The story of Sharing Solace started long ago. In 2010, on May 20th, my daughter Madelyn Elizabeth died in my arms just a few hours after she was born – while we were still in the hospital. That’s a feeling I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy; I could actually feel her life slipping away as her little fingers and toes became cold. In fact, her life was so brief, and I so medicated, that I’m not sure if my memories of her are actual memories or if they are memories I created in my mind from the photos and stories I’ve been told.
As anyone that has experienced a trauma understands there’s the feeling of waiting for the other shoe to drop. You’re expecting something else traumatic to happen; as though this happened so you’ll be ready for when the next, worse thing happens. In my case, so many shoes dropped that there weren’t any more in the closet (and I’m a girl…who likes shoes). Just a few days after my baby girl’s funeral I was put on bed rest for eight weeks, there were complications from my emergency c-section that were so bad a nurse had to come to the home twice a day to tend to me. Then, we found out that Madelyn had died from a chromosomal imbalance that I, her own mother, gave her. Then, we were told that it was nearly impossible to have our own healthy children. All of this happened over the course of three months.
We were determined to give Madelyn siblings and spent the next two and a half years (and thousands of dollars) doing round after round of IVF, to no avail. With the chromosomal translocation I possess extra drugs were needed to hopefully receive a positive outcome – which was both mentally and physically rigorous. At the end of each round I was drained from the high highs and the low lows. Getting my hopes up just to be let down.
In 2013, after trying to ‘prove the universe wrong’, my husband and I decided enough was enough. We needed to stop living the emotional roller coaster. We needed to start grieving so that we could, hopefully, move on. Grieve the loss of Madelyn, grieve the struggle to become parents, grieve the loss of our future family… We needed to find a way to come to peace with our demons. We needed to use our grief to become better, not bitter.
Grief, in all shapes and sizes, has been a major part of my life. I’ve had to teach myself to be grateful for what I do have, to find what I am thankful for in every day. Madelyn, even in her death, has made me a better, happier person. If I am able to help even one person realize they are not alone in their grief and find the small things in life to be grateful for (even when the big things seem to be going to crap) I feel I have done my job; made my Madelyn proud. It took a very long time to get to the point where I wanted to help others deal with their grief through sharing my story.
Even while in the hospital and the days directly following I knew Madelyn had touched so many lives, lives of people that I didn’t even know. I couldn’t let that go to waste. I needed to find a way to honor Miss Maddie’s legacy, but it needed to be in a meaningful way.
Sharing Solace was born in 2010 – it just needed a little bit of time to find its way in the world. It needed to find a meaningful way to manifest itself. I understand that Sharing Solace is not something that everyone is ready for but I do know that there are many sorrowful people that are looking for this; something to help them work through their grief to be able to move forward with their life. Sharing Solace is more than a product. It is a movement. Sharing Solace is a new way to show your support and find your solace.
I choose to #bgr8ful365