Opportunity to give hope to others as we approach Gabriel’s due date Monday

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I’m not one for stuffed animals, but when Joy offered this bear to me, I gratefully reached out and received it.

A moment later, my brain registered the fact that the bear wasn’t a fluffy, win-at-the-fair animal. It was unusually heavy, almost like lifting a gallon of milk assumed empty, but actually full.

I sobbed.

A weighted bear.

It was in the first hours after Joy’s incredible team of nurses settled me into the hospital room, given me hugs and space and time I needed before I was induced to deliver Gabriel, carried 15 precious weeks.

With Scott next to me, we talked with Joy and soon found that her compassionate care stemmed from a love for God. She told us about a gift she had for us, given by a woman who’d lost a full-term baby.

Joy returned to the room a bit later with the weighted bear. I became the 4th in a line of women touched by loss and the gift that placed weight into empty arms and acknowledged the weight of a precious life lost.

My bear and precious letter was from Erin Ashley, a mama who’d lost a baby girl at birth. She’d received her bear from Lindsey, a mama who held then said goodbye to two baby girls. Lindsey received her bear from her nurse who’d experienced loss.

“Dear friend,” the letter began, “My heart is burdened for you as I write this letter, knowing that in this moment you are experiencing a depth of pain and trauma that so few parents will ever experience.”

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“To have weight means to have significance, and everything about this moment–and your little child, and the story God is writing in your life–is weighty. It’s significant.”

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Last November, Erin Ashley (center) and her family presented 12 Comfort Cubs to Joy (right) labor and delivery’s head nurse at Florida Hospital-Altamonte.

One month later, on December 6, 2017, I received one of those bears.

This week I learned that there is only 1 bear left, meaning 11 of us mamas (and families) have lost a baby in just 6 months at this hospital in this little part of the globe. My heart drops with that news, knowing that my story of delivery of a tiny baby in miscarriage at a hospital is rare. Wow, what would that number have been if we also knew how many miscarriages happened outside those hospital walls in those months?

An Opportunity for You

Gabriel’s due date would have been this Monday, May 22nd. Our family longed to celebrate his tiny life by celebrating other tiny lives and comforting moms and their families and pointing to Jesus, our very great hope.

So, here’s an idea. How about we, together, put more Comfort Cubs and an instrumental CD, below, (listen here) that’s ministered to me incredibly–into the arms of those who face loss this next year?

Here’s how you can give, if you want to come alongside us. 

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5 thoughts on “Opportunity to give hope to others as we approach Gabriel’s due date Monday

  1. jnaramore May 19, 2017 / 3:22 pm

    A great idea–condolences again for your loss. Appreciate your thoughts and have compassion for your ongoing pain. Jim N.

  2. inlovewithapastor May 19, 2017 / 8:28 pm

    I love how you’re always looking to bring beauty from ashes and the love of Jesus to people. We love you and your family and look forward to meeting Gabriel in heaven someday.

  3. Dani Robins May 21, 2017 / 9:03 am

    Hi Angie, I was one of your nurses, Dani. This is so amazing! What a wonderful ministry to help all the moms, like yourself, heal after such a devastating loss. I’m thinking of you and your family and praying for you! Thank you for helping our unit in advance!

    • angiebentley May 21, 2017 / 9:26 am

      Oh, Dani! What a gift you and your team were to our family on that very sad day. Your care held so high the value of life and we are forever grateful.

  4. Kerry Larsen May 21, 2017 / 1:23 pm

    I’m thinking of your family during this difficult time. Nate and I had a miscarriage between our two children. It was hard, but we were fortunate enough to get pregnant within 7 months of that time. We now have our two wonderful children. Hope you feel God’s presence during this time.

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