Help support Wings of Hope and do your holiday shopping at the same time! Items like these handcrafted bookmarks will be on sale at our next fundraiser. Can't make it on the 19th to the sale? Send us an email or give us a call to pre-order your crafts. We'll keep posting pictures of items as they are ready for shopping!
Saturday, November 19
Madison East Center
Check out these adorable ceramic coasters made by one of our committee members! Awesome crafts like these - and baked goods - will be available at our craft sale on November 19th. Do your holiday shopping and help Wings of Hope provide support and resources to families in Southern MN - the best of both worlds!
Saturday, November 19th
9:00 am - 4:00 pm
Madison East Center
Craft and Bake Sale
I'm one of the faces behind Wings of Hope. And I'm 1 in 4. As I prepare my candles for the Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day service on Saturday, I reflect about how I can finally share the name I gave my child - the child no one else held but me. I also reflect on the idea that I am encouraging our community to end the silence around pregnancy and infant loss, but I haven't necessarily done my full part. So, today I'm speaking out and sharing my own story behind what propelled me to this place.
We were expecting our second child and my sister-in-law Shari was expecting her first. We had just spent a Sunday afternoon together shopping for our babies – two pregnant women joined in sweet expectation of being pregnant with children who would soon grow up as cousins, getting into mischief and creating wonderful mayhem. I was in the final stretch of the first trimester and Shari was in the final stretch of the third, and we were both giddy with pregnancy happiness.
Our beautiful day came to a close and Shari and I embraced, her swelling belly reaching out to touch me first, and we laughed that the cousins were hugging good-bye, too. Little did we know just how accurate this sentiment was. We had no idea of the kinds of goodbyes we would have to say in the days that followed.
Later that same night, after starting to spot and cramp, I ended up in the hospital, and the next day learned that my baby died. I wanted to jump out of my body that had betrayed me. Or had I betrayed my baby? I wanted to run away from myself, to leave behind the anguish that was prickling me all over.
I failed my baby. I failed my husband. I failed my daughter. I failed my family. I failed my friends. I failed myself. These thoughts consumed me.
Had I failed God? Was this a punishment? Was this a test?
Or, had God failed me? Writing that now is painful, for I have come to deeper and stronger understandings and beliefs, but I cannot hide the fact that I questioned God. I questioned why a loving God would allow mothers and families this type of pain.
I just wanted to be back in that space and time when Shari and I were shopping for baby supplies together. I felt an envy creeping in like a dark fog that settles heavily and makes it difficult to see clearly. I grew even angrier with God and more envious of Shari every second. Even though I was seething with an anger that I directed to the Heavens, I asked – or perhaps demanded – of Him to take those next few weeks before Shari gives birth and find some way to heal my heart so that when I looked into the eyes of my niece or nephew I would feel joy, and not sad longing. It was almost as if I was challenging God, giving him a time limit to heal my pain. I told Him it was the least he could do for me after he let my child die.
For two days my world was the anguishing pain of this thing we call miscarriage. That word just doesn’t describe this process, this pain, this occasion. And then on the third day the pain became so strong and severe I wasn’t sure I was going to make it to the bathroom. I knew I wouldn’t make it to the door to call for Steve. Like a wave crashing on the ocean, blood burst forth from me with such intensity that it felt like my heart was going to be sucked out, too.
In that moment, I realized it. This was me saying goodbye. I rocked back and forth and apologized to my child.
“I’m so sorry. I’m so sorry. I’m so sorry I couldn’t do it right. I’m so sorry I let you down as your mom. I’m so sorry. I love you. I miss you. Please don’t go!”
As those words poured out of me, so did the remains of my child. No tiny toes or whispers of fine dark hair, but my child’s broken remains. I wanted to gather those pools of blood in my hands and never let them go.
We are making the last arrangements for Saturday - packing the candles and printing the programs! This Saturday marks the first (hopefully annual) participation of Wings of Hope in the national day to commemorate Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day. We hope you consider joining us for this very special candlelight service to be held at the memorial site, in Calvary Cemetery, Mankato.
6:30 p.m. Service begins, led by Chaplain Gary of the Mayo Clinic Health System
7:00 p.m. Service concludes with a lighting of candles - the wave of light
You are encouraged to bring your own candle - one in a glass or ceramic container to protect the flame from the wind is encouraged. If you are unable to attend but would like one lit on your behalf, please see out Events page for an order form. If you do this, please also send us an email with a copy of the information you would like added to the candle so we make sure we have everything set for Saturday.
As always, please let us know if you have any questions!
The members of our committee have all been on the journey of pregnancy loss, but in different ways. Learn more about why they are all so passionate about bringing awareness and comfort to families who lose a child during pregnancy.