Hello, I'd like to start by introducing myself. My name is Rachel Samulack and I am the mother to 3 children, but only 1 is here with me today. On June 19, 2016, I lost my son Aaron 100 minutes after birth. My husband Rob and I are organizing Aaron's Butterfly Run Ottawa/Gatineau in his memory. If you would like to learn more about Aaron and our time with him, you can read his story here.
Today, my son Aaron would be 10 months old. These milestones are hard. I think about all of the things that Aaron would be doing at 10 months old. He would likely be crawling all over our living room and eating all of the crumbs off the floor. He would have lots of teeth to try all sorts of new food as summer arrives. If he were anything like Gabriel at 10 months, I would be exhausted because he would still be nursing like crazy at night. Now I am exhausted because I am back at work, juggling work/life/being a wife. I would be washing double the amount of cloth diapers. Yikes. These milestones are hard. Some months, I completely forget and other months the 19th hits me like a brick wall. Last week also marked the due date of our first baby who we lost at 10 weeks in September 2013. Pregnancy and infant loss just suck.
The loss of Aaron has shaped the way that I think about the future and the present. I watch the children of friends who are the same ages as my two little ones. I watch their interactions with curiousity and amazement. I feel sad for Gabriel because I know how much fun it is to play (and fight) with younger siblings. I get sick of hearing "Oh, you have lots of time" or "Don't worry, you will have another one." I am so grateful for Gabriel, my lovely, wonderful little boy. However, Gabriel does not replace the loss of Aaron and the expectation that I had for our family when I found out we were expecting Aaron. As Aaron's one year birthday approaches, I have to figure out a way to mark another milestone. A milestone celebrating the joy of his life and the sorrow of his loss. Joy and sorrow are now firmly intertwined in my life. How do you mark these milestones? How do you celebrate your babies who are no longer with us on Earth? I would love to hear from you with the ways that you celebrate your butterfly babies.
Well as you know, we're all about butterflies!
For many of us, butterflies are a symbol of the child we lost. The butterfly has long been a powerful symbol across many cultures. It is a symbol of transformation, of the spirit and the soul, and of the unending cycle of life and death.
The metamorphosis of the butterfly is a powerful symbol in so many ways for us when we are grieving. They are the beautiful tiny spark of life that came to us, lighted in our lives for a too brief moment before fluttering away. They are the hope that the transformation that loss brings into our life, can result in something different, something beautiful. We may not be the same at the end of our journey, but we have grown, we are able to see things that we could not before. They are the hope that we may swallow that butterfly soul searching for us, and hold a baby in our bodies and in our arms once more.
To help make the silent auction a success, we are looking for donations of items to be included in the silent auction.
Can you help us out with a donation of a product or service from your business?
Proceeds raised from the silent auction will be used to cover costs including race signage, kits, and food for the runners and walkers, among other costs. Your donation will also leverage the efforts of hundreds of individuals and families in Canada who are working to ensure that all parents have support during and after pregnancy and infant loss.
Your donation could be something as simple as a gift certificate to your business. All donations are greatly appreciated!
If you're able to donate to the silent auction, please e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you for your consideration and support!
Some of you may know Nancy Ann Kerrigan as the Olympic figure skater, and others may know her more recently from Dancing with the Stars. This week, Nancy opened up about the 6 miscarriages she experienced over 8 years while trying to expand her family... check out this article to read more.
Thank you Nancy for sharing your story.
On Friday April 28th, 2017, Aaron's Butterfly Run is hosting Ottawa and Gatineau's 1st-ever film night and panel discussion for pregnancy and infant loss.
What's happening at the event?
Who should attend?
Would you like to do more?
We hope you can join us to raise awareness and support those who've experienced pregnancy and infant loss in our community.
For more information, and to RSVP to the event, check out the Facebook event page:
The Pregnancy and Infant Loss (PAIL) network is an excellent resource for those going through this type of loss.
On October 15, 2016, PAIL posted an article about Rachel and Rob Samulack's experience with perinatal hospice and the story of their beloved son Aaron.
The Spring 2017 issue of "From Belly to Baby Quarterly Prenatal Journal - the Ottawa Edition" published an article about remembering butterfly babies. This article shares information about Rachel and Rob Samulack's personal experience with perinatal loss and Aaron's Butterfly Run in Ottawa/Gatineau on October 14th, 2017.