Thursday, April 29, 2010

Making strides

Last Saturday I participated in the Walk For Babies downtown Denver. I was really impressed with how many people showed up. I think the announcers said close to 5,000. I was not expecting that many people, and it warmed my heart to see how many actually care about the cause The March of Dimes helps fight. No one seemed deterred by the rainy, could weather either. I completed all 5 miles without any hiccups and wore my "I walk for Jackson" sticker proudly!

This weekend I am headed to Indiana. I, along with some other friends and family will be dedicating a tree in honor of Jackson at my parents' and Brent's parents' church. We wanted to leave some kind of little legacy for Jackson and, conveniently, our parents go to the same church, so we thought it would be a neat place to have the tree. The church recently built a new building on different property, so it was a great opportunity to pick out a baby tree to watch grow. The tree is near the church's school and playground, so children will pass it everyday. I am so excited that I will be in town for the ceremony. Brent will still be in Colorado, but his presence there will definitely be known. He recorded a song that he wrote for Jackson, and we plan on playing it there. If you are in the area and interested in attending, the ceremony will be held May 2 after the 10:45 a.m. service (around noon) at Our Shepherd Lutheran Church, 9201 East County Road 100 North, Avon, IN, 46123. My parents are planning a luncheon at their house after.

My second blanket is slowly making strides. I had a big oops last week when I accidentally dropped the knitting on the floor and a bunch of stitches slipped off the needle. I tried really hard to save it, but in the end I ended up redoing the whole thing. Luckily I wasn't too far along, and feel like I'm getting somewhere now. My great mother-in-law informed me of a little stopper to put on the end of the needle so this doesn't happen again. You learn as you go I guess! I seem to be on a track record -- I started my first blanket over too. Oh well. Second time was a charm with the first, and I hope that rings true for this one too. And for all you knitters who are knitting along with me, I will never be able to thank you enough and want to tell you to keep it up! I can't wait to have a couple of blankets in hand to be able to make my first donation.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Six months

Today marks the six-month anniversary of giving birth to Jackson. In some ways it feels like an eternity and in other ways it feels like it was just yesterday. I'll never forget the way it felt to hold him and see how absolutely beautiful and perfect he was.

I know its only a date, but today is a hard day. Brent and I can't help but wonder what he would be like now, what he would be doing and how far along he would have come in his development --- rolling over, sitting up, maybe even giving some thought to crawling. We miss him more than words can describe, and I know that will never change.

We've made some big strides though. Its been a long road and quite the learning experience, but the initial pain has gotten easier.  I am so happy winter is finally over. I think it was the longest winter of my life. The start of spring has given me more of a feeling of a fresh start and renewed sense of hope. This picture was made for us by another angel mommy a couple of weeks ago, and for me it couldn't have come at a better time -- a beautiful picture of spring flowers and butterflies. It feels like a nice breath of fresh of air with Jackson as a huge part of it.

All the support we've had through the past six months has meant everything. I know Brent and I wouldn't be where we are today with out it. I feel blessed to have met so many other angel families going through the same thing. All of them amaze me at how strong they are. Of course, I have to give a special shout out to our support-group couples. They are an awesome group of people and even though what brought us together is nothing we would have ever wished for, I'm glad they have been along with us on this journey.

Unfortunately our out-of-town plans for next weekend have been postponed. But on a good note about that I will be walking in the March for Babies. The team I will be walking with was formed by Angela Donaldson, our amazing Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep photographer. She lost her beautiful baby Ethan in 2008, so we will be walking in memory of him, Jackson and all angel babies. Angela designed T-shirts for the team, and was kind enough to include Jackson's name on the back. It's still not too late to donate or sign up for a walk near you. If you would like to donate to Angela's team, click here. Hopefully next week I will have a wonderful story to share about the event!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Blanket No. 1 finished and March for Babies

I finally finished my first blanket yesterday, which made me happy. No stitches dropped, I figured out how to bind off the needles OK and was even able to add fringe to it for a finishing touch. All in all, I am happy it turned out well, and hope one day it will bring some comfort to a family.

I've really been inspired by this project -- and by knitting in general. Knitting seems to be a good way to release emotions -- weather happy, sad, anxious, depressed, its been a comfort to pick up the needles and go for it! I've already started on my second blanket. Since I did blue this time, I opted to start on a pink one. And thanks to my awesome sister-in-law Audrey, I have a beautifully soft yarn to make it with. Also, please don't be surprised if you see Winnie-the-Pooh sitting in a lot of my pictures. Jackson's nursery is decorated in classic Winnie-the-Pooh, so the little guy means a lot to me!

I love the fact that I have some willing knitters to knit along with me or others who have offered some wonderful donations. Thank you again for your willingness to take this project on. I know we will reach many people by doing this. I still have so many ideas swirling around in my head for this, and as I said, I'm excited to see where this will continue to go. After I have a couple blankets ready, I will plan on making my first donation.

With this blog, I also plan on getting the word out about other happenings in the news, other nonprofits, etc ... supporting the prevention of pregnancy, stillbirth and infant loss. The March for Babies (aka March of Dimes) walks are quickly approaching. I know the one in Denver takes place April 24 in Civic Center Park. Registration begins at 8 a.m. I think a lot of the walks are on that same date or around the same date all over the country. The organization's mission is to prevent birth defects, premature birth and infant mortality.  So if you feel like getting a little exercise and supporting a great cause, I encourage you to check out the walk in your area. Just go to, type in your ZIP code and you will be able to see a list of walks, dates and times. Unfortunately, Brent and I will be out of town for the Denver one, but we were able to donate a bit to a friend's team.

One side note about this organization is that when I first got married and moved to Denver, I worked at a day care for about a year. The day care was a big supporter of the March of Dimes, but I honestly didn't give it a second thought. Some of the workers and parents participated in the walk that year, but I opted not to. Now, in retrospect, obviously I wish I had. Obviously I view these causes a lot differently now. Not once in a million years did I ever think something like this would happen to me. That an organization like this would mean so much to me. Or how many people this kind of thing affects. I guess you never know where the life journey will take you.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Thanks and Star Legacy Foundation cookbooks

I want to thank everyone who has shown me support with this Web site/blog. It has been happily overwhelming and I cannot express how much that means to me. It really helps me validate that I am doing something good here, and I can reach people's lives through this effort.

I am so excited for everyone who has offered their help too. I am so thankful for all of you. Some of you have even offered to knit your own blankets for this cause, donate yarn, etc.... In fact, a friend of mine is coming over tonight so I can teach her to knit. I hope I can do that! This is all so exciting for both Brent and me. We definitely welcome the continued support!

My first blanket is still coming along. I hope to be done with it in the next couple of days -- at least by the end of this week. I will also be making up some kind of business-like card I can pin to the blankets so the families can find this Web site too.

On another note, the Star Legacy Foundation -- an organization dedicated to research and education to prevent stillbirth -- is selling cookbooks to raise funds. I encourage you to consider buying one to support their cause. I even submitted my own recipe in honor of Jackson, so be on the lookout for that if you decide to order one! The cookbooks are due out in May, but you can pre-order your own now. Just click here to get all the info on it.