Rape-Related Pregnancy and Pregnancy Loss

Something Good in Their Name

I also wanted to do something for other people going through similar pain.  In memory of a miscarriage I had when I was 14 at about 5-6 weeks into the pregnancy, I decided to give a donation to an organisation in Australia called the KidsHelpline.  If there’d been an organisation like that when I was a child perhaps I could have asked for some much-needed help, anonymously.  This donation felt right because I had no real feeling at 5-6 weeks for the maybe-life growing inside, I only knew what I’d suffered physically and emotionally in losing it, very much alone in a crowd.  Here's a link to Kidshelpline and some similar charities helping children dealing with abuse, or mums in difficult situations:
Kids Helpline 
Lifeline 
Abused Child Trust 
Australian Childhood Foundation 
Barnado's Australia 
Karinya House for Mothers and Babies 
Domestic Violence Helplines
You might want to search the internet for organisations like these near you.

There are also charities that deal with pregnancy loss, such as:
National Share Organisation for Pregnancy and Infant Loss Support
 
The March of Dimes Foundation 
SIDS and Kids
Bonnie Babes Foundation

You might also be interested in charities supporting orphans.
UNICEF Orphan Support 
World Vision Child Rescue - Orphans 
SOS Children's Villages 
Orphan Support Africa - Home 
Orphan Support Africa - How to Help 
Oxfam Australia Shop - Mother and Baby Doll - you could even purchase this doll and give it to one of the charities below.
Oxfam Australia Shop - Batsiranai Doll
- same with these dolls.
You may want to search for organisations like this in your local area.

I searched the internet for ideas to honour the next child I remembered losing when I was 15 about 9 weeks into that pregnancy.  I found this site and this link - Knit4Charities. The only problem was that I can’t knit (it’s not just that I don’t know how, but that I have a physical disability that makes it very difficult).  I contacted Pam by email and very nervously explained, offering to give a donation, and she was brilliant! 

Pam gave me a link to a site that had patterns for sewing wraps rather than for knitting - Touching Little Lives and here are some other links from Knit4Charities - Knit4Charities Links.  Here's a link to a pattern for the wraps.  I'm not sure I figured it out properly in making mine, but they worked out OK anyway.  Wrap Pattern.  She also offered to connect me with a volunteer who could knit a burial gown set for me, with my choice of wools and designs.  This really suited what I’d wished I’d been able to do with my own little ones – wrap them tenderly and say goodbye with dignity, knowing someone cared.  I wanted to give that gift to someone else. 

So I decided to do both.  The smaller wrap was in honour of the little one I lost when I was 15.  The burial gown set was in honour of the next one I remembered losing when I was 16.  That was a labor-like second trimester miscarriage at about 17 weeks.  Dawn, the volunteer who knitted the burial gown set, became very precious to me through her help with this project.  She did the beautiful knitting and I did the ribbon and little yellow roses decoration.  The burial gown set went with a little blanket, also decorated with yellow roses.  Thank you so much Pam and Dawn! 

 Front view of wrap, beaded detail, back of wrap, back of burial gown set, front of burial gown set with booties and blanket.

I sent the wrap and the burial gown set to a hospital near where I lived as a child, with a note explaining why I’d sent it.  It was very hard to write the note.  But I wanted those gifts to be passed on by someone who understood the meaning in them. When I remembered two later pregnancies and losses I made two wraps and sent them to a different hospital.  The first of these two that I remembered feels like it was a boy, so I made a blue wrap. The second was a little girl delivered in my second trimester after a forced induction by one of my abusers.  She was born in a local hospital in a place with beautiful memorial rose gardens, with lots of pink roses in them.  For some reason the idea of a plot in a memorial garden didn't seem right - maybe it was too close to that situation.  (See the previous page here for links about roses as memorials).  But I used a rose as the theme for this wrap.




Here’s some information about hospitals in Australia that accept wraps, burial gown sets, premmie baby clothes etc.  If you'd like to make a donation like this you can contact your local hospital's social workers or neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) or contact the hospitals and services below.

Antenatal Programs at Canberra Hospital - Step Ahead for Young Mums - Need baby clothes etc. to put into parcels as gifts to young Mums under 21yrs old to help them get started caring for their new baby.  More information can be obtained by contacting Women & Children’s Health Yamba Drive, Garran, ACT 2605, PO BOX 11 Woden ACT 2606, AUSTRALIA, Phone: (02) 6244 2619, Fax: (02) 6244 4630

Flinders Hospital Neonatal Care Unit, Adelaide need hats/beanies from premmie to newborn size.  Jackets can also be donated but these are sold to raise much needed funds for the unit.  Donations can be delivered directly to the Unit situated on Level 3 of Flinders Medical Centre or posted to Attention: Ward Clerks, Neonatal Unit, Flinders Medical Centre, Flinders Drive, Bedford Park SA 5042, AUSTRALIA.

Royal North Shore and Hornsby Hospitals, Sydney, need burial gown sets for little angels, premmie baby clothes and baby rugs. Hornsby Hospital is in need of Newborn size clothes including mittens.  Royal North Shore Hospital, Pacific Highway, St Leonards NSW 2065 AUSTRALIA, or Hornsby Hospital, Palmerston Road, Hornsby, NSW 2077, AUSTRALIA, (mark it Attention NICU or Special Care Nursery.  

Preemies UK - A small group of volunteers in the United Kingdom that knit and crochet
clothing for premature babies. They also knit burial items for babies that, sadly, don't survive.

Another idea, if you like making things or the idea of giving a comforting gift to someone else, is to make or buy a remembrance bear.  This site explains - TLC - Teddy Love Club - Hospitals Providing the Program.  You can also search for other sites using terms like teddy bears, miscarriage, still birth and infant loss.  If you live near Wollongong you may be interested in the memorial service for babies held each year in the crematorium there.  Knit4Charities members made teddies to support that in 2009.

Places like domestic violence shelters, charities working with abused children or trauma survivors, or supporting pregnant women, always need clothing and toys.  

I'm making some teddy bears for Companion House - an Australian service supporting survivors of torture. 

          

Some of the "creatures" I've made for Companion House and a bracelet (I've found them good to wear as easy, unobtrusive worry-beads).

Another program to donate to if you like making teddy-bears - Teddy Tours for Imaginif to Help Survivors of Sexual Assault.

You can search the internet for local services and charities in your area, and email or call them to ask what they need.  You might find a place to start with the pregnancy support links here.  Karinya House needs baby clothes and equipment, maternity clothes and supplies, household and office equipment, garden supplies, groceries and other consumables.  This is a fairly typical set of needs.  Knit4Charities, above, lists other charities needing gifts you could make or buy.

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