In November of 2008, our darling son Dex passed away unexpectedly just before his birth at 28 weeks, due to complications of Twin to Twin Transfusion Syndrome. He is survived by his parents, two older siblings, and his identical twin brother.
When someone experiences a life-altering challenge or tragedy, it is not uncommon for them to seek solace in a personal cause. Some are lucky enough to find their inspiration quickly. For others, it may take much longer.
It was three years for me.
I have long searched for a project that spoke to my soul. I wanted something that would honor Dex's memoryand give purpose to my grief. I needed a service project that would be as useful to others as it would be cathartic for our family. I preferred something kinda "different" and it had to be something within my skills and abilities.
When my sister's friend Emily showed us tiny little diapers that their friend Arah had created for angel families in Spokane, I knew immediately that I had found my answer. My heart told me that there was no turning back.
Micropreemie stillbirth diapers it would be. Gratefully, Arah has been incredibly supportive of our project and we are so thankful for her original inspiration.
I reached out to Utah Valley Regional Medical Center and the Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep Foundation of Salt Lake, sent them pictures of my plans and asked them if they could use these little diapers. They enthusiastically responded, "we want them YESTERDAY. And could you make us some micropreemie blankets and mats too?"
So in summer of 2011, we began another chapter in our healing. At Girls Camp, our Young Women cut and pinned 78 stillbirth micropreemie diapers for local hospitals and my friend Jennie helped me sew them up. Neighbors started dropping off fabric. My sisters and their families rolled up their sleeves in Washington, Florida and New Mexico to make diapers. My friend Tracy sewed with her family and YW in Canada. As a family, we traced, cut, ironed, turned, and sewed on vacations, weekends, and slow evenings. Kinley's friends started asking for diaper-making playdates. I sewed and worked on this blog, deciding what exactly I wanted Teeny Tears to be.
Justin never raised an eyebrow when I suddenly transformed our formal sitting area into my sewing headquarters. Anyone who knows my husband understands what a profound declaration of approval that is. He has seen how this project has carried me through the autumn. I have long believed that the phrase "Time Heals All Wounds" is a load of garbage. Time itself heals very little; it's what you do with the time that makes all the difference. When the autumn anxiety nipped at my heartstrings this year, I cranked up all of my "Dex Songs" and immersed myself in cutting, tracing, ironing, pinning, and sewing. I have felt so close to my son as I have worked on this very special birthday present for him. I've enjoyed a peace and stability that has eluded me for three Novembers. When my daughter Kinley gets hit by the November blues, she grabs a stack of diapers to work on; this effort has been very healing for our entire family.
So, happy birthday to my darling Dex! Teeny Tears has been created in your memory and your honor. When a grieving family receives a T.T. diaper set for their little one, we want them to know that someone understands that their son or daughter was special, loved, and that they mattered. Because "a person's a person, no matter how small."
We introduce to you: Teeny Tears.
For more about Dex and his surviving brother, Crew, click here.
Founder and President