Losing a baby before birth or shortly thereafter is heartbreaking. But mothers who have lost children say that the simplest things can mean so much to them when they are grieving.
About a year ago I volunteered to make a few tiny hats for a project started by a mother named Amanda in memory of her extremely premature son, Robby. She wanted to collect hundreds of caps for the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) that took care of her and her baby. She said the handmade cap she was given in the hospital was the only thing she had left to hold onto after he died, and it meant so much to her.
The August 2016 issue of Crochet World features a story about another project that helps parents facing infant loss: Bridget’s Cradles. Bridget’s Cradles is a nonprofit started by a woman named Ashley whose mother knitted a tiny “cradle” for Ashley to hold her baby in.
Bridget’s Cradles provides free knitted and crocheted cradles and miniature baby blankets to hospital labor and delivery units. They give them to bereaved families who have lost babies in the second trimester of pregnancy. The cradles help parents and families to hold their very fragile babies. The accompanying matching prayer squares (3″ by 3″ swatches) give parents something tangible to keep in remembrance of the time they had with their babies.
I was very touched by the mission of Bridget’s Cradles and decided to become a volunteer. Bridget’s Cradles provides simple knit and crochet patterns. A beginner easily can make these cradles, blankets, and prayer squares. In fact, they would be a perfect project for a first-time crocheter with a heart for comforting those in sorrow.
When mothers lose their babies, it’s hard to know what to say or do that could provide them with any comfort. Making these cradles has been one way for me to honor every life, including the smallest, and to offer support to their parents as they grieve and heal.
(Photo from Bridget’s Cradles on Pinterest)