Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Jacob Austin Memorial Project

Since my son was born still 3 months ago, I have wanted to do something for other parents who have to do the unthinkable and leave their babies in the hospital or watch them leave with a funeral director, instead of bringing them home.  While in the hospital with Jake, my nurses did an amazing job at making things I could keep as memories forever.  They took pictures of him, they made me extra wrist bands with little duckies on them, even though we never wore them.The nurses the night he was born took the time to make a porcelain mold of his tiny hands and feet, so that I could feel them forever.  Then they gathered all of this and put it in a beautiful box.  On top, they layed a manila envelope, containing his hospital certificate of birth to fill out with his tiny footprints on it and a baby book for babies who had passed away.  I was more than grateful to receive such, when I most definitely wasn't expecting it.  I was a bewildered mommy who didn't know what to expect.  It saddens me to think there are parents who leave the hospital with less than what I did.  That some mommies and daddies only have the pictures in their minds of their babies and not much else.

Another organization that helped me while I was in the hospital was an organziation called H.A.N.D (Helping after neonatal death) , they distribute teddy bears to the hospital in memory of other babies who have passed away.  I was very happy to receive such a soft cuddly teddy bear, and to know that I was not alone.  I however, was not so impressed later on when I went to visit their website on the teddy's ear tag.  The organizations website clearly states to the hospitals that they should only distribute teddy bears to those parents whose babies were over 25 weeks old, because the bears are expensive.  My son was born at 23.5 weeks. My social worker cared about me, and gave me one anyhow.  It seems this organziation wouldn't put that on their website, so the parents who receive them feel like they aren't important, because their babies were younger than 25 weeks.

I would rather no parent feel like I did... so these are my ideas for what I have labeled so far as the Jacob Austin Memorial Project

I want all of the gifts to be in a big pink or blue basket.

I want to start by adding a little stuffed lamb.  My memory box had one, and it was very special and still is because my eldest son Payton, also has a stuffed lamb and it is his most favorite!

I'm thinking of ordering these for other mommies who've lost their angels.

Then, I also want to add a devotional for bereaved parents.  The one I have found is by GriefShare.  My only problem is that not everyone is christian and not everyone would appreciate this.  I haven't yet read this book or studied in the word with with this book, but feel like I would enjoy it.
I want to get this book for parents of  angel babies.  Through a Season of Grief: Devotions for Your Journey from Mourning to Joy
The night Jake was born was a very hard night for me, I spent all of it crying, and trying to plan Jake's funeral.  I had a hard time finding music that I wanted played at his funeral, or music to comfort me in my time of need.  I know of many mommies who have found great comfort in Natalie Grant's "Held", so I would like to include the album in my basket.
The song Held is on this album by Natalie Grant.. it seems to bring baby loss parents comfort... i'd love to include it in the basket donated to angel parents
Then this idea, just came to me yesterday, I want to include some seeds, so the parents could have pretty flowers in memory of their baby that had to "bud on earth, to bloom in Heaven".  I found these beautiful Teddy Bear Sunflower seeds through Burpee.  I am good friends with a lady who does stationary/paperworks and I'm sure she could make me individual seed packets to split up these big packages of 75.
Teddy Bear Sunflower Seeds
Then to top it off, around the top of the basket I would like to tie a pretty bow.  I have found these two ribbons online, however i'm sure there are many more ideas in actual stores.
baby boy ribbon
Baby ribbon for a pretty bow on each basket

I love helping people, my family loves helping others in need, afterall I am going to have a career helping others... my only problem is that I think my dreams are bigger in this project than the funds.  I haven't added up the exact cost of each basket... but i'm sure it would be $40-$50, so I may have to edit what I do to them sadly. If you can think of any other things I should add to the baskets to distribute to my local hospitals, please let me know.

Today is the Tuesday Bereaved Mommies bloghop, so if you'd like to read about what other mommies are doing in memory of their babies, please click the Bereaved mommies button at the top of my page.  I hope you have a great Tuesday!


  1. Well you know I love that name...Jacob. :) I'd love to take some pictures of the name "Jacoband "Jake" and send them to you. Feel free to leave me your email address at ehepler81@yahoo.com and I'll get them to you!

    I know your Jacob and my Ryan are having a blast up there!

    1. Elizabeth thank you so much for volunteering to do that for me! I would love that! I know our sweet babies are probably having the best time playing together in Heaven. :) It makes me smile and teary eyed at the same time! I will email you now with my email address. Thank you so much!

  2. You have some wonderful ideas!!! It was really hard that we did not get anything. Gosh that kind of ruffles my feathers about the 25 weeks, how sad to dismiss our babies. I have to say it has made my grieving much harder that so many have dismissed my loss because of Jonathan's age. Well I am saying a prayer that you get some serious funding to make these baskets!

  3. Thank you Tesha! It ruffled my feathers too. :) I'm sorry that anyone has dismissed your loss because of Johnathon's age. Really, the only person who has been that way with me sadly was my 'husband'husband who told me in the first few days I was hospitalized that Jake wasn't even a baby. He told me he was a "fetus", and that's all. I'm guessing that's why he had no problem telling me I should've just been induced ans let him pass away. Thank you for the prayers for the funding of my baskets. :)I happy Tuesday!

  4. It's amazing how ours love for our baby's makes us want to do great things. My hospital was also amazing in helping us but I know not everyone had that. Maybe to reduce the cost instead of the album you could include a list of songs that bring comfort. I have a pretty good list if you want it. Most people have computers and can listen or buy the songs they like online.

  5. Kristy, making a list of my favorite songs on cardstock probably would be lots cheaper. :) Thank you for that tip. I do really want to do something for others, to show my love for Jake and also all the other babies who pass away. :)

  6. That angers me about H.A.N.D acting as if babies younger than 25 weeks are somehow not as important and are unworthy of a bear!!!

    This is a wonderful thing you are doing in honor of Jacob. I also am working on hospital care packages to take to the hospital where Lily was born. You can see the website I made for it here:


    In case you want to get any ideas. I am also using lambs for my packages. I got a "Lily Lamb" at build-a-bear with Lily's heartbeat in it. :-) I love it and sleep with it every night. All the things you are including are great. I love the song "Held." It says something about lilies in it, so I especially love it. You can see a lot of songs that have helped me heal on my blog:


    I am glad you got all that stuff from the hospital. I am trying to be thankful for what I did get because I realize a lot didn't get what I did. I am upset my hospital didn't tell me about NILMDTS. I wish they had given me Lily's hand and foot molds. They only gave me her handprints because I asked for them. I have her footprints too and a lock of her hair. And I am incredibly thankful for the photos I do have. But, I guess nothing will ever be enough. Not for any of us.

    I will pray God somehow provides the funds for you to continue with this project! :-)

    1. Hannah they very much angered me as well. I vowed to write them after I was feeling better and up to it. They may be a task I take on before long. It shocks me that they would leave that where hurting parents can view it on their website. Messages like that should be sent in paper form along with the bears to the hospital.

      Thank you for sharing Little Ones Legacy with me. I will most definitely look for ideas.

      I Love that you have a sweet little Lily Lamb with her heartbeat. I wish I had Jake's heartbeat recorded so that I could listen to it now. I heard it so many times, but never once did I think to record it in case I could never hear it again.

      My hospital did share NILMDTS with me, and they are a very wonderful organization. They did not photograph Jake, because, again, he was born before 25 weeks,and they have that requirement as well. However, they explain the reasons for this in detail on their websites, and I understand. I have thought about including hand and foot molds in my baskets, but will have to speak to the L&D nurses here in my town to see if they include them in the boxes they provide.

      You are very right, as much as we can/ want to do for these hurting parents... nothing will ever be enough, amount to enough memories. Nothing could be better than having your child with you forever... in your arms.

      Thank you for the continued prayers for my project.. I will shower yours in prayers as well. :o)