By Nancy Price
Two years after the birth of their daughter, Ava, now 11, Center Grove residents Jon and Jenna Wright began trying for a second child. A year later, Jenna was diagnosed with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), a hormonal disorder that makes conception difficult. Three miscarriages followed after years of trying to get pregnant. Jenna and Jon were devastated. Jenna began attending therapy yet felt alone with her grief.
“I found there wasn’t much in the way of support or instruction about what to do next after you’ve suffered a loss,” Jenna said.
About a year later, Jenna began attending a Bible study with her best friend. They studied Living Beyond Yourself, a book by author, evangelist and Bible teacher Beth Moore. In addition, Jenna found comfort in reading about Hannah in Samuel 1 in the Bible. “Hannah was mourning because she couldn’t have children and I could relate to that,” she said. “I had my firstborn, but I still longed to grow our family no matter how thankful I was to already be a mom.”
During the Bible study, Jenna found her purpose: to create a ministry for those who have also suffered through secondary infertility, miscarriage, stillborn and infant loss. “My husband and I felt so alone and wanted to provide a simpler way to help these families feel loved and supported right after a loss,” Jenna said. “We decided Hannah’s Wish was the perfect name.”
In 2016, Hannah’s Wish was born. Women are introduced to the nonprofit through their medical provider. “Their provider passes out our information and they are able to text a phone number with a code and their email address,” Jenna said. “We email them a gift certificate to a restaurant that delivers or does curbside takeout. We also connect with these families in our support groups.”
Hannah’s Wish has several different Christian-based support groups (please go to hannahswish.org/hannahs-wish-support-group as current meetings will be held virtually). Support group meetings are now offering attendees a chance to lead (those who are healing and feel they are ready to share their stories). The first, called Hannah’s Wish Support Group, is a peer-led and peer-supported group to help those who have suffered infertility, miscarriage, stillborn and infant loss and normally meets the fourth Thursday of the month at 6:30 p.m. at Indy Therapy and Counseling, 7550 S. Meridian St., Suite A, Indianapolis, 46217.
The second group, Over the Rainbow, is for families facing pregnancy loss and stillbirth and is focused on navigating life during and after a pregnancy after loss. Mothers are welcome to bring their infants to the meeting, which is held on the second Thursday of each month from 6-8 p.m. at Greenwood Public Library. The third group, for couples, meets every three months.
The fourth, Hannah’s Wish Men’s Support Group, is for men who have experienced infertility, miscarriage, stillbirth or infant loss and meets the third Thursday of each month at 6:30 p.m. at Indy Therapy and Counseling. They will hear other men share and learn they aren’t alone. Men may email questions to Carl, the group leader, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“There’s no doubt that men work through (loss) differently than women do,” Jon said. “I spent most of my day being worried about Jenna just because I worried about her the most. I think the men want the same things women do; they want to make sure their babies are remembered.”
Jon and Jenna noted the groups have helped participants to share about their losses in a private and safe environment. Many feel comfortable sharing details about the anniversary of their infant’s death or miscarriage, including what they named their baby and appreciate that others recognize those aspects as well. “Hannah’s Wish creates awareness and that is valuable in itself,” Jenna said.
Two days before the Wrights started their first support group meeting, Jenna found out she was pregnant again. Their daughter, Caidence is now 2.
For more information about Hannah’s Wish, please go to hannahswish.org.
A TEA TO REMEMBER
A Tea to Remember is an annual event to remember babies lost due to miscarriage, stillborn or infant death and celebrating the ladies who remember them. There is room for 100 people and spots will fill up quickly. The tea is $35 at the door. Your donation will be split between Hannah’s Wish and Memories to Hold. Pre-registration is available at hannahswish.org.
Date: June 6, 1 p.m. (date may be subject to change due to COVID-19 restrictions).
Where: The Nest, 400 Byrd Way, Greenwood, 46143.
Fore more information: go to hannahswish.org or Facebook: Hannah’s Wish, Inc.