Well, this year has been the longest and shortest of my life. Isn't that a funny paradox? Ethan's one year birthday is coming up on August 19. I have been dreading it for so long, dreading the feelings that will be associated with it. And now, it seems to have just crept up on me. I am both peaceful and absolutely manic about it, about the way that I feel. I want to do something really special to honor him at the same time that I want to bury my head in the sand and just sleep the entire day, pretend it doesn't exist. I have had several people ask me what we want to do because they want to honor him and celebrate him with us as well. I've heard many wonderful suggestions, from balloon releases to buying a star in his name. We have thought about it and we want to do something that will not only honor him, but help other families who are going through a pregnancy or infant loss. Which is why we chose Share Atlanta. There is actually a link on the side to their website. Share Atlanta does many things for parents in our situation. They donate blankets, booties, teddy bears, etc to area hospitals so that anyone who enters a hospital pregnant does not leave empty handed. Granted, leaving with a memory box or a teddy bear in no way compensates having to leave your child behind. However, I can tell you from experience how much I treasure our memory box and how often I have cradled Ethan's bear, especially in the beginning when my arms were so empty they ached. They also have seminars where they work with health care providers going over the needs of mothers who are delivering a baby that they know will be stillborn. This is so important...the little things can so often be overlooked. For instance, I spent two hours alone in a labor room after learning that Ethan had died surrounded by walls filled with pictures of mother's holding newborns. Not fun. Another reason we chose Share Atlanta is because Marcia, the founder, was one of the co-authors of the No Heartbeat Act. That bill is so important for us moms of stillborns, and in helping to get it passed she became someone I call a friend. It is so difficult to put yourself out there, exposing all of your own emotions just to help others after going through this loss. The fact that she has done so much, created an organization that has done so much....I just find it courageous and amazing and want to support her efforts in any way that I can.
So, if you are someone who would have bought Ethan a birthday present had he lived or if you would just like to honor him with us, be it with five dollars or 15 dollars, first of all, thank you. I can't tell you how much it means. Here is how you can donate to Share Atlanta.
You can send the donation directly to the following address and make the check out
to: SHARE Atlanta, Inc. It is tax-deductible.
SHARE Atlanta's Treasurer
577 Greenwood Ave.NE
Atlanta, Ga 30308