The Lil Angels Story
Hello Sock Monkey fans! My name is Tricia, and in December of 2011, I founded an organization called Lil Angels Hankies. It was through this organization (and also through my sister) that I met Audra. We hit it off and I now consider her one of my greatest friends.
I would like to share a little bit about myself so that you can see why I do what I do.
I was 18 when I married my husband, Jeff (in 1999), and although I was young, I was ready, and I have never regretted for even a day getting married that young.
Shortly after we were married, I found out I had endometriosis, which can sometimes lead to fertility problems. My doctor advised me that if we wanted children, we should start trying right away, or there was a good chance we would not have any. We knew that we wanted children, so we took his advice, and began our journey.
We quickly found out that getting pregnant did not come easy for us. After several surgeries to clear out the endometriosis, I was still having pain, and my dr. decided to send me to get a gallbladder function test done. The date was March 25, 2002, and Jeff & I went to the hospital for the test. Before the test, the nurse asked me if there was a chance I could be pregnant. Jeff & I looked at each other and laughed because we had been trying for three years now with no success, so the likelihood of my being pregnant was very slim! But, since we were “trying”, and the test could be potentially harmful if done while I was pregnant, they made me take a pregnancy test right then and there. After about an hour of waiting, the nurse came down and said, “Well, I have good news and bad news. The bad news is that we cannot perform your test today. The good news is that you’re pregnant!” I wish a camera could have captured the look on our faces because we were just staring in disbelief! Of course, the tears came fairly quickly, and we left the hospital on cloud 9! We went by Walgreens to pick up our own pregnancy test so we could see it with our own eyes, and sure enough, we were pregnant! I still remember walking on the icy sidewalk (it was uncharacteristically icy and snowy that day), and Jeff grabbed my arm and helped me walk and kept saying “Be careful! You have a baby inside you!” It was absolutely surreal.
It wasn’t even a couple of weeks later that I began experiencing some cramping and bleeding. I went to the dr. for blood work and an ultrasound, and that was when our world came crashing down. Our baby did not make it, and grew wings that very day.
I was in an absolute fog, and cannot even begin to describe the pain I felt. It just didn’t seem fair. We tried for so long, and it finally happened, only to be ripped away from us. It was quite honestly the most painful thing we had ever experienced. Jeff was an amazing support, as was my family, but I have to say that nothing meant more to me than my sister driving to my house, and sitting on my couch while my head lay in her lap, and she stroked my hair and cried with me. She didn’t tell me it would get better. She didn’t tell me that there was a reason. She just stroked my hair and cried, which oddly was exactly what I needed.
We were not ready to give up our fight for a family, so we began trying pretty quickly again. In September of that same year, I was at work, and felt a strange sensation. I went to the bathroom, and a large piece of tissue/clot fell on the floor. I immediately knew what it was. I wrapped it up, and when I left work that day, we went to the ER. They confirmed that I had been what seemed to be about 10 weeks pregnant, and I did in fact lose the baby. Family came to see me at the hospital, and I felt kind of numb. My heart was breaking again, and we just felt so helpless. I remember the youth pastor at our church came to be with us, and took us to eat after we left the hospital, and he prayed with us and talked with us. I felt a sense of peace sweep over me, and I seemed to recover from the pain a little quicker this time.
Again, we began trying for a baby. We knew God wanted us to have children and we were not going to accept anything but that.
On April 1, 2003, I found out that I was yet again expecting a baby. I will admit that I was terrified. Not a day went by that I didn’t worry that I would lose the precious baby inside of me. It was not an easy road, and I was put on bed-rest at 29 weeks, but Elijah Aaron was born perfect and healthy at 39 weeks. He was an amazing gift from God and I don’t think that we have ever been as happy and proud as we were of that little man. He is now 8 years old and is an incredible blessing to us, and so many others.
After we had Eli, we knew we still wanted more children. Again, we tried for a couple of years and had infertility issues, and suffered two more losses, before getting pregnant again and delivering our sweet little princess, Lillianna Eveline, at 37 weeks in August of 2010. She was beautiful and perfect, although I will say that she turned our world upside down! She was a fussy baby and didn’t like to sleep, so the first several months were rough, but by about 8 months, she started sleeping and we were all much happier.
To see my two children play together is priceless. I have such an appreciation for what I have, as I know how precious and valuable life is. I never take them for granted, and I thank God for them every single day.
On November 8, 2011, my dear friend Devin lost her baby girl, Alice, and I felt the pain of losing my children all over again. I hurt so badly and deeply for her, and I didn’t know what to do. I got the idea of making her a handkerchief with her baby’s name and birth date on it, and so began Lil Angels Hankies.
Exactly one month later, I realized that this was something that I needed to do for more women. There are so many hurting mothers out there, and if I can bring them even a tiny bit of peace, then I know I am doing what I should be doing.
There is something symbolic about the handkerchiefs. It gives grieving parents something tangible to remember their sweet baby by. It is a handkerchief, and is almost like their angel is wiping their tears. It truly is a beautiful thing, and I am so thankful that God chose me to do this.
Something that I want people to know is that I read every single story that I get. I cry as I read, and I truly do feel an attachment to each and every handkerchief that I do. I love that all of the angel’s names will forever be a part of me.
I feel honored to be able to do what I do. I sometimes wonder why God chose me, but I believe it’s because He knew that I would give it my all, and also that it would be healing for me.
Not many people at all know this, but I actually lost a fifth baby, just over a year ago. It was obviously very difficult, and painful, and a very emotional time for me, but what got me through it was Lil Angels Hankies. It is so healing for me to do this. I have cried my tears, and now I push through the pain and I give other women something to remember their babies by. That is what gets me through every day. Knowing that I am making a difference is one of the best feelings in the world. Some days, I do not feel qualified or equipped to do this, and it has become a lot bigger, a lot quicker than I ever imagined! But I know that God will provide me with the wisdom and support that I need to get through each step I take.
~ Tricia Pyatt
Note: If you would like to help Tricia bless and encourage other mommies and daddies, please do here. They need funds to keep this wonderful ministry going and any support is a blessing. Thank you in advance.