This blog is long overdue. But, you know, life happens...plus for me, the telling of this story is so incredibly important that I wanted to do it justice. I hope I have.
In July of this year, Beluga Baby released a very special wrap, along with matching Mini Beluga Doll Carriers, Oversized Swaddles, and Braided Bracelets. It’s called “The Reid & Rett Wrap” named after my friend Emma Hansen’s two sons.
One, here, in her arms, and the other in her heart.
In early April, 2015, I was at BC Women’s Hospital, welcoming my daughter to the world. Learning how to breastfeed, and swathed in newborn bliss.
Unbeknownst to me at the time, Emma Hansen was also at that same hospital, preparing to face the unthinkable. Saying goodbye to her firstborn son, Reid, born still at 40 weeks due to a true knot in his umbilical cord.
It was a twist of fate, that we would find ourselves in the same place. Two strangers, facing things they’ll never forget. Such great joy and such deep sorrow, at once. Thinking back, I can’t imagine where I would be today if our places had been switched. It’s a reminder to always be thankful for those we have and hold.
A year after her first son was lost, Emma’s gave birth to her "rainbow baby" Everett: her baby born after her first son's loss.
Emma's troubles didn't end there however. After a traumatic series of events, Everett had to spend the first three weeks of his life in the BC Women’s NICU. Thankfully, due to the exemplary care he received, he is thriving today.
Emma and I met while she was pregnant with her second son. Our friendship was born out of this mix of life and loss. We knew there was something we needed to do, we just weren’t sure what.
As Everett grew, we started talking about our strange connection. How Sawyer and Reid would have been the same age, almost to the day. And we started talking about the stories, the ones that shape us, give us life and breath. The more we talked, the more we realized that parents who have lost babies have stories that need to be told. These stories are so varied. Some are all jumbled, have no closure, and are messy. Some are uplifting, full of hope and calm after the storm.
We wanted to enable these parents to tell their stories, for in sharing there is healing. In finding common ground, there is connection, and there is hope.
A rainbow wrap, honouring those precious lost lives, and allowing parents to keep the babies that follow, close to their hearts.
Rainbows signify hope after loss. They are what emerge through the storms in our lives, often in the very thick of them. They don’t fill the spaces in our hearts. Those spaces will forever belong to those we lost. They don't erase the clouds; they appear beside them. Whatever your versions of hope and loss are, we’d like to honor them. Honor the memories of your lost children. Honor the new lives you have in your arms. Honor the space you’ve created in your life for a rainbow that is unique to you. Our stories hold deep power in their diversity, and it is in them that we will find healing.
It is with gratitude that a full third of profits from this wrap will be donated to NICUs to provide lifesaving aid and equipment to help other babies fighting for their lives.
Please, share your story using the hashtag #reidandrett, and build the legacy of these brothers into something beautiful. Let us find the light in the darkness, together.
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