A quick recap: After many complications, hospitalisation and finally a diagnosis of a high risk pregnancy condition known as SCH, I returned home at 17 weeks pregnant to face full bed rest and living with the continued fear of losing my baby. I realised quickly that depression and feelings of hopelessness would not help my situation and that I needed to do something positive in order to turn things around. Giving. That was the key (the full story here). I knew that my baby might not make it, but that I could honour its life regardless of the outcome of my pregnancy. From my bed, I began to research causes and charities, gain perspective, feel inspired to make a difference and start to give a little. One charity a week, sometimes two, would receive a contribution in honour of my unborn baby (known as Cupcake) and family. It has been a life-changing exercise (from the very moment I was inspired to do this, my whole perspective shifted!) and I am forever grateful for the experiences I have had- yes, ALL of them, including the high risk diagnosis. I believe I have been given many gifts in all of this. Including one of time; time to reflect, to get things in perspective, to listen to the “voice of my soul” and to take action.
Here is the list of charities and causes that we have donated to on Cupcake’s behalf thus far:
March of Dimes
Doctors Without Borders
Living Beyond Breast Cancer
The Lymphoma Research Foundation
The HER Foundation
Bliss via Saif’s Precious Star Fund
We have also made a contribution to a film project being undertaken by an old friend of ours to promote awareness in the fight to save the Giant Australian Cuttlefish.
and since my last update:
The Red Cross Hurricane Sandy Appeal
Animals Australia, Make it Possible campaign to end factory farming
Elisabethgården (crisis support for families)
Djurrattsalliansen (Animal Rights Alliance)
Stockholm Stadsmission (to support the homeless and vulnerable)
Saif’s Lighting up the Holidays Fund (to support Bliss, for babies born sick or too soon)
In light of recent events that make me sick to my stomach and heavy of heart (namely, the attacks on children in China and in the US), I have been looking for a charity/cause to donate to in order to not feel quite so disempowered about it all. I have looked at anti-gun violence organisations, mental health organisations and various others. I don’t know all there is to know about the ins and outs of either one of these events (the background stories/mental health of the perpetrators, the impact of gun/weapon laws and the politics associated, etc), only that children and those who work with them were targeted… and affected in the most hideous of ways. And so, I have been hesitant to donate to just any charity I come across, instead choosing to wait for the right one to be revealed. At dinner tonight, my dad served a soft drink and on its label I saw the logo for the World Childhood Foundation. The company that I work for has very close ties to the World Childhood Foundation (something I have been proud of since being employed there), so I am taking this as a sign that I am meant to donate next to this worthy pro-childhood charity (as opposed to an “anti-something” charity).
This is the crux of their mission statement, and something that resonated with me so completely when I looked at their website tonight:
I look forward to making our next contribution to the World Childhood Foundation.
Making our most recent contribution was a real joy! Since coming across baby Saif’s story here on WordPress, I have literally sat and sobbed some nights about what he went through while he lived and the pain his parents still suffer. It became clear to me that I wanted to do what I could to honour his life too, knowing full well that “There is no foot so small that it cannot leave an imprint on this world“. I decided that my blessingway should be a celebration of womanhood, motherhood, life and gratitude and so, although I also included some more traditional baby shower activities, I wanted to focus on giving, rather than receiving. I had no gift register for myself/my baby, instead I laid out a table of potential prizes and gifts for my guests. In return for a small contribution (anything at all… even a few cents), my guests could go home with a lovely handbag/scarf/hat/necklace, etc also knowing that they had just contributed to Bliss, a charity that supports babies born prematurely (or with illnesses) and their families, via Saif’s Lighting up the Holidays Fund. Knowing that I am in the midst of a high risk pregnancy and all that entails (including the risk of delivering my baby prematurely), they were all keen to contribute… and the contributions were very generous. It was truly heartwarming.
Feeling as disempowered about recent highly-publicised tragic events as I do, fellow blogger Gallivanta asked me to participate in a global candlelight vigil, which of course I am more than happy to do. I truly believe that everything counts; every kind thought, every spark of positive, loving energy, every cent donated to a worthy cause in the spirit of caring… it ALL matters and ALL makes a difference. I think it is timely that we recently celebrated Lucia here in Sweden, the essential message being that light will always conquer darkness. I believe this to be true.
CUPCAKE FOR CHARITY (AKA an exercise in gratitude & giving)
CUPCAKE FOR CHARITY, PART 2 (AKA changing the world DIY style)
for more details about the causes we are supporting and the stories that led to it happening.
Many, many thanks to all those out there who care, share and make a difference… in whichever ways they choose to do it. :)