Friends, Lately I have felt a bit disconnected from what I call “the babyloss community.” It has been a while since I have posted here about the pain of our loss and the grief I was feeling. I’d been writing … Continue reading
The holidays can be some of the most difficult times without our little ones around. The void they leave in our hearts can feel even bigger during this season. This year, I am excited to be a part of a … Continue reading
The Pregnancy After Loss Support facebook page is doing a giveaway of one of my Their Names prints in honor of Mother’s Day. The winner can choose one of the three prints from my Etsy shop and I will personalize … Continue reading
I’m excited to announce the re-opening of my Etsy shop, just in time for Mother’s Day!
I’m currently selling 5″ x 7″ prints of my Their Names paintings that can be personalized with the name(s) and date(s) of your babies or children. These are prints of my watercolor paintings, made on heavy cardstock and ready for framing, and I just have to say that it is very hard to tell them from the originals. They turned out just beautifully.
There are two prints that are live in the shop today, and the third candle print will be live by the end of the week.
It is so special to see the names of our little ones written, and these prints make lovely gifts for someone who has lost a baby or child. Or you can give that gift to yourself and see their sweet name each and every day.
Thanks for being here!
It has been a while since I’ve posted here and I just wanted to start by checking in and giving a big welcome to anyone who is new to this page. I am both sorry and thankful that you are here.
I have been taking a little break from my artwork and writing, as our family welcomed another little one in January. That makes five kids at home, the eldest of whom is eight years old. I have heard people liken having young children to being “in the trenches.” That sounds about right. Only the enemy is sleep and diapers and clutter and dishes and laundry. And your fellow troops are sweet and adorable and loving and funny, but are double agents – working for both sides – and don’t realize it. Our new little guy is so sweet, though, and we are all loving life with a new baby in the house.
Anyway, it is spring right now, and that means that I have my girls on my mind. And when my girls are on my mind, I think of ways that I can honor them and keep their memory alive.
Right now, finding ten minutes together to accomplish something is a challenge. I had to stop three times already just writing these first few paragraphs to kiss a boo on my toddler’s foot and return the binky twice to the baby’s mouth (I have a love/hate relationship with that binky!). It’s part of that aforementioned battle. So finding time to write and paint and sketch is difficult. But that doesn’t mean I can’t do it. It just means that I have to work harder to carve the time out. And I’ve been thinking about ways that I might be able to be more efficient about that process.
It occurred to me that I might be able to create some hand-painted Their Names artwork, make high quality prints of them, and then personalize those prints with names of little ones. The prints would be frame ready at 5″ x 7″ and would be available in my Etsy shop.
But I need some ideas, and that’s where you come in!
I am not yet able to do custom work, but I created a few of these pieces last March for giveaways in Fiona’s memory.
I would like to paint them again and include them among the options for prints. But I also thought I would include one more for now. I’d love it if you could give your vote for one of the following prints, or offer a suggestion if you have another idea.
Would you rather see
A- A candle with the words “Your light shines on,” as depicted here:
B – A yellow butterfly on a blue background with the words “Always in our hearts,” similar to what is depicted here (of course, these are pink and the phrase is spread between two paintings. The new version would be all on one 5×7 print, but it gives you the idea):
I would love it if you would offer your thoughts on this by placing a vote for A or B, or giving another idea if you have one. Just remember, the phrasing will not be customized. Only the names will be. Everyone who votes will be entered into a drawing to win their choice from the first batch of prints that is made, personalized with the name(s) of their own little winged one(s).
To vote, please leave a comment on this post (NOTE: not a comment on Facebook) by midnight on March 31, 2015. I will choose a winner on April 1.
Thank you for being here with me. I’m so grateful!
It has been a while since I’ve written a post. This one hurts a little bit.
I have decided to close my Etsy store for the time being. I’m not sure how long it will be, but right now, my young family has some special needs that require me to be more hands-on with them, and they come first. Plus, we are expecting another little one in January, and I want to be sure that I’m not spreading myself too thin.
So if you have placed an order with me, please be assured that it will be completed as soon as possible and sent to you. If you have been thinking about placing an order, I will be accepting new orders through August 15, 2014. After that, I will be putting my shop into “vacation mode” indefinitely as I work with my family to create a system for the new school year that allows us all to stay focused and calm.
Thank you so much for your understanding! I will be keeping the blog open, as this is my favorite outlet for sharing what is on my heart. I also have a facebook page where I post new writings here and anywhere else I can be found around the web. And I may be creating pieces as the spirit moves me and time allows, to sell individually, via the blog and facebook, as opposed to commissioned work through Etsy. I just need to put my artwork on the back burner for a bit and focus on these amazingly wonderful little ones who call me Mom.
I know that not everyone is able to get pregnant after their loss, but for those families who find themselves expecting another baby, the fear and anxiety can be overwhelming.
Our family welcomed our daughter about a year and a half after Brigid died. My whole pregnancy was filled with such a strong mixture of emotions that I felt torn apart. And things did not get easier as I got closer to delivery; they got harder.
I’m excited to share that we are expecting another little one. I am just about nine weeks along right now, and we had the opportunity to see our little one in an ultrasound yesterday.
Now for some other exciting news, there is a new website launching this Saturday that is specifically meant to offer support for the emotional roller coaster that is pregnancy following a loss. When the “innocence” of pregnancy is over and we know that things don’t always go according to plan, it is hard to enjoy each milestone the way we did before.
I will be writing weekly about my own pregnancy, and the emotions that accompany it, as a “Bump Day Blogger” for Pregnancy After Loss Support.
The website will be launching this Saturday, June 21, with lots of giveaways, but for now, you can check out the facebook page. In the future, you’ll be able to connect there via buttons on this page as well.
I hope you’ll stop by Saturday and check it out!
Head over to my Facebook page for a chance to win a copy of Still Standing…Because They Lived.
I might even tell you which feet are mine.
I am so happy to have a new category on the blog that spotlights sponsors and affiliates of Little Winged Ones! I will be featuring a special post each time someone chooses to place an advertisement on the blog relating to the baby loss community, so if you have a product or a service that you have created for parents who have lost a child – a book you’ve written, artwork or jewelry you create, memory boxes, anything – I would love to share your ad and your story here as a resource for others. Contact me or use the “Sponsorship” tab at the top of the page for more information.
My first spotlight is All That Love Can Do founder, RaeAnne Fredrickson. She shares the story of her precious Samuel and All That Love Can Do with us below. You can visit her blog for more information and find them on Facebook as well.
On September 13th, 2011, my husband and I found out we were expecting our first child. We were absolutely overjoyed! We immediately began preparing for our new little one and creating a space for him or her in our hearts and our home. We knew we would love our little baby forever.
Since the nurse practitioner I saw for my primary health care would be unable to deliver the baby, she recommended we start looking for an OBGYN as soon as possible. I found one to try and made an appointment for 13 weeks.
At 11 weeks, we had the opportunity to see our baby for the first time via ultrasound. I can’t begin to tell you how special that moment was, watching our tiny, perfect little love bouncing all around, kicking and even waving hello. With lots of happy tears and full hearts, we carried our photos home to dream of our new life together.
After a very uneventful first appointment with the new OBGYN at 13 weeks, she asked if we’d like to take a peek at the baby again. Of course we would! Once again, our special little one popped up on the screen as we watched in awe. Then, out of nowhere, the doctor turned the screen away. She said, “I’m seeing something disconcerting”. Time stopped and my heart felt as if it did too. She turned the screen back to us and pointed to the baby’s tummy. “See this black area…that’s not supposed to be there”.
To say we were stunned would be a massive understatement. I felt as if I was floating as we gathered up our things and headed home to await further testing. It wouldn’t be until 2 weeks later in the office of a maternal fetal medicine specialist when we would learn what was going on. Our baby – our loved and wanted little one – had a fluke condition called Bladder Outlet Obstruction due to Posterior Urethral Valves and would not be able to live. Despite the recommendation to end our baby’s life – “Absolutely not!” was our reply – we chose to love our little one for as long as we could by carrying him with the condition. With shattered hopes, hearts and dreams, we went home to try to sort out what on earth we had just heard.
Many, many times during the next five months, we were told our son (yep, he was a boy!) would not live much longer. We were told to expect a miscarriage, and then a stillbirth and on and on. Every step of the way, our little guy – who we named Samuel Evan – proved to be a little fighter and just kept on growing and living.
At 35 weeks, after a long and crazy labor, our little love was born into the world and let out a cry. Since he was born alive, they did all they could to help him. The hospital we were in was not well equipped, so he was sent to the Mayo Clinic to receive the best care. Due to my c-section, I was unable to go with him. My husband stayed by his side, held his hand and spoke love to him for as long as he could. After only four short hours, with his daddy holding his hand, our little Samuel took his last breath.
Now we are left to pick up the pieces of our shattered hearts and lives.
It’s been just over two years since he died. I miss him every day and I will always wish he had stayed. When I look back on the time we had with him, I’m so grateful we made the most of our time. I’m so glad we carried him and met him. We have memories and photos that will help us make it through each day. If I had the chance, I would do it again, just to look in his eyes, one more time. He was worth it.
Carrying to term doesn’t make the loss easier to bear. It doesn’t make it okay. I will never, ever, be okay that he was sick, or that he died. But I will always be glad that we chose life. I will always be proud that we did all we could. When I looked in his brown eyes, and held his little hand, I knew in my heart it had been worth it all. I would choose him again, every time.
I created All That Love Can Do to support and encourage other families facing the devastating news that their precious baby will not live. I truly believe there is nothing worse than to hear that news. It’s like two losses in one; first, at the time of the diagnosis, second at the time of their death. No one should face that alone. It is my sincere hope that every family who makes the loving and courageous decision to carry a baby with a fatal diagnosis will find help, comfort and healing through our page, blog and support groups.
With Samuel in my heart,
To read our full story, visit my blog, TheLoveWeCarry
Find help and resources on our blog, All That Love Can Do
Support, encouragement at our Facebook Page
And join our groups here:
For grandparents, Grandparents,
For babyloss families with no living children,
For babyloss families with living children, but no Rainbow
For babyloss parents who are TTC, carrying, or raising their Rainbow
*Rainbow is the term used to describe a baby born after loss.
All That Love Can Do
All Life is Precious, Even a Short One.