It's an emotional project. Sometimes I crochet with a heavy heart and a lump in my throat. Sometimes I want to completely stop and never look at another one. Usually by the time I get to that point I realize I need to put this project away and work on something else for a while - sometimes even weeks.
Last year my friend Kimberly lost her twins at 26 weeks. I remember reading her blog and watching her Facebook posts and wishing there was something I could do. I sent her some blankets I had made for her babies, but that didn't seem to help me feel much better. Each time I have heard a story of an angel baby I feel that same sense of wishing there was something I could do. And until I got started on this project - there wasn't anything I could do.
I think a part of why I want to help is that I know how it feels to lose a baby. Granted, my baby was gone long before she needed an outfit. You can read more about Lillian HERE. This is a post I just wrote last week. It took me three years of angry quiet grieving to realize what I really needed was a project in her honor. The world will never recognize her. She never needed an outfit or a tiny blanket. She'll never have a grave marker or anything else. But I don't like pretending she didn't exist. She did exist. Maybe only for a couple of weeks - but she's very real to me. This last year I have healed so much more than I did the past three years. I know it's part of how grieving works that we move in stages. I've finally reached the stage where I want to remember. I want her to be a part of my life. And this project makes me feel closer to her - and to the other angel babies I hear about.
Each story I hear of an angel baby touches my heart. Sometimes they really make me cry. It's hard, sometimes, to live on this earth. Life isn't fair. It's not fair that Mommies have to send their babies back to heaven before they hardly get a chance to know them. Sometimes Mommies get to hold their babies for a bit. Sometimes they don't. I can't take away the hurt and the pain even though my heart wishes I could. It's hard to let your baby go. I know. Some people think I can't possibly know - that my baby was gone before she was much of a person - but I know. I can't take away the hurt. I can't make that baby come back - now matter how much I wish I could. The only thing I can do is make outfits to help other people. I can only hope that these people will know that I handmade these outfits for their sweet angel babies because I want to help. I hope they will know that someone else cares about their baby. I haven't met anyone who received one of my outfits yet. Maybe I will someday. But even if I never do I hope that these parents will know that someone else, besides themselves, cared that their baby existed.
I guess the main point is that I feel compelled to make these outfits. Not a heavy, horrible compelled - but a compelled to help. I can help and I want to. This project has brought me so much peace this past year. I am also working to get certified to be a photographer with Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep - an organization of photographers that go to the hospitals to photograph families and their angel babies. Sometimes it still feels like it will be too emotional. But, again, I feel compelled. More than anything I wish I had a physical remembrance of my baby. I can help others have that one thing I wish I had more than anything. So I want to do that. I'm working at getting my equipment updated and then I can submit a portfolio for review and hopefully be able to help even more by taking pictures.
For more info about the crochet outfits - see the Angel Baby Outfit page at the top of the blog or click HERE.