Monday, January 18, 2010

Emma's Passing

Emma will be born on Wednesday, and then she will be buried on Friday. We are so sad for this young couple who have waited and prayed for a baby. It is heartbreaking to know that she will not live to run and jump and play. It would not matter where she was born, nor what doctor delivered her, Emma's little body cannot survive. Emma's mommy and daddy are relatives of our daughter.

Last Sunday my daughter asked me to sew Emma's burial clothing. How could I refuse when we pray so often to know of those in need and to be able to help them if we can? Of course I said yes. After Spunky and Carpenter left, I remembered that Hubby helped to build a casket a few years ago for the daughter of a family friend. I texted Spunky and let her know. Monday she and Carpenter were at our house with Hubby working in Hubby's woodshop shop learning how to build one. Carpenter has built many beautiful homes, but he has never built anything like this little casket. They spent all day Tuesday building a beautiful casket that I will line tomorrow.

Here are photos of what I have been working on this week for little Emma. I have included links to the patterns I used, but many patterns can be found at The Preemie Project. I found a helpful size chart at Touching Little Lives. There is also a size chart at The Preemie Project. Both sites give approximate measurements for infants between 1.5 pounds and 5.5 pounds.

The "Angel Pocket" 

The"Angel Pocket " open

 I am not sure if Emma will be too fragile to dress. I read that some infants in her condition are very fragile, so I wanted to sew an Angel Pocket just in case.  Here is the link where I found the pattern by Marianne Doty. She calls it a 'fetal demise pouch'. That was much too harsh a name for such a difficult time. I found another site that called it an Angel Pocket and I much prefer that name.

Crocheted booties for Emma

The pattern for the booties I crocheted is found at Warm Hearts, Warm Babies. I will also knit a small Christmas Stocking out of the same yarn as a keepsake. I am sure this couple will have more children and I am also sure that they will want remember their little Angel Emma at Christmas. I am certain that they will want to tell their future children about their older sister.

Emma's Bonnet

I found the pattern for the bonnet at  Sewing For Babies. They are a non-profit organization that provides clothing and other items for preemies in Arizona. I lined the bonnet with pink because the Pioneer women in the 1800's often lined their bonnet brims with pink so they didn't look pale. I thought that would be good for Emma.

Emma's Dress
I found the pattern for Emma's dress here. There are other patterns here, scroll down to Miscarriage/Still born and you will see a list of links and PDF's to download for free. I modified the pattern so that it did not have 3 sections of lace on the front. I chose eyelet lace for the dress and I think it turned out beautifully. If you click on the picture you will notice the lace detail around the neck as well as the 3 pearls I stitched onto the neckline lace. I also lined the dress because I wanted it to look as much like a dress that would be worn by a baby that would be brought home as possible. The bonnet also has pearls stitched at the end of the ties.

Mother's Tears Hankie and Father's Handkerchief

 I found the pattern and the idea for the Mother's Tear's Hankie at Touching little Lives. You can find the pattern here: Mother's Tear's Hankie. I made the mother's hankie out of the edging of the dress. I had plenty of fabric so I made each of the Grandmas a hankie out of the plainer part of the dress material. I had already bought some plain men's handkerchiefs that I had planned to sew lace onto (the same lace as I hoped to use on the dress) but when I couldn't find any lace, I decided to use the men's handkerchiefs for the father and the Grandpas. My sister-in-the-gospel has an embroidery machine that embroiders smaller than mine does. She was very happy to help by embroidering Emma's name in white on each handkerchief. The Mother's and Grandmother's handkerchiefs are embroidered in a cursive style font, the Father's and Grandfather's handkerchiefs are embroidered in a block style font.

Grandma's Hankie made from the same fabric as Emma's dress with a ribbon, flower, and pearl, all matching Emma's dress.

Memory Envelope

I could not think of a way to package all the gifts. I certainly didn't want to wrap everything up as if it was a joyous gift, it didn't seem like the right thing to do. I was at a lovely store and bought a fabric envelope that the mother can use as a memory envelope or for whatever she chooses. I wrapped the dress, booties, and bonnet in tissue paper and slipped it in on one side. I wrapped the Angel Pocket in tissue paper as well and slipped it into the envelope on the other side. I also wrapped the hankies in pairs, one pair for each set of grandparents, and one set for Emma's parents. The moment I saw the fabric envelope I knew it was perfect for wrapping the clothing and other gifts in.

Here is the poem that is attached to the outside of the memory envelope.

Thinking of You with Love
We thought of you with love today,
but that is nothing new.
We thought about you yesterday,
and days before that too.
We think of you in silence,
we often speak your name.
All we have are thoughts of you,
and our heavenly aim.
Your memory is our keepsake,
with which we will never part.
God has you in His keeping,
we have you in our hearts.
A million times we`ve wanted you.
A million times we cried.
If only love could have saved you,
you never would have died.
It broke our hearts to lose you.
But you didn`t go alone.
For a part of us went with you...
the day God called you Home.
~Author Unknown

For Emma and her sweet family

I also included this note with the gifts.

Dear Emma,
You have been a blessing to our family. We never met you, yet we were given the privilege to serve you and your parents in a very sacred way. I am grateful that I had the opportunity to sew your clothing, my good friend is thankful to have the chance to embroider your name on hankies that your family can keep in memory of your short but meaningful life. We look forward to meeting you one day. Though your life was very brief, it was profound and has touched many people in a way that has changed lives for the better. Thank you for teaching us so much in such a short time. Thank you for giving us the opportunity to serve you.

Here are two other links that I found to make things for a baby that has passed away:
Memento Bracelets: At the Irish Stillbirth & Neonatal Death Society there are many patterns to download including Infant Bereavement Memento Bracelets.
Dolly Diaper: Skip To My Lou: Child's Doll Diaper
I would check the size of the diaper against the sizing chart and adjust the size to fit the infant.


~Tonia said...

Its beautiful thing you all have done but oh so sad.... I am so sorry for their loss.

sapphireblue said...

I had a little one named Emma born at 20 weeks stillborn. The hospital gave us handmade clothing and a friend made a small box for her ashes. It was very much appreciated.

Thank you for helping bring some comfort to a grieving family.