Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Giving Tuesday - Loss Resources

A post I've been meaning to post for literally two years now is a post with resources for parents and family members who have experienced child loss.  There are several amazing organizations that provide various things to help family members remember their babies.  Given that today is Giving Tuesday, I thought it was as good of a time as ever to post about this. 

Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep

The organization that has had the biggest impact on Dusty and I, that has probably provided us the most comfort after losing Chandler and Paisley, is Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep (NILMDTS).  For those of you not familiar with NILMDTS, this organization provides photographers who will come to the hospital and take photographs of your precious baby(ies) and will edit, crop, and provide those photos to you at no cost.  This organization is always looking for more photographers to join them and help provide this service.  I wish that I was able to help.  If I had any photography skills, I would hands down volunteer to help.  Here is the website for NILMDTS.

https://www.nowilaymedowntosleep.org/

Molly Bears

Another amazing organization is Molly Bears.  This organization allows parents (only parents) to order teddy bears that are the exact weight of the baby that passed away.  They will do all sizes of infants (even unknown).  There is a wait list of several months, and they only open the order form once a month on the last day of the month, and additionally, the order form is limited (usually to the first 150-200 who order).  There is a cost of $20 per bear, but it is very much worth it to have that bear to hold close.  Once your bear(s) gets close to production, they will email you and allow you to have some more input into decorations for your bear.  We absolutely love ours and they turned out perfects.

http://mollybears.com/

March of Dimes

Although not a loss resource, this is an organization that Dusty and I have poured ourselves into.  The March of Dimes funds research for prevention of premature birth and other diseases which lead to infant mortality.  For this reason, I have included it in this post.  Dusty and I recently had the honor of being the Mission Family for the location Signature Chefs Auction, and I will be sharing more about that soon.

http://www.marchofdimes.org/

Ellie's Way

This organization provides care packages and memorial necklaces to loss families.  The necklaces are locket style and are so beautiful.

https://elliesway.org/


Local(ish) Resources

Holy Sews

After NILMDTS, I would credit Holy Sews as being the most meaningful organization to Dusty and I as it relates to the loss of Chandler and Paisley.  Holy Sews provides outfits which consist of a layette, blanket, hat and teddy bear that fit micropreemies.  This need was found when the founder had a baby too early herself, and found that all clothes the hospital had to provide were too big and hung off of her precious baby.  Chandler and Paisley were dressed in precious little outfits and had little teddy bears and hats that were just their size.  These hats and teddy bears are something that Dusty and I cling to even now.  For our precious babies to have little bears that fit them perfect was just so precious to us.  We keep their bears with their ashes.  

Holy Sews was founded in Little Rock, AR and delivers their packages to hospitals all across the state.  Holy Sews has also expanded and has a New York chapter as well as a Dallas area chapter.  

http://www.holysews.org/

Mamie's Poppy Plates

Another Little Rock based organization is Mamie's Poppy Plates.  This organization serves hospitals across AR, with some hospitals served in IL, IA, IN, MO, TN and TX.  They provide beautiful plates that have your babies hand and footprints, date of birth, weight, length and name.  We truly treasure our plates and are so thankful we have them.  

http://mamiespoppyplates.com/


Other for-profits or shops that provide mementos or other items for parents and families of loss are the following:


  • A Bed for My Heart - This is the site for the book "You are the Mother of All Mothers" which is an amazing short essay style book with beautiful art that I found so much comfort in.  There are other things that can be purchased on this site, such as cards for fathers as well.
  • Rachelle-isms - This is an etsy shop that makes beautiful and very affordable memorial items, from necklaces to bracelets.  The shop owner is amazing to work with and will customize whatever you would like.  I love my drop necklace from her.
  • TheMidnightOrange - Another etsy shop that makes custom little sculptures that symbolize loss for your family.
  • ShopShineLife - This shop makes all sorts of jewelry, including rememberence jewelry, and I love the quality of their work!  We've had several pieces made and they are amazing!  
There are several more loss resources that can be found just by a simple google search, but these are the ones that had the biggest impact on us and I wanted to share.  


Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Internal Conflict

I am happy.  I really truly am.  Kanon and Remington light up my world and bring me a joy that I can't even describe.  When they smile at me, my heart melts.  I would move mountains for them.  I would lay down my life for them.  They truly are the most amazing blessings and I thank God for them, all the time.

But I'm still sad.  There is a sad, hurt, angry, bitter part of me that knows that there should be 4 babies here.  The two boys and two girls that Dusty and I always wanted, and have...just not how we intended.  

My sweet Chandler and Paisley are always at the front of my thoughts.  There is almost a constant knot in my stomach from my missing them.  I still long to know what they would look like now, who they would act like, and all of those details that we don't know.

I am so conflicted.  It is such a bizarre feeling, to have this happiness, while still being sad.  I will never really know what it is like to not have pain in my life, to not be hurting at any time.  Mine and Dust's hearts were truly broken beyond repair.  I picture my heart and I see this part of it that is dark and cracked and broken, while the rest of my heart is red and beating, this other part just sits, unmoving, unhealed...until Heaven, really. 

I let my mind wander to that glorious reunion day and for the first time, I pictured Chandler and Paisley as being little kids around the age of 4 and running up to me and hugging me and me never letting them go and I didn't get sad at the thought of them being that age.  Up until now, if I thought about it, I would be sad to think of them being anything but babies when I get to Heaven, babies that in my mind, I get to raise in Heaven.  I don't know why, but this time, that didn't sadden me.  I guess because I am living the experience of raising their siblings.

I know all of this is a mystery, and probably mostly a fantasy, as I really don't think that is what it will be like in Heaven.  Who knows, though.  I do believe I will know them in Heaven.  I think the bible gives us a glimpse of that truth in 2 Samuel with the death of David's infant child. I place hope there.  

I really don't know what brought this post to light for me today.  I was feeling like I needed to post since it has been so long, and thought and thought about what to post, and have a couple of other things I want to post about, but felt like I should write this.  I think part of it was, I began considering a Thanksgiving post, but to be honest, I still have resentment in my heart and although I know I have plenty to be thankful for, there is still this flame of anger that burns inside me knowing that I still have two children that were taken from Dusty and me way too soon.  I don't know if that flame will ever go out while I am here on this earth.  

Friday, November 4, 2016

SEVEN!

How are we so much closer to a year than when the babies were born?  I know time flies...but how it used to feel is nothing compared to now.  Now, I truly feel like I blink and have missed days.  

Our sweet babies!  Our world revolves around you and we wouldn't have it any other way.

Remington -


  • You are getting so big, sweet princess.  You love to hold your bottle and do so good with it.  
  • You absolutely love avocado!
  • You said your first word.  Not Momma, nor Daddy, but "Num", as in, yum.  It is the most adorable thing ever and your voice is the absolute sweetest.
  • You have really started smiling a TON and it is amazing!  Your entire face lights up and your wrinkle your little nose in the most precious way!  
  • Your bottom teeth have come in, but aren't showing too much yet.
  • You are SO close to crawling!
  • You are still taking 5 ounces
  • You are in size 2 diapers
  • You are in size 6 month clothes

Kanon - 

  • My little boy!  You are truly the sweetest little boy imaginable.  Your eyes are so full of love.
  • You are a fan of food, but not as much as I thought you would be.  The one you really didn't care for was butternut squash.  You didn't hate it, you just weren't a fan.
  • Grammie has taught you a new trick where you roll off of your boppy when it's on the couch and roll right off into Grammie's arms.  You are so proud of yourself when you do it, it is adorable.
  • You can get anywhere you want on the floor.  You try to crawl, but haven't quite got the "up on your arms" thing down yet, and scoot along on your forehead at times, or, mostly, roll wherever you want to go!
  • You are starting to get your top two teeth.  They are so close to breaking through.
  • You have gotten into the terrible habit of not falling asleep unless you are in the living room with me and your Daddy.  I don't know what to do there!
  • You still take 5.5 ounces.
  • You are in size 2 diapers, but we really could stand to move you to 3 I think.
  • You are wearing 6-9 month clothing.

Sweet little babies.  You helped us survive your siblings birthday.  We honestly have no idea the deep dark hole we would be in without you.  We love you so very much.  You are our whole world.