Our Mission

Come find out what our mission as a non-profit organization is.

Our Story

Read the story of the sweet baby boy that inspired the foundation of this non-profit organization.


Learn more about what each donated package contains and the reason why it is included.

How To Help

Want to help out? Come find out the ways that you can do just that.


There are many ways you can donate to our cause - come read how to do so.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Thank you Sophie!!

We want to give a big shout of THANKS to Sophie for making and donating all of these beautiful headbands for the packages!! They are adorable! Thank you for all of your hard work!!! 

Monday, October 29, 2012

Guest Post: Sara

Today we are lucky enough to have Sara from Walking With Angels with us Guest Blogging - she is an amazing person. Please take a moment to read her post, visit her site,  and feel free to leave comments in response on our Facebook page

People say I'm so sorry, I can't imagine, oh my, and then they go quiet.

What words are there to say when you are faced with the loss of a child. Nothing comes close to describing the agony of your heart.

When the doctors returned to that cold room and told me my daughter was gone, nothing could have prepared me for the destruction of my soul. I'm sure in the silence you could hear my heart shatter into pieces.

No more tomorrows.

How could it be that this beautiful mischievous young lady could one moment be laughing at a family bonfire to lying cold in an emergency room.

My legs couldn't hold me anymore and right then and there I prayed for death. I didn't want to go on without her. I couldn't bear to think  of her being without me. Heaven may be a wondrous place but a daughter needs her mother, a mother needs her daughter.

This isn't in the plan, no child should die first. This isn't the way, this isn't right, this isn't fair.

How can I go from planning her birthday to planning her funeral?

I guess some may say I should have been prepared that this may happen. I mean after all she had a devastating syndrome but nothing, NOTHING prepares you for the loss of a child.

You live in hope.

Walking away from that hospital room was the hardest thing I have ever done in my life. Leaving my beautiful Olivia there.


 I'm never  going to be able to hold her again. Never again going to brush through those crazy curls of that wild blonde hair. Never again to lie beside her through the night sharing stories from the magical world of make believe. 

Never, never again.

My beautiful Olivia how you changed everyone who you met, how people left your company with a gift from your heart. You taught me so much in your short nine years, you reminded me of the power of laughter, sitting in intensive care watching you giggle at the cute doctor. Watching you smile sweetly at your school teachers so they would share their chocolate biscuits. 

So many memories I wrap around my heart like sticky tape holding the pieces together.

You wrapped everyone around your finger and everyone was wrapped up in your heart.

It's been nearly four years since you left us and still you guide me through life. I live with the memory of your courage, of your grace and I strive to do better and to make a difference. To honor you in every way I possibly can. 

But nothing takes away the pain, the emptiness that can only be filled by you.

The myth that time eases your heart is a lie, you just learn to cover the pain better, you learn to cope, you learnt to pretend.

I try not to think of each day as a day without you, but as a day closer to when we are reunited.

I think of you so often and try to imagine what it is like there in heaven. I am comforted from the knowledge that you are free from pain but like I've said before I worry you don't have your mom to hold you close.

Your sisters miss you desperately and still each one grieves in their own personal way. We talk about occasions that you won't be part of, your sisters weddings, the birth of your nieces and nephews and so much more 

But this isn't the truth, we should know better, you are by our sides always watching us from heaven as we journey through life.

In the rainbows the colour the sky, in the gentle breeze, in our laughter, our tears and our hearts.

There is nothing you can to say to someone when they have lost a child, except maybe just the words "one day".

One day there will be no pain
One day no more tears will fall
One day our hearts will be whole

One day we will be reunited because Jesus died on that cross for our eternity.

We have that promise of forever.

One day.

If you would like to guest post with us in months to come, please send us a message via our Contact Us page. 

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Guest Post: Lucy

Today we are lucky enough to have Lucy with us Guest Blogging from Upon Butterfly Wings - she is an amazing person who was willing to share with us all her story. Please take a moment to read her post, visit her site, and feel free to leave comments in response on our Facebook page

Hi there. My name is Lucy. I’m 31. I live in London, UK. I work full time for a rail company where I am the only female out of sixty four men. I live with my partner of 14 years, Steve who is ten and a half years older and who over the years is slowly starting to act his age. I love old school house music and a few too many Jack Daniels and Coke on a Friday night. I can’t swim. I can’t drive. I have size three feet. My hair is curly. I have no thyroid meaning medication is the difference between life and death. 

I’m a normal female. I have weight to lose. I love to flirt. I have a favourite pair of jeans. My wages only last me two weeks out of four. I have a very loving family and the most supportive if not completely mad in the head friends. 

This is where many would run out of things to say but when you have given birth to a sleeping baby, keeping your baby’s memory alive by talking and writing about them becomes the norm. 

Their memory and raising awareness become a part of your life and there are many ways to do either/both of the above. 

Personally I took the ‘set up your own charity’ direction. It’s been a long hard road to get to where we are now but it allows me to discuss my Son freely, to mention his name so often that my friends and family will talk about him off their own backs, that it sometimes surprises me how open they have become with his name and his memory.

I won’t lie; it’s taken a long time to get to this point. The first year of his death I spent it alone. I had many people around me physically but I would not allow any of them into my emotions or into my head which lead to deep depression and a lot of confusion. I spent a long time feeling lost. Not having any direction in life. Stuck in the then, not being able to live the now or see the future. 

I found it hard to talk about Bobby in terms of emotion rather than ‘fact’. The fact that he died, how he died, why he died were easy subjects to discuss because they soon became a part of a well rehearsed script. It became impossible for me to talk about the ‘emotions’ of how that made me feel, how it affected my every day, the pressure it put onto our relationship. 

About how it is possible to miss and physically hurt so much for a little person that I had only got to meet and hold for a whole 45 minutes.

Talking about my Son is the way I keep his memory alive and having a baby loss charity gives me an outlet to be able to do that. 

At the end of the day if you say something enough times, over and over, people will start to listen and it will become part of their every day norm. And this is how awareness is indirectly raised. 

Lucy - Angel Mum to Baby Bobby Franks 03.07.09

If you would like to guest post with us in months to come, please send us a message via our Contact Us page. 

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Guest Post: Nikisha

Today we are lucky enough to have Nikisha with us Guest Blogging - she is such an amazing  person that also has created a non-profit in order to help others. Please take a moment to read her post, visit her websites, and feel free to leave comments in response on our Facebook page

            My name is Nikisha and I am a mommy to a sweet baby boy who is in the arms of God and this is the beginning of my stillbirth journey.  A week and a half before my due date I am getting excited that I am about to bring my firstborn child into the world.  The only thing on my mind is making sure everything is in place so that when he comes I will not have to worry about buying anything else.  I just had a baby shower at work a week or two before so everything was really coming together.  It is Monday morning and I am scheduled for a routine weekly prenatal checkup.  Everything looked good even though it took the Doctor a couple of minutes to find the heartbeat I then mention that the baby did not move as often as he used to.  The Doctor did not say anything about it he just kept looking for his heartbeat and he finally found it. 

            Three days later I am woken up by a sharp pain and I thought I was going to start having contractions but nothing else happened and I went back to sleep.  The next morning I went to my scheduled ultrasound with the father of my baby.  I was excited because this would be the first time he would see the Ultrasound since he was out to sea for the latter part of my pregnancy.  The Ultrasound technician started looking at the baby everything looked good and then she made it to his heart and she looked at it for a minute and then said she would be right back.  My heart started sinking because I knew something was wrong since she left in the middle of the ultrasound.  After a few minutes my Dr. and his nurse came in and the Dr. took a look at the ultrasound and then he told us the bad news that my baby died.

            Sitting there in shock not knowing what to think, feel, say, or do the Dr. tells me to go into an exam room.  Still in shock we go into the exam room and the tears start to fall and the nurse consoles me.  The Dr. examines me to see if I had dilated any and I was almost two centimeters dilated.  He then proceeds to tell me the procedure of things to come.  We then schedule an induction to start at midnight.  I am silently praying and bargaining with God to perform a miracle.  I check in the hospital at midnight and at 9:45pm I give birth to Raekwon Kemel M.  As they are cleaning him off I am praying silently for God to give my baby life.  I was able to hold him the entire three days I was in the hospital as often as I wanted to.  I could not hold him too long because he was cold and they did not want his body to warm up too much.  An experience I will never forget.

            The years after Raekwon’s death I suffered with a deep dark depression and turned away from God because I did not understand why He was allowing this to happen to me.  After about five years of being sad I was flipping through the channels and came across this preacher and what he was saying applied to my life and that was the new beginning to my renewed faith.

            This is just a brief detail of my story.  More will come as I write down my ongoing experiences.  It has been almost twelve years and there are still times I get sad about not having my son here.  Hopefully by sharing my story will let you know that you are not alone and you can overcome this tragic circumstance especially when God is involved.  I started a nonprofit organization where we donate care bags to parents experiencing stillbirth and neonatal loss.  I ship the bags everywhere and donate them to churches and hospitals.  I also started a blog because the journey after having a stillbirth cannot be told in one sitting.  You can check it out at http://precioustendermoments.blog.com.  You can also find my website at http://precioustendermoments.org.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Guest Post: Marissa

Today we are lucky enough to have Marissa with us Guest Blogging - she is an amazing person who was willing to share with us all her story. Please take a moment to read her post and feel free to leave comments in response on our Facebook page

My husband and I were married two years before we became pregnant with our first son. Out of our friends and family we felt as though we were expected to get pregnant right away before anyone else, but we were were one of the last. It was finally our turn to go through all the ups and downs of being pregnant together and dreaming of this little baby growing inside of me. With the support of our loved ones we looked forward to being parents and adding a third member to our small family. 

We attended our anatomy ultrasound at 5 months with excitement only to leave with conflicting feelings of uncertainty and doubt about the health of our baby and happiness to learn we were having a boy. The ultra sound technician noticed some problems right away and called another doctor in for a second opinion. We knew when we left the office that our baby had a cleft foot and that there were other parts of the baby that weren't up to speed in terms of development. After waiting 2 long and grueling days we met with a neo-natal specialist who performed another silent and long ultrasound. He explained to us all the problems that the baby had as he evaluated each part of his body. In the back of my mind I had hope and knew that these were complications that could be fixed and I could live with as long as I could keep this baby. I would love him no matter what. My husband and I were escorted to the doctor's office and sat down with him and a pathologist where they proceeded to explain that all those complications meant one thing. His condition was not 'compatible with life' and we had two options: terminate the pregnancy or carry as long as we could. 

My worst nightmare came true. I recall a real conversation I had with my husband before we went to the anatomy ultrasound. I expressed fear that our child would be deformed or have a mental retardation. Which he quickly shot down with phrases like, 'don't think like that' and 'that's not going to happen.'  I couldn't believe that not only was our child deformed, but he was not fit to live outside the womb. He had a rare condition called Body Wall Complex or Body Stalk Anomaly which can include a number of problems. Our son had an extremely large omphalocele with his bladder and liver growing outside his abdomen, his spine was underdeveloped, he had a club foot (which was the cutest little foot I have ever seen), and a short umbilical cord. What were we supposed to do now? With our dreams crushed and our hearts broken we were forced to decide whether we would abort the pregnancy or continue with only a 2 week time frame. No pressure.

With much prayer and counsel with friends, family, and church leaders we decided to continue the pregnancy for as long as we could. I felt him moving inside of me everyday. Each time I went to the doctors after this news I had an ultrasound and saw his heart beating. He had a perfect heart so how could everything else be so wrong and how could I bring myself to end this pregnancy sooner that his little heart would stop beating? Why couldn't I keep him with me? These were constant questions. 

I ended up carrying to 39 weeks and had an elective c-section to allow him the best chance to survive the delivery. We wanted to meet him and say goodbye. Joshua James Mortensen was born September 13th, 2011. He lived for 40 minutes and died in my arms where he belonged. It was peaceful and quiet. He was beautiful. I wish I could go back to the moment when he was first born and relive it over and over again. It makes me feel close to him even though it hurts to think about it. Forty minutes is just not long enough. I still try and put myself emotionally back in the hospital when he was born and I was holding him and looking at him. I don't remember all the things that I said to him, but I know it wasn't a lot and I want to say so many things to him. The hardest part is the uncertainty of why he developed this particular problem or why any baby does, whether he was in pain or not, if he was scared, or most importantly if he knew that his mom and dad loved him so much. The only thing I'm certain of is that no matter what choice we would have made that it would be hard. I knew we would live with the consequences good or bad, but that life would be ok. It has been more than ok. I love my life and I can honestly say I find joy in it everyday, but I think about that experience and still feel sadness. That will never go away. I also believe that I will have the opportunity to be with him again because I have a loving Savior, Jesus Christ. We now have another baby boy who has filled our home with that sweet spirit a newborn brings and we can't wait to tell our little Clark all about his older brother Joshua James

Monday, October 22, 2012

Guest Post: Amy

Today we are lucky enough to have Amy with us Guest Blogging from Saville's Backyard - she is an amazing person. Please take a moment to read her post, visit her website and feel free to leave comments in response on our Facebook page

Before I introduce my family I want to say Thank You to God’s Angel’s Gone Early for finding us and inviting me to be a guest blogger this month. I feel so honored to be a part of their blog and I’m thrilled to introduce you all to my sweet boy, Gabriel.

David and I have been married 14 years this last June. We have 5 beautiful children. Katie is 12, Madison is 10, Jenna is 9, Isaac is 6, and Gabie would be 3 if he had stayed with us longer than 17 and ½ months. Currently we live in Utah, but up until one year ago we lived in Idaho for 13 years.
2 years, 2 months, 2 weeks and 5 days ago we said goodbye to our sweet Gabie Baby. I look at those numbers often and think it’s been way too long since I could cuddle him in my arms or hear his laugh and so many other things that I greatly miss. Sometimes, though, I can look at those numbers and think I’m that much closer to holding him, hearing his laugh and all those other things I can’t wait to experience again.

Gabriel wasn’t a sick child. He was born 8lbs 2oz and as healthy as could be. At all his well-baby checkups he passed with flying colors. He was always in the 50th percentile of most things and our doctor told me at the end of every visit that he was just perfect. One Saturday evening most of our family was in the basement playing a game together while the two boys were upstairs watching a movie before bedtime. One minute we were sitting calmly enjoying each other’s company and the next everything was crazy.  As we were playing our game Isaac (4) came into the room and said “Mom, Gabie is dead” my first reaction was that Gabe must’ve fallen asleep during the movie but then I figured I better go check on him. I went up to my bedroom where the boys were watching the movie, just like they did on so many other occasions. When I saw Gabie he was laying on his tummy on top of all the blankets with his head turned sideways. Initially I thought he was asleep until I went to move him and realized he wasn’t breathing and his eyelids and lips were blue.  I picked him up and called for my husband immediately. We called 911 and checked for a swallowed object obstructing his airway. When we found nothing we started CPR.  Those few minutes of panic still make my heart ache and I remember so well how terrified I was. The ambulance arrived right away and an EMT quickly picked Gabie up and put him in the back of the ambulance. I jumped into the front and my husband started loading our other four very scared children into the van. We called family to meet us at the hospital and to help with the kids. It took the ambulance three minutes to get to the ER and I remember thinking that was the longest three minutes of my life. I followed Gabie into the ER where I was pulled away from him to be asked a barrage of questions that I felt like I didn’t have answers for and then they let me go into the room where they were frantically working on my sweet baby. I watched through my tears and sobs until David came in and then I tried to stay but I just couldn’t sit and watch all those doctors and nurses try so hard to get him back when noting seemed to be working. David stayed in the room while I went and sat in the hallway with the hospital special services guy and my sister in law until my parents arrived. Then I remember just sobbing as they kept telling me to breathe and it was going to be ok. Although I still had hope I think I knew he was probably not going to make it. Finally after 45 minutes of waiting the doctor came out and told us that he was breathing and his heart was beating again but he wasn’t responsive so they were going to do a MRI and a Cat Scan (I think) and then they would bring him up to the PICU where we could see him. It seemed to take forever for them to bring him up and we were still so very scared and praying all the scans showed that he was on his way to healing. When they finally brought him up the doctor informed us that because of the length of time that Gabie was without oxygen and blood flow his brain was massively swollen. He explained to us that our brains have lots of wrinkles in them and Gabie’s was now flat and pushing against his small skull. He told us they’d be doing some treatments to try to bring down the swelling and the next 48 to 72 hours were crucial to see if he would make it or not. On Sunday afternoon they started doing some tests for brain activity but found none so we prayed a lot and talked to him. He was never left alone even when my family sent me home for a few hours of sleep they sat by him and talked to him. On Monday they did more tests and determined that he was brain dead. We were asked in a very sensitive and compassionate way if we’d be interested in having Gabie be an organ & tissue donor. We knew by then that we weren’t going to be taking him home with us and we immediately told the doctors that if he could save another family from this great pain we’d be honored to have him be a donor. Throughout the day on Monday most of our family joined us in the PICU to say our goodbyes. We were able to hold him some and tell him that we loved him again and again. We had so much support and although it was a terrible day I’m glad we were surrounded by love. That night Intermountain Donor Services came and we stayed up until 3 am in the waiting room discussing all our questions. Afterwards we all still felt good about it and decided that we were ready for them to start the donation process on Tuesday.

On Tuesday I met some family that couldn’t come on Monday to say their goodbyes. I stayed until around 1 o’clock or so and then I said goodbye one more time before I left to go plan my babies’ funeral services. The organ harvest (by the way I hate that terminology it just sounds so cold & cruel) was to be done at 1AM on Wednesday. I was asked if I wanted to stay until they took him into surgery and I decided I just couldn’t be there when he was taken off of life support and watch them take him away to have his organs taken. So I put him in the hands of our very loving nurses and trusted them to watch over his precious body and l informed the funeral home to let me know as soon as they received him.

The next few days really are a blur. I remember picking flowers, burial clothing, a casket, funeral programs and all those things that have to be put together. I was determined he’d have the very best and I wanted everything planned perfectly. My nights were spent in my husband’s arms sobbing until I eventually cried so much I fell asleep. The funeral was beautiful and we had so much support once again.

For weeks & months after his passing we had a lot of people checking on us and seeing if we needed anything and although there was nothing they could do for us I greatly appreciated all their sweet gifts and willingness to be there for us. Some of the things that helped me personally were books that I was given on losing children and how to deal with grief, jewelry that had Gabie’s name or picture on it, a wax light made with flowers from Gabe’s funeral in it, pictures from friends of Gabe at random play dates and some good friends came and planted flowers in my front flowerbed thinking that they might cheer me up. Honestly nothing cheered me up for a very long time I wondered if I’d ever feel cheerful again and every time I felt somewhat happy the feeling of guilt quickly followed, because how could I ever feel happiness again after my son had died. I understand now why I felt that way and I also understand now that he wants me to be happy and it’s ok to be happy. It will never change how much I love & miss him.

Those of you wondering about what he actually died of I’m sorry to say you’ll just have to wonder like we do. They did an autopsy and the coroner said the cause of death was unknown. His heart stopped and he never woke up but there was nothing “wrong” with him. His heart was actually perfect; even though it stopped in his chest to this day it beats strongly in a little boy’s chest who received this gift of life when he was only 6 months old. We feel lucky to have had the chance to get to know this family via Facebook and emails. They are so thankful for our Gabriel’s gift to them and we are so glad that we were able to save them from the heartache we’ve lived with.  

Losing a child is not an easy thing to live with and it certainly doesn’t go away, but I feel that the pain does lessen. I still have some really hard days and every day I think about my sweet Gabie Baby. I miss him greatly and sometimes it hits me all over again that I lost my son and my family on earth remains incomplete, but then I get on my knees and pray for comfort and strength and I know my Gabie visits me and helps me to make it through that day.

In order to remember our son we too started a charity program that we hope to make into a non-profit organization. We collect donated gently used and new books from the week before Thanksgiving until January 26th (Gabriel’s Birthday). Then we sanitize the books split them up and donate them to the pediatric floors of as many hospitals as we can. Last year was our 2nd year and we had 2700 books donated and we delivered those to 8 different hospitals. These books are meant to be given to children who are at the hospital whether they are waiting for a sibling or they themselves are ill.  I received many letters of thanks from parents and nurses who have received a “Book From Gabriel” and it has helped them in their stay at the hospital. We are so glad that on Gabriel’s Birthday every year we are able to do an act of service in his name instead of mourning him alone. We love to share our story in the hope that it will reach another family who may be going through a similar experience and needs to know that they are not alone.

Thank You again to Gods Angel’s Gone Early for allowing me to introduce my son to all of you. I pray that you all may find comfort in your grief and know that your loved one is watching over you.

Amy (Gabriel’s Mom)

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Guest Post: Becca

Today we are lucky enough to have Becca with us Guest Blogging from Bustabecaa - she is an amazing person who was willing to share with us all her story. Please take a moment to read her post, visit her site,  and feel free to leave comments in response on our Facebook page

The other day I was in the elevator making small talk with a new co-worker. She asked about my belly. I told her I was expecting a baby boy in January. She politely asked if this is my first baby. I looked her in the eye, took a deep breath, smiled, and said, no. I told her my first was born last year and she died. I watched her gaze drop and heard her say how sorry she was. I felt a little bad for the woman who wasn't expecting something so heavy from small talk in the elevator.

During my first pregnancy, the thought of my child dying at birth didn't register. If it crossed my mind at all, I must have brushed it aside or blocked it out. My pregnancy was normal and healthy. I went to yoga, I walked and I ate my vegetables. We hired a doula to help us get through labor without interventions and medication. We were so excited to find out she was a girl. We wrote to her in a journal and read her stories at night. We were anxious to meet her, to see what she looked like and to become parents.

I was in active labor around midnight on a Tuesday. We labored at home and went to the hospital when the contractions got more intense. We labored all day and finally all that was left was an anterior lip of cervix that the nurse slipped behind Avery's head so I could push her out. She came out and it felt so good. But something was wrong. They tried to get her to breathe. We sang to her. They called the NICU team. Someone started watching the clock and calling out the time since birth every 2-3 minutes. I barely remember delivering the placenta. We heard a noise that sounded like a cry. My doula and I gasped. A nurse gently whispered that the sound was just suction. Too much time had passed. Her heart rate was too low. She hadn't taken a breath. No one could explain it. Her heart rate had been fine during labor. It was a healthy pregnancy. She just couldn't breathe.

The doctors asked if we wanted to hold her.  Of course we did but I was so confused.  She was dying? Had she already died?  What was happening? Some sort of clarity kicked in when they handed her to us.  We got really calm and made decisions. We thought she looked like an Avery so we called her that. We held her and read her one last story. We introduced her to her grandparents who had been waiting down the hall.  Her heart stopped when she was in our arms. I remember thinking that they didn’t call out the time of death like they do in the movies. Josh had to tell our friends who had been waiting downstairs. I hadn't eaten anything all day so someone brought us pizza. I wanted to stand up but I was so exhausted a nurse had to help hold me up. That was it.  The labor was over. Avery was born and then she died.  

We cried a lot in those first few weeks. We talked to a Chaplin, a social worker, a therapist, a psychic and our doctors. We were not prepared for this. We sought out support groups. I read a blog about baby loss for hours at a time. We wrote in our journals. Many, many people reached out to us and we needed them to. Some people didn’t know what to say or said the wrong thing.  But it’s hard to know what to say. We had a memorial service one Sunday afternoon in the park by our house.

The autopsy results came back a couple months later. They were inconclusive. A bacterial infection was likely the cause but we can't say for sure. I had tested negative for GBS. We told ourselves and everyone else that we didn't want to remember Avery like this. We want to remember her for what he gave us and taught us. We do. We shared her story with so many people. We tell them how she reminded us that we are not in control.

Sometimes it’s hard to believe that we made it through those first few months. I hear my own voice in my head asking if it really happened. I think about her every day and I expect I will until the end of time. The grief changes but it’s still there, right in the space below my heart. I get really sad when I think that my son, who’s growing inside me, will never know his sister. And at the same time, I feel lucky to have had those nine months with her. I feel so lucky that I birthed her and held her.

No one can give you advice on how to grieve your baby’s death. I can tell you that, for me, sharing her story, going to support groups, remembering her often, crying, laughing, asking for help, and taking long, quiet walks, helps. Everything you feel is okay. 

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Guest Post: Heather

Today we are lucky enough to hear from Heather from Brace it for Brayden. Take a moment to read her post and visit the websites at the bottom of it. Feel free to leave comments in response on our Facebook page.  Thank you for sharing your story Heather.

I am the mother of a beautiful baby-boy who passed away on December 31, 2011, at the innocent age of 3. Brayden Lee Rodgers was born on August 5, 2008. He was a big, beautiful little boy that touched the hearts and lives of so many. His big blue eyes and a smile that was contagious, made him the spotlight wherever he was. The night he passed, he had begun his usual nightly routine. Dinner, toys, settling down, jammies, brushing his teeth, picking a movie, and laying down in bed. (Mind you, he was VERY independent, "Mr. I do it myself". And for a 3 year old, he was a big boy. Weighing 42 pounds & 42 inches tall.) After kissing goodnight and beginning to watch his movie, we never knew that would be the last time we would get to spend another waking moment with our son. At some point, he climbed up his dresser to mess with his TV, the dresser and the TV came crashing down on top of him, crushing his skull instantly.

After a few days, we realized that we would not let our son be with God without continuing to spread his word down here for him. He is now our guardian Angel, helping us to save the lives of many families, and continuing to spread his love and joy for life. We started a non-profit organization called, Brace It For Brayden. Encouraging families to do whatever it takes to prevent these types of accidents from happening in their home, to their loved ones.

Although the road to healing seems long and never ending, I have found peace in knowing that he is safe, and watching over me from above. I know that I will never be the same; He was my only child, the love of my life, Mommy's little boy. But he has helped me grow, and still continues to do so to this very day. Every now and again, when I am feeling at my absolute worst, I feel him. He gives me some sort of sign to let me know that he is still here with me. He was, is, and will always be my blessing and my angel. Although not a day goes by where I dont wish for him to still be here and miss him more than ever, I know by keeping his memory alive in my heart, and having the faith that I will be with him again some day keeps me going. With him watching down on me, I am not going to let him see Mommy crawl up and quit. I will make him proud, because I am the proudest Mommy I know. 

Feel free to take a look at his websites;

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Pregnancy & Infant Loss Remembrance Day

Tomorrow, October 15th is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day. It is a day "when all grieving parents can come together and be surrounded by love and support from their friends and families, a day where the community can better understand their pain and learn how to reach out to those grieving. This would be a day to reflect on the loss yet embrace the love." (Source: October15th.com)

In efforts to commemorate this day, it is asked that in all time zones around the world that we all take a moment to light a candle at 7 PM tomorrow night in remembrance of those Angels we have lost. 

In addition to the candle lighting, October15th.com has more ideas on how you can participate in giving awareness and remembrance to those Angels. You can visit their Ideas to Help page for some great ideas. Please share with us on our Facebook page how you plan to commemorate this day and maybe share some idea of your own. 

Take a moment to share this page and this day with your family and friends! Share all of the wonderful guest posts with others that we have had so far this month. 

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Guest Post: Andrea

Today we are lucky enough to have Andrea with us Guest Blogging - she is an amazing person who was willing to share with us all her story. Please take a moment to read her post and feel free to leave comments in response on our Facebook page

It was April of 2012 when I found out I was pregnant for the 3rd time. Although my two children are a bit older (7 and 9), there was no reason to think this time was any different. It was a very uneventful pregnancy until our ultrasound around 19 weeks. That was when our world turned upside down.
The technician was very quiet and didn’t point out much on the screen. She did let us know that the baby was head down and that she wouldn’t be able to tell us the sex because it’s legs were crossed (which was okay with us, because we wanted to be surprised!) She said because of the position she couldn’t get all the measurements she needed, and we’d probably need to come back another time. We didn’t even get to bring home a single printout with us or anything. I consoled myself that it was due to the position…

The next morning my doctor was calling bright and early for me to come in and discuss the ultrasound. On a day the office was closed. I’m no expert, but even I knew that could not mean good news.  The scan showed multiple problems. There was fluid in the brain, an enlarged heart with only 3 chambers, an omphalocele (the abdominal organs growing in a sac outside the body), clenched hands, spina bifida, growth was 3 weeks behind; the list went on and on. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. How could we have made such a mess? That was when we learned about Trisomy 18 - an extra 18th chromosome. These were all markers of such a condition. Testing confirmed it.

We were rushed along because we only had until 22 weeks to decide if we were terminating, but there was no need to hurry us because our minds were already made up. It felt like we were expected to end the pregnancy, and although no one would say it, it seemed like the doctors leaned toward that option. We said no. A Trisomy 18 baby has a 50% chance of being born alive, full term. With all of the defects we knew our baby didn’t even have that. Our baby’s life was already going to be brief, and we weren’t going to cut it any shorter.

It was a rough summer. I tried to sleep it away. I’m not sure if it made things easier knowing ahead of time or not, except that we didn’t have false hopes. There was no nursery to decorate, no baby registry to play around with, no plans aside from “get through the day”.

Then, at 26 weeks I stopped feeling movement.  The problem with carrying a baby “incompatible with life” is that you aren’t a priority. I called on a Tuesday morning, and they saw me on Wednesday.
The only heartbeat found on the Doppler was my own, and an ultrasound confirmed our baby was gone. That Friday, I was induced and gave birth to a sleeping son on September 15, 2012. He weighed 12.1oz and was 8-1/2” long. So tiny, but so perfect despite it all.

No matter how much I miss him and how much I hurt, I don’t regret my decision. Given a chance to go back, I wouldn’t have done anything differently.  It was 26 weeks I will never forget. 

If you would like to guest post with us this month it isn't too late, please send us a message via our Contact Us page.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Guest Post: Jodie

Today we are lucky enough to have Jodie with us Guest Blogging - she is such an amazing and inspiring person that we are lucky enough to know personally. Please take a moment to read her post and visit sweet Anna's blog here.  Feel free to leave comments in response on our Facebook page Happy Birthday Anna! 

Autumn is my favorite time of year.  I love the changing temperatures and colors.  I love the cool nights and mornings.  I love the holidays.  But there is one week in autumn that usually finds me uncharacteristically melancholy.  This week, in fact.  Five years ago today my baby was born, stillborn.
At 26 weeks gestation we learned, through an amniocentesis, that our daughter had triploidy, a rare genetic disorder not compatible with life.  Instead of having 46 chromosomes like you and I, she had an extra chromosome in each set—a total of 69.  Not good.  We were told the chances of her being born alive were slim, and if she was, we could only hope for minutes or hours of life at most.

As you can imagine, it was devastating news.  Dreams of a life with this baby, whom we already loved, had suddenly been ripped from us. The next few weeks were rough. My husband confided in me that whenever he saw other dads with their baby girls, he became heartbroken. I cried a lot. We had to lean on each other so much during that time.  For the next 10 weeks we went to a specialist over an hour away for ultrasounds to see if her heart was still beating.  At 36 weeks, it no longer was.

On October 11, 2007 my Anna Lynn was born 1 lb. 10 oz, 11 ½ inches long.  So tiny.  So fragile. 

The next few days and weeks were miracles.  We were overwhelmed by the outpouring of love we received from friends, family, and even people whom we had never met before.  We lived far away from our families so our church family helped with some of those first, hardest days.  They babysat our then 17-month-old son, brought us dinners and flowers, and cried with us.  Next, we started receiving sympathy cards, gifts, and flowers from family members and friends who lived far away—even from a student in the class my husband was teaching at IU.  We then received a large check from friends of my sisters, none of whom at met us before, which they raised on our behalf to purchase Anna’s headstone.  My uncle built a beautiful resting box to bury her in. The list goes on and on.  We were amazed and humbled by the generosity that was shown to us. 

Lastly, but most important to us, was the outpouring of love we felt from our Father in Heaven.  We felt so much love.  He truly buoyed us through the rough seas.  He did not deprive us of this child because He was punishing us. He sent her to us for such a short period of time to increase our love toward each other and toward others and to allow us a small glimpse of heaven, which I will never forget. I would never wish this experience on anyone but I can now say, five years later, that I am grateful for it.

Each year, on her birthday, we have a small birthday party, of sorts, to lift our spirits and to remind us of what a special baby she was.  Today will be no exception.  I am grateful for my faith, grateful for my family, grateful to my God and grateful for my sweet Anna.  Happy birthday, baby girl.

If you would like to guest post with us this month it isn't too late, please send us a message via our Contact Us page. 

Monday, October 8, 2012

Guest Post: Trisha

Today we are lucky enough to have Trisha with us Guest Blogging from Looking For Blue Sky - she is such an amazing  person who is willing to share her story with us.  Please take a moment to read her post, visit her website,  and feel free to leave comments in response on our Facebook page


I am continually amazed by how different things are now as compared to after Nate died. In fact, I often refer to my life in two stages: before Nate AND after Nate. His death was a defining moment. It changed EVERYTHING.

After his death, I prayed for God to take my life. I wanted to die. Living was too hard. I didn't know how to endure the horrendous pain that manifested itself in both physical and emotional ways. I NEVER thought that it would get better. I couldn't think of life in terms of weeks, months or years. I had to take it day by day. Often times, hour by hour. I was simply trying to survive. No more, no less. Images of Nate's death played through my mind, over and over and over again. I watched him die a thousand times...maybe more.

We went on a long journey before we hit that 2 year mark that we had heard so much about. The supposed end of the grief cycle. Oh how we longed to get through the first two years. It’s not the finish line that we hoped it would be. It’s just a route marker on our life long journey. No more. No less. 
It’s only when we looked back at the first two years that we could see what we wanted to see. Looking back revealed our progress. We could see how our joy returned and our sadness wasminimized. The gray glob of gunk that hung over our lives blocking out the sunshine started to blow away. We began looking at the world with blue sky eyes again. Most days and through most circumstances, the sun was shining and the skies were blue.
Many people have told us that time heals all wounds. So many in fact that I can’t even count. Clearly these well-wishers have never buried a child. But, it’s just one of those things that people say in an attempt to make you feel better. We’ve learned firsthand that time heals nothing. I will say that again: Time heals nothing! The ticking of the clock and the revolution of the earth does absolutely nothing to mend hearts and heal grief. If that were the case, I would have climbed into bed and remained there for 24 months.
Rather, it’s what you do with the time that allows healing to occur. It’s physically walking through the darkness. Stepping out of the comfort of home and stepping into an unpredictable world. It’s coming face to face with the pain of what we wished our life would be. Looking into a sweet baby’s eyes rather than quickly looking away. It’s having conversations with people that disappointed us. Forgiving them for their lack of compassion and allowing our hearts to be mended from the rejection.
We’ve worked hard these past 4 1/2 years. I never realized how hard until I looked back. Before Nate died I would have never thought twice about going to a school event or walking into a grocery store. But those types of things were tremendously difficult for us for years. Not only did we think twice about it but we had to have entering and exit strategies. We had to emotionally prepare for the unexpected. We never knew when or where an insensitive comment would fly by and smack us upside the head. We never knew when we would step outside our door and become face to face with someone that abandoned us in our darkest hour. It would have been easier to move away to a place where we were unknown.Where we could live our lives without fearing these obstacles. But we didn’t. We faced them. Because we did that…healing occurred.
The past couple of years we are finding that we are not nearly as needy as we have been in the past. We were blessed with a healthy baby boy this past Christmas: our RAINBOW from God. 

He didn't take away the storm or repair the damage that the storm caused but he brought the sunshine back into our home and restored the faith that rainbows are designed to promise. But I worry about him. Constantly. I know how precious life is and I know how quickly it can be taken away. I feel extremely vulnerable. Life is so very different now.

One thing that I didn't expect to happen was that people would start to treat us normally again. For 4 1/2 years, we were ignored. Completely and utterly ignored. As if we didn't even exist. After Brady was born, we were suddenly getting invited to parties and events. We didn't understand why. People that hadn't spoken to us for almost 4 years began talking to us again. It was awkward. We didn't know what to do with that. We desperately needed these people 4 years ago and they abandoned us. Now that we have a baby they want to be our friends? Huh? My amazing pediatrician told me this:
"They didn't know how to treat you when you DIDN'T have a baby but they do now that you DO have a baby." It makes sense. I get it. Kinda. But just because I have a baby doesn't put me back in the "before Nate died" time line. I can never go back to that place. We just have to get used to our new normal...
It will take us a lifetime.

If you would like to guest post with us this month it isn't too late, please send us a message via our Contact Us page. 

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Guest Post: Tiffany

Today we are lucky enough to have Tiffany with us Guest Blogging from Lifestyles of the rich and "not so" famous - she is an amazing person who was willing to share with us all her story. Please take a moment to read her post, visit her site,  and feel free to leave comments in response on our Facebook page

Jackson Burton Rich

On Tuesday, September 23, 2008 our most precious baby Jackson was called home to our Heavenly Father. He was 1 year, 4 months and 3 days old. At approximately 1:30 pm, our little Jack fell into our 12 inch deep pond in our backyard and unfortunately, drowned. Though kind neighbors and paramedics worked for over 50 agonizing minutes to bring our baby back it was only for a few hours. They were able to get his heart pumping again, but his little lungs were too saturated to be saved. One good thing was able to come of this. Jack had a strong heart in more ways than one. We felt impressed to have his valves donated to help save someone else's little angel. If we could save one mom and dad from standing in front of a little white casket asking the Lord "why? Why OUR baby?", then it would be worth it. We were told that Jack is helping to save not one but four little babies born to damaged hearts.

He was our pride and joy (along with our oldest son Corbin, 3 years old at the time of the accident) and we will miss him more than words can describe. He was our sunshine, our ray of sunshine. Those eyes, that smile. Oh, we will sure miss him. It will be the hardest thing Coby and I will have to do we pray. But feel some peace knowing KNOWING that we will see him again. KNOWING that through a loving Heavenly Father we'll have the opportunity to raise him again. We WILL see him again and with that knowledge while it doesn't take an ounce of the horrible indescribable pain away, gives us hope.

People from everywhere seemed come out from all parts of the world to offer us comfort. A large donation was given to us by the sweet ward members (I belong to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints) and a memorial fund was set up at our Credit Union. So many generous people sent cards, flowers, donations, gifts, words of comfort, a listening ear, meals for almost 2 weeks, treats, books, different blog sites, the list goes on and on. Friends flew in from all over. They dropped everything they were doing to be there for us in our time of need. Our families on both sides put their feelings aside and did everything they could to help us. Laundry was done, dinner was made, the house was cleaned. Our best friends took many of the last pictures we have of Jack and enlarged them, framed them and drove them down to us from Logan. I am so thankful that she was able to capture such tender moments of our little Jack. We will always treasure them. Our ward family was truly amazing. So many wonderful people served us so kindly that we are sure that we will never be able to give you what you have given to us. The friendships that have been created are now permanent and we truly feel like we belong. I'd love to personally thank every single person that gave of their time, energy and efforts so selflessly. Many were anonymous and I pray that they will get the reward they deserve by our loving Heavenly Father. Mothers who had lost their own little ones took time to call me and console ME during even their darkest hours. Pictures of Jack and our family were printed, enlarged and framed. Two gorgeous albums were completely scrapbooked with pictures of Jack during his entire life. Loved ones dropped by daily, sometimes more than that to show that they were thinking of us and show us that they loved us. Friends and family stepped up in such a way as I have never seen.

I know that there are countless other tender mercies (see Tiffany's blog here) that I have failed to mention. I know that the Lord loves us, that he cares for each of us individually. That He knows us individually. I know that He knows the Plan much better than I could ever hope to. I feel peace knowing that while Jack's time was short he is with a loving Heavenly Father and is watching over us. I feel his presence and know that Jack is a truly special son of God. I feel privileged to have had him as my son despite the length of time. He is still my son and I KNOW that I will see him again. I KNOW that I will have the opportunity to raise him if I'll only prove worthy. I am grateful for this knowledge. I am grateful for the gospel of Jesus Christ. The Atonement has an entirely new meaning in my life and how I view things. How selfless our Savior is to suffer so that we could return Home again. I am grateful that the Lord didn't step in and remove that bitter cup, despite how difficult it must have been. How hard it must have been for Him to watch His only begotten Son suffer. And yet loved us so much that he was willing to sacrifice that which was most precious for the better good. I love my Father in Heaven and his Son, Jesus Christ. I am so grateful for the knowledge of the Plan of Salvation and that we are sealed together as an eternal family. I am grateful for such a wonderful husband who could have easily blamed me for not paying attention that awful day, but chose the higher road. Chose to love me and trust me that it wasn't my fault. I am grateful for good friends and family that love me unconditionally. I feel such gratitude despite our current circumstances. And I know that if we endure this trial well, that we will be exalted from on high. I know that the Lord answers our prayers. I am reminded of what He told the Prophet Joseph Smith when he suffered with his companions in the smothering darkness of Liberty Jail: “My son, peace be unto thy soul; thine adversity and thine afflictions shall be but a small moment; “And then, if thou endure it well, God shall exalt thee on high; thou shalt triumph over all thy foes.” In the words of Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin of the Quorum of the 12, "The Lord compensates the faithful for every loss. That which is taken away from those who love the Lord will be added unto them in His own way. While it may not come at the time we desire, the faithful will know that every tear today will eventually be returned a hundredfold with tears of rejoicing and gratitude." I am grateful to know of these truths. I love this gospel, am grateful for it, for my family, friends, my Savior and my Heavenly Father.

If you would like to guest post with us this month it isn't too late, please send us a message via our Contact Us page.