A few days ago I received a gift in the mail.
A heart weighing the amount Meredith weighed at birth.
These are made by an organization called A Heart To Hold (click here). They are made so that the mom and dad can have something to hold about the size of their baby, as a mother's body and hormones are expecting to hold a child in the weeks after delivery. My sister had received two when her twin girls were delivered and passed away. I have no idea who requested this beautiful gift to be sent to me, but it means so much.
I have received other gifts as well that are dear to my heart as well.
A stuffed animal from Robby's Rabbits (click here), angel, cross, and mother figurines, a Christmas ornament with her name made from scrabble tiles (so cute), a beautiful painting of an angel, two bracelets, one with Meredith's monogram engraved on it. So many also cooked (and continue to on some days) and helped clean my home.There were those that also gave to help with the expenses of Meredith's memorial service, as insurance is not available in these circumstances.
I list these items and actions to let people know how we have been blessed, thought of, loved, and remembered. We are so incredibly thankful for the support system that surrounds us.
I also mention these things so that when this happens to another loved one of yours you will have an idea of what you can do to bless them. And it is likely that it will happen to someone else you and I know. 1 in 4 experience pregnancy and infant loss. I have had more people than I expected to tell us about their early miscarriages and late term baby losses. I hated that these people we love experienced this pain, but I am thankful and blessed by their openness and willingness to share.
Many grieve in silence because they feel like they should "be strong" or "move on" and many of these women have been told this in one way or another (disclaimer: I have not had things like this said to me). What people need to remember is that these couples didn't just lose a pregnancy, their child died. And in that the future they dreamed of and planned has changed forever. Even if they have other children before or after the loss, nothing is ever the same. We, like many of these couples are trying to find a new normal.
The thing is we want our child(ren) to be remembered. We don't want it to be swept under the rug or ignored.
I am heartbroken for the women that have felt as though their loss was not taken seriously or that people have forgotten the child they love so dearly. In truth it probably is taken very seriously and is not forgotten, but those around them do not know what to say or do, especially as time goes on.
There is an article I found through Pinterest about helping your friend(s) survive the first year of pregnancy or infant loss (click here). Depending on your friend or loved one some of the suggestions may or may not fit, however I believe it's a great starting point.