Share, Grieve and Heal

Three comments from three women who each lost someone precious to them: 

“Getting pregnant and taking a baby home nine months later is not how it works for everybody.”

“You don’t get over it. You don’t move on; it’s not that easy but it does get better. You can only learn to live with it.”

“God did this for a reason. I can help other people going through a similar situation.”

The Empty Cradle program at Pella Regional Health Center has a monthly support group called Moms with Hope for moms who have lost a child due to miscarriage, stillbirth or infant death. 

When a baby dies, parents also lose their dreams for that child and part of their family’s future. Parents often feel isolated and are left to work through intense feelings of grief and loss alone. Men and women also grieve differently. Sometimes family and friends do not know what to say or do to comfort a family when their baby dies. 

Kinsley’s mom shared that her birth was a bittersweet day. She got to meet her daughter who she had been singing to for months, but knew she wouldn’t be able to breathe outside the womb. She lived for 66 minutes.

Another mom shared that she had all the same dreams and hopes for that lost child as any mom does... kindergarten round-up, coloring pictures, visiting dad at work. Even if you do have another child, it’s not the one you lost. It doesn’t replace those dreams. You never get to do any of those things with that child. 

Lyndsey’s mom shared that she was delivered at 36 weeks and was moved to the Comfort House soon after, enriching the lives of everyone who knew her-patients, volunteers, staff and her family. She lived a total of 57 days.

“The goal of this group is to connect women with other women who have experienced a similar loss,” said Heather Vander Beek, coordinator of the group and social worker in Hospice of Pella, Home Health Care and the Empty Cradle Program at Pella Regional. “We provide them with a safe place to share, grieve and heal together. It provides moms with a place to share ideas on coping, exchange resources and find meaningful ways to honor and remember their baby.”  

Three comments from those same three women who turned to Moms with Hope for comfort and support:

“I feel fulfilled after going to Moms with Hope. It’s something very meaningful in my life. Listening to others trying to cope, giving insight on dealing with the highs and lows of grief, that’s important to me.”

“It’s nice to talk with other moms each month who know what I am going through. Everybody there understands. I feel like if it hasn’t happened to you, you couldn’t understand; certainly not the way I need. I know I didn’t understand before I had my miscarriage.”

“Talk to someone, it helps. The Moms with Hope support group is a place to share your story and know you are not alone. Everyone there can relate in some way.”

All moms are welcome, no matter where you are in the grief process and no matter how long it has been since your loss. The group is held the second Monday of each month at 7 pm in the lower level of the Comfort House at 505 Union Street. For more information about the Moms with Hope support group at Pella Regional Health Center, call 641-620-5050.

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