The tiniest of blankets for the tiniest of babies. In our continued efforts to provide support and resources to the families affected by pregnancy loss, we are putting together care packages - including wraps for the smallest of the small.
Some families will use these wraps for their babies' remains, while others might choose to add them as keepsakes to memorial boxes or books. The difficult reality for some mothers who endure first trimester loss is that they pass fetal remains at home - or even while at work or doing errands - and they are often unsure what to do. While everyone must make personal decisions, we have heard from so many who say things such as:
I wish I would have known.
I didn't even have a baby blanket picked out yet.
I didn't know what to do.
For these mothers, the flannel wraps can provide a comforting way to collect the remains before making arrangements with the funeral home. These flannel wraps have a moisture resistant liner and ribbon ties. The wraps are also small enough to tuck inside a baby book or scrapbook if parents just want to use them as reminders of their littlest angels.
We'll keep you posted with more pictures and updates of the care packages as we get ready to deliver them to care providers. A heartfelt thanks to volunteers like Patty who are helping us get all of this ready - so far 140+ of these small wraps - and 50+ for second trimester losses.
Even though the skies were grey to start the day, the clouds parted and we were blessed with a beautiful evening for our Evening of Remembrance! We want to extend a special Thank You to Pastor Dave Laughlin for leading us through the service with a heartfelt, genuine, and comforting message; a special Thank You also goes to our musicians for the evening - Kevin and Lorrie Torbenson. Their talents and voices helped provide the perfect setting.
We hope those who came found what they needed, experienced a message of hope, and will consider sharing more about Wings of Hope with others.
I didn't know how much I needed this.
It was the first time I felt I was able to say good-bye.
We hear the words "you are not alone", but tonight I actually felt like it. Surrounded by my own community of people.
These are just some of the words we have heard from people who have attended our Evenings of Remembrance. Join us on Tuesday, October 3rd, as we join together once again as a community of parents, family members, and friends - all touched by the heartache of pregnancy or newborn loss.
Here are the details:
Please join us for our next Evening of Remembrance, to be held at the Wings of Hope memorial site on Tuesday, October 3, 2017. The service will begin at 6:00 pm and include music, prayers, a time for reflection, and an opportunity for families to place flowers at the memorial site in remembrance of their children. Flowers will be provided, but you are also welcome to bring your own.
Please let us know if you have any questions.
This first image is a throwback to November of 2015, when a spray-painted line and foundation for the central statue were the only hints of change to come. Since that time, Wings of Hope has been blessed by the generosity of community members. We have been able to grow from those stark white lines to the beautiful walkway, carving, benches, and surrounding trees and flowers.
More than that, though, we have been able to keep growing in community awareness and involvement. But we still have so far to go.
We can't go back and undo the loss. As much as we pray, beg, and plead, we can't change the road we traveled when we heard those words - "There is no heartbeat". But we can make a difference for all of the families who we know will unfortunately be the 1 in 4 who endure the loss of a child in pregnancy - and Wings of Hope needs your help!
Unfortunately, we too often hear of stories from moms and dads who said they wish they would have known... The information often comes too late, if at all, for what to expect and how to do things such as collect the remains of your child, arrange for the remains to go to the mortuary if chosen, collect keepsake information of your child, and more.
We are in the preliminary stages of putting together care packages for these families, hopefully to be distributed by medical staff, midwives, and caregivers. Examples of items we are considering adding to these packages include:
Every situation is different, and not all moms will have remains, want to consider this option, or feel comfortable doing things such as take measurements. What we want to do is let moms know that they can if they want to take these steps. We don't want to keep hearing stories of I wish I would have known...
Please help us by sharing what you wish you would have known... what resources you wish were available in a do-over.
We can't turn back the clocks on our own losses, but we can help make sure that the next mom who endures this loss has the tools and resources she needs.
Comment here on our blog, on Facebook, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
As our committee continues to plan for the Evening of Remembrance on May 11th at 6:00 pm and meet with the pastor who will lead, the musicians, and members of the community who are assisting, we carry all of you who will be attending in our hearts and thoughts.
We understand that you might have questions about what to expect from the Evening of Remembrance, especially if you are a family who will be burying or honoring a child. The following are some of the details you might be wondering about - but might not know how to ask. Please let us know if you have any other questions.
507-519-0158 (ask for Chris - Wings of Hope Chair)
As we get ready for another Evening of Remembrance and a second Design & Wine fundraiser, we want to take this time to thank everyone for the continued support of Wings of Hope. We have come so far since those painted outlines on the grass and dreams on the dry erase board in our committee meeting.
We still have much to do - and more goals to reach. This includes approximately $3000 to finish paying for the memorial, the annual costs for engraved markers with the month and year of the common burial (with one marker between two burial plots), monthly expenses for printing brochures and other materials, expenses associated with each Evening of Remembrance, candlelight vigil, and other events, and goals and projects to further the mission of Wings of Hope. These include things like donations of Cuddle Cots to the local hospitals - so families can have as much time saying hello to their little ones before they have to say a final good-bye.
How can you help Wings of Hope?
There are several ways you can help us meet our needs and reach our goals.
No matter where or when pregnancy loss occurs – there are physical, mental, and emotional issues facing mothers. We have heard from so many moms who just did not feel that they understood what it was going to be like – enduring a miscarriage at home – which only made this time in their lives all the more painful.
Sometimes referred to in the medical community as expectant management, waiting for a miscarriage to occur at home after the doctor has delivered the devastating news that your child has died is like waiting on a lonely road for a deadly car crash you know will happen before your eyes. You feel helpless and out of control. Many women are sent home from medical offices with condolences and instructions to call the office after passing large clots, or prepare to experience what will feel like a heavy menstrual cycle with cramping.
Too often we just don’t know how to actually prepare – and respond.
So – let’s change that.
For mothers who choose, Wings of Hope does offer the common burial option for babies who die earlier than 20 weeks gestation. You can request a moisture-proof container from your physician for the purposes of transporting your child’s remains to the mortuary. Small, waterproof containers you might have at your home can work as well You must call the Mankato Mortuary (Riverfront Drive location) to make arrangements and this will include signing a release form to participate in the burial option.
Please let us know what questions you have - let's keep the conversation going in our efforts to provide the resources we know women in our community need!
Losing a child during pregnancy can make you feel like you lose all of the "firsts", too. First smiles, first steps, first words, and first birthdays. It is easy to focus on those firsts we lose because we were planning a whole lifetime of firsts, seconds, and more. While they may not be the traditional "firsts", it can be comforting to think about, share memories of, and maybe record in a scrapbook the firsts that you did get to experience with your child.
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.