It has felt so strange to think about blogging lately. A few weeks ago, we suffered a great loss for our family. My sister and her husband lost their baby at 25 weeks. One minute the baby was dancing and kicking while her big sister felt mommy's tummy. She found out on a Friday that the baby had passed away and delivered the baby early Monday morning - a baby girl, Olive Stephanie. 2 pounds, 14 inches.
We had a few heart wrenching days at the hospital waiting for the delivery. With close family and friends around my sister and her husband, we spent the time together trying to cope and understand what had happened and what was to come. A lot of healing, a lot of tears, laughter and a lot of love.
How did I cope? Would you believe I grabbed my knitting needles and headed to my local yarn store, Coldwater Collaborative? When they heard the terrible news, they cried with me. They donated some soft creamy cashmere and I was able to knit a burial gown in time for Baby Olive's birth.
I learned a lot that weekend about my sister and her husband. I was moved by the amazing strength and courage that my sister and her husband displayed. They led us through our grief and loss.
I also learned that hospitals that deal with fetal demise and stillbirth have a difficult time clothing these tiny babies. A lot of what is donated to the hospitals is for premature babies, often too big for babies born so small and fragile. Families are in a state of mourning and shock and something for baby to wear in not often something they think about. The nurses were kind enough to point out to me what works - clothes that open in the back or front, and what doesn't work - hats that don't stretch and sleeves that are too narrow to pull the baby's fragile arms through, lace-work that allows little toes to poke through.
With the help of family and friends, we are going to start a program for anyone who would like to knit burial gowns and wraps for hospitals. They also need tiny blankets (about 15 x 15 up to 20 x 20). It is not official yet - but we're thinking of calling the group Olive Branch and we would try to provide free patterns and hopefully yarn. I also would like to talk further with the nurses at Abbott to work out details about what they need for different circumstances. I'll be working on some designs and will post them for free as soon as they are finished.
For now, I'd like to say that I'm sorry for such a long absence. It seemed strange to start posting about everyday life again. A quick story - my blue lupine (which have been blue for the 13 years I've lived in my house) have produced pale pink blooms this year. I know it's simply a genetic variation, but to happen this spring is such a sweet coincidence. Or a miracle.