Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Reagan's Garden

So many people after Reagan was born asked us how they could help.  What could they do?  For the past two years, my answer has always been "nothing."  There was no tangible way of helping us, of honoring Reagan. Our hearts ached for other families going through the same loss, parents not able to bring their children home, but we had no way of helping them either.  We've prayed about it, and God has answered our prayers.  And now we'd like to ask you for your support...to physically give of your time, resources, and talents.

Andrew and I have talked about how we can support families experiencing infant loss and increase awareness of stillbirth and prematurity once we were thrust into both of these situations.  We felt extremely isolated and confused in both situations in two very different ways.  Since leaving the NICU, we have learned of several support options available to families during their NICU stay and a few other amazing projects being launched now.  However, infant loss support is still sorely lacking.  After talking with several people and spending much time in prayer, we are moving forward with the launch of Reagan's Garden.  We are have been so blessed by Reagan's short life and how God has used that to mold and shape us into different people.  We are excited to see where God will take this and our desire to support families in Charlotte experiencing infant loss.  The "about us" appears below, but check out our website here!  Please consider donating to support the families in our region, offering artistic talents to help us make cards, or helping us assemble boxes to deliver to women who lose babies in the NICU.

When a woman delivers a healthy child, she receives flowers and balloons.  Ribbons announcing name and weight are placed on the door.  Balloons are hung on the mailbox.  And a never ending, revolving door of visitors arrive bringing food, flowers, and congratulations.  But when your child is born not breathing, when your child will only live a few minutes to a few hours, there is silence.  No one knows how to respond, whether to call or not, what to say.  It is for this very reason we started Reagan’s Garden.

Reagan’s Garden is a non-profit fund through Novant Health Foundaition that provides tangible support to families in the Charlotte, NC region who will not be bringing their child home.  The child may be born not breathing, may pass away during or immediately after delivery, or may pass away in the NICU.  Each family is sent beautiful flowers and a handmade card.  It’s not much, it does not take away their grief, but it provides encouragement and a beautiful reminder that their baby is just that…their child.  Our daughter, Reagan Catherine, was stillborn in October 2012.  It was the hardest and most difficult thing we ever experienced, a pain no one understands unless they have been there too.  And yet, holding your child, you are still filled with a love, you still want to celebrate their life, however brief.  Reagan’s Garden hopes to encourage parents in labor and recovery to do just that, to take in every second you have with your child.  It is our mission to ensure each mother, no matter their circumstances or support network, receives a bouquet and card for their hospital room, a tiny but tangible gift to remind them their child matters and should be celebrated.

Infants born prematurely or with complications face a potentially extensive NICU time.  For us, this ended after 3 months with 2 baby boys at home.  Not everyone has experience and not everyone will be bringing their child home.  Reagan’s Garden also seeks to send these families flowers and a decorated box providing encouragement and Biblical hope.

Infant loss is devastating, but we were not made to go through this journey alone. Reagan’s Garden hopes to hold regular support dinners in Charlotte to unite parents with a network of people to talk with.  These informal gatherings will provide a safe place for parents to talk about their children with those who have walked a similar journey, celebrating the moments we had with our children, and grieving all we will miss.  Our goal is that no one would feel alone or isolated after loss.

No comments:

Post a Comment