Angel Outfitters, For Love of Lily

We have been collaborating with an amazing volunteer group in Davis County, Utah called Angel Outfitters.  They are creating keepsakes of all varieties for the teeniest angels in their communities.

These wonderful ladies make bereavement diapers, blankets, buntings, gowns, jewelry, cards and more!
A message from Christine, angel mama to Lily and founder of Angel Outfitters:

"2009 was a rough year for my family. My husband was laid off due to the economy, and we were doing our best to help my grandparents while my grandfather, my honorary father, was suffering from stage four cancer. We had four young children under the age of seven, and our oldest with special needs. Nonetheless, we felt strongly like we needed to try for another baby. In May we found we were expecting again and we were very excited.

The pregnancy was fairly normal for me. I was horribly sick and tired and just did my best to keep up with everything. Around fourteen weeks I started to feel the baby move, which is pretty early to detect movement, so we affectionately referred to the baby as our "Tiny Dancer."

At the end of August, my grandpa passed away. We were so busy with funeral arrangements and family visiting that I didn't notice that I hadn't felt the baby move for several days, and I didn't think much of it, seeing as I was still only eighteen weeks along. The day after the funeral I went in for my routine appointment, expecting it to go just as any other had.

My OB often had a hard time finding a heartbeat with the doppler since I carry babies a little funny, but I got a bit concerned when she walked me down the hall to the ultrasound tech and held my hand. Thirty seconds into the ultrasound, she gripped my hand tightly and said, "I'm sorry . . . "

Calling my husband from the doctors office was the hardest thing I'd ever had to do, right next to telling our kids that our baby had passed away. We were wrought with grief, and I felt like I had to keep moving or I would go stark raving mad. We had two days until we were scheduled to deliver our baby, and I had to do something.

I scoured the internet for advice and similar stories, and eventually settled on making a tiny hat and a burial pouch. At the time, I didn't know about Utah Share or Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep, and I couldn't bear letting my child go without making something for them. I couldn't find any appropriate sized patterns, so it took me longer than usual to make it up as I went along. I finally finished a crocheted hat and it turned out to be just right.

On Friday, September 4th, 2009, my husband and I were admitted to the hospital, and after twelve hours of labor, delivered a beautiful stillborn daughter. We named her Lily Dawn, in memory of my Grandpa Don. She had gotten severely tangled in her cord at some point, but she was otherwise perfect. Despite the sorrow we felt, we were overwhelmed with a feeling of love and of comfort, knowing that she was meant to be a part of our eternal family.

Volunteers from Utah Share and Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep came to visit and gave us the gift of tiny blankets, a few keepsakes, and photos of our angel. Though a lot of the details are foggy, I will never forget those angel moms who had given their time and love to show their support to our family. It's because of them that we have treasures to put in a memory box in Lily's honor.

I struggled for a long time afterward, trying to figure out what I was supposed to do now. I went to support meetings, and kept on keeping on, but I always felt a nagging that I needed to do something and anxiety settled in for a while. I couldn't eat or sleep well and had horrible nightmares. My husband soon got a job and started traveling, and with young kids, I couldn't go on hospital visits with Share, but I really wanted to help. Crafting became my anxiety drug of choice, and it helped a lot, so I tried to keep my hands working at all times. It was almost three years later that I came across Teeny Tears diapers, and a blog post from an angel mom on how to host an angel sewing day. Many people had mentioned that they'd like to get together at some point and make some items to donate, so in October of 2012, I finally got my act together and organized a crafting day.

It went even better than I could have hoped. We had so many people volunteer their time, resources and talents and we were able to complete stacks of gowns, bracelets and diapers. It felt so good and many people wanted to keep doing it on a regular basis, so we're going to keep doing it. I started the Sew Much to Share blog (http://sewmuchtosharedaviscounty.blogspot.com/) to gather patterns and get dates organized, and then the Facebook page as well to try to spread the word to anyone who would like to join in. (https://www.facebook.com/SewMuchtoShareDavisCounty) In November I posted my first pattern, a tiny angel wrap for babies younger than 18 weeks (http://sewmuchtosharedaviscounty.blogspot.com/2012/11/kelsies-bunting-wrap.html) and I have a few others in progress.

My goal is to organize monthly crafting days to make items to donate to the local Utah Share and Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep chapters here in Davis County Utah. We recently made another donation and have now donated 210 Teeny Tears diapers, along with many memory bracelets, gowns, wraps and cards. It's been a learning experience, and I'm just kind of winging it, but it's been wonderful. It feels good to be doing something that's making a difference, and I've met so many fantastic people!

Last month Lily would have turned three, and normally her due date is difficult for me. But this year I'm doing so much better, knowing that I can do this in her honor. There are so many genuinely good people, looking for causes to help with, many in honor of their own angels. It's amazing how something so small and simple can bring comfort and healing to the families they're made for, but also to the angel workers creating them." ~Christine, mommy to Lily

(Hat Christine made for Lily)
Along with crafting within their homes, Sew Much to Share hosts monthly crafting events, with an open invitation for locals to participate in blessing the families in their communities.

They donate their gifts in memory of local angel babies including:

Lily Dawn Damitz
Corban Tyler Kent
William and Matthew Adamson
Maxwell Terry
Gracelyn Ciana Massey
Kelsie Plescia
Dakota Chantel Smith
Kabrie Lane McGugin, and more.
You can read more about Angel Outfitters, find patterns, and follow their inspiring mission to clothe the teeniest angel babies by clicking here.  Don't forget to "like" them on Facebook too!