About 7 months ago, I went to the dentist. My hygienist (who is awesome) looked like she was about to pop. She was expecting her first child and due any day. I had a few Mom Bags in my car from a recent exhibit and I gave her one in exchange for a promise to review.
I never got a review but sometimes we get busy, new baby craziness...
I was back at the dentist a few weeks ago and the first thing I asked her was "How's your peanut?". She then told me that he had passed away at 6 days old. My heart sank. The only think I knew to do was hug her, so I did. I told her how sorry I was, apologized for assuming she had happy news, and offered to speak of it never again.
Surprisingly, although not so surprisingly I later learned, she wanted speak of it. So, she talked and I got my teeth cleaned. I think she needed to vent and I was glad she felt safe with me to do that. She apologized for not leaving a review on her Mom Bag but said it had gotten stuffed away with everything else that reminded her of her son. Understandable. But...
Mom Bags are for Moms. So much of the gifting that happens around childbirth is about the baby. Mom Bags are designed to care for Mom after giving birth. My hygienist definitely gave birth but didn't get the benefits of her bag because it was given to her before the trauma and she couldn't go near anything associated with that time. So maybe we should change the setting in which these mothers receive their bags.
I knew I wanted to run a promotion for Moms in May and after what happened at the dentist I started digging into what happens after perinatal loss. The answer is, it depends. It depends where you are, it depends how resourceful you are, it depends if you can bring yourself to look at a computer to search; and most of the wonderful organizations out there are helping with counseling, support groups, memory kits, etc. I spoke to two organizations in particular who have direct contact with mothers going through perinatal loss, Forever Footprints in LA, and String of Pearls in Denver. I learned that there isn't much out there for the mother's physical needs following these events. It's like their actual delivery didn't happen because they aren't going home with a baby.
But their delivery did happen, these women have all the needs of any other new mother. They also have this force-field of sorrow around them that a lot of us don't know how to breach. My interaction with my hygienist showed me, and the ladies at Forever Footprints and String of Pearls confirmed this, these mothers DO want to talk about it, they want help, they want to try to feel somewhat normal. So, in concert with experts in perinatal hospice, we've put together a slightly tweaked Mom Bag for these mothers.
For each Mom Bag purchased in May, Post-Op Provisions will donate a perinatal hospice bag to either String of Pearls or Forever Footprints. These women gave birth, they ARE mothers, and they could use a little help.