As many of you know, my husband and I have had two pregnancy losses. Our first loss was on January 7, 2011, when we discovered that my baby no longer had a heart beat and I miscarried. My second was on October 30, 2013, when we lost our daughter, Ziva Rae, due to an incompetent cervix and she died shortly after birth. In the months after Ziva’s loss, I searched for support and I came across a group on Facebook which is filled with women with similar stories to mine. I have three organizations which are close to my heart and I wish to bring awareness to their efforts in the hope that it can be brought to those who can benefit from their services.
October 15th is the National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day. The day of remembrance is to bring awareness to pregnancy losses (miscarriages and stillbirths) and infant losses (SIDS and neo-natal deaths). Every year on October 15th at 7 pm, candle lighting vigils are held around the world known as the International Wave of Light. The campaign for this day of remembrance was started in 2002 with Robyn Bear, Lisa Brown and Tammy Novak. House Concurrent Resolution 222 was passed on September 28, 2006 supporting the goals and ideals of a day of remembrance. Together, these women formed Remembering Our Babies, a foundation which brings awareness and education to communities and promotes openness, understanding and compassion for a family’s grief and offering ways to remember their babies. Rememberingourbabies.net is a memorial keepsake boutique where parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles or anyone who wishes to honor these babies can purchase items from custom jewelry to t-shirts. The money that is raised funds their efforts to bring awareness and support for those who are in need.
Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep is a non-profit organization which provides professional photography for families who have suffered a loss through stillbirth or eminent neo-natal death. It was co-founded by Cheryl Haggard and Sandy Puc after Sandy Puc took photographs of Cheryl’s son after his stillbirth. The group’s name is taken from the classic children’s bedtime prayer. A group of 11,000 volunteers have created a network of photographers who have come to hospitals in order to take photographs for a family. These images are a great step in the family’s healing process and honoring the memory of each child. The network of photographers are available across the United States as well as 40 countries worldwide. These pictures become precious treasures for the families.
Molly Bears is another organization which is close to my heart. It was founded by Bridget Crews after she lost her daughter, Molly Christine, at 34 weeks on May 30, 2010. The organization makes weighted bears and support for grieving families who had suffered an infant loss. The bears are weighted to match the weight of the child (up to 12 months of age) and when the baby was miscarried an approximate weight is used for the gestational age. Since their operation began in August 2010, Molly Bears currently has orders for 7,000 bears (which there is an average 9-12 month wait time) and has made over 5,500 bears to grieving families. These bears are made 100% by volunteers who sew and carefully weigh each bear. I look forward to the day when I can get one for my angel.
I was never aware of these resources for pregnancy loss until I lost my own. There is so much information that is provided by these organizations for support and services which are designed to help with the grieving process. I wish that I had them when I first lost my angels. My goal is that the information can be spread in the hopes that one day someone may hear of these wonderful organizations and get the support that they need and know they do not suffer alone. If you need these services or know someone who does, I highly recommend visiting these sites. These organizations were created to support, counsel and heal mothers in the future because the services weren’t available for them and they didn’t want it to happen again.
If you would like more information or donate to these worthy causes, please visit their websites:
Now I Lay Me Down to Me www.nowilaymedowntosleep.org
Molly Bears www.MollyBears.com