96 beautiful diapers made with love. That is 48 sets of diapers for 48 little angels and their families.
Sadly, these 96 diapers plus our previous 76 diaper donation will not even fill their needs for one year. How is that for a startling statistic? Just at UVRMC, they dress approximately 100 stillborn infants per year (that is 200 diapers). A significant number of them are, of course, preemies and micropreemies for whom commercial diapers are far too large.
I like to deliver the diapers with a handful of cards (just printed on card stock) tucked inside so that the photographers or support staff know where they can request more. I also think it's nice to let them know what specific family or group made them or contributed to their creation. Email me if you'd like some. I can personalize them for your delivery.
Interestingly, I have completely abandoned my original opinion on flannel pattern recommendations. I used to think it would really only work best if the flannel had only tiny little patterns. Seeing these pink and yellow diapers with the big patterns caused me to ditch that notion on the spot. How cute are they? Looks like any cute flannel will work!
Thank you for the beautiful diapers!
One of my fellow twin-loss TTTS and micropreemie mommy friends made some Teeny Tears diapers for a Prematurity Awareness display in Washington D.C.! These diapers helped passersby visualize the actual size of the tiny little NICU patients that fight for their lives every day in hospitals all over the world. They turned out beautiful! Lisa and her group of volunteers hosted this event to raise awareness about prematurity as well as money for their NICU family support program. I'm so happy that Teeny Tears diapers were able to make an impact at their event!
And guess what?
She has already finished it.
You can find step-by-step instructions for preemie diapers by clicking here.
A detailed video tutorial is here.
Be sure to check out their other preemie patterns and tutorials while you are there!
Thank you, Jenn, Carrie, and all the good folks at Utah Share!
Because of our experience that morning and throughout our 3-month NICU adventure, we have always wanted to donate to UVRMC. Today we make that personal promise a reality.
We sewed 28 tiny little boy diapers
20 tiny little girl diapers
14 larger boy diapers
And 14 larger girl diapers
That is 76 diapers for 38 little angels gone too soon.
We gave our first full set of 40 diapers to the Salt Lake chapter of NILMDTS!
20 little boy diapers for 10 little boy angels.And 20 little girl diapers for 10 little girl angels.
Please visit and READ THE INFORMATION AT THIS LINK FIRST. If this sounds like something you would like to be a part of, email us for your FREE patterns and sewing instructions or read more about our wooden patterns available for purchase below.
Wooden Patterns?! Whaaaaa?
Before purchasing wooden patterns, CLICK THIS YELLOW LINK AND READ THIS PAGE FIRST. It will explain our project in great detail.
...even taking home stacks and stacks of diapers to turn and prep for finishing.
I am so touched by their love for our son and their enthusiasm for Teeny Tears and the families that will benefit from their sacrifice.
Thank you so much to the entire Beauchamp Family!
This is also a guest post on Chocolate on My Cranium
Teeny Tears and Helping Hands
While the majority of motherhood can be dull, tedious and sometimes extremely frustrating, I find I often get to see the tender moments between my kids and I can see exactly why Jesus asks us to be more like children. My oldest daughter (almost 9 yrs) is all about hard work and correctness. My other daughter (7 yrs) is selfless to a fault, she will give up anything and everything just to make one of her siblings happy. My first boy (4 yrs) is so in tune with his baby brother that he usually has taken care of him by the time I figure out that anything was wrong to begin with. It's so easy for me to notice these wonderful qualities in my kids... if I'm paying attention.
Unfortunately it's taken me a long time to pay attention. I don't know about you folks, but it seems I can never appropriately estimate how capable my children are. I am either expecting my four year old boy to clean up after himself (and anyone else that happens to forget to do so) and to keep his room clean to my high standards or I'm worrying that my nine year old daughter won't be able to dress herself correctly. No matter which way I err, my expectations are always blown.
In general I have found that our kids have much more ability than we give them credit for. I know from experience that an eight year old is perfectly capable of using a sewing machine to sew quilts and skirts. She can also prepare almost any dinner I can (she might not be able to lift the turkey from the oven, she can certainly clean it, dress it and prepare the onions and potatoes). And Children are naturally giving. Of course there is a certain amount of selfishness (two year old tantrums anyone?) it's only as they grow older that they turn spoiled and selfish if they are not corrected while younger.
Family service projects are so much easier than most people think. The difficulty comes when we automatically think of helping people move and other "heavy lifting" type projects. There is so much good we can do while in the comfort of our own home, and in some cases in front of our own TV! When it comes down to it, the problem isn't with the children.
Three years ago today, I received a phone call from my brother-in-law. He was calling to tell me that my sister Megan, 28 weeks pregnant, had been rushed to the hospital when her water broke. Her identical twin boys were delivered via emergency c-section. Dex was born weighing 2 pounds 1 oz. Crew weighed 1 pound 8 oz. Tragically, Dex was immediately taken home to his Heavenly Father due to complications of TTTS and Tiny Crew has had his work cut out for him ever since.
As you can imagine, the last three years has been filled with an infinite amount of heartache for their family. But there has also been an infinite amount of joy as their knowledge of the Restored Gospel testified that they are an eternal family.
As a way to help them through the pain of their loss, Megan has remembered some of the Lord's Tender Mercies surrounding Dex's death. She and her family are reaching out to other families who are suffering the way that they have.
Megan has started sewing diapers and miniature blankets at no charge to families that have suffered the loss of a preemie or micropreemie child. She says:
Our wish is to bless families that suffer the same heartache, providing their angel with a soft, beautiful diaper in which to be photographed and laid to rest. We provide two diapers per family, one for the baby and one for the family to keep in a memory box. We also make tiny micropreemie blankets that are appropriately sized for their beautiful little bodies. In addition, we sew itty bitty flannel positioning mats for the most fragile angels."
Though my heartache for Megan and her family pales in comparison to their own, we want to do what we can to help. I told myself not to underestimate the talents and abilities of my children and we started sewing diapers. It wasn't at all difficult to enlist their help.
I printed out the patterns and cut a template. After showing Lucy how to carefully cut out the fabric, I turned her loose.
And Lucy and I sewed the diapers together.
My heart ached as I held these tiny diapers in the palm of my hand. Sure that I had done something wrong, I called Megan in a well disguised panic in the middle of Crew's Physical Therapy appointment to make sure my measurements weren't off. Surely these diapers shouldn't be so small.
But they weren't too small. My heart breaks for the mothers and fathers of these angels.
I wish the word "service" didn't evoke images of moving furniture or scrubbing the floor of the neighborhood hoarder. Because in reality, service isn't hard, and in many cases, it's quite easy and fun. It can be as easy as baking an extra loaf of bread or pan of lasagna for a tired and pregnant friend. Inviting someone to drop her kids off so you can go grocery shopping isn't just a wonderful blessing when it happens to you.
And blowing the dust off of your fabric and setting your eight year old loose on the sewing machine allows you both to feel grateful for the blessings you usually take for granted as well as bless the lives of others.
They might be made of plain fabric and the seams may be as asymmetrical as only an eight year old can make them, but these diapers were made with love. They might not be perfect but there is no such thing as perfection in service. If there is, then willing heart and helping hands are all that it takes in order to reach it.
If you would like to know more about how you can help like this, go to TeenyTears.blogspot.com for patterns and instructions on sewing these diapers.
Teeny Tears is a service organization that provides tiny flannel diapers at no charge to hospitals and bereavement support organizations for families that have suffered the loss of a preemie or micropreemie child through stillbirth or NICU loss.
We have a busy Facebook group filled with volunteers across the United States, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand who are gathering their families, friends, neighbors, and churches to serve Heavenly Father’s tiniest children and their bereaved families. We just made our first delivery to a hospital in Guatemala. As an inexpensive, simple, unique, educational, and meaningful service opportunity, our diapers are being sewn by families, sewing clubs, youth groups, Eagle Projects, Angel Mother grief support organizations, and churches of all religious denominations. We encourage our volunteers to donate within their local communities and we also match volunteers with hospitals all over the country on our growing waiting list. Grandmothers are digging their flannel scraps out of storage, families are repurposing old receiving blankets and shopping yard sales for fabric remnants. And we know when all the best fabric sales are going on!
Can't sew? If you would like to help by tracing, cutting, and ironing, let me know!
Patterns are available here.
Founder and President
When someone experiences a life-altering challenge or tragedy, it is not uncommon for them to seek solace in a personal cause. Some are lucky enough to find their inspiration quickly. For others, it may take much longer.
It was three years for me.
I have long searched for a project that spoke to my soul. I wanted something that would honor Dex's memory and give purpose to my grief. I needed a service project that would be as useful to others as it would be cathartic for our family. I preferred something kinda "different" and it had to be something within my skills and abilities.
When my sister's friend Emily showed us tiny little diapers that their friend Arah had created for angel families in Spokane, I knew immediately that I had found my answer. My heart told me that there was no turning back.
Micropreemie stillbirth diapers it would be. Gratefully, Arah has been incredibly supportive of our project and we are so thankful for her original inspiration.
I reached out to Utah Valley Regional Medical Center and the Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep Foundation of Salt Lake, sent them pictures of my plans and asked them if they could use these little diapers. They enthusiastically responded, "we want them YESTERDAY. And could you make us some micropreemie blankets and mats too?"
So in summer of 2011, we began another chapter in our healing. At Girls Camp, our Young Women cut and pinned 78 stillbirth micropreemie diapers for local hospitals and my friend Jennie helped me sew them up. Neighbors started dropping off fabric. My sisters and their families rolled up their sleeves in Washington, Florida and New Mexico to make diapers. My friend Tracy sewed with her family and YW in Canada. As a family, we traced, cut, ironed, turned, and sewed on vacations, weekends, and slow evenings. Kinley's friends started asking for diaper-making playdates. I sewed and worked on this blog, deciding what exactly I wanted Teeny Tears to be.
Justin never raised an eyebrow when I suddenly transformed our formal sitting area into my sewing headquarters. Anyone who knows my husband understands what a profound declaration of approval that is. He has seen how this project has carried me through the autumn. I have long believed that the phrase "Time Heals All Wounds" is a load of garbage. Time itself heals very little; it's what you do with the time that makes all the difference. When the autumn anxiety nipped at my heartstrings this year, I cranked up all of my "Dex Songs" and immersed myself in cutting, tracing, ironing, pinning, and sewing. I have felt so close to my son as I have worked on this very special birthday present for him. I've enjoyed a peace and stability that has eluded me for three Novembers. When my daughter Kinley gets hit by the November blues, she grabs a stack of diapers to work on; this effort has been very healing for our entire family.
So, happy birthday to my darling Dex! Teeny Tears has been created in your memory and your honor. When a grieving family receives a T.T. diaper set for their little one, we want them to know that someone understands that their son or daughter was special, loved, and that they mattered. Because "a person's a person, no matter how small."
We introduce to you: Teeny Tears.
For more about Dex and his surviving brother, Crew, click here.
Founder and President
Please let us know approximately how many angels you dress annually so that we can send you an appropriate number of diapers. Our "small" diapers fit infants between approximately 18-23 weeks. The "large" diapers between about 24-32 weeks.
Also, for babies lost between 14-18 weeks (smaller than our diapers), we are able to provide tiny little mini-blankets with hats in two sizes. These mini-blankets and hats are NOT paired into sets with diapers. These are for smaller and more fragile losses.
For angel babies 14-16 weeks gestation:
Between 10x10 and 12x12 inches square with two 2" stockinette hats
For angel babies 17-18 weeks gestation:
Between 12x12 and 15x15 inches square with two 3" stockinette hats
READ THIS ENTIRE PAGE FIRST.
If you like what you read and this sounds like something you would like to be a part of, please email our headquarters for your patterns and sewing instructions!
How To: Get Started!
#6. We are always happy to accept your diaper collections through our headquarters for national and international distribution! They will be sent out in future packages to hospitals in need. They will be delivered with your personalized distribution cards just the same as if you had delivered them to your local hospital. The only difference is that they end up in facilities on our waiting list!
#7. We will also happily accept your diaper cut outs, flannel fabric, or monetary contributions through our headquarters for the families that we serve!
#8. If you are a seamstress sewing for another organization and would like to include diapers with your donations to them, please have the leader of the organization contact us for registration within our project. We are highly organized to avoid duplication of efforts and we log and track ALL Teeny Tears diapers donated worldwide, regardless of whether they are donated directly to hospitals or through our friends at other organizations. Please remember, Teeny Tears is a project, not a pattern! We enjoy very warm and rewarding, collaborative relationships with many dozens of other bereavement organizations around the world.
I am sewing for another organization and would like to include your diapers!
That's great! We work with many dozens of other bereavement organizations to help provide diapers for angel families across the world! We are able to personalize our distribution cards with their information and logos. We still count and track ALL DIAPERS as we coordinate with the many amazing bereavement organizations that are participating with our project. We will also highlight their contributions on our blog to bring awareness to the wonderful work they do for their communities. It is so wonderful to work in cooperation with so many good people in the bereavement community! Many hands make light work! Please also see #8 listed just above.
Where do I get the patterns?
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org for your FREE Teeny Tears patterns, instructions, and project welcome packet!
Wooden Patterns?! Whaaaaa? Check out the beautiful, true-to-proper-size, long-lasting, professionally-cut wooden patterns that we have available for purchase! All proceeds go toward our continuing mission to provide diapers for angel families. http://teenytears.myshopify.com/
After you have sewn a collection of diapers and are ready to donate, please request your personalized distribution cards by emailing email@example.com and be sure to include the following information:
Please allow up to a week to receive these free, printable cards via email!
If you are sewing internally for a bereavement support organization, please include their logo if you would like it to appear on the distribution cards.
Anything else I should know about the diapers?
#1 -- we donate our diapers in matching pairs! This way, one diaper can remain with the baby for burial or cremation and the matching diaper can go home with the family in a memory box.
#2 -- be sure to use a full quarter inch inseam when sewing diapers. To be properly sized, you must use that full quarter inch! Please see our sewing instructions for anticipated measurements of finished diapers.
Do I need to pre-wash my fabric?
That is up to you! Our diapers are intended for one time use and therefore, shrinkage should not be an issue. Some of our volunteers wash their flannel and many do not. The Headquarters Team does not typically pre-wash their fabric. With the less expensive flannels, they will often get "pilly" or faded and worn-looking after only one washing.