Elijah’s Basket | Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month

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Balloon Release, 2008 Walk to Remember, Banner Desert Arizona, photo by CACTUSmango

In October 1988, President Ronald Reagan Proclaimed October as National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month. “When a child loses his parent, they are called an orphan. When a spouse loses her or his partner, they are called a widow or widower. When parents lose their child, there isn’t a word to describe them. This month recognizes the loss so many parents experience across the United States and around the world. It is also meant to inform and provide resources for parents who have lost children due to miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy, molar pregnancy, stillbirths, birth defects, SIDS, and other causes.”

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When we lost our first child, baby boy Elijah at 18 weeks gestation due to ‪#‎incompetentcervix‬ in November 2005, we were greatly comforted by the thoughtfully handmade & donated items of miniature clothing, blankets, rosaries & stuffed toys meant for babies born too soon. It was comforting in the sense that someone whom we never met cared enough to take the time for our little baby, during a time when no parent could ever possibly be prepared for.

The program gave us the opportunity to have precious photos of our Elijah with a blanket, mini rosary and mini stuffed bear which my husband carefully chose from the various donated items.

One of the donated items, that we have cherished over the years is the basket the nurses placed our tiny baby nestled in soft blankets, so that we could have time to be close to our baby.

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Now almost 8 years later, on our 5th pregnancy, 2nd cervical cerclage & expecting our 2nd “Rainbow Baby”, it is our sincere hope that we can return our son’s basket to Banner Desert, on the day our baby Lucy is born, filled with items donated with love for families like us who have angel babies.

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I received these teeny sweet ‪#‎handmade‬ ‪#‎knitted‬ ‪#‎bows‬ ‪#‎bowties‬ in the mail from my dear friend & fellow crafting enthusiast AdieElaine, all the way from Virginia! They come with the message: “These teeny bows made of yarn are tied together & bonded with a knot as you are with your baby’s soul.” Adie, your kindness, faith and love really shine through in your creations and will touch & comfort many families. Thank you so much for being there throughout all the years & distance.

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I received a package from another east coast crafting buddy Anna of Anna Sganga Photography, who made These teeny crotchet hearts. They are so precious & have a special place in ‪#‎elijahsbasket‬. She also included a copy of a beautiful poem by E.E. Cummings “I Carry Your Heart with Me”. Thank you so much Anna!

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Our dear friends Todd & Erica put together these precious items to add to ‪#‎ElijahsBasket‬ Todd chose these cute blue nosed stuffed animals & Erica found these sweet little footprint pins on etsy with a bible verse on the cards. I love them – the items & my friends. Thank you so much Williams5!

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If you would like to add donations to Elijah’s Basket – you can message me via facebook.com/cactusmango

If you are in Arizona & would like to make a donation or need information/support on coping with the loss of a little one, below is the contact information for the Bereavement Services/RTS at Banner Desert:

Bereavement Services/RTS, Pregnancy & Infant Loss Support Group
7 p.m. | 1st Monday of each month

Banner Desert Medical Center
1400 S. Dobson Road
Mesa, AZ 85202
(480) 412-3595