A new hospice helps pregnant mothers cope with loss of baby - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

A new hospice helps pregnant mothers cope with loss of their child

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM)  - They are words pregnant mothers pray they never hear: there is something fatally wrong with your baby.  A new perinatal hospice called Sound Journeys in Columbus is trying to help families dealing with devastating news of their baby's health.

Angie Oakland lost her son four years ago only one day after he was born.

Evan Brady Oakland was born on Father's Day in 2007.  His parents could not wait to see their new baby boy's face but their happiness was shadowed with grief.

"Our baby had a diaphragmatic hernia which is a hole in his diaphragm and his stomach was in his chest cavity," said Oakland.

She and her husband found out about Evan's condition when she was 19 weeks pregnant and decided to continue with the pregnancy.

"I'm very thankful for the 9 months and one day that I had with him.  I wouldn't take that back for anything."

Now, Oakland is helping with Sound Journeys, a program dedicated to women whose babies most likely will not live after birth.

"We help them deal with the emotions of what they're hearing, and how they feel about that, and help them to understand that there are options for them," said Oakland.

Sound Journeys offers free grief counseling, ultrasounds, private birthing classes, baby keep-sakes, and more.

Dr. David Lavine, who is on the medical advisory board for the program, says it is about giving the women guidance through all the medical appointments and jargon.

"It's not to give them any medical advice but to help them understand what they've been told and help guide through and hold their hand as they go through," said Lavine.

He says not only is it important for families to know about the program but local doctors as well.

"When they have a patient who is facing a baby who is going to live a very short time or maybe not even make it through birth, there is somewhere she can go to get help dealing with that."

Oakland says she and the other volunteers will be here for all those women and their families.

"Yes, you are going to be sad.  I'm not going to say that you're not, but there's also joy in that.  There's a lot of joy in knowing that you're baby is going to make a difference in your life no matter whether they live or don't live.  They are going to have a place in your heart forever."

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