will need to feed this new mantra of mine to make sure it will sustain me for the whole of next year.  And so I am thrilled to unpack a weight of my fear right here, right now, to tell you:

I’m beginning counseling.

My background in social work, my love for doula work, my passion for stillbirthday, my adoration for my family, my faith in God, these things are valuable treasures that have helped hold me on through the many challenges I have faced both in and out of stillbirthday.  But like the newest member at the local gym, nothing quite beats having a session or ten with a personal trainer; someone who can see you for you, where you’re at, and where you truly desire to be.  And you can bet you’ll be hearing about my newest adventures!

So what about you?

When the easier way to deal with things gets peeled back, when your scabbed wounds are re-exposed, re-examined, what in your life do you need to know is unconditional?  What do you need to know so that those broken places can receive the true, penetrating, healing care they need, cleansed in mercy, wrapped in love?

Unconditional.

Tell me about it at our Unconditional event page, and share how you will train, dare I say condition your soul to be satisfied by the true goodness of this healthy mantra and how you will plan to resist the indulgence of stuffing on insecurities, of setting silent expectations of others and unrealistic demands on your weary soul and how you will release the weight of your fears to find authentic joy and the lightness of love.

I am terrified for this journey, but for the first time in a very long time, I am allowing myself to be so very excited precisely because of that.

I will laugh at the days to come, I will believe that I am loved, I will know that I am secure, unconditional.  This is not past tense, with the benefit of time to offer a temporary balm to my racing heart.  This is me.  Starting, right, now.

Let us begin.

unconditional

.mantra

Love Moves

Love Moves.

It draws you in.  It brings you to places you never thought you’d go.

So we need to pack for our journey.

In 2014, stillbirthday is having a brand new project as part of Mothering Our Mourning.

We’re calling it Love Moves.

And we’re bringing you the suitcase.   Yes, that’s right.

The suitcase will be shipped directly to your door.  It is a gorgeous, wooden suitcase that was hand made with lots and lots of love (and purple, pink and blue).

And when you open this suitcase, inside you’re going to find a gorgeous journaling scrap book, postcards, trinkets….

….it’s going to be filled with love.

lovemoves

And you’ll be able to spend some time, looking, unpacking, touching, all the things placed inside.

And then, you’ll add something of your own.

A poem, a Love Letter, a piece of ribbon, a photo, you can place inside this treasure chest filled with MOM’s Love.

MOM: Mothering Our Mourning

Then, you’ll package up this special box, and it’ll be sent to the next mother.

Through the course of the year, we will be able to watch as Love Moves into places we ourselves never thought we’d go.  And know that we are making it happen.  Bringing real love to real doorsteps, bringing love to mothers as they open this special box and touch the items inside for the very first time.  Tangible hope.  Real healing.

 

To Be a Part

The first 12 mothers to register can secure their place for 2014.  You can register below, and the state/country will be added here.  One box, 12 different locations – and it’s open internationally.

What You’ll Do

  • You’ll reserve your place for 2014 by registering below.
  • You agree to keep the box for a total of 2 weeks within your registered month (each mother is designated for a 1 month timeframe, so we need to give some room for shipping times).  Within those 2 weeks, you agree to preserve the condition of the box and its contents to the best of your ability, keeping everything inside of the box.
  • You agree to contribute into the journal 1 full page’s worth, which can be a pasted photo, a poem, a Love Letter or other words.  This one page worth can be divided by using two different, one half pages, three different one third pages, or so forth.  In short, you agree not to fill it all up by yourself, but to save some room for the other mothers.

The wonder of this opportunity is that you won’t need to explain the items you’ve added. 

We’ll all honor everything held inside as the sacred that it is.

  • You agree to uphold confidentiality and to treasure the box and all contents with the highest amount of discernment, discretion, honor and love.
  • You see that all of the other mothers are agreeing to abide by the same expectations, giving you a very tangible way to express your love, your vulnerability, your feelings, through a safe, structured and healing opportunity.
  • You’ll pay the shipping and handling (approximately $20-$40 USD) to return the box back to Heidi Faith.   Once the box is safely returned to me, you’ll be refunded 50% of your registration ($15 USD).
  • At the end of 2014, we’ll draw a giveaway for one of the participating moms to receive the Love Moves 2014 journal for herself.

This is going to be incredible!

Join the MOM Movement.  It’s going to be transformative, healing, and beautiful.




newmom

Love Moves in 2014

 

January: Ontario, Canada

February: Alabama, USA

March: Kansas, USA

April: Missouri, USA

May: Texas, USA

June: Montana, USA

July: Queensland, Australia

August: Indiana, USA

September: New Mexico, USA

October: Minnesota, USA

November & December – we’re leaving this space open in case there are any delays in shipping, to make sure each mom has plenty of time.

MOM Love Moves Suitcase

Because so many people want to know where I f0und such beautiful things, the beautiful wooden suitcase is handmade from Hans Creations and the awesome journal is from Simply Smashing.  Both shop owners made our items especially for us.  Gorgeousness!

Speak Your Dialect Giveaway

A Giveaway!

 

Of the entire year, the climactic days of  raising awareness of pregnancy & infant loss are upon us.

So I want to challenge you, I want to stretch you, to share about the aspects of your experience that are perhaps the most divisive.

We are all in this together, and we all have a right to healing.

During this week, we’ll be sharing perspectives, photos and stories, both here at the website and at our facebook page.  And four random people will be drawn from all stories and photos to receive one of the four giveaway items.

In honor of last week’s Day of the Girl, October 11, a day to recognize justice issues that girls face, I’ll be giving away three tee shirts from Project Rescue, and one copy of their book, “Beyond the Shame”.

Project Rescue serves in India, voted the worst country in the world for women.  They rescue women and children from the sexual trafficking of the red light district.

These young women become pregnant, endure miscarriage, stillbirth, give birth and endure forced abortion and all in the most horrendous of conditions.

 

I share this with you, because there are many differences among our experiences of pregnancy and infant loss: miscarriage, stillbirth, and so on.

These differences can be celebrated, but are too often divisive – becoming dark walls that trap us in and bind us to shame and unworthiness.

Here are a couple of examples:

  • A mother gives birth on the cusp of miscarriage and stillbirth.  Her baby is called a miscarriage, although she defines her experience as a stillbirth.
  • A mother contemplates elective abortion, but then has a miscarriage.  Now she feels she is to blame.
  • A mother gives birth via elective abortion, but she tells you she had a miscarriage.

 

There are many, many aspects of our experiences that can seem isolating and even shaming.  And it can seem like the furthest thing we want to do is to share these things, but I want to stretch you, I want to invite you, to consider the freeing opportunity there is in speaking into our shame.  Daring to share what others may not yet be able to, holding your hand out to them that they can be released from the bondage of isolation, that they can believe in healing, that they can trust in hope.

 

If there is an aspect to your experience that you say, “That part is just too painful, others will not understand, I am all alone” I want to reach out and take your hand.  I want to whisper to your hurting heart that you are not alone, that your dignity is intact, that there is support for exactly that very part of your experience.  And I want to ask you, if you’d consider, sharing this part with others.  You can even do it anonymously.  Our sharing page gives you my email to do so (Heidi.faith@stillbirthday.com).

 

Please share your story by using our sharing page, and all stories will be entered into our giveaway, which will close and names will be drawn on Sunday, October 20th.  This opportunity is open to every share made as a comment below, made in individual stories through our sharing page, and the stories and comments shared through our facebook page.  It is also open internationally.

And, if you do not feel there is a specific element of shame hidden in your experience, please, I implore you, stay near to stillbirthday, here and at our facebook page, over the next several days, as the stillbirthday community dares to break free from bondage holding us in darkness.  Please, be ready, with a warm heart, with lots of validation, with lots of love.  Your encouraging words enter you into the giveaway as well.

 

Come, let us cast out shame.  Speak your dialect.

Let us heal, together.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

About the giveaway items:

I purchased the book and 3 tee shirts from Project Rescue.  Entire proceeds of these shirts go toward the needs of girls and women in brothels in India.  The shirts are red, and are in one of each size: small, medium and large.  The sizing is similar to (but in my opinion just a smidgen smaller than) men’s sizes.  The first name selected will have first choice, and so on.  If a name is selected and the tee shirt sizing does not match, arrangements will be made to get the right sizing, although the color may be different.

If you have already shared a stillbirthday story that includes this element of darkness we are shining light into, you can simply comment below with the link to your story to be entered into the giveaway.

 

New Students can win a New Computer

I am so extremely excited to begin the new classroom environment for our online, comprehensive birth & bereavement doula program.  If you haven’t yet checked out what our program is all about, you can view the registration information here.

 

Connecting with Microsoft a couple of months ago, Angie and I have been working hard to set the environment just right in the new classroom.  And let me just say, it is amazing.  You can click on over to Stillbirthday University to take a sneak preview at a couple of the photos taken early on in the construction process as we’ve been setting things up.

 

With all of the newest tools and resources to make the ultimate learning environment, trusting foundation, collaborative setting ever, our academically rigorous and emotionally intensive, comprehensive birth and bereavement training program has now become even better.

 

Celebrating the ways that technology  -  a simple ability to log online – can connect bereaved mothers and compassionate people from all experiences and from all over the world, we want to present you with an opportunity to receive your very own personal computer.

 

Stillbirthday is offering one Microsoft 8 Laptop complete with pink Touch Cover, for absolutely free, to one student.  The name selected will be drawn from all students registered by December 28, 2013 – this includes all students who have already completed their registration for the next session.

You might say the Microsoft RT is like the iPad, but better.

You can click here to learn more about the Microsoft 8 Laptop, and then here to learn more about the pink Touch Cover accessory, which will also come free.

Yes, in fact, this is a $430 total value, for free.

Families giving birth in any trimester have a right to be cared for with dignity, with accurate information and with compassion.  If you have a call on your heart to come alongside these families, then I am passionate about equipping you with the tools we have to prepare you.  I want you to succeed and I want families to be supported.

This is a seriously awesome giveaway, but I am seriously passionate about reaching families, and reaching those who will serve them.  Yes, I really bought these items, and yes I’m really giving them away, brand new in the box.  We’re all in this together and it is my honor that we are.  May we all remember the value in one another on this journey.

Register today for the SBD doula training.  Just visit the main registration page to learn more about the course, the content, and the complete registration process.

 

 

The fine print:

There are only 20 students per training session.  The sooner you enroll, the sooner you can reserve the class session you prefer.  Sessions start in January, April, July and October.   You can learn more about registration timeframes and sessions and link to our current roster from the registration page.

The scholarships for the January session have already been awarded, and the scholarships for the following sessions will not be determined until the middle of the January session.

If you are a sponsored student, your enrollment is counted after your sponsorship is complete.

 

 

 

 

Free Rainbow Wrap

Many families who’ve endured loss have subsequent pregnancies that they refer to as “rainbow” babies – the idea being, the rainbow after the storm of loss.

Here at stillbirthday, we provide support prior to, during and after birth in any trimester.  This means, we also provide support for families of “subsequent” or “rainbow” pregnancies.  We offer supportive resources to prepare your heart for conception, we have information and resources to help guide you through the additional joys and additional anxieties that may surface during subsequent pregnancy, and we offer a rainbow birth plan, and SBD doulas prepared to offer you support: before, during and after birth.

We also invite you to share with us, glimpses of your journey.  You can begin with sharing about your grief and your baby’s birth story, and then you can expand to create an online journal here, where you can keep all your birth stories and your updates all together in one place.  We call it, Still Parenting.  Just use our sharing tab to get all the details.

About the Giveaway

This toddler sized rainbow head wrap is a lovely, tangible symbol that everything is subsequent to loss.  If you do not have a toddler sized rainbow who can wear this, did you know that you can also use this beautiful cloth as a bookmark wrap?  Are you in the middle of a helpful book on bereavement and healing?  Wrap it in this beautiful cloth to keep your spot.

 To enter:

Just share this link (from this article) or this photo (from  our Facebook page or from the Bows N Such shop) with others.  We’ll be posting this on our Facebook page as well.  Leave a comment at the thread there or in the comments below, including any URLs of places you’ve shared it online.  The giveaway closes on August 1 with one randomly selected name from all of the participants.

Please check out the sweet shop Bows N Such that made this giveaway possible!

 

Giveaway Closed:

All of the names throughout Facebook and in the comments below were added.  Mary Ellen’s name was randomly chosen.

 

 

 

Rainbow Milk Teethers

Our Rainbow Milk Teethers are here!

If you have experienced pregnancy and infant loss, and are pregnant or nursing your “rainbow/subsequent” baby, this necklace is for you.

This nursing/teething necklace is a natural and beautiful accessory that will match every outfit you wear, and will give your new baby a perfectly fitting grip to hold as he or she snuggles in close with you.

You can get your rainbow teether/nursing necklace, plus engraving, for only $28!

We’re calling this the Rainbow Milk necklace – as your subsequent/rainbow baby holds to the necklace, they can hold to their sibling’s name as well.

After you receive your necklace, have a photo taken of you wearing it while nursing or holding your subsequent/rainbow baby, and send your photo to Heidi.faith@stillbirthday.com with “Rainbow Milk” as the subject line.  From the first 10 photos, those mothers will be entered into a drawing for a giveaway of our Be You Tiful tee!

View more items from the stillbirthday shop!

Price includes shipping within the U.S.   Maximum character count is 25.  After you complete the form, please use the yellow button below to complete your purchase (to ship outside the US, simply fill out the form and I’ll send you an invoice that includes shipping.)

 




 

Sparkles and Snuggles

*A GIVEAWAY!*

 

For this giveaway, here’s what you’ll need:

  • Sparklers or candles
  • A pretty bit of paper or other way to include your baby’s name into the photo

Here’s what you’ll do:

  • Write your baby’s name on a piece of paper.
  • Tape the piece of paper to the handle of a sparkler.
  • Light the sparkler, and take a picture of it.
  • Or find another creative way of including your baby’s name with sparklers or candles.
  • Email your photo to: Heidi.faith@stillbirthday.com with “Sparkles and Snuggles” as the subject line.

Here’s what I’ll do:

  • Add your photo here at stillbirthday, and I’ll share your unique stillbirthday URL with photo at the Facebook wall.
  • The photos  can be submitted until July 13.
  • You can post up to 3 photos.
  • I will post all of the URLs on our Facebook wall on Sunday, July 14.
  • The photo post with the most Facebook “likes” on it on July 21  will win a Heartbeat Lamb from My Baby’s Heartbeat Bear!