Saturday, February 9, 2013

New Zealand Miscarriage and Stillbirth Resources and Ideas

One of the most valuable pieces of advice given to me was from my midwife. She visited the night before I was induced to have Ellie and told me how our time with Ellie would be so short. We needed to cram in as many memories as we could and cherish all the time we had with her. We needed to CREATE memories.

When I searched online for ideas, advice and tales of people who had been before me I came up blank! So here's what I have discovered:

Sands- online and in person support
Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep - professional photographers who donate their time taking photos of stillborn babies. You don't get prints, you get a CD. The lady we had was awesome
Sands Bereaved Parents Facebook Group - a group for people who have lost children via misscarriage, stillbirth or infant loss.
Melody Art Designs Melody creates graphics depicting your baby's details - ie date and place of birth, weight etc. She does this for free for stillborn babies, you just get the image file, then you pay to put on a canvas
Fingerprints- They can put a miniature version of hand and/or footprints onto a silver pendant or charm
Glover Memorials Plaques - They provide free memorial plaques made from marble. They are beautiful and so special.
Forever Hugs - turn baby clothing into a soft toy
Cloth Nappies - cloth nappies for stillborn babies
My Angel Keepsake Jewelery - keepsake jewelery
Sketches -provide a photo of your baby and Lee creates beautiful sketches - prices on the 'about' page
Bellyful - Provide meals for those in need
Love Loops - Personalised necklaces that you can put names of your children on
Names in the Sand - Your childs name written in the sand then photographed
Lost for Words Card Line - Cards for purchase that are all related to baby loss

Other ideas without links:

Hand and foot prints  
You can get inkless kits which work like magic! So gentle and easy to do.

Hand and foot castings 
Ask on the Sands Facebook forum for suggestions of who to use in your area. Mine was through NakedArt Body casting, as they were close friends with my birth support. I also know of MomentoesFeatures Forever (Auckland),

Keep an item of their clothing, or a blanket. 
The hospital or funeral director can put items in a ziplock bag to preserve that 'baby smell' for you as well! 
Make sure you are VERY clear about which items are to be buried/cremated and which are to be returned to you. Removing blankets/garments to keep can be hard to do, so the funeral director can do this for you. Though I repeat - be very clear about what you want to keep.
In New Zealand, most crematoriums require baby to be appropriately dressed to be cremated, so you can't keep all of their clothes unless you provide something else for them to be changed into.

Put an item of their clothing onto a soft toy to keep

Create a scent when you're around baby. 
 IE a drop of lavender oil on their blanket, or your favourite perfume. Once baby is gone, you will always remember them when you smell that familiar scent

Keep a lock of their hair

Create a memory blanket or quilt 
You can turn baby clothes into patchwork quilts, or (as my friends and I have done) knit squares to join together

Choose something special to contain your baby's ashes (if you choose cremation)
IE a nice box or a soft toy 

Provide a book for people to write their condolences in

SANDS provide a gift box to put keepsakes in 
Inside these are two teddies - one to go with baby (to burial or cremation) and one for a parent to keep close. 

Create a Photobook
Grab One and other daily deal sites regularly have cheap photobooks

Looking to the future

Ways to remember baby each year - 

Visit baby's grave or an area with special significance

Donate a present to a Christmas "wishing tree" to a child of the same age that your baby would be

Light a candle in rememberance

Release helium balloons

Include a symbol of your baby in family photos (ie a bear or toy)

Buy a special Christmas tree ornament each year

Celebrate baby's birthday with a cake and gathering of supportive friends

If you have an update to this page please let me know!


AhSwain said...

Just to add to keeping an item of clothing, info on how to store it would be good, I think that it's awesome to keep the smell of baby on the clothes as long as you can, it's so healing when that familiar smell comes back to you....

Plingie said...

YES! Very true