These are the miscarriage comments prior to the lauch of this newly, redesigned site. You will find many, many women and their families who have lived through the pain of miscarriage- Please click here to post your comments. Thank you and God Bless, Ellen


Hello
I am so glad to find your web site. I had a miscarraige a year and a half ago after having two healthy kids. I was devistated as was my husband. Although he had a different way of showing it. I can’t help but feel guilt because I have two girls and when I found out I was pregnant I hoped and prayed for a boy. I forever feel like if I had only prayed for a healthy child verses a boy things would have turned out differently and I wouldn’t have miscarried. We never got to find out if it was a boy or girl and that haunts me. I never got to see my baby or touch it beacuse when I got to the hospital and saw no heart beat I opted for a D&C. Hoping that It would make it easier to deal with. My Doctor was out of town so I had to see a different doctor. She was so nice and helpful during this difficult time. I never imagined how hard it would be to loose something that you’ve never held or seen. I think about my baby often and have read every book about miscarriage that I can find. I have since had another child, A boy whom I love as much as my other two girls. I still feel alot of hurt and the pain never seems to go away but I find hope and comfort in the fact that other people are going threw the same thing. Amy Cwelch77@hotmail.com

Dear Amy, I am so sorry for your loss, and please don’t feel guilty about praying for a boy. That’s a perfectly natural thing and has nothing to do with your miscarriage. We all try to find some sort of blame within ourselves, and it really does nothing but hurt you.
I am so happy you have been blessed with three children, and I also know that doesn’t mean you’ll ever forget the little one you lost- before you ever held him or her.
I opted for the D&C as you did- I chose one trauma over another- that’s how I view it. No matter how you miscarry, it’s a very real loss and leaves a stamp forever upon your heart. You loved your baby and always will. I don’t think there’s anyone here who will say differently.
There IS great hope and comfort in the fact that others are going through the same thing and are willing to join together and share their deepest, saddest feelings. Some are despair, some regret, some guilt, all are grief.
Miscarriage and its fallout are REAL, and the more we hold each other up, the more society in general will come to realize that we, the women who have suffered a miscarriage, or sadly, more than one, have lost babies and must go through a grieving process as with any other loss.
I pray for God’s blessings upon you and your beautiful family. Thank you for sharing your heart with us.
Sincerely.
Ellen

Dear Ellen,
I want to thank you so much for this site and your book. I’ve suffered through three miscarriages, and have never felt as comforted by a book as I have yours.
There are times I don’t know what to do with myself. This has gone on for about two years, (the time span in which I had my miscarriages).
After reading your book, and sharing it with a couple of friends who have also miscarried at least once, (strange that the three of us have all had at least one miscarriage), we decided it would be a good thing for our community to start a support group for women who’d miscarried.
Actually, between my two friends and I, we’d already started one and didn’t realize it until we shared the idea of reaching out to others as you have with your book and this website.
One thing led to another and we posted flyers in the local library, town hall, and gave some to local OBGYN’s. We set a date for our first support meeting, hoping at least one person would show up.
My house is quite small, so we opted to hold it at my friend’s house to accomodate however many showed up. We were all going to speak, and then use your book as a guide to bring up issues, provide topics of discussion, and open up the floor for those who needed to vent, share, etc.
Well, I have to tell you, Ellen, my two friends and I were in NO way prepared for the number of women who came to this meeting! There were twenty-two guests, not including my friends and I.
Imagine twenty-five women joined together in a circle of support.
We talked, cried, shared, cried some more, and when the support meeting was over, we set a date for the next one being a month out.
Ellen, because of your willingness to share your feelings, write your book, get the help of Dr. Backman who is wonderful, we were inspired to form our Miscarriage Support Group.
I’d like to ask you a favor, and I know you must be busy. But, we’d like you to come up with a name for our group, and perhaps it will spread to other women around the country and world. Maybe they will the same and there will be one name for all of us who are sisters in miscarriage. We would greatly appreciate any ideas you have.
God Bless You, Ellen. Your book not only helped me, but is now being used as a guide for our new meetings and is helping other women in pain after miscarriage. A workbook to go along with your book would be great, if you have the time to write one. Sincerely,
Anita Coy
Florida

Dear Ellen,
I wanted to take a moment to write and thank you. This site has been so helpful to me. I’ve taken comfort in all the women’s stories here, although I wish they weren’t hurting so much. I am, too, and have found that I feel much less alone in my suffering. I’ve had one miscarriage, and don’t know if I could ever live through another. I was about eight weeks along and some bleeding started. Needless to say, the bleeding didn’t stop and after a trip to my doctor’s and an ultrasound, I was told my baby was ‘expired’. What a horrific word!
I never felt any support from my doctor, the staff, or anyone, really. My husband has tried to be as supportive as he can, but he just doesn’t get my mood swings, sudden outbursts of tears, and my feelings of jealousy when I see a pregnant woman.
Recently, I had to go to a baby shower for a wonderful friend, and I wanted to run out the door. I felt so guilty, and still do. I want to be happy for my friend and experience her pregnancy with her...instead, I cry everytime I leave her. It’s as if I can’t take it.
My husband wants to try for another baby, and I’m scared out of my mind. Even though it’s what I want most in this whole world.
I’ve read your book, and I keep turning to certain parts of it because I find great comfort and strength from it. I want to thank you for providing me with a book that I can use again and again whenever I am feeling crazy or depressed. You offer helpful solutions to my emotional upset, along with making me feel like I am normal for grieving over a baby I never held, but loved.
I highly recommend this site and Ellen’s book for any woman who has miscarried. You will find help and comfort in her book, and can use it again and again- whenever you feel the need for support, help, tips on feeling better, and most importantly, the reassurance that you have the right to grieve and feel whatever it is you’re feeling.
God Bless all of you. My heart truly goes out to you and your family. Please keep the faith- I’m trying to with all my heart.
Sincerely,
Donna McFarlin

I don’t even know where to start. I found out on March 12, 2007 that my pregnancy was "not viable". I was 6 weeks pregnant. I chose not to have the D&C because of my strong oppostion to abortion.
I have 4 healthy children and this seems to be a reason for people to attack me for my severe depression and crying over the loss of my baby. I am married for the 2nd time and my three oldest children are not biologically my current husbands’. We have one little boy together who is 2 1/2. I found out last year that I have PCOS and have been on fertility treatments (chlomid/Glucophage) ever since. This miscarriage happened because of my progesterone levels being dangerously low. My husband and I both want a huge family and were ecstatic when we found out almost 2 weeks ago that we were expecting. The loss of this baby is not made any easier because of the children we already have. We love our children, they are blessings, but the extreme grief we feel over the loss of our baby is unbelievable. Why won’t our friends and family let us grieve? Having other children doesn’t mean you love the one you lose any less!
I can’t stop crying and searching all over the web for something to make me feel better. I’m having a hard time taking care of the other kids.
Like some of the others on here I too "freaked" when I saw the large mass in the toilet that was partly my baby. I too feel tremendous guilt and sadness at my spontaneous act of quickly flushing the scene away. It certainly didn’t make me feel any better.
It took almost two years for us to get pregnant with this baby and as bad as I want to get pregnant again I’m terrified. This pain is so immense and consuming I don’t know that I could go on if it happened next time.
I feel so empty and so lost and no one seems to understand. I thank you for this forum and open arena to tell how you feel and not be judged.
Mandy macoffive@yahoo.com

Dear Lorrie,
I am SO sorry for your losses, and my heart goes out to you and your husband, too. I am glad he is supportive, and I know he’s feeling the pain as well.
I can relate to your pain on many levels, including the floodgates from your first miscarriage seven years ago opening up.
It happened to me, and I also suffer, (still do), from anxiety attacks.
I don’t know if your coworkers meant to hurt your feelings, however, I don’t understand the lack of consideration for your feelings. While I believe they have every right to celebrate the pregnancy of another, it would have been thoughtful had they realized your pain.
Venting is critical to being able to begin the healing process. By allowing your feelings to spill out onto a piece of paper, your computer screen, a close friend who ‘gets it’...is so important. Feeling isolated and alone in your grief does not help. Burying your feelings doesn’t help either. I can feel all the pain of your first miscarriage combined with this one. I’m so sorry it hurts, but I also know you have to feel to heal.
You mentioned the word VALIDATED with regard to your feelings...and they are validated for certain. You need to know that what you’re suffering is a very real loss, and when society (in general) doesn’t treat your miscarriage as a real loss, you end up feeling incredibly isolated in your grief.
I did. You did. The women and men here did.
Awareness of miscarriage and the fallout it leaves behind is vital in our communities, medical facilities, and around the globe. When people become more aware of how a woman and her family feel after miscarriage, the reactions will be different. The words "I’m sorry for your loss," will be heard more than "It’s time to go on and get over this, now."
That’s what this site is about...my book and the books of others who have written about miscarriage are about, and you coming here expressing your heart and soul- that’s what it’s about.
Your feelings are REAL. YOU matter. The baby you lost MATTERS. You anxiety attacks as a result of your miscarriage, etc., matter. Had you been treated more gingerly, perhaps, or with more respect, your anxiety attacks may not have happened. I can’t say, but I know your pent up feelings of sadness, isolation, and your grief being dismissed didn’t help. I’m not blaming any ONE person or group of people. I don’t know if there’s any blame at all because people can only give what they know. Compassion and sympathy, (as with any loss), for the woman who has miscarried will come naturally when society as a whole realizes a BABY was lost, not a ‘thing’.
It’s an uphill climb, but I know we will get there, Lorrie, and we are all here for you in heart and spirit.
I know you’re in my thoughts and prayers, and I wear my necklace EVERY DAY for my baby, (Alex), who would have been sixteen this November. I got it from MyForeverChild.com last year and it’s the first, tangible thing I can feel, touch, see...in honor of my baby who crossed over before I ever got to hold him. But, I never stopped loving him- ever.
So little closure is offered to the woman who has miscarried. I know of some cases where memorial services are held, or funerals. But, more often than not we are left wondering...WHAT HAPPENED TO MY BABY?
I believe women, (and their families), should be offered counseling immediately after experiencing a miscarriage. I believe more help should be available in group settings AND individual settings, i.e., a grief counselor.
While all the help in the world will not take away your pain, it would certainly take some of the sting of isolationism out of it. I realize you must walk your own journey toward healing and recovery, (never forgetting), and I pray for all women there will be many more hands outstretched along the way. The hands of people who say, "Your baby mattered, and so do you."
Blessings to you and your family, Lorrie.
Ellen

A Note From Ellen: It’s hard to believe it’s been sixteen-years since my miscarriage at four-and-a-half months. Sometimes it seems a lifetime ago-other times it feels like the raw, open wound it was when it happened. I know now, after all these years, an ebook and paperback book later, and the advent of this support site, that God had plans for me. Plans I may not have volunteered for, knowingly, but plans for me to take the pain of my own miscarriage and turn it around into something to help you...to help myself. They say writers often write about what they need to learn themselves. I agree. Coming to terms with my miscarriage and all the fallout was no easy task, as I’m sure you’re all aware. Grief is grief. There is no gray area.

I came across this site and I’m so glad I did. Jan 30th I went in for a regular check up ( was 12 weeks) and expressed the changes I was feeling. I thought I was farther along due to more energy and I was getting big. The doctor felt I was not farther along and he wanted me to go in for an ultrasound the next day for a measurement. Something told me that something was not right and I told my husband that on our way out of the office.I know he felt I was just being over dramatic but something inside told me to prepare. See, I had a miscarriage 7 years prior with my ex-husband and I lost the baby at home. Once it was over he never spoke of it again nor did his family. Six months after the miscarriage we were divorced ( he wanted no more children or the one we lost)I never really dealt with the loss, I just buried it inside. Now I am remarried to a wonderful man and 1 1/2 after we married we had a beautiful little girl. She will be four and we wanted to try for another child ( I’m 37 years old).Well, we did it and I was over excited due to it being my last time. Everyone at work and home were very excited to walk this journey with us one more time.Which brings me back to Jan 30th.The next day we went to the ultrasound and I was trying to prepare myself for the worst. Unfortunately, I was right there was no heart beat. Even though the tech tried to give me hope, I knew it was over.Of course, they had me come into the office the next day to draw hormone levels. I found out there was no heart beat on Tuesday and when Friday came I was wanting to crawl out of my skin.Everyday my children (3 and 10) had to watch their mother cry and still looking pregnant sit at home waiting. That Friday at the doctor’s office, they took my last draw of blood and I broke down begging them to take the baby that day and not make me wait thru the weekend. I remembered the bleeding and pain I went thru the last time and I did not want my children to watch me go thru that again. My nurse was so compassionate and she paged the doctor. He took me that day and I felt so relieved but yet so empty they were taking my baby away from me.I went back to work one week after the d&c and convinced everyone I was doing ok. I WAS NOT OK. This has opened the flood gates for me and not only am I dealing with this loss but the loss from 7 years ago as well.I feel bad feelings towards my ex-husband for not acknowledging our baby and he does not even remember the name I picked out. I know I am truly blessed with my now husband and two children but my heart has been ripped out and I am now not dealing well with any of this. I have joined a support group and have been taking some anxiety meds.I started having anxiety attacks during work due to a lot of insensitive people. I found them trying to give me a lot of excuses why no one says anything to me about my loss but yet talks about another woman’s pregnancy in front of me during a manager meeting and she is due the same month as me. All I ever get is that they did not know it would bother me or I should have left the meeting. I literally could not get out of my chair and I started to panick and prayed for them to stop or someone in the room would stand up for me. It did not happen and because of things like that my doctor took me off work for a month. I’m not sure if I want to go back, however, I know I should not make any decisions right now. They are all women and mothers, WHAT ARE THEY THINKING?

I am now home trying to get myself back. My husband has been great and we even picked out a necklace from " my forever child" together to remember both babies lost.I try to talk about my feelings a lot, but I am afraid of growing old with people. I have had some wonderful cards sent to me and I read them when I’m feeling down. This site has been really good for me and reading some of these stories have made me feel validated on my feelings. My husband has also read some with me and I felt it helped him understand we’re not the only ones going thru this, unfortunately.I am fighting really hard to work thru this. God bless everyone who is feeling what we feel.Thank you for listening. Lorrie corr21_98@yahoo.com

'I cam across this site today. Just one day after I suffered a miscarriage. I wasn’t very far slong. Maybe 4 weeks. I just found out I was pregnant last Monday. I only told a few select people because I didn’t want to jinx it. I had a miscarriage in July and that was one the most awful things I have ever experienced. I had told so many people and I hated being asked about it afterwards...to only have to shake my head "No". Hearing "I’m sorry" or "It wasn’t meant to be...", can get very tiresome, quickly. This time I made the effort not to tell anyone except my 2 best friends. Again I am disappointed. This is miscarriage #3. I have no children but I want one desperately. My best friend is pregnant. She is due in April. She found out she was pregnant only 2 weeks after my loss. I resent her for being able to carry to term. She has one beautiful child whom I love and adore. I am sure I will feel the same when the new one comes but I am angry. Angry because I want a child of my own to love and adore. I am tired of the excitement and anticipation to only be hurt in the end.', daisydee 'http://daisydee8.blogspot.com

Dear Daisy, I am so sorry for your loss...loss number three. You’ve got a very heavy load, and to feel jealous or angry because your best friend is pregnant is perfectly normal to me. I went through the SAME thing and I wanted to be happy for my friends. I wanted so much to forget about my loss and simply be excited about my friend’s pregnancy.

I was...and I was jealous, angry, hurt and kept wondering WHY over and over again. Why wasn’t is me? Why couldn’t I have a beautiful, healthy baby?

All the questioning didn’t get me anywhere, but looking back, I think it was all part of healing. Plus, to suffer a loss like miscarriage while someone close to you is pregnant only serves to remind you each time you see her- of your miscarriage.

I know this all too well. The day I found out I lost my baby was the SAME day friends told me of their joyful news.

My news was anything buy joyful- just like you.

Please be gentle to yourself and don’t feel ‘bad’ about your feelings. You have to feel them to get beyond this point and it’s going to take time. I can’t, nor will I, lie to you. Sadly, there’s no magic pill to take away your pain or to stop you from grieving.

That’s what you’re doing...grieving. And, my God, don’t you have the right to?

I wish I could be there to give you some support, but please take these words as my way of being there for you during this time. I can’t imagine suffering through three miscarriages, and your fears about becoming excited over your pregnancy only to be hurt in the end are understandable.

You’ve certainly done nothing wrong, and I wish I could offer you more comfort. Just know in your heart that time will make things easier...but you need to allow yourself TIME.

You won’t ever forget the pain you’ve gone through, but there is always HOPE. That’s something we need to cling to with all our might. Hope never, ever goes away.

There may be other options for you to have the baby of your dreams. Options that you may not see quite yet because you’re deep in the middle of grieving the loss of your little one.

Blessings, comfort and love to you and yours-

Ellen

Hi my name is stacy and i had a miscarriage about 6 weeks ago i am as with all of you having the worst time with this i miss my baby every second of the day. I try to keep it together foe my family but i just can’t i have decided today that i need help i need to talk to someone about this because i feel that if i don’t i will ruin my marriage. I would love to try for a baby but my husband does not and today I found out that my sister in law is pregnant and i feel nothing for her and I am not happy at all for her. Sounds mean but it’s how i feel she will be due 4 weeks after my baby was due. I just don’t think I can cope with watching her get bigger and bigger evey month that was to be me not her but me. My husband and I need to talk more on this and I know that nothing would replace my third baby but I really really with we could try for a fourth thank you everyone for listening this site has been a big help for me. Stacy sweetpea9902@frontiernet.net

I just want to let all of you know, that I realize the pain is so deep right now. It’s been five years since my miscarriage, and I still have not forgotten it. Sometimes, I still cry over it. But, with time, you’ll find your life beginning to return to normal. It’s changed, but, I promise you’ll begin to feel like yourself again. I wish this site were around when I miscarried, and I am very grateful it’s here now, for you.

It’s also helped me, even though it’s been a long time since my miscarriage. Reading your words has taught me that I wasn’t crazy or alone in how I felt.

God Bless all of you, and please give yourself the time you need to heal. Your angel baby will be with you forever. Allie

I don’t know how to began, or even why I feel the need to tell my story. When I was fourteen years old, I was raped by my mother’s boyfriend. I’d been a virgin and had already decided to wait for marriage. Immediately after, I tried to forget and go on with my life. I couldn’t forget him, as he was always around. He convinced me that he loved me, then broke up with my mother to secretly be with me. I thought if he loved me, then he hadn’t meant to hurt me. It made me feel better to believe in this. When I found out I was pregnant from the rape, I was horrorfied. That faded so quickly, as I realized that it was a baby growing in me, and that the baby couldn’t be blamed for his father. I decided to keep the pregnancy a secret as long as possible, but did tell the father. He pushed hard for an abortion. I finally stood up to him and refused. The pregnancy only lasted about nine weeks. When I started bleeding, I was sitting in school, making a list of names in a notebook. That list was one of my few light-hearted thoughts about my baby. Most of the time I was thinking about things like what I couldn’t eat or if me riding horses was dangerous, etc. I just got pads from a friend and waited it till I got home. I knew when I felt the first little rush that something was wrong. I spent lunch in the computer lab, reading about miscarriage, and any ways to stop it. Of course, I found none. At home, I collasped in my bathroom. I will never forget the moment when, locked in my bathroom, standing in my school uniform, collasping to my knees, bowed next to the tub. My head and arms resting on the tub’s ledge, I stayed on the floor for over two hours because I passed out. I woke up with my legs and the floor covered in blood. Waking up in that way is my last clear moment in my mind for almost two months. Over those weeks, I developed a fever that wouldn’t go away and bled for more than two and a half weeks. All this I hid from my mother. After two or so months, the fever finally disappeared. I tried to forget about the pain, desperatly. I couldn’t stand thinking of my baby as "it", I named the baby Gwen. I started doing drugs to help block out my pain. At sixteen, I was hanging out with some friends and my boyfriend. Either I had a extremely unusual for me reaction to the drugs we where sharing, or something was slipped to me. I honestly am not sure enough to blame him for that, but he did become violent weeks later. I woke up in bed with him, stripped and very sure we’d had sex, but no memory of even leaving the living room where we all had been. Terrorfied of another pregnany and loss, I waited impatiently for enough time to pass for me to take an EPT. I was pregnant. I quit drugs, smoking and drinking cold turkey, and tried to straighten up. I clung to my boyfriend, needing stability. Instead, he broke up with me and begged me for an abortion. Literally at my feet begged me to kill our child. This pregnancy lasted only six weeks, before I miscarried. One of my best friends was the only person there person there for me through all this. He was the only person I spent any time with for months besides my toddler sister. My mother was never around, having moved in with her new boyfriend basically. I hated being alone in the apartment, so before friends had often stayed over. Now it was only my bestfriend who did. I guess it’s not so suprising that I slept with him a few months after my second miscarriage. One time we where stupid and hasty, didn’t use protection correctly. For some reason, it never occured to me that I could be pregnant until two weeks afterwards. Well, my bestfriend had just enlisted in the army and I was about to drop-out to get my GED. When I told him, he was shockingly supportive. He wes very adamant about that the baby was his too, not just mine. I dropped out and moved across the country with my sister to stay with relatives who’d be more likely to support me. We talked every day, and he continued to be very concerned and interested in the pregnancy and our baby. For weeks, I was cynical about our baby surving but when I passed nine weeks, I felt a pressure lifted. I finally let myself be as confident as the father that our baby would be healthy. At ten weeks, I lost our baby, my third baby. That was only a month ago. I feel like I could write forever, but at the same time, its just too painful to write more right now.', Cate lilbadgirl23@yahoo.com

Dear Kathy, I am so sorry for your loss, and for the loss your son and daughter-in-law are experiencing. You’re in a very difficult situation because you’re grieving, too, and also want to offer your support as a mother. When speaking to a friend last night, she said that seeing her son cry when her husband was very ill, (he passed away), was one of the most difficult things to endure. Not only was she emotionally drained from loving and caring for her husband, she was her son’s mother. Her instinct was to help him because, as she said, "Seeing him cry like that was devastating." You’ve got a full plate, and so do your son and daughter-in-law. Your strength and dediction to support them in their time of need while you’re in pain is touching beyond measure. It sounds like you’ve got a close relationship. You were there when the ultrasound was done; and were present when the horrible news of the baby’s death happened. Seems to me you’re a wonderful constant in both your son’s and his wife’s life. The best way to help is to continue being just WHO YOU ARE. You’re already there for them, and while there’s nothing you can do to take away the pain, the act of being around, listening, not dismissing the loss of this precious baby, and realizing that your son and daughter are grieving, is more than many people who live this could hope for. You WANT to know the ‘right’ thing to do, and I liken you to my own mother when I suffered a miscarriage. You must be a wonderful person. "I’m so sorry. Are you okay?"

Hearing those words instead of, "It was for the best," will make so much of a difference. When somebody miscarries, the last thing she wants to hear are statements like what I mentioned above, and: "Don’t worry. You can always have another." "It must have been meant to be." "You’re young. You can always try again." Those words, while often said with the best of intentions, do nothing but dismiss the loss of a baby everyone was in love with before he or she even came to this earth.

As you know, being the grandmother of this baby, you are grieving the loss of not only the child, but the plans, wishes, hopes and dreams you had for that baby. Your daughter-in-law and son are grieving those losses, too. Your heart is big and full of loving support already. If you stay on this path, you will be of great help.

Nothing happens quickly, and your daughter-in-law and son have already suffered the loss of a baby last year.

They are in a very sad situation and probably feel a bit hopeless about ever being able to have a family.

One thing to keep in mind is this: They may be afraid to try again. That’s understandable and many who suffer more than one miscarriage feel this way.

Actually, even one miscarriage can do it.

If that’s the case, and they really want to have a baby, I’d gently suggest they talk to someone about it: her OBGYN and both of their primary care physicians. Also, they may need to find a support group and can check their local hospital to see if memorial services are offered for those who lost a child to miscarriage. I found a local hospital that offers such a service once a month, and I imagine this group of people have formed a special bond of support because they’ve all walked such a difficult road. They understand the pain all to well.

If your son or daughter-in-law need a way to simply vent, as you did here, please let them know about this site. Sometimes, writing your feelings down and getting them OUT helps tremendously. Your daughter-in-law, son, and perhaps yourself, may find great comfort in the words of those who have been here and shared their pain. A connection is formed and people feel far less alone when they realize there are others living the same.

Somehow, with faith, strength, and most of all, SUPPORT, we get through miscarriage- and any other loss. Support is a great key, and you are already a support system to your son and daughter-in-law.

I pray for comfort...for YOU, your daughter-in-law, and your son. It’s not an easy road to walk, as you already know, but with time, the journey towards healing begins. However, allowing yourself to grieve first is very important. Grief can’t be buried or denied- otherwise, it stays inside and eats you up, preventing you from being able to heal.

Blessings to you and your family, and again, I am so sorry for what you’ve all been through. You’re in my prayers. Ellen