Welcome to Babies Remembered and Wintergreen Press
The Web Site of Sherokee Ilse
Bereaved Parent, International Speaker and Author of
Empty Arms:Coping with Miscarriage,Stillbirth, and Infant Death

and many other books, including Miscarriage: A Shattered Dream

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Praise for Wintergreen Press Resources

"Thank you for your book, Empty Arms, which we were given before our baby was delivered.  It gave us the courage to make the hard decision that proved to be the medicine to  mend our broken hearts."
-- Debbie Crippen
"This book was a tremendous inspiration to my patient. I feel you have done a great service to bereaved parents everywhere."
-- Stephen Larson M.D., Ob-Gyn
"I appreciated Miscarriage. It was easy to read and covered many areas of importance, helping me cope with my miscarriages. More than anything else, I liked the message that no matter what one is feeling, those feelings are valid."
-- Dawn S. Bereaved Mother

"I want to thank you with all my heart for the help that I received through your book. On December 19th, 2003, I had my little Jonathan, and one hour later he died. I identified with your book because it expressed exactly every one of my feelings that I have right now...It was really hard for me, because I tried to find help, someone who went through the same thing, someone who understood my sadness, and could tell me what to do. But I found nothing.

Then I found your book. I think it would have been useful for me to read your book before my baby died; but unfortunately, I received it two days later.... I am going to talk with my doctor about how much this book has helped me and I will suggest that they give it to those in need right away to help them make good decisions from the beginning.

One more thing, thanks and God bless you."
-- Rebeca M.

"I had a miscarriage three months ago and it seemed like the emotional pain seemed to be getting worse instead of better, so I decided I needed to do something to start moving on with my life.

I began reading your book Empty Arms and had a hard time putting it down. It was so reassuring to hear that all the feelings I am having are normal and that I am not going crazy.  Your book helped me a great deal.  The most important thing I learned is that it's okay to have feelings and to express them.  I think up to this point I've tried to be strong and tell myself to get on with life and that it was stupid that I was always crying.  I now realize that it is okay to cry when I need to.  I find that I feel better after I let the feelings out, and now I'm able to move past my moments of sadness easier.  Thank you from the bottom of my heart for writing this book to help people like myself.  It's nice to know that the other people who have gone through this feel the same feelings.  And it's nice to know that someone cares."
-- Jean J.

"I felt I needed to write and congratulate you on a book well written and full of insight and compassion, but also to thank you and let you know that your book brings much relief and help...not only to fellow Americans far from home, but to other ladies in different cultures worldwide.  As men and women, we differ from culture to culture, but as human beings, we all feel pain and grief in much the same way, especially after a lost child.  Again, thank you and God Bless."
-- Rhonda C., UK
October 30, 2008
"On behalf of the Perinatal Bereavement Resource Group at Tampa General Hospital, I want to sincerely thank you for presenting the all day conference, "Empty Arms: Making a Difference When a Baby Dies" on October 14th. As you know, the evaluations were excellent; one of the comments read, "Sherokee speaks from experience, compassion, and a great desire to make this difficult time better for all individuals. 
I can't tell you how many staff approached me in the days that followed to say how meaningful the conference was and that it truly helped them improve the care they give to bereaved parents.  One of the most compelling was from a Social Worker.  She said that the very next day she had a mother in the NICU going through a particularly stressful day with her very ill baby.  She said her approach was very different with this patient than it would have been had she not attended the conference.  She couldn't believe the positive response she got from the mother, and how this approach improved her ability to support this mom."

-- Patricia Barry, RNC, MSN, OB Nurse Specialist, Tampa General Hospital, Florida

October 30, 2008

Thank you for your work.  I read your book "Empty Arms." It was actually given to me in the hospital and I devoured it in just a few short hours. I was so desperate to hear someone else's story and yours was the first I found. Thank you! There is such comfort in knowing we're not alone in our grief.

We (my husband and I) think parents need to walk out of the hospital with as much info. as they can possibly get! Often times in the throes of grief and/or numbness from shock, we don't reach out to others and can't accept help when it's offered. But to sit and read a book or two and some pamphlets might be just the thing (if it's already in their possession). I was given a folder full of info. and your book. The nurse who spent the day with us, called two weeks later to checkup and to give us the names and numbers of two other families in the area who had experienced an infant loss/stillbirth.

I feel the more support/information the hospitals give parents, the more they validate that the baby lost was indeed valued and important! Our hospital (in MN) was great about this, treating our daughter with such respect and even love (many of the staff kissed her and they all held her with tenderness).
-- Rachel S

March 2009

As you know I have been meaning to gain the courage to reach out and say, “Hi” to you.  Thanks to the kindness of Charmayne and her family, I have read your book, “Empty Arms” which was included in my package I received from the hospital following the loss of my son Ben.  It was amazing!  I heard your voice in my ear as I read it and felt you guiding my elbow in support as I made those initial phone calls/decisions.

No I’m not crazy and hearing voices!  I was just alone and fortunately had the will to read (in bits) and the desire to find others on this path so I didn’t continue all alone. 

We (my husband Brian and I) lost Ben after 38 weeks as a result of a cord accident.  He was a perfect, healthy baby without a heartbeat born Jan 20th, 2009 weighing 7 lbs 8ozs.  We learned we lost him at my 38 week doctor appt when the doctor couldn’t find his heartbeat.  I truly wish I had your book in the hours that followed so I could have known what to expect and what to contemplate when asked to make decisions.  I made some decisions which if I had contemplative guidance I would have done differently.  In the end, we held Benjamin Xavier at the funeral home 2 days later and were glad to hold his little frame.  We have some regrets, but not many thanks to your kind words. 

I am also very interested in your efforts to assist bereaved parents and facilitate change in hospitals, governments and ultimately society.  Even in the deepest portions of my grief, it has been a burning flame in my heart that I need to do something to make things better for the next mom and the next…  Ben couldn’t have come into my life for nothing and I can’t have his time here be forgotten.  It has almost been an epiphany that this is what I was meant to do – I don’t know how, I don’t know what…but something and somehow.  I can’t believe how little there is out there for moms – even in this age of internet and connectivity.  I know you have done a lot – most of what I have found (from my lifetime) has your name or mark on it and for that I thank you too.  You have been instrumental in ensuring up to date and applicable information is available for us.  Wow.

No, I am not putting you on a pedestal.  But please know how influential you have been and how I deeply respect that.  Coming from a background in university administration, I have to admire the dedication and perseverance needed to accomplish all you have and still maintain your connectedness and compassion to each and every mom. 

Kind regards,

Kristin V.

A note from Sherokee - this is one of many letters/emails I receive telling me how important it is to have such a resource as Empty Arms in the parents' hands AS SOON AS THEY LEARN THE NEWS - so they can be guided to make important decisions or be prepared for them BEFORE they get to the hospital.  I am making an effort to reach out to doctors and midwives, encouraging them to not rush parents (or let parents rush themselves) over to the hospital....slowing down, if possible, and helping them to prepare a bit will help them more in the long run.
This was the best in-service/workshop I've ever been to.  I've never known someone who had such a gift and presented it so well, who drew those in who were around her.  It was truly a blessing to meet you and be touched by what you shared.

-- A nurse at Oconee Memorial Hospital (from an anonymous evaluation)

Thank you, Sherokee. You have given us much to ponder but also I appreciate the message of acceptance of both others and ourselves. It helps us to move forward without fear of doing it the wrong way. That has always been our strength in dealing with change…we forge ahead knowing that we can make adjustments as needed. It’s so nice to work with someone who shares a similar philosophy.

You are such a warm, engaging speaker. It was a pleasure and a true learning experience listening to you again.

-- Sandy K, Ob-Gyn Associates, Edina, MN

One of the things that I am most hopeful about as a result of the inservice is the connections it created for our system as clinic, pastoral care and nursing staff. It was good to hear perspective from the different sides. It will be helpful as we move forward to have this base of knowledge.

Sherokee, when you speak and share, your passion is so evident. Your responses flow easily and naturally. It makes these difficult situations seem more manageable. So much of the message is basic: slow down, listen, be present, "when in doubt, check it out", informed consent is a right, restate, restate, restate, but when you hear the stories that support why that is so important, it is encouraging to know it all makes a difference.

Many of our staff who attended shared comments about how they were encouraged to move beyond their comfort level a bit more with the goal of gifting our families. It was helpful to hear stories of how the "whys" behind the decisions we ask families to make does impact them long term. It will give credence to our words as we support them.

As we look at our program and the ways we can improve and empower, your inservice was very helpful. Some changes can happen very easily; moving some of our resources to make them more accessible to the areas we may need them. Other changes will take more work such as doing more of our infant cares in the parent room and gifting them with this very short time of parenting their child. The energy of the day will help us as we move forward.

Thank you for sharing your care and passion with us.

-- Vicky Phillips, Park Nicollet Methodist Hospital




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