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MARSHALL – Sabrina Miller has a message for mothers who’ve lost children through stillbirth: You’re not alone, and it’s all right to talk about it.
“I learned when we delivered my son stillborn that I had an amazing support system,” said the Jackson resident. “Now I want to bring a small amount of peace and comfort to others moms at what is the worst time of their lives.”
After Miller delivered her son Beau in early May at Oaklawn’s Birth Center, a group of her friends met at a nearby store for an errand of compassion. They filled two large bags with a blanket as well as snacks that they knew would be welcomed by Sabrina and her husband, Brenden.
“It meant so much to me that they cared enough about me and my family to go out of their way and do that for us,” Sabrina Miller wrote on her Facebook page at www.facebook.com/beauslegacy.
Miller plans to continue her work as a preschool teacher in Mason. The Millers have two other children, Abraham and Caleb.
A few weeks after the family’s sad experience, Miller began journaling about the circumstances and decided she would do something similar to her friends’ positive actions to help other mothers facing a similar grief.
To keep her son’s memory alive, Miller launched Beau’s Bags, a project through which she provides comforting items to area hospitals, with the intent that they’ll be presented to any mother whose child passes away.
“Most of the bags have had a water bottle, some relaxing hygiene products, a blanket, a journal, a pen and a note from me,” Miller said. The note includes a list of resources the mother may find useful for financial and emotional assistance.
In early June, Miller visited Oaklawn to provide the first such bag, which later was given to a mother at the hospital.
“The kindness this family has shown us at the Birth Center has been overwhelming,” said Tracee Hathaway, who serves as a charge nurse.
“The family sent flowers to each nurse that cared for them, along with the physician who delivered Beau,” she added. “When we read the letter Sabrina wrote to us, there wasn’t a dry eye on the unit.”
“Knowing we’re bringing a momma even an ounce of comfort in all of the pain makes all of the vulnerability I’m putting into this worth it,” Miller wrote on her Facebook page.
Miller initially funded the project herself, and now is accepting donations to carry the project further. She may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or through her Facebook site.
Several Oaklawn staff members specialize in perinatal bereavement and the Birth Center offers the family a variety of ways to honor their child’s memory, including an annual “Walk to Remember” event, Hathaway said.
“This is just a portion of what our staff does to help make a difference during such a difficult time in these parent’s lives,” she said.
“Although Sabrina called our nurses ‘superheroes,’ we believe she and her family are the real superheroes,” Hathaway added. “They are a source of comfort by sharing these items and offering support to other parents.”
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CAPTION: Sabrina and Brenden Miller of Jackson deliver a new set of “Beau’s Bags” during a recent visit to the Oaklawn Birth Center in Marshall. The couple’s effort serves as a mission of comfort and compassion for expectant mothers who experience grief over the loss of their child.
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