When our daughter Rowan was born with full Trisomy 18, we were shocked at the diagnosis. We had no idea that she was ill, and the delivery culminated in an emergency c-section. Our precious little girl lived for 22 short hours.
Rowan was our first child, and at the time we were completely unprepared and blind sided by the thought that our baby girl could soon die. We were fortunate to find ourselves totally surrounded by a community of such caring and loving people who helped us during this impossibly difficult time. We never knew this community existed until they descended upon us with so much love and guidance.
As the years went on, I began to get involved in grief support efforts for other families who have lost or were planning to say goodbye to their terminally ill baby. It was over the course of my experiences with these families that I realized how blessed and lucky my husband and I were to have had such a wonderful network of support professionals when we were in such desperate need. I was continually surprised and sometimes shocked at the lack of compassionate care that so many families faced in the midst of their tragic loss. At the same time I felt such dismay that the system that had been triggered when we lost Rowan was not a standard at every hospital. We never asked for help – it simply arrived. Unfortunately, so many families are never given any idea that help is out there. No one should feel hopeless and unsupported, without compassionate caregivers around them. No one should have to go through the loss of their sweet child alone.
And so the idea for Rowan Tree Foundation was born. My hope is to provide an online presence that is just overflowing with factual and helpful information to assist families coping after the loss of a child. Further, I envision an online community for members to reach out to each other; assisting each other through the low times, rejoicing during the better times, and most of all healing through sharing their stories. Grief Workshops and Outreach Services and Printed Materials are also part of the master plan. We’re taking tiny steps for sure, but have many good things to come!