Saturday, January 30, 2010

Benjamin Box Website!


Please go check it out and let me know what you think! I'm hoping for good things to come from this.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Remebrance Jewelry

I recently had a necklace custom made for me by a wonderful company ( This company makes necklaces that are also little urns, but the beauty of them is that no one would know that is what they are. They just look like stunning pendants. A friend of mine had one made and it is just beautiful. So I contacted them about having a daisy made. I debated if I wanted a daisy or not. We called Benjamin 'Daisy' when I was pregnant with him. And daisies still make me think about him. But at the same time calling him Daisy made things a little more confusing because I was so sure my baby Daisy was going to be a girl. So when my baby Benjamin was born I felt like my baby girl (Daisy) and my baby boy (Benjamin) both died. I felt like I lost the girl I was pg with and the boy I gave birth to. Weird. But in the end a friend of mine put it in a great light. She said that by getting the necklace of a daisy I was honoring both my memories. It wasn't confusing things any more than they already were. I was honoring my baby Daisy but also Benjamin because it was his ashes in it. Confused yet?

The process of having the necklace made should have been simple. They sent me a picture of a flower they had in mind for the daisy and I okayed it and they made it happen. When I received the necklace I was so disappointed. It looked nothing like I had in mind. I didn't want to put Benjamin's ashes into it. This was supposed to be something that I would want to wear every day, but I didn't even want to look at it. I could objectively look at it and see that it was a beautiful piece of jewelery, but it just wasn't what I imagined my necklace to look like. I knew that it was my fault; it did look just like the picture that I had okayed.

I decided to call the company and tell them that I just wasn't happy with it. I didn't know what they could do about it; if anything. I actually was that woman. The one that calls a company and actually starts crying. It was a tad humiliating, lol! Anyways, the man that I ended up talking to was actually part of the design team for it. I don't think he took offense when I told him that I wasn't happy with it. I think he understood. We discussed what about it I didn't like and what I would want changed. I told him I had found some images online of daisies that were more in line with what I was thinking about. He told me to send the necklace back to him and to email him the images that I liked. Then they would make me a new one. OMG! They would make me A BRAND NEW ONE!!! For no additional charge!!! They were also going to add a Citrine stone in the middle (November birth stone). FOR NO ADDITIONAL CHARGE!

I received my new necklace a few days before we went home for Christmas. I filled it the next day and have not taken it off since. I absolutely love it. And I love that part of my sweet baby boy is with me at all times. Day and night.

So if anyone is in the market for a piece of remembrance jewelery I cannot recommend this company more highly. The customer service they have is beyond fantastic. And their work (on both necklaces) is absolutely beautiful.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Benjamin Boxes

When I originally decided to make Benjamin Boxes for our local hospital I tried to find out approximately how many we would need in a year. I spoke to the grief counsellor that all the bereaved mothers get referred to. I spoke to the social workers at the hospital. And I looked at stats on line. All of this led me to believe it would be about 12 a year. These are just cases of stillbirth, as this is who will receive a Benjamin Box.

So I went shopping. I bought Notepads, pens, tissues, stationary, small zip-close bags, hand/foot print kits, and scrapbooking paper to make small frames for hand or foot prints. I also went to a local maternity/baby boutique ( and told the owner about the boxes. She donated baby gowns to add to the boxes. Then I researched online sources of support and information and made up a long list to include in the boxes. I wrote up my story and included that. I also bought 12 sympathy cards and had the women in my support group sign them (often including their contact information).

I dropped off the first three boxes on November 10th. The social worker at the hospital emailed me a few weeks ago asking me to drop off another 3 boxes since they had run out of them. So I made up 3 more and dropped them off 2 weeks ago. Sadly, I just got an email today telling me they are in need of more boxes. That means that in 2 months there have been 6 families whose dreams have shattered. Six babies who were gone too soon. If these boxes have provided any comfort then I will gladly make as many as needed.

I have had people suggest setting up a paypal account so that I'm not having to make these boxes using my own money. That way I could include more things in them. I've looked into paypal, and even have a Paypal account. But I'm a tad technologically slow and don't really understand much more than how to set up the account, lol! If anyone wants to do that for me, let me know! If there are as many boxes needed as it seems then I might have to put more of an effort into fundraising. I have had a couple generous friends and relatives donate money to the cause (thank you so much!!). But I really hate asking for money. Even if it is a worthwhile cause. And I promise not to turn this blog into constant posts asking for donations! I was just surprised today when I got the email telling me they are already running short on them again. If this trend continues it could mean that I will have to donate 36 boxes this year, instead of the 12 originally planned for! Yikes!

My long-term hope is that these boxes could be offered in more hospitals than just my local one. But I'd like to get through one year here and see how it goes first. It just makes me sad to hear stories of women that have gone through this and not received any sort of support. Talk about feeling alone at a time when you need all the compassion you can get!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Signing Christmas Cards

How do you sign Christmas cards? Generally, in my experience anyways, it is the woman in the relationship that signs cards. So I sign them from Rachel and Brian. Even though, more often than not, Brian has nothing to do with the card. He did think about how we needed to send a card, he did not buy the card, he did not think of anything to write in it, but yet it seems appropriate to sign his name. The thought that matters and all that. Since having Jackson I also sign his name on it too. Which sometimes amuses me since he has even less to do with the card. And now there is Lexi. Her name got thrown on all the Christmas cards too. Did she care if everyone had a good Christmas? Probably not since she doesn't understand the concept of Christmas. Heck, she doesn't even understand the concept of 'good'. And yet it is the thing to do to sign the card from everyone in the family.

Which brings me to today's topic. It did not seem right to me to sign the card from everyone in our family and not include Benjamin at all. When you really think about it Lexi wanted everyone to have a good Christmas just as much as Benjamin did. But how do you casually include your stillborn son on a Christmas card? A while ago I started signing things that were from all of us and included a '+1'. Quite often it is just small near the bottom corner of a card so that people might not really notice it, but it's there for me. He's still included. It seems silly that I feel he needs to be included on something so trivial as a Christmas card. But it's just another way to keep him included in our family and to keep the memory of him alive in everyone's mind.

It seems, as time goes on, that people tend to 'forget' about Benjamin. I know no one has actually forgotten about him, but he is barely mentioned anymore. On Christmas day I opened a card from one of Brian's aunts and she addressed it to Brian, Rachel, Jackson and Lexi. But then on the side she wrote a star and said 'and never forgetting our special boy'. What did I do? Burst into tears. That was the only mention of him that day. I know my family and Brian's family were thinking about him, but no one actually spoke of him. I don't know what I would have preferred. If everyone had talked about him then it might have been more outwardly sad. We all knew that someone was missing from the celebrations and that it was just unfair, but at the same time he was there in everyone's minds.

And at what point do I move forward and stop looking back so much? A friend asked me if I was getting an ornament this year for Benjamin. I told her that I wasn't because I felt that if I got one this year then next year I'd feel I had to again, and when would that end? I don't want the tree to be filled with ornaments for Benjamin to the point that there are less ornaments for my living children. I don't want them to feel in the shadows of their brother. I know, I know, they are just small little ornaments. But I would want them to be front and center on the tree. So no. I am not going to get him an ornament every year. I got him a beautiful one last year and I will put it on the tree every year, in a place of prominence. But I will not specifically go out and buy him a new one each year.

He would have been 13 1/2 months this Christmas. He would have just had practice opening presents at his birthday and would have been a pro at ripping into the Christmas presents. Jackson and him would have been little terrors, feeding off each other, and having a blast. It would have been hectic and crazy. And I would have loved every second of it.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Happy New Year!!

Okay, okay... It's been a new year for 2 weeks now. But Happy New Year nonetheless.

My only new year resolutions are not to be pregnant or have a baby in 2010. I got pregnant with Jackson in September of 2006, gave birth to him in May of 2007. Then I got pregnant with Benjamin in February of 2008 and gave birth to him in December of 2008. Then I got pregnant with Lexi in January of 2009 and gave birth to her in September of 2009. So I've been pregnant for some part of every year since 2006 and have had a baby in 2007, 8 and 9. My body (and my sanity) need a bit of a break!

I hope everyone had a good holiday. I'll post more about it once we are settled. We were in Ontario for 3 weeks and got back last week but are still settling back into our 'routine'. Whatever that is.

On a side note, I had to drop off three more Benjamin boxes at the hospital last week. They have already given three of them to bereaved families. One of which was my neighbour... Their identical twin boys were born around 30 weeks and did not survive. I haven't made it over to their house yet. Something is stopping me. I think it's the fact that I will bawl and then be awkward in my neighbourhood. Stupid, I know. I did have Brian drop off a card while I was away. Seems trivial though...