Share Your Vision & Win

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With your vote, stillbirthday won $1,000 from Sam’s Club and SCORE, American Small Business Championship.

Now, we want to share it with you!

Enter a chance to win $500, by sharing how it could help you, help others.

 

Stillbirthday is founded on freely giving to families

Stillbirthday meets families right where they are, with free, printable birth plans and support for birth in any trimester.  The website is an enormous, free database, network and, community.  The free access to validation and support is a founding principle of stillbirthday.

The online doula training we provide allows for individuals to gain an even stronger skill set to provide an advanced level of care to meet the needs of their community, families facing the impossible chasm of pregnancy and infant loss.

As students, our doulas explore their options and determine what structure will work best for them in this mighty humanitarian pursuit: as volunteers, as small business owners, or even a fresh combination of the two.  Because the heart of such service is deeply embedded in compassion, integrity and care, we are mindful to pursue conversations of financials with the utmost respect, sobriety and practicality of all involved – the majority of our doulas integrate traditional birth doula contractual relationships and pursue creative fundraising endeavors to offset the cost of serving families for free in the midst of pregnancy and infant loss.

Because each of our nearly 800 credentialed doulas globally then mirror in some strategy a small business, we bring into our training the amazing talents of Bloom Business Professionals and now, insight from SCORE Mentoring.  It will be such a joy to watch how stillbirthday was the small business that entered into this experience with SCORE, and how it might be the avenue through which many of our doulas can pursue their incredible, free resources.  I imagine the 2018 SCORE Small Business Championship contest will have quite a number of SBD Doulas®, indeed.

 

What stillbirthday did with the $1,000 gift
About The M0M Center | stillbirthday headquarters

photo taken with Sam’s Club camera!

With the $1,000 we received from SCORE and Sam’s Club, my vision at first was quite humble.  Because stillbirthday is global, it has been important to have a headquarters, and so The M0M Center was born, just north of Kansas City Missouri.  The M0M Center not only serves as headquarters to stillbirthday, but is a community center for healing, providing birthing classes, maidenhood education, M0M coaching, group support and more.  At The M0M Center, I receive bridal gowns from incredibly generous people and our seamstress team turns these gowns into infant burial gowns.  We call them Legacy Swaddle gowns.  We have a deep freezer to store breastmilk that moms may donate for our local Milk Bank here in Kansas City.  I am called by area hospitals and local families, to enter into birth spaces throughout the greater Kansas City area to serve families during labor, during birth, in which the baby may not be born alive.

A cool compress on a mother’s brow.  A firm press upon her lower back as she endures the throws of labor.  A whisper of acknowledgement as she moans through a deep contraction.  A look of friendship as she wails, wails at the agony of it all, the knowing, at the end of the work, her baby will not be alive, the unknowing, of what that even means, her mind only beginning to comprehend what will be a lifetime of making sense of it all.

In these most primal, private, holiest of moments, we doulas serve.  And we bring every single thing we can to that mother, and to that family.

When stillbirthday received our $1,000 to spend at Sam’s Club, my vision began to expand and while I at first thought I’d use the funds to provide the warm meals postpartum we present to families, I realized that I didn’t want to use the generous gift in small portions.  I wanted something definitive, something substantial.  The meals will always be given.  What could Sam’s Club and the SCORE Small Business Championship gift bring that was new?

The purchase of Sam’s Club finest camera allows us the doulas at The M0M Center to serve a family, capture professional-quality photos and then, deliver those photos directly to the parents’ cell phones from right within the birth space.

The importance of this gift

This profound opportunity serves to meet the needs of the family by having quality photos discreetly and immediately available to them that they can be proud to display at their beloved baby’s funeral or announcements.

The symbolism of this gift is not lost on me: all those who stand behind this grant and this gift stand to say that this free camera provides photos, those photos that mean so much to the families we serve, capturing the personhood and value and worth and life of this baby and the love of this family.

Speak of symbolism, one can capture photos of just anything that may speak to your healing heart:

It would seem as though my beloved little boy is still overturning rocks…

 

And now, we want to share the prize with you!

There’s More This Summer
I’m packing the camera!

Talk about sharing the vision!  Feel invited to join our stillbirthday Slumber Party over the last weekend of July.  Stillbirthday holds an annual celebration in recognition of our doulas and beautiful community, marking the August 01, 2011 birth of stillbirthday.  This year we’ll be in Savannah Georgia, and, I’m bringing the camera!  We’ll be recording small interviews of doulas, so they can share their small business, their vision and their inspiration for embarking on this journey with stillbirthday!  These small commercials will be aired on our facebook page so that our global community will be able to see the beautiful tapestry that is our incredible doula community.  Stillbirthday has certified nearly 800 Birth & Bereavement Doulas® from every US state and internationally!

 

 

10 Million Families and Growing
announcing SBD Adoption Doulas | {I DO}ULA Missions for Uganda

Stillbirthday has reached more than 10 million families internationally since its inception on August 01, 2011, with the simple premise of just serving the very next mother and message that a pregnancy loss is still a birthday.  In this lifetime we cannot prevent the impossible devastation of grief.  And because I can’t, I long desperately to reach that next mother, to tell her plainly that she is not alone.  As someone who was raised through childhood in orphanages and who has held my own deceased child, I know the agony and torment of grief and believe that my tears are worth something.  If I can provide an option, if I can offer a support, if I can acknowledge and validate, then that person in the darkness with me might dare to hope.  And that is what I hope for.

Just in the past few weeks, we’ve announced our free add-on program for our doulas to explore ways of serving families in the transition of fostering or adoption.  As we develop the curriculum we believe that the content will be relevant and rewarding to our doulas, and to those we serve.

We’ve also announced recently our heart to reach the people of Uganda.  Nearly every two hours a mother dies in childbirth in Uganda, and 76 babies per 1,000 do not reach age one – the majority of these fatal statistics being totally preventable – which means, we can try.  And when a person does slip into the chasm of grief – we can meet them there.

So, I’ve enrolled in National College of Midwifery to learn everything I can, to bring everything I can possibly muster, about being a provider, about ushering in life and about preventing death, about serving to the very best of my ability.  Stillbirthday will support Hearts 4 Africa through I DOULA Missions by coming alongside their vision and offering doula trainings to locals, and doula missions trips for stillbirthday doulas who align with this vision and want to be part.  Here’s a photo of my dear friend Kristin wearing our new fundraising/awareness raising tee shirt to show her support of this mission.

 

And so, I want to invite you, to answer the question, of serving in the very best of your ability.

 

We’re giving $500 to a stillbirthday doula

Stillbirthday will always have a heart to reach the very next family.  But the stillbirthday doulas are a community, of friendship, kindness and beautiful love.  We, all nearly 800 of us, are each on the front lines serving, enduring, being Love Bringers and witnesses and supporters in the most precious and profound of ways.  SBD Doulas, you matter.  You are exceptional, exquisite and historically monumental.  And so it is my hope that this contest brings that message afresh to our community while even inviting newcomers to join us.

 

From May 31 to June 10, you can join the event page, and share your vision.

To Enter:

 

 

You must be a stillbirthday doula or a registered SBD student to enter.  If you haven’t yet enrolled into our doula program, our SBD credential certifies you as a birth doula, a bereavement doula (a term we created!), and now with a free add-on course, an adoption doula.  You can secure your spot in any upcoming session now when you view what our incredible online doula program is all about.  Bonus hint: we even have a great savings when you register from our facebook page.  Winner will receive $500 as a finacial and/or material gift from stillbirthday toward goal.  Compelling nature of goal/entry may be additionally supported by “likes” or encouraging comments made by others supporting the submission.  Stay tuned here for clarification of any rules which may change at any time; submission into the event page is acknowledgement of this and all contest rules.  Stillbirthday and its founder reserve the right to make a determination of the winner at sole discretion.  Giveaways are something familiar to stillbirthday, as we long to support you in whatever your dreams are.  Please follow our facebook page for more opportunities to be involved, get supported or to be a support to others. 

 

Results

Watching this contest unfold has been such a humbling and profound experience.  It’s amazing how asking this question has opened the conversation and allowed us all to brainstorm and the result isn’t an excitement at what any one person can gain — but unanimously, it’s been about how we can serve more.  Because of that, I’ve been working behind the scenes to see how many of these incredible visions we can start to make happen.

As a first prize, Nested Bean agreed to send 25 of their amazing swaddles, to be received by Charmaine Hinds, SBD and her prison doula mission.

We’ve also been able to create an Ayurveda postpartum and bereavement support sample kit for Jess D’Fox, SBD student.

Several stillbirthday doulas stated they’d use the gift to sponsor more students into our doula program, so we’re making that happen as well.

And we’re working on more!

 

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