A few weeks ago, Emily Hayes, a remarkable photographer and dear friend took photos of Angel HUGS blankets.  I have known Emily for years and not only is she talented at her craft, she puts her heart into each of her photography projects.  It was a fun photo shoot and Emily donated all of her time and photos to Angel HUGS!  In fact, she used her only free day to do this for us!  Thank  you Emily!!  Check out Emily’s website at http://hayesphotography.blogspot.com/  She is in high demand in the DC metro area! 

Babies Come in Different Sizes, So Do Angel HUGS Blankets

 

Examples of Angel HUGS Blankets

People Have Asked if We Have a Specific Pattern We Use and the Answer is No.  Any Crocheted Pattern is Great Because it Makes Each Blanket Different and Unique Just Like Angel HUGS Babies.  Here Are a Few Examples of Different Patterns

All Angel HUGS Blankets Have Finished Edges

Packaged for Delivery

We have had several requests to put a donation section on the website to help us purchase yarn, fabric and Dreft detergent.   Thank you for your generosity!  Currently our PayPal link is not working.  Check or cash donations may be mailed to

Angel HUGS

2950 East Manorcrest Court

Salt Lake City, UT 84121

 

All donations are tax deductible.  Thank you for your kindness.

Today, March 13th is Trisomy 13 Awareness Day.  Today I am thinking about all those who have had a Trisomy 13 baby and about my sweet Abigail.  On Saturday I had lunch with Connor’s mom, Jen and  Lily’s mom, Lori.  Lily was born 10 weeks early on October 21, 2009 and had Trisomy 13.  She lived for 16 hours and was held and loved by her parents.   (Isn’t she cute in this picture?  She is even smiling!)  Her dad called us from the hospital after she was born and Chris and I got to hear her sweet sounds as he held the phone to her.  We felt so privileged that they would share this special moment with us and were instantly transported back to the day we had Abigail and heard her little sounds.  At lunch we commented that even though losing our children is the most difficult journey we have ever gone through …..we would do it all over again.  These babies that come into our lives for only a short time change us and we are never the same.  They make us better people.    

If you would like to share your baby’s story on the Remembering Our Angel’s section, please send me an email at angelhugsforabigail@gmail.com

For more information about Trisomy 13, visit www.livingwithtrisomy13.org

Before having our daughter Abigail, I don’t think I could tell you anything about Trisomy.  Now I am all too familiar with it.  The month of March is Trisomy Awareness Month.  Trisomy is a scientific term used to describe the presence of an extra genetic chromosome.   The most common and probably familiar Trisomy is 21 or Downs Syndrome.  There are all different kinds of Trisomy and it is all based on which of the 23 chromosomes is affected.  Abigail had Full Trisomy 13 which meant that there were three instead of two chromosomes on the 13th chromosome and every cell in her body had this extra 13th chromosome.   Trisomy 13 is rare and occurs in 1 out of every 10,000 births. 

After we received the diagnosis for Abigail, we were strongly encouraged by our doctor’s to terminate the pregnancy.  For us, we knew this wasn’t an option.  Each day more we had with Abigail was a gift and we loved her ever minute.  We celebrated each kick, roll and hiccup and treasured holding her in our arms.  When we told our doctors of our plans to carry, they canceled future appointments and told us to call when we stopped feeling her move.  unfortunately, the doctor’s at the clinic we were going to, didn’t have much experience with Trisomy babies and I think they thought it would be easier if we ended the pregnancy or as they put it, “get on with having a healthy baby.”  Because of this and also wanting to be closer to our families during this time, we quit our jobs, rented out our house, packed up our car and drove across the country to be with our family and find doctors who would support us with our decision.  We found an incredible doctor who was familiar with Trisomy and the breaking hearts of anguished parents.  He was wonderful.  He monitored the pregnancy very closely, my health and Abigail’s health.  We had ultrasounds every other week to see how she was doing, but it gave us more opportunities to see her and more chances to bond with her.  While there were plently of tears, we also had so much fun with Abigail before she was born and made every moment a memory.

 Thanks to the great awareness that has been created by many organizations, we found caring doctors and nurses, grief counselors and support groups.  If we continue to create awareness then people can know that Trisomy children who come into this world – no matter how long they are here – are loved by their families, their lives are cherished and they are valuable to our society. Then this awareness can help generate funding , research AND understanding, acceptance and love.

For more information about Trisomy, visit http://www.trisomy.org/

If you are interested in helping grieving families through Angel HUGS, here are a few things you can do

  • Make a blanket
  • Donate money to purchase blanket materials (check back tomorrow….we are setting up a paypal account)
  • Donate in-kind items – we need Dreft Detergent, Bernat Baby Soft Yarn (blue, pink and white), Gallon Size Ziplock Bags
  • Spread the word!  Tell your friends and family, post the Angel HUGS link on your facebook, twitter and blog

Thanks for helping us make a difference!

 

When I was 20 weeks pregnant, my husband Chris and I went into see the doctor’s for our ultrasound.  We were really excited to see our baby on the screen and find out if we were having a boy or a girl.  We didn’t know that day would change the rest of our lives.  During the ultrasound, the technician found a problem with our baby’s heart and called in the doctor.  He told us there could be severe complications with our baby and we were sent straight away to see a high-risk doctor.  Thirty-minutes later we were having our second ultrasound and this time, our baby started sucking her thumb. 

Over the next several heart-renching weeks, we learned that our daughter had a rare genetic disorder called Trisomy 13.  This is so rare, it occurs in about 1 in 10,000 births and were told that if she survived the pregnancy and the labor and delivery, she would be considered a long-term survivor if she lived longer than a month.  Our world came crashing down around us.

Since we knew we wouldn’t have a life-time with our daughter, we decided to make every minute a memory  with her.  We named her Abigail and we began to make many memories with her.  We took her to Chris’ favorite fishing spot, we had her cousins over and they made sugar cookies with her, Chris read a children’s story to her every night, we took her to the park, we sang nursery songs to her, we built snowmen, took her to the zoo, rode on a carousal and loved her every minute. 

I dreaded going into labor because I knew that would be the beginning of the end.  I wasn’t ready to say hello and goodbye all at the same time.  We didn’t know how long we would have with her at the hospital or if she would even be born alive, but we knew that we wanted her to be wrapped in her own special blanket.  My mom, my mother-in-law and a dear friend, Ilse Baldwin all made special blankets for Abigail and we took them all to the hospital.  We wrapped Abigail in each of the blankets that day and it meant so much to us to have these special blankets for her.  Abigail was born alive at 7:37 am and was held in our arms for 14 precious hours.  The best hours of my life.  Having Abigail was the best thing I have ever done and she is our greatest joy

While she is no longer with us, I have the blankets she was wrapped in that day.  They are kept in sealed ziplock bags and still have her sweet smell on them.  And when my arms really start to ache, I take them out and hold them.

Learn More About Abigail’s Journey

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