We go to great lengths to photograph life’s big moments — those first smiles and steps, all the birthdays, the start of each school year, graduation...
B-Buddies bring comfort after loss
Have you or someone you know experienced a miscarriage or stillbirth or lost a newborn infant? Chances are you know someone who has endured this heartbreaking experience.
1 in 4 pregnancies end in miscarriage (loss before 20 weeks gestation) and 1 in 160 end in stillbirth(loss after 20 weeks gestation).
Our son Bryson was our fourth pregnancy after 3 miscarriages. We didn’t know the statistics and thought when we made it to 13 weeks that we were in the clear.
We watched him grow through ultrasound imaging and were finally starting to grasp the reality that we would soon hold our baby in our arms.
One day, I stopped feeling his little squirms and kicks. I knew something wasn’t right. We went to L&D and heard the dreaded words, “I’m sorry, there is no heartbeat”.
I could go so much deeper into detail as that night is forever etched into my brain, but I’ll spare you the pain.
I was induced and 37 hours and 24 minutes of labor later, our son, Bryson, was born silently into this world. He was perfect. He had his daddy’s lips and dark hair and his mama’s nose.
We didn’t get to hear his cries or watch him squint as he tried to view his new bright world. It was just quiet and dark.
We spent the next several hours holding our son, taking pictures so that we would never forget his little wrinkly toes.
It was over too soon. It will never be enough time spent with our baby.
The next morning we were given a small bereavement packet and were escorted to the hospital exit, past the other expectant parents and newborn babies. We had to leave the hospital without our baby and had the emptiest arms.
We were forced to venture into a world we never thought we’d have to endure – the babyloss community.
It was about a month after Bryson died that I picked up the stuffed monkey that I had given my husband on our first Valentine’s day together.
As I held him, I was reminded that I should have my son in my arms, but all I had was this monkey...yet somehow I was comforted.
Monkey was just 1 inch longer than Bryson. Then the thought crossed my mind-maybe I should open him up and add some weight (like the therapy weighted blankets).
3lbs 11oz later, Monkey was complete. It was like holding our baby again. Something physical, tangible, to hold the place of our very missed little boy. Monkey goes with us on vacations and is in family portraits.
About a month later, I realized that this was something that could and should be offered to every family that is forced to leave the hospital without their baby: a weighted bear to hug as you are wheeled down the hall. Something to focus on and distract from the happy and oblivious expectant families buzzing around.
So B-Buddies was born. We purchase or accept donated bears, then weight them with washable weighted pellets. Then we donate the bears to the local hospital so that every family is given the opportunity to have this tangible place holder during their babyloss journey.
It’s the beginning of support re-enforcing that it’s ok to mourn your baby and talk about them. It’s the first gift given to babyloss families, before they even know how much it will mean to them.
B-Buddies offer a great level of comfort in the hardest of times.
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