Last week, while we didn't have Internet...I got an email from Heather Roberts, the nurse that Coordinates Forget-Me-Not. She asked if she could tell our story, with pictures, at some presentations she was doing this spring and said that we could join her also. So yesterday, Matt and I were honored enough to tell our story about Olivia with the students of Intercollegiate College of Nursing (ICN). There were about 50 students in the class and it was being broadcast to other locations around Eastern Washington.
It was a great experience for us as well as the students. They got to see what it was like for us, as parents, to lose a baby. We were asked lots of questions on what the nursing staff did to make us feel more comfortable, what things to say and what not to say, our decisions on things, etc. It was educational for us as well, trying to understand how the nurses deal with this. I know they walk out of the delivery room and break down into tears in the hallway...the "tricks' they learn to keep the baby looking as pink and "alive" as possible while in the care of their parents, among other things.
I really really enjoyed it, that may sound weird to some of you, but it let's us keep Olivia life real. I made a disc of pictures so that they could see the coffin my dad built, the moments after she was born, the tears, and how it affects more than just the parents, but the entire family. I didn't touch up any pictures, because they needed to see what they may experience in their careers as nurses.
Being that it was the first time that I had done this, I know more of what to say next time. (We were invited to come back next semester) It's a good thing that in the church, we are very much used to getting up in front of a large crowd and it not be intimidating, well, at least for me. It's more about trying to say the right things. I was also invited to go to a huge conference down in Walla Walla with Heather in the next couple of weeks, this time for the all of the Providence Hospitals (Sacred Heart is one of those) in the states of Montana, Washington and Alaska. I don't think I will be talking at this one, but Heather will be telling Olivia's story, with pictures.
I was also asked if I would like to take bereavement photos, like what we had done from Heather Evans. I am honored and will be going with Heather, maybe today, to the hospital to take pictures, so that she can teach me the techniques and lighting. I know I am not a professional, but I do know that if Heather can't make it to take pictures, those parents will be so happy to have had pictures taken. Heather Roberts said I have a good eye for it, and since I have experienced it myself, that I would know what to do. Thank you Heather for thinking I am that good and what an honor it would be. You are an amazing person to do all the things you do for all of us parents.