Ember Laura-Ellen Waving

Ember Laura-Ellen Waving
Waving to mommy and daddy at 13 weeks

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Ember's Birthday Is Next Week

It seems ridiculous that a year has passed since my little girl was born and died. Totally crazy to think that she would have taken first steps, said her first words and next week be having her first birthday party. She'll never have that party, or open any presents or eat any cake. Over the last couple months as her birthday has silently but heavily approached, my grief has become quieter and quieter. Not lessened, but it seems words to describe it become stuck in my throat. Like I'm choking on my own longing for her. I've lost the cathartic ability to purge my thoughts with writing, as if my grief has solidified in me. A year ago, I was happily awaiting my daughter's birth. A year ago, labor had not yet even began. A year ago, I wasn't the person I am now.... Bitterer  more anxious, with a heavier heart that will never lighten like it once was. But I'm still Ember's mommy. I carry my first child in my memory instead of my arm's but she's no less my precious little girl for that. An accident in labor didn't change that, a year hasn't, fifty years won't. I am her mommy, and with her younger brother, expected in August or September, I am the mother of TWO not one.

On July 7th 2010 at 2:33pm, Ember Laura-Ellen was born and delivered onto my chest. Oh, how beautiful she was. Short dark fuzzy hair, full red lips, a tiny little nose between fat cheeks, folded soft ears like a butterfly's wing, my long and slender girl. Five pounds, eleven ounces... a weight I'll never forget. Thought nothing will ever be even half as sweet as holding her, a wonderful mommy named Bridget gave me a present well in time for Ember's first birthday.

Just about a month before Ember died, Bridget was having her own pregnancy with her own sweet daughter Molly Christine. She was 34weeks along, just three weeks from full-term when Molly died from cord accident. Molly had a true knot in her cord, and this took her from Bridget on May 29th 2010. The next day Molly was born, small but prefect at 4pounds, 9ounces and Bridget had to go home with the aching empty arms I'd soon feel as well. A high school friend gave her a teddy bear for comfort, a special teddy bear that was weighted. Holding a 4lb, 9ou. teddy bear in her arms, Bridget decided to share this comfort with other moms, of other babies like Molly. She began Molly Bears, which is nearing it's first birthday just like Ember, while Molly Christine should be one year and one month old.

Bridget and Molly Bears gave me a very special present in time for Ember's first birthday several weeks ago, a Molly Bear just for Ember. 

To celebrate Ember's first birthday, I'm asking everyone to just think of her on her birthday. Remember her and that she should be here still. If you'd like to do something else for her birthday, I'd love for you to make a small donation to Molly Bears. While my Em will never have her first party or open her presents, maybe in her 
memory other moms of other babies like Ember, gone and so very missed, will receive some comfort too.


Saturday, June 11, 2011

Certificates of Birth Resulting in Stillbirth in Alabama

Beginning in November I was asking, or begging  everyone possible to sign a petition. Now, most people tend to not bother signing petitions because they think it's useless, a waste of time. So it was hard getting signatures, very hard. Even with close family and friends, getting people to sign it was difficult. This petition was to show Alabama legislators how important birth certificates for babies born still really is. And though it was slow going often, weeks and then a couple months passed, and by the opening of the Alabama state senate 2011 session, we'd reached our goal for signatures. We where so very thrilled, I personally couldn't stop smiling. I thanked everyone I knew of who'd signed, sometimes over and over. Especially the people who wouldn't benefit, who'd never lost a child. The people who signed it, and then shared it over and over. Who kept asking others to sign it, for weeks and weeks. And I still can't thank them enough.

 But who do all the families, past, present and future of babies born still in Alabama have to thank for their child receiving a birth certificate? An inspiring woman named Cynthia Tomczak, a stay at home mom of five children. The second youngest of these children is a very special little girl named Faith. It is because of Faith really that now Alabama babies will receive birth certificates, she is the one who inspired her mother and who's memory pushed her.

Now I have good news to share. SB429 has passed with a vote of 101 Yeas and 0 Nays! Effective January 2012 any baby born still in 2007 or later can recieve a birth certificate. A real, legal birth certificate for babies born still in Alabama. This is a victory who's magititude I don't even have words for. Now no other woman in Alabama will have to wonder why her baby, her beloved and wanted child, isn't honored with a birth certificate.

The proper title is Certificate of Birth Resulting in Stillbirth, and one day Ember will have one. My beautiful daughter is going to have a birth certificate, and I can't wait to hold this proof of her brief life in my hands. It doesn't bring her back, but it honors her and that is my aim now. I am so very sorry that babies born in 2006 and earlier will not receive theirs at the same time. I do not understand why they will not truly. It was difficult pushing it back as far as 2007, every year back was a victory itself as some states do not go back beyond when the bill was passed, or goes into effective. It has something to do with the records kept for these babies, and I know that isn't consolation to the mothers and fathers of these babies. All I can say is change has come, and though their children didn't receive the birth certificates at birth as they should have, no longer will babies in Alabama be ignored in this way. I know people aren't going to just let this go, and maybe we can go on to win yet more victories by making it possible for earlier babies to receive birth certificates. They deserve them just as much as my daughter born in 2010 does.

One day ALL babies born EVERYWHERE will receive a legal birth certificate. We just have to keep pushing on.

Thank you to everyone who helped make this change come true with their support but most of all Thank you Cynthia, and Faith <3