BENEFITING: The Children's Room
Last year, at this time I was over 40 weeks pregnant. My google calendar tells me we had an (unremarkably normal) ultrasound on June 12. I know we acknowledged Fathers Day in some way, but honestly can't remember how. I think I joked about how I hadn't planned anything because I'd expected to have a baby to hand to my husband by then. The next day, a Monday, labor started. And long story short, on Tuesday night June 18, my second baby and first son, Sebastian, was born but he wasn't breathing. After several minutes, the doctors and nurses succeeded in resuscitating him and he was whisked away to another hospital with a higher level NICU. Eight days later, on June 26, he died after we removed the breathing tube to focus on his comfort, knowing the lack of oxygen had caused too much brain damage.
It's been the hardest year of my life, but in some ways, one filled with the most love. Our family has been unsurprisingly supportive. Friends from childhood with whom I'd lost touch, my closest friends, old neighbors, and new "mom friends" have done everything from make us food, to entertain our 2 year old daughter, to simply tell us they're thinking of Sebastian on the 18th or 26th each month. At Christmas time, I organized a little project to bring Starbucks gift cards to local NICU families and chocolate to the NICU staff and was blown away by donations that totaled over $2200, allowing me to give gift cards and chocolates to the NICU Sebastian had been at AND three others.
I think about Sebastian just about every day. His name is tattooed on my arm, but I don't often have an excuse to talk about him with others. So, as we approach his birthday and the anniversary of his death, I wanted to organize a litle fundraiser in his memory.
The Children's Room in Arlington, MA is an unbelievable little nonprofit organization that supports grieving children, teens and families. They provide family groups, parent education series, and family consultations. Their vision is "that every child, teen and family grieving a death deserves a safe, supportive and understanding environment."
When our daughter started mentioning Sebastian and asking questions about what she saw in the photos we have of him in the NICU, we were at a loss, so my husband and I met with the Education Director at the Children's Room for a consultation. Not only did we leave with examples of specific language to use with our daughter and an understanding of what's developmentally appropriate for her, but we experienced that supportive and understanding -- and I'd add compassionate -- environment.
If you can donate $10 - or even just share this page - for the Children's Room in Sebastian's memory, I'd be so grateful.
love, Sebastian's mama