Pregnancy Loss Support Group Helps Local Families Grieve

By: Demetria McClenton Email
By: Demetria McClenton Email

October is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness month.
A local group, Empty Arms Support Group provides an outlet for families so they don't have to grieve in silence.
As of Sunday, Empty Arms is the only pregnancy loss support group in the Wiregrass.
"I think we go our whole lives trying to find or achieve that closure. I lost my daughter 3 1/2 years ago and it's still an ongoing healing process," said Sandy Quinn, Co-Founder of Empty Arms.
"I don't think there's ever any closure, you just learn to move on without that child," said Renee Schaule, Co-Founder of Empty Arms.
But moving on isn't always an easy process which is why these founders created, Empty Arms.
"People don't want to hear it, they want to push it under the rug and move on," said Brittani Mathis said Co-Founder of Empty Arms.
Empty Arms serves as mediator between hospitals and families.
Doctors estimate more than 1 million pregnancies end in miscarriages.
"I lost my daughter, she was stillborn and the umbilical cord was wrapped around her neck," said Mathis.
Like most parents, Mathis and Quinn carry photos of their children.
Although disturbing to some, they say it's their way of healing.
“I'm very open, I don't mind sharing my story," said Mathis.
Many health insurance policies don't cover miscarriages.
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs revised a bill in 2008 to include coverage for stillborn children.
Prior to the revision only children who died shortly after birth were covered.
"There's not anyone who doesn't know someone who's been affected by the loss of a child if that child is 1 day old, 10 yrs old, or 60 years old," said Quinn.
"A lot of people come up to me and they cry. They're glad someone is doing this in the area."
Empty Arms Support group plans to open a memorial park in the near future, each deceased child will have their name engraved on the ground.
The group meets every 4th Monday of the month at the Covenant Hospice (across from O'Charley's on Hwy 231) in Dothan.
For more information visit www.EmptyArmsDothan.org.


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