Somewhere in the world, a woman is taking a pregnancy test and finding out that a baby is on the way. Her heart is full of hope and love. The plans for her whole life changing to include this new being.
Two years ago today, that woman was me.
I remember it so clearly. After days of feeling like I had the flu, I decided to see if perhaps this was the reason I had been feeling so tired (and nauseous!). I told Jeff, who was in a bit of disbelief mostly because his wife is known to pull a prank or two, and it was just one day removed from April Fool’s. We began daydreaming about our new family of four; the fun Reeves would have as a big brother. We had no idea that 198 days later we would say goodbye to our daughter and a piece of our hearts.
One year ago today, I began honoring her life with the launch of Madison’s Closet. Together, with so many of you, we have made sure her mark on the world is just as strong as the one she made on my heart.
In one year’s time, I have met countless women who are the epitome of grace and bravery. I have wept for the beautiful souls who have joined my daughter’s too soon. I have been shown kindness and love from people I have known for a lifetime, and those I have never met. I have found my path, my calling, and my voice.
Through Madison’s Closet, we have provided 31 boxes of donated clothing to moms and have taken in donations of beautiful clothing from all across this country. More importantly, we have created a space where women can be helped to look as beautiful and strong on the outside as they are on the inside.
It seemed like a strange idea to provide clothing to women who had suffered a perinatal loss. For me, the lack of clothing that fit, and feeling frumpy was another step down a path of isolation and self-loathing. I knew in my heart that Madison’s Closet could help fill a need and a shame that we just aren’t talking about.
Where do we go from here? I am so glad you asked! In our second year, I want to utilize Madison’s Closet to continue the conversation we have started around body image and perinatal loss. I want to talk openly with all of you about how to love and care for yourself, right where you are. These are not my areas of expertise, and I will be chronicling my journey as I work on these things for myself.
I have also set a goal to help 52 women in Madison’s Closet’s second year with donated clothing — that is one woman every week. Want to help? Donate some clothing, sponsor a box, or better yet, spread the word to women you know that we are here and ready to help.
Thank you for an incredible first year.