A blog about the life of the Balentine family: Adam, Amy, Teddy, Simon, Thomas, Peter and Goldie

Saturday, May 14, 2016

#simonsgiftoftime

Simon Adam Balentine
May 14-21, 2014

Tonight we begin the second anniversary celebration of Simon’s life.  On May 14, 2014 at 9:55pm, we welcomed Simon Adam Balentine into this world.  

My mind travels effortlessly back to the moment Simon was born, again and again. We weren’t sure if he would be alive as we decided to forgo fetal heart monitoring during labor.  We thought if he died before/during labor, it might be hard for me to continue to labor knowing his soul had been taken already.  He was moving at birth, arms and legs squirming – I didn’t even have to ask if he was alive.  I could see - he was!  My doctor placed Simon on my chest and all of the prayers from the previous five months had been graciously answered in that moment.  He breathed!  I shouted praises to God thanking him for his mercy.  It wasn't long after his birth that we finally heard his voice.  It was heavenly (below video shares his sweet cries).

Following Simon’s birth, all we wanted was time with him.  It was simple.  We were doing our best in those moments of the unknown to claim joy and celebrate his life. 

Even if Simon wouldn't have breathed, our plan was the same. We wanted to study him, memorize him, bathe him, smell him, read to him, dedicate him to Christ, sing happy birthday to him, eat his birthday cake, have his big brother Teddy meet him, have his grandparents, aunts, uncles and close friends meet him.  Just show him love and hold his precious body.  That’s what every family wants following the delivery of their baby. That sacred time of grace and glory.

We became aware of Simon's challenges around 18 weeks gestation, so we had time to prepare for his birth.  However, so many families do not have time to prepare.  Mothers go to the doctor for a regular pregnancy appointment or check in to labor and delivery expecting to deliver their baby and hear the words, “I’m sorry.  There is no heartbeat.” 

Parents are left in a state of shock and the mother left to labor knowing her baby has no heartbeat.

My family and You Made Me Mom, for a second year in a row, are raising $2,800 for a CuddleCot™ during the second anniversary week of Simon’s life (May 14, 2016 at 9:55pm through May 21, 2016 at 10:17pm).

The CuddleCot is a tool for hospitals, birthing centers, doulas, nurses, midwives and doctors to offer to families facing stillbirth and infant loss.  The CuddleCot system is used to cool a baby who is stillborn still born or died shortly after birth.  This device allows the baby may remain in the hospital room with the mother. The CuddleCot grants the family precious, dignified and uninterrupted time with their child so they aren't forced to say goodbye just a few short hours after laying eyes on their son or daughter.

One Kansas City family, The Bogles, tells their story and use of the CuddleCot in this video.  Sam and Jess Bogle went to St. Luke’s Hospital Kansas City fearing the worst and heard those five words, “I’m sorry.  There’s no heartbeat.”  They delivered their 24 week gestation little boy, Luke Vincent Bogle on December 1, 2015 and were able to use the CuddleCot to extend their time with Luke .  The Bogles utilized one of the two cots our family and friends funded in 2015.  Weeks after Luke’s delivery, Sam felt led to attend a You Made Me Mom support group meeting.  You Made Me Mom was created as a place of fellowship for bereaved mothers who have lost babies during pregnancy and infancy.  I lead this support group out of our Kansas City home.

Adam and I prayed that the donation of the two CuddleCots in 2015 would aid families in the hospital but also hoped to provide further support through You Made Me Mom.  God truly answered this prayer, especially through connecting the Bogles and us.

This new cot will again be donated in memory of the Balentine’s two sons who both died in 2014 - Simon who lived one week, and Thomas who died at 13 weeks gestation.  
 Here are a few key things the CuddleCot provides:
  •  parents spend time with baby, studying, singing, bathing,
  •  no transferring baby back-and-forth between the morgue
  •  extended family time to meet the baby
  •  parents can bond with the baby as a family
  •  parents can sleep in the same room as the baby
  •  baby can stay with mom the entire time she is in the hospital
Should we exceed our goal, we plan to use additional funds for You Made Me Mom.  Here are some of the ways any excess funds would be utilized in support of YMMM:
  •  printed materials
  •  support group books for bereaved mothers
  •  expansion of support with a focus on specific areas of loss such as infertility and pregnancy after loss

Should you chose to give to this cause, your tax free contribution will be processed through the non-profit 501(c)(3) organization, You Made Me Mom.

Thank you for considering a donation to the CuddleCot fund, #simonsgiftoftime, which will honor and continue the legacies of our sons Simon and Thomas.

Would you be willing to help us reclaim joy and give time to these families? 

If so, please follow this link to donate.

Happy 2nd Birthday, Simon.  You are loved, missed and longed for.

With Love,
- The Balentines -
Amy, Adam, Teddy, Simon, Thomas and Peter



Tribute to Simon Adam Balentine from Adam and Amy Balentine on Vimeo.

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