As you can see, I've changed my blog layout and design. I created a personal header and changed the background. I also added some items to the sidebar and some links. I am in the process of adding and editing links and pages so people can access more information. I'm sure I'll change it a few more times, so don't be surprised when it doesn't look the same when you return next...
I've scheduled my post pregnancy follow-up for tomorrow. I can't believe it'll already have been 5 weeks... She should be writing me an approval to return to work on the 22nd... Although I'm a little worried about returning to work. I'm just scared of what people are going to say to me, how many times am I going to repeat our story, am I going to make it through each day without crying?
I'm working on making an appointment with the genetic counselor to go over all the test results and get more information. I'm trying to list out my questions but I'm not entirely sure what I should be asking... I don't think Derrick will be able to go because of work, but I have him giving me his questions so that I can make sure all his questions are answered too.
I've also been in touch with other moms who have gone through Potters Syndrome and other pregnancy and infant loss situations. Some have contacted me, others I have contacted. Its comforting to feel like I'm not alone through this healing journey. Its also comforting to hear other peoples stories and know that they have learned to cope with their new sense of "normal".
I found an awesome site called Christian's Beach. Its a woman in Australia who lost a son in 2007. After her loss, she had a dream of her son drawing his name in the sand. So she started a business writing names in the sand of infants and children and taking a photo of it at sunset, I've been surfing her website and the pictures are BEAUTIFUL and all of them are different from eachother depending on the color of the sunset. So I put in a request to have Gabriel's name and photo taken. I can't wait to see what colors he gives us! There's a long waiting list because she is fairly well know, but his name is officially on the list so hopefully we'll see the photo in a few weeks!
Since I haven't been working, I'm not sure how we'll afford to buy the digital photo. I'm sure we'll find a way to come up with $25 to buy it.
I also found a website where the have pregnancy and infant loss awareness shirts. My mom is going to order us each one in the next few weeks. I chose to customize the ones for me and Derrick because the one I picked for Evelyn is already perfect. I can't wait to get them! Hopefully in the future I can get more :)
Prenantal Partners for Life
I have been communicating with Mary from Prenatal Partners for Life for a few months now. We got in contact shortly after our diagnosis and she has offered me a support and information. The organization is truly amazing, they are helping cover the cost of Gabriel's headstone (which we have yet to pick out) and sent me a care package before his arrival. She got me in touch with other parents who have gone through a Potters Syndrome Journey before us and gave us information about carrying a baby to full term when you have an adverse diagnosis. Yesterday, she asked if I would be willing to write Gabriel's story to add to their website. I was honored. I hope other people will see our story and hopefully get some encouragement and support from his legacy.
Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness
I've also been working with Derrick's sister Andrea to try to get out there and raise awareness to pregnancy and infant loss. We haven't figured out exactly what we are going to do or whats going to happen with it, but she's really jumped on this opportunity to help us. Focusing on something like this has really helped keep me positive. I have noticed that there aren't a lot of support groups out there close to us - we would have to drive like 30 minutes to get to one, perhaps I should do that. Or what about doing a 5K walk in our area? The closest one is like 40 minutes away.
I definitely think I'm going to create a pregnancy and infant loss awareness calendar (probably for 2013 because it'll take some time) and sell them, the money would go to a charity, or to a group to help bereaved parents or possibly to research various birth defects. I think I would change up the organization each year to benefit a variety of circumstances. The trick is creating a design, I was thinking of doing a different pregnancy and infant loss awareness ribbon on each page with a quote and a different background... or maybe doing photos of babies born/died in each month... I'm open to ideas, suggestions and thoughts on this calendar idea - or suggestions of other ways to get involved.
I'm also planning to take some tax money and put together little packages for hospitals. I would design it to be given after a person has lost their baby. It would have playdough for them to make foot and hand prints (it works better than the clay kits), it would have a disposable camera, a baby outfit, a awareness ribbon magnet to put on their car, maybe a necklace with a charm or a bracelet of some kind, and an awareness ribbon pin. I would pick a different hospital each year and put together a few of these baskets for them to give away. I'm not sure of everything I would put in it, these are just ideas I had flowing through my brain this week. If you have suggestions on items I can put in here (that won't cost a ton of money) or want to help donate something to the baskets just email me and let me know.
Doing all this makes me miss Gabriel, it takes me back to remembering everything we went through. But it gives me motivation and inspiration to have something great come out of this experience. I hope Gabriel will continue to lead the way for me as I figure out exactly what my calling is...