Episode 21 - Grieving Differently after Pregnancy Loss with Moria Rooney
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Join us for a conversation with Moria Rooney, founder of Mother of Wilde. After losing her son, Noah Wilde, she started a business that sells memorial prints of babies who passed due to miscarriage, stillbirth, or infant loss.
Moria shares how her faith in Jesus allowed her to grieve differently than the world grieves: with hope. Even after unanswered prayers and a devastating loss, she learned to trust in God's good and unchanging character. Now, she blesses grieving moms with beautiful prints of their babies to remind them of the hope they have to see their babies again in Heaven.
In this episode, we discussed:
How to have faith when God doesn't perform the miracle you prayed for
What it's like giving birth to death
Why don't we blame Satan for our loss instead of God?
Suffering's role in the Christian's life
Searching for answers and the 'why'
The complexities of sharing photos of our babies who have died
Why memorial prints are so special and important
How Mother of Wilde began and what they do
Planting seeds for the Gospel
Using your strengths, skills, and even college degrees for God's glory
A coupon code for 15% off a baby memorial print
Full transcript below.
Each episode has a special Hope Guide that you can download by clicking the button below. It is packed with hope-filled resources and extra information from the episode!
Discussion / Application Questions (leave your answers below in the comments!)
Mother of Wilde exists so that grieving moms can share photos of their babies in Heaven in a dignified and beautiful way. Do you have photos of your baby and if so, do you feel comfortable sharing them? If not, what barriers exist that prevent you from sharing? If you'd like a customized memorial print, you can use BRIDGET15 to get 15% off a print at www.motherofwilde.com.
Moria says that as Christ-followers our grieving should look different than the world's grieving because we have hope. It doesn't mean that we don't grieve, but that we do so knowing that we will one day see our babies again. Do you feel that your grieving reflects the promise of Heaven or do you feel your grieving more closely mimics the world? Why or why not?
In this episode, Moria shares that everyone has the opportunity to say yes to God, but you have to be willing to say yes. In what ways has God given you opportunities to be a willing vessel for Him? Have you said yes? If not, what is holding you back? Share your thoughts and feelings below.
Graphics to share on social media or pin on Pinterest!
MEET OUR GUEST
Moria Rooney is married to Brian and together they have two sons, a two-year-old named Roman, and Noah who was born into Heaven at 35 weeks.
She is the founder of Mother of Wilde, a faith-based business that creates customized baby remembrance prints and gifts for grieving families who have experienced miscarriage, stillbirth, or infant loss.
Connect with Moria:
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MEET OUR HOST
Ashley Opliger is the Executive Director of Bridget's Cradles, a nonprofit organization based in Wichita, Kansas that donates cradles to over 1,250 hospitals in all 50 states and comforts over 26,000 bereaved families a year.
Ashley is married to Matt and they have three children: Bridget (in Heaven), and two sons. She is a follower of Christ who desires to share the hope of Heaven with families grieving the loss of a baby.
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Episode 21: Grieving Differently after Pregnancy Loss with Moria Rooney
Ashley Opliger: [00:00:00] You’re listening to the Cradled in Hope Podcast where we believe that the hope of Heaven, through faith in Jesus Christ, has the power to heal our hearts after the loss of a baby. It’s a pain no mother should have to endure and we want this podcast to be a safe place for your broken heart to land. Here, we are going to trust God’s promise to restore our joy, use our grief for good, and allow us to spend eternity with our babies in Heaven.
I’m your host, Ashley Opliger. I’m a wife, mom, and follower of Christ clinging to the hope of Heaven. My daughter, Bridget, was stillborn at 24 weeks in my first pregnancy in 2014. In her memory, my husband and I started a nonprofit ministry called Bridget’s Cradles, and God has given us purpose in our pain and we’ve seen beauty come from ashes.
Although we wish you didn’t have a need to be listening to this podcast, we believe God has a reason for you to be here today. We pray this time would be a source of healing for you as we remember that Jesus cradles us in hope while He cradles our babies in Heaven. Though we may grieve, we do not grieve without hope. Welcome to the Cradled in Hope Podcast.
Ashley Opliger: [00:01:26] Hi friends. A few weeks ago, I received the most beautiful prints in the mail of my sweet daughter, Bridget, from a new friend, Moria, who is the founder of an organization named Mother of Wilde.
These memorial prints are truly gorgeous and so sacred. And I know they would be one of the prized possessions for any mom who would receive one in memory of her baby. Moria was so kind and thoughtful to send me two of these memorial prints in memory of Bridget. They are absolutely so precious, and I will cherish them always.
I can't wait for you to hear more of her story and how she became the founder of Mother of Wilde, a faith-based organization in Wilmington, North Carolina that creates baby remembrance prints for bereaved parents.
Moria has been married to her husband, Brian, for seven years and together they have two sons, Roman Sol, who is two, and Noah Wilde, who was born into Heaven at 35 weeks.
Every day, Moria strives to know Jesus more intimately and be a light for families walking through baby loss. Through baby memorial prints, Mother of Wilde points families that have experienced pregnancy and infant loss to the joy, healing, and peace that can come only from Jesus.
I am honored to have Moria here today to share her story and introduce you to the beautiful organization she's created in Noah's memory. Be sure to listen until the end, as Moria will share a discount code for 15% off memorial prints as well as details on a free giveaway we are doing with Mother of Wilde. Let's listen now.
Ashley Opliger: [00:03:03] Welcome Moria. Thank you so much for being here.
Moria Rooney: [00:03:06] Thank you so much for having me. I'm so excited.
Ashley Opliger: [00:03:10] Well, I have been so in love with your Instagram page and all of the beautiful memorial prints that you do for babies in Heaven and for their families on earth. You are so kind to make two prints for Bridget and they were so beautiful, and I am so grateful for you making those for me.
And I can't wait for all of our listeners to see the beautiful work that you do. And we're going to talk all about you starting Mother of Wilde and those beautiful prints. But before we do, would you share Noah's story and your journey of motherhood?
Moria Rooney: [00:03:44] Yeah, absolutely. Well, first of all, it was an honor to create this for you. I was so excited to do it.
I'll tell you a little bit about me. So I've been married for eight years. I live in Wilmington, North Carolina, and we have two boys. So Roman is two, he actually just turned two in January, and then we have Noah.
And Noah was born March the 9th of last year. So we actually will be celebrating his Heavenly birthday in a week from today. So yeah, he's the inspiration behind everything we do at Mother of Wilde and it’s amazing how God has transformed that. It was never something that I planned to go into. And I mean, you know how God works, in those mysterious ways and brought this to fruition.
But yeah, I can tell you a little bit about the pregnancy. So my first son, Roman, he came at 34 weeks, and so I knew when we got pregnant with Noah, that he would come early. And we had a really normal pregnancy, and I guess normal is relative, but we had a really normal pregnancy. I didn't have any scares or anything like that. I was told he would be early.
And so when we went for our 34-week appointment check-up, they saw that I was four centimeters dilated already. And I remember just having a complete meltdown in the room because our first son, Roman, he had been in the NICU for a couple weeks. And that was the last thing that I wanted was to have to be in the NICU with Noah.
And looking back on it now, I would have taken the NICU for months and weeks at that time to just have time with him. But I guess after that appointment, it probably was a couple of days later and I just noticed a decrease in movement with him, and he's usually really active.
And so we went straight to the hospital, my husband and I, and had my mother-in-law come and watched Roman. And they put the Doppler and tried to check everything, and they told us his heart had stopped, the dreaded words that no one wants to hear.
And honestly, up until that point, I was so naive. I had no idea that this could even be a possibility because they say, “Well, once you get to 12 weeks, you're in the safe zone.” And looking back on it, I guess my perspective has just changed drastically because there isn't a safe zone. And really, even when the baby's in your arms, it's still not a complete safe zone because it's kind of scary how that looks.
But after they told us that his heart had stopped, I remember just not being in agreement with anything that the nurse told me, because I knew God was capable. And I prayed against everything that they shared with me, because I guess it was quite a parallel from when Roman was born, because when he was born at 34 weeks, they told us the exact same thing. “Well, he's early, and so he's not going to come out breathing.”
And I think I have quite a bit of feeling on how I was feeling with Roman. I'm like, “Gosh, I'm experiencing this same exact emotion with Noah and this is the baby.” It's crazy. It's just crazy how it all works. Like I knew that God was going to do something in that time.
I knew that the nurses were wrong. I knew that I had faith that God could perform the miracle. And I remember whenever they had said his heart had stopped, I wear glasses, and so I threw my glasses off on the floor and I looked at my husband and I said, “How is this God's plan for us?” And for sometimes I still didn't know that answer, even months after.
And I think sometimes even creating this ministry, I still sometimes wonder, “God, is this what You wanted to come from Noah's life? Is this what you birthed during that time?” It's been a road, giving birth to him was really traumatic for me. I stayed up and prayed and prayed, and I knew that God was going to breathe back into him.
And so when Noah was born, I placed my hand on his chest and I begged God to breathe back into him. And it's hard sometimes whenever you have that faith, because they say, “Well, you just need mustard seed faith,” but what do you do when you do have that faith and God doesn't perform the miracle still? God is still sovereign and holy.
And even when we walk through these seasons of pain and suffering death and tragedy, He is still good. And so I think it took me a while to really understand who God was during that time, and to realize that His character never changed, even though we're going through something so tragic, You know?
Ashley Opliger: [00:08:58] What did that look like as you were holding him and you had this faith that God could perform this miracle, but then you left the hospital empty-handed and you went home, and you were grieving his loss and also trying to reconcile who God is and how He can still be good even in the midst of this pain? What did that look like for you to grieve with hope and to grieve with those unanswered prayers?
Moria Rooney: [00:09:27] Well, holding him was incredible. I mean, he looked so much like Roman, my goodness, they looked like they could have been twins. And so I think seeing him and how much he looked so much like his brother was very emotional for me.
You don't ever picture that being how you would see your child, you don't ever picture giving birth to a lifeless baby. And I think I wasn't quite sure what to expect. You go from 24 hours before thinking that your baby could come any minute and it's supposed to be this beautiful celebration of life, and then to quite literally be giving birth to death.
I mean to think about that, I think I just sat there really trying to understand, “What does that look like?” Your body and your womb is meant to create life. And even though it still was life and it still was beautiful. it was just much different than what it was with Roman. You expect something different than what you're getting.
That was really traumatic, having to leave the hospital without a baby in your arms and having to say hello and goodbye at the same time. And also trying to see it through the lens of my husband, because being pregnant and having all of that time with him, months with him, my husband never got a chance to have that. So I just felt I had a much more intimate relationship with him.
But God has been so good through it all. Even leading up to Noah's birth, we knew something was going to happen to him. I think I've mentioned this to you before, but God shared with me in a dream that something was going to happen to Noah before it did.
And it's actually a pretty terrible dream, but I was face-to-face with the devil. And I was pregnant and he looked at my stomach and he went to grab for Noah in my belly. And I remember lashing out and saying that I would spend my life ensuring that this baby knew Jesus.
And I also saw in the dream my husband coming in and out of consciousness, like a demonic spirit over him. And so I sat over his body praying the Lord's Prayer over and over.
And so though I think that was one thing that told me something was going to happen; I just didn't realize how severe it was going to be.
And then my husband and I were also reading the book of Job and we were listening to sermons on suffering and pain and pruning, and it all really made sense after Noah was born.
I didn't realize God was preparing our hearts for what was coming and it all clicked after that. He was trying to prepare us, get us into this place where we were going to be okay, that we would really have to lean on Him more than ever before.
And so grieving with hope. I think it looks different for everybody, but for us right after Noah was born, I mean, we jumped right back into the Word. We had so many people reach out to us and pray over us.
To me, I think that was really what helped us through. It was people interceding and praying for us and not throwing in the towel on God and not pointing our fingers at Him and blaming Him for death.
That's one thing with Mother of Wilde that I try to tell moms all the time, that the same God that created life in you, in your womb, He didn't take it from you.
And it's hard for them to understand, but I think we always want to point the finger and to blame someone for this because we may not ever get answers. You know?
Ashley Opliger: [00:13:19] Yeah. And going back to your dream, actually in a support group recently, we were talking about this. But it's so common for women to blame God for their loss. And I have experienced that.
I felt abandoned by God. I felt like I had petitioned and prayed so many prayers for Bridget to have this miraculous healing in my womb and for the complications to go away, for the hemorrhage to heal, and none of those prayers were answered. And I just see so many times we want to blame God.
And I posed the question to the group. I said, “Why is it that no one's mad at Satan after they've lost the baby? Why is it that no one is blaming him?” And we came up with a couple of answers in the group discussing this. Why don't we blame Satan for this? Because it is his fault. The brokenness of this world is his fault and evil, and obviously humans’ free will that Adam and Eve chose to sin and chose to disobey God.