I take a lot of pictures of my daughter. I’m actually not sure I want to know exactly how many iPhone photos I’ve taken of her since she was born. I send pictures to Daddy and the grandparents during the day. I take photos of her wearing clothes or playing with toys that were gifted to share with the giver. My phone is often by my side, ready to capture her latest cuteness.

But, I’m not always great at taking pictures of the two of us. Lloyd takes and shares his Daddy Daughter Selfies each day, and I take lots of pictures of them playing and reading. Sometimes I ask him to capture something, or he happens to snap a picture of the two of us. I’m sure there are still more photos of Stitch and me than many people have of their children in general, but occasionally it’s nice to pause and document my motherhood with photos.

Pregnancy After Loss Support (PALS) gave me the opportunity to do just that last week. I organized a t-shirt fundraiser for PALS, and it launched on our third anniversary, June 20, 2017. I designed the shirts with a concept from Founder/Executive Director, Lindsey Henke–“Courageous Mama” for the mamas, and “You’re looking at a Rainbow” for the rainbow babies and toddlers. We ordered samples for a few mamas in our community to model with their kiddos to help drum up interest in the fundraiser. Mine came while we were on vacation, and we wore them to the Henry Ford Museum, which has some really beautiful architecture and landscaping.

My brother’s girlfriend, Besty Curtis, is a gifted photographer, and she graciously agreed to do a mini Mama/Daughter photo session at the museum. I only needed two photos to share at PALS, but there were so many that I loved that I wanted to share them here.

We’ve been sharing these Courageous Mama/Rainbow Baby photos on the PALS’ Facebook page for the last week, and I’ve been so inspired by these women. I love that when Lindsey started PALS, she chose “Courageous Mamas” as our battle cry. Our journeys vary, but the strength that has brought us to this place really is heartbreaking, beautiful, and courageous.

That afternoon, at the Henry Ford Museum, I saw exhibits about the Civil War & slavery, the Civil Rights Movement, and Women’s Suffrage, mixed in with the history of motor vehicles, doll houses, and trains. I nursed my daughter on the bus where Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat. On one of the exhibit posters, they talked about the courageous women who banded together to start the women’s suffrage movement, and I thought about what that word “courageous” means to me.

Sometimes the world seems so big and so overwhelming and so hopeless. But, it only takes one person and her courage to start a movement. I’m so inspired by the courageous women who surround me–the staff and volunteers at PALS and the community of Courageous Mamas who band together to help other mamas get through pregnancy after loss.

I don’t always feel courageous. I don’t think any of us do. But, I’m so thankful for this community that reminds me that I’m courageous and inspires me to continue to work with and advocate for mamas who are pregnant again after a loss.

Every day, I wake up and see my daughter’s beautiful face, and I’m glad that I found the courage to keep going. I am a Courageous Mama. I’m forever grateful for the support from the mamas who walked this journey before me, and I hope I can continue to pass along that support for many more years.

Love these shirts?

Get your own limited edition of both our “Courageous Mama” maternity and women’s t-shirts and “You are looking at a rainbow” maternity t-shirt, toddler t-shirts and infant one-pieces. Wear your rainbow-inspired Courageous Mama t-shirt proudly. Plus, your purchase will help fund new programming for Pregnancy After Loss Support.

Orders will be taken between now until Friday, June 30, 2017 at midnight. All shirts will ship approximately two weeks after the fundraiser closes.

Get your shirts now! Visit Hello Twirl to see all shirts available.

To see all of the Courageous Mama photos and stories, learn more about PALS, and enter the anniversary giveaways, visit Pregnancy After Loss Support’s Facebook page.