Sunday, October 23, 2011

Help Change Two Pieces of Legislation

I was shocked when I read this on Mikayla's Grace's page...

"I was appalled to find out that FMLA did not cover leave for the death of a child. I literally was told that the FMLA leave for the birth of a child is "to bond with the child" and "since I didn't have a child to bond with, I did not qualify for this leave." These parents need and deserve time to grieve before being required to go back to work. Please sign this petition and send letters to your representatives to support the addition of "for the death of a son or daughter" to the FMLA bill."

I didn't realize how fortunate I was to have an employer who was so compassionate and willing to give me the time I needed. I went to my 4-month doctor's appointment on July 19th. That is where I learned that my son Nathan had passed. I called my work and arranged for PTO time (personal time off) for the rest of the week. I went into the hospital to be induced the next day. Nathan was born at 2:32am on Thursday, July 21, 2011. I got in touch with our benefits coordinator at work and arranged to take FMLA and use my short term disability insurance during my leave. I was informed later, that she had gone to our new HR manager to request that I be allowed paid bereavement pay. I'm so grateful for that. It allowed me to reclaim several PTO days to have for the rest of the year. My OBGYN wrote me out for the full six weeks of maternity leave. Because it began to feel like the walls were caving in, it was my decision to return to work after four weeks. I returned to work the day after Nathan's one month angelversary on August 22nd. I'm so thankful for that time. Those first 2 weeks were a nightmare. I can't imagine if I'd had to return to work during that time.

I encourage you to take a moment to sign the petition below. No parent should be forced to return to work before they've had a chance to grieve and say goodbye to their child. For more about this petition, click here.

I wanted to take a moment to share, yet another piece of legislation, I knew nothing about. According to North Carolina law, a baby born before 20 weeks is considered a miscarriage. Nathan was 16 weeks; therefore, I was prepared to receive no acknowledgement of his birth. However, I was appalled to learn that stillborn babies aren't recognized either. The following is a message I wanted to share from a friend of mine.

I went through 40 weeks and 2 days of pregnancy with my beautiful little Zion. However, he was born sleeping on March 29, 2011. I went through labor just as if he were breathing that day. I delivered a baby, a life that mattered, but yet that is not what our legislation says. I was not entitled to a birth or death certificate according to North Carolina state laws. What??? I just gave birth to 7lb 9oz, 20 in. long baby with his daddy's chin and long fingers and his sister's pouty lips. He was perfect and definitely a life, a human being. He was a part of me. How can God's creation not matter? I had to give birth to him, give him a proper memorial service. I got a whopping hospital bill and doctor bills but for what? The hospital was not required to give me a birth or death certificate that would acknowledge what we just went through. We have nothing but a box full of trinkets from the hospital, a lock of his precious black hair and a few pictures for when our memories fade. Please help us as we try to change the legislation of this state. Zion's life did matter to so many of us. Please be one to help change the laws, so that North Carolina moms that have to give birth to their sleeping babies, can have some acknowledgment that their baby's life matters. Thanks to our family and friends. We love you and thank you so much for your support throughout the darkest time of our life.
- Jeremy & Crystal S.

Please take a moment to sign the petition below.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

2012 Calendar

I received an email this morning from CarlyMarie at the 'Lost for Words' website. My quote was chosen to be included in her 2012 calendar.

My therapist and I were talking and I was trying to explain how I felt. People are telling me to move on, try again, don't become obsessive, etc. I sat for a minute and the quote just came to me. It's the only way I can explain how I feel. Its like I have no choice in the matter. Nathan is embedded into who I am... I can't just "choose" to move on or forget him.

A few days later, I noticed that CarlyMarie and Franchesca were accepting quotes to be considered for their 2012 calendars. I honestly didn't think it would be chosen... I just wanted to share. I'm honored to be a part of this wonderful calendar. My quote is on the September 2012 page.

Click here to view and/or purchase CarlyMarie and Franchesca's calendars or cards.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

October 15th

Today is recognized as Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day. Every October 15th, candles are lit in remembrance across the world at 7pm to create an international 'wave of light'.

For the little girls who will never spin around in frilly dresses or take ride's on their daddy's shoulders. For the little boys who will never play in their first tee-ball game or snuggle on the couch with their mama. For the little babies who left us before we even knew their gender or name...

Today, and everyday, we love and miss the YOUs you should have become.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Free Tissues

Kleenex is offering a "get one, send one for free" event. You can request a free sample and send a sample to a friend. It would be great if you could sent your friend offer to 'You are my Child' to include in our memory boxes. Click on this link: Let me know if you need the address to send it to us. Please share this with others and encourage them to donate their friend offer to either us or an organization they support.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

October is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Month

October is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Month. Here is a link to Mikayla's Grace's Facebook page. They have compiled a collection of badges, which were made by different sites, to use as your Facebook or social networking profile picture. Speak out... don't be embarrassed or afraid to share your experience. Together, we can begin to change the perception of this taboo subject.

There are many local memorial walks scheduled. Here is a link to Remembering Our Babies' site. They have compiled a list of walks in each state/country. They have three walks listed for North Carolina. However, they don't have two local walks listed. Here is the link to those two walks:

Heartstrings Pregnancy and Infant Loss Support - 7th Annual A Walk to Remember
Randolph Hospital Maternity Services

With statistics like these, it baffles my mind why the death of a baby is still a taboo subject for so many:

Pregnancy: There are approximately 6 million pregnancies every year throughout the United States:

  • 4,058,000 live births
  • 1,995,840 pregnancy losses

Pregnancy Loss: Every year in the United States there are approximately 2 million women who experience pregnancy loss.

  • 600,000 women experience pregnancy loss through miscarriage
  • 1,200,000 women experience pregnancy loss through termination
  • 64,000 women experience pregnancy loss through ectopic pregnancy
  • 6,000 women experience pregnancy loss through molar pregnancies
  • 26,000 women experience pregnancy loss through stillbirth

Pregnancy Complications: Every year in the United States...

  • 875,000 woman experience one or more pregnancy complications
  • 458,952 babies are born to mothers without adequate prenatal care
  • 467,201 babies are born prematurely
  • 307,030 babies are born with Low Birth Weight
  • 154,051 children are born with Birth Defects
  • 27,864 infants die before their first birthday

(Statistics from

In memory of all of our angels...

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