Today marks eleven full months my baby boy was born sleeping.
It is a bizarre concept, to be born dead.
I should be planning a first birthday party. Instead, I'm planning a memorial.
While Bennet was dying and we were in Hobart undergoing a multitude of tests, scans and lots and lots and LOTS of waiting, we spent a lot of time at the ocean. Mainly looking out at fishing boats and the vastness of the ocean. Not knowing what was going to happen, except that our much-wanted second son was probably going to die very soon. Trying in any way to bring some sort of calm to the new chaos and awfulness that had slammed into our lives.
The ocean still reminds us of our Ben.
The steady waves. The deep blue. The freshness. The openness. All the time we spent looking into it, praying for his life and the decisions we might have to make.
And so we decided that, for Bennet's first birthday, we would release paper boats.
Something we can make with our own hands. Because there is healing in doing.
Something we can write little notes on to him, or prayers to God. Because there is healing in being heard.
(The added benefit of it being that they have little to no impact on the environment as they will break down fairly quickly in the water)
And, since a great deal of our support, and Bennet's family, lives far overseas, we decided that we would create a page where anyone who wants to remember Bennet with us can, by making and releasing their own paper boats and sharing their photos with us on his birthday.
And because I know I am not alone in loosing a baby (statistics are 1 in 4 will loose a baby through miscarriage. Statistics on still birth are harder to find because not every state can agree on a butt-load of things I'll not go in to here), and there is so much silence around pregnancy loss, I wanted to give other's an opportunity to remember their own babies as well.
So I created a Facebook page for Bennet's birthday, for anyone who would like to remember Bennet with us on what should be his first birthday, or their own baby gone too soon.
We will also be raising money for Bears of Hope. It is a non-profit organisation that supports families who have lost a baby at any age or gestation. One member in particular has been of so much support to both Phillip and me and is one of the reasons we're still so... sane. And really healing. I don't have words for what this organisation means to us, or to describe the help and hope that it has brought us this past year. So we are raising money so Bears of Hope can continue to help care for families in the amazing way they do. If you wish to donate, the link here leads to Bennet's page.
So this is my invitation, to anyone who reads it, to remember our baby boy with us, on his birthday, October 21st.