In 1996, a precious, beautiful little boy was born. Only he had already gone to become and angel and we would never be allowed to see his eyes open. It was a very sad day. This lovely little baby was wrapped ina blanket to be held and loved by his family for the short, but precious, time during which hellos and goodbyes had to be said. Then there was nothing left to hold but the blanket he had been wrapped in.
This was his blanket. It was one of only a few tangible remembrances of a precious armful of love. But this blanket was a simple receiving blanket that had held countless little babies before him. It was washed and worn, and nothing special in its own right. How much more special it would have been if he could have been cradled in his own handmade, special blanket that had been used only by him.
Thus, idea for the "Afghans for Angels" project was created.
My History and Why I Started The Virginia Chapter:
In 1988, I became pregnant while I was in Nursing school. I started having problems at three months. I was in the hospital and visiting the Doctor alot. During our break from first year and second year, I had to go to my Dr. appointment. I was almost 6 months. As the Dr. examined me, the nurse said "Oh, my God". That's when I started getting scared. They rushed me over to the Maternity floor. The nurse explained to me that the membranes that surrounded the baby were comming out. I had premature contractions for 2 months prior to this and was medication for it. I was admitted and placed in the trendelenburg position for a week. Total bedrest!!! Towards the end of the first week, I started leaking fluid. The Dr. told me that my baby would be born alive, but would not live long afterwards. Or the baby would be stillborn. He took me off all meds and told me I could get up and walk around.
I was so upset and scared. I was having to call the Funeral Home to make arrangements. I even started crocheting a baby blanket in the hospital to cradle him. But being a student Nurse, I called another friend of mine going to another Nursing school and we started talking. Things to me just wasn't adding up. So when I questioned the Dr., he put me back onto the routine and shipped me to another hospital that would be able to deal with premature babies. I was at UVA Medical Center in Charlottesville, VA for one week. My son, Steven, was born at 26 weeks. He weighed 2lbs and 3ozs. There were several close calls during his stay at UVA. He had alot of A & B's. (Apnea and Bradycardia) But he pulled thru and today he is a healthy 15 year old with strawberry blonde hair!
While at UVA, I saw several babies who were called to Heaven and they did not have a handmade blanket, like the one I was crocheting for my son, to wrap their little Angel in to say their Hello's and bittersweet Goodbye's. So even tho it has been 11 years, I found this Charity, "Afghans for Angels" in Britt, IA. It touched my heart and brought back so many memories. I had to do something for the families of these lost Angels. So therefore, "Afghans for Angels - Virginia Chapter" was started. I thank Ruth from the bottom of my heart for this wonderful and fantastic charity and proud to be a part of this.
I still have the yellow baby afghan that I started 11 years ago.......it was never finished.