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Welcome to Sands Wirral and Chester Support Group
 
Just some ideas to remember your baby.

Hospital keepsakes
The hospital should offer you a memories folder. This will be offered to you when you leave hospital. You may not want to accept it initially, but hospitals will often keep folders in case you decide you want them at a later date. Folders may contain baby's footprints and handprints, a lock of hair, a photograph, and your baby's hospital wristband, this does vary.

Creating a memories box
You could decorate a box and use it to keep all your memories of your baby in the same place. You might include: * the hospital memories folder * your baby's birth certificate (if your child was born at 24+ weeks) * cards you received from friends and relatives after your baby died * mementos of your baby's funeral * cards from funeral flowers * some of the clothes your baby wore.

Putting together a photo album
You could take the time to put any photos from the hospital or that you took yourselves into an album. That way, you have all the photos in one place to look at whenever you want to. You could also put a few photos of your baby around the house.

Jewellery
You could buy a locket and put pictures of your baby in it. There is at least one company in the US, which specialise in babyloss jewellery. For example, it sells heart-shaped charms which you can have engraved with your baby's name, birth date and footprints, and customised jewellery with your baby's birth stone. The company ships to the UK. See La Belle Dame or www.myforeverchild.com

Commissioning a sketch or painting of your baby
You could have a painting or pencil/charcoal sketch done of your baby from photos. You could find your own local artist or, alternatively, the national SANDS office has connections with an artist called Sue Fernandes, who has done many portraits for SANDS members (price circa £50; contact national SANDS for details on 020 7436 7940). This doesn't have to be expensive and can provide comfort and an enduring memory.

Attending memorial services
The Arrowe Park and the Countess of Chester  Hospitals hold an annual memorial service for all our babies who have died. The service lasts approximately 30 minutes and consists of hymns, music, the reading out of baby names (cards are given out before the service for you to include your childes name) and the lighting of candles. 

National SANDS hold various services throughout the year, across the country. Please contact them for further details on 020 7436 7940.

Painting for your baby
You could paint something in memory of your child. This might be your own painting/picture or you might want to paint some stones and lay them somewhere significant (at your baby's grave or at the National Memorial Garden, contact national SANDS for details).
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