In a touching tribute to their stillborn daughter, Megan and Jason Maynard are reaching out to other families experiencing the loss of a child.
It was June when Megan sensed something wasn’t right. An expectant mother, she realized she hadn’t felt her baby move all afternoon, something she had not experienced with her first pregnancy that brought the couple their daughter, Madelin. Concerned, the Maynards headed to the hospital. When the baby’s heart beat couldn’t be found, the horrible reality that they would not be leaving with their second child swept in. Megan and Jason’s hopes for their daughter Violet died, too.
“You don’t know what to expect, you don’t know how it’s going to go,” shared Megan of her experience.
In the days afterward, the couple turned to the Internet to learn more. What they found was comfort and understanding in an international community of people who could relate to what they were going through.
“You feel like you’re on an island, so it’s nice to know that the island is populated with other people,” said Jason.
Connections that Lead to Impact
While Megan and Jason were making connections and finding out they weren’t alone, Jason’s parents had also done some research online. They discovered Cuddle Cots, cooling beds that allow for the preservation of babies lost at birth so that the family has more time to spend with them after the delivery, something the Maynards wished they’d had the ability to do. Searching for a way to help other families and say “thanks” to the caregivers who had provided them much comfort during their stay, the family started a GoFundMe page and raised the funds to purchase two Cuddle Cots for Baystate Medical Center.
“Every staff member that came in contact with us had tears in their eyes. And, for what that’s worth, that just makes it more real to us,” said Megan. “Other people being affected by the loss of your child, whose stop here was very brief, makes it feel so validating and validates that child, also, and I think that was a big comfort for me.”
Giving Support and Kindness
On March 30, the couple and their families dedicated two Cuddle Cots to the Baystate Health Wesson Women & Infants’ Unit. They also made a gift of more than a dozen memory boxes, put together with the help of Megan’s parents, containing a blanket, stuffed animal, book, bracelet, and letter from the Maynards that lets other parents experiencing loss know that they’re not alone.
“Every mother wants their child’s story told, whether they’re alive or not,” said Megan.
Violet’s legacy lives on through the gifts the Maynards and their families gave, which will continue to provide families comfort and support for years to come.
Learn more about the Baystate Health Foundation.