In lieu of Toddler Talk this week (which will resume next week as scheduled with topic: Dealing with a sick toddler.) I wanted to share with you a women who inspires me. I hope you will take a moment to read her story, donate $1 (All donations will be matched*), and/or share her mission to provide grieving families with a tangible loving piece of art when life doesn’t go as we plan.
Read on for a Emily’s personal experience:
I think there are people in life that you are supposed to meet. For me, that was Stephanie from Beyond Words Designs. I met her on the first night of Blissdom, when she invited me and my roommate to join her and Adrianne for dinner (There were no other open tables.)
The conversation was easy, fun, and pretty awesome. Then I learned that both Stephanie and Adrianne had something in common that no one ever wants to have in common.
They both lost babies. My eyes felt hot and wet. My heart ached for their losses, even though I had only known them about an hour. I have not experienced a loss, but I do know that when you become a parent, losing a child whether early/late miscarriage, still birth, or after they have been yours is something I can’t hardly imagine.
Stephanie is an amazing artist. Her paintings are vivid, full of life, and healing. They are raw, and amazing. After the loss of her child, Stephanie decided that she wanted to do something so no parent has to leave a hospital empty handed. I decided I couldn’t share it better than to share her post.
Imagine giving birth and leaving a hospital without your baby. It is something most people don’t want to think about let alone try to imagine. But this is a reality for about 26,000 women who experience pregnancy loss through stillbirth each year in the United States. Just think about that ~ in this day and age 26,000 mothers and fathers don’t have a happy ending. They leave devastated with empty arms ~ and, if they are fortunate ~ may be given a small box Memory Box with a few precious things that their baby left behind.
As a mother who experienced the death of my baby, I know that there are never enough mementos to honor her. I cherish the memory box I walked out of the hospital with after Amelia died. It consisted of a lock of her hair, her anklet ID, the hat she wore, a paper measuring tape with her height recorded, hand and footprints, and a lovely candle donated by a mother (who had lost her baby) and wanted to make the boxes a bit more special for those of us who would come after her. Everything that she touched or that was a part of her birth is special to me . . . but I would have loved to have more. For this reason, I painted ‘Starry, Starry Night.’ It is an image that represents stillbirth and motherhood ~ an intertwined and never-ending story.
My Hope, My Dream, My Wish . . . is to add something special to hospital memory boxes throughout the United States. I want parents to have something visual, beautiful, tangible and ‘sharable’. I want to create a piece of commemorative art that a family can hand down through generations. A visible reminder to all who see it ~ that our babies were here and motherhood is forever.
Please consider helping in one or more of the following ways.
1. A monetary donation (of any amount) that will enable Beyond Words Designs to continue creating and donating these cards below. The cost of creating one card = $1.
HOW TO DONATEGo to to Beyond Words Designs
Locate DONATE button in upper right sidebar.
Donate, and come back to fill out form!!
2. Grab and display the “Make a Difference” button. (You can find it on her page)
3. Help by sharing on Facebook, Twitter, or Pintrest.
Here is an example of the card that is being donated to memory boxes.
:: FRONT ::
:: BACK ::
See, I told you she was amazing. I would love for you to consider donating $1 (or more) to her mission. *For every dollar our readers donate Lolo, Emily and I will match it up to $100. (Thank you Lolo from Crazy About My Baybah and Emily from Family and Life in Las Vegas for helping match donations!)
Donating is easy and done via Paypal on Beyond Words Designs site.
Once you have donated, or even if you can’t please consider sharing this tweet. (Click the message to tweet it!)
Please fill out this form with your email and amount donated so that I can match your donations! (This form will not be made public.)
Thank you so much!
The Toddler Talk Girls – Lolo, Emily and Melissa