The Purple Blanket Isn’t Yours–A Letter To My Baby Born After Stillbirth

Handing down items from babies who died to their sibling born after.

The purple blanket isn’t yours.

Even though it’s the blanket that covered your car seat when you left the hospital.

Even though it lay in the background of so many of your baby photos,

Even though you sleep with it every night now that you’re old enough.

It’s not yours.

The purple blanket is your sister’s.

It was crocheted for her by your grandma and brought to the hospital while your sister still kicked in my tummy. I can still see your grandma sitting in the corner of my hospital room with it wrapped around her shoulders. I was burning up from my magnesium treatment and I couldn’t fathom why she would want to be bundled up under its cozy, purple warmth.

Your grandma brought the blanket with her because we were expecting your sister to come early. The blanket was there just in case. Just in case the preeclampsia had its way and your sister needed to come early, there would be a fuzzy blanket in shades of violet to welcome her with.

Well, the preeclampsia did have its way. She came early and she came silently. The purple blanket never touched her fragile skin. Its warmth never mingled with hers. There was no time for the purple blanket because I was so sick. Time was so precious when your sister was stillborn and I was fighting so hard not to go with her. There were no snuggly, purple moments together.

But it’s still hers.

Even though it’s not the blanket that covered her car seat when she left the hospital.

Even though it never lay in the background of so many of her baby photos.

Even though she does not sleep with it every night now that she’s old enough.

Because before I carried you and before I carried my grief, I carried her.

It’s hers and she’s passed it on to you; another one of the hand-me-downs from a sister you’ll never meet. Although you’ll never look at one another on this Earth, I promise you will know her name and you will know her story. And even though you will never snuggle up together under a purple blanket, I hope you can feel her presence in its warmth. I hope that when I wrap you up in it and snuggle you close, it feels like she’s hugging you too.

5 thoughts on “The Purple Blanket Isn’t Yours–A Letter To My Baby Born After Stillbirth

  1. I stumbled on the Huffpost article your blog and story is mentioned in so I came to your blog.The universe has an odd sense of humor. I didn’t realize how badly I needed to read your blog or this post specifically. Yesterday was the 4 year anniversary of my second miscarriage. The 20th of February will be 8 years since my first miscarriage.This time of year is rough for me.
    I lost my first at 12 weeks gestation. When I first found out I was expecting I got a stuffed duck rattle security blanket. My first baby purchase. It’s been there for each of my angels and rainbows. My 2 year old was playing with it before bed and I mentioned it belonged to big brother first. Tonight, I feel less alone in the hope my rainbows are connecting with Big Brother and Bean and that one day we will all be together again.

  2. Understand, in the trunk is a little stuffed Cow, my sister bought it the day Scott was born. He never cuddled it never saw it, but my living child did, & understood, it belonged to his brother… I was open honest, as much as you can be. That cow has now been in the trunk 40 years now… even though now threadbare & falling apart from love & years, I can’t bear to throw it away.

  3. I happened to stumble across your page, entirely by accident. But I wasn’t here long until I knew it was no accident. I read your words about what preeclampsia was to you, and it felt like I was almost reading my own. My little girl was born silently on May 4th, 2016… And just like you the complications I endured nearly took me with her. I was in active labor with her for 12 hrs before it was almost too late, and I was literally bleeding to death internally. I was given the grim options from the Dr. that either we did the C-section, which he advised was against his best medical judgement because my body was so far gone, that I wouldn’t make it through the surgery. A less than 5% chance to be exact. Or we could do nothing and I would be dead within the hour. I signed the paperwork, and kissed my fiance as they wheeled me out of the room. Trying not to think it may be the last time..
    I don’t remember much after that point, Until I woke up unsure of where I was or what was going on, about 12 hrs later in a recovery room. My heart had stopped twice during the c-section, but they were able to shock me and bring me back both times.. I wasn’t out of the woods yet. I spent the next week fighting to stay here before I ever got out of ICU. then finally able to come home on the Friday of Mother’s Day Weekend.

    Kinley Jeanette Redmer
    May 4th, 2016
    1lb 12oz & 21″ long.
    Perfect Baby Girl

    1. Wow, thank you for sharing. I’m so sorry to hear that Kinley died and I’m so sorry that you had to fight so hard. I’m glad you’re here. I wish you had no reason to connect with my writing, but I’m glad it can be here for you. ❤️

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