2017 Location

For the 2017 Hearts Release, 10,000 families were represented.  The hearts were released at 10,000 Islands National Park in Marco Island, Florida.

These incredible photos of the 2017 Hearts Release above were captured by Caitlyn Eakins Photography.  You can view more photos at the stillbirthday Hearts Release facebook page.

 

 

Prior to the Hearts Release at 10,000 Islands, we held a precious Hearts Release at the Angel of Hope at Marco Island Cemetery.  Those who attended received plain Hearts to handwrite their own beloved babies’ names.  They posted on social media and invited their loved ones to share more babies’ names with them.

Vanessa Jean Arnold Photography captured this event:

 

 

2018 Location

 

 

{Click here to learn about the event details, including location, tee shirts, fundraising and more.}

 

On 10.20.2018, stillbirthday will hold our annual Hearts Release and a special remembrance ceremony to honor 30 years of Proclamation 5890: a national, yearly observance of Pregnancy & Infant Loss Awareness through the month of October.

About the Location

We who are in the healing community have had 30 years of raising national and even global awareness of the devastation that is the grief of Pregnancy and Infant Loss.  As the founder of stillbirthday and as a bereaved mother myself, I desire greatly to pay tribute to and give thanks to the family who made the awareness possible: President Ronald Reagan, who signed Proclamation 5890 as one of his final acts as President.

The legacy of my own deceased son is heard, is validated, is supported, I know I am not alone, because of the legacy of one precious little girl, Christine, who was born and who died much too soon, in the fourth month of pregnancy, forty years before her father, our President, signed Proclamation 5890.

Her legacy is that our babies matter, and quite simply, inherently, so does she.

We will meet, hold vigil, give honor, in the location where dear Christine’s parents wed.

 

Click here to learn more about our event.

Questions

FAQ about the Hearts Release:

 

How did this get started?

I was simply looking for a dignifying way to honor my own baby not alive.  I wanted to steer away from balloon releases and do something that was intentional, deliberate, and honoring, yet also something that was duplicatable, something that other mothers and others within the healing community could be part of, in a way that was sustainable and reasonable.  Stillbirthday began in July of 2011.  The Hearts Release began soon after.

 

What if I had a miscarriage, and it was too early to know the gender?  Or if I didn’t choose a name?

Family names, dates, number of babies in the sibling group not alive, all can be included.

 

What if I had an elective abortion?

Every baby not alive can be included in the stillbirthday Hearts Release.  You get to choose a name for your baby, you get to mourn, you get to heal, you get to honor your baby with dignity.

 

How can I tell you my babies’ names without other people knowing?

This is a frequently asked question.  You aren’t alone.  You can message me privately on facebook, or email me, at Heidi.Faith@stillbirthday.com.

 

How do I receive confirmation that you’ve added my babies’ names?

I cannot photograph each individual heart for confirmation, and even special requests for certain colors gets very difficult to accommodate, so I address those special requests here on the website.  I do take smaller group photos as I add names and create inspired designs, such as the pink and blue remembrance ribbon.

Within the facebook page, I can offer a “like” confirmation as an expeditious but individual way of acknowledging your submission and notification that I have just completed handwriting your babies’ names onto a heart.  All updates were previously held on our stillbirthday facebook page, but we’ve made a special page exclusively for our Hearts Release.

In our early years, my notification was much more personal for you, and as we’ve grown I do ache for that, but ask that you truly trust me when I say that I promise I care very much about you, and about your babies’ names being included.  Here in this photograph alone, 2,000 families are represented.  These hearts are teeny tiny.  My intention is to spend the time in solitude, reflecting on your babies, the names you’ve chosen for them, and speaking their names aloud as I carefully hand scribe them onto the sweet paper hearts.  I think of them, I regard them, I hold them.  My time is invested in them.  In the overflow of time I might have, I do come back to you to update through this blog and the facebook page.

 

The Names

Just two years after stillbirthday began, reaching families internationally with support prior to, during and after birth in any trimester, stillbirthday also began offering the annual Hearts Release as a way of honoring our babies not alive.  Each year some things have changed over time.

The invitation is open to submit names throughout the year, to be included in the next annual Hearts Release.  Every measure is taken to include as many new families finding us as possible, up to and even during an event.  Currently, we are asking that all name submissions are added in only one of two places:

 

You can please submit your babies’ names in one of two places only:

–our facebook page in one thread, under the one photo.

–or, our website here, as a comment under the one page for receiving names.

 

This will help ensure that I am not duplicating names, but even more importantly, it will help as it is a tragic reality that sometimes, sibling groups of babies not alive, grow.  If you’ve submitted your babies’ names but then endured yet another death of another beloved baby, I want to be able to hold all of your children’s names together, and so I pursue searching through the thousands of hearts to find yours.  Searching through the comments in a limited number of places, helps tremendously with that.

 

You can view our Frequently Asked Questions page for more information pertaining to our babies’ names.

Give

The Hearts Release is created and facilitated by stillbirthday, an academic institution providing training to healthcare professionals, allied professionals and bereaved parents to serve families prior to, during and after birth in any trimester.  Successful graduates earn the prestigious Birth & Bereavement Doula certificate and bear the SBD credential.

As such, the Hearts Release is not a formal 501c3.  We provide as many free opportunities to be involved in this event as possible.  Sometimes, interested loved ones desire to contribute financially to see the event continue to grow.  You can choose your giving amount to stillbirthday for the Hearts Release through this link.

Partners

The official stillbirthday Hearts Release is held annually and every submission added here is included in that event.  There is a growing interest in bringing this event to even more locations, so we are always working at updating our opportunities to create uniformity among the individuals and events that stillbirthday holds under our umbrella while also extending the opportunity of accessibility, for those who simply want to hold a smaller version of our annual event right in your own neighborhood.

You can please visit our Partner Agreement to learn more.

 

Partner locations for our Hearts Release began in 2017, with

 

 

History

The Hearts Release has a beautiful history.  Here, you can learn more about it, including locations.

 

2013 – Hot Air Balloon ride, Kansas City

2014 – across Europe, including Swiss Alps, historical markers, atop Eiffel Tower

2015 – Fort Irwin Military Base

2016 – St. Louis Gateway Arch

2017 – post Hurricane Irma

*2017 – the first year we opened representative partner opportunities
*2017 – also the first year I gave a small pouch of plain hearts to attendees so that they could ask their own communities for their babies’ names to be integrated into the main event.
*2017 – also the first year I ran giveaways of plain hearts on the main stillbirthday facebook page after the event, to secure their preferred color for them.  This year 2 hearts was given with a pouch of sand from the 10,000 Islands.

2018 – to be announced