My beautiful baby, Brianna, was born January 13, 2012. I was nervous the whole entire pregnancy. I was never the type of person who thought I would enjoy being a mother. However, I was so grateful for a loving husband who I knew would be an amazing father to our precious girl. Once she was born, I realized I have never been in love with anyone like I was with her. Once I held Brianna in my arms everything changed; she was my whole life. Being my first child, she has made me a mother and my husband a father. All this being said, she was stillborn.
The day she was born had a joyous start. She was healthy during the whole pregnancy and other than the most horrible heartburn anyone could imagine never even caused me trouble. I went to the hospital at 3:00 a.m. although I wasn’t sure exactly why. I guess it was just that mother’s instinct to check on my daughter. Once I arrived, they found that her heartbeat was fine, and to my surprise, I was told that I was having steady contractions. She was double footling breeched and I was three days from my due date, so the doctor scheduled me for a C-section. I was horrified. I had been adamant through my entire pregnancy in my decision not to have a C-section. But once I realized I would meet Brianna in a few hours, I started to get excited.
My husband called our families and close friends. By the time I was taken into the operating room, everyone was in the lobby waiting to meet her. Brianna was born at 9:35 a.m. We never heard her cry; we never saw her move. However, she was perfectly formed. She was beautiful, and I was her mother. Getting to hold her, kiss her, and love her has been a highlight of my life. Even though my family and friends never met her while she was alive, we have been strengthened by her.
The hospital gave me all the items she was dressed in, as well as the blanket that had been wrapped around her. In fact, I sleep each night clutching the beanie she wore. These items are precious to me. I wanted to do something to carry on her name.
I wanted to keep ahold of that hope, faith, and unconditional love I had for her. And I never want to forget her.
Blankets for Brianna was formed. This nonprofit organization collects baby blankets to donate to hospitals for their stillborn and NICU babies. The blankets may be homemade or purchased. They are usually small, between 20 and 30 inches square, and either simple or creative. Each blanket has a personalized label attached with a picture of Brianna’s footprint and a message: “Blankets for Brianna. Made with love for you.” Not all the parents will have such a devastating loss, but we hope that the blankets will provide them the strength and comfort they need during such a difficult time.
In the few months that we have been collecting them, the blankets have already started to stack up in our home office, and we have made one delivery to the hospital in which Brianna was born. We also contacted the surrounding hospitals to make deliveries there as well. Community groups and individuals are even getting involved to make blankets to donate. I see so much potential in this little project. Being able to honor Brianna, and other children like her has been a wonderful feeling. I am doing this for my daughter. All the work I put into the organization is the work that I would have done for her. Some days that cheers me up, and some days it makes me sad that she is not here, but I try to see the positives in everything.
I know there is a reason this happened to my husband and me, and I have hope that when I finally get to see Brianna again, she will run up to me and call me Mom. I can’t wait for that moment.
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