For Love of Braelyn

"These diapers were made in honor of my precious daughter, Braelyn Elizabeth. Her 2nd birthday would have been on October 7. Each year my husband and I want to do something nice to help someone in Braelyn’s memory. This year we chose to make teeny diapers. When I put out the word to my friends and family, I had many generous donations to make this project possible. Because of fabric that was donated, money that poured in, and help with sewing (even my husband sewed!!), we are proud to say that we made and donated 544 diapers!
 My husband and I desperately wanted to start a family a few years after we were married. I never dreamed that becoming pregnant would be a challenge we would have to face. After several months of infertility treatments and medicated cycles, we turned to IVF. I became pregnant after our first round and we learned that I was carrying a little girl. We couldn’t have been more excited. Then very unexpectedly at 23 weeks into my pregnancy I went into pre-term labor. I was airlifted to a hospital in Peoria, IL where they have a Level 3 NICU. We were told that babies born before 24 weeks rarely survive. I spent 5 days laying with my legs elevated higher than my head, on high doses of magnesium sulfate, and chaos ensuing around me. The doctors tried everything they could to buy more time. But at 23 weeks 5 days my daughter was born. She was the tiniest, most beautiful baby I had ever seen. She was perfect in our eyes. Her little lungs just couldn’t keep up the fight and we had to make the decision to take her off of life support just 12 short hours after she was born. It was heart wrenching, but in our minds the right thing to do. 

Our daughter changed us at our core, for the better. We want others to know that even when life gets tough, it is possible to make a choice to go on and do good things for other people. Honestly, helping others has been my solace in the hard times.

Once Braelyn passed away we were given a frilly girly dress to put on her. It was a very kind gesture from the hospital, but it just wasn’t our style. It broke our hearts to have to put clothes on her that we never would have chosen ourselves but at the same time, we were grateful to have something to cover her in. When I saw the blog about the Teeny Tears diapers I desperately wished that I would have been given something like this to put on my daughter after she died. It’s too late to go back in time to dress Braelyn in one of these, but I knew that I could make a difference in other people’s lives who were in the same shoes.

 Braelyn is never far from our hearts and minds. She made the world a better place in her short life. Today we have our rainbow baby, Braelyn’s little brother, Cole. He has brought a lot of hope and joy back into our lives. We hope over the years he learns how special his sister is to us and we look forward to hearing his ideas of how to help others in her honor.

Thank you, Teeny Tears for allowing us to be a part of your wonderful cause. I hope that we have made a difference in someone’s life as they journey through the loss of a precious child. 

You can check out more of our story at my blog: 

 Diapers were donated to the following hospitals: Children’s Hospital of Illinois- Peoria, IL. and Advocate-Bromenn Hospital- Bloomington, IL."  ~Erin, mommy to Braelyn