On my 25th birthday in June 2010 we found out we were pregnant with our first. We prepared everything for the arrival of our son Alexander Michael. On February 8, 2011 our hearts were broken when a week and a day before Alexander was due we were told that he had no heartbeat. Alexander was silently born on February 10, 2011 he weighed 6 lbs 10 oz, was 20 inches long, had sandy brown hair and really big feet. We love him and miss him dearly. This is my place for reflection on my life since his birth. We are currently expecting a rainbow baby named Oliver, a little brother due Sept 21, 2012. I love both my boys, the one who paints the clouds and my rainbow growing in my womb, tremendously and I thank God for blessing me with both of them everyday.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Tutorial: Memory Box

This is another tutorial for Grief Journeys. Lending my arts and crafts expertise to these wonderful heartbroken mommas is just one way I heal and remember my little boy all at the same time. This post is on how to make a memory box and ideas on what to put inside.

Tutorial final product:

Before getting into the tutorial let me share Alexander's memory box with you.

When we were told Alexander would be stillborn, we were numb, but we also didn't know what to expect by way of what to do in the hospital or how we would be handled. Thankfully the labor and delivery staff were wonderful. They cared for Alexander's body by washing it gently and clothing it. They took his measurements.They had a little memory box (pictured above) for us to take home. They prepared everything. One nurse with the help of my mom even took extra time to make sure we had good hand and foot prints.

Since then I have added to and subtracted items from Alexander's memory box. This memory box has frames in the top in which I placed a card with his birth stats and a copy of the drawing I made of him. This is what is currently in his memory box: The original photos the nurses took; his ultrasound pictures, a note from our Dr and a note from one of the nurses, his hand-prints (the best hand prints and foot prints are framed and up in our house); a copy of his birth announcement; my hospital bracelet along with the one he would have worn; the crib card, a sleeper outfit that coordinated with the sleeper we dressed him in;  a certificate of life a dear lady made me; a small bottle with a tiny bit of his hair; the heart pillow he held in a few of his photos; and a tiny new testament that was given to us by his god-parents

If you were not fortunate enough to be given a memory box by the hospital or Dr's office don't let it stop you from making one for your baby. You can find a nice box and put one together yourself or you can follow my tutorial below to make a box where the inside and outside of the box is a tribute to your baby.It doesn't have to be expensive. I found boxes from $3 to $25 available at my craft store, you could also use a sturdy shoebox and just paint over the outside.

Here is what you'll need:
boxes ranging from $3 to $25 made out of paper mache, wood, or just photo storage boxes, some already decorated for you
  • a box (I found boxes of all shapes, sizes and materials at my local craft store)
  • photos, quotes, ribbon, stickers, stamps, scrap-booking paper or anything else that you relate to your baby
  • A glue and protective coating like Modge-podge 
  • paint or permanent markers
  • fabric

Step 1: gather your items together and decide what you really want to put on your box

I chose a plain whit photo storage box (it cost $4), I also ended up getting way more stickers, stamps, and paper out then I actually used

Step 2: Arrange your items to get an idea of what it will look like in the end. This is also where you can paint your box if you want it a different color

Step 3: Glue your items down

Step 4: add quotes with paint or a marker

Step 5: seal and protect you box by coating it in Modeg-podge or another sealant and allow to dry. Think about lining the box in fabric to make the inside softer for baby's memories

Step 6: fill your box with your baby's memories, I filled this one with all the cards and notes from our first year without him. Along with some pregnancy cards and photos that didn't fit in his baby book. And as a final touch  I placed a card with the words "Year 1" in the little label holder that is a part of photo boxes.

I recently found the idea for a "Day you were born box" on pinterest that uses boxes with-in boxes. Its a really cool way to get your children and relatives involved in making your baby's box.

I'd love to know what you all put in your memory boxes for your baby. And to see how you decorate your boxes. I hope this was helpful for you. ~Megan

Saturday, April 14, 2012

A Mix of Emotions

I haven't posted for a while. I've had ideas to write about for lent, Easter, my rainbow pregnancy, missing my boy, raising money for March for Dimes, etc, but I haven't been able to sit down and write them. I could use the excuse I haven't had the time with a house guest and all but that really isn't it. I'm all over the place lately.
our Easter baskets, including a Easter bunny for Alexander and Olive

I think an instance from last week sums it up the best. My husband had made a joke and then looked at me and said "I don't know if you are going to laugh or cry." I replied that I didn't know either but I would like some chocolate milk.

That has been my life lately. I want to cry, laugh, dance, curl up in a ball, be creative, sit on the couch and do nothing, go for a walk, praise God, go shopping, and stay in bed all day, all at the same time. The only consistent thing is that chocolate milk always sounds good. I can blame the pregnancy hormones, but its more then that. Life is uncertain. I still grieve for the little boy I don't get to raise and yet at Good Friday services last week I was actually able to honestly thank God that my son is in heaven. And yet its really hard sometimes to cling to hope that this little son or daughter growing inside of me is an earthly child and not just a heavenly one.

When I talk to people about my pregnancy, everyone is so happy and excited for us, and I am too. But a small voice in the back of my mind is saying don't rejoice until I have a screaming baby in my arms. Its like something in me is just waiting for this joy to be taken away too. It hasn't kept me from loving this little olive (the size of a onion now) completely. I don't know how I could handle loosing another baby or for that matter how I could handle actually getting to take a baby home. All I can do is hope and trust in God's plan.
The whole family on Easter: Daddy, Mommy, Alexander (represented by the daffodil), and olive (still baking in my belly)

Now to update you all on the beautiful cause of all these emotions:
belly photo with the latest ultrasound photo

I'm currently 17 weeks pregnant. I've been feeling little flutters and bumps for a couple weeks now but not consistently yet. Sometimes its hard to tell if its baby flutters or gas flutters. I'm really looking forward to when olive is a bit bigger and kicks and moves a bit harder and consistently. We just saw little olive again on Tuesday. He/she is doing beautifully and physically so am I. I don't normally keep track of my weight but during pregnancy its fun. Since my appointment at 9 weeks (I don't know my pre-pregnancy weight) I've gained all of 4.6 oz which is just under how much olive should weigh about now. He/she should also be about 5 inches long. In just two weeks we will be having the big ultrasound. Hopefully after that we don't have to call olive, olive anymore, but can give her/him a proper name.

So while I wait two more weeks to see my beautiful baby on the ultrasound screen again I'll be clinging to the Hope, Joy, and Love I have because of Christ.

"Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer." Romans 12:12