As you may have read, I had a lot of feelings leading up to the donation of the CuddleCot. As bad as it sounds, a large amount of those feelings was relief that the cot had finally arrived and that we had found someone that wanted it. I was just ready to give it to the hospital so it could be put to good use (or no use, ideally). But after it was out of our hands, I felt strange.
The NICU manager, as she took the cot from me, said "I almost feel bad taking it from you." I just kind of laughed, because what the heck would I do with a CuddleCot at my house, but then I realized that I felt bad about her taking it from me too. Not like I had a bad feeling or was wishing that we weren't doing it, but more like when you have to walk away from something special. I remember feeling the same way when I sold my first car, and when we sold our house in Boise. It just doesn't feel right to hand ownership over to someone else. Especially when that something has our children's names on it.
I relate giving the cot away to the feelings I had when I sold my car or when we sold our house. But the last time I had to give away something we had worked so hard for, we were saying goodbye to our child. Maybe that's why it was so hard to see the nurses walk away with the cot with Carter and Lucy's names on top. Part of me felt like, by taking the engraving and the thing our grief allowed us to do, they were taking our memories with them.
Obviously this is not the case.
No one can take our memories, and I know that. But each day I fear forgetting them, and I am terrified of the day that Brandon and I are the only ones to speak their name. I guess I just didn't want physically giving the cot away to close the door on the last year of our lives. We didn't decide to start Flying for Time so we could cover our grief in donations but I think that, in that second, as she took the cot from me, I was afraid that was the expectation. People might look at the article that was published and think "look at this sweet young couple, what a wonderful thing they did once they got over their grief." But we didn't do it outside the grief, we did it amidst it. Everything we do, from October 26th of last year until the end of our lives, will be done in grief. There will never be a day we don't miss our kids. I don't want that to ever be the case.
But now that I have all my feelings out of the way, I probably should tell you the actual details of the donation. It was very quick and simple, just like we wanted it to be. There were three nurses, two of the foundation staff, and Brandon and myself (and Brandon's parents were there and filmed for us, thank you!!). We chatted with the nurses for a bit, told them our story, and showed them the CuddleCot. I showed them the list of 70 names of angels that mothers were so kind to share with me, and was so grateful I had asked for names. The nurses asked if they could keep the list to share with the other nurses, and I agreed. It spoke volumes to me that they wanted the list to show their staff that child loss is a unfortunate reality. My one request to them was that they don't forget about the cot when they need it. I hope they don't ever need it, but if they do, I hope they remember that they have it.
We had a nice, peaceful visit with the babies after the donation before we headed home, and I felt my heart being tugged. I hope they know that I do everything because of my love for them, and do it all in hopes of making them proud.
This has been kind of an emotional post, but thank you for reading. Most importantly, thank you for all the support and donations you have given us. Thank you for allowing us to do something so special that will help other families like ours.
*you can read the article in the Herald Journal here