MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- A Minnesota mother has turned the grief of losing her daughter into something good to help other families.
Stillbirth affects about one in 100 pregnancies. Around 24,000 babies are stillborn in the United States each year.
"You have to think about what positive way you can use your baby's memory to impact this world, and that's what keeps me going," Dena Iverson said.
Iverson's daughter Cassie never came home to their house in New Ulm, but her story is everywhere. Cassie Jean was born at 29 weeks, sleeping.
"She was so beautiful and she looked just like her brother so it was very special," Iverson said.
Iverson had to use ice packs to hold her baby. She knew right then she wanted it to be different for other families that experience stillbirth. She started making care packages, and had a goal to raise funds for Caring Cradle -- a bassinet that preserves babies who have passed.
"On one of my [Facebook] grief groups, somebody had posted a cup they had done with their baby's name on it and right away I thought I can do this," Iverson said.
She started making tumblers out of her basement for moms of angel babies. She called it CC Designs in honor of her daughter, Cassie, and son, Clayton. Soon she had dozens of orders.
"It's a way to put the message out there that it is OK to talk about loss and the issues that maybe people aren't comfortable with," Iverson said.
Iverson, who also has a three-year-old son, says raising the money for a caring cradle would make a lasting impact on families of angel babies for years to come. So they can have their moment to say their hellos — and goodbyes.
"I know she's up there looking down on me smiling, and I know I would want her here, but she knows what her purpose is and what it's going to be," Iverson said.
Iverson plans to donate the Caring Cradle to the Mayo Clinic health system. It costs over $5,000.
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