It was news Shane and Maria Mosca were thrilled to share with the world. Shortly after getting married in December of 2016, they learned they were expecting a baby girl they were excited to name Lucia.
“We were the first marriage on the family and first baby on the family," said Maria Mosca. "Everybody was over the moon”.
Unfortunately one of their greatest joys unexpectedly turned into heartbreak.
“We did an ultrasound and they found out that she was still in there, but there was no heartbeat," said Maria Mosca. "My whole world came crashing down”.
It was supposed to be a routine check-up at 22-weeks. That's when they learned they had lost their baby girl.
“I just couldn’t believe that this was happening to me," said Maria. "You’re not supposed to lose a baby that far along”.
An unfortunate reality for so many families. For years, Terri Zeman with MedStar Franklin Square has worked to help grieving parents cope with their loss.
“I noticed how much we do for babies who are able to go home with their mom and dad, and realized we were really remised," said Zeman. "The parents of the babies they can’t take home, they don’t get the attention and the support or the acknowledgement that live babies do”.
So she decided to do something about it. Zeman helped coordinate the hospital's perinatal bereavement program which offers support and comfort to parents grieving the loss of a baby.
“Frequently parents are blindsided when they hear the news. It’s unexpected," said Zeman. "It doesn’t matter how pregnant they were. I always say the size of the baby has little to do with the gravity of the grief".
The program provides parents with resources and emotional support. They also provide tangible items of their baby if they chose. Things like hand-made baby diapers, baby foot imprints, even gowns created from donated wedding dresses. The program provides some parents with keepsakes of their baby. An opportunity that meant the world to families like the Mosca's.
“The bereavement here has made healing easier," said Maria Mosca. "The different things that we get to come home with to bring from our child is amazing and we’re very lucky to have all of the bereavement because not many hospitals have that”.
"It's great how this establishment is and what they do for support in time of need," said Shane Mosca.
Keeping the memories of little angels alive and providing grieving parents a little comfort through unimaginable pain.