Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Stitch by Stitch, Little By Little, Heart and Soul Begin to Heal

This article was written by Heather Lammert-Sparks. For more articles on healing, click here to download our latest newsletter, Creative Ways of Healing.

After 3 years of trying to conceive, our dreams had come true.  This past February we found out I was expecting our first child.  As an artist and art teacher I began to dream of making and creating many handmade treasures for our baby.  One of the first things I began was a crocheted blanket of a soft, variegated yarn of snow white, lemon yellow and a sunny yellow-orange.  My husband, Kevin said it looked like “scrambled eggs”.  Every morning and evening, when I was not nauseous or exhausted I crocheted…single, double, double…over and over and over. 

On Tuesday, April 24th I was 8 weeks along and began bleeding.  I immediately knew something was wrong.  I knew too much about what could go wrong.  I continued to work on the blanket and hope our child would hold on.   On April 29 my body let our baby go, I miscarried our first child, Charlie.  The bleeding was so bad that I had to be taken to the ER.  I took the “scrambled eggs” blanket with me, hoping this was all a bad dream and I would wake up.  The next day I put my work in progress into the antique dresser I had purchased for our baby along with the ducky gown from Nana and Papa, handmade ducky bib made by Grandma Joy and many presents from friends and family. 

A few days later I saw Charlie for the first time, with his tiny curved red body and the hint of an arm developing.  I could not bear to flush my baby down the toilet.  I knew I had to do something special.  I saved him in a glass jar and slept with him that night wrapped in his blanket.  The next morning I sat with him and read him my favorite childhood book, The Velveteen Rabbit like my mother would do when I was sick as a child.  I sang him Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star.  Then I started to crochet a small basket made of a soft green, cuddly yarn to bury my baby in.  When I finished I went outside to my backyard, dug a small hole being sure to remove all of rocks to create a soft bed.  I gently placed Charlie inside the cuddly yarn and laid him in the soft dirt.  I asked Mother Earth to watch over him and take care of him for me and I slowly covered him with the earth saying goodbye. 

Over the next several months I found myself opening that drawer to run my hand over Charlie's blanket dreaming of my child and the mother I should have been.  It continued to sit unfinished while I thought of someday finishing it, for our future children, so they would know and never forget the sibling they should have and would have had. 

Saturday, November 26 should have been Charlie's due date.  I had been dreading the day, the day that should have been the happiest of our lives.  The day our first child
should have entered this world.  The day we would become parents.  The day we would have begun our family. 

Late that afternoon and I was alone and not sure what to do with myself.  All I could do was cry and cry and cry……….a river of tears.  I opened the dresser drawer; read through all of the sympathy cards, looked at all of the handmade gifts and soft baby clothes and then I came to Charlie's unfinished blanket.  

I pulled it out of the drawer and ran my hand over the stitches and decided at that moment I would begin crocheting again.  I marked my last stitch, the end of a dream, with a small piece of gray yarn tied in a bow. 

While I continued to crochet I talked to Charlie.  I told him how much we loved him, how much he was wanted and how I needed him.  I asked him to help my heart and soul begin to heal. 

As an art teacher I continually tell my students how art heals, art saves lives and when we don't know how to deal with life, when we have no one to talk to and when we are lost making things with our hands helps us find our way.  Since then I have decided I want to make Charlie's blanket for mothers who have also lost their first child.  Crocheting has brought me a tiny bit of peace and a healing I have been so desperately seeking.  It has become my morning ritual.  I make my coffee, sit in my rocking chair and continue to work on Charlie's blanket.  Tears flow; I dream of Charlie and imagine rocking my baby wrapped in the scrambled eggs blanket……single, double, double….stitching together piece-by-piece, little by little, my broken heart and soul. 


Anonymous said...

I am so sorry for the loss of your baby, i really know how you feel in june we lost our baby boy he was 3 days old, when they did all of the tests there was nothing wrong with him. the hardest part is letting go but we will have memories of him that we hold forever. i will be saying a prayer for you and your family God Bless you and your family.

Melissa said...

I am so sorry for your loss. I also lost my first baby at nine weeks pregnant. The day I found out was the saddest day of my life (I had a missed miscarriage).

You ARE a mother. Don't forget that.

Jennifer Stachula said...

Heather, as I read this my heart just fills with both an ache and a hope for you, and such a knowing that Charlie-- and each of your stiches of love for that beautiful child you made-- will help heal one of the biggest hearts I have ever known. Love flows to you tonight, and gratitude for sharing your story. My heart holds it as gift-- Love, J

Heather Lammert-Sparks said...

Thank you girls!!! I really appreciate your comments!!! xoxo


Anonymous said...

I too weep at your loss and the other women. 5 years ago i became pregnant..the father ...well kind of ran away and it is because of women like you and all the women in all of history that have for some reason been unable to keep or lost their babies that I decided to have mine on my own. He's 4 now. I found this blog because I am looking at ways to heal my heart from the loss of my grandma who died in my arms in february. Im feeling that Art is my way.

I trust the stitches are healing you and that Charlie walks beside you in the other realms.

big love

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