Jul 13 2012

AUGUST Monthly Milestone Exchange

Now accepting participants for AUGUST!

If you have a milestone (birthday, due date, miscarriage, etc) that falls inside the month of August, you should consider signing up! Here is how the Monthly Milestone Exchange works:

–  If you are interested in participating you must fill out this form. PLEASE only sign up if your milestone falls inside the month of AUGUST (we will be posting new forms for each month). Please utilize the “Special Instructions/Free Space” area for information regarding your specific milestone.

– Serious participants only! This is a get a gift, give a gift exchange.

– Cut off date for this exchange: July 21st.

– You will be randomly partnered and contacted by the e-mail address you supply. You have 72 hours to reply to our e-mail. If we don’t hear from you, you will automatically be removed from the exchange.

– You are responsible for getting in touch with your partner and mailing their gift. Please contact your partner if there will be a delay in shipping. It is better to say something, then nothing at all. Have your package postmarked 5-7 days BEFORE the milestone.

– We highly encourage this to be a handmade card/gift exchange. The more personalized the gift, the better. Create a keepsake for life. Please keep gifts/supplies between $5-20.

– Have fun and be creative! This shouldn’t be a stressful project. If the thought of creating something is stressful please don’t sign up.

Any questions, feel free to contact us at


Jun 24 2012

In Memory: Donation Support

 




 





Our mission statement is: Helping families find their way back to life after loss.
Donations help us do that.
Our In Memory: Donation Support program will help all involved.

While there are many ways to honor the memory of pregnancies and babies gone too soon, friends and family often have no idea how. Some still feel “bringing them up” might upset you. In Memory: Donation Support was designed as an easy way for anyone to remember and support their friends or loved ones dealing with pregnancy and infant loss.

With every In Memory: donation, we will create and send a handmade tribute card to the family notifying them a donation has been made in their baby’s memory. Families are deeply impacted by donations made around their baby’s milestones such as birthdays, anniversaries and due dates and these cards will be wonderful keepsakes for them.

 

We also offer custom creative services for families who wish to have donations made directly to Grieve Out Loud such as:

– in lieu of … donation cards for funerals, birthdays or other occasions
– please consider a donation in honor of my baby cards
– today is my baby’s birthday, please consider a donation in his/her memory
– an expression of sympathy donation cards
– donation statement cards


(More examples available. Contact with any questions)

Donations are accepted online through PayPal, or by check. Please for special instructions when mailing a check.

Any help we receive will directly help families in need. Here are just a few examples of how your donations translate into support:

$10 donation = 20 stamps for Pen-Pal cards
$20 donation = 1000 business cards
$30 donation = a 2 year renewal of our domain
$50 donation = 500 postcards for hospitals and clinics
$75+ donation = savings for our future babyloss convention

Please consider making an In Memory: Donation today!

 





 

 


Jun 18 2012

Your First Day Back to Work?

What was your first day back at work like after your loss? Did you return to the same job or find a new one? How did you tell your co-workers/boss what happened? How did they treat you afterwards? What advice do you have for families returning to work after pregnancy and infant loss?

Share your comments here, post on our Facebook Page, or follow us on Twitter!


Jun 11 2012

CliffsNotes on Grief – A Book Review


CliffsNotes on Grief
Good Grief! by Erica McNeal
By Julie McAnary
Photo credit: ericamcneal.com

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If you were to ask Erica McNeal why bad things happen to good people, she would likely reply with, “Why not?”

I consider myself an expert in grief. In my thirty years of life I have already buried my mother, my grandmother, my son and a few family pets to boot. Not even my own expertise prepared me for the magnitude of loss that unfolds in just the first few pages of McNeal’s Good Grief!

With no thanks to reality television or pop music, we hear the term “survivor” all the time. Erica McNeal is the true definition of a survivor. McNeal perseveres in spite of all the grief and loss she has experienced and leaves us with what I can only describe as CliffsNotes on grief.

No matter how healthy we seem, how spiritual we are, or how many times we wash our hands, bad things can and do happen to all of us. For McNeal bad things kept coming. Instead of letting these struggles define her, she turned them into a tangible resource for individuals and families dealing with cancer or illness, pregnancy and infant loss, and facing difficult trials all from a personal point-of-view.

Good Grief! recognizes that friends and family have the best intentions when it comes to consoling the bereaved, yet sometimes the wrong words fall out. McNeal shows us how to fix those wrong words in an encouraging and spiritual way.

McNeal holds your hand and gives you all the guidance you could possibly ask for. In return, she hopes you become the incredible support system your loved one desperately needs. “When you stay consistent and intentional, you create a beautiful oasis in a very dry desert for your loved one to grieve appropriately.”

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Good Grief! is now available for purchase!
As a thank you, McNeal is offering 5 bonuses for anyone who chooses to purchase the book from June 11-15.
For all the information please visit her website: ericamcneal.com

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Julie McAnary is the founder of Grieve Out Loud, a pregnancy and infant loss support network started in 2010 after her first child was stillborn at thirty-seven weeks.


Jun 9 2012

JULY Monthly Milestone Exchange

We’re back and ready to accept participants for JULY!

If you have a milestone (birthday, due date, miscarriage, etc) that falls inside the month of July, you should consider signing up! Here is how the Monthly Milestone Exchange works:

–  If you are interested in participating you must fill out this form. PLEASE only sign up if your milestone falls inside the month of JULY (we will be posting new forms for each month). Please utilize the “Special Instructions/Free Space” area for information regarding your specific milestone.

– Serious participants only! This is a get a gift, give a gift exchange.

– Cut off date for this exchange: June 23rd.

– You will be randomly partnered and contacted by the e-mail address you supply. You have 72 hours to reply to our e-mail. If we don’t hear from you, you will automatically be removed from the exchange.

– You are responsible for getting in touch with your partner and mailing their gift. Please contact your partner if there will be a delay in shipping. It is better to say something, then nothing at all. Have your package postmarked 5-7 days BEFORE the milestone.

– We highly encourage this to be a handmade card/gift exchange. The more personalized the gift, the better. Create a keepsake for life. Please keep gifts/supplies between $5-20.

– Have fun and be creative! This shouldn’t be a stressful project. If the thought of creating something is stressful please don’t sign up.

Any questions, feel free to contact us at

Happy Exchange!

 


May 19 2012

Monthly Milestone Exchange (JUNE)

Every month I send out dozens of letters and cards to participants of our Pen-Pal Program. Most of them are sent electronically, but sometimes I get the luxury of busting out my favorite pen and hand writing cards (and shaking off hand cramps because who hand writes notes anymore?)

The cards are nothing fancy, but a little piece of my heart finds its way into every envelope. I always want to do more for these families. And so, I thought we could work together as a community — all in the name of milestones.

 

From the second loss enters our lives, we are learning to heal, however, milestones such as due dates, birthdays and BFN’s can send us right back into the darkness of grief.

Here are a few things I’ve learned about milestones in the past 2.5 years:

– That the days leading up to the milestones are far worse than the actual day.
– That the babyloss community is strong and loving and comforting and will do anything for each other.
– That preparing and planning takes strength, but is well worth the hard work.
– That even though your heart is heavy, your love will shine through.
– That it’s okay to ask for help, even a little bit of encouragement to get through it.

Here is what I’m proposing with the Monthly Milestone Exchange Program:

– To remember those who aren’t with us physically with something tangible.
– To encourage hope and happiness.
– To draw upon the power of creativity and community to celebrate our milestones.
– To focus on giving (and keep in mind we will be getting too).
– To have fun and make new friends.
– To run to the mailbox each day to see if our lovely package has arrived!

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These exchanges will be month specific. This month: JUNE!

Here is how the Monthly Milestone Exchange will work (for now):

–  If you are interested in participating please fill out this form. PLEASE only sign up if your milestone falls inside the month of JUNE (we will be posting new forms for each month). Please utilize the “Special Instructions/Free Space” area for information regarding your specific milestone.

– Serious participants only! This is a get a gift, give a gift exchange.

– Cut off date for this exchange: June 27th. (We will be tweaking the dates in the following months).

– You will be randomly partnered and contacted by the e-mail address you supply. You are responsible for getting in touch with your partner and mailing their gift. Please contact your partner if there will be a delay in shipping. It is better to say something, then nothing at all. Have your package postmarked 5-7 days BEFORE the milestone.

– We highly encourage this to be a handmade card/gift exchange. The more personalized the gift, the better. Create a keepsake for life. Please keep gifts/supplies between $5-20.

– Have fun and be creative! This shouldn’t be a stressful project. If the thought of creating something is stressful, . . .

(Special note: this is our first exchange of this kind. We apologize in advance for any bumps in the road we might encounter together. If you have any questions, concerns or helpful suggestions please contact us at grieveoutloud@gmail.com).

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We hope this project will help you reach those seemingly scary milestones a little easier. Thank you for your participation and willingness to help others who need it.

Sending love and light,
–Julie


May 5 2012

Much More Muchness

I had a lot of apprehension about turning 30 last year (September 2011). It wasn’t a vanity or ageist thing, it was a me thing. I wasn’t happy with where I was in life. It felt like there were still so many things left to achieve, one of which was motherhood, something that was ripped away from me on September 18, 2009 when our first child was stillborn at 37 weeks.

In the years to come I had to learn how to incorporate grief into my everyday life. It was a painful transition and my muchness was something that became completely masked by the darkness. I missed my muchness, but it seemed hopelessly lost forever.

On September 1, 2011 I announced my first muchness challenge. During those 30 days some huge milestones were reached including: attending my first baby shower since my own, my husband’s birthday, our son’s 2 year mark and my 30th birthday. (Unfortunately due to technical issues most my original posts were lost).

Participating in the challenge made me see my life different. Instead of living days or weeks or months or even years in advance, I learned to find the beauty in today. Live for now, not the past or the future.

In the end my muchness beat out the darkness. Found the strength to survive another year without my son AND survived turning 30.

Exactly 30 days later (well, 31 because it was Halloween), we found out we were expecting another baby!!!!! And just like that, I had another shot at finding my motherhood muchness.

We’re currently 30 weeks pregnant and ready for round two of Finding my Muchness: Motherhood Addition.

I am very excited to share this journey (and baby) with you. Pregnancy after Loss is an unnerving roller coaster just like grief. Every day brings on new challenges and what better way to stay focused than to fill my days with MUCHNESS?!

My new challenge will begin May 6th, 2011. You can find my journey at julie.findingmymuchness.com
For more information on baby Buttercup visit my personal blog at Tales from the Womb

 

Want to take on your own Muchness Challenge? For information on how to join please visit findingmymuchness.com


Apr 18 2012

Your First Thoughts of Motherhood?


What were your first thoughts of motherhood when you found out you were pregnant? Were you actively trying or was your first baby a surprise? Were you scared, excited, nervous?


Mar 27 2012

What was your baby’s First Nickname?

Baby’s can acquire many nicknames. What was your baby’s first nickname? Did it stick? Tell us the story behind their nickname.


Feb 27 2012

What was your First Craving?

What was your first craving? Food or drink? Savory or sweet? Junk food or health food? How long did the cravings last?

Share your stories with us!