My miscarried baby was born April 19, 2011.
It was immediate, the conviction to do something to help other families not feel as alone and ill-prepared as we were. My husband, a normally stoic, very private man, confirmed my desires and agreed that we needed to put our very personal experience to use to help others.
It was just that overwhelming.
As we both privately grieved, I began to look into building a website for pregnancy loss support. I had an idea in mind, and I even quickly found an amazing blog designer. What’s more, is she provides discounts specifically for bereaved parents! It was perfect.
I began emailing her and tossing her my ideas. No, I mean, I had scribbles on random pieces of paper. Scribbles with boxes and arrows and thought bubbles and dashes and lines crossed out and things written over other things.
I took these notes, scanned them into my computer, and sent them to her.
It was that bad.
See? SEE? I’d ask her. Can we do this? Can we do this too? Or this instead?
“Sure,” she’d patiently reply. “We can do these things. When would you like to get started?”
I didn’t have the money I needed to invest in the things I wanted.
So, after all of that, I had to tell her that I wasn’t ready to get started.
Yes, yes. I looked that foolish.
But then, many of you know about the fateful July night, and the voice that woke me up to get started. I began a free blog, and, just did what I could (and I have loved the response).
So, from April to July, I waited. Biting my lips, feeling the strain mount. How many mothers endured loss feeling alone, not knowing even the tiny fragments of wisdom I have gleaned through my own loss? The pressure was building.
I worked steadily, for nearly a week. Every night, tucking the kiddos to sleep, starting a pot of coffee, and plugging things into the website. I was going so fast that even today I still find new things I wrote in. I was plain moved by the Holy Spirit. That’s all there is to it.
So, August 1, 2011, I presented stillbirthday to the world.
And as I’ve wept over stories and wanted to jump through my computer to hug a mama a thousand different times, I’ve come to see that stillbirthday was a place for me to visit my son. A place for me to enter into, and grieve.
Now, a year later, we have grown so much. We have even more programs and now, we have the money to make the changes to the site.
For the past several days, I’ve been working with Franchesca Cox from Small Bird Studios.
No, no I haven’t actually been working with her. She’s been tirelessly presenting amazing ideas and crafting beautiful details into a wonderful new website, and I’ve been catching my breath, oohing and ahhing, cheering right out loud – complete with an energetic fist pump – I’m that dorkish, and piece by piece, Fran is leading me away from this format of stillbirthday and inviting me into a new place.
She has handled stillbirthday with such respect, such loving care, and such talent. More and more, I am ready to let go of what we have now to embrace something I believe will be even more powerful and special.
It is my deepest desire that you feel the same.
So, I’d like to help guide you, too, into the first steps of the new stillbirthday.
Here are some of the things you can expect to see soon:
- we will still be stillbirthday.com! So, even though things will be different, we’ll all still be at stillbirthday.com.
- There will be a forum. This is the biggest thing for me. Currently stillbirthday utilizes Facebook for private groups. While we will continue to keep those groups open for now, we will eventually be stepping out of Facebook and into stillbirthday. We will have a special group just for Love Cupboard Coordinators, one for mentors, one for doulas listed with stillbirthday, one for SBD students, then after the students pass they will transfer to a group for SBD professionals, and we will have groups for the stillbirthday moms and dads as well.
- There are easy buttons to pass along to help others. I’ve recently added the tabs “before birth” “during birth” and “after birth” as quick references to show all of the ways to support a mother during these times. Well, these are accented at the new site for even better visibility.
- There will be a chat box to help new stillbirthday parents and visitors find what they are looking for. I mean, stillbirthday has a TON of information. Sometimes having a little help to find what you’re looking for can be valuable.
- Sponsors will have much better visibility.
- There will be better visibility and recognition to the very special people who have helped stillbirthday. There will also be a few “job openings” for stillbirthday parents to volunteer and fill.
- The coloring, the format, the details, are all very special and personally and intentionally chosen by the professionally talented Franchesca Cox.
- There’s so much more, but isn’t that enough to get you excited???
I am so excited for our transition. I am ready to step forward into a beautiful stillbirthday, very soon. Come, join me.