In August 2008, my world came crashing down when mine and my husband's first baby girl died inside of me, four days past my due date. I’d had a dream pregnancy, perfect and healthy in every way, but she slipped away during my labour and was stillborn. She was eight pounds and perfect, just not breathing. Our hearts were broken and we were plunged in to darkness. We named her Hope.
Since that day, I have supported the Stillbirth Foundation Australia to help reduce the incidence of stillbirth. Currently, about 2000 babies are stillborn in Australia every year, or six a day – and that's six too many. About 1 in 140 pregnancies end in stillbirth and there are about as many stillbirths each year as there are breast cancer victims. Yet it is rarely spoken about and remains one of society’s great taboos. We want to change that.
When you come home from hospital with empty arms you are suddenly thrust in to a world when you have to live without the baby you had long been dreaming about. When pregnant with Hope, a vision I had of our future was reading fairy tales together, given they are such a huge part of any childhood. A dear friend of mine and designer/illustrator Tonia Composto, is now honouring Hope’s memory by creating an illustration of a different fairy tale every day this August and at the end of the month we plan on selling prints of her designs for $20 plus postage with all proceeds going to the Stillbirth Foundation. We’ve called this beautiful project Fairy Tales for Hope.
Since the project kicked off a few days ago we have been sharing pictures of Tonia’s work on Facebook amongst our networks and the response has been phenomenal. People love her work and we know by the end of the month, we are going to have many people interested in getting their hands on these unique and vibrant creations.
The project is still in it's infancy and we are still working hard to fine tune all the details and ins and outs. We are looking to get a printer and paper supply company on board as well as affordable options for packaging and delivery. The project already looks like it is going to be huge, which is fantastic, but we also don't want it to get away from us. We have some really exciting ideas of ways we can make it even more successful and can't wait to share them with you.
I feel so lucky to have a friend like Tonia in my life, as she's been by my side during every single second of my grief. She was one of the first people I contacted when Hope died and at a moment's notice, she designed booklets for Hope's funeral as well as thank you cards. She has since designed thank you cards of my two living children, as well as birthday invitations and the like. She is gifted and it only takes one quick look at any of her work to know that. I look at her art every single day, as three of her gorgeous pieces hang on my living room wall.
For now, I will get posting on the first few designs for the month. We know you're going to love them and stay tuned for details on how to go about ordering at the end of the month. We will post information as it comes to hand - we have hit the ground running as this idea was only dreamed up a few days ago.
Watch this space.