Angel Mommies of Arkansas Part #1
"My name is Melissa Newberry. My husband, Arthur, and I have been married for almost 7 years and have two beautiful boys together. After our youngest son turned 4, we decided that it was time to add a third beautiful baby to our family. I learned I was pregnant In April 2012, and in June we were given the news that I was carrying our first daughter! I had always wanted a little girl of my own, and I felt like the luckiest woman on Earth.
Everything progressed normally during the pregnancy until Monday, August 6, 2012. I woke up that morning with some cramping. I didn’t think too much of it at first and just took it easy, but things just got more and more painful so my husband and I left for the hospital. I was 23 weeks pregnant. It took a little over an hour to get there and by the time we arrived, I knew that I was going to be delivering my daughter that afternoon. Because I was in active labor, there was nothing that could be done to stop me from giving birth, and at 7:31 p.m. my daughter, Natalie Ann Newberry, was born. Due to the odds of her survival, my husband and I made the hardest decision to hold and love on our little baby for however long God let us have her. She held on to my husband’s finger, and died in his arms 61 minutes after her birth.
I really struggled with coming to terms with losing Natalie. I had so many plans for her, and so much love saved up, and didn’t know what to do with it. I had a huge desire to do something to help other families that suffer the loss of their baby, but I had minimal sewing skills, and every idea I came up with was already being done.
Until I stumbled upon a Facebook post of a picture of a tiny diaper from Teeny Tears.
Natalie had been dressed in a beautiful layette, but had no diaper that was small enough to fit her, so she went without. Once I saw that photo, I immediately knew in my heart that this is what I wanted to do to help other families and to honor my daughter. The diapers looked easy enough to sew and there was a definite need for them in my area. After learning more about the Teeny Tears organization, I asked some members of the infant loss support group I attend if they wanted to help out. Maranda Tyra, and Shannon Atwood-Edds offered to join me in making the diapers, and Maranda and I set out to recruit hospitals, starting with Baptist Hospital in Little Rock, which was the home of our support group. We got an enthusiastic YES from Baptist and we were off!
Maranda became an invaluable help to me, and a close friend. We decided to put together our own little group with the purpose of staying organized and providing support and information regarding our distribution of Teeny Tears diapers. Hence, the Angel Mommies of Arkansas was born.
We are currently in the process of recruiting more hospitals, and have big plans to provide the dignity of a diaper to as many babies and families as possible. I can’t express enough how much Teeny Tears has helped me to heal from losing my sweet Natalie. I felt so lost, confused, and helpless…and now I have something positive to focus on that not only will provide some comfort to other angel mothers, but also a way for me to honor my baby girl and to keep her memory alive.
I believe that the biggest fear a mother has after losing her baby is of that baby being forgotten. Teeny Tears has brought me comfort in knowing that through my work with them, Natalie will never be forgotten…and that we can assure other angel mommies that their babies matter, and will always be remembered too."
Maranda and Melissa making their first delivery!
These sweet diapers were donated to Baptist Hospital in Little Rock, Arkansas.