Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day 2020

pregnancy-infant-loss-remembrance-day

Today is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day but the entire month of October is devoted to Infant Loss Remembrance. James and I feel very blessed and grateful to be the parents of five young adult sons (ages 21-33) and one beautiful grandson. We are also blessed to be the parents of seven precious babies we lost through miscarriage and ectopic pregnancy. This month, we remember in a special way these seven little souls (and intercessors) in heaven.

Here are a few of my reflections on pregnancy loss:

Among Women Podcast Episode 89 (Pat Gohn interviewed me about miscarriage and pregnancy loss)

Ecce Ancilla Domini, an article on openness to life.

Five Little Souls in Heaven (This article was written 25 years ago and published in the Nazareth Journal)

Difficult Anniversaries/Responsible Parenthood

One of the themes of my first novel, Emily’s Hope, is pregnancy loss.

This excerpt describes Emily’s loss of baby “Seth.”

“I need to push.” She wanted so desperately not to push, to allow her baby to stay inside of her, and for her to continue to nourish and nurture her child, but her body wouldn’t allow that. She pushed only twice and her small child was born. Emily heard a sound like a kitten crying, then realized that her baby had let out a small, soft, weak cry.

As soon as the umbilical cord was cut, the nurse immediately carried the baby across the room as the pediatric staff attempted to work on their child. Emily and Jason sat quietly, their hearts heavy with emotion. A few minutes later, she felt another contraction and her placenta was delivered. She could hear a nurse referring to “him,” and realized that their child was another boy. After a few minutes, the doctor brought him back, his small form still hidden in the blue hospital blanket. He spoke in a hushed, almost apologetic voice, “There is nothing we can do for him.”

He handed the tiny one-pound baby boy to his mother. Jason held onto Emily’s shoulder and watched as she cradled the smallest baby they had ever seen. He was so perfect and looked identical to their oldest son, Jake. His small body was covered with minute white hairs. He was perfect as he struggled to breathe. He was perfect as he opened his mouth to cry. Emily held her new son as gently as she could. Jason reached over and poured a few drops of water on him and said, “I baptize you in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” Emily could feel the vibration of his tiny heart beating fast.

The nurse came in with a Polaroid camera and asked if they wanted her to take a photo of their child. Emily nodded as the nurse took a photo of her and Jason and their tiny son. She gazed in awe at this miniature human being and marveled at the fact that even though he was tiny, he was so perfect. His little hands looked like a doll’s hands. She removed the baby blanket and laid his small, warm body on her chest. She could feel his heart beating rapidly. After several minutes, she wrapped him again in the small blue blanket.

Then, in an instant, he was still. She could feel that his heart had stopped and he wasn’t breathing, but he continued to feel warm and soft. He looked like a sleeping angel.

(End of excerpt.)

If you have lost a baby through miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy, stillbirth or infant death, please click on the link above “Baby Loss” for resources and helpful links.

Here is a list of other novels that include themes about infant/pregnancy loss:

In Name Only by Ellen Gable

A Subtle Grace by Ellen Gable

Stealing Jenny by Ellen Gable

A World Such as Heaven Intended by Amanda Lauer

Rose, Sola by Carmela Martino

The Rose and the Sword by Gina Marinello-Sweeney

Bane’s Eyes by Corinna Turner

Passport by Christopher Blunt

Ornamental Graces by Carolyn Astfalk

For Eden’s Sake by T.M. Gaouette

Life-Changing Love by Theresa Linden

Image and Likeness: Literary Reflections on the Theology of the Body edited by Erin McCole Cupp and Ellen Gable

In memory of our seven little souls in heaven:

Baby Hrkach Twins (June 1986)

Baby Hrkach (February 1991)

Baby Hrkach (June 1991)

Mary Elizabeth Hrkach (June 1993)

Seth Hrkach (April 1998)

Lucy Hrkach (March 2006)

A Subtle Grace #FREE on #Kindle Feb 7-9

A Subtle Grace front cover Nov2013For the next three days, A Subtle Grace (Kindle edition) will be FREE (February 7-9, 2018) on Kindle!

FINALIST: 2015 IAN Book of the Year, Historical and Romance   “The plot tugs at the heart and gets the heart racing. Reading ‘A Subtle Grace’ was like riding a Victorian-era wooden roller coaster: a luscious historical setting that provides a tantalizingly dangerous thrill ride.” Erin McCole Cupp, author, Don’t You Forget About Me 
Synopsis: 1896, Philadelphia. In this stand alone sequel to “In Name Only” (2009, FQP), “A Subtle Grace” continues the story of the wealthy and unconventional O’Donovan Family as they approach the dawn of a new century. At 19, Kathleen (oldest daughter) is unmarried with no prospects. Fearing the lonely fate of an old maid, her impatience leads to an infatuation with the first man who shows interest. The suave, handsome son of the local police chief seems a perfect match. But will her impulsive manner prevent her from recognizing her true love? A disturbing turn of events brings a dark shadow that threatens the life-long happiness she desires.

Dr. Luke Peterson (the family’s new physician) also makes quite an impression on Kathleen. His affection for her leads him to startling revelations: about Kathleen, about his practice and, most importantly, about himself.

Will (oldest son) believes God may be calling him to a religious vocation. Eventually, he discovers the hidden circumstances of his humble beginnings compelling him to embark on a pilgrimage to Rome.

Reviews:

“This is one of my favorite contemporary works of Catholic fiction. The storytelling is masterful, the characters fascinating, and the writing is of high literary quality. People are imperfect—past, present, and future—but each is given the opportunity to grow, change, learn, and be redeemed. In this story it’s shown how the greatest mistake of our lives can be turned into one of the most amazing blessings and even be a source of hope for others. A Subtle Grace has all of the elements that good Catholic fiction should.” Trisha Niermeyer Potter, Prints of Grace

“In A Subtle Grace, Gable shows us through her characters, what happens when an individual lives his/her life based on principles rather than on passions. She clearly conveys the differences between love as a feeling vs. love as a choice, illustrating the consequences of each. Themes of redemption, forgiveness, discerning one’s vocation, healing, hope, and joy, all contribute to make this a story that tugs at the heart. A sequel to In Name Only, A Subtle Grace works well as an independent, stand-alone novel. You will definitely want to read both. A Subtle Grace is excellent read for historical romance fans. Those who enjoy Christian romance and suspense novels will find this story particularly enjoyable. This is a winner!”  Jean Heimann, author, blogger

A Subtle Grace is the sequel to the lovely book In Name Only, yet A Subtle Grace can be enjoyed independently. Of course, readers of the first book won’t want to miss this one! The story kept me so interested that I hardly realized this was, in fact, a lengthy book. A Subtle Grace is a novel to stir your heart, your emotions, and your soul. I highly recommend it!” Therese Heckenkamp, author, Frozen Footprints

Click here to read an excerpt and more reviews.

To download the book for FREE click here.

Cyber Monday Sale at Full Quiver Publishing!

The following Kindle editions by FQP authors are only .99!  Click on the cover photo to download!

EWTN Bookmark – A Subtle Grace

Three members of the Catholic Writers Guild were interviewed by Doug Keck for EWTN’s Bookmark last year at the Catholic Marketing Network Trade Show near Chicago. I speak about my fifth book, A Subtle Grace. Ann Margaret Lewis speaks about her book, The Watson Chronicles and Margaret Realy talks about her Catholic gardening books.

7QT – Enter to Win FREE Books!

seven-quick-takes-friday-2-1024x727Please join me and other Catholic bloggers at This Ain’t the Lyceum for 7QT Friday.

I’ve got several free books to give away!!! (North American readers only, please!)

1. A Subtle Grace Giveaway
It’s the one-year anniversary of A Subtle Grace’s release. I’m giving away one free print copy as well as one free Kindle copy. Please leave a comment below before Friday, March 20th and I’ll enter you to win one of the free books. (If you’ve never commented on my blog before, I will have to approve your comment. Be patient! I’ll be traveling this weekend with little access to internet. I will approve comments on Sunday!)A Subtle Grace front cover Nov2013

2. From the Hub to the Heart Giveaway
Leave a comment (before March 20th, 2015) to win a free print copy of this wonderful book by Andrew LaVallee and Leticia Velasquez!! It’s an ideal book for Lenten reading that encourages fasting.Kindle small

3. Catholic Conference 4 Moms Video PackageCC4MomsAd
Conference Package is $39.99. Enter code word Hook to get $10 off and purchase the package for $29.99 (which includes all kinds of bonuses!!)

4. Dynamic Women of Faith Conference
I’ll be traveling today to Toronto to speak at this conference tomorrow. I’ll also be selling and signing copies of all my books!
DWF2015PNG

5. Milan, Italy
Eight years ago this week, James and I were on a whirlwind tour of England, France and Italy (My husband and I, along with another teacher and his wife, were chaperones for 48 high school students). Memorable trip! The photo below is of us in front of Santa Maria delle Grazie where we were able to see Leonardo’s Last Supper, which was one of the highlights of our trip! (We almost didn’t get inside because we didn’t purchase our tickets in advance…the other chaperone begged and pleaded and we were finally allowed to purchase tickets!!)

photo copyright Ellen Gable Hrkach Please do not use without permission

photo copyright Ellen Gable Hrkach Please do not use without permission

6. Reading Shelf
Pope Francis, Life and Revolution

7. Less Cost Cartoon

Image copyright James and Ellen Hrkach. Please do NOT use without permission.

Image copyright James and Ellen Hrkach. Please do NOT use without permission.

Copyright 2015 Ellen Gable Hrkach

7QT – Books, Books and More Books!

seven-quick-takes-friday-2-1024x727Please join me and other Catholic bloggers for 7QT Friday at This Ain’t the Lyceum.

1. A Subtle Grace Still .99 Until Sunday
The Kindle edition of my book, A Subtle Grace, is still .99 until Sunday. Regular price is 4.99.A Subtle Grace front cover Nov2013

2. FQP’s Newest Author: Carolyn Astfalk
Check out Carolyn Astfalk’s new author page over at the Full Quiver Publishing Website. Carolyn is the author of Stay With Me, which will be published by FQ Publishing this Fall. Welcome, Carolyn!Carolyn

3. Working Mother by Erin McCole Cupp
Working Mother, the short fiction piece by Erin McCole Cupp has been getting rave reviews over at Amazon.com.Featured Image -- 12247

4. A World Such as Heaven Intended by Amanda Lauer
Cold, snowy February is a great time to curl up next to the fire and read a good book. Amanda Lauer’s book, A World Such as Heaven Intended, is ideal for that!AWSAHI Final Cover

5. From the Hub to the Heart
And who can resist a great conversion story? Andrew LaVallee lived the fast life. A man of extremes, LaVallee grew up in a tough neighborhood and he drank, swore and gambled his way through most of his adult life. He achieved financial and worldly success in his bakery distribution business. He went to Medjugorje and experienced a conversion of heart and now promotes fasting through his website. His book is available by pre-order over at Amazon.com. Kindle small

6. Reading Shelf
The Great War: Unseen Archives

7. A Romantic Dinner – NFP Style

copyright 2013 James and Ellen Hrkach (Please do not use without permission)

copyright 2013 James and Ellen Hrkach (Please do not use without permission)

Copyright 2015 Ellen Gable Hrkach

Sunday Snippets – Cool Book News!

Photo copyright Ellen Gable Hrkach

Photo copyright Ellen Gable Hrkach

Please join me and other Catholic bloggers over at RAnn’s Place where we share posts from the previous week.

Here are my posts:

A Subtle Grace #1 (my book, A Subtle Grace, is currently #1 in five different categories, #2 or #3 in several additional categories and #74 over all Amazon e-books!)

7 Quick Takes Friday – Book News News on my work in progress and other projects I’ve been working on.