Thursday, September 30, 2010

Story of HOPE

Tiffany Lopez
Mother of Genesis, 3/16/07
Tiffany's story of HOPE ~ Names on the Sidewalk and Genesis Birth Services

My daughter Genesis was stillborn March 16th, 2007 due to Anencephaly.  Her life has inspired me in many ways.  Because of her I have launched my own doula business, offered support to other baby loss mothers by writing their lost child's name, donated to my local hospital, I advocate folic acid awareness, I have participated in my local walk to remember and I am in the process of making awareness videos to help eradicate the taboo of talking about child and pregnancy loss.

My daughter has inspired everything.  Loosing Genesis has given me inspiration to do all the projects that I would have never attempted before. I have grown as a person and a mother. I have made some good come out of this horrible tragedy and which has made me feel that her death was not in vain.

Being that she was my first child I was that blissfully ignorant pregnant lady we all see smiling as she walks down the street. As a result of that and having my own doula present at the birth of my first rainbow, I decided to become a doula. I wanted to be able to educate the pregnant community, offer support to moms of all backgrounds, and especially through those going through hardships. It was loud and clear after I had my first rainbow that is what I wanted to do.

Some of the projects that I work on include writing angel names on the sidewalk.  This was inspired by other BLMs who also write angel names for those of us in the community.  I thought of a unique way to repay their kind act and established Names On The Sidewalk.  Another project of mine is folic acid awareness.  Because folic acid helps lower the risk of Neural Tube Defects (NTD) like Anencephaly, I have become quite knowledgeable about it and share it with the TTC community in order to avoid having them go through the heartache I went through.

Unfortunately, when I gave birth to Genesis there was nothing in place at the hospital to really help me get through this tragedy. I got a paper with her footprints on it and a pink blanket. I went back several weeks later to get the 1 and only photo that was taken to keep for my memory box. As a result I wanted other parents to have more resources available to them and I have donated memory boxes to the hospital where Genesis was born.  I am also in contact with the ladies in the perinatal loss department and pass on ideas and info that can help grieving parents.

I have seen time after time that more pain and injury is being added to grieving parents by the way they are treated and by the things people say. I am in the process of making videos for the non-baby loss community to illustrate how ridiculous it is to treat grieving parents the way they are treated.  I’m trying to make this contribution so that pregnancy and infant loss is not such a taboo subject.    

I used to be a quiet and reserved person with vary small goals. Genesis changed all that.  I say what needs to be said when it comes to pregnancy and infant loss.  I advocate for what is right.  I go out on a limb and take risks I wouldn't have taken before.  I have more confidence now because of her.  I would have never thought in a million years that I would have a business of my own and a website.  Now, I have several websites each with different purposes.  

There is always a road block, and it always seems to come from those closest to me.  Most of my projects and inspiration comes from Genesis, yet when I speak of her I get shot down a lot of the time.  I’m either ignored, ridiculed for speaking of my daughter, or even remembering her.  Often the subject is changed.  Because I am a single parent, I don’t have the support of a spouse or significant other.  It is just me, myself and I.   I have to push myself to the brink of burn out, but I keep going for Genesis.  

I believe that my work touches others in big and small ways.  Everything I do, I do with intention and purpose.  In regards to my doula work - I have given my services free of charge to several women.  Here in LA an experienced doula can charge upwards of $1200 per birth.  However, times are difficult for many moms and I often waive my fee in order to help those experiencing unemployment, divorce or single parenthood.  Another area that I would like my business to grow is helping parents deal with stillbirth and fatal prognosis.  

Names On The Sidewalk touches lives – it’s such a small gesture and yet it means so much to BLMs. Some have little or no memories of their child and I help add to their memory and scrapbooks and I love being able to brighten the day of a BLM if they are having a rough day. It’s therapeutic for me too to be doing this in Genesis' name.

Being involved in the hospitals perinatal loss department gives me a sense of comfort and peace knowing that once again I am doing this in Genesis’ memory and through my actions ~ her memory is being kept alive.

I am consistently inspired by Carley Marie Dudley and all the contributions to the BLM community she has made.  It has inspired me to make donations on August 19th Day Of Hope, she has inspired me to make awareness videos and to make just as big of an impact on the BLM community as she has. Seeing her special area (shrine) to Christian inspires me to make one in my own home regardless of what others may think.

A quote that inspires me is:  "When a baby is born; its mother’s instinct is to protect it.  When a baby dies, it’s the mothers instinct to protect their memory," - unknown author.  Everything I do is to keep Genesis’ memory alive and to not have her death be in vain.  

This is a photo that Carley Marie Dudley took of Genesis' name on Christian's beach. Her blog, To Write Their Names In The Sand, was how I found the BLM community. This was the first picture that I received with Genesis' name. It inspired me to help others and brought me peace. Genesis had inspired me to start all these projects but this was the push I needed to bring them all to life.

You can find Tiffany's story on Faces of Loss


Franchesca said...

TIffany, you are an inspiration. I love that you are creating an awareness for folic acid. You are honoring your little girl in many beautiful ways. Carly Marie was and still is my inspiration!!! She was the first I found and the first to write Jenna's name for me.

Love to you.xx

Jessica said...

Tiffany what a wonderful story of hope - Genesis must be so proud to have such a wonderful momma!

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