Photo by: Kelli Stewart
Last summer we were ecstatic to find out we would be expecting our second child, making our soon-to-be two-year-old a big sister. A couple of months later, we lost my father-in-law, Travis, in a very unexpected and tragic accident and my husband was heartbroken.
A week after losing him, we found out the sex of our baby. We learned we would be welcoming a sweet little boy! The news brought our family some much needed happiness. We decided to name him Graham Travis in honor of his grandfather. My husband knew his dad would be so proud and excited to have a little boy in the family, just like he was.
A couple of months went by and everything was going as expected, until around
3 a.m. on October 26, 2019. At 21 weeks pregnant, I woke up with cramping and bleeding. We rushed to the hospital where we quickly found out I would be delivering our son and there was nothing that could be done.
He had a strong heartbeat, but my body was too far into labor. Later, we also learned I had an acute placental abruption. We got to the hospital close to 4 a.m. and he was delivered at 8:15 a.m. He was born with a beating heart and officially went to heaven around 11:45 that morning.
We were so thankful for the 3+ hours he gave us. We held him, loved him, prayed over him, and soaked in every detail of him while we could. The worst pain was leaving the hospital without him. Dealing with his loss was difficult, especially after just having lost my father-in-law. However, we were showered with an incredible amount of support.
The support we received inspired me to do something in Graham's honor that would help other moms and families dealing with pregnancy and infant loss. In October 2020, (which marked the one year anniversary of our loss) we officially announced the non-profit we have been working on called "Finding Fireflies: Gifts from Graham."
Through this non-profit we donate care packages to moms and families who are dealing with infant loss. We donate these packages to our local hospital's L&D and NICU as well as personalized packages to moms who have been "nominated" by a friend or family.
Over the course of just a month, we have donated 13 boxes to the hospital and sent 11 boxes directly to moms who have recently experienced loss. This has given Graham's life so much purpose and we feel so grateful to be able to help others experiencing something that no one should have to experience.
Photo by: Kelli Stewart
Our goal with our packages is to bring a little light in a time of darkness. The items in the box include books and journals to help with coping, items to bring comfort, and items to help honor the memory of the baby who was lost. We truly hope to be able to help as many moms as possible! Our boy is very special to us and has created such an impact on our lives, along with so many others. We are currently expecting our rainbow baby, a little girl, and we pray (and believe) that he is watching over her.