Giving And Grieving

One of the biggest things during all of this has been… what do we do to feel better? Yes we are coping and moving in a forward motion. How do we feel better about things though? I don’t know about you but I need to be active. We all deal with grief differently and mine has been in waves. Waves of silence and tears behind closed doors and then giving back. Helping those who are like us have better outcomes as well as raising money in awareness for research and more. The ability to help others like us helps us find hope. Have hope, and bring others to have hope as well. What you’re about to read gave us some rollercoaster feels.

Recently we raised money for March of dimes in hopes of coping for or recent loss of Laila and our 3 other babies. We had a plan that we would build awareness and communication between this subject. We felt that by being active it would help us feel somewhat hole or healing in some way.

We immediately posted on social channels about our walk we were participating in for March of dimes called March of babies. We wanted to create a team and we did. “Team Laila Flora” we would raise money and walk in honor of her and our three other babies in heaven. We were surprised by how many supported! We had family and friends from all over the US help and donate to team Laila. In honor of them we had the idea to send them all shirts and honor them on this blog post. So before we get any further we want to thank these special people in our lives. From all over the US that helped by donating to Team Laila!

This was what we created to send to those that donated to team Laila to say thank you and to participate in this blog post by sending us a selfie in their shirts! Two sets are getting shirts soon as we were still getting donations after we sent. So if they aren’t in the shirts I will update it once they have them!

I remember when we put these together we were so nervous. One it was the weekend prior to Mother’s Day. Plus this was the first event that we dedicated to Laila and our losses. We finally felt ready to share with the world and to show her name off etc. talk about vulnerability… raw… wow. Just wow. I mean we were on pins just wrapping up the T-shirt’s. Scared of what we might feel the next day at the walk as the shirts arrived the day before the walk.

We had this idea to spotlight these amazing individuals.

Mr and Mrs Blandina (my mom and dad) – Deland FL

Paul Blandina and Amedisys- (my brother- he and his work donated.) Winston-Salem NC.

Geri Cox (my sister) – Pembroke Pines FL

The Flora Family – Marette, Adelina, Graham and Victoria (Jesses brother, sister in law and my in-laws and beautiful nieces) in Chicago IL The Romanoff Family – Nick, Sarah, and Corinne , Louisville KY

Amanda Clark- Louisville KY

Alison- King NC

Mr and Mrs Koestel – Dave and Kristina – Louisville KY

Linda and Wayne : Winston-Salem NC

We thank each of you for your dedication and love during this entire journey. You’ve been a rock of support more than you know! Each one of you have checked in and keep checking in and that means so much. Love you all to the moon and back!

We did get the hero mom and dad shirts. We are mom and dad. Was so weird putting these on with empty arms. However putting ourselves in an uncomfortable position helped us to conquer a fear. We were so upset and down that it was just the two of us that attended for team Laila however we were so thankful to feel everything alone. It’s weird how all that works out. We made a big move with this walk. We made connections with people who had similar stories. We learned about the healthcare here and who to see and where to begin. We thank March of dimes for the ability to not be a stranger at a walk like this.

From the beginning when we walked up to when we left we felt the love. When we first walked up there was a garden for plants that they plant their butterflies (symbol for those babies no longer with us) in a garden.

This was tear jerking to participate in. Really made us cry. However at the same time it felt like the world could see her and know about her and know that she is amazing and always with us. We loved this. Loved that she will be planted as a memory to grow. We stood there and admired her and cried. Just held each other and took a moment together alone. Being in pubic was such a raw moment full of vulnerability… however there were others feeling just as we were or doing the same. No one looked nothing. It felt like home. We belonged with this organization.

They gave us seeds to plant in a memory garden. That we will be planting on her due date 6/13/19. On the weekend of 6/13/19 we will be creating a garden in our new backyard for Laila and the other 3 babies we have lost. In honor and to watch it grow with when she would have been with us.

The Bibb we wore we wrote who we were walking for.

The best dad and husband and best friend.

Then we began listening to stories before the walk started. They had stories shared over the mic. There wasn’t a dry eye there. So much support for a family that their due date was the date of this walk. They delivered a still born baby. So many losses and this organization helps us all feel supported and feel safe to share our stories judgement free. They help you find healthcare help. Novant health was there. That’s where we now go for PCP and OBGYN- midwife- high risk OB.

Along the path they marked it with posters of those getting treatment, those surviving, and those we remember. We loved how March of Dimes being the first time we walked with them took this and blew it up and Laila was at the beginning of the walk. The whole walk is lined with families and posters and all of this. Really touched us knowing the world could see her and know this is why we are raising awareness and money. To help moms and babies survive their best life.

We cant thank everyone enough for all the love and support. We will be doing more of these walks and events with March of dimes this year and every year. We would love to keep building our team and build it even more across the US!

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