A FALL LAUNCH: PIN-BACK BUTTONS
It’s October! Which means it’s Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month. In just the last two years alone, I have seen a ton of growth in terms of awareness and adoption for the month, and I am proud that The Noble Paperie has been able to be a part of it.
Maybe people everywhere are finally admitting to the fact that pregnancy and infant loss is common—much more common than any of us truly want to accept or believe. Specifically for miscarriage, I’m sure you’ve read the statistic:
1 in 4 pregnancies end in a loss.
This rang true for me, and for my group of dear friends. I am so incredibly lucky to be a part of such a close-knit group of girls. There are 5 of us, all college roommates at one point or another during our years at university, and all alumni softball players for our division II school. We bonded like sisters during our time there, and those relationships have stood the test of time. We’ve been there through each other’s ups and downs in relationships, marriages, and losses of loved ones. And of the four of us that have been pregnant, I am the one that experienced a loss. I am the one who walked through a miscarriage. And where their support during that time was completely unwavering, I look back at that statistic and realize that it was completely true, even for my small group of friends.
Miscarriage and loss affects so many of us. If you haven’t had to walk through it yourself, you know someone who has—a mother, sister, daughter, or friend. And while I am so incredibly proud and excited at how far this community has come, and the awareness that it has brought just in the last two years, there is sadly still more work to do.
The more I browse social media, and the more relationships I build in this community, the more I am aware of the many ways that mothers are losing their children: not only to miscarriage, but also losses that occur much later in pregnancy. Losses that are defined as stillbirth. If miscarriage is a dirty word that no one wants to talk about, stillbirth is the wicked step sister that people pretend doesn’t exist. And although there are so many of us that don’t want to think, or don’t want to acknowledge stillbirth—it happens.
According to the CDC, stillbirth effects 1% of all pregnancies, and each year about 24,000 babies are stillborn in the US. That number is 10 times as many deaths as the number that occurs from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). Now, why am I telling you this? Well, like I said, the more I have become ingrained in this community, the more I am realizing that these specific mothers, the mothers who have lost a child after carrying them for at least 28 weeks, seem to be the ones that are more marginalized than any other mother who has experienced loss. Maybe it’s because our culture doesn’t like or doesn’t really know how to talk about death or grief. Maybe it makes people uncomfortable. Whatever those reasons are, they really don’t matter.
What matters is that we need to start the conversation. That stillbirth happens. And while it does happen, and is incredibly tragic, these mothers need to be recognized and given a voice. No type of loss is any more important than another. Whether you have lost your child at 8 weeks, 8 months, or 8 days after birth, they are all losses, and they all deserve to be recognized. Each of these mothers deserves to be heard, and supported.
That is why this year, we are doing a different type of launch. For the past two years, we have launched a set of greeting cards during October to honor Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month. And while I am still working on that (we have a new set of cards currently in production as I write this!), I have also had a vision of creating something a little bit different.
So this year, I am thrilled to announce the launch of our first pin-back buttons. I used to create buttons for bachelorette party gifts many moons ago when I designed wedding invitations. And I’ve had an itch to create some similar, specifically for loss-mamas, ever since. I conducted a poll on Instagram awhile back, and the feedback was super mixed. Many people thought I should just focus on creating greeting cards. And where that is how The Noble Paperie got its start, it’s not where our story ends. At the end of the day, we are a company selling paper products, and these pins are a perfect fit into our product offering.
I did a very, very small run of these—only 10 sets of each pin, to make sure we didn’t over extend, and if I’m honest, I wanted to test the market before we fully made the jump. I am elated to say this has been our biggest launch ever. Not only is The Noble Paperie growing, but the feedback and reception of these pin-back buttons specifically has been incredible! And to harp back to an earlier part of this post, I wanted to make sure that ALL loss mamas felt represented during this launch. Which is why, there are specific pins for miscarried mamas, stillbirth mamas, as well as those expecting a rainbow baby after loss.
I meant for this post to go up before launch, but I didn’t have time to get it together. Now I’m glad I waited, because I feel like my thoughts on this launch (and on future launches for that matter) have been altered by these pins—and in a good way. I didn’t expect our stillbirth pins to be our most popular pin, but they are. I also didn’t expect the reception on social media to be as positive as it was. And I’m here to say that I am ecstatic. I’m thrilled these pins are supporting mamas walking through miscarriage, loss, infertility, and other pregnancy-related issues. That’s why we’re here, and that’s what The Noble Paperie will continue to do, this October during Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month, and on all the future ones that come our way.