Friday, May 20, 2005

Maddux's Birth Announcement

I sent out birth announcements with ALL my children. I am an extremely proud mother. I wanted everyone to see my new babies. I felt no different about Maddux. He is my baby, and I am proud of him. I wanted everyone to see him. My urge to send out an announcement was perhaps stronger with Maddux, than the others. His birth deserved to be announced, too. I just had to figure out a different angle. And by sending his announcements, I did not have to call everyone personally and explain what happened.(Remember, I didn't want to see or talk to anyone during this time...) This allowed me to share Maddux and his photograph with ALL my friends and family, (most only receiving Christmas Cards from me once a year.) And, the most important, helped me avoid the dreaded telephone conversations...Now, I searched the internet, and could find alot of birth announcements. Beautiful Custom made ones, (ones I liked up in the $3.00 range and more per card, by the time I got done with special paper, ribbon, colored ink...) I never had purchased anything over the internet, and was very leary of doing so. So this route was not an option for me. (remember...I could barely log on to AOL and find my mail. Ever hear the joke of the blonde sitting at her computer and hearing "You got mail...over and over...?" She would keep getting up, go outside and check her mailbox? Finally after doing this several times, the postman comes by and she asks him where her mail is, and he replies, "You don't have any today." She gets this funny look on her face, and says, "Well, that's odd. Because my computer keeps telling me I got mail...") Picture me sitting there, but with darker hair...LOL (really, I'm not that ditsy...)Then, I walked into a local boutique here in Evergreen. Before I even entered into the store, the tears had started. The "sales lady" walked slowly towards me, asking if she could help me. Through my sobs, I told her what I was looking for. She was totally dumbfounded. They didn't have anything like that, she said. I sobbed again, trying to get out my words, asking her if they did custom announcements? Could I use any wording that I wanted? Well, of course they offered that. "Could she help me?" again, sobbing I cried.Do you know what she did next? She pulled out a book full of beautiful baby birth announcements, set it on a table, and said I needed to pick a style. I sat down at this little table, and started flipping through this large book. (Mind you now, "Sales Lady" had walked away...) Bunnies, Choo Choo Trains, Flowers, Toys, Baseballs and Dolls started jumping out at me. Little babies with wide eyes, smiling faces, or dreamy peaceful sleeping faces literally started mocking me. Phrases, and wording such as "Jim and Jane joyfully announce the arrival of their new little girl..." or "Jack has a new brother to play with..." or even yet, "Lullabies and Laughter, Cuddles and Joy, we're proud to announce, our new baby boy." So on... and So on... and So on...Come on!!! Here I am trying to figure out something to announce the birth anddeath of my baby! I needed help! Could she not empathize with me, and atleast try to help me? I am a grieving mother, a heartbroken mother, a grieving~heartbroken mother on the edge... Could she not "think out of that tiny little box?" Did I get angry? Not then. (but boy, oh boy...after this organization was started, birth/bereavement announcements were one of the first priorities on my list.) I left that store, just sobbing. And have never walked back in there. (I believe that they have since gone under, or are under new ownership...) I will NEVER forget that day. I was broken, even more so after walking out of there (I bet the sales lady was glad to get rid of me...) Living through a death of a baby, NO PARENT should ever have to experience that. What did I do next? I went to a Christian Book Store, called Mardels. I looked up and down all the cards, thinking, hoping, that I would be able to find something. I did. I found blank announcements used for weddings. I bought the cream colored ones. 50 large and 50 small with 100 envelopes. Ok. I will use the large ones for the announcements and the smaller ones for thank you cards. $24.99. ALOT cheaper than custom announcements. Then I bought Vellum paper, and beautiful blue/teal ribbon. (I did use Ivory ribbon on some...) I wanted all the bells and whistles!

Our thank you cards used Maddux's footprint-actual size. How special is that? I also used those when I ran out of the announcements, for people that I just didn't know well enough to send an actual photo. Above are the original copies that I sent out. The announcement did what it was supposed to do: Announced the arrival of our baby, with the date of his death. Our thank you card was also perfect. I did not have to write out an individual thank you to everyone. The wording "Thank you for your thoughtfulness, kind words and prayers. The outpouring of love shown for our family has been owerwhelming."Simply stated. It was very healing for me to send these out. And very important. Almost urgent. These were sent out before I left for Florida in the beginning of March. Did you all notice, that I used the "NOW I LAY ME DOWN TO SLEEP" Prayer on both of my cards? BEFORE this organization was ever formed? Things truly happen for a reason...