Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Miscarriage burial and the Naming and Commendation Ceremony for Catholic moms.


   I haven't been able to post without getting emotional, it take a few months. But wanted to thank my mom who took immediate action to help us during our latest miscarriage. And of course 2 beautiful friends Jan and Maureen who had masses said for our baby I lost on Ash Wednesday 2019. The masses were said this May.  This was our 6th baby. All our other friends and family members who prayed for us while we were in our holding stage I was about ready to lose my mind. Several good friends and family sent me cards, emails, prayer intentions, and physical sacrifices and especially our children's Godparents.

   Walking into the doctor at 18 weeks and seeing him deceased on a sono was a shocker right after our whole family attended Ash Wednesday mass. "Remember man that you are dust." A perfect little baby boy, no defects, lifeless. God just called him home. As I walked out of my appointment alone-in tears obviously, there was a woman complaining wickedly about her small toddler son and her newborn and how she was going to get her tubes tied. I just wanted to barf hearing that. She was obviously stressed but hearing that was awful, but I so wanted to tell her how lucky she was to have a living baby in front of her. I called Brad once I was outside in my van, he was in shock and couldn't understand how. Then I had to tell my whole family. My mom called me later and was very upset and crying. Talking about these feelings brings back tears now. There was a turning point on the Monday following Ash Wednesday, when I woke up I felt different emotionally and physically, I even said it outloud to Brad. It was very notable. That very day I got a card from Lori in the mail saying she had done a holy hour for us, it was no doubt a small miracle. Doing stations of the cross two days after my D&C was probably the most spiritual experience I had all of Lent. The words of St. Alphonsus Liguori sunk in and stuck.


 Our family waited 3 weeks to get Michael back from the hospital. We were able to hold his remains with joyful sadness- yes that's very possible! My kids all held the little bundle on the couch and fought over taking turns holding the baby. It was a very REAL experience and it was needed.


   We were able to say goodbye and lay his tiny remains to rest in my great grandmother's grave with the blessed ground of a Catholic cemetery with the help of Fr. Mainzer. We had peace knowing at the Resurrection my Irish grandma and Michael will be together!!


  I  am so grateful to our Catholic Church for providing us with the ability to lay out babies to rest and provide us with a formula for burial. This whole process cost us nothing. My cup runneth over for the generous funeral director. And again forever grateful to the supervisors at Patrol West who recognized this need for emergency bereavement without us even asking- some of them being Catholic is a tremendous help, they know when life begins. And one awesome Captain, I can't say enough good things about her, she is a wonderful Christian.

  I was happy to prepare a burial first hand with Brad. He was scrambling for a suitable cedar box the night of my surgery although we ended up not bringing the baby home right away. I haven't seen that side of him before, it was actually stressful for him, we ended up with 3 in the truck. Making a burial cloth and baby blanket was good for this momma, what else could I do as a mom? I made one for a little boy obviously and just maybe made it as a 12" x 12". I was going to make him a blanket anyway. I slept with the little blankie too at night when I said my prayers. It was really hard to pray, I was exhausted too, but I was just laying awake in a restless sleep. Also the hot flashes...oh for goodness sake. It's all hormonal and eventually passes.


   For the box, I couldn't find anything at all for a burial cover for such a small coffin. I made a lace like package out of the box. White seemed to be the best choice for color symbolically obviously. We brought flowers and a St. Michael card and Miraculous medal to place on top of the little cedar casket.


    Many don't know I lost a baby- #5, Catherine, here at home while Brad was working, exactly a year ago in 2018, at the same time as this one, so please forgive my shortcomings as a friend, I was probably busy mentally. With the end of the school year closing in, I just had my hands full.
  When I started to miscarry here at home, it started out with spotting and then full on contractions- like 'bend you over birthing'. And full onslaught of bleeding you can't leave the bathroom. I called Brad at work and he came home right away and here yet again another instance he was helpless and wanted to fix things but couldn't. It was the first experience I had seen that kind of worry on his face.

   I knew the miscarriage was probably coming, I was due for a re-sono appointment because there was no detectable heartbeat the first time. 

  Sorry if you are squeamish, you can skip this part. But since I am a practicing pro-life Catholic mom I am not going to be shy. I dug through my toilet for remains. I wasn't about to let my baby be lost to a sewer. It was hard looking through it literally, and I probably looked like a mad woman with the blood. When your a hormonal mom this is what happens I suppose, because you love your children to the ends of the earth and back. Unfortunately I came up with nothing I could discern. I had horrible feelings over this for months and continually had to offer it up. I really hope the baby had dissolved somehow.

  This lead me to a discussion with my doctor, and the need for a Catholic mom miscarriage  collection kit. Its something practical and needed. I need to follow up with him and see if we can make this happen someday.

  As for closure for those moms who are reading  this and wondering what could you do for your baby you just miscarried outside collecting the remains if you are at home. You can see below how we prepared after my D & C. But either way please consider using the Naming and Commendation ceremony below.

  The Naming and Commendation Ceremony was actually formulated here in my Diocese, even by a wonderful woman who is well known in our pro-life advocacy office. I wasn't able to upload the file but this link to this other blog in the link above has the pdf you can print out. It is great closure of you aren't able to go to a hospital with a general burial. [A friend of ours has done the general burial for miscarried babies at the hospital and said it's beautiful.] 

   But back to the naming ceremony, you can use a priest, or a lay person can do it. We asked our priest because we needed it, it wasn't something we were up to for ourselves. I had a plaque made with both babies names on it. We named Catherine at the time we miscarried but I didn't have any knowledge of the Naming and Commendation Ceremony. I had called the funeral director and spoke to him about burial at that time, but since I couldn't find anything to bury I wasn't able to follow through. Fr. Mainzer did the ceremony for both babies this time though. It gave us closure for Catherine's miscarriage.


For a D&C...
  
#1 You tell everyone you want all the baby's remains. Do not let them tell each other, they are busy you need to be to the point of annoying yourself and tell everyone you want all the remains.

#2 Its not 'medical waste' or just merely 'products of conception'- don't let their terminology bother you. Let them know it's a human and it's your baby. You have a right to it. You have a right to take it home.

#3 Take a suitable burial box or something to transport the baby home. Sometimes the hospitals already have a crocheted little hat they put the babies in. You can make a memorial stone or plaque for the box after you get home.

#4 Again. Tell everyone you want the remains, ask for the chaplain to help you. Call the lab and remind them promptly the next day what you expect of the remains. Make sure you can names of people you talked to for accountability. I called 3 or 4 times and had I not, Michael would not have been back in our hands.

#5 Take it slow after recovery, light bleeding is normal and feels empowering that life will be normal again.. but the more you walk around, and move around- you start hemorrhaging. You need a week of sitting on you bum if your in the area of 18 weeks apparently, trust me. 

#6 There are coffins you can buy, but they cost quite a bit. I would look around for a keepsake box or check Hobby Lobby for a wood box. No burial mass is necessary and obviously a baptism can't take place, but you do need a name, everyone needs to be named for judgement day.

#7 Call your local Catholic cemetery and see what they do for miscarried babies. Almost all of them have a place for free burial. Ours let us put Michael in the blessed ground over my grandma.

#8 No baby is too small to bury. We are made in His image and likeness, from the moment or conception we have a soul and are given a guardian angel. We are real humans at the moment of conception, don't feel like a drama queen for emotions you are holding. And seek support where you are comfortable.

  We don't know our children we miscarry like we know our live earthly children we have right now in front of us. Only a mom knows the attachment and suffering that comes from just merely knowing you are pregnant. It's not something we can translate to others. We ache to hold our babies. I had to wait patiently for 3 weeks.

  There are many organizations out there who help families of miscarried babies by making the little knitted/crocheted blanket for holding and burial. One in particular is next to my daughters Irish dance studio, Bridget's Cradles. They are absolutely wonderful.

For those who have had abortions and are now regretting them and wondering what you can do to move forward and get closure and healing. There are several pro-life groups who are happy to help and support you moving forward. Sometimes it takes years for these conversions of hearts to happen, that's okay. The reality of it being a real human being inside of you is often blocked and disguised by all outside 'garbage' we hear from trusted doctors and friends or maybe close family members, social media or media in general, maybe even the father of the baby. Please seek healing! Don't live with it anymore! I really believe all sorts of mental health issues and depression stem from this and go untreated and unmentioned. Seeking forgiveness and closure is the only way.

I hope I have been a good witness to life for you, and I hope that you can find ways to help yourself through your miscarriage. Probably eventually we all know someone who has miscarried or go through one, and maybe this information can be used to help streamline phone calls and help eliminate anxiety. I hope you have a great summer! 

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

2 really nice books for your kid's Easter baskets- and they are on sale!

If your kids are in Catechesis of the Good Shepherd or like Holy Heroes, they will probably enjoy these two books like mine do.


I went to Mass, What did I see? is a rhyme book that is definitely great for kids from 3 to 6 years old.



Father Ben gets ready for Mass is just as sweet with it's pictures. This book could be ready from early ages up to 10 probably, depending on how much you kid understands and what they absorb.




I am not sure how long Amazon will have them on sale but they are marked down for the moment. I am guessing it won't last long.

On the 3rd and 4th days of Christmas...St. John's wine blessing and Feast of the Holy Innocents

{I am sorry for the old looking posts, but I am probably going to be doing some catching up. This is one I started back in December.  And I am happy to post this, because we just went through a miscarriage. Google was/is changing a bunch of stuff as of April 1st and I had to get in here see what's changed on my blog. Quite a coincidence this is sitting here waiting to be posted. I can't even remember what else was going to be written with it.}


Every year we get a favorite wine blessed on the Feast of St. John the Evangelist.


For the Feast of the Holy Innocents, a small cheese cake and strawberry jam. White tea lights symbolize the innocent lives given for the Christ child.


Hope your Christmas Season is full of hope and wonder!

Thursday, December 20, 2018

O Antiphons, ERO CRAS

   The most beautiful part of Advent in our domestic church is getting to do the Jesse Tree and light candles and sing right before bedtime. The last few days of Advent we get to also use the O Antiphons, it sort of ups the anticipation for Christmas and clues the kids in on how close we are to this huge feast day. A few years ago I made did some paper crafting with my Cricut and made some O Antiphon prayer cards. If you like Jesse Tree ornaments you can try making O Antiphon ornaments as well. 

The prayer cards get used differently each year around here. This year my kids decided to put the O Antiphon prayer cards right onto our Christmas tree.



  December 17th  O Sapientia  or  O Wisdom- comes from Eternity and the Word of God
       
       Veni, O Sapientia,                   O come, Thou Wisdom, from on high
       Quae hic disponis omnia,        and order all things far and nigh;
       Veni, viam prudentiae             to us the path of knowledge show,
       Ut doceas et gloriae.               and teach us in her ways to go.

       Refrain
       Gaude, gaude, Emmanuel       Rejoice Rejoice! Emmanuel, 
       Nascetur pro te, Israel.           Shall come to thee O Israel.

December 18th  O Adonai - the time and law of Moses

Veni, veni, Adonai,          O come, o come, Thou Lord of might,
qui populo in Sinai           who to thy tribes on Sinai's height
legem dedisti vertice        in ancient times did give the law,
in maiestate gloriae.         in cloud, and majesty, and awe.
       
       Refrain
       Gaude, gaude, Emmanuel       Rejoice Rejoice! Emmanuel, 
       Nascetur pro te, Israel.           Shall come to thee O Israel.

December 19th  O Radix Jesse or  O Root of Jesse - Prophecies from the Line of King Davi

Veni, O Jesse virgula,     O come, Thou Rod of Jesse's stem,
ex hostis tuos ungula,      from ev'ry foe deliver them
de specu tuos tartari        that trust Thy mighty power to save,
educ et antro barathri      and give them vict'ry o'er the grave

Refrain
Gaude, gaude, Emmanuel       Rejoice Rejoice! Emmanuel, 
Nascetur pro te, Israel.           Shall come to thee O Israel.

December 20th  O Clavis David or  O Key of David - Prophecies from the Line of King David

Veni, Clavis Davidica,        O come, Thou Key of David, come,
regna reclude caelica,          and open wide our heav'nly home,
fac iter tutum superum,         make safe the way that leads on high,
et claude vias inferum          that we no more have cause to sigh.


      Refrain
      Gaude, gaude, Emmanuel       Rejoice Rejoice! Emmanuel, 
      Nascetur pro te, Israel.           Shall come to thee O Israel.

December 21st  O Oriens or  O Dawn of the East - look for a rising star in the East
  (Although part of this isn't necessarily Nativity related-  also don't forget the prophecy from Ezekiel Ch. 11- read that also, then think about about Jesus re-entering Jerusalem and the lowly creature he was on and the direction from which he came- WOW how everything ties together huh?)


Veni, veni O Oriens,             O come, Thou Dayspring from on high,
solare nos adveniens,            and cheer us by thy drawing nigh;
noctis depelle nebulas,          disperse the gloomy clouds of night
dirasque mortis tenebras.      and death's dark shadow put to flight.

     Refrain
      Gaude, gaude, Emmanuel       Rejoice Rejoice! Emmanuel, 
      Nascetur pro te, Israel.           Shall come to thee O Israel.

December 22nd- O Rex Gentium or O King of the Gentiles- prophecy that He is a King for all Nations

Veni, veni, Rex Gentium,       O come, Desire of the nations, bind
veni, Redemptor omnium,      in one the hearts of all mankind;
ut salvas tuos famulos            bid every strife and quarrel cease
peccati sibi conscios.            and fill the world with heaven's peace.

Refrain
Gaude, gaude, Emmanuel      Rejoice Rejoice! Emmanuel, 
Nascetur pro te, Israel.          Shall come to thee O Israel.


December 23rd O Emmanuel, it means God is with us

Veni veni, Emmanuel       O Come O Come Emmanuel
captivum solve Israel,      And Ransom Captive Israel
qui gemit in exsilio,         That mourns in lonely exile here
privatus Dei Filio            Until the Son of God appear.

Refrain
Gaude, gaude, Emmanuel      Rejoice Rejoice! Emmanuel
Nascetur pro te, Israel.          Shall come to thee O Israel.

Take all of the Latin Messianic Titles and put the first letter them in order like this- ERO CRAS, meaning, "Tomorrow, I will come." 

Friday, December 14, 2018

St. Lucia morning 2018 at home and real Saffron buns


I hope you got to see our pictures from the Lucia fest in Lindsborg, KS, for the 2017 and 2018.  After our meal in honor of Our Lady of Guadalupe we had a lot of prep to do for St. Lucia's feast day breakfast the next day.

We actually took the time to make real Saffron buns or Lucia cat buns. There are a lot of names for them. They aren't just served on Lucia's feast day, but for many different types of other special occasions in European countries. Let me tell you what I found out about Saffron. 



Saffron, which comes from a certain type of Crocus called the saffron crocus, apparently is grown in Persia or somewhere else far away. {I am thinking why can't I grow them then?}


Anyway, Amazon makes it pretty affordable. I bought the smallest amount (in case this failed) for around $9 here. That little vial they sent me will do about 4 batches of buns I think. I only did one, it was plenty for our family of 6. 



Zoe's job was to mix the sugar and cinnamon for cinnamon rolls, she worked on it for about 20 mins too, she was an excellent assistant.


See the yellow color that comes out in the milk? Back during one of the world wars, saffron got scarce and European bakers needed an alternative source for yellow food coloring.





They have to rise and for awhile. So I wrapped them up and stuck them in a warm oven.


To get that shiny look on the outside, I brushed them with a beaten egg and stuck the raisin in them. I think putting the raisin in second is easier, because when you brush them you accidently knock the raisins loose.




They turned out so pretty and actually had a nice flavor to them. It's nothing like I tasted before, it's just not your typical American spice. The dough below turned into out tasty cinnamon rolls.




The cute kitchen towel can be found online. The Dala Horse candy, heart cookies, and Lingonberry drinks are from IKEA. The cute candle girl with her attendant paper cut out is from the store in Lindsborg. I do believe you can find a similar one at The Scandinavian Shop's website.







Sankta Lucia Ora Pro Nobis.

Our Lady of Guadalupe 2018




Mr. Cowboy Caviar, recipe below:
  For those of you who would like to know what exactly we make, 
especially those people who don't get enough exposure to Mexican food. 
 And I don't have a written recipe, I just wing it.

Chop/dice up some avocados, add some corn and fresh cilantro, fresh diced/small chunks of tomatoes, diced red onion, you can add a diced bell pepper. Then add red wine vinegar and equal parts of sugar. You can decide how much you need, but It really is just a couple tablespoons and not very much, just enough to coat every thing (should be sweet not bitter). Eat it with Nacho Doritos!!




{We took dinner to Brad, we ran around town to 3 kids' programs that night.}

Our Lady of Guadalupe pray for us!


Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Zoe's birthday, St. Nicholas' Feast day etc..

Well I hit a clearance on Tiny Saints! WHOOT! Guess what they all got!
  St. Nicholas Feast day is the day after Zoe's birthday. 

ZOE's 3! Can you believe it?


Clearly my kids love hamming it up with their mini wine glasses?!



The freebies I got from my favorite Catholic book Store are below. The kids got the magnets for St. Nick's feast day in their goodie bags. The Guadalupe bands are for Our Lady of Guadalupe's Feast Day!




So this year (Like Brenden has done in the past) Zoe laid out two pairs of shoes on her own, and of course St. Nicholas filled them up with oranges and candy for her. She is such a sweet and trusting little thing. He couldn't disappoint her!




One of Genna's favorite Birthday week (cause literally we celebrate a whole week of birthdays, Grandma, Zoe and Genna) is to do Ginger Bread Houses. We got some sets on sale at Joan's and then used out coupons on top of it.










Our Jesse Tree- each kid has their very own set of Jesse Tree Ornaments finally! Took four swaps, but they are all there- NOW I NEED ONE!! lol!

Have you seen this lovely FREE planner yet? You can find it here. My lovely sister sent me this blog, basically I won't have any excuses anymore for leaving something special out because I definitely can't remember it all. She even references the Christmas to Candlemas book I raved about back in 2013. 


Here it is, it is free by the way on EWTN's website if
 you can't track down your own vintage copy like mine ;)


{As for both planners, and printing them and binding...I digress- if you are interested in learning how to bind it, I have The Cinch book binder. 
There are other inexpensive bookbinders out there, I have one other 
one that's cheaper- but definitely not as reliable or nice...and when wasting 
potentially nice art projects or paper and permanently binding things, it's good to 
get the higher quality binder in my opinion.}


Hope you continue to have a Blessed Advent!