Handmade veil giveaway in honor of the Elizabeth Ministry Rosebud Program

Thinking of veiling for Lent? A generous reader has offered to donate a completely gorgeous hand-made veil for free, just because she likes doing it.

Here is a photo of one veil that you could win (blocked out on foam so you can see the amazing detail):

Isn’t that lovely? So delicate and graceful. Here’s a view of the full veil:

OR, she says she is willing to make one to your specs, in a custom color, size, and even design!

If you win and you’d like a custom-made veil, I’ll put you in touch with the donor, and you can work out details. She says it will take less than a week to get one ready to ship, as long as the color thread you choose is readily available where she lives.

Usually, when I offer a donated prize, the sponsor has a business to highlight. In this case, the donor would like to remain anonymous, and would like to draw your attention to the Rosebud Program of Elizabeth Ministry.

Elizabeth Ministry International offers a wide variety of programs and support, including through parishes and online, “designed to offer hope and healing on issues related to childbearing, sexuality, and relationships.”

The Rosebud Program “helps a church identify, pray for, and support those who are pregnant, celebrating birth or adoption, grieving miscarriage, stillbirth, abortion, infant or child death, or wanting to become pregnant or adopt.”

The donor would like to encourage those whose parishes don’t yet have a chapter to consider starting one, especially if there are members who can provide support for families experiencing miscarriage, stillbirth, or infant or child loss. A worthy cause, indeed. No one should suffer through these things alone. Sometimes people want to help, but don’t know how; and sometimes people need help, but don’t know how to ask.

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To enter to win the veil, please use the Rafflecopter form, which you will find at the bottom of this post. Or maybe you’ll find a dumb-looking link that says “a Rafflecopter giveaway,” and you’ll just want to click on that.

There are several ways to enter the contest, but you must use the Rafflecopter form to be entered. 

Note to subscribers: One of the options is “subscribe to this blog.” Unfortunately, when I changed hosts, I lost all my email subscribers! I’m so sorry. If you subscribed anytime before last week, you will need to re-subscribe (and you’ll also get an entry into the contest, if you choose that option in the Rafflecopter form!). If you want to re-subscribe without being entered into the contest, simply re-subscribe via the blog and don’t use the Rafflecopter form.

Good luck! And thanks again to our generous and talented donor. The contest ends Saturday the 25th at midnight, and I’ll announce the winner as soon as possible after that.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Not lost forever: Miscarriage, grief, and hope

felt-baby

We have reason to hope that even those little, innocent ones who never had eyes to see the light of day or the waters of baptism will be welcomed into heaven as well, not smuggled in the pockets of a low-ranking god, but recognised and called by name back home by their Father who made them.

Still, we are human. It is not wrong to look for physical reminders of abstract truths.

Read the rest of my latest for the Catholic Weekly.

New Women’s Wellness and Fertility Center in NH includes NaPro surgeon (and they’re hiring!)

I keep forgetting to tell you! There’s a new women’s wellness and fertility center opening in Manchester, NH, right inside Catholic Medical Center. They offer standard OB/GYN services  and well woman exams, and their new doctor, Dr. Sarah Bascle, is a surgeon who is trained in NaProTechnology.

As you may know, NaPro is not only ethically sound for Catholics, but it often has a high rate of success treating women suffering infertility, repeat miscarriages, endometriosis, PCOS, and other fertility issues, bringing healing where standard medical procedures fail. NaPro isn’t magic, but it’s real medicine, not woo, and it can be life-changing.

The Women’s Wellness & Fertility Center of New England opens in winter of 2017, and they are now pre-registering patients. Check out their webiste here, or call 603.314.7595.

They are also still hiring for a few positions, including an experienced Certified Nurse Midwife. Here’s some more info about that.

Best of luck to them! Many couples will travel for hundreds of miles to work with a NaPRO-trained doctor, so I’m thrilled to finally have one in New Hampshire.

 

I have a job for you, baby.

Not the little guy who just kicked me for the first time, that I could feel, just yesterday (yay!). I mean the other one, the one I lost. I wrote about how hard it was not to have a body to bury. You want to be able to take care of your children with your own hands, but I couldn’t do that, and it hurt.

Now, as the months have gone by and the pain of loss has receded, I still find myself bewildered about what to do with the baby’s soul.

When I found out I was pregnant last time, I prayed for the baby’s protection constantly, and turned him over to God. So I have a strong hope that, whenever it was that he left us, he was already baptized through our desire and intention to do so, and he went straight into the arms of his loving Papa in heaven. This is a good thing! I am not worried.  I love him, but God loves him more.

But, what to do when I pray for my all children, one by one? I was never sure when I got to this child. It didn’t feel right to pray for him. Even though I know no prayer is wasted, it seemed like asking for something that was already given.

And I know that many parents pray to their lost unborn babies, and that seemed reasonable, but felt odd, too. Probably this shows that I have a poor understanding of the saints in heaven, but praying to him felt like turning him into a spiritual being, which made him foreign, elevated beyond the family, not really our kid; and at the same time, it felt like too much to ask of such a little guy. I’m not going to tell my five-year-old when Daddy is having a hard time at work or Mama is worried about school; so why would I spill the beans to a seven-week-old fetus, even if he is enjoying the Beatific Vision? I know, I’m over thinking it, but it just felt weird!

But yesterday, it came to me: Baby, you pray for the new baby. You two hold hands and be good to each other. Take care of each other while Mama is taking care of the rest of them. Aha! Everybody needs a job. We are at our best when we know what we are here for.

A long Holy Saturday

Last night, I was cold and couldn’t sleep, so I snuggled up against my husband, who is always warm. When I’m pregnant, I like to press my belly against him so that we can all be warm all together, me and him and the baby.  “Here you go, little guy.  This is your daddy.  You will like him.”  Then, last night, I remembered that there is no baby.

There is no wild anguish here. I’m just tired, and bewildered.  I was so busy for those seven weeks, I sometimes forgot I was even pregnant, even though we wanted, tried for a baby. I hadn’t gotten around to even looking up what the little one was up to, week to week.  But I worked deliberately to make him real, when I remembered he was real:  I asked God to bless him.  I thanked God for him. I talked to him, and gave him a little happy pat when I remembered he was there.

Here is the thing that really hurts. I never saw the baby. I don’t know where he went.  I lost track of his body as I bled, and now he is gone.  Those are the worst nightmares:  the wave comes, the darkness falls, the crowd sweeps by, and your child is gone.  Where did he go?  Why didn’t I hold on tighter?  My husband would have gone and dug up the frozen ground to bury the body, but there is nothing to bury.  He has been washed away, and I don’t even know when.  Maybe he died weeks ago, when he was too little to be seen.  Maybe I was happily patting someone who was already gone.

It wouldn’t change anything if I could have buried him. But I wish I could have done it.

I’m trying to hear the voice of the angel — the one who stands waiting outside the tomb to explain the situation, so that when you go to take care of the body and find it gone, you will know that there haven’t been wild animals or grave robbers or some trickery or indignity.  You haven’t lost the body; the body has life.  He is not here, but he is not gone.  Don’t worry!  This is a good thing.  You cannot have his body, but you have not lost him.

I’m in a long Holy Saturday.  A bewildering time.  God promised joy, He promised resurrection, but in the mean time, what are we supposed to do?  It is hard when the ones we love hide from us.  They don’t need our care.

I want the baby to have eternal life.  And I want him back.