Brides are now donating their wedding gowns to an amazing cause– At the end of my pregnancy, I remember looking online for a baby burial outfit- just in case. Not much out there. The closest I could find were christening outfits- but they were gender specific and we didn’t know if we were having a boy or a girl. I also worried they would be far too big for the small baby I was expecting. I eventually stumbled across the perfect outfit which came just in time before we had to bury our little one. It’s hard enough to have to even consider buying a burial outfit that small, so it’s heartwarming to hear that some people are trying to make that terribly sad and taboo task a bit easier.
NILMDTS photographers camera stolen- Remember this? Camera card returned to the news station! expensive camera equipment weren’t but the memories were so gratefully returned to the bereaved parents. there’s even a fund started to help replace the photographers equipment.
These photos show what women really look like after pregnancy *TRIGGER WARNING* this has moms with babies in it. I post it because I still get so upset even seeing this headline. I feel like the moral of the photo story is- it’s all worth it because, look, we have these beautiful babies to show for it. The 4th trimester. What about us? We are not even underrepresented- we are passed over entirely. It angers and saddens me.
Bridging the gap between the baby bereaved and those who love them– I stumbled across this at such an opportune time. It touches on something I’ve recently been trying to work on- rebuilding some lost relationships since my daughter died. It’s not easy because I had built up walls. I like how this article makes it a two way street- we are often quick to blame others for not understanding, not reaching out. But we also play a role. In the time leading up to ThanksgivingI was dreading some face to face time with a baby around Mabel’s age. Her mother reached out to me a few days beforehand, recognizing how the holiday might be hard for me and asking if there was anything she could do to make it easier. It was such a gift- to be asked directly. I was able to answer honestly about my concerns regarding seeing the baby and give warning about my unpredictable reactions. It was SO much easier to be asked than to volunteer the info.
Three years ago I organized a group of my friends to “adopt a family” for Christmas. We bought toys and gifts for a single mom and her son who were in need. One of my friends asked me afterwards, “if they can’t afford Christmas presents, what happens at their birthdays?” I knew of many programs in the community that help struggling families, but I had no answer to her question. We spent the next year creating our own non-profit to address such a need. A Very Merry Birthday was born. We matched a child at the local Boys & Girls club with a volunteer, or “Birthday Hero” who would buy that child gifts and a cake. The goal was for the child to take the gifts and cake home to celebrate with her family, promoting togetherness.
I love birthdays; I think they’re kind of a big deal. I always throw myself a big party to celebrate mine. My family still exchanges gifts on each other’s birthdays even though we are now all adults. I love getting other people gifts, especially if they are well thought out. I may be a little late in getting gifts to their recipients (sorry mom, it’s coming), but I come through. I always gave a good birthday wish to anyone on facebook who had a birthday. For our wedding we did a charity fundraiser and names A Very Merry Birthday as one of the charities and raised thousands of dollars. Because every child deserves a birthday.
Mabel had a birthday but it was also her death day. I am still having trouble digging deep and finding those celebratory feelings for others. No more facebook posts wishing others happy birthday. I still get gifts for my family, but I’m a whole lot slower.
The nonprofit I started with my friend is on hiatus. She valiantly took over the whole thing in December when Mabel was diagnosed with a poor prognosis. I’m so grateful she was able to see the school year to completion- it was a lot of work for the two of us, I can only imagine how she managed on her own. We are taking a break as we figure out the future of our organization. The idea of helping other kids celebrate their birthdays while Mabel never will is a little painful. I’m working hard on myself and trying to learn how midwife again in the face of my loss, I don’t have much left to give at the end of the day. So for now, A Very Merry Birthday sleeps. Our motto, Every Child Deserves a Birthday, has never rung truer. My child deserves a birthday, too.