Buy something that reminds you of your baby's life.
A piece of jewelry, a painting, a book of poetry, a tattoo…it doesn't have to be something you talk about with others, just something for you.
If you have other living children, perhaps you could buy a mother's necklace with add-on birthstone pendants. My husband bought a silver charm bracelet for me, and I have a charm for my living daughter and for Beatrice. If we have more children, I'll add charms for each of them, as well.
Some of Wismer's clients wear angel pendants, and a few have named a star for their babies through a star registry.
Plant a tree, flower, or memorial garden.
Set aside a portion of your yard for a memorial for your baby. Jill Czajkowski of Ashburn, Virginia, wanted to create a memorial garden for her daughter, Catherine Bailey, who was stillborn at 40 weeks in February 2005.
"Friends, co-workers, and family all chipped in when they heard of the idea by giving us trees, plants, a memorial stone, and a bench. Each wanted to contribute something towards the garden. I have one friend who has pledged to give us a new plant every Mother's Day," says Czajkowski.
Hamilton planted a weeping willow in the corner of her parents' property. Though she can't see her son, "It's nice to see something that was planted for him, so it's like watching him grow," Hamilton shares.
Make crafts in honor of your baby.
No matter what type of handiwork you enjoy—quilting, knitting, cross-stitch, painting, etc.—you can use it as a therapeutic and generous way to memorialize your baby.
"I took up crochet and made baby blankets and outfits to donate to the hospital for other mothers who had lost a baby so they would have something special to wrap their babies in and then to have it to bring home," says Beth Hansen of New Jersey. "Attached to each item was a little card that said who had made it, and that it was made in memory of my children."
Hansen was never given a definite reason for why her daughter and son were stillborn: Hope at 20 weeks (in April 2001) and Daniel at 25 weeks (in April 2002).
Crocheting these gifts is part of her healing process. "It gave me an outlet to keep busy so I didn't think so much. But it also helped me to know that I might be giving grieving mothers something special to have—although nothing would ever replace their babies—it was good for me to make something special" for them, says Hansen.