Thursday, October 15, 2015

October 15

My heart is heavy today.  The whole month of October is a challenge for me, a reminder of last moments and saying goodbye.  For the entire month, I am reminded of Reagan as I anticipate her upcoming birthday.  Today, well, today the whole country seems to remember.  Today is National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day.  Today, candles are lit and balloons are released in memory of all our babies gone too soon.  It's a beautiful picture as we grieve together, to know we are not alone in this journey.  And ultimately, that's what it is.  A journey.  Not a moment, not an event, but something we continue to still walk through on a daily basis.  Nothing is forgotten, the pain is not erased as time moves forward.  And the struggle of feeling like the rest of the world has moved on while I am stuck here is very real.  I find myself throughout this month having to remind myself of truth over and over: Reagan is loved, she is cared for now, she is not longing for anything, and I will see her again.  And while all of that is true, and it helps to know, it does not change the fact that she is no longer here with me.  And that continues to cut me right to the core.  I miss my first baby girl so so much.  Always.  And most of the time, I feel this need to hide that, to be strong for my boys, to not be swallowed by the emotions of it all.  But today?  Today I get to remember her.  I get to remember Reagan and celebrate her life.  And, more than that, I get to remember her twin, who I never met.  I get to think about him and how he's playing with his sister.  I get to smile as I picture them running hand in hand.  And I get to do all that with thousands of other families who KNOW.  We all get to celebrate our babies together today.

One in Four.  Those statistics are bleak, so let me say it again: 1 in 4.  I know there are so many others who are hurting today, who are longing for their babies.  There are so many who saw those 2 lines and fell in love, only to say goodbye a few days to weeks later.  There are those who saw the heart beating, got their due date, made a plan...only to have that plan change so suddenly.  There are so many we've met along our own journey and through Reagan's Garden who have passed into the "safety zone," halfway there, found out gender, started decorating the nursery, bought all the things, and prepared for baby's arrival...only to deliver into a silent room, to know the face of their child but not the sound of her cry.   And 1 in 4 of us have been one of these.  It's so hard.  And I have no answers, no magic words.  Know that my heart is with you today as we all remember together.

Monday, April 13, 2015

1st quarter updates

I cannot believe we are already approaching April.  This first quarter has been a busy one as things have really taken off.

In February we hosted our first support dinner.  These dinners are a great way to show families that they are not alone, that the community is behind them.  One out of 160 pregnancies end in stillbirth.  At Presby Main, 1-2 each week on average.  That's a lot, a lot of pain and hurt, and yet still a lot of isolation.  We hope as we continue to host these dinners on a quarterly to monthly basis that we can help these families find one another, develop friendships with families who have experienced a similar loss, and give parents a place to talk of their children.  All their children.  We're excited for another dinner in May!

We received a generous donation to be used specifically for the purchase of a Cuddle Cot.  We are so excited to be able to provide Presbyterian Medical with Charlotte's first Cuddle Cot!  Those who have experience infant loss will immediately understand the huge benefit of this equipment, but here's a brief summary.  The Cuddle Cot is a cooling system for a bassinet.  This gives families the gift of time, which is so incredibly precious when you are facing the end.  Instead of only an hour or two, you could have a night, a whole afternoon, a day to spend bonding with your child, memorizing each little feature, waiting for your photographer or family to come in town, etc.  This will be available in Labor and Delivery as well as the NICU.  We are so excited for it to come in and be able to deliver it to the Women's center.

Cards and flower delivery are running smoothly and we have shipped out an additional 5 hope boxes.  We are down to only 3 of the initial 13, so another day of box decorating/stuffing/writing is coming soon!

Thank you for all the donation, support, and help you have offered.  We pray we continue to be able to support this hurting population during their darkest times and rely on your help and God's goodness to do so.  Thank you for all you do!