Memories and Mementos
The day we found out about Paetyn's condition we made the decision to stay positive and enjoy every minute we got with her, including that time when she was still in mommy's belly! We were determined to make as many memories with her as we could and to save and share those memories. Here are several of those memories and mementos that have brought us a lot of joy. We will love and cherish these forever!
We have already blogged about most of the memories we made while she was still in mommy's tummy. Here are a few of our favorites:
Allen Family Halloween Party: The weekend after finding out about Paetyn's condition we were able to have a big halloween party with the entire Allen Family! We even dressed Paetyn up like a pumpkin!! (Allen Family Halloween Party Blog Post)
Turkey Paetyn: For Thanksgiving daddy sacrificed one of his turkey decoys and turned it into a cute turkey outfit for Paetyn. Then, at Thanksgiving dinner, the entire Utah Gillett crew (and there are a lot of them!) wrote what they were thankful for on little feathers, then put them in the turkey to give her a colorful tail! (Thanksgiving Blog Post)
Temple Square: The first time daddy ever told mommy he loved her was at Temple Square during the Christmas season. Its now a tradition for us to go to temple square every year and reenact that special moment! This year we had both of our families come join us on December 16th...the day before Paetyn came! (Temple Square Blog)
We also were able to make a lot of great memories before, during, and after our time in the hospital, along with many amazing mementos; here are some of our favorites:
Dress - One of our very favorite things mommy did was make her a blessing/burial dress out of her wedding dress
Blankets - We each made a blanket for our baby girl, as well as one that we made together. Daddy even put a few kisses inside of his!
Book - Mommy made a custom book for Paetyn; Paetyn's Night Before Christmas! This will be a fun way to always remember her and a fun book to read to our kids for years to come!
Maternity/Family Pictures - We actually did 2 rounds of maternity pictures; the first was the weekend after finding out about Paetyn's condition, and the 2nd was the day before she was born. These can all be seen on our Galleries Page
Bracelet - Grandmomma Allen made a very beautiful bracelet. Well she actually she made several; since Paetyn came so early the original bracelet was way too big, which actually worked out great! This is the bracelet she wore during her blessing and is now hanging in her shadow box (see below). Grandmomma Allen also made another, smaller bracelet for her, which she was buried in. Mommy has a matching bracelet to this one complete with all 3 of our birth stones! This is so precious and one of Mom's favorite ways to remember her Paetyn.
Daddy had a few things on his list that he had to do with his baby girl. These were: Give her a blessing, paint her nails, read to her, dance with her, change her diaper, dress her up in cute outfits, and go on a daddy daughter date! Not all of these were able to happen while she was still alive, but these are very special memories Paetyn and Daddy share and will never forget!
We had a lot of fun dressing her up in several cute little outfits!!
(click to enlarge)
A group called Share came and made hand and foot molds that turned out absolutely amazing!!
(click to enlarge)
After Share had taken Paetyn to make the molds, a nurse also took her to do her official footprints and handprints. When they brought her back, daddy asked if it would be possibly to get a few of the ink sheets so we could have some fun making more footprints and handprints! Daddy had a lot of fun making these!
We also thought it would be neat to cut and keep some locks of hair! We each took a turn cutting off a small lock of hair and while we were doing that decided we would cut off the small piece of the amniotic membrane on the side of her head.
Heartbeat - One of our absolute favorite things was listening to her heartbeat. All of our family were able to use a stethoscope in the hospital to listen to her heartbeat just a couple of hours before she passed. We will never forget those sweet moments! We also loved hearing her heartbeat on the ultrasound and on the heartbeat monitors with each opportunity we had to do so!!
Teddy Bear - A few days after leaving the hospital we decided it would be nice to go to Build-A-Bear and make a Paetyn Bear! We even used the heartbeat audio and put a little sound player in the teddy bear so we can hear her heartbeat whenever we want. She also weighs just about as much as Paetyn did which helps us feel comfort every time we hold and listen to our Paetyn Bear.
Picture, pictures, and more pictures!! Seriously, we have THOUSANDS of pictures of our baby girl and we just can't look at them enough!!! We also have tons and tons of videos which are so fun and such a great way to bring back those wonderful memories and pick up on things we didn't notice in the moment!
Jewelry - Apart from the bracelets that Grandmomma Allen made, we also had several people get us jewelry. Mommy's aunts got mommy a necklace and daddy a tie tack with an imprint of Paetyn's toe print. Mommy was also given several more bracelets and a few other necklaces! Grandmomma and Grandpops Allen also got daddy another tie tack that was a "P" with Paetyn's birthstone in the middle!
In His Constant Care - We received the painting "In His Constant Care"...actually, we received 3 copies of this picture, which was awesome! This has always been one of our favorite pictures, but now its ever more special. We now have one hanging in our living room, one in our bedroom, and daddy has one hanging in his office.
Key Chain - The Achievement Day Girls in our ward made us cute little key chains and a Paetyn sign. Daddy also has his key chain hanging on his Paetyn wall at work.
Daddy's Paetyn Wall - This is daddy's wall in his office at work!
Shadow Box - We put together a Shadow Box with many items to remind us of Paetyn:
Blanket - The backdrop of the shadow box is the blanket that mommy and daddy made together. On the left side you can see a fairly large spot, which is blood and other fluids from where her head was sitting on this blanket.
Diaper - This is the diaper she wore the entire time she was alive. Its hard to see in this picture, put there is a tiiiiiny little bit of peepee!!
Beanie - Paetyn had several beanies that she wore through her day, and some made especially for her by Mel! This one Share put on her when they brought her back to us after doing her molds and it has remnants of her head fluid on the back.
Cannula - This is the cannula that she wore while in the hospital!
Booties - She didn't wear these a lot because we loved looking at her long feet and painted toenails so much, but aren't they adorable!
Hospital tag - This tag reads "Baby Jaelyn Allen" accompanied by her birthdate
Teddy and ring - The teddy bear in lower left corner of the box was given to hear by Share. They brought her back to us after taking molds wrapped up in a cute little blanket hugging this teddy and wearing a butterfly bracelet and the cute little ring (by her cannula).
Guess How Much I Love You - Daddy read this book to Paetyn several times while we were in the hospital. We "Love 'her' to The Moon and Back!"
Locks of Hair - By her cannula is the little baggie that has her 2 locks of hair and the small piece of the amniotic sack that was attached to her head.
Onesie - This is one of our favorite onesies that we dressed her in.
Bracelet - This is the original bracelet that Grandmomma Allen made for her that she wore during her blessing.
Lamb - Another Angel Watch Family donate these cute little lambs to the hospital for other Angel Watch Familes. It came with this lamb as well as a much smaller matching lamb. Paetyn loved her little lamb and held it tight, not letting us move it away from her. That is such a special memory to us. She was buried with her little lamb and we will keep this one close to our hearts forever.
Winnie Bear - This bear was made (top left on the shadow box) was made by another Angel Watch mom who lost a baby. The fabric is the same as the blanket in the shadow box.
Paetyn's Room - We decided to decorate what would have been Paetyn's room with pictures and memories of her. We had Paetyn's favorite cousin Brooke over for a sleep over a few weeks ago and she helped us decorate and hang up the cute lights for her "favorite cousin's" bedroom!! We plan on adding lots more pictures of her over the next few weeks!
(click to enlarge)
Mementos - We received a lot of cute ornaments and Willow Tree figurines from family and friends.
Sock Drive - Mommys co-workers at Ogden Vision Centerwanted to do something to honor Paetyn so during the Christmas Season they had a sock drive and collected over 400 pairs of socks and then donated them in Paetyn's name!!
Funeral and Grave - At Paetyn's funeral we wanted to do something that her cousins would always remember. This included everybody shoveling in a scoop of dirt into her grave, and also doing a balloon realease. You can read more about this on her Funeral Page. We also like to go and decorate her grave from time to time! That evening, after her funeral, Uncle Scott, Grandmomma and Grandpops Allen and Cousin Adam went and put the cutest bows all over her tree and hearts on the ground! Since then we love to go take flowers to her grave and take new decorations for her tree!
Letters - We asked our family members to write down their thoughts, memories, and impressions from Paetyn's birthday and the surrounding times so that we can always have these to look back on and remember. We love so much to hear everybody's different individual stories about things they remember from that special day and neat moments that they had with her! If you would like to share any thoughts or memories with us we would love to hear from you:
San Diego - We decided that we wanted to go on a little vacation the weekend of Paetyn's original due date so we could spend time together, away from our everyday lives, where we could celebrate and remember Paetyn. You can read more about this in our San Diego blog post.
The Future - We plan to continue to celebrate Paetyn every day for the rest of our lives! Mommy had the awesome idea to include 'Paetyn's Shoes' in all of our family pictures from now on. These shoes will reflect the age that Paetyn would be when the picture is taken. We plan to then donate these shoes as well as several other pairs to families in need. We also are working on some ideas of things that we can donate to other families about to face infant loss. We received several of these things while in the hospital and the days and weeks after that brought a lot of joy to us, and we are excited to be able to do something similar that will help other families suffering loss.
Sharing Paetyn - Above all, our very favorite thing is to share Paetyn. We were so blessed to have our families with us all day on Paetyn's birthday. We were so happy to be able to let everyone hold and snuggle her and make their own memories with her. Even after she passed away we had so many friends come and visit us in the hospital to see us and meet her. We loved letting people hold her in those days after she died. Often people came into the room, noticeably nervous, not knowing what to expect or what to say; and then to watch their demeanor completely change as we handed Paetyn's body to them and they held her, rocked her, snuggled her, and loved her. We are so proud of our baby girl and want the world to know! We are so glad that so many people got to meet her. And for those who didn't get to meet her in person, we have loved sharing memories of her on this website and hope that she has influenced you positively.