Caring for Our Tiniest Patients (Part II)

Humanity is a bridge that builds itself from both ends. When our patients lose their baby, their lives are forever changed by their grief. The volunteers reach out to form that bridge to help the patients to their new existence.

Dr. P, American internal medicine physician

I will hold you in my heart until I can hold you in my arms.

Melody Sheare May, Creator of “Too Beautiful for Earth”

Last week, I wrote of the Sunshine and Rainbow Baby Programs at Capital Health Hospital, Hopewell, NJ. This week I would like to share information about the Angel Baby Programs, which exist widely throughout our country. The programs have been created to comfort and support these families in their time of grief. Local crafters such as Margy Torres, sew beautiful Angel Baby burial gowns to wrap angel babies in a loving embrace, and to help their families know people care. The garments pictured above were created by Margy from donated wedding gowns. 

The loss of a child is unspeakable, unimaginable. It is in total opposition to what we think of as the natural order of life. The loss of an unborn or newly born baby cuts to our very core. One of Melody’s quotes from her Facebook page states, 

“If people knew how much I truly missed you, they would wonder how I’m still breathing.”

Dr. Joyce Merrigan, clinical specialist and chair of the Prenatal Bereavement Multidisciplinary Committee at Capital Health has provided bereavement care to women and their families since 2001. She describes some of the agony her patients experience. “One of the most painful challenges often faced by families after the loss of a baby is the tendency of others to avoid talking about an angel baby. The Rainbow Baby Program (see post from Sept. 8th) provides space for families to include their Angel Baby in the birth of their Rainbow Baby. These programs can support the grief journey and promote healing for families.”

The photo above can help you visualize just how tiny the angel babies can be.

The blanket is 12”x 12”, made from ultra-soft fleece and finished with a hand-crocheted border. The cap, crocheted with baby yarn, measures 2”x 3”. So tiny.

Something I love and admire about my fellow crafters is our compassionate nature. When we learn of a need, we respond to help, generously sharing our skills, resources, and the precious gift of our time. May we continue God’s work in this world as we go from strength to strength.

For more information:

Too Beautiful for Earth

Melody Sheare May on Facebook