Welcome Message

I’m so glad you’ve found My Very Own Angel; if you haven’t already check out our official website, please take the time to check it out at http://www.myveryownangel.org/ . My Very Own Angel is full of supportive resources and idea to assist women while carrying to term and post the loss of their angel. In addition to support for mothers MVOA also includes supportive resources and idea for everyone that is affected by pregnancy and infant loss, including fathers, grandparents, siblings, friends and family.

My Very Own Angel also heads off the 345 Teddy Bear Project, where every other year we donate 115 7” teddy bears wearing angel necklaces to various hospitals and prenatal diagnostic centers in sets of 3.

My Very Own Angel is also the original creator and designer of the official “I Have My Very Own Angel” T-Shirt and other soon to be announced keepsakes, to encourage women to be proud of their angels and make a statement to the world that often overlooks pregnancy and infant loss as something that “just happens”. The woman herself is a strong being to carry, birth, and take care of children, so what does that say about the unspoken and often forgotten women who suffer the loss of child against the natural order of death? It says that we have already climbed the hardest mountain, there is no sense in going back down, so climb up and keeping climbing doing good deeds, honoring your angel and practicing positive healing after such a tragic situation. Eventually you will reach the highest mountain, and you will hold your child in your arms again.

Thank you for taking the time to follow this blog and see the site, if you are a bereaved parent I can formally say I know how you feel, if you are a friend, family member, or an outsider looking in. Stay for a while check out some of the blogs we follow, view this situation from eyes of the families that have lost, I assure you, you will learn something and find a new sense of compassion.

Stephanie Stewart
Founder and Creator of My Very Own Angel

Sunday, May 2, 2010

A Pay It Forward, Like No Other..

I needed to share this touching story with you all, if you don't think God speaks to us, you really need to think again.

Written by, Melissa Sahlmann

Back a few months ago I told Stephanie and Teresa that If Vance lived to his 6month birthday I would give away the My Very Own Angel tee shirt Theresa bought me. I felt like if he lived to be 6 months old, I could let go of it and start to focus on him living. Not stressed that each day could be the last. We agreed and I told the the date, MAY 23. This was touching for Stephanie as it's Vayden's birthday as well. So I've been going along not thinking too much about it. I sent Stephanie a comment of the 23th of April reminding her that the 6 month mark was only 1 month away, but didn't think anymore about it. A good friend and I spend most of last night and morning talking about how God has worked in us and what we want to try to give back. After she left, I sat reading my bible and came to a page that was marked by a business card. I looked over the page to see why it had been marked, but none of the verses stood out to me so I pulled out the card. Later I flipped it over to read the front and it was a MVOA card from Stephanie..."I'm sorry for your loss..." but I have no loss I thought, so I left the card next to my scriptures and went about preparing dinner. I was in the middle of frying two things at once and not doing a very god job at it (when smoke is billowing from your oil that's not a good sign), plus Vance had started to cry for his next feeding, so I was a bit frazzled when a knock at the door came. "Gosh who is it now??" I thought to myself. Zoe (Teresa's step-granddaughter) from next door (and yes her family coincidentally lives next door to me) looking for Gillian most likely. When I opened it however, it was a young man, mid twenties maybe. I'm standing there holding the baby while he is waling his head off and the guy starts a sales pitch. "I'm with this company in Thomasville NC...BLAH BLAH BLAH..selling furniture...BLAH BLAH BLAH." I was about to blow him off because the smoke was getting thicker, then he asked about Vance. How old? I'm trying to ditch out of the conversation but he pulls me back in. I have a six month old. Six month twins, but one died at 15 days and my son who is living is 6 months. AWW but before I have a chance to say anymore he's leaving to go on to the next house. After Vance is calmed, I pull the pots off the stove and glance over at the business card still sitting next to the scriptures on the couch, so I decide to give it to him, but no not just the card. I know it's earlier than we talked about but this mom had a boy and my tee shirt is blue. Couldn't be a fluke that he came to the door telling a complete stranger about his son just after I found the card, God was leading me. I run upstairs to get it and amazingly the shirt was sitting out from some organizational projects I'm working on around the house. I grab the shirt, the baby and the card. He's down the road four houses down and still working in the opposite direction, but when he sees me walking his way with the baby he stops and waits for me. He thinks I want to look at the furniture, but instead I hand him the shirt and the card that I had written my name on the back of and tell him it's for his wife/girlfriend. I tell him I know a wonderful group of women that have been through the same thing and that he can tell her to find us on face book. A co-worker comes up and asks what he has so he tells him while he holds up the tee shirt...."Amanda will really like that" he says.


Vance was given a fatal diagnosis in the womb, I met Melissa through Teresa who became very involved with her story, not long after meeting her Melissa became like family to me. When Teresa ordered a blue MVOA t-shirt for Melissa I sent it along with a carrying to term comfort pack. Days after the mail was sent I had a gut feeling that Melissa would not need the shirt or the comfort pack, we had a few months until Vance's due date but I just felt like he wasn't meant to be an angel. I emailed Teresa and told her to hold off on giving her the pack and the shirt, I felt in my heart that Vance was going to make it,Teresa felt the same. Vance was born exactly 6 months to the date I lost Vayden, and his prognosis was bleak I remember talking with Teresa every other day where she would say "I have the cap and shirt in hand" as she would visit with Vance and Melissa often to capture precious moments. The days turned to weeks and the weeks to months, and here we are almost 6 months and although Vance faces obstacles he is proving the Dr.'s wrong with every passing week.

God is good, so good.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

23 Days of Giveaways

Welcome to My Very Own Angel’s 23 days of giveaways. My sweet angel baby Vayden is celebrating his 1st yr in Heaven on May 23rd, in just one year his loss has blessed me with a wonderful network of families, friends and brought me closer to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and our father God. In just one year this foundation has donated 345 teddy bears to local Oklahoma City hospitals ensuring that no woman leave L&D empty handed. Vayden’s story in one year has touched the hearts and lives of many and I choose to celebrate his life, his story and my mission with my loyal supporters. Thank you for one amazing year I have learned so much from the stories of your angels and I am so happy that so many of you are PROUD to say “I Have My Very Own Angel”.

The 23 days of giveaways will be held on FB only. Each giveaway will be posted by 10:30am and will close between 10:30 – 11:00 pm CTS of that same day. The winner will be announced and will respond to me via email ONLY at myveryownangel@gmail.com with their address and giveaway date number. All winners will be randomly selected. You may enter in however many giveaways suit you and your personal needs. Please take some time to visit the sites of the donated products I use in these giveaways. A very special thank you to everyone who donated items.

The 23 days of Giveaways will focus on healing and total family, not every item will be directed towards infant loss, just as not every item will be for a boy and a girl. Please only enter giveaways for items you could actually use or really want.
You may not enter the same giveaway twice. You may not exchange prizes for a future giveaway item. All items to the winners will be shipped between May 27th and June 1st . The last day to submit your address is May 26th.

· Vayden’s 1st angel versary is on May 23,2010 I ask that you all be so kind to visit my website at http://www.myveryownangel.org/ and donate just $1.00 for Vayden’s 1st yr. You have no idea how far $1.00 can go from so many loving hearts. Just $1.00 will help see that hospitals keep getting teddy bears from The 345 Teddy Bear Project. Thank you for your donation. If you are having trouble finding the donate button the website please visit this link for my chip in button on our blog.

May 1st we will begin the 23 days of giveaways, good luck and god bless you all.

Monday, February 1, 2010

When Life Happens - Vacation Notification

Vacation Notification

My family and I were originally scheduled for a month long vacation in March. At that time the angel store would be temporary closed for 4 weeks, in the last week my father has become ill and although the details of his illness are somewhat unknown, I’ve made the decision to go to California to be with him and my mother. Due to this unexpected change in events the angel store will be temporarily closed from Feb 1st thru March 31st. Emergency orders may be processed around my husband’s work schedule throughout the month of February. I will be taking a few CTT comfort packs to Ca with me in the event I come across a mother carrying to term.
The angel store will re-open March 31, 2010 in perfect time for any of you who are seeking a shirt for Mothers Day. The website will still be up and running and I will be updating the blog from California.
In May we will celebrate Vayden’s 1st year in Heaven, along with the many accomplishments he’s made in just one year. I will be hosting a 23 day giveaway, where I will be giving items away everyday from May 1st all the way up until Vayden’s 1st angelversary; I am very excited for May.
I apologize greatly for an inconvenience, but my family will always come first. Please keep my father in your prayers as we want a total and complete healing.

Thank you

Stephanie Stewart
-Founder of My Very Own Angel

Thursday, January 21, 2010

I'm Going To Go To College

A young girl grows up with 3 sisters and 4 brothers. Both her mother and father never finished high school as well as her older siblings; she is 13 with 6 nieces and nephews with 1 on the way. In grade school when asked what are you plans for the future she replied ‘I’m going to go to college”. Many doubted her ability to finish school based upon her family history, still this young girl insist she’s going to college. The years continues as more and more obstacles came her way, her father is out of work and her mother’s hours were cut, the young girl now has to get a job to help out the family. She goes to school all day and works all night, it becomes harder and more stressful for her to focus and fight through her daily fatigue. Friends and family are unsupportive and encourage her to quit school and work full time, they’re exact words are “it would be easier”; she stands by her word that she is going to go to college. She makes it through high school and gets into college, she is more aware, mature and appreciative of what college is really about and how hard it is to achieve. She did not take going to college for granted and she finished top of her class.

The connection between this story and loss is you have to tell yourself what you want to happen. It’s just like faith in Gods promises, you have to tell yourself that you’re going to walk through the rain, never give up and never lose yourself on the rough roads. Tell yourself that you’re going to get through this and it’s going to make you a better stronger person. Going through this allows you to understand the true blessing behind pregnancy and children, you will never be the same, you will be slightly bruised and broken but you will heal and your overall appreciation for life will grow.

A few months ago someone asked me if I was waiting for my breakdown. After thinking about it, I replied “No”, because although I will have rough days I know that I’m going to get through this and my good days will outweigh my bad days by pounds.

The next time you find yourself really down, remember this young girl who went against all odds when she said, “I’m going to go to college”.

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Goodbye to one year, Hello to another

In just a few days we will be saying goodbye to the year 2009 and saying hello to 2010. I would like to take this time to speak from my heart, to give thanks and to wish you all a very Happy, Healthy, and Prosperous New Year. In my heart I believe that 2010 is going to be an amazing year for pregnancy and infant loss families.

Through loss I have been so blessed to so many families. When I put my story on the Internet I never expected the support I’ve received. The sole purpose was to keep my family up to date, but in the end I made a whole new family. If you have suffered this loss, walked in these shoes, you know how important you are to my recovery as I am to yours. Thank you all, for being so kind to welcome me into your loss experience. I hope that I have blessed you or will bless you in the future. I also hope that my mission has brought the understanding that if you’ve suffered pregnancy or infant loss you are STRONG. You have made it through something that most consider unimaginable, the next time you are asked how many children you have, remember to say “I Have My Very Own Angel(s)”

Walking into 2010, My Very Own Angel has a lot going on. The 345 Teddy Bear Project will be going to another hospital in Oklahoma City in January. May is a very special month for me, this May we will be celebrating Vayden’s 1st yr in Heaven and I am currently putting together, 23 Days of May Giveaways.

Have a Happy and Safe New Year, put God first and never forget your very own angel(s).

God bless you,

Saturday, December 26, 2009

A very Merry Christmas for all the angels

Christmas, a holiday that many angel parents dread, it's a time where your heart and your head speak to you at the same time. While your heart says "I know I'm going to be ok, and my angel is in a better place" your head is saying "I should be sad today, or I am sad but I will force on a smile to get through the one day that I once loved, Christmas" Your heart is the voice of God, and your head is the voice of Satan we must remember that although Satan's voice may be louder, he is speaking lies.

This was my first Christmas after my loss and I had many reasons to listen to my heart above my head this year. Vayden had gifts under the tree, this Christmas he received a place to rest his ashes, notes from dear friends and family, and $$$ to go towards My Very Own Angel. Those donations will allow MVOA to continue to donate Teddy Bears, send out carrying to term comfort packs and host blog and facebook giveaways. -Thank you

My mother who has been a top supporter of My Very Own Angel also was so kind to donate an additional item to be used in the carrying to term comfort packs. Now along with dark chocolate the mommy will receive a small lotion and body wash pack for her comfort. (will post pics of the new CTT packs soon) Thank you Sharon aka mom

On December 23,2009 Vayden's 7th Heavenly month marker, I went to OU Physicians MFM Prenatal Diagnostic Center to accept a donation for My Very Own Angel. Instead of the office staff doing their regular holiday gift exchange, they pooled together donations for MVOA. I am so humbled and honored that they would think of me and Vayden during this holiday season, and that they believed enough in my ministry to support it. - Thank you so much to the staff

This is Dr. K, he was my MFM specialist and the 1st person to read me the bad news, most wonder why the sight of this man doesn't make me shiver, but the truth is I respect this man so much. I know in my heart that he did everything medically possible for Vayden, he was also an amazing supporter of carrying to term in fact he was the first person to tell me "you can do it".
- Thank you Dr. K

This is Camille, she assisted Dr. K through most of my prenatal intervention, she was great about returning phone calls or emails in a timely manner, she also helped Dr. K safely stick me with about 9 needles. - Thank you Camille

This is Cathy, she helped put this donation together but more than anything she was an angel on earth. She knew how to calm a person down by cracking a joke, singing a song, or just letting you know that it will be ok. She told me that Vayden would be a very special patient and she was right. - Thank you Cathy

Here is a group of some of the nurses at OU Physicians MFM Prenatal Diagnostic Center, they are amazing and supportive. My journey of carrying to term wouldn't have been the same without the support of this medical team. - Thank you

This Christmas was great for me and my family, Vayden has an amazing Christmas in Heaven and on earth. With the support that My Very Own Angel has the 345 Teddy Bear Project will continue to offer comfort to many more families suffering infant loss. No woman should leave L&D empty handed.

Monday, December 21, 2009

4 Ways to Have A "Humbug" Christmas

I absolutely love my pastor he can always share a message with me, that I can redirect and share with grieving families.

Christmas is coming and I've seen many who would skip Christmas and wait until next year. The holiday season is a time of joy and happiness, it's a time to reflect on a year and prepare for the new one coming. The holiday season is a time for FAMILY, so when people in the family aren't there that should be there, the holiday season can be very hard. It is easy to say forget Christmas, I'm going to skip it this year, or Bah Humbug. The reality is that Christmas is something that will be around every year and skipping it can be a lot harder than accepting and remembering what Christmas is truly about Christ.

Here are 4 ways to have a humbug Christmas, if you following these 4 steps you will surely have a horrible Christmas this year and every year to come.

1.) Let circumstances determine your attitude.
- You have to learn to go with the flow. Don't go to your in laws house of your Christmas party with the mind set that you will be happy or fine as long as......
For example: I will have a great time "If" no one asks me how many children I have. It's one of the most common small talk questions for people, and being asked that question should not determine your attitude. Look at it this way, if someone asks you how many children do you have? you have the perfect opportunity to honor your angel.

2.) Wallow in worry.
- Worrying will take away the quality of life. It will consume you and the blessings in life will pass you by, you will be too busy worrying about everything. Don't worry about "it" happening again. Don't worry about the babysitter who is taking care of your living children. A little worry is okay, but to wallow in it will cause you to lose the joy in your life.

3.) Stay away from church.
- Think about how you felt when you missed church for a while and finally went back. Such a peaceful feeling and the people there made you feel like you were never gone. Church gives you a weekly attitude boost, it's very rare for someone to go to church and leave angry. Going to church will remind you that God is still in control.

4.) Hold onto the belief that "Things" will make you happy.
- The best way to put this as pastor says " We buy things we don't need, with money with don't have, to empress people we don't like" Things will only keep you happy for a short time until the next best thing comes around, that you must have.

So follow those 4 steps and you will most definitely have a humbug Christmas. However I hope none of you do.

I want to wish you all a very merry Christmas and point out one thing. Christmas in Heaven must be the best thing, because it is Jesus birthday, our babies are lucky, and although they are greatly missed, they are also very well taken care of.

Merry Christmas
Stephanie Stewart