|Adding details like names and dates to the memory making gave Tim & I something to keep busy the next day.|
Because of Siena's history and uncertainty at the time of birth, we had something special and unique happen that led to an extra abundance of memories to take home.
At Mayo, the Family Birth Center and the NICU are in different hospital buildings. Each department has their own standard set of resources for families who are facing the death of an infant. Because of Siena's circumstances, prior to birth we had met with the primary perinatal hospice (and other special circumstances) team at the Family Birth Center AND the Child Life Specialists at the NICU.
I didn't think there was anything unusual about this, but apparently it doesn't happen often that someone truly connects with both groups. Because we had already connected with both, when it came time for memory making both groups sent over a representative! The nurse and the child life specialist were actually somewhat entertaining, comparing their favorite techniques for making molds. In a bit of a competition, we actually ended up with 3 very nice molds my favorite of which is Siena holding onto my finger.
In addition to molds, the child life specialist had a huge stack of "gift" hand/foot prints for siblings and even a family project (which is already framed and hanging in our dining room). Kylee especially, was really into the family tree...designating a "boy side" and a "girl side" and which colors Siena, Mommy, and Daddy could use.
Each group also had a different box or basket with books, resources, flyers, etc. for us to take home. We have filled more than the trunk that Tim built for her things! The NICU set even had a flyer for grandparents which was nice to have to pass on. I have no idea if my mom or Tim's read them or found them useful, but I was glad to have them acknowledged/included! One set included a set of charms, and the other set included information on essential oils and stress relief. Towards the end of delivery day, I heard one nurse tell another nurse from the Family Birth Center, that she was going to start calling the NICU Child Life person for all of the baby loss cases she worked on!
The last, but actually most important set of memories we made together are the incredible photographs we have. We chose not to use Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep or the hospital photographer and invited our longtime friend, Nathan, to photograph sections of the day. He took photographs almost continually for the hour or two after I came out of surgery. Even during the most intimate or emotional moments, we never asked him to leave. I've asked him to share his experience of that day from the other side of the lens if he would be willing sometime in the future, as I know that I would love to hear about it.
|The photo-grapher had his turn with Siena as well, which we aptly photographed for him.|
Memories cannot and will not replace our daughter.
Memory making can and did, however, give us a set of things to call her own.
Things to touch, smell, and feel when we miss her the most and cannot touch, smell, and feel her sweet little body any longer.