...to those who are keeping Haley and Baby Brayley wrapped so warmly in prayers, to all who have so generously donated so far, and to those who have helped to spread the word through blog posts, email, Google reader share and Facebook.
A couple of people have suggested looking for a program/ministry to help with funeral costs. I wish there was something like that in the DFW area (if anyone knows of one, please let me know). If you have a program like this in your area, count yourself very blessed! Those of you who know about the video, Choosing Thomas (warning: very painful to watch, a box of tissues just isn't enough), will recognize the writer of this note posted on Jill Stanek's blog. In it, Thomas's mother marvels at how in a large metropolitan area like DFW, there is no official perinatal hospice program.
Right now, I am wondering how there is no program for assistance with burial costs for these infants. Burying the dead is a corporal work of mercy and something no mother plans for unless she is forced to by the heart breaking news of a fatal pre-natal diagnosis. Sadly, since most children with a diagnosis like anencephaly or Trisomy 18 are killed in their mother's wombs rather than allowed to live in Love's embrace for however long Our Lord sees fit, some doctors have never had the experience of delivering an anencephalic child and most funeral homes have never had the task of arranging a burial for one. It seems there are no resources for these poor grieving mothers.
This is where the pro-life community can step in.
I have spoken with a friend very active in the pro-life community who has spent many years helping young mothers, single mothers, mothers who choose life in the face of the Culture of Death find ways to provide for their babies either themselves or through the gift of adoption. These mothers need diapers, blankets and sometimes even job training and education and there are many resources within the pro-life community to help with that. But there doesn't seem to be any assistance program for a young mother who chooses to carry her dying baby to term just so she can hold her too briefly and love her for those sweet minutes, hours, maybe days. These mothers don't need diapers. These mothers need something more heart wrenching. These mothers just want to bury their child with the dignity and the respect that a short, precious life deserves and they should be encouraged and assisted in doing so as a testament to the beauty of all life. If anyone knows of another way to assist these brave women, please let me know.
Also, for those of you who have asked, yes, Paypal does charge a fee for transferring donations from one account to another, but Sean and I have chosen to assume those costs ourselves so that your entire donation amount will go Haley and Baby Brayley. Thank you, again!
We'll continue praying for this very brave woman. You're very generous to host this for her. As the date approaches, please let her know to contact Now I lay me down to sleep (http://www.nowilaymedowntosleep.org/). They do photos (free) of dead/dying babies and their families. I believe they did photos for the Snow's when Matthew was born. Don't peruse their site without a large box of tissues.ReplyDelete
Kelly-That organization is amazing and they do have photographers all over the U.S. Here is a link to a post/video about them on the Handmade for Life site. http://handmadeforlife.blogspot.com/2009/06/now-i-lay-me-down-to-sleep.htmlReplyDelete
Also, this blog post reminded me of a loving mother in my area who also embraced a baby with this disorder. I found out about her through a friend who runs a 3D/4D ultrasound studio in the Cleveland area. The woman embraced the life (and death) of her child against the wishes of her family who wanted her to abort and spare "everyone" all the pain. She came in to the ultrasound studio to see her living child and spend time with her while she could. The setting is non-medical and lovely and you get to watch live images to your heart's content with photos and video to take home. After she came in for the first time, the additional visits were donated by the studio. The woman also sent out announcements to celebrate the short life of her daughter. I wish I could remember her wording but it was gentle and powerful. She wasn't about to let anyone brush her daughter's life under the rug. These things don't help with funeral/burial cost but are just ideas that someone close to her might be able to lovingly provide.
I might be wrong on this, but the Knights of Columbus have many programs, and providing for Christian Burial may be one of them.ReplyDelete
Catholic Social Services too has a burial assistance program. I don't know anything about your local CSS, but it is worth a phone call to find out if/how they might help.ReplyDelete
You might want to contact individual churches (Catholic or not) in her area, churches with their own cemeteries. Our local parish is blessed with a cemetery and when I had to bury my 9 week old miscarried baby, they gave me a small plot for free (My DH and I did give a small donation.) There are other babies there, stillborn and the like, and I imagine some of them were just given also. Good luck and God bless..ReplyDelete
Chuck Pelletier (dad of some UD alums) runs the Mother and Unborn Baby Care crisis pregnancy center in Ft Worth. I would bet that if anyone knows of resources in DFW, he would.ReplyDelete
3704 Myrtle Springs Rd
Fort Worth, TX 76116
also, check out Heaven's Gain. They have caskets and vaults for very young babies, even 1st trimester deaths. http://www.heavensgain.com/ If someone else is providing the casket, a traditional funeral home would probably just use their normal procedures for funerals for very young children.
We must run in the same circles! :) Chuck's wife is actually the pro-life friend I have already been in contact with. She offered me some suggestions that I am in the process of looking into but sadly had to agree that there was no program she was aware of. Thank you for the link to Heaven's Gain. I had not heard of them.
Charlotte - I send you an email regarding perinatal hospice. I don't want it to get lost on your junk folder.ReplyDelete
This is close to our hearts. We have close friends who had a baby with Trisomy 13 and were thankfully surrounded by supportive family and friends. It was not easier for them emotionally, but easier practically. I hope that as a loose knit community we can give Haley the support she needs.
It looks like Melody already posted about Now I lay Me Down to Sleep. http://www.nowilaymedowntosleep.org/ReplyDelete
This is an amazing organization. If you go to the "Find a Photographer" tab on the bottom, you can help this amazing mother get set up with an awesome organization and have the best photos of her baby. My husband's cousin volunteers with this organization in the Dallas area and I've seen her help so many families in this way.
God Bless this amazing woman, her precious baby and all those that love them. I will continue to pray.
Here's another Catholic site. It was very helpful to us when we faced a sad diagnosis.ReplyDelete
and their resourse list is here
Anencephaly is right near the top.
Maybe I'm just very blessed here in NJ, but when my full term daughter was stillborn in 2009, almost everything was donated to us. The plot at our cemetery in the "little angels" section, the autopsy, the services of the funeral home. The only thing we paid for was the casket (maybe $200? it was sold at cost to us) and the death certificate. Ask at a funeral home - you may be surprisedReplyDelete
When we miscarried several years ago we were given the chance to give the baby a proper burial. A nun who worked at our parish connected me with a funeral director who donated the casket. Perhaps there is one in this poor mother's area who might do likewise. Perhaps someone can contact her parish to ask for this assistance.ReplyDelete
We are praying for this dear young mother. God will give her the strength in this incredibly hard time.