Genesis Honors Memory of Lost Infants With Birthing And Bereavement Suite
From great loss came the idea for a special place at Genesis Medical Center, East Rusholme Street, Davenport
Families who have suffered infant loss talk about their grief, the feeling of being alone and the feeling of not having enough time.
The No Foot Too Small Birthing + Bereavement Suite at the Genesis BirthCenter in Davenport offers families a place to spend time with their baby, make memories, and say goodbye.
Families who have the shared experience of suffering infant loss, joined together with the Genesis Foundation, and additional donors to make the project a reality.
Jess Buntemeyer, who volunteers at Genesis as a bereavement doula, or mentor, for those suffering such loss, wanted to honor the memory of her first son Brayden who was stillborn in 2011.
“I definitely look at this project as a way for Brayden to leave his mark,” said Jess Buntemeyer. “We knew on a personal level how valuable it would have been to have had a space made just for us, our family, and our baby. I only held Brayden for a few minutes and I wish every day that I would have held him longer. Families experiencing a loss shouldn’t have to worry about anything other than spending time with their baby.
“Having this space that was created just for them is invaluable and will be so beneficial for these families. I am so grateful for this project, our team, our babies, and our community who helped make it possible. It makes my heart feel a little lighter knowing that these families will now be able to welcome their baby into a space that feels calm and safe. A space that hopefully makes them feel supported and loved through their darkest moments.”
The Genesis Foundation has collaborated with families and with the national organization, No Foot Too Small, to develop the suite at Genesis. The suite is a place where families experiencing infant loss are offered privacy, peace and a place for healing. A space to ease the burden and bring peace to so many who walk through pregnancy and infant loss.
Birthing and bereavement suites are common outside the United States, but there are few similar suites in the United States. The Genesis suite is one of the first in the U.S.
The No Foot Too Small Birth + Bereavement Suite has a labor and delivery room, a sitting area for family and friends, a kitchenette and bathroom.
Lyndsey Day, M.D., an OBGYN at The Group Obstetrics & Gynecology Specialists, P.C. in Davenport, said the suite offers features that will bring comfort to families during a devastating time.
“The time following delivery is the only time these families have with their child,” said Dr. Day, who lost daughter, Ada Marie, in December, 2018. “It is so important for them to have time together and to spend every minute with their baby. Those are the only moments they will have in this lifetime.
“If this suite provides even the slightest amount of comfort, even an ounce of peace, or the tiniest glimpse of light in this darkness, then our own suffering has been given new meaning and purpose. This project became the project of our hearts. It became in a sense, our baby when we couldn’t bring our baby home like we wished. This project began before Ada and is important because of Brayden, Jess, and because of the many women we care for every month that will not get to bring their babies home.
“I knew I worked at a wonderful place with incredibly compassionate and dedicated people before I had Ada, but because of Ada I have seen their goodness and their hearts and their deepest desire to provide the absolute best care to women. Women walking through the unimaginable. The No Foot Too Small Birthing + Bereavement Suite at Genesis will bring comfort to women and families, but also supports our mission of providing the best bereavement care we can during such a terrible time. I am in awe of the many paths that have brought us here. I am both heartbroken and thankful for the many mothers and fathers who know exactly how much our hearts rise and fall for this project, and the absolute joy we feel with its completion.”
Jordan Voigt, President of Genesis Medical Center in Davenport, said he is ecstatic that the building of this much-needed Birthing + Bereavement Suite at Genesis is now a reality.
“I would like to thank everyone who helped make this project a reality,” said Jordan Voigt. “Without the generosity and support of our community members and overwhelming dedication of area volunteers, partners and donors, this project would not have been possible. The suite is now open and available for use by patients and their loved ones.”