In Memory of Sofija Marianna

 

Lovingly Written by Sofija's Father and mother

It is with great sadness that Ivars and Laura announce the homebirth stillbirth of our sweet Sofija Marianna. She was born still on Sunday July 1st, 2007 at 6:01 a.m. a full frank breach. She weighed 5 lbs. She passed away in utero on June 24th, 2007.

When we learned her heartbeat had stopped, we chose to go home and have our beautiful planned homebirth. We were supported by our two wonderful midwives, Laura's two sisters, a lovely homebirth momma who provided Laura with lots of acupuncture and another lovely homebirth momma who gave Laura a wonderful full body massage. With the help of these wonderful women, Ivars, herbs, homeopathy, lots of castor oil, and prayer, Laura was able to give Sofija the peaceful homebirth she deserved.

Sofija was born into the loving arms of her midwives. Mommy and Daddy held her and cuddled her. We took many pictures, printed her feet and hands, cried together, talked to her and said goodbye. In the week leading up to her birth, Ivars and I had time to talk, process, grieve and love one another through the process. Our midwives were here with us and provided the ultimate support and love. These things would have not been possible in a cold, sterile hospital.

Sofija's homebirth stillbirth has been a sad but wonderful journey. Her birth has opened the eyes of many people and has helped many to come to terms with the loss of their own sweet babies. Death is part of life yet our society tries to avoid it at any cost. We followed all the safety protocols, taking Laura's temperature, drawing bloodwork to make sure she was clotting properly and there were no signs of infection. Being at home also kept Laura from being exposed to all the germs that are so easy to pick up at the hospital. Her physical recovery has been fast and easy and her body is quickly recovering with lots of rest, nourishing food, drink and the company of loved ones.

In the days, weeks, months and years to come, we will remember Sofija and her birth. No other child we have or will have in the future will ever replace her. She is our sweet angel and we were so blessed to have had her for 34 weeks and 2 days. While she was alive, she moved and kicked and hiccuped. The other children talked to her, hugged my belly, came to my midwife appointments, heard her heartbeat, saw her in 3d/4d ultrasound and will always miss their little sister.

Below is a link to the pictures we took after Sofija's birth. If the thought of viewing a stillborn baby upsets you, you do not need to look. However, if you want to see her, realize that she had been still for a week. She had some skin peeling and in the later pictures her condition was deteriorating. She looks like a baby in all of them. The second album at the bottom are when she was first born and she is in the best condition but Laura is not dressed so they should be considered graphic.

Click here to see album The password is : sofija

When we first found out about this pregnancy, we announced it with a poem Laura wrote. Yesterday, Laura thought it would be fitting to chronicle our pregnancy and stillbirth homebirth with another poem. We have included it below. We hope that as you read it, you see what an impact this has had on our lives. If you know of any other families who have gone through this and need to talk, feel free to share our story and/or have them contact Laura by email. If you want, feel free to email us and ask us questions or share your own story.

 

Bittersweet Homebirth

I feel a strange weight
Deep inside
Something is wrong
Yet I hope
I pray
I beg
This can't be right

I listen
Hoping to hear the clippity-clop
Of your sweet heartbeat
But all I hear is...
Silence

I spend the day waiting to feel
your little body move in mine
Yet I know
I cry
I sob
It is already done

Our sweet baby
So wanted
So loved
In the still of the night
Has left us

I am destined
to birth you into silence
In the bed
where we loved you into existence
In the bed
where your brothers arrived before you
In the bed
where I dreamed of your sweet breath
matching the rhythm of mine
in the dark of the night

I push with all my might
The pain is bittersweet
Your arrival will signify
The Beginning
and
The End

I do not want to let you go
But my body releases you
Into the waiting arms
Of our wonderful midwives
Who weep inside for us
But remain strong
For the trying moments
To come

You come at dawn
You are beautiful
So perfect
Yet silent
You have mommy's nose
Hair as dark as night
The sweetest little mouth

We hold you
Cuddle you
We mourn you
Your sweet little hands
Your sweet little feet
So perfect
Just a week before
Moving inside my body

I smile at your beauty
My little Sofija Marianna
I touch your little hands
Pictures are taken
Enough to last eternity
There is no second chance
Soon you will be gone forever
Just a memory
This moment must last a lifetime

My body aches
To feel your sweet breathe
To feel you suckle for the first time
To see you take your first bath with daddy
as all before have done
Yet it is not to be
On the first of July
You were born still at home
An angel on this earth

We will miss you forever
You will always be our sweet Sofija
No other can replace you
Joy will return
Life will continue
But we will never forget
the impact of your tiny form
on our lives
we are forever changed
better for having known you
for even such a brief time

God, in His wisdom
Has taken you home
A sweet angel up in Heaven
His plan is perfect
We are so thankful that we had you
For even the briefest of moments
God knows the imprint
You have left on our hearts
Our sweet little Sofija

In the days
In the weeks
In the years
to come
We will speak your name
Hold each other tight
And remember the time
when you were coming to us
full of life and smiles
destined to run with your brothers and sister
in the warmth of the summer sand
the coldest of snow
the twirl of fall leaves
the beginning warmth of spring

You may not have walked this earth
You may have not breathed the air
Or cried your first cry
But
You will always be
The little girl
I imagined growing up
Full of smiles and mischief
So much like the others
Yet different and unique

Sincerely,

Laura & Ivars

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