Wilson NICU Donation

Our local NICU at Wilson Hospital in Johnson city takes babies 28 weeks and over. They have a ability to house 24 babies at once. Each year I've tried to get a special donation of hats to them along with a small gift for the parents during this holiday season. This is what I did this year :) 

30 kits
10 for 28ish weeks
10 for 32ish weeks
10 for 36ish weeks

The hats all stretch so they are fit a range in size. 

Here are some photos from this year :) I dropped them off today to a very grateful staff and we chatted about doing a halloween donation next year :) eek!

This year I went with a flatter not as breakable ornament :) Each is handmade by me (I had a little help from Danita for a few). 

They came with a hat and a matching mini hat. So the parents had something that could "connect" them with their baby in the NICU when they couldn't be there.

 I then packaged each one in a decorative ziploc with a card :)


Holiday Hats and Matching Mini Hat

Enjoy this special pattern I whipped for the local NICU. It's similar to my Faux Knit Hats, but it uses a thicker yarn. You don't NEED to use these for just holiday affairs either :) They can be done for at anytime! 

NICU Holiday Stretchy Hats

Yarn (weight 4)
J hook
Yarn needle
1 3/8 inch pom pom maker (optional)

ch = chain
sc = single crochet

*Each pattern is labeled in weeks of gestation, but hats will stretch for larger sized babies*

28 weeks

Leaving a long tail (4-5 inches)
Chain 19

Row 1: 3rd chain from hook, sc. Sc across in each chain. Ch 1, turn.
Row 2: Sc in back loops only across, ch 2, turn
Row 3: sc in back loops only across, ch 1, turn
Rows 4-24: alternate between row 2 and row 3. On Row 24 do not chain at end. End piece leaving a long tail.

(hint: the long tail you started with will always be at the ch 1 side of your piece)

Fold piece in half (last row meets starting chain).
Whip or Mattress stitch the two edges together using the tail you just created on the chain 2 side of your rectangle.
Work the rest of the end in coming back down the seam some and cut.
(Mattress: http://crocheteverafter.com/2013/04/24/mattress-stitch-join-tutorial/
Whip:http://crocheteverafter.com/2013/04/30/how-to-whipstitch-join/ )

2nd tail (on chain one side of rectangle)
weave in and out around top edge, catching as little of each stitch as you need to. Pull tight and weave in end (this closes the top of the hat).

Add pompom if you wish! Fold up brim and your done :)

32 weeks

Leaving a long tail (4-5 inches)
Chain 21

Row 1: 3rd chain from hook, sc. Sc across in each chain. Ch 1, turn.
Row 2: Sc in back loops only across, ch 2, turn
Row 3: sc in back loops only across, ch 1, turn
Rows 4-28: alternate between row 2 and row 3. On Row 28 do not chain at end. End piece leaving a long tail.

Finish the same as 28 weeks.

36 weeks

-Leaving a long tail (5-6 inches)
Chain 26

Row 1: 3rd chain from hook, sc. Sc across in each chain. Ch 1, turn.
Row 2: Sc in back loops only across, ch 2, turn
Row 3: sc in back loops only across, ch 1, turn
Rows 4-32: alternate between row 2 and row 3. On Row 32 do not chain at end. End piece leaving a long tail.

Finish the same as 28 weeks.


You can make a hat that will fit roughly 18-24 weeks (best fit is 20-24 weeks) with a start chain of 17 and 22 rows. 


30 kits -- Niagra

30 kits you see there. In the new homemade draw string bags :) 
5 -- 15-18 week bunting kits (love me forever bunting)
5 -- 15-18 week outfit kits (lay me down wrap)
5 -- 18-23 week kits
4 -- 22-24 week kits
3 -- 24-30 week kits
3 -- 28-32 week kits
3 -- 30-36 week kits
2 -- 36+ week kits

This box was made possible by some wonderful monetary donations!

Thank you so much:
Liam, Riley, Ben and Archer Jackson
Logan's Love Bags
Zonalynn Conners
Gary and Sindy Dineen
Tracy Adams
Bethaney Cotten
Gabrielle Wayman

Your generosity has helped 30 kits to find their way to Niagara Falls :)

And as always here are some examples of what went in these kits:

I had alot of crochet outfits I made or others, which worked out to really provide a variety.

Love You Forever Bunting

Extra Small Lay me Down Wrap

Samples -- Crouse in Syracause

Another hospital asking for samples. Mostly because they receive other donations and want to see what I have they can request :) They were also very interested in the below 20 week items I have...so off to them I sent three kits one containing a bunting and one an outfit for 15-18 weeks and then another kit with a 18-23 week outfit (lay me down wraps and love you forever bunting). Then I also included a miscarriage kit upon their request along with outfits for larger babies.

Here's just a few photos I didn't get one of everything I sent off to them.
I didn't realize how much this blended together until looking at the photo after,lol. There IS a Lay me Down wrap on that blanket :)


Miscarriage Kits -- Nurse Family Partnership

I sent out 10 miscarriage kits and a few other bits to the only Stillbirthday doula close to me... and shes technically in PA.


Samples -- St Anthony Hospital in Warwick

On occasion a hospital asks for samples... St Anthony's was one of them. I sent them three complete kits, specifically in the smaller ranges since that is where the most interest is.


30 Lay Me Down Wraps -- Angel Blankets

Angel Blankets is a fellow New York organization that donates to local hospitals in the Poughkeepsie area. Check out her Facebook Page here:

These beauties are off to her to add blankets to for a donation to Vassar Brothers Medical Center in honor of her little girl. 

Above are 15 wraps 20-23 week range.
Below are 15 wraps in the 15-18 week range these wraps included hats which didn't make it in the photo.
ALL wraps came with a matching diaper set :)


Crochet Faux Knit Hats for all Gestations

I love stretchy hats since they can be easily put on and taken off a sweet little angel.I loved them too for even my newborn :) This pattern has been a LONG time in the making. This is my go to pattern now when making hats for Kaitlin's Angels since one hat can span a decent number of kits :) ENJOY!

(I am going to include in this post the pattern for the most common size I need, but please download the pdf for ALL the sizes)

 20-24 Weeks Hat

Using a G hook

Leaving a LONG tail
Ch 24

Row 1: sc in second ch from hook and in every ch across, ch 2 turn

*work in back loops only on each row for rest of pattern*

Row 2: sc in each stitch across row, ch 2 turn


Row 3: sc in each stitch across, ch 2 turn

Row 4: sc in each stitch across, ch 2 turn


Repeat row 3 and 4 until you have a total of 15 ridges

End leaving a long tail

Whip or Mattress stitch the two edges together using one of your tails. Work the rest of the end in and cut.

2nd tail
weave in and out around top edge, catching as little of each stitch as you need to. Pull tight and weave in end (this closes the top of the hat).

Fold up brim and your done :) 

Stretchy Hats
condensed pattern/reference guide


Start chain
(all back loops)
36+ weeks
sc & hdc
sc & hdc
sc only
sc only
sc only
sc only
sc only

Start chain
(all back loops)
24-28G23sc only18
18-23G20sc only14
15-18G14sc only12


Niagra Falls... Move the Box!

Please help move this box... each $1 gets it's 4 miles closer :) Every $1 counts!
Click this link to donate now :) 

Release from Grief Blogposts

I wrote a series of blog posts about my path through grief. I called it a Release from Grief, because in many ways I feel I'm beyond it... I don't grieve the loss of  my precious babies anymore...I'm in a new place with no name...but I've found a way to release my grief and move to here. It might not be for everyone as we all walk very different, very personal paths, but I wanted to share :) Here is the complete blog series together in one post:

Release from Grief: Release

The Flowering:
Your seed has grown, become something new, something different than the see it started. It may wilt on occasion, but with some TLC it will come back full bloom, facing the sun and ready for bright tomorrows. It won't leave you. Even if the flower wilts and seemingly dies, a seed will always remain for it to regrow.


I've written this just to share my own personal thoughts, feelings and ideas while struggling with the loss of a child. You might agree or might not. Thats alright. We live in a huge world full of different kinds of people. Different types of people. My way is NOT the way for everyone. My way is merely a suggestion on how you might find your way. I have in no way perfected this method. But I have found a release from grief. Let me explain.

From my experience I seems like many drown in their grief. They hold on to the grief thinking they are holding on their babies and I feel there is a great separation between the two. Your grief is sadness, anger, isolation while your baby is love. How are they something to be kept together? They are opposites (in my eyes). As soon as you find a way to come to this reality and truly focus on JUST the love, just the bliss you felt when you found our you were pregnant, seeing you baby's face, etc...then the grief can start to crumble and break off. Use that love as a shield against the grief. Now this isn't something that will work right off. Everyone needs to go through the stages of grief. I just find there are some that seem to live in a stage forever and I would for them to find the same release I have found and that is where I feel this method comes in to play. There is no time frame for grief and I know it can last years. But at some point I know I realized I was tired from it. The pain was too much and hard to bare and I wanted to find a way out. I stumbled and fell a few times, but this is just merely what helped me, and I truly believe it CAN help others.

I more often than not feel at peace with my losses. I don't spend weeks dreading their angelversaries. I don't even dread their days as much as I used to. I found a release as I surfaced from drowning. As I felt the sand on my toes I stood, walked and felt surrounded with love and warmth. Your angels don't need you to celebrate their day if you don't want to, you celebrate them everytime you think about them. Somewhere in my stumbling and falling I discovered there is a place with in me where Kaitlin and Sage are always celebrated, loved and cherished. As long as I live that place will forever live on. There is my release. I don't grieve the loss of them, I instead celebrate the life they had and the life they gave me. This wasn't an overnight process. I still might fall on occasion, but mostly I now know how to fly myself. Falling is okay, but don't give yourself permission to stay laying there. Rest for a moment but always sit, stand and walk again. Their memories rely on us to keep them alive, keep them experiencing life as well. Someday I hope you find your release from grief :) How you get there is yours to find. Use my words as a guide or find your own, but I truly with my whole being hope those who have been touched with infant loss can find a release.


Release from Grief: Share

This section might seem redundant. But It's from a previous portion I wrote and felt it needed to be said, it's something I encourage EVERYONE to do. Share your loss, share your experience, just share.
You don't have to share them with the world, you don't have to talk and talk about your few days pregnant until those around you think you've gone mad. There are so many different way to SHARE that don't seem like “sharing.” Lets start with one simple fact, don't hide them. They are apart of you, the new you. In order for people and you to understand that new you, they need to KNOW why you changed. No all people will NOT agree with it. They've probably never experienced it. If they did it might have been in a time they weren't allowed to process and deal with those feelings...so understand you will not find acceptance with all of those around you. I try to accept the comments they make as just ignorance. And not ignorance in a negative way... just they don't KNOW. It's like telling someone you understand what it feels like when their house burns down. You can't unless you've experienced it. Have you lost everything you had accept the clothes on your back? Have you stood by and cried seeing the place you felt the safest turn to rubble? If the answer is no, then you CAN'T relate. You think you can so you say things like I understand, but you truly can't. Just like a person who has never experienced a loss can't help but think they have the best advice, but they don't. And honestly NO ONE has the best advice, you need to stumble around and figure out what your new path is. Talk to people, get opinions...something will work, somethings won't...but you will find your footing again. So this is why I say share.

Even with future people. As you go on to make new friends, don't afraid of talking about your loss. It's apart of you just like all of your other life experiences. It has molded you into who you are, it's nothing shameful. It's not meant to be swept under the rug. If you had a child that died at the age of two you would talk about them, but for some reason an infant loss isn't supposed to be. I'm not saying shout it from the roof tops (even though I don't think there is harm in that either), but we often get a pit of our stomach worry when someone asks how many children we have, or brings up pregnancy. Then the struggle in your in mind begins... do I say something? Do I just stay quite? Do I omit my angels? I'm all for honesty. Say it, say you have so many losses, say you have had that experience. I can tell you in my 6 years of being honest, I rarely come across a rude person. Sadly most of the rudeness comes from family not strangers.

Sharing also empowers. It empowers other women and men to be willing to say HEY ME TOO! It's scary, but honestly our world is changing and people are realizing that loss happens. It's not a comfortable topic so many stray away from it, but they know of it and most have sympathy for those who deal with it.

Confession. I once was exposed to someone who was talking about a miscarriage and how worried she was about the current pregnancy. How scared she was, etc. I remember thinking why it's just a miscarriage. That was my being ignorant. It was before kids for me, before I realized what it was like. It's just like when people talk about their house flooding... like mine did. People on the outside think we got tons of money from the insurance company, that we were recovered with in months of it happening, and that we are back to normal. In reality, we didn't even get enough to put the downstairs back to how it was before the flood, not to mention the countless personal items we lost. We are still recovering 3 years later as you can only do so much. Yes we use the basement again as a living room, but it's not a “finished” room. Then the back to normal.. HA! We lost all of our baby items that we saved from baby one, so we had to rebuy them all when we got pregnant again. People don't step up and help you as much with baby two as much as they do with your first...so it was on us. People don't get how we talk about a plan on IF we ever get a the flood warning like we did before. How we worry when it rains. How we still try to find things we lost in the flood forgetting we LOST them in the flood. So many things are not normal now... but it's our new normal. I couldn't have understood what flooding was like, until it happened to me. But I am honest about the flood too.

You sharing will empower someone else to share and perhaps even help them realize they aren't alone. However I do understand not everyone is comfortable with this.

Maybe you're not comfortable sharing verbally. Share on paper. Journaling for some can be a very powerful tool. Something they can turn to, write in and just have that release. Kuddos to you if you can, I envy you. I never could. It wasn't my outlet. It seemed to easy to do, but it wasn't for me. I felt awkward writing, clumsy and just plain not into it. So I abandoned it. I tried it...because at first I was worried my feelings weren't normal, that I would be laughed at, it still didn't work for me. But over time I've realized that I'm not normal, I'm ME. My grief and feelings will be different and the same in many ways compared to others.

But I stress don't stuff your loss down deep inside of you like your trying to “forget it”. Share it, even if it's ONLY with yourself.


Still Birthday

I work on and off with Still Birthday, the wonderful creator of it all Heidi holds a special place in my heart. Her kind words, encouragement and patience helped me through my at home miscarriage in ways she will never even realize. She was my go to and I appreciate it with all my heart.

I like to donate when I can so when she asked me if I would be interested in making the scarves for her Love Wildly event I jumped on board!

The photo isn't the best, but here are some of them :)

They are made of fleece. Each one has a machine embroidered appliqué on them of three hearts. One in pink, one blue and the larger one purple. The fabric used on the appliques are from scraps I have from making outfits and blankets to be donated in my kits. So they have a special meaning.

Want to learn more about Still Birthday? Check our her website here:

You can find more about the Love Wildly event there as well :)


Release from Grief: Nature


Oh boy, did I ever resentment my two angels from time to time. I will be honest sometimes I'm downright mad at them. If Kaitlin could have just developed properly I might have my three children right now. (Not that I realistically think SHE had any say in matters either). Sage too, I wouldn't have had to spend another 5 months of disappointments if she could have just stuck around. Sounds awful of me right? It's normal. It's part of playing a victim, but I try to remember they are a victim too. If only MY egg/body could have worked right they would be here right?

Oh and then resenting the medical staff, my doc for not seeing what was going on, the NICU nurses for maybe missing something. The NICU doc for maybe throwing in the towel too soon...etc. Even though I kno they all had her best interests at heart, that they were fighting WITH us and not against us. This kind of thinking will just sink you. And to be honest we all sink some before we learn how to float. Then you sort of do this bob on top thing on occasion. Or take a few steps back towards the water during your life before you turn around and walk forward again. Really though loosing Kaitlin and Sage is nature.

Nature took a hold of my children and took my children from me. Nothing to really blame there. We as a human race save ALOT of babies that shouldn't be saved. (I'm not saying I want that to end). From Nature's standpoint we are going against genetics. Now the weak survive along with the strong. A child born at 24 weeks for example is given about a 50% chance of survival... they normally walk out with lots of complications, but they live. 100 years ago... a baby born at 24 weeks would have been treated like a baby born at 20 weeks now. A baby born to soon to be helped. (Listen don't quote me directly on the numbers I use, this is just a food for thought sort of thing). Now fast forward 100 years and perhaps a baby born at 20 weeks will be able to survive too...but as humans we are supposed to carry our young in womb for 9 months. Born a little sooner might work out alright in general, but we keep our young alive when they are born drastically earlier than planned.

This way of thinking has helped me immensely. How can I resent the medical system for giving me a chance to carry Kaitlin to term. Kaitlin should have died around 20 weeks. We stitched my cervix closed so she stayed within until 29 weeks. Then she should have died shortly after birth, but because someone knows how to perform surgery on such a tiny being she lived. Because we have antibiotics, can give blood transfusions, and have meds that help preemies she lived for two weeks. Sage isn't immune to this either. In the past I would have realized I was pregnant and thought all was well, up until the day it wasn't. But with Sage I got to have an ultrasound (well a few of them). I got to prepare. I knew she wasn't going to stay around and I got plan for that. I knew why I lost Sage. Medicine tells us that babies just stop developing for genetic reasons. Before I can only imagine a woman's pain in wondering why her pregnancies didn't stick. I can imagine the blame one might have felt. It's a small comfort in knowing that it's just nature. It's nothing I did, its nothing the baby did, it's just how things happen.

In the end though it nature. It goes back to the why me question. I am a product of nature so it's the reality my children are also prone to nature's laws. Not every egg with be perfectly fertilized or grow the way it should. Not every person's body is a perfect host for babies to grow. All we can do is be thankful for the technology we posses to help fight against it.


Release from Grief: What Ifs

The What ifs

Oh those what ifs, things you wish you had done differently at the time of your loss, things you think if you went back and changed it would change the outcome. There is no changing, no going back, etc. Your angel is your angel, it's harsh, but true. It takes awhile to realize this...I used to wake thinking Kaitlin was still in the NICU. I used to hope and believe Sage was still growing in my and what I had passed was just a large clot and all was well. Then I played the what ifs. Was it the fact I touched Christmas lights that caused Kaitlin to have issues, I colored my hair I should have never done that. What if I hadn't? What if I wasn't taking certain medicines could that change if Sage would have lived or not...I drove myself mad...but it didn't change anything. It didn't bring them back. Nothing will. So you have to face reality, Your baby is GONE.

Then there is the how you would have done it differentlys. How you might have dressed your angel yourself, how you might have not flushed that clot down the toilet. How you would have made the experience more special or just different. That can't be changed either. But it's okay. It YOUR experience. At the time it was what you needed to do. Sometimes we are medications that hinder us from seeing things clearly, sometimes your just so caught up in the moment you don't know what more to do. Hindsight is always clearer. Your angel though feels the love you have for them NOW and thats all they need. They are balls of energy and light...feelings I truly believe help nurturer them, just like breastmilk might a newborn. Share your feelings with them. You can speak out loud or in your mind, they hear you. They know you love them without having to put on a grand show of things. You don't need to release 1000 balloons, or light 100 candles, they know cause you feel it. I've told people many times that if you feel you didn't get to say something to a passed loved one, say it NOW. They hear us, they truly do. I know this only based off my own experiences... cause I feel it. You can take me on my word or not, but it goes back to memory. Even if you didn't love how the last moments you had with your child went, the love is still there. You love your child no matter how horrific their birth was, let that LOVE be what you choose to focus on. Remember it, hold on to it, and keep it with you on the surface. Let it float and the bad memories sink a little out of focus. You can't get rid of them, but you can choose what you want to keep upfront.


Release From Grief: Changes

The Growth Section:

So you've planted your see at some point in grief. Some sliver of hope that has buried itself deep in your soul. Some of us will go on to have more children. Some won't. That doesn't matter for this. It will need time to grow. In the next sections I will share with you the different items I went through to grow mine. Yours will probably be different. Just like how a rose needs different care than a lily, yours will different nutrients to make it happen, but it can happen.


It changes you just like the seed looks nothing like the flower, you will change too.

There is no back to yourself. Back to normal, back to you. There is a new normal, a new you and people around you will struggle with that. Even those who are closest to you might not understand. I think men sometimes don't understand and that is just because they deal with loss in a very different way. (and this is okay... I know I struggled with understanding how my husband could be so different, but we each needed to find our OWN way through it).

Infant loss changes you. You learn things from your losses, even if its just how to see someone else in a different light. Maybe you were in a relationship that wasn't the best, and going through your loss you found out just how not right the guy was for you. Maybe you starting giving time or talents to others to help ease their pain, something you might not have done before. Maybe you just learned how to listen better to someone else's pain. It's easy to play the victim, but over time playing that role will just cause you to drown. It may take you years to swim to the surface, but if you put one foot ahead of the other every day you will get there, and your loss will have changed you and I believe it changes everyone for the better.

You will always hold bitter resentment of WHY ME. But think why not me? What makes you different than another angel mom. My husband and I did everything right, waited to have kids until after marriage, after we were financially sound, totally in love etc...and Kaitlin still happened. While so many other's went on to have kids. I still don't always understand WHY ME, but I do understand why not me. I'm not any more special than the next person. We think we are as humans, that have something better than others, but the reality is ... we don't. So we have to face and deal with that, when you do you can start your swim up, you can start to break the surface and fine a beach with your path to your future.

Let is change you. So what if you want to now learn how to crochet so you have make hats. Maybe you want to go to your local support group no longer for support but to GIVE it. Maybe online you become a peer who people can come talk to. Maybe start a blog to share your feelings so that it might help one more person. Maybe you just become more attentive to the children you have, or your husband. You can turn around and spread some love in so many ways and it doesn't even have to be related to your loss. I believe it can change you in a positive way when your ready to embrace it. When your ready to break the surface the light that is now with you always starts to shine in you, and it grows. Let it. Does it mean you have to change the world, no. Maybe your light will just be to give a smile to someone who needed it more than you realize. Maybe before now you were the one always talking while I friend always listened and now you know how important it is to listen and they can now use you and your ear. Maybe it's to donate to a hospital, time or items. Go with what makes you feel good. What settles your heart will be the the right path. Be true to yourself and don't overdo it.

You may stumble, fall, have to go back. Maybe what you picked doesn't work anymore. Thats alright. Maybe you need a new focus as life goes on cause something happened to alter your path, thats alright to. This is YOUR path, your walk...your growth. It's not to be compared to anyone else's. Don't let anyone else judge that, its yours, own it and be proud of it. If you're not then think about how to make it something your proud of and start the steps towards doing it. Yes I'm a glass is half full kind of person. Life throws you things that are awful, tragic and hurt. If you allow yourself to dwell forever on the half empty side you will drown. I'm not saying I've never drowned... we all do it from time to time. But at some point you need to step back, take a deep breath and start your swim UP. If you don't you will always feel miserable and I'm telling here and today after a loss of a child you don't HAVE to. I truly believe your angels will thank you for taking the steps towards a brighter more positive future.


Release from Grief: A Seed

A Seed

There are no magic words. No one tried and true method of how to cope with loss. The loss of a baby is more than the loss of an adult. They both sting, hurt and make you angry, but from personal experience I see loss of a baby (early or late) is harder. With an older person you have memories, even if you only had a year with that person you have them to hold and cherish. You can look back and smile and refeel the warm happy times (grant it this takes time to get to but you have it to get it to). With the loss of a baby you don't have that as much. You might have the happy moment of finding out your pregnant, maybe the happy time of feeling them kick. But your actually memories of them may never consist of more than that, cause their time in being alive maybe didn't even happen for you. For me I had two weeks. Two weeks of time, but that time was spent in worry, fear, and just plain stressed. My baby girl was alive because of tubes and wires and to be honest barely alive. There was a the one happy moment of hearing her cry and the rest looms like a huge cloud blocking out that tiny sliver of sunshine. My miscarriage isn't any better. We had already been through stress with other things, other kinds of heart ache and uneasiness, so to learn the baby we had wanted to much wasn't even given a chance from the start...well lets just say coping doesn't come easy with that.

So where do you start? I feel now 6 years from Kaitlin and 2 from Sage that I am in a better place. A more stable ground under my feet. It hasn't been easy and I'm sure I will still struggle from time to time, but right now I want to share with you HOW I got here.

Coping is something that happens from the moment your loss happens. If your eating and drinking, trying to live, your coping. You do have to find your way back to being a functioning persons...reality. The pain of losing a baby hurts and cuts us deeply, but we are still living and thats important to continue to do. So at first we learn how to take an hour at time. Then maybe it's a day, a week a month. We might set an internal goal of not crying for an hour. Maybe it's something we have to do... like committing to making it through an 8 hour shift at work. For me I remember trying to figure out how to grocery shop. I was supposed to go back to normal. Meet with friends, grocery shop, cook and clean (I was a stay at home wife). I pushed back the tears to go sledding, I talked myself into going to the grocery store, I forced myself off the couch to vacuum the floor. Looking back I'm not sure if it was helpful, but it is how it was. Through it all I dealt, I cried, and I was depressed. But my perspective on things started to change back then...and it's the seed that was planted then that created what is now. I don't think it has to be planted back then however, it can happen now. Wherever you are in your grief, let these words be a seed. A seed of hope that someday you will climb from the darkest days, moments and time and find a light that will help you release your grief.

This is how the seed was planted with in me: I laughed. I felt horrible guilt for it. My baby just died, why am I laughing? Why am I not in bed crying? But if I were to die would I want that of the people who loved me? Would I want them crying and depressed for days/weeks/months on end. No I wouldn't. Kaitlin was my little girl, I knew she wouldn't want that either. She would want me to laugh, to smile and enjoy life. Miss her...YES Love her...YES Cry...Sure but LIVE too. So I laughed watching my friends slide down the hill and wipe out at the bottom. I learned how to smile at those with big round pregnant bellies. Everyday removing myself from sitting and sulking got a small bit easier. It wasn't an instant switch. I still had many dark days, many guilty moments, but I did plant that seed then and there of brighter days ahead.

For full disclosure, let me say I had tried to commit suicide when I was younger for stupid boy problems. I woke from it and learned that I was being very short sighted and that I wasn't thinking about those that DID love me. So during my dark days after loosing Kaitlin I had to remind myself of that experience. Sure it would be easier if I had just died, leaving the pain behind me. But what about my husband, the future children we had hoped to have, the friends and family that surround us. Everyone has someone and if you leave you leave that someone with no longer having you, but also no longer having your baby either because chances are they wanted you to have that child too. So in reading this, it's your promise you're going to live. Because through YOUR life you will give your angel life. 

This might be where my views differ from the vast majority of the world, but here we go. I call my babies my angels but I do no believe in a heaven and a hell, or a God. I believe in energies and spirits. I think that when we pass we become a spirit/energy that lingers to be with those who loved us. Your baby had only you and their father and YOU knew them in a way only a mother could. You held them in your womb, felt them and/or the pregnancy giving them life. You have a connection, a bond, that no one else can have so your angel has the strongest connection with you. So their spirit is going to attach themselves to you, and some cases maybe even only you. So their little spirit lives WITH you. They get to see and feel things through you. I believe they are always there during the happy times and catch our tears during the saddest. They love and protect us when they can, but they also rely on us. Our babies didn't get to feel the sun, smile at a happy thought, smell a rose... but they can through us. So at some point after loosing Kaitlin this thought was planted in my head, the seed. It stuck there and blossomed into my way to cope. I feel my angels here with me, they calm me when I need it, they guide, and the love and in return I live for them.

Maybe your don't believe in spirits. Do you believe in memory? Because even if you don't believe in the energy that surrounds us, you can atleast agree that YOU are one of the few people on this earth who KNOW who your angel is. As we grow we weave ourselves with others through just our day to day interactions...your baby didn't have that chance, so their life relays on YOUR memory. I promise you, you will never forget them. I'm 6 years away from Kaitlin's NICU stay, and honestly I still remember cupping my hand over her little head. I remember sitting beside her and watching her move, I can still hear the beeps and whirs of the machines. Two years away from Sage and I remember laying on the bed in pain during those last few moments of her “birth”. The memory will not disappear, it is apart of you.

Side note:
Food for thought. Our sweet little beings are obviously little humans, who would and might (as spirits) grow to have thoughts and such of their own. How do you think your angel might react if you decided to toss in the towel yourself. I think Kaitlin and Sage would have been disappointed. I think they would have sulked and held resentment towards me.


Release from Grief: Introduction


Welcome to my blog series called a Release From Grief. Let me start with that I'm NOT an English major or a perfect writer. I'm SURE you will find mistakes. Try to read the words and meaning of them and understand this isn't meant to be a famous novel. It's merely my sharing how I've found a release from my own grief. This method I know can be used beyond infant loss. I've found ways to incorporate it throughout all my lives struggles. This bit I wrote specifically with infant loss in mind.

I've had two losses myself. I'm not an expert in anything, but can share with you my experience in coping and dealing with them both. Kaitlin is our first child. I had a long difficult pregnancy with her. I was sent for emergency surgery at 20 weeks for a cerlclage (stitch around your cervix). I was also put on complete bedrest. I spent a over month in the hospital. At 29 weeks she was born 2 lbs 10oz. Her health however quickly deteriorated. She had surgery day of birth, fought infections, and ended up at a point of no hope. We choose to take her life support away and hold her. She lived for an hour on her own. Kaitlin changed our lives and made us parents. We did go on to have another child, another loss and another child. Sage is our second angel. A blighted ovum which is where the amniotic sac develops and the placenta do but the baby does not. It's my belief that a baby did form but stopped before we could see it. As the fertilized egg separated into baby and placenta/sac, the baby part stopped moving forward due to chromosome abnormalities. Just like when a baby's heart stop beating at 8 weeks gestation. My losses don't make me an expert, but they do make me experienced.

I truly hope that atleast ONE person can be helped with my words and that is my goal in writing this. I'm always here to talk at just an e-mail away.

The first part of the blog will be released starting on Sage's 2nd Anniversary on July 18th,2014. It will come out a section at time for the next few weeks every Friday.


14-18 week Tiny Diaper

 Tiny Diaper for
14-18 week Angels

Ribbon (1/8 in)
Sewing Machine

How To:
  1. Print and cut out pattern from paper.
  2. Lay out your flannel and trace on the diaper pattern. (You can layer your fabric and cut two out at a time). Cut out diaper. You will need two for this project.
  3. Lay diaper cuts with right sides facing each other.
  4. Stitch around the edge leaving a gap along the long edge of the diaper.
  5. Trim around the diaper be careful not to get too close to the stitch. Don't trim gap area (can leave that whole edge alone actually, just round the corner.)
  6. Turn the diaper. It will be hard trying to get it through the crotch area. Just keep working it slowly bit by bit it will eventually give.
  7. Poke out the edges with a pointy tool of some kind (I like a knitting needle, but I have also used crochet hooks, kabob sticks, etc)
  8. Top stitch around the outside closing the gap.
  9. Stitch on a 14-16 inch piece of ribbon on the back of the diaper. (about two inches)
  10. Fold and tie, you've made a diaper!

These can be donated to your local hospital as keepsakes for losses in this gestation. They could attempt to put them on the baby's as well but most of the time they are too fragile. I like to include two in the kits I made JUST in case they put one one the baby the parents still have one to take home. Add ribbon and turn them into ornaments.