Thursday, April 5, 2012

MOPS- faith and uplifting

Once I found out I was pregnant, I couldn't wait to join MOPS (Mother of Preschoolers). I knew that I would love the fellowship and mothers and everything about it.  Since that isn't how the plan worked and now I am back at work, I just have to be patient for my time to come. 

Even though I am not really in MOPS, I have been involved with their summer service project. I was invited to speak at their meeting on Tuesday to introduce Blankets for Brianna.  May 2nd, we will get back together to create blankets that will be donated to our local Rancho Springs Medical Center.  I can't believe how amazing these women are.  Alot of tears were shed, probably most by me, but I am so happy to have been able to share my story.  And some many good things have come out of some of the mothers who were touched by my story. I look forward to so much more potential in these projects.

Here it is for those who would like to read it:

"I first would like to thank you for having me here today and listening to my story. Tiffany Hazelaar has graciously invited me to talk a little bit about my project Blankets for Brianna. Some may already know but Brianna is my beautiful baby daughter who was born this past January. She has brought so much joy to my life and being my first child has made me a mom. All this being said, she was stillborn.
The day she was born started out rather joyous. She was healthy during the whole pregnancy and never even caused me trouble except for the most horrible heartburn ever. I went into the hospital after promptings from the spirit to check on her heartbeat at 3am. Once I arrived, her heartbeat was fine and to my surprise I was even told that I was having steady contractions. I was 39 and a half weeks at this time. She was double footling breeched so they advised me that I was going to have a C-section that morning. I was horrified, my whole pregnancy all I wanted was not to have a C-section and now there I was on that day being told I would. But then I started to get excited knowing that I would see my precious girl in just a couple hours.
Now let me rewind, up until this point I was alone at the hospital. My husband wasn’t going to get off work until 8am so I thought I could just sneak to the hospital and check on Brianna and come back before he even knew I had left. I had never worried or done anything like that before, but again I was urged by the spirit to check on her. I called him to tell him to come to the hospital instead of go home, he called my parents and his parents and I got a hold of a couple close friends. By the time I was going into the operating room everyone was in the lobby waiting to meet Brianna.
Brianna was born at 9:35am. I never heard her cry, I never saw her move. However, she was perfectly formed. She was beautiful and I was her mom. Getting to hold her, kiss her, and love her has been a highlight in my life. I have been strengthened by her sinless example. Every day I strive to be like her, to return to our Heavenly Father. I have read and researched so much about what it is like in the afterlife and what kind of activities she is engaged in while she waits for the rest of us. Her life was short, but I wanted to do something to carry on her name and honor her and other children like her.
The hospital gave me all the items that she was dressed in and the blanket she was wrapped in. In fact, I sleep clutching the beanie she wore every night. These items are precious to me. I decided that that’s how I would carry on her name. Blankets for Brianna is an organization that collects baby blankets to donate to hospitals for their stillborn and NICU babies. They may be homemade or even purchased. They are usually small; anywhere between 20-30 inches by 20-30 inches. They can be as simple or as creative as you like. Not all the parents will have such a devastating loss as I have, and some will take their children home with them. In the meantime, the blankets will hopefully give them some sort of comfort during such a stressful time. I have already contacted all the local hospitals, and for this group I have decided to donate all the blankets received to Rancho Springs Medical Center. They are just starting to revamp their bereavement program and will be opening their NICU in June of this year. This is a hospital we may have had our babies in or know people who have.
Brianna was born at Parkview in Riverside and I am actually taking my first collection there tomorrow. The progress the organization has made in less than two months is amazing me. I am so touched by the love of my friends, family and especially our Lord in helping me through this endeavor and keeping me strong during this trial.
I would like to close with something that happened to me before Brianna was born that continues to touch my heart. As we all know everyone wants to put in their two cents and advice before first time moms have a baby, and I got plenty of it. My last day at work before I went out on leave a coworker came up to me and solemnly sat down. She reminded me she was in her mid 30s, single and had no children. She said that even though she didn’t have any experience with being a mother she had some advice for me. Her advice was for me to trust in my God. Now, this hit me and it hit me hard. This woman is of the Hindu faith. She is faithful, but obviously has a different faith than my own, but she still felt it was necessary to remind me to trust in God. I’ve talked to her since this experience and I believe that she followed promptings she received to give me this message. It stuck out to me more than if someone of my even my own faith shared this message with me. I thought about this every day while waiting for Brianna to be born. The day she was born all I did was trust in God and I haven’t stopped since. I k now there is a reason this happened to me and my husband, and I have faith that when I finally get to see Brianna again she will run up to me and call me Mom. I can’t wait for that day!
In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen. "


  1. Hi Laurel. My name is Shannon. I heard about Blankets for brianna from Becki Benson. I am a dispatcher for Cal Fire in San Diego. Your story has really touched me and I am excited to help out with blankets when I can. I am so glad you have faith in God. I don't know how people with out faith can get through such things in their life. " I have faith that when I finally get to see brianna, she will run up to me and call me mom". WOW! God is so good! He truly is a God of hope and love. My prayers are with you and your family. God is going to do great things with Blankets for Brianna.

  2. Thank you so much Shannon. Your words mean so much to me. I would be a wreck without my faith. Thank you for the prayers. I am a dispatcher too and I don't know if you work graves but sometimes making a blanket is all I can do to stay awake :)

    1. I work graves also 7pm-7am! It is the best time to crochet!