Yesterday was such a whirlwind of emotions for me. I’m thankful for all the support and love that poured in. My family helped me have the the best birthday I could have considering I was so upset I couldn’t be celebrating with Jensen. I’ll admit, I cried a few times, but I survived one of the first big anniversaries of his life. Being yesterday was also the day we found out we were pregnant and it was his twentieth week in heaven. I never like to wish time away, but I’m glad yesterday is over. Thanks to each and everyone of you who sent over birthday hopes and wishes. I was so happy to share a piece of Jensen yesterday. His feet are just so perfect and one day we’ll be able to share all of him with you.
Besides everything that came with yesterday, I’ve had a lot on my mind about the events and differences after a stillbirth happens. For one, we never received a birth certificate or any document that says Jensen lived. We have his fetal death certificate that they gave us right after we picked up his ashes. I was really bothered we never received anything to say that Jensen was here in the eyes of the government. Maybe that’s silly of me, but he did exist and he lived 38 weeks. In Ohio, you can actually get a Certificate of Stillbirth. The parents have to apply for it through the Office of Vital Statistics and send it in. I can’t speak for every state or country since I haven’t researched it, but it gave me another sense of closure to have something from the government stating his name and birthdate. It didn’t say anything about death though, which is so nice to have something office not talk about his death. His name and birthdate was also filed away so they recognize he was alive and born. If you can get one where you live, I’d really recommend doing it. It didn’t take too long to fill out the form, send it out, then receive the documents.
If you have been through that process, I’d love for you to share your experiences so others could read from different parts in the world.
Anyways, my friend, Melissa, and I were talking about how we never got a document that celebrated our angels’ lives. It really bothered both of us how there’s no standard papers for stillbirth or miscarriage. We both agreed how we thought their lives, no matter how long they were with us, should be on a certificate and shown off. So, Melissa ended up coming up with a way to celebrate and honor her son, Lachlan, by making certificates of life. She wanted to really embrace what made our babies special and acknowledge their length and weight and what time they were born. Just because our babies were stillborn, our birth experience matters and is important to us. All those little details are so unique to each and every baby, that they should be celebrated. Of course when she told me she was going to start making one, I wanted one for Jensen. Today I received it!
Jensen’s Certificate of Life includes his colors, navy and orange, his length and weight, and the date and time he was born. I love how it has Anthony and I’s name with his. Honestly, I don’t have a lot of things that has the three of our names on it. Mostly just Jensen’s and mine. Then the quote at the bottom is my favorite and the word border is just adorable. If you can’t see it, it says: Jensen Grey, Always Loved, Forever Wanted, and Missed For Eternity. The feather and handprint stamps just add even more charm to the certificate and connects me even more to Jensen. I can just picture his handprints and Jensen sends me little feathers all the time. Honestly, it’s so perfect and I love it so much. I was so happy she could send it so I could get it the day after my birthday. Which I needed it so much today after everything that’s happened. That’s another story…
The certificate is made out of a thick card stock paper and has a blue backing. It’s all handwritten with the stamps that I mentioned before. Melissa made it with love for Jensen and myself. She allowed me to become very active in what I wanted on there and it came out absolutely beautiful. It’s a perfect way for her to keep honoring her son, Lachlan, who was stillborn, just four days before Jensen, on April first. She has been such an amazing support person and a beautiful friend. I love everything about the certificate, but I was so happy to see Lachlan’s name on the back in her logo for the certificates. It makes me smile to think of Lachlan and Jensen playing together in heaven and celebrating each of their milestones together.
Melissa blogs on her site, Lachlan’s Love, where she writes about Lachlan, grief, and her survival after loss. You also get to see her adorable dog, Apollo, posing with her Lachlan Bear too! If you would like to order a Certificate of Life, she is making them for free and all you have to do is fill out the form, here. She does accept donations for supplies and shipping (she lives in Canada), but any money left over will be donated to help bereaved families. Honestly, they’re beautiful and are extremely well made. She customizes them to your preference and it’s just so nice to be able to share your angel’s story and see their names celebrated with their life. I can’t wait to frame mine and hang it up for everyone to see when they come in.
Everyday I’m so amazed by this wonderful community we have. I hate that we’re all here and feeling this pain, but out of this pain is so much beauty and support. I cannot imagine going through this without Melissa and all of you. Please go check out Lachlan’s Love and I hope you can order a Certificate of Life to honor your angel or angels.