As Lucy’s heaven birthday approaches (February 8th), we have thought about what we should do to honor her sweet life. We wish we could be buying her the fun baby girl presents we always dreamed of being able to buy for our daughter, but we can’t. Instead, we decided to make a “comfort basket” for another baby loss mom who has suffered a stillbirth.
I saw another woman who made one in honor of her daughter, Esther Kate, and I loved the idea. I asked a lot of other baby loss moms what they would have wanted in a “comfort basket” after they lost their baby. They all had so many good ideas, it was hard to decide what to include. I finally just made a list and started working my way down the list until my money ran out. Here’s what I put in the comfort basket:
I also wrote down some comforting Bible verses on notecards, in case she wanted to read them.
I know everybody isn’t “religious” and some people are offended by Bible verses, so I put a label on the top of the cards to let her know what they were. I wanted her to feel like she could read them if she wanted, or throw them away- it was up to her. I also gave her a card with my blog address and some other websites and grief resources.
Putting this comfort basket together was one of the most painful and most rewarding things I’ve done since losing Lucy. As I walked through Hobby Lobby searching for the perfect gifts, I kept thinking about this woman and her baby who was probably healthy and kicking at that very moment and I wept for them both. It is hard to accept the fact that so many other women lose their babies too. I have prayed for this woman so much and I cried in every single store I went in to buy these gifts. I wish I could protect her baby and shield her from the searing pain of losing her child, but I can’t. All I can do is try to bring some comfort and let her know that she is not alone. After I had Lucy I felt so absolutely alone in that hospital room because I knew there were women all around me giving birth to their pink, screaming babies at that very moment. My baby was cold and motionless and I had to leave her there forever. It was the most forlorn, the most desperate feeling in the world. I would have loved to have received one of these baskets from another mom who knew my pain. The other day, I called the nurse on the labor and delivery floor at the hospital where I gave birth to Lucy and I asked her if it would be ok to leave a basket for another mom who lost her baby. She said it would be great and that no one had ever done that before. I wish I could get one for every baby loss mom in that hospital, but I can only leave one.
If you have lost a baby, I want to challenge you to find a way to use your pain to encourage someone else. It feels so wonderful and it brings life and healing out of your pain and loss. I think it is a wonderful way to honor your baby’s life.
Proverbs 11:25 Whoever brings blessing will be enriched, and one who waters will himself be watered.
If you want to make a comfort basket, it’s really easy. I actually put it off for a while because I had this weird idea that I had to go there and deliver it personally. But I don’t have to do that, especially since I am not emotionally ready to go back to the labor and delivery floor where I lost Lucy. I finally asked one of my friends who works at the hospital if she would deliver it for me and she said she would be glad to. You can put whatever you want in it, maybe the things you wish you would have had after you lost your own baby. And if you are not a baby loss mom, I still think it is a wonderful way to encourage someone else. If you know someone who has lost a baby, I think it is a great idea to make one of these comfort baskets and place them in honor of that baby’s life. I would have loved it if someone had made one of these on Christmas and donated it to the hospital in honor of Lucy’s first Christmas in heaven. You could also do it for the baby’s due date, birthday, etc. Here is a list of the many suggestions given to me by other baby loss moms (thank you!) of comforting things you could include in the basket:
- picture frame
- foot/hand print mold
- disposable camera (I wish I’d had one, all I had was the camera on my phone)
- encouraging books on grief/baby loss
- teddy bear/stuffed animal
- baby blanket
- photo album
- soft kleenex
- small statue/figure or jewelry (angel holding a baby, etc)
- Bible verses, encouraging quotes
- healing things for childbirth- tea, hot/cold pack, etc.
- a candle to light for the baby
- list of helpful websites and local support groups
- small (preemie?) baby clothes or a cute hat
So this year, Lucy’s birthday present will be comfort, love and encouragement for another Mama who has lost her baby. Happy birthday, baby girl. You make me so proud.