Naivete Nativity

 

bathroom

wow, this stone reminds me of a mother’s womb 

Even the most elegant bathroom can be a terribly frightening place to be alone while giving birth to a beloved baby who isn’t alive.  Yet mothers endure miscarriage every minute in just the US alone.

Many mothers not knowing at all what support resources are here for them.

Many families not knowing at all what options, opportunities, rights they have.

Nativity literally means, “place of birth”.

And for too many of our beloved babies who are not born alive, that place of birth is a place of naïveté – of simply, not knowing.

We are changing that, truly we are.

But we can and should and need to do more.

Please, join our SBD electronics app fundraiser.  You’ll make a pledge, that’s it.  Your pledge will ONLY run through as an actual purchase if (WHEN) we make our goal.  And here’s the thing – I’ll honor your bronze amount pledge even if we don’t make our goal (check it out).

{click here to simply offer a pledge}

We have a strong community.  Let us welcome the mothers, the families, who find us through their darkest day.

We only have 60 days to make our goal, and the fundraiser program charges SBD 10% for your purchase, so if you’d prefer, you can simply make a payment right now to stillbirthday to go toward this cause, toward our app, and qualify for the same incentives outlined in the donation page.




 

 

 

Unconditional

During this time last year, I had an irresistible desire to make something tangible which other bereaved mothers could hold.  And it isn’t perfect, it’s chock full of grammatical errors, but I published my first book, The Invisible Pregnancy.

A month before the book went to print, however, I offered a preview as part of an exciting challenge to mothers, which I called The Grief Dare.  Each mother who participated received a free portion of the book and were instructed to simply respond how she felt best.  The Grief Dare was an arduous journey of opening up one’s relationship with her emotions, thoughts, spiritual beliefs and her spouse.  It was a difficult task to be a part of The Grief Dare, to say the least.  The giveaway itself was decided purely by endurance and transparency, not at all by perfection or by any other measure.

What incentive did I offer the participants?  A necklace and earring set, priced at $250, which was a gift to stillbirthday from the very special Dr. Laura Schlessinger (yes, really, the Dr. Laura).

The set is made with 18k gold ink, Amethyst, fresh water pearls, Vermiel caps, and beads.  With “FAITH” written in Scrabble letters on one side and beautiful cherubs on the other, the beautiful necklace is reversible and able to be worn both ways.

Why am I mentioning this a year later then, you might ask?

The mother who rightfully earned this necklace set, she did something extraordinary.

After completing her Grief Dare, Colleen gifted the necklace set right back to stillbirthday.

Just as the set was gifted to stillbirthday, unconditionally, the recipient challenged herself to her Grief Dare, unconditionally.

So I’ve held this beautiful set with this amazing history wondering how I can possibly honor the magnitude of what has already been put into it.

And I’ve decided we need another giveaway.

I’ve spent the first two years of stillbirthday keeping my face hidden from public, because I have wanted you to know that stillbirthday is yours.  But in the past few months I have felt your personal love, your personal acceptance of who I am, your invitation to remind me that I am not alone.

And so I come to you now to share with you where my heart is, to show you my face, to reveal to you what my personal Grief Dare is for 2014.

I have just one task before me, and I’m preparing for it with a timeframe – not just by the full landscape of the full year before me, but I’m breaking it down into much, much smaller portions.    Smaller than months, than weeks, than days.

My task set before me is this:  I am losing weight.

Not physical weight, you see, because physical weight is just that, it’s physical.  My hunger runs much deeper; down to the depths of my soul I have an appetite that has been tormented by unhealth.  I have consumed and fed it junk for far too long.  I must decide to ingest sustenance.

I am going to release the weight of fear.

The fear of being accountable to the littleness that I am.

But also, even more than that?  The fear of being accountable to the greatness that I am.

Together I will call this, my journey to honor my little greatness.

So I’ve layed out my long term vision, that by the end of 2014 I hope to have a certainty in this truth much deeper than I do today.

And I’ve layed out my meal plan in the smaller portions, the consumable bites, the moment-by-moment manna.  This that I need, slimming it down to even just one word, that I can keep in my mind and ready on my tongue, absolutely whenever I need to take a bite of it:

Unconditional.

I am able to receive love, this very moment.  Love, unconditional.

I am able to give love, this very moment, Love, unconditional.

I am able to be love, this very moment.  Love, unconditional.

Even in imperfections, mistakes, weaknesses, even in the moments – the long moments – when I fear that I am not able, I will learn to believe this:

I am secure.  Oh, yes this.

I am secure, unconditional.

This, this is what I am most afraid to believe.  This, though, is what I most desperately need to know.

I am aware that I will need to feed this new mantra of mine to make sure it will sustain me for the whole of next year.  And so I am thrilled to unpack a weight of my fear right here, right now, to tell you:

I’m beginning counseling.

My background in social work, my love for doula work, my passion for stillbirthday, my adoration for my family, my faith in God, these things are valuable treasures that have helped hold me on through the many challenges I have faced both in and out of stillbirthday.  But like the newest member at the local gym, nothing quite beats having a session or ten with a personal trainer; someone who can see you for you, where you’re at, and where you truly desire to be.  And you can bet you’ll be hearing about my newest adventures!

So what about you?

When the easier way to deal with things gets peeled back, when your scabbed wounds are re-exposed, re-examined, what in your life do you need to know is unconditional?  What do you need to know so that those broken places can receive the true, penetrating, healing care they need, cleansed in mercy, wrapped in love?

Unconditional.

Tell me about it at our Unconditional event page, and share how you will train, dare I say condition your soul to be satisfied by the true goodness of this healthy mantra and how you will plan to resist the indulgence of stuffing on insecurities, of setting silent expectations of others and unrealistic demands on your weary soul and how you will release the weight of your fears to find authentic joy and the lightness of love.

I am terrified for this journey, but for the first time in a very long time, I am allowing myself to be so very excited precisely because of that.

I will laugh at the days to come, I will believe that I am loved, I will know that I am secure, unconditional.  This is not past tense, with the benefit of time to offer a temporary balm to my racing heart.  This is me.  Starting, right, now.

Let us begin.

unconditional

.mantra

Love Moves

Love Moves.

It draws you in.  It brings you to places you never thought you’d go.

So we need to pack for our journey.

In 2014, stillbirthday is having a brand new project as part of Mothering Our Mourning.

We’re calling it Love Moves.

And we’re bringing you the suitcase.   Yes, that’s right.

The suitcase will be shipped directly to your door.  It is a gorgeous, wooden suitcase that was hand made with lots and lots of love (and purple, pink and blue).

And when you open this suitcase, inside you’re going to find a gorgeous journaling scrap book, postcards, trinkets….

….it’s going to be filled with love.

lovemoves

And you’ll be able to spend some time, looking, unpacking, touching, all the things placed inside.

And then, you’ll add something of your own.

A poem, a Love Letter, a piece of ribbon, a photo, you can place inside this treasure chest filled with MOM’s Love.

MOM: Mothering Our Mourning

Then, you’ll package up this special box, and it’ll be sent to the next mother.

Through the course of the year, we will be able to watch as Love Moves into places we ourselves never thought we’d go.  And know that we are making it happen.  Bringing real love to real doorsteps, bringing love to mothers as they open this special box and touch the items inside for the very first time.  Tangible hope.  Real healing.

 

To Be a Part

The first 12 mothers to register can secure their place for 2014.  You can register below, and the state/country will be added here.  One box, 12 different locations – and it’s open internationally.

What You’ll Do

  • You’ll reserve your place for 2014 by registering below.
  • You agree to keep the box for a total of 2 weeks within your registered month (each mother is designated for a 1 month timeframe, so we need to give some room for shipping times).  Within those 2 weeks, you agree to preserve the condition of the box and its contents to the best of your ability, keeping everything inside of the box.
  • You agree to contribute into the journal 1 full page’s worth, which can be a pasted photo, a poem, a Love Letter or other words.  This one page worth can be divided by using two different, one half pages, three different one third pages, or so forth.  In short, you agree not to fill it all up by yourself, but to save some room for the other mothers.

The wonder of this opportunity is that you won’t need to explain the items you’ve added. 

We’ll all honor everything held inside as the sacred that it is.

  • You agree to uphold confidentiality and to treasure the box and all contents with the highest amount of discernment, discretion, honor and love.
  • You see that all of the other mothers are agreeing to abide by the same expectations, giving you a very tangible way to express your love, your vulnerability, your feelings, through a safe, structured and healing opportunity.
  • You’ll pay the shipping and handling (approximately $20-$40 USD) to return the box back to Heidi Faith.   Once the box is safely returned to me, you’ll be refunded 50% of your registration ($15 USD).
  • At the end of 2014, we’ll draw a giveaway for one of the participating moms to receive the Love Moves 2014 journal for herself.

This is going to be incredible!

Join the MOM Movement.  It’s going to be transformative, healing, and beautiful.




newmom

Love Moves in 2014

 

January: Ontario, Canada

February: Alabama, USA

March: Kansas, USA

April: Missouri, USA

May: Texas, USA

June: Montana, USA

July: Queensland, Australia

August: Indiana, USA

September: New Mexico, USA

October: Minnesota, USA

November & December – we’re leaving this space open in case there are any delays in shipping, to make sure each mom has plenty of time.

MOM Love Moves Suitcase

Because so many people want to know where I f0und such beautiful things, the beautiful wooden suitcase is handmade from Hans Creations and the awesome journal is from Simply Smashing.  Both shop owners made our items especially for us.  Gorgeousness!

Speak Your Dialect Giveaway

A Giveaway!

 

Of the entire year, the climactic days of  raising awareness of pregnancy & infant loss are upon us.

So I want to challenge you, I want to stretch you, to share about the aspects of your experience that are perhaps the most divisive.

We are all in this together, and we all have a right to healing.

During this week, we’ll be sharing perspectives, photos and stories, both here at the website and at our facebook page.  And four random people will be drawn from all stories and photos to receive one of the four giveaway items.

In honor of last week’s Day of the Girl, October 11, a day to recognize justice issues that girls face, I’ll be giving away three tee shirts from Project Rescue, and one copy of their book, “Beyond the Shame”.

Project Rescue serves in India, voted the worst country in the world for women.  They rescue women and children from the sexual trafficking of the red light district.

These young women become pregnant, endure miscarriage, stillbirth, give birth and endure forced abortion and all in the most horrendous of conditions.

 

I share this with you, because there are many differences among our experiences of pregnancy and infant loss: miscarriage, stillbirth, and so on.

These differences can be celebrated, but are too often divisive – becoming dark walls that trap us in and bind us to shame and unworthiness.

Here are a couple of examples:

  • A mother gives birth on the cusp of miscarriage and stillbirth.  Her baby is called a miscarriage, although she defines her experience as a stillbirth.
  • A mother contemplates elective abortion, but then has a miscarriage.  Now she feels she is to blame.
  • A mother gives birth via elective abortion, but she tells you she had a miscarriage.

 

There are many, many aspects of our experiences that can seem isolating and even shaming.  And it can seem like the furthest thing we want to do is to share these things, but I want to stretch you, I want to invite you, to consider the freeing opportunity there is in speaking into our shame.  Daring to share what others may not yet be able to, holding your hand out to them that they can be released from the bondage of isolation, that they can believe in healing, that they can trust in hope.

 

If there is an aspect to your experience that you say, “That part is just too painful, others will not understand, I am all alone” I want to reach out and take your hand.  I want to whisper to your hurting heart that you are not alone, that your dignity is intact, that there is support for exactly that very part of your experience.  And I want to ask you, if you’d consider, sharing this part with others.  You can even do it anonymously.  Our sharing page gives you my email to do so (Heidi.faith@stillbirthday.com).

 

Please share your story by using our sharing page, and all stories will be entered into our giveaway, which will close and names will be drawn on Sunday, October 20th.  This opportunity is open to every share made as a comment below, made in individual stories through our sharing page, and the stories and comments shared through our facebook page.  It is also open internationally.

And, if you do not feel there is a specific element of shame hidden in your experience, please, I implore you, stay near to stillbirthday, here and at our facebook page, over the next several days, as the stillbirthday community dares to break free from bondage holding us in darkness.  Please, be ready, with a warm heart, with lots of validation, with lots of love.  Your encouraging words enter you into the giveaway as well.

 

Come, let us cast out shame.  Speak your dialect.

Let us heal, together.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

About the giveaway items:

I purchased the book and 3 tee shirts from Project Rescue.  Entire proceeds of these shirts go toward the needs of girls and women in brothels in India.  The shirts are red, and are in one of each size: small, medium and large.  The sizing is similar to (but in my opinion just a smidgen smaller than) men’s sizes.  The first name selected will have first choice, and so on.  If a name is selected and the tee shirt sizing does not match, arrangements will be made to get the right sizing, although the color may be different.

If you have already shared a stillbirthday story that includes this element of darkness we are shining light into, you can simply comment below with the link to your story to be entered into the giveaway.

 

New Students can win a New Computer

I am so extremely excited to begin the new classroom environment for our online, comprehensive birth & bereavement doula program.  If you haven’t yet checked out what our program is all about, you can view the registration information here.

 

Connecting with Microsoft a couple of months ago, Angie and I have been working hard to set the environment just right in the new classroom.  And let me just say, it is amazing.  You can click on over to Stillbirthday University to take a sneak preview at a couple of the photos taken early on in the construction process as we’ve been setting things up.

 

With all of the newest tools and resources to make the ultimate learning environment, trusting foundation, collaborative setting ever, our academically rigorous and emotionally intensive, comprehensive birth and bereavement training program has now become even better.

 

Celebrating the ways that technology  -  a simple ability to log online – can connect bereaved mothers and compassionate people from all experiences and from all over the world, we want to present you with an opportunity to receive your very own personal computer.

 

Stillbirthday is offering one Microsoft 8 Laptop complete with pink Touch Cover, for absolutely free, to one student.  The name selected will be drawn from all students registered by December 28, 2013 – this includes all students who have already completed their registration for the next session.

You might say the Microsoft RT is like the iPad, but better.

You can click here to learn more about the Microsoft 8 Laptop, and then here to learn more about the pink Touch Cover accessory, which will also come free.

Yes, in fact, this is a $430 total value, for free.

Families giving birth in any trimester have a right to be cared for with dignity, with accurate information and with compassion.  If you have a call on your heart to come alongside these families, then I am passionate about equipping you with the tools we have to prepare you.  I want you to succeed and I want families to be supported.

This is a seriously awesome giveaway, but I am seriously passionate about reaching families, and reaching those who will serve them.  Yes, I really bought these items, and yes I’m really giving them away, brand new in the box.  We’re all in this together and it is my honor that we are.  May we all remember the value in one another on this journey.

Register today for the SBD doula training.  Just visit the main registration page to learn more about the course, the content, and the complete registration process.

 

 

The fine print:

There are only 20 students per training session.  The sooner you enroll, the sooner you can reserve the class session you prefer.  Sessions start in January, April, July and October.   You can learn more about registration timeframes and sessions and link to our current roster from the registration page.

The scholarships for the January session have already been awarded, and the scholarships for the following sessions will not be determined until the middle of the January session.

If you are a sponsored student, your enrollment is counted after your sponsorship is complete.

 

 

 

 

Free Rainbow Wrap

Many families who’ve endured loss have subsequent pregnancies that they refer to as “rainbow” babies – the idea being, the rainbow after the storm of loss.

Here at stillbirthday, we provide support prior to, during and after birth in any trimester.  This means, we also provide support for families of “subsequent” or “rainbow” pregnancies.  We offer supportive resources to prepare your heart for conception, we have information and resources to help guide you through the additional joys and additional anxieties that may surface during subsequent pregnancy, and we offer a rainbow birth plan, and SBD doulas prepared to offer you support: before, during and after birth.

We also invite you to share with us, glimpses of your journey.  You can begin with sharing about your grief and your baby’s birth story, and then you can expand to create an online journal here, where you can keep all your birth stories and your updates all together in one place.  We call it, Still Parenting.  Just use our sharing tab to get all the details.

About the Giveaway

This toddler sized rainbow head wrap is a lovely, tangible symbol that everything is subsequent to loss.  If you do not have a toddler sized rainbow who can wear this, did you know that you can also use this beautiful cloth as a bookmark wrap?  Are you in the middle of a helpful book on bereavement and healing?  Wrap it in this beautiful cloth to keep your spot.

 To enter:

Just share this link (from this article) or this photo (from  our Facebook page or from the Bows N Such shop) with others.  We’ll be posting this on our Facebook page as well.  Leave a comment at the thread there or in the comments below, including any URLs of places you’ve shared it online.  The giveaway closes on August 1 with one randomly selected name from all of the participants.

Please check out the sweet shop Bows N Such that made this giveaway possible!

 

Giveaway Closed:

All of the names throughout Facebook and in the comments below were added.  Mary Ellen’s name was randomly chosen.

 

 

 

Rainbow Milk Teethers

Our Rainbow Milk Teethers are here!

If you have experienced pregnancy and infant loss, and are pregnant or nursing your “rainbow/subsequent” baby, this necklace is for you.

This nursing/teething necklace is a natural and beautiful accessory that will match every outfit you wear, and will give your new baby a perfectly fitting grip to hold as he or she snuggles in close with you.

You can get your rainbow teether/nursing necklace, plus engraving, for only $28!

We’re calling this the Rainbow Milk necklace – as your subsequent/rainbow baby holds to the necklace, they can hold to their sibling’s name as well.

After you receive your necklace, have a photo taken of you wearing it while nursing or holding your subsequent/rainbow baby, and send your photo to Heidi.faith@stillbirthday.com with “Rainbow Milk” as the subject line.  From the first 10 photos, those mothers will be entered into a drawing for a giveaway of our Be You Tiful tee!

View more items from the stillbirthday shop!

Price includes shipping within the U.S.   Maximum character count is 25.  After you complete the form, please use the yellow button below to complete your purchase (to ship outside the US, simply fill out the form and I’ll send you an invoice that includes shipping.)

 




 

Sparkles and Snuggles

*A GIVEAWAY!*

 

For this giveaway, here’s what you’ll need:

  • Sparklers or candles
  • A pretty bit of paper or other way to include your baby’s name into the photo

Here’s what you’ll do:

  • Write your baby’s name on a piece of paper.
  • Tape the piece of paper to the handle of a sparkler.
  • Light the sparkler, and take a picture of it.
  • Or find another creative way of including your baby’s name with sparklers or candles.
  • Email your photo to: Heidi.faith@stillbirthday.com with “Sparkles and Snuggles” as the subject line.

Here’s what I’ll do:

  • Add your photo here at stillbirthday, and I’ll share your unique stillbirthday URL with photo at the Facebook wall.
  • The photos  can be submitted until July 13.
  • You can post up to 3 photos.
  • I will post all of the URLs on our Facebook wall on Sunday, July 14.
  • The photo post with the most Facebook “likes” on it on July 21  will win a Heartbeat Lamb from My Baby’s Heartbeat Bear! 

 

 

Pledge to Be Me

We are all in this together. If you are around me for any amount of time, you will know that this is a mantra of mine, an expression that comes from my heart and is something I fully believe in. I’ve shared before at stillbirthday, the importance of our individuality and the importance of our community. It can be a challenge, finding our individuality on our grief journey. Stillbirthday has a Facebook page and a Twitter page, to reach more families and lead them to the resources here. How it works:

  1. Write your thoughts on your own wall, on the stillbirthday wall, or in our private Stillbirthday Support Group on Facebook (you can write your story or a piece of your story on our Facebook wall, and when you do, it will be placed within a stillbirthday URL as well).  
  2. Use the hashtags:  #stillbirthday #pledgetobeme

That’s it.  It’s really that simple. What you can share:

  • A positive truth about you!  I am a bereaved mother, and I can say at least one positive thing about myself.  I invite you to as well.
  • Your favorite resources.  I love connecting, but that doesn’t mean I can always endorse.  Now you can share your favorites.
  • Your favorite things – saw a pretty butterfly today?  Give a shout out to nature’s beauty!

What does it mean, to pledge to be me?

  1. It means that you allow yourself the permission and the safe space to explore your own authentic journey.
  2. It means that you honor those in our community who do the same – let’s share and give credit to our favorite places and things!

We are all in this together.

 

Be You.

Share You.

Heal You.

#stillbirthday #pledgetobeme

Be You – Dark Textured Affirmation Wall Art – 8″ x 12″ Whimsical Fine Art Print, Tim Burton Goth Girl Décor

A print of this painting was a giveaway as an introduction to the Pledge to Be Me campaign.  Click the painting to see Beth’s beautiful shop.

And now, a tee shirt line to go with our Pledge to Be Me campaign!

Click the tee shirt to order:

Remembering The Memory Keepers

Keepsake photography is so enormously important.  It is an important part of meeting our babies, an important part in saying farewell to our babies, and an important part in healing.

A photographer’s flash may be the very first light that breaks through the most impossibly dark days of our lives.

Stillbirthday desires to remember those who help us remember.

These are just some of the special photographers who have supported stillbirthday families.

I encourage you to spend time reading about them and visiting their websites, and to add comments to add any additional links so we reach them.  Hiring these photographers to capture your special moments supports them in a very practical way as they support those who are hurting.

To say thank you to our Memory Keepers, each photographer here is gifted with our Carly Marie Scholarship.  We will also help promote each photographer, by sharing their business information from time to time at the stillbirthday Facebook page.

{The words below are directly from stillbirthday families as they spoke with me about their Memory Keepers.  Parts of their conversations may have been edited out to preserve the privacy of those we wish to honor.  Many of these Memory Keepers are also bereaved themselves.}

Michelle Cramer

Michelle is the founder of On Angels Wings, where she provides free professional photography as well as outreaches into long-term support resources for families enduring loss.

 

Christina Newby

Christina Newby at Milestones Photography.  She is a NILMDTS photographer.  She did our photos with Aaron at the hospital.

 

Angie Thompson

Angie Thompson @ Photographic Memories by Angie.  Angie is an amazing photographer and an even more amazing friend. She donates her time and talent through nilmdts photographing and documenting the short memories of the lives of those babies gone too soon. When my son was born 12 years ago we did not have such ministries. No on talked about it. No one wanted to remember. No one, except me. Angie is one of very few how has given me permission to rejoice in my son’s short life, to recall his face, his kicks, the day he was born, and the day that he left me.

 

Simone Hanby

She is amazing and although not a birth photographer, she took photos at my last sons birth and they are sooooo fantastic. Her name is Simone Hanby from Imagine Creative Images.

 

Jamie Barton

Jamie Barton, of JamieB Photography. She is special to me because when we did our family photos for the first time a year after our loss, she helped us incorporate her and did some special pictures for me.  It was amazing to have someone so open & willing to do something so sacred & special.

 

Briana Snyder

Briana Snyder Photography – when we lost our Oliver she asked if we wanted pictures right away. She wanted to make sure we had photos and she made a sweet photo book for us and all without a single thought of charging us.

Danielle Mitchell

Danielle Mitchell Photography – she was starting a photography business and we wanted a special shoot with pictures Briana did (who was booked up) included with us so we had photos of us all together since our 2yr old never met him at the hospital.

 

Didi Miles

Didi Miles of Natural Approach Photography. Not only is she one of my closest friends and pseudo mom, she is an amazing photographer.
When I lost my baby she was a tremendous support.  And when my baby would have been due she had me come in for a photo shoot to help me feel better.  And when I got pregnant again and had my baby girl she was there to hold my hand and photograph the entire thing. She is so incredible.

 

Blair Banks

Blair of Blair Banks Photography is special for so many reasons… she started a project in his memory to teach pregnant mothers about kick counts… she took the last photographs that we have of our sweet Mason.

 

Joshua-James Newman

My special photographer is Joshua-James Newman of Joshua James Newman Designs.

 

Sarah Holst

Sarah Holst with Fresh Blend Media is amazing.  I would love to honor her somehow.

 

Steph (Lullaby Grace)

My amazing friend Steph who owns Lullaby Grace Photography she took photos of my belly before I had my angel Thomas. Been there through thick and thin and now is doing photos documenting my pregnancy with our rainbow baby.

 

Julie Matheson Dorta

Julie Matheson Dorta is my special photographer.  She did my maternity pictures when I was pregnant with Bryce and Keiran.  My boys were stillborn at 33 weeks.  When I got pregnant with my rainbow, she did my maternity shots again, for free because of all the heartache I had been through.  She has captured almost every stage of this first year, and will capture my wedding in October!

 

Christi Bernlohr

The photographer WE love is Christi Bernlohr of Bernlohr Photography. She took pictures of our son Grayson V and gave us such amazing memories. She never met us but she cried like one of us. She is amazing!

 

Rachel McCoy

Rachael McCoy photography.  The pictures will be cherished for a life time since they are all we will ever have of her.

 

Sara McConnell

Sara McConnell is a very special and respected photographer in Ottawa, Canada. She came to our Doula group and spoke to us about photographing babies who were stillborn by creating different photos for families to cherish. Sara described some of the things a parent might like to cherish and offered her services to our Doula group if we ever found ourselves supporting a family who are grieving for their baby.

 

Hallie Dedrick, Stephanie Randolph

Hallie Dedrick and Stephanie Randolph. I had a unexpected full term still birth in October 2011. My Doula (Hallie Dedrick) stayed by my side the entire time and was also there as a photographer. She captured the only pictures I will ever have of my baby boy. She took such professional quality photos in the poor lighting and the in the sad mood of my hospital room. Later she tried her best to edit the photos but never had training to do so. We talked to another local photographer (Stephanie Randolph) and she has worked for NILMDTS and was able to edit the photos for me. Now I can look at my photos and share my photos and it appears my baby has a clean completion and is peaceful. I don’t know what I would do without these ladies talents and generosity ♥

 

Marnie Pouget

A special photographer is Marnie Pouget. Marnie gave me a gift that I could never repay her for. Marnie, came to the hospital and this time took pictures of my now 8mos old son’s birth, from beginning to end. Including his double true knot. The significance of that picture alone is mind blowing.  Our Naomi had one true knot and that is why we lost her.  She has walked along our side, through both, capturing memories that I don’t ever want to lose!

 

Tiffney Smith

Tiffney Smith, of Tiffney Smith Photography! When we found out we were going to have an angel baby, Tiffney came to the hospital and took photos of us with our sweet Ava after she had passed. While she is a newborn photographer, Ava was her very first, and considering the circumstances, she did it with such care and love. Ava had some facial deformities and Tiffney never made us think she was anything than perfect. Her photos are what I will cherish for the rest of my life and I will forever be grateful.

 

Julie Wagner

Julie Wagner of Beautiful Beginnings.  It was an act of God that she came to the hospital and took amazing photos of our still born baby girl Catherine at 38 weeks. She was amazing and had never taken those kinds of photographs before.

 

Kassandra “Kassy” Beale

Kassandra Beale (Kassy), helps loss mommies by taking FREE photographs for them in remembrance of their child.

 

Elaine Zelker

Elaine Zelker was our photographer and friend at Judah’s birth. We were SO blessed to have her.

 

Kim Chandler

My special photographer is Kim Chandler, she now dedicates her free time between delivering pizzas to memorializing lost babies with pictures, including writing their names on flower petals.  She took my favorite pictures at our Remembrance Day event, and will be doing so again this year.  She is working incredibly hard to build her portfolio in order to become a NILTDTS photographer and I hope and pray she reaches her goal.

 

Patti Ramos

Patti Ramos, hands down, is amazing in all ways.

 

Connie Sorg

My friend and photographer Connie Sorg does amazing work and doesn’t charge a lot for it. She’s a sweetheart and a wonderful woman.

 

Leah Sandretzky

Leah Sandretzky- Heartbeat Photography. She is a VERY special photographer because after we lost one of our twins, born still, she drove an hour and a half out of her way to come to the NICU where our survivor was, to take family-newborn pictures for us. For FREE.  Not only that– but she also secretly took donations from friends and family to buy our family remembrance necklaces and bracelets for our lost daughter. When she received the jewelry, she went to the nearest beach, and took photos of the jewelry. AND she put out daughters name in CarlyMarie’s list to have her name wrote in the sand. When she sent the jewlery to me, she also included a cd mix of beautiful grieving songs. She is an extremely beautiful soul, so generous and amazing. I’ve wanted to do something, anything to pay her back for her generosity.

 

Bozena Olszanska

A very special photographer is Bozena Olszanska.  She took the ONLY photo of my sweet stillborn son, Oscar.  Not only did she come to the hospital, to take his photo, but she edits it every year on his birthday, with different backdrops…

 

Heather Brouillete

My friend runs hay.LO Photography. Her name is Heather Brouillete.  She is an amazing woman and photographer.  She stayed in the hospital with my husband and I while we were being induced with our angel.  She was with us day and night for 4 days.  She witnessed the birth and death of our son and captured it beautifully on film and video.

 

Chelsea Self

My special photographer is Chelsea Self from Self Reflexion – she took priceless photos of my two daughters during their very limited time here on this Earth. I’ll cherish all of the photos she took for the rest of my life – she’s amazing in every sense of the word.

 

Siri Salonen

Siri Salonen is a very special photographer!  When she heard of the birth of our daughter born without a heartbeat, Gabriella Rose, she offered the suggestion of placing something symbolic in our future photographs to represent our daughter. We chose a pink rose. Five years later, we still place a rose in professional photos of our family and of our now five living children.
Siri also edited pictures of our daughter that we took during and following her birth. Siri made us a beautiful hardcover book filled with meaningful quotations and pictures of our baby girl.  Siri is amazing, and has touched our lives in so many ways.

 

Ashley McConnell

Ashley is a one of the kindest people God ever created.  Words cannot do justice to her.

 

Rachel Bell

Rachel Bell edited the pictures, made a slideshow for her memorial, and shared her own personal story. She was a rock for us those first few months and someone we still speak with…

 

Steph Villa Davis

Steph Villa Davis is my dear friend who has a huge passion for what she does and deep heart for blessing families.  She’s in Los Angeles.

 

Cynthia Woodmansee

A photographer here in California volunteers with the organization that provides photos to parents of still born babies. Her name is Cynthia Woodmansee.

 

Ronice Sceski

Ronice Sceski from Ronice Kay Photography

 

Crystal Martin Farmer

My favorite very special photographer is Crystal Martin Farmer. She did amazing photos when we lost our son unexpectedly last year at 18 weeks gestation. She’s reserved in that she follows the lead of those she photographing. We have several of her pictures from our few moments with our son.

 

Angela Donaldson

My friend Angela Donaldson, in spite of many challenges, finds time to be a NILMDTS photographer.

 

Michelle Wortley

My friend Michelle Wortley is currently doing a photography course as she would like to be able to provide a photography service in her local hospital for anyone who loses a precious baby to stillbirth or neonatal loss.  The photos she took of Bailey were fantastic.  She is such a special friend who I met after losing my own son.  We now share a special bond.

Stillbirthday families remember our Memory Keepers 

 

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