Day 27: Baby Blankies

August 27, 2017

By Sanda Rathamone

Hand-made by Auntie Amy
30 Day Writing Challenge: Day 27

The love, the sweat, the tears, and the time put into making a gift is what truly makes a gift, a gift.
We never had the chance to purchase Elijah a baby blanket. And by a blanket, I do not mean receiving blankets, I mean to say a blanket that Elijah will always use and sleep with.

Although, among this pile of unused baby items for Elijah, we do have a few receiving blankets that I wish I had requested to get from home while I was in the hospital. I never thought to have any of Elijah's things brought to the hospital because after the birth, all I could think of was what we were going to do with all of his things... 

Fortunately, there are a couple blankets given to us for Elijah, not that he could even use them. He was too small. Although, they were nice things to remember that Elijah deserved to have gifts. 

The first one was from the chaplain who spoke to my husband after Elijah's birth. He was also the same chaplain who gave us Elijah's Bear that we also never had the chance to buy for him. On one side of this blanket, it is blue with white stars and adorned with a few blue stars stitched to the side. On the other side of this blanket, it has colorful prints of baby things.

Front View

Back view

The second one was from my younger sister, who was so excited to become an aunt that she decided in her Home-Ec class that she would make a blanket for Elijah. I remember discussing with her the kinds of colors I had preferred and what designs would be on it. She wanted it to be blue, but I told her yellow because at that time we were still uncertain of Elijah's gender. I wanted neutral colors so that it would suit both a girl and boy. 

However, my sister made it in blue anyway. 

I'm not sure how long it took for her to finish the blanket, but I am sure that it took her at least a month or so, sewing everything and as fast as she could. Then this one day, she sent me a picture of the blanket and I couldn't say that I didn't love it. It was absolutely perfect! It was blue with yellow moons. Unfortunately, she lives states away, so I couldn't get an up-close and better look at it, except for a peak in a photo. 

I don't remember exactly at what week I was in pregnancy that she had finally completed it, but it was before I found out Elijah's gender, before the loss. 

After loss, she never had the chance to send it to me, but one day, my husband and I took a plane out-of-state to visit my family. The whole time I was there, I had forgotten all about the blanket. I was too busy bonding and doing things here and there. 

The funny thing was, on the last day that I was there with my family turns out to be my younger sister's birthday. A whole year from the very day that I sent her a photo of my 8 week scan of Elijah. 

After we sang "Happy Birthday" and had some cake, my sister went to her room and brought out the blanket. It was much bigger than I had assumed, it was the size that could even keep me warm. On the floor, she showed me how to fold the blanket because it had a cool built-in pouch. It was a very clever way to fold a blanket and it would never fall apart if I had wanted to store it or keep it neatly set on the corner of a bed. 

She mentioned that on one side of the pouch, she tried to create a heart shape out of the squares, but made a mistake and now it looks like an 'H.' However, on the other side of the pouch, I did see perfectly made heart.

Pouch view

Folding view

Folded view (back)

Folded view (front)

But, I didn't care about the little mishap, because this was the coolest, most thoughtful and generous thing anyone has ever done for me (and for Elijah). It meant a lot to me that my little sister - who I took care of when she was real young - did this for me! I had never expected her to do this or knew she could do something like this. When I had finally got the hang of folding it correctly, I hugged her and said, "Thank you." It was perfect in the way it was and nothing could top this wonderful "hand-made with love" of a gift.

It didn't matter to me that Elijah never got to use it, what matters is that Elijah was very lucky to have an aunt like her. I was lucky to have a sister like her. 

She also wrote a poem about Elijah for her English class that I very much love and cherish. She didn't know that it would be published in a poetry book, hand-made by her English teacher or that her teacher and friends would love it so much. Her poem was the most sentimental thing I have ever read, especially coming from a young voice such as herself. 

I didn't know that my loss had touch her so deeply as well. 

To read my sister's poem, click here

To read more about my 30 Day Writing Challenge For Stillbirth Mothers, click here.
Please let me know if you would like to join and I will include you in my final thoughts about this writing challenge in a blog post on Aug 31, 2017

Don't forget to hashtag: #30DayWritingChallengeForStillbirthMothers

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