#simonsgiftoftime 2017

Simon Adam Balentine 
May 14-21, 2014

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

Year after year, my mind travels effortlessly back to the moment Simon was born.  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, surrounding his Trisomy 13 diagnosis 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.  They are in uncharted waters and need direction of how to begin to move through this journey.

Our family and You Made Me Mom, for a third year in a row, are raising $4,000 for another donation of a CuddleCot™ during the third anniversary week of their son Simon’s brief but mighty life.

The donation of this cot is designated for Research Medical Center located 2.5 miles east of our home.  The hope is that this cot will serve families two-fold - by serving in the inital stages of grief through the cot and by serving the bereaved mom through the You Made Me Mom support group monthly gatherings.


Why do the Balentines ask for support from you:
Just in the US alone, 27,000 parents will experience the loss of their baby at birth.  Our hope is for our community to support the bereaved family during the initial stages of shock and grief.  Once you know there is a need, you cannot unknow it.  Having lost two sons in 2014, the Balentines' passion is to serve and walk through the broken with families who are experiencing a loss  of their child.  
Your tax free donation will be processed through the non-profit 501(c)(3) organization, You Made Me Mom, a support group that Amy leads focused on support for bereaved mothers who have lost babies during pregnancy or infancy. The cot will be donated in memory of the Balentine’s two sons who both died in 2014 - Simon who lived one breathing week, and Thomas who died at 13 weeks gestation.     

What is a CuddleCot:
The CuddleCot system is used to cool a baby who was stillborn or died shortly after birth so the baby may remain in the hospital room with the family. 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.

#simonsgiftoftime CuddleCot Testimonies:
The Balentines have had the opportunity to meet several of the families that have utilized the CuddleCots that YOU have generously helped us donate.   When we walk into this sacred labor and delivery space where a child has died, we are reminded why we do this campaign every year.  These cots truly do give memory making time to these families.

To meet these families yourself, check out these short testimonies of their use of cots donated through #simonsgiftoftime:
-The Bogles (St. Luke's Hospital Kansas City - Plaza)
-The Phipps (Truman Medical Center Kansas City)

Here are a few key things the CuddleCot provides:
·          parents have time with baby
·          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
·          memory making that aids in shock in grief

·          The CuddleCot system costs $2,764.00
·          The Moba basket costs $180.00
·          You Made Me Mom new website design $1,000.00
·          Our goal is to raise $4,000.00

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:
·         new website design 
·         printed materials
·         support group books for bereaved mothers

Thank you for considering a donation to the CuddleCot fund.  Your donation gives a shocked, grieving family TIME with their baby memory making.

Click here to donate & give #simonsgiftoftime.

Happy 3rd Birthday, Simon.  You are so missed and we are thankful we are your parents.  Your cry was music to my hears.  All the Glory to God.

With Love,
- The Balentines -Amy, Adam, Teddy, Simon, Thomas, Peter and baby #5 

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


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