Tuesday, July 28, 2015

The Daisy Award

Stillborn professional pictures
My heart is singing because I recently received the most wonderful phone call.  In Quinn’s memory, we, along with a small amount from Quinn’s memorial fund, made a donation to the bereavement nurses at the hospital where Quinn was born.  The donation is to fund the purchase of a professional camera for the bereavement nurses. 

Currently in place, there is a photography service available for newborns, including stillborn babies, during daytime hours.  This is wonderful, and does not exist in many hospitals across America.  However, if the stillborn baby arrives at night, as Quinn did, the baby has to wait until daytime hours for the photographs.  By then, unfortunately, the baby’s sleeping features have been kissed by death.  

In our case, Quinn’s skin had cooled and her pink had turned to blue by the time her photographs were taken.  We are so grateful for our photographs, for they are one of our few memories of our beloved daughter.  However, they do capture how Quinn has been kissed by death.  Fortunately, we had snapped a few pictures on our own of her soon after birth that remind me she was full of life for 40 whole weeks.  

With our donation, the bereavement nurses can take their own professional photographs of the baby soon after birth.  This way, they can capture the baby’s pink quiet beauty without having to wait for the professional service’s daytime availability. 

The best news, however, is the Co-Coordinator of Perinatal Palliative Care Services has informed me that she has used our donation letter to nominate our bereavement nurse, Barbara, for The DAISY Award For Extraordinary Nurses (The DAISY Award).  This award is to honor the super-human work nurses do for patients and families every day.”  Barbara is so deserving of this award and I will be crossing all fingers and toes in October when the DAISY Award is announced. 
Dear xxx,

The enclosed donation of $xxx is to fund the bereavement nurses at Capital Health with a new camera to take the very important pictures of babies who were stillborn or otherwise died before they could get chance to live outside the womb.  This is a very important project for my husband and I because our second daughter, Quinn Amelia Wilson, was stillborn on February 16, 2015 at 3:38am.  Her birth, although still, occurred at Capital Health.  She was born on her due date – 40 weeks exactly – and was healthy, strong, and ready for life.  Unfortunately, the umbilical cord was wrapped around her neck 3 times, and robbed her of life. 

Then, fate put us in touch with a woman who changed how we would live the rest of our lives: Barbara xxx.  She held us as we heaved in despair and disbelief, gave us comforting words that ring in our heads each day, and was the first person to show us true compassion after our worst nightmare occurred. 

During a time of sheer confusion and shock, she very gently nudged me to have professional photographs of Quinn taken.  She even obtained a lock of my precious baby’s hair, which I haven’t brought myself to open yet, for fear my baby’s smell disappearing.  I absolutely treasure the pictures of Quinn.  I am forever grateful for Barbara’s gentle nudge to get them, for they will help keep the memory of her alive in all of our minds. 

I am so grateful for Barbara’s care.  My husband and I truly believe she put us on a journey toward healing.  She is caring, compassionate, and kind.  I think she has the hardest, most important job on the planet, and I’m so grateful to have had her care. 

Although nothing can bring back what we truly want - our baby - we have found comfort that we can support other families in need with this important project.  We hope the pictures bring other families some comfort during the most horrific moment of their lives, and perhaps even more so since the camera was donated by a loving family who eternally longs for their own daughter.

Part of this donation comes from Quinn’s memorial fund, which includes the generous gifts of our family, friends, and community.  After we left Barbara’s care, it was these people that held us in their compassion and love.  We are honored that the camera donation can be a gift from them as well. 

We can only pray that Quinn’s camera won’t be needed, but we unfortunately know that won’t be the case.  Not everyone who enters the maternity ward is so lucky to carry their new baby home in their arms.  This camera is for all the families that carry their babies home in their hearts.


Jessica & Joshua Wilson

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