Several years ago my husband and I experienced the loss of a child born at 24 weeks. Even though I spent a week in the hospital before delivering, we were totally unprepared. Thankfully, someone had donated an outfit and blanket to Carle hospital. I don’t know what we would have done if these things had not been provided. I was so touched by the generosity of these people that I wanted to find a way to help other families that find themselves in the same unfortunate situation.
The purpose of Threads of Remembrance is to support families who experience the loss of a child due to extreme preterm labor. Even with today’s medical achievements babies born before 28 weeks often do not survive. Local stores do not carry clothing that fit these tiny micro preemies and prices are very high for the clothing found online for babies four pounds and under.
After a lot of research, I came to the conclusion that there was no way I could afford to purchase the outfits online. Fortunately, I found a website where I could purchase a set of patterns to sew different sizes and types of outfits specifically for micro preemies. By sewing the outfits myself, I could provide several outfits for the price of just the one purchased online, and I could provide a wider variety of outfits with a more personal touch.
In addition to the outfit and blanket, I try to include a bookmark or bracelet all packed up in a photo box. These memory boxes provide the clothing for a micro preemie that can be used at the hospital as well as for the burial, and the boxes themselves serve as a place for the parents to keep mementos. It is extremely important for parents to be able to dress their child after it is born, especially since this is sometimes the only thing they are able to do for the baby. Most of the time the birth is very sudden, and it is difficult to find appropriate burial clothing for such a small baby. The outfits we create through Threads for Remembrance are soft and just the right size for these extremely small babies.
I have managed to donate to three hospitals in central Illinois, but making the outfits and blankets myself takes a lot of time and resources. It is hard for me to keep up with the donations to local hospitals by myself, which is why I started Threads of Remembrance. I’m hoping to find other people, particularly those who can sew, to help put together the memory boxes.
To view a pdf version of our informational brochure, click here —> Threads of Remembrance Information