Missed Siblings- pregnancy and infant loss care packages

Organized by: Joanna Givens

Joanna's Photo


Pregnancy and infant loss.

It's a taboo topic that affects thousands of families each year. Your family. Or your best friend's family. A co-worker, teacher, supervisor, friend, acquaintance... We all know someone affected. In the blink of an eye, a joyous occasion turns somber as the expectant parents change their course. In the immediate aftermath, it is about survival mode. It's about making it to the next minute, next hour, next day in one piece. It's telling family and friends that you're no longer counting down the days. Pregnancy loss is strangers excitedly rubbing your belly and asking when you are due, and you have to explain. It's having to explain your baby was stillborn. Infant loss is acquaintances asking where your newborn is, and having to explain that they are deceased. Loss, at any trimester, is change. Change of dreams, change of expectations, change of everything you once thought your future held. The honest truth? Life after loss will never be the same. As the grief is processed, there's therapy available. Online forums and message boards aplenty.

But hold on... Those are for the expectant parents. What about siblings? Depending on when the loss occurred, they knew of the exciting change to come. Mom is having a baby! The chatter begins... Brother or sister, names, growing up, sharing. Change.

Change. Loss is having to tell excited siblings that the baby isn't coming after all. In later losses, it can be explaining that baby isn't coming home. In infant death, it's explaining what you may not even fully understand yourself, while trying to reassure and calm your child. Loss is hard on families. There are new issues to sort through; procedures, labor, funeral arrangements, informing family and friends. Trying to handle grief while keeping both feet on the ground through the storm.

What about siblings? What if a care package was available for them in the early days that follow the news of a pregnancy or if any loss. This package could provide distraction, as parents use the phone, attends appointments, or grieves. It could give parents repurchasing to help their children navigate grief, in an age appropriate way. These packages could also serve as a way for the parent to unwind, to be in the moment, and be emotionally available during this time of grief andhealing.

These care packages would be preassembled, and given to birth professionals, such as OB/GYN offices, midwives, doulas, NICU or PICU units, perinatalogy departments, or funeral homes. They could be available to order online, so family or friends from across the country could show the grieving family that they care.

Care packages would be semi customized based on common childhood interests, gender of children, number of surviving children, religious preferences, or not religious at all. Packages would be made up in a tote bag with our name and logo on it, and could include things like:

>a movie, meant to bring happiness in a somber time

> a non perishable snack, bearing in mind common food allergies and being appropriately labeled

> a coloring book and crayons or a journal and pen

> a book to read

>small toys that may keep a child entertained

> a stuffed animal to fill their arms (per child)

> a gift card to a local restaurant or takeout, to give grieving families a break from cooking.

Items would be in a tote bag for ease of storage, durability, eco-friendliness, an the ability to be reused for years. Ideally this project could morph into different directions, by securing 501c(3) status at some point. Then the possibilities are truly endless.

Pregnancy and infant loss is a major change. It affects a family down to the core. It changes lives forever. We all know someone affected by loss, if not ourselves. By providing care packages to siblings, we can help in the NOW.



2% Raised of$1,500 Goal

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Organized by

Joanna Givens

This is a direct to organizer fundraiser.

Donor Comments




6 years ago

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