Our baby girl turned one at the end of September. As life has a habit of being crazy, I’m only getting a chance to write this now. It really does sound crazy when I write it down, in black and white. I have a daughter, who died when she was five days old, who has not long since turned one, and she has a baby sister who is almost three months. That maths alone encompasses the madness of the last year or so – no wonder I’m tired all of the time!
Our little Baby Bear’s birthday was actually a really beautiful time. I’d been so anxious leading up to it; I really wanted to do her justice – she only turns one once. I’m sure I’ll be the exact same in August when our rainbow turns one. It strikes me that its just a normal Mum feeling, living or not, we want our babies to have the most special and exciting birthday.
So what did we do? We celebrated. All five days of her life we celebrated her and even her anniversary, we didn’t stop, we just continued to do things as a family for our little girl.
I knew I wanted to give back a little. Two charities in particular have been wonderful for us; SANDS and the Lullaby Trust. We go to monthly SANDS support groups, we went to a Pregnancy After Loss group by SANDS, and regularly go to services (like the Wave of Light) and its introduced us to a network of mummies and daddies in a similar position. Our girls’ Auntie Lauren has done a skydive for SANDS this year, raising over £2000, and their Uncle Tom and his shinty team climbed Ben Nevis, raising over £600. The Lullaby Trust provided our rainbow’s apnea monitor, which I wouldn’t be able to sleep without, and also CPR training and lots of other practical support. We decided to fundraise for them for baby girl’s birthday as without them we would not have been able to welcome our rainbow into a confident home.
I didn’t want to just ask for donations; everyone has been so giving over the last year and I understand that funds can be tight. I wanted our family and friends to get something in return, but at the same time, couldn’t take on something too time consuming with a super colic-y rainbow baby. I saw a friend of mine in America fundraising by selling t-shirts, got inspired, and #SunshineForSIDS was born!
So many of our friends and family bought t-shirts and tote bags. I’m actually wearing mine as a pyjama top now as I type this! The tote bags were a massive hit. We used teespring to launch our campaign as they handle the printing and distributing; I just had to make the design. It was such a brilliant feeling seeing so many people wearing our little girl’s design! And now a month on I still smile when my bag is bouncing along on the buggy handles; taking both my girls for a walk. It’s so cute when I’m out with friends and they’re using their bag for shopping. I love seeing my baby girl around in normal day to day life, ‘interacting’ with friends and family.
Here’s a few of the photos we received from our family and friends:
I absolutely love how they turned out, they’re really nice quality. I have our little pink bag with us in the nappy bag most days and use it for lugging about my pump parts. Our big girl’s godparents, grandparents, aunts and uncles have t-shirts and bags and its is so lovely to see out cheeky baby girl popping up every day. A massive hats off to teespring for being extremely easy to use and set up, I’d definitely recommend using it.
We’ll be launching the campaign again at Christmas. For her birthday it was just a personal, friends and family fundraiser but I think for Christmas I’ll share it here. Watch this space! *Update* – you can now purchase #SunshineForSIDS totes & tees here
What ways have you fundraised? I’m excited to do more and more and I would love some unique ideas! ❤