Mom's Viral Prayer for Stillborn Is Helping Her Grieve

"You may be stillborn, but you were still born."
ByAnisa Arsenault
Associate Editor
Published
Dec 2016

After 11 years of marriage, Darl Rivera Macalintal and her husband PJ knew they were ready to have a baby. Their pregnancy journey, which Darl chronicled on Facebook, brought them closer together than ever. And so did their grief after their baby, nicknamed Izzy, was delivered stillborn.

The British Columbia couple, originally from the Philippines, had a healthy, scare-free pregnancy up until the 20-week mark, full of adventure and excitement in preparation for their new baby.

At week 20, scans indicated Izzy could have cleft lip or palate. Followup scans ruled that out, but by week 24, Izzy’s heart was no longer beating.

Darl was scheduled to deliver her miscarried baby two days later.

“I decided to prepare our hospital bag because I was thinking of you,” she writes to Izzy on Facebook. “I still want to prepare your clothes, I still want to bring the things I would have brought if the situation was different.”

After an induction and painful labor, Darl and PJ welcomed baby Izzy.

Amidst their heartbreak, the couple expressed “joy and gratitude” for Izzy. Darl even penned a prayer with a powerful, overarching message: “You may be stillborn, but you were still born.”

Read the prayer in full below, and see the couple’s full pregnancy, loss and healing journey here.

Our beautiful angel
born silent into this world. It didn’t matter,
the moment we saw you
it was pure joy.

All questions, all pain and fears,
flew away into the darkness of the night;
as I held you on my chest,
cherishing our time.

Half past midnight the priest came,
to bless and baptize you in Christ’s name.
We may not know exactly when,
your heart stopped beating
to an end.

Our child know that
if love could have saved you,
you will live forever.
For now, God will carry you in his arms
as we carry you in our hearts
until we can hold you in heaven.

Thank you for showing me
how much your tatay (father) loves me,
how much our family and friends love us.
Thank you for showing us
the power of God’s love.

I guess you were made
too beautiful for Earth.
You were born with wings,
you were meant to fly.
Your place is in heaven.

You may be stillborn
but you
were
still
born.

Early Pregnancy Loss Often Triggers Post-Traumatic Stress, Study Finds

Nehal Aggarwal
Associate Editor
Published
01/15/2020

Survey Shows Too Many Women Feel Responsible for Miscarriage

Anisa Arsenault
Associate Editor
Published
04/25/2018

After Miscarriages, James Van Der Beek and Wife Are Expecting Baby #6

Nehal Aggarwal
Associate Editor
Published
10/08/2019

James Van Der Beek and Wife Suffer Another Miscarriage

Nehal Aggarwal
Associate Editor
Published
11/19/2019

This Garden Is a Sanctuary for Families Who've Lost a Child

Anisa Arsenault
Associate Editor
Published
12/28/2017

Watch This Tear-Jerking Rainbow Baby Reaction

Anisa Arsenault
Associate Editor
Published
12/20/2017

Autoimmune Disease and Miscarriage?

Jackie Gutmann, MD, reproductive endocrinologist, Reproductive Medicine Associates of Philadelphia
Fertility Specialist

Photographer Explains What It's Like to Document a Newborn's Final Hours of Life

Christine Cordova
Associate Social Editor
Published
07/13/2017

Yeast Infection Drug During Pregnancy Draws Concern From FDA

Anisa Arsenault
Associate Editor
Published
04/27/2016

New Law Offers Parents in the UK Bereavement Leave for Stillborn Babies

Stephanie Grassullo
Associate Editor
Published
09/19/2018

Australian Study Finds a Possible Cause of Stillbirth

Anisa Arsenault
Associate Editor
Published
09/19/2017

This Woman's Stillbirth Warns Against At-Home Fetal Doppler Systems

Anisa Arsenault
Associate Editor
Published
06/30/2017