Thursday, December 10, 2009

My Very Own Angel



I would like to highlight a ministry called My Very Own Angel.

This ministry was started by my friend, Stephanie Stewart, after the loss of her 2nd son, Vayden, on May 23, 2009. I have known Stephanie since she was pregnant with Vayden and I have always connected with her. Her faith and strength is inspiring, along with her desire to help other women and families. You are truly a special woman, Stephanie, and I pray that God blesses you and your ministry.

Here is her story.....

I planned the pregnancy of my 2nd child and at a routine 18 week ultrasound we were told that we were having a boy who suffered from a lower urinary tract obstruction aka LUTO or PUV. At that time the diagnosis was poor. Just four weeks later the diagnosis became fatal. We were told that our son’s kidneys failed and that he would not live long after birth if even to that. Our options were to terminate the pregnancy, chop it up as a loss and try again later, or carry to term. I chose to carry to term. The next few months of my pregnancy was used to embrace the knowledge that I had been given, I never gave up hope, but I did prepare. I searched for support that was non-medical related. At that point I just wanted to know if I was going to die after losing my baby. I started blogging as a way to cope. It was the best thing I ever did. The families I’ve met through this mean so much to me-those before, with me and after me. Vayden James Stewart was born May 23, 2009 at 35 weeks. He lived for 3 hrs and 45 min, the most humbling, amazing and heartbreaking 3 hrs and 45 min in my life. Only a month after Vayden passed I had a need to reach out to women to help them through this journey, just as so many helped me. That’s when I started working on creating My Very Own Angel. ~Stephanie

A beautiful baby boy. So perfect and so loved.

My Very Own Angel is about healthy grieving and progressive healing. My goal is to help continue to break that 'don’t talk about it' syndrome. Your baby living or not is and will always be YOUR baby. I want everyone to see angel moms in a different light. I want people to know that we are PROUD to say “I Have My Very Own Angel”. Every chance that I get to honor Vayden is another step on my ladder. I want everyone to feel the same. ~Stephanie

What does My Very Own Angel offer?

The 345 teddy bear project is a donation of 345 teddy bears that wear angel charms around their necks. They are to be given to mothers when they hand over their baby at the hospital. The slogan is that “No woman should leave labor and delivery empty handed”. The number 345 represent the 3 hrs and 45 min that Stephanie's angel Vayden our angel was here on earth. The bears are donated in divided sets to hospitals.

As part of My Very Own Angel, Stephanie offers Carrying To Term (CTT) comfort packs. Stephanie has a soft spot for women that carry to term. The CTT packs are offered to women who make the brave choice to carry out a fatal pregnancy. They have special keepsake items inside for mom and baby. The item Stephanie is most proud about is the “Our Very Own Angel” infant caps. Care packs are provided at no cost to women who are carrying to term.

The My Very Own Angel t-shirts are a statement-making item that you can wear when you just want to tell the world “I have my very own angel”. Some women wear them to birthday parties because they know people will ask “How many kids do you have?” The MVOA shirts can be worn anytime and can be a great conversation starter

Because My Very Own Angel is not yet a 501 (c) 3 non profit, the shirt sales and small donations and out of pocket expense is how MVOA continues to run. Stephanie makes no profit or money and when she does, she hosts blog or facebook giveaways or donates to Sufficient Grace Ministries, String of Pearls, or Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep to show her appreciation for their love and support. Her heart has called her to do this because she wants women to know there is hope and that you will get through this and you can do it with grace.

In 5 years Stephanie would like to have reached out to hospitals all around the US with The 345 Teddy Bear Project. She hopes to see the number of families carrying out fatal pregnancies double and these families making the most out of carrying to term. Right now she is working with local high risk OBGYNs hoping they will allow her information in their offices. So in 5 years she hopes women who receive fatal prenatal diagnoses won’t have to hunt and search for support and she would like to see My Very Own Angel on those lists.

In 10 years, Stephanie's husband should be out of the military or close to it. They will be settled in one area so that Stephanie will be able to complete everything needed to be recognized as a non-profit by the IRS. She will finally be in place that she can call home and become well-established with the local businesses and hospitals. Stephanie knows she will be grateful for all the travel and the knowledge received over the next 10 years about other states and how they treat pregnancy and infant loss.

My Very Own Angel’s signature scripture:
“Now someone may argue, “some people have faith; others have good deeds" But I say "How can you show me your faith if you don't have good deeds?" "I will show you my faith by my good deeds" James 2:18

You can visit My Very Own Angel's website, blog, or Facebook page. You can read more of Stephanie's journey with her son Vayden on her blog Through My Mothers Eyes......Vayden's Story.

21 comments:

Betty said...

what and amazing women. There aren't enough people in the world like this...only a select few. Thank you

Kristin said...

What a beautiful ministry and such a beautiful boy. I wish her much success in reaching out to other women.

The Blue Sparrow said...

She's really amazing isnt she! I bought my teeshirt a few months ago and I live in mine!

Nickel Pickle said...

I ♥ what she does for women like us. Not many people in this world are as committed to something so great. I really want a MVOA shirt to wear!! Thanks for putting the spot light on someone who truly deserves it.

Franchesca Cox said...

I did not know this was started by Vayden's mother. What she does is super awesome for these women.

My Very Own Angel said...

Holly this is amazing. I thank you so much. I pray that everyone who reads this will remember MVOA and when they run into a woman who is carrying to term or really hurting from her loss, they will pass on the info. We are so special and so lucky to have our very angels

Andrea said...

What a difference one woman has made in the lives of many. I recall a woman on a miscarriage site talking about revieving a bear when she lost her angel at 20+ weeks.

I love that she wants to bring loss to the forefront of acknowedgement and would love a "My Very Own Angel tee shirt"

My Very Own Angel...."You" are our HERO ANGEL :)

Love and huggs and thank you Holly for posting this uplifting story.

pixie2183 said...

I love that you pointed out her work. I've read about her and her story. I'm very proud to be an angel mom when I read stories like this, recently I have felt under a rock and not wanting to do the project I had planned for myself after loosing my daughter, but reading a story like this makes me want to get out of my funk and just do it. Thank you as always Holly for sharing this story. :)

Kelli with Love said...

Holly, thank you so much for this post! I had never heard of this before. What a great thing she is doing. I ordered a teddy bear for my mom for part of her Christmas gift! (We lost my little brother to SIDS in 1983, and I am compiling a super wonderful gift for Christmas for her! I can hardly wait to give it to her!) Anyway, thanks for the information. I love your posts.

croleyc69 said...

She is so amazing and I have chatted with her and she just makes a person feel so good. Wishing her all the best and what a great post Holly.
Caroline

HappyascanB said...

Wow. I constantly stand amazed at you and women who've been there like you have. Stephanie sounds like an amazing woman. I can't wait to read more. What an amazingly beautiful little baby, too.

AKD said...

What an incredibly sweet idea!

Courtney said...

this is such an amazing thing. Thank you for sharing this.

The McDaniel 3 said...

WOW! This is truly amazing. What a strong woman. Her son is so beautiful. Thanks for sharing Holly.

Heather said...

Another example of an amazing woman. She is so inspiring. I will definitely remember this ministry and tell others about it.

Jen said...

she has an amazing ministry, and is so sweet.. I am so glad to see you give her some sweet props :)

Just Breathe said...

Thank you for sharing this. What an amazing women she is with a heart full of gold. I love her ministry. Her son is so precious.
I will be checking out her website too. Have a wonderful weekend.

Christie said...

WOW! What an amazing way of helping someone else in pain. She's a true hero and just really inspiring. Thanks for sharing her story.

Jess said...

Wow, what neat ideas for reaching out to honor Vayden's life! Thank you for sharing about this ministry.

Yaya said...

What a wonderful woman.

Kari @ p.s. love.love. said...

Very interesting! When I saw who wrote this I realized it is a blog that I've followed for many months now :o) Great ministry.

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