GREENFIELD, Minn. - After a dear friend lost her baby to miscarriage, a Minnesota woman scoured the internet for a gift to honor the child and to help ease her friend’s pain — but the search came up empty.
Margaret Scofield, the author of “I Love You Still: A Memorial Baby Book,” decided to create her own gift in the form of a baby memory book with special areas that are inclusive for a variety of miscarriage, stillbirth and neonatal loss situations.
The book encourages mothers to remember “each joyous moment of their pregnancies” and milestones that were shared with the baby, according to the book’s website.
The memory book contains sections on parents’ backgrounds, trying to conceive, monthly pregnancy milestones and favorite memories, but also includes events and emotions that are associated with pregnancy or infant loss. (Photo credit: Illustrator Pri
Scofield shared on the book’s website that her friend, Ann, revealed to her around Christmas time that she’d lost her daughter, Riley, to miscarriage and was devastated.
“Ann loves each of her children dearly, and raises them to be kind, loving, and curious little people,” Scofield writes. “I struggled to find a way to ease her pain. Although she was blessed with three healthy children, she still lost Riley. Although Riley wasn't carried to term, she was still her child. Although she never got to see her grow, she still had dreams for her future. Although she was gone, she loved her still.”
Scofield said she wanted to make sure the book still had the same “look and feel” of other baby memory books. There are sections for a family tree, how the parents first celebrated the baby news, monthly milestones and notes from the first doctor visit.
The latter portion of “I Love You Still” helps parents work through their experiences with prompted journal entries and reflection for healing.
There’s a page titled, "Something's changed," with the prompt: "When I first knew something was not as I expected I was [blank] weeks and [blank] days pregnant."
Other prompts in the book begin with statements like, “I miss you most when...,” “I honor your memory by...,” and “I am grateful for...”
The 64-page book features gender-neutral, nursery animal theme illustrations by children’s book illustrator Priscilla Alpaugh.
The book, which is currently being restocked, can be purchased online.
Scofield said she plans to donate a portion of the proceeds from the book to Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep, a nonprofit that provides remembrance portraits by skilled photographers to parents experiencing the loss of a baby.
About 10 to 20 percent of known pregnancies end in miscarriage, according to Mayo Clinic. But the actual number is likely higher because many miscarriages occur before a woman even realizes that she’s pregnant. Most happen before the 12th week of pregnancy.
“My hope for this book is that it helps mothers—like my friend—to feel that something exists specifically for them,” Scofield writes.
This story was reported from Cincinnati.