Today we are honored to share Arah and Olivia's story:
"In November of 2007, our daughter Olivia was born. Weighing 3lbs. 9oz. and a length of 16 inches, she was tiny for 37 weeks. She had Polycystic Kidney Disease and lived a short 1 hour and 53 minutes, which was more than we could have hoped for when we were told the diagnosis at 19 weeks pregnant.
Throughout my pregnancy, while others would have been buying things for a nursery, we were preparing for her funeral. My dad built her casket and my mom had a burial dress made. I remember the day we picked out her plot at the cemetery while she kicked around inside me, it broke my heart.
My doctor had referred me to a program at the hospital called Forget Me Not, which gives supportive care for families with unborn infants diagnosed with life-threatening or life-limiting conditions. We were able to plan our birth and ask questions and just felt like we weren’t going to be abandoned.
During our time in the hospital, we were able to bathe, dress and photograph her. Her big sister, Brinley, was able to meet her as well as many friends and family. We had molds of her hands, feet and face made (some of my most favorite possessions). The hardest thing was handing our sweet baby girl over to the chaplain before we left the hospital, empty handed.
Three months after Olivia’s death, I was asked to consider doing photography for the same program that I had just gone through. I had wanted to give back to the program and this was perfect for me. I said yes. Four+ years and well over 100 babies photographed later, I am now on the Forget Me Not board and am the photography coordinator.
After a particular session, a mom, who had known her daughter would not live, had made her a small diaper, knowing that she wouldn’t be big enough to wear the preemie diaper the hospital would provide. The idea came to me, "Make tiny diapers." My first set of diapers were donated in honor of my daughter, Olivia. I had so many nurses and others asking about a pattern, that I posted it on my blog. My goal was to give families one more thing that they could take home. I had no idea how big a reaction my little diaper patterns would make.
Megan has kindly kept me informed of all the places the diapers are being sent. I get super emotional every time I get a new email telling me that more families are able to cover their little baby’s bum. I am so very happy that so many people see the need for them and it seems they are spreading like wildfire!
Megan is just amazing. She has done so much to help families through Teeny Tears. We have never met in person, but I do know her sister.
I would also like to personally thank all of you who have helped make diapers. It may have made the loss just a little more bearable by knowing that their tiny baby meant something to someone else too.
And to leave you on a happier note, just three days before Olivia’s 1st birthday, we welcomed her little sister, Sarah, into our family."