Okay, I'm going to do something a bit radical here. I hope no one gets offended. If you do, well...sorry.
I have decided to throw myself an 'online baby shower'. A few weeks ago, I got a lot of comments on a few of my posts saying I should throw up a 'donate' button on my blog (see to the right under where my e-mail address is posted) so that people could contribute to our 'cause'. I wasn't sure about it at the time. I thought people might think I was greedy or trying to profit off our of admittedly crummy circumstances at the time. But after this post, I realized how many of you are out there, and how many of you genuinely cared about how difficult my pregnancy was, and were really hoping for the best for us. I was astounded at how many people worried about "Acorn's" outcome and were pulling for my baby.
Many of you wrote to me either on my blog or via e-mail about how happy you were when Kaia was born alive and doing well. I felt you celebrated right along with us. Some of you even more so than friends or family that I know in real life because you understood how hard we fought and how difficult things were. So many of you were important in keeping my spirits up while on bed rest and maybe, just maybe, some of your positive energy made it to Kaia, since she ended up being the "girl who lived!". Since many of you are so far away, and I cannot invite you all to the baby shower my mother is planning for me, I thought I might use your idea of a 'donate' button to throw myself and Kaia an 'online baby shower'. If you think my idea silly or greedy, please feel free to ignore if you don't want to contribute. I'll continue to blog about my life (if you're still interested in reading) whether you contribute or not.
So, without further ado...this is the item I would love for Kaia:
It is the Uppababy Vista Stroller in 'Denny' (also known as 'red').
Why this stroller you ask? Well, this stroller and I have a long history. I picked it out as the stroller I wanted for Aidan. On my first bed rest go-around, I was sure a baby was coming so I spent hours and hours researching 'the best' baby items. You know, the ones that will last, are well made and a 'good buy'. This stroller is admittedly not cheap and probably falls a little into the 'luxury' baby item category, but it was just so AWESOME that when I showed it to Brian we knew we wanted it for our baby. The weekend before we found out that everything was not going to be alright with Aidan, I had allowed myself off bed rest for an hour to go check out baby stuff (I was less strict with bed rest the first time around, as we thought at the time we were just dealing with a subchorionic hemorrhage). Brian and I pushed this stroller around the store, and when the lady asked if we wanted to buy it, Brian turned to me and said "do you want to get it today?"
Something made me hesitate. Maybe because I was only 17 weeks pregnant at the time and that was just 'too early' to get baby stuff in my mind, or maybe because it seemed like a lot of money in one go and I had to work myself up to spending that much, or maybe because I *just knew* something was wrong... For whatever reason, I said "let's come back another time". A few days later, Brian and I were sobbing in each other's arms and throwing up we were so upset about what Aidan's ultrasound showed. A baby in trouble. A baby who would never need a stroller. A baby who would never come home.
In the months after Aidan died I saw other moms and dads pushing the Uppababy stroller around town or at the hospital where I work. They with their living child, safe in the stroller. Doing normal baby and parent things. Me, outside of all that. Nursing my broken heart. Those of you who have lost a baby probably understand exactly what I'm saying. How a 'thing' associated with 'the new baby' somehow symbolizes all you have lost. For some it's the millions of tiny clothes, lovingly washed and folded and ready...that will never warm and protect and decorate the intended wearer. For others I'm sure it is the room, painted, ready, waiting...for a baby that will never wake up.
That stroller was' it' for us. Somehow it represented all that we lost when Aidan died.
So this is the item that I feel is the most appropriate to ask for help in purchasing from those of you who have followed my children's stories so faithfully. Even though it looks the same as when we would have bought it for Aidan, this stroller is no longer 'just a stroller' in our eyes. It has come to represent so much more. It is freedom from bed rest for me (and a way to get back in shape!). It is a return to 'normal' after feeling like we've been living in a nightmare for so long. It is a healthy baby who comes home (in a car seat not an urn!), who we can look forward to going places and doing things with for a lifetime to come.
This stroller represents dreams that we had, and lost, and now have found again.
So, I will put my donate button up and if you would like to contribute, that would be lovely. If not, that's okay too. I'll leave it up until the end of July because right now the stroller is on a bit of a 'sale' ($50 off!) which ends July 31st and I'd like to purchase it before then. It's $750.00 Canadian and comes with the bassinet to use up to 6 months old, as well as the regular stroller seat which can be used up to 50 lbs. The Uppababy website is here if you want to check it out.
Please remember I live in Canada so all donations will be in Canadian funds.
Thanks in advance to anyone who contributes. Kaia and I and Brian appreciate it immensely.