Saturday, January 23, 2016

She's here!

I can't seem to post a photo from my phone, but I don't wanted to let you all know that baby has arrived!

Amelia Macrina was born at 12:56 pm weighing 7 pounds, 8 ounces, and measuring 20 3/4 inches long. She's beautiful and already a great nurser. I'm doing a lot better this time around. Everyone here has been awesome and I'm in great hands. Thank you all so much for all of the prayers!! As soon as I can I will post some photos.


  1. So glad! !!! Was praying! What a great name! Hoping not to lose power here.... if you post more and I don't comment within a day, then we did lose power. Continued prayers and love!

  2. Yay!!! Congratulations! Every c-section is different (or so I'm told--I've only had one and my recovery was pretty awesome, compared to my natural births, truth be told!) Hope yours is equally great. Welcome Amelia!!

  3. Congratulations!!!! I have an Emmelia....such a wonderful saint...and a beautiful name!:) May God grant you all many wonderful years to cherish her! Enjoy this special time...I know you will!

  4. Congratulations!!! I'm so glad to hear the good news of Amelia's safe arrival. I was thinking of you and praying for you yesterday. God is good. Enjoy this beautiful blessing!

  5. Welcome, Amelia! We are so glad you are here.
    I wanted to use the name Amelia, but we had boys :)

  6. What a lovely name! So glad you both are doing well. Blessings to all!

  7. Congratulations!!! So happy for you!
    I love her name!!! :)
    --Amelia W.

  8. Great news! Prayers for a swift recovery for Mom and may God grant little Amelia many, many years!
    (from a different Nancy fr the one above)

  9. I'm so happy to see this post. I jumped online before we leave for Mass to check for an update. Looking forward to seeing a photo of precious Amelia. She has a beautiful name. Congratulations! :D

  10. Hello,

    Congratulations! I have been reading your blog for years now but almost never comment on any blogs. I am very happy for you that your birth went well and along with everyone else that reads your blog, look forward to the photos.

    I am commenting because last week the doctors informed me that my unborn baby has a lethal developmental issue (perhaps genetic) which means that he/she will either pass away in utero or within minutes of birth. (Renal problems which mean I have had almost no amniotic fluid for weeks now and the baby's lungs will not work at birth.) I am nearly 19 weeks and feel my baby moving inside of me. I look at the little ultrasound images of my baby and feel towards him/her like I do towards my other children who are both toddlers. I feel so devastated to imagine that this will happen to my beautiful little baby. I feel like I am grieving his/her death before it has even occurred. My reason for mentioning this is that I know that you were involved in the Lost Innocents website which I have perused, mostly out of interest because I was looking for a specifically Orthodox perspective on these matters (miscarriage/stillbirth). There is nothing on there that I have come across directed towards people like myself who are given lethal prenatal diagnoses and must face the knowledge that their baby will die before they have even passed. Perhaps something from this perspective could be included at some stage?

    More importantly, the doctors have given me the advice to terminate, which I declined (there is no threat to myself in continuing the pregnancy - if this is at all relevant.) But already, in the last few days, more than one person has said or indicated to me that it would be more sensible to terminate, since the baby has no chance at life. Some of these have been practicing Christians, to my surprise. I feel very much against this, simply because I do not feel I have the right to choose when my baby passes away and I want to give my baby the fullest life possible, even though that won't be a long life. Every life is precious, even one just in utero.

    Are there any resources out there from an Orthodox or general Christian point of view that deal with the ethics of termination specifically when the baby has a lethal condition such as mine? Even some Christians believe that it is ok to cut short the life of a baby when it is only going to die anyway. Especially when doctors are recommending this course of action.

    Congratulations again on the birth of your baby.

    1. I don't have any useful info to offer you, I'm sure other wiser people will come forward with suggestions. I just want to say I'm so sorry you're facing this and you and your precious child are in my thoughts and prayers.

    2. Anonymous,

      I am so sorry that you're facing such a grim prognosis. I know that this is not standard practice right now but I would be remiss if I didn't mention that there has been at least one instance of a baby with Potter's Syndrome surviving because of intrauterine injections of saline in the last weeks prior to birth, allowing the lungs to develop. Dialysis and then a kidney transplant would be needed, but generally babies die from pulmonary hypoplasia first, which is not correctable by that point.

      Even assuming you are able to pursue that treatment, I would recommend participating in perinatal hospice []. There is not enough room in a comment for me to say enough positive things about such programs. They care for the entire family from the time of a poor prenatal diagnosis until after the baby departs this life. They assist with planning the birth and immediate postnatal period and the emphasis is on providing loving comfort care. Check with the hospitals in your area to see what their programs offer. (This is also a great site, the first one I came across a few years ago:

      You may have figured out by now that I support and encourage people to love and protect their babies until their natural deaths. I can't begin to explain why some babies do not live to birth, or do not live long afterward. I myself lost four babies during pregnancy and we have no concrete answers why, neither medically or spiritually. I do know that every child is a blessing from God and we never know how long we are asked to care for that child in this life. It is utterly mistaken to think that there is any benefit whatsoever to killing a baby before birth "because they're going to die anyway". There is no benefit to the child and there is no benefit to the family. The work of grieving (which begins immediately you find out) is not made easier or lessened. I have never heard or read of a family who, upon reflection after their baby died from natural causes, said, "we sure wished we had killed him/her earlier so we didn't have to go through this." On the contrary, every single person associated with the baby in any way was grateful to have the time with the baby that was allotted by God, whether in the womb or out, and felt that they had done everything possible to love and care for the baby. Choosing to walk this path brings with it peace and comfort along with the pain of grief, something that is not really possible if the baby is killed.

      I realize I can't do much in the space of a comment (although this is really long!) so feel free to email me if you like: (lostinnocentsorthodox (at) gmail (dot) com)

      May you have peace in the midst of the pain.

    3. Dear Anonymous,

      As one who has also buried a too young child, I just want to reach out and let you know that you're not alone, and that this is such a difficult path. I have had friends who terminated (or rather, hastened the birth) of children with serious genetic issues (Trisomy 13, for instance) and some who carried to term or as long as they possibly could. You are already on a terribly difficult path, but there is no exit route. In my experience, Matushka is correct -- if you carry your sweet baby as long as possible, you'll have the peace of knowing that you have mothered this sweet child as much as you possibly could, and that peace will make the grief more bearable. Do reach out to the hospice services, and know that you are not alone: centuries of Christians stand with you, mothers who know that we should nurture our sweet babies as long as we can. Do what you can for your child while you can, and know that you are his or her mama, and this child will have needs that are so different from your other children (perhaps this one only needs you to carry him, to hold him, and to say goodbye. Those are his needs.) I thank God that he has you to love him throughout however much time he has on earth (in or out of utero). You'll continue to love him and be his mommy forever more, as I am to mine. May God bless you and send you peace. xoxo

    4. Hello again,
      I'm the Anonymous who posted above about my unborn baby. I just wanted to say thank you for your kind responses. I am still carrying my baby, who is now over 27 weeks old. Nothing has changed, but every time I see him/her at the ultrasound scans (they can't see the gender because the lack of amniotic fluid reduces clarity and the baby's legs are always squashed together - so sad) I feel so much love and tenderness for him/her and I don't regret my decision at all. I am very happy to continue along this path for as long as possible, since it is the only life (on this earth) my baby will ever receive. We have actually received a lot of support from some workers at the hospital, including an obstetrician and palliative care worker. There is also an organisation here who provides a free photography service to mothers who experience perinatal loss of their babies. We will be getting photographs taken as soon as possible after birth and of course, we hope to be able to baptize our baby if he or she is able to breathe long enough. I asked about the amnioinfusion as treatment for pulmonary hypoplasia and all of the specialists I have asked have been very negative about it, claiming that it is only an experimental procedure, is very risky to both mother and child, and doesn't have much of a chance of success. They have also asserted that it wouldn't be passed by the hospital ethics board, who would consider it futile treatment.
      It is interesting that one of the people who advised us about termination has since commented on two different occasions to my husband and I that we should consider not having any more children, since we have had complications with all three of our pregnancies so far and it has been very difficult for us, as has adapting to parenthood at the same time. None of the medical complications are expected to necessarily reoccur (though they may happen to) and we are receiving ongoing advice from specialist obstetricians, who have said that there is no medical reason for us to refrain from having more children. I am grateful that my husband and I feel similarly positive about having more children, if God wills. I am surprised at the seemingly prevalent view even among Christians, that once having or caring for children becomes too difficult, one should consider avoiding further pregnancies. I do not relish the prospect of further medical issues, sleepless nights and all the hard work of raising children, which continues on for decades. This is daunting and overwhelming enough as it is for me at the moment. But I don't think that the Christian life, which is a spiritual struggle for the improvement of our souls with the grace of God, should be aimed towards ease, convenience and freedom from responsibility. I am both inspired and intimidated by women who raise larger families, as I find life with my few little ones so challenging and stressful on a daily basis. Yet I can see how God may choose use these difficulties for my spiritual benefit, if only I would cooperate. Anyway, it is just interesting, the way the world both within the Church community and outside it views both pregnancy and children. It is easy to allow so much of life to be aimed towards obtaining the earthly treasures that are destroyed, rather than seeking the heavenly ones...
      Thank you again for your positive messages.

    5. Anonymous, thank you for updating us. I'm glad to hear that you have support on this journey. May God continue to bless you with peace and joy in the midst of sorrow.

  11. Thank you all for your kind wishes! I am home (as of yesterday afternoon) and uploaded some photos to the computer so I can post them on the blog. I'll be putting up another post shortly so you can see her!


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