Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Speechless, follow-up

After I took some time to clear the feelings of disappointment and frustration, I carefully outlined my thoughts and took action. (Overemotional conversations won't get me anywhere!)  I called the social worker back.

I said, I wanted to take a moment to process things before calling you. I'm very disappointed about the boxes because I believe Mankato is a very under-served community. There are no support groups, no help for mothers who have lost babies, and very few services at the hospital to help a family make the best of the very short and precious time they have with their baby. We created these boxes out of love to help make a very horrible time, slightly better for these families. It's very important to me that the families in our community don't feel as alone as we did. There is no reason why a family should be denied help in these situations.

We went on to have a conversation about what specifically I felt is lacking*  and ways we could work together. I also asked if I could speak with the nursing staff to give suggestions and have a discussion about what it's like to lose a baby. She is going to work on getting that to happen.

*I FINALLY got to explain to her how horrible it is to have a bereavement counseling session in the OB office with pregnant and new mamas in the waiting room with you!

She told me the reason they were not going to accept the boxes is for health reasons (she mentioned lice). I don't understand this because everything in the boxes is brand-new and unopened. It sounded like a brushoff to me.  (Plus, I know they give out hand-knit blankets so that blows that explanation out of the water). 

I've also gotten SO MUCH feedback and help from people who feel just as strongly about this as I do. Our NILMDTS photographer, Sherry, called to give my contacts she has on the OB floor. I've already called and left a message.

A few other people have suggested going to the local media. I really like this idea because not only will it help make this happen, but it's also a way to reach the other babyloss families in the area.

I'm going to work on this more. I will not let this be the end. Babyloss families need help and support.

Mankato has one of the only hospitals in the area. It's the only hospital I know of that has a labor and delivery department. It's serves many communities. I can't begin to imagine why they wouldn't need/want this and other services.

Thank you all so much for your help and concern. Samuel is going to make a difference in this community if I have anything to say about it. <3

Will you help? If you ever received a care box after the loss of your baby, will you share your story? I hope to compile the list of stories and give them to the hospital/newspaper as I pursue this further. Send them to RememberingSamuelEvan@gmail.com. 


  1. Go RaeAnne go! You could also contact the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Fairview. I know Fairview gives out knitted hats, I would think any hospital would embrace this idea!

  2. I am a NICU nurse at St. Paul Childrens and fully support you pursuing this. I think staff would always benefit from hearing your experience and things they could do to help other families in the future. Most nurses would be receptive to this. The nurse managers of the NICU or OB or the chaplain at the hospital could be another avenue to try. I have contacts in the twin cities, but as you know, it is important that ALL hospitals have these resources. Your memory boxes are really lovely! Such a wonderful way to love and honor Samuel.

  3. GOOD FOR YOU! I'm so glad you called back with such a thoughtful response and really let them know how bereaved families are treated. I keep a list of charities that offer items to hospitals for bereaved families, if that would help your cause. Maybe you could show local media that there are so many places dying to reach out, and it's falling on deaf ears. Hugs, and thanks for the updates. Cannot wait to hear where this goes.

  4. On a related note, I'm really thinking this would be a perfect time for you to mention via local media that you'll be hosting the first annual Mankato Walk To Remember! You can totally do it! (And I could help a little...I chaired our most recent one!)

  5. Would you want a story about what is like NOT to receive a box like yours?
    You go girl!
    Gale in NC

    1. Yes, please! Any stories/comments to show them why they are needed. Thank you so much. I'm so sorry about your losses <3

  6. I received a very basic box in my hospital. It didn't include most of the wonderful things in yours but it did create a place to put our babies things and showed that the staff cared. Our staff were incredibly supportive and gave pamphlets out about grief after losing a child. We too don't have many resources in the area here and are working to improve that. What you are doing is a wonderful thing for these families that are experiencing the worst pain of their lives.

  7. Oh my goodness! SHAME ON YOU HOSPITAL! :O

    After our daughter Julia died, we didn't get ANY support from the hospital. Nothing. Not. One. Iota. After our son Evan died (Julia's little brother), we got a small bag from the hospital with some literature, some of the leads, blood pressure cuff, ID tags, booties, a small memory book with Evan's lock of hair, his hand and footprints in plaster, all the little goodies Evan had used and were in his "toolbox". The literature was outdated and didn't really pertain to my situation. Out of that came Evan's Embrace.

    My friend, my mom and I run a memory basket group called Evan's Embrace. (We're on facebook and evansembrace.org) We could probably put you in contact wth some other hospitals in Minnesota. My mom is from MN, and my son is named Evan. (I feel a connection!)

  8. I too received a basic keepsake box with a few things handmade from local people in the community. I keep the little blue handmade blanket with me at all times. I love it and could not imagine not having it! I too lived in a smaller town with few resources when we lost our little boy earlier this year. This was the first year the community hospital had an event on 10/15. I too think what you are doing is absolutely wonderful! I wish I had the time to do something similar! You are amazing!

  9. I have gotten a call about your post and several e-mails and fb messages. I run an organization called Infants Remembered In Silence, Inc. (IRIS) www.irisRemembers.com We founded IRIS 25 years ago and work directly with parents and the child that has died in hospitals and funeral homes. I would be happy to help you with this problem and offer some suggestions.Please feel free to contact me if you would like.

    Diana Sundwall~Founder and Executive Director
    Infants Remembered In Silence, Inc. (IRIS)
    112 NE Third St.
    Faribault, MN 55021
    Office Phone: (507) 334-4748
    IRIS Cell Phone: (507)330-2148
    e-mail: Support@irisRemembers.com
    Website: www.irisRemembers.com

    I hope to hear from you soon!


Only comments of love and encouragement are welcome. All others will be ignored.