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

Monday, August 31, 2009

Week 5 of The Secret

To think only of the best, to work only for the best and to expect only the best

To think only the best – the loss of a child in my opinion is the worst thing that any woman should have to go through; it is the rock of all rock bottoms. What is under bottom?? Nothing! You can’t go down when you’re already down, so think only the best, that you will see your angel again, and start climbing that mountain. One day you will be there, at the top holding your angel again, and yes the climb is hard but come on, isn’t it worth the blood, sweat and tears?

To work only for the best – I know that many of us grow stronger in our faith after we suffer a loss. Yet there are some women who may not be quite sure what it is they are truly working for. I’ve spoken to some people who don’t know why, they just say “I figure everybody said lean on God so that’s what I’m trying to do” I’ve spoken to some women who say “I’m only doing this so God wont punish me again”, and I have also spoken to some women who cursed God and want nothing to do with him. When I come across those very few I ask them “what are you working or reaching for?” most have no reply.

What am I working for? I want to see my son again, I know where he is and I know what I need to do to get there. I’m jealous of the place where he is right now; it’s so much better than the world I live in. If my faith was shaky before it’s surely steady now, because although 3 hrs and 45 min were great, eternity would be amazing.

To expect only the best – Many of us get that thought about TTC again, and as we think more and more about it, we are plagued with those negative evil thoughts “ what if it happens again?” We need to stop allowing those wicked distractions get to us, we need to TTC as if we never knew loss happened, we need to expect that our next pregnancy will be the BEST pregnancy and will result in a healthy happy baby, that has a glimmer in his or her eyes that reminds you of your very own angel.

See you next week: To be just as enthusiastic about the success of others as I am about my own.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Week 4 of The Secret & The 345 Teddy Bear Project

To look at the sunny side of everything and make my optimism come true

It sure can be hard to look at the sunny side of everything when you’ve just lost your baby, right? It’s hard to find the good in that, growing up although I wasn’t really exposed to death, I had it in my mind that your cards were dealt for you before you were even born and when and how you die is supposed to be in some kind of a way. I was content to believe that except in cases of babies and children, I thought it’s just not right there is no reason why two rival gangs should accidentally kill a 4 yr old playing in his own yard.
Sunday my pastor spoke about faith and the armor of God. He said that if you won’t put on the full armor of God at least take your shield of faith, which is from head to toe. At least take your shield of faith he said, why? Because with faith you can do all things
I question this line now, was I right are the cards already dealt for everyone, even babies and children? Consider this, the mother who brought the Amber Alert to our attention lost her daughter in one of those, it’s not fair, not right and how can there be a sunny side to her loss, but….she did create something that has saved the lives of many children. The mothers who stood together and created MADD suffered the same unfair loss, yet they created something that saves many lives. I think that they had faith and were able to look at the sunny side of their loss and make their optimism come true, and make a change; they will never save every life but just to save one, is one less tragic loss. So did they lose their children in the horrible way, so that change could be made???
I have seen the sunny side of Vayden’s passing, I still would rather trade my leg to have him back, but in his short life 3 hrs and 45 min he has done more than some 80 yr old people have done.

Next week To think only of the best, to work only for the best and to expect only the best

The 345 Teddy Bear Project

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

Today I dropped of the 1st donation of The 345 Teddy Bear Project to OU Children’s Hospital, in OKC, OK. It was a wonderful experience to bless them with such a generous donation, I was able to go and visit with some of the staff that took such great care of me and Vayden. They kept telling me they were so happy to see that I was doing so well, and that I was able to see the sunny side of our situation and give back. I was invited to share my story at their nurses training class when they have their lesson on bereavement, to teach the new nurses how to work with the patients to ensure they have the best stay despite such a tragic loss. They have about 9 to 10 deaths a month, which broke my heart because I wish that number were less. Those teddy bears should last them about a yr. They wrote an article on My Very Own Angel for their news letter and took pics so I will share those when I get them.

7.5” teddy bears standard color light brown and medium brown
Each bear wears a hand placed angel charm necklace that offers a delicate reminder of your very own angel
Each bear wears a hand placed teddy bear tag with a short message that reads “We are sorry for your loss, please accept this teddy bear as a delicate reminder of your very own angel, Vayden’s Mommy & Daddy”

Friday, August 21, 2009

SALE!!!!!!!! SALE !!!!!! MVOA SALE!!!!!! SALE!!!!!!

SALE!!!!!!! SALE!!!!!!! SALE!!!!!!! SALE!!!!!!! SALE!!!!!!! SALE!!!!!!! SALE!!!!!!!

Sunday August 23, 2009 marks Vayden being gone for 3 heavenly months. In those 3 months he has inspired me to do so much and give back in so many ways.

On Monday Aug 24th I will be at OU Children’s Hospital to donate the 1st set of teddy bears for The 345 Teddy Bear Project. I am excited beyond words.

October 15th is National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day and since it’s coming so soon, I want to have a SALE so that you mommies of angels can get your “I Have My Very Own Angel” t-shirt at a cheaper price.

As an added promotion every order placed between 8/21 and 9/3 with this Promo Code will also receive a MVOA PAIL awareness pin. – PROMO CODE – MVOA82093
(remember to put this code in the comment box while placing order)

DID YOU KNOW????? We donate 20% from total quarterly sales divided between 3 of my favorite NPO's - NILMDTS, String of Pearls, and Sufficient Grace Women’s Ministries.
Even more of a reason to support MVOA, you will also be supporting 3 wonderful NPO’s that share the same goal, in providing comfort to families who walk this journey.

Old design shirt clearance – I placed a new order for shirts and made some minor changes to the design, The NEW design the text is a lot easier to read as I was finding there were issues with the “M” running into the logo. I still have a few of the old design shirts and I’m selling them on clearance for $13.50 on the store page you will see one shirt (white) with the old design Clearance Items will be typed above the photo, I will keep track of inventory daily as they sell. In the size bar you will find the various colors and sizes that are available. Note those are the only sizes and colors I have in the old design.

*I’m trying out XS size shirts, I’ve had a few request that some of your lil girls wanted one also. I only order a small amount in each size, so please email me if you’re thinking about ordering an xs shirt and I will let you know what I have availible and how to purchase.

Visit our Angel Store
Website http://www.myveryownangel.org/

Walking With You - Every Angel Counts

Walking With You was created by Kelly of Sufficient Grace Ministries to help support those who have lost a child. Together we share our stories, helpful information, scriptures, encouraging words, prayer requests, and more. To join in on Walking with You please visit Kelly's blog.

I felt it would be good to put this post on both of my blogs.

This week, Kelly is sharing some commonly asked questions and answers about grieving the loss of a child. The rest of us may blog about a similar topic or share what is on our hearts this week.

This week my heart has been dealing with the way people consider loss. As many of you know I am not at all shy to tell someone I Have My Very Own Angel, I find that many peoples initial thought is “oh she had a miscarriage that is so sad” as I talk more about Vayden they are lead to ask more questions about his passing. When they find out I carried to term, met held my live child and then said goodbye, their eyes begin to tear up, they no longer have anything to say because I’m sorry in their hearts is just not enough. It upsets me that people can think of loss so shallow, like you only deserve credit if it was a late term loss. Like the story is only heartbreaking if your child was once alive in your arms, does it matter?? When a woman suffers a loss of a child at any age she grieves, she hurts the same and some women that suffer miscarriage or still birth feel cheated which is a harder more haunting feeling. Why don’t they deserve the tears and the hugs that I get? Why don’t people recognize that loss as a true heartbreaking loss? Why do they have to pay for a funeral but get no birth certificate?

I think every angel counts and every loss has a story behind it. Don’t discredit a woman’s grief because she lost her pregnancy at 8 weeks, she could have been trying for 4 yrs and those 8 weeks were something she was blessed to have.

Every Angel Counts

Monday, August 17, 2009

Week 3 of The Secret

To make all my friends feel that there is something worthwhile in them.

I am for the most part a good friend, as many of you I have been stabbed in the back and betrayed by some of my closest friends. This line makes me think of how it was when I was in high school, having that intense need to have more friends than I can count. As I got older it became clearer that happiness was not in the amount of friends I kept, but in the quality of those friendships. Within this year I have gained and let go of many friends, but I can honestly say that as of today I am satisfied with the company I keep. Last week when I went over this line, I thought this was going to be an easy one, I wouldn't have to completely watch myself to complete this then it dawned on me that I did have some work to do.

When I lost friends, most walked away from me but I also pushed some of them away. Mommies of angels can all agree that we speak a different language, when someone speaks your language you tend to talk with them more. I'm at a fragile time in my grief where I want to talk about Vayden every single day. When I'm sad, the 1st ladies to be called are my friends that have angels, when I'm having trouble potty training my 2 yr old I still contact my friends that have angels, I use them for everything including my grief. I was always quick to leave them encouraging comments or notes on face book or ask them how they were doing, but forgot to check on those friends that try desperately to understand my grief.
I forgot to share my sad and happy stories with the people who I ran to for help in the past, those who speak my second language (the normal life) I was not making them feel like there was something worthwhile in them. Last week when I noticed it I starting checking up on those friends by just leaving quick notes to say ' Thinking of You" I will continue to keep the healthy balance between the friends that speak my new language (the new normal after loss) and those who I pray will never understand what we're talking about, but be gracious enough to care.

See you next Monday for line 4 which is:

To look at the sunny side of everything and make my optimism come true.

- Stephanie

Monday, August 10, 2009

1st Blog Giveaway !!!!!!!!!!

First Blog giveaway - 8/13/2009

Winner!!!!! - Mary - http://missinglukas.blogspot.com/

I’ve gained 25 followers only after two weeks of launching, not too bad, thank you. As promised I will be hosting blog giveaways and now that I’ve hit 25 I will start with my 1st. It’s going to be a small one, hoping we can bring in more wonderful mommies of angels; this is my 1st time so please bear with me, lol.
This giveaway is going to last 24 hrs and the prize is…… a candy pink My Very Own Angel t-shirt and a My Very Own Angel, PAIL awareness pin. Shirt available in sizes (M, L, or XL) I’m not singling out moms of boys angels, so don’t think because it’s pink you can’t rock it. I personally have one shirt of each color including a candy pink one. This giveaway based on total entries.

(sorry the pic of the shirt doesn't give it much justice)

The more entries you get the higher your chances to win

1 entry point - for being a current blog follower that means all followers that have followed since yesterday get an entry for being a current follower – just leave a comment

2 entry points – for blogging about this giveaway on your blog – be sure to leave a comment so I can visit your blog and follow if I’m not yet following.

3 entry points – for recruiting other mommies of angels to follow the MVOA blog (for every recruit you will receive 3 points), you must direct them to follow the blog, and leave a comment stating what blog they came over from. (2 points for the new follower)

The winner will be selected based upon total entries and a random generator to break the ties.

Good Luck and remember to always be proud to say “I Have My Very Own Angel”

*Entries for this giveaway close on August 14th , 2009 @ 845 am pacific standard time

Week 2 of The Secret

To talk health, happiness, and prosperity to every person I meet.

Last week was terribly hard for me. I am currently in a war with the devil and only at a perfect time for me to need to speak health, happiness, and prosperity to everyone. As it is I was able and still can speak all of these things to friends and strangers. I recall on Wednesday while at the dentist getting a tooth filled, the dentist came into my room gleaming with happiness, I asked him why he was so cheery and he told me that he just found out that he is about to be a grandfather to a baby boy and told me his soon to be name while putting his u/s photo on the screen. I was ironically wearing my MVOA t-shirt and at a moment where I could have been bitter or speak negativity I congratulated him and said your daughter is going to love having a boy, I have two boys myself. That was a moment in which I honored my son, and paid caution to the situation by not going into deep detail considering he never asked me how many children I have or if I had any at all. I cannot think of any other situation, in which I practiced this attitude, I’m sure I didn’t tell anyone to die, or wish them to be covered with mountains of failure. As I work this week on line three I will also try to incorporate more of line one and two into my daily attitude.

Next Monday line 3 which is:

To make all my friends feel that there is something worthwhile in them.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Week 1 of The Secret

To be so strong that nothing can disturb my peace of mind.

What is peace of mind? To have solid peace of mind one must not use outside influences to cope with the stresses in their life. Drugs, alcohol, sleeping pills, and other things we use to soften the blow that can have adverse outcomes to our health and all over peace of mind. This line basically says that we should commit to being so strong, that those things that we become so dependent on are no longer needed to have peace of mind. This starts with you and ends with you, the best people to go on a diet are the people that are not going on a diet. It is the people that are making a change in their eating and exercise habits that succeed; therefore unlike just going on a diet, they are able to have good health, a suitable figure and peace of mind.
What are you using at the moment to cope with the many stresses in your life? Understand that the scale is huge and you may not notice that you were doing anything wrong because it’s not drugs, sex, or alcohol. If you hold any guilt or worry to something then your peace of mind is disturbed.

How did I apply this?

I noticed about two weeks ago, that my peace of mind was in fact being disturbed by something I felt literally addicted to. I often tried to make excuses for my actions and force myself to believe that what I was doing wasn’t wrong, when the reality is what I was doing wasn’t wrong, how I was doing it was. My negative influence was My Very Own Angel, don’t get me wrong what I am doing is a wonderful thing, it will help many many families, however I worked myself to the bare bone and beyond. My hormones were still a bit out of place and I believed my body wanted to be as tired as it would have been had I had a newborn and a toddler. So I stayed up late into the night, on the computer working on the website and other My Very Own Angel products. For almost 2 months I would go to bed about 2 hrs before my husband would wake up to go to work. I would speak to no one unless it was business related and, I rarely went anywhere with my friends when invited. Although I looked at Vayden’s photos everyday and I faced the fact that he had passed, I used depriving myself of sleep and a social life as a way of being even. My baby became My Very Own Angel and when I went away for a weekend I was depressed and sad that I wasn’t sitting at my computer. I tried many times to justify my doings, but the few people who knew what was going on knew something was wrong, I did not have peace of mind.

When I noticed it, I wrote a schedule for myself. I committed to not working on Sundays and I give only a certain amount of hours on weekdays to work on or promote MVOA. But I must complete a few things before I can find peace of mind while sitting at the computer every day. I must wake up and read a page in my bible, I must work out for 30-45 min, I must do my daily household chores, I must devote 2-3 hrs with my son during the day, doing activities, I must attend to him when he needs me, I must have dinner ready or almost ready when my husband gets home. I must sit down with my husband and watch at least one of his crazy shows with him. I must continue movie night with my family. I must visit with friends at least 2 times a week, and/or communicate with them via phone, face book, etc.
When I do all of those things I sit down at my computer which is usually at night, I work and I am so strong that I let nothing disturb my peace of mind, because I have no guilt.
Now you see how although My Very Own Angel is very positive I was using it to cope and although healthy in a way, un healthy in many other ways. So I ask you again, what are you using to cope with the many stresses in life?

See you next Monday when we go through line 2 which is:

To talk health, happiness, and prosperity to every person I meet.