I've written about Diana from Hormonal Imbalances and the loss of her twin boys before. She writes beautiful words and has a sweet soul and she's one of those people that I can tell I would just "click" with if we ever met in real life.
Today, she featured a guest blogger - Laura from Bits of Splendor and Project Hope. Like Diana, Laura lost a child part way through her pregnancy. She tells the beautiful story of how a bear given to her in the hospital when going through that loss helped her cope.
Having worked as a Labor and Delivery nurse for almost 6 years, I've seen my share of fetal and newborn loss. Taking care of a bereavement patient is emotionally draining - though it's nothing compared to what the parents are going through. The thing that always got me through those tough nights was creating a special memory package for the parents. We would dress and wrap the babies in donated clothes and blankets, take newborn photos, make handprint & footprint ornaments, put the baby's handprints and footprints on a certificate, provide the Daddy with a birthstone coin, the Mommy with a birthstone necklace, cut a lock of the baby's hair (with permission of course), provide the parents with a teddy bear, send them home with a wealth of literature and numbers for support groups, and send them a sympathy card signed by all of the nurses who cared for them during their stay.
No one should ever have to lose a child. It truly is a parent's worst nightmare. Of course, nothing can replace what was lost. But I always took solace in the fact that I could do all of these things to hopefully help ease the pain, if only just a tiny bit.
I have a friend who lost one of her twin boys while I was pregnant with Beckett and Kiernan. When I heard that she didn't receive any memory items at all, my heart broke for her. One of the last patients I took care of before I left my job to move to Florida was a couple who lost one of their twin girls at about 26 weeks. The girls were delivered and of course the live twin was transferred to the NICU. When I think of all of the things we did to ease their pain, including accommodating the parents' request to get pictures of the girls together, I'm comforted to know that I did all I could to ease that pain. But at the same, I'm saddened to think that not every hospital does this for bereavement patients.
That's where Project Hope comes in. Laura's goal is to provide boxes for parents who experience a loss "Who needed to know that there was a God who loved them and had a plan and a future for them and that saying goodbye to their sweet babies was not the end. There is hope." What a beautiful thought.
I know I'll be donating to this worthy cause. If you are interested in donating, you can go to Diana's blog or Laura's blog to find out how to do so. With both of my pregnancies, I lived in fear of experiencing something like this. For whatever reason, I was spared that kind of heartache and consider myself blessed to have my boys in my life. But I know all too well that things could have been very different for me. I could have been one of these Mamas leaving the hospital without a baby in their arms. And if I can do something to make sure that they at least have a box full of memories in their arms instead of nothing, then I will!