In the first few days after our loss, the Internet became almost a fixation for me. I researched and reached out and struggled to find others who knew how I was feeling. I soon found photos on others' blogs and followed links to the non-profits behind them. What treasure was waiting to be discovered there, for they each offered wonderful, free items of remembrance for parents who have lost their babies.
One that excited me most, Calvin's Hats, provides right-sized, hand-knit (or crocheted) baby hats for parents who lost their babies. These hats are made by volunteers using whatever patterns, yarns, colors and embellishments strikes their fancies, and are sent to Calvin's Hats to be forwarded to parents who requested them.
I sent in my request for our babies the first or second week after our loss and waited impatiently for the hats to arrive in the mail. I held my babies in my hands, kissed their tiny heads, but had to leave them behind at the hospital, and while I have their hand and footprints, the size of their bodies is only in my memory...I had nothing tangible. For someone who hasn't lost a baby, the need to have a physical item to remember size by probably seems weird, but if you've been there, you know. Gosh, and the thought that someone would take the time and the love to knit something that would fit my babies' heads meant so much.
The hats arrived on Friday night. Annie Wilhelm, the founder and director of Calvin's Hats, had been in email contact with me so I knew they should be coming. I grinned from ear to ear as I pulled the slightly crumpled manila envelope out of our big green mailbox, and gasped as I saw our names followed by "♥ Parents of ____ and _____ ♥".
I waited until I was in the house with Paul to open it, and pulled out a sweet irridescent fabric pouch. Inside, two precious white hats, each with a tiny charm tied on with a bit of colored ribbon, his and hers. In my hand, they are perfect. The exact right size. See, Paul and I had been trying to recall the approximate circumference of their little heads. We thought the circle made with thumb and forefinger was correct (his more than mine...bigger fingers). The hats we received are correct and so wonderful.
I gushed to Annie my appreciation, and she shared the name of the woman who created ours. On a whim I scrolled down the Calvin's Hats Facebook page, and there she was. I felt compelled to send her a private message, which said:
You don't know me, but I just found out from Annie that you're the creator of the two perfect, tiny white hats we received today from Calvin's Hats. Our twins, _____ and ______, were delivered at 14 weeks 2 days on August 5th, 2011. This was our first pregnancy after 3.5 years of infertility and it was complicated from the start. We never dreamed it would end so badly. I can't tell you how much it means to hold these two little white hats in my hand, knowing - and seeing - that they're exactly the right size for my tiny babies' heads. We received many things from the hospital in our memory box, but nothing "right sized". Your work is such a gift.
Thank you... ♥All of these people who have been inspired to help others through their grief, whether the nurses at our hospital or these wonderful artists and crafters and photographers, do such a service to all of us. I hope they know just how much it truly means.