Back in September, I turned 30 (yowser!) and I held a Bears of Hope drive to raise money to purchase bears for families affected by infant loss.
I am SURE that if you are a babylost mama, you have heard of Bears of Hope. In addition to their distribution of bears to bereaved families, they offer support and counselling. Their mission statement reads:
"Bears Of Hope offers support and guidance for parents who experience the loss of their baby during pregnancy, birth or infancy. Through the donation of a bear of hope, parents are provided with the comfort of knowing they are not alone from the very beginning, and offered significant ongoing support to heal their broken hearts. This includes loss through miscarriage, genetic interruption, multiple loss, stillbirth, neo-natal & infant death."
Instead of pressies, I asked people to donate money via my fundraising page to Bears of Hope. The money, then, was used to buy bears that all have a card attached to them with Sybella's name and birthday on it. When a new family who have lost their precious baby leave hospital, they will receive a bear, with Sybella's name, so that they dont go home empty handed.
I have two Bears of Hope that sit in Sybella's cot right now. The little babies that these bears were donated in honour of are Sophie and Brock.
Having these bears helped me enormously because, for one thing, they helped me feel like I wasnt the only one who had gone through this. (Sounds horribly selfish, I know. But in the early days, I felt so isolated, like I was the only one who had been through a stillbirth. Of course, I wasnt...it is NUTS how many mothers I have met in grief. It is TOO TOO heartbreakingly common. I wish it wasnt.)
Anyway, I loved the thought that these baby's legacies continued to be perpetuated through the bears, and wanted to do something like for Sybella.
With the help of friends and family, I raised $1085 for Bears of Hope. That translates to approximately 43 bears with Sybella's name on them! Toni Tattis from Bears of Hope sent me these photos of the bears that were purchased.
So, giving props to Emma tonight. Hopefully she reads this!