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Thursday, July 30, 2009

My Very Own Angel Website Launch

I would like to take a moment to direct you to a new site that was started by Stephanie Stewart called, "My Very Own Angel". It is a place of support for those who are trying to decide whether they should carry to term once a fatal diagnosis has been received. All of the website's content is 100% supportive of continuing the pregnancy. There is even a place where I submitted my own story on "Why I carried to term". Click here to follow the link and scroll down until you see Wyatt's picture. He is the seventh story from the top.

Here is an exert from her website, explaining how this wonderful place of support for families came about:

How My Very Own Angel Started?

Stephanie Stewart planned the pregnancy of her 2nd son Vayden. At an 18 wk routine U/S it was found that Vayden suffered from a rare condition, Lower Urinary Tract Obstruction (LUTO), which affects kidney function, as a result of that, amniotic fluid is low and lung maturity is at risk. Vayden’s kidneys proved to have failed at 22 weeks and there was no amniotic fluid. Stephanie was told that intervention was going to stop and Vayden’s condition was incompatible with life. Given that info, she was also given the choice to terminate. Her faith and support network lead her to carrying to term, praying for a total and complete healing, but preparing for that healing to occur on earth or in heaven. The rest of the pregnancy was spent showing Vayden 100% unconditional love. At 35 wks, Stephanie went into labor and gave birth to a beautiful baby boy, Vayden James Stewart. Although a struggle Vayden fought a great battle, and lived for 3 hrs 45 min. The time he spent in the womb, and outside the womb he knew nothing but 100 % unconditional love.

Although carrying to term was hard, Stephanie feels it was definitely the right decision. She learned so much about herself and her baby in that time.

Stephanie was surprised at the out pour of support she had, once she opened her life and Vayden’s story in a public blog. She developed relationships with other families to angels and wonderful organizations that opened their hearts and ears to her, giving her added strength through her journey of carrying to term, and coping with the loss of her baby.

Stephanie had a strong need to keep her son’s memory alive while also paying forward the support she received during her time of need. That is when she came up with the idea to donate 345 My Very Own Angel Teddy Bears to OU Children’s hospital and the OU Physicians Perinatal Diagnostic Center, where she and Vayden were so well cared for. The 345 represent the 3 hrs and 45 min Vayden lived. She then decided that since she will not be able to purchase the yearly birthday, Christmas and various holiday gifts for Vayden, instead she would continue the 345 Teddy Bear project and donate 115 teddy bears to 3 other hospital and diagnostic centers in various states, every other year, to be given to mothers who choose to carry to term, suffer later term miscarriages, deliver still born, or lose their little fighters in the NICU. All in Vayden’s memory

Only weeks after her loss, Stephanie found that she had an unexplainable peace over her. Life was different without Vayden around and she missed him dearly, but was pleasantly surprised with how she handled the death of her 2nd son.

“All things work together for good, to those that love God” Romans 8:28

At a weekend BBQ, around people she didn’t know, Stephanie found herself talking about Vayden , as two women at the table asked her "how many kids do you have?". Her close friend started to answer for her, but Stephanie declined and said “I have two, Vashon, the one running around with the stick, and I have my very own angel , Vayden who passed a couple of weeks ago.” The women paused as their hearts sunk, they replied “I’m so sorry, I shouldn’t have asked.” Stephanie said “No, don’t be sorry, I’m proud of my angel, and if you don't mind, I can share his story with you…..” That day Stephanie made two new friends, and realized that no women should have to be careful of how they respond to that small talk question How Many Children Do You Have? Your angel is your child, he or she counts in that question, as you were not asked how many living children you have. You were asked how many children you have. A mother’s love never dies.

She was so proud of herself that she faced the 1st of many of the How Many Children Do You Have, question, with such grace and maturity, she thought how wonderful it would be if every mommy to an angel would be that proud. Her goal is to open the eyes to so many people who are not even aware of the lasting effect losing a child takes on a person. She came up with the name from her responseMy Very Own Angel and then the t-shirt idea, in hopes that every mother to an angel will wear the shirts on National Pregnancy & Infant Loss Awareness day, Mother’s day, their baby’s Angel ~ Versary, at a support group meeting, and whenever they want to honor their angel.

Vayden James Stewart
"Too Perfect For Earth"
May 23,2009 - Midnight - 3:45am

This is such a great resource for families during such an impossible walk when so many hard decisions need to be made... I wish this site were around as I looked for support during my pregnancy with Wyatt. I wish it were around to direct my family to, so they would better understand how I needed to be supported. This website will help a lot of families, and I just wanted to take the time to send you in it's direction.



Holly said...

Stephanie is so awesome and I'm so glad that we are friends and that she created this great site. I saw that your story was on there. Thank you for sharing it!