Losing a baby is something that stays with you forever. But most loss moms know that people aren't entirely comfortable talking about pregnancy or infant loss, especially when your baby was part of a multiple pregnancy and you brought some, but not all, of your babies home. One UK mom is trying to disrupt our culture of silence, though, and has given loss moms a new symbol to help people understand this very specific, devastating pain. And thanks to the following purple butterfly tattoos, that symbol can be carried with moms everywhere they go as away to honor the child they lost and the child they took home.
When Millie Smith lost one of her identical twin daughters, Skye, to anencephaly shortly after her birth in 2016, she wanted to find a way to let visitors to the hospital know that her surviving twin Callie had lost her sister. According to Today, she created the symbol of a purple butterfly, which started as a sticker and "cot card," to make sure other NICU parents knew she was a loss mom, even though one of her babies had survived. Since starting the Skye High Foundation to raise money for these stickers in 2016, Smith's purple butterflies has become a symbol for this unique group of loss parents worldwide.
Now that imagery has become more than a sticker, adorning baby blankets for surviving twins produced by the Skye High Foundation, serving as a backdrop for unique family photos, and even the centerpiece for tattoos, all to help raise awareness about this specific form of infant loss. The following tattoos can help moms remember the babies they've lost, honor their surviving child or children, and bring awareness to a group of parents who need and deserve our understanding and support.
Sunrise & Sunset Babies
This tattoo was inspired by the concept of "sunrise" and "sunset" babies. According to the Skye High Foundation Facebook page, within the infant loss community,lost twins are represented by a sunset, and surviving twins are represented by a sunrise. This awareness ribbon tattoo includes two ribbons for twins, colored like a sunrise and sunset, and the purple butterfly signifying the loss in a multiple pregnancy.
I Carried You
Our babies are always with us, even the ones we only carried inside our wombs. This special butterfly remembrance tattoo includes butterflies for each of the mom's babies, and this quote about miscarriage: "I carried you every second of your life, and I will love you every second of my life."
This tattoo includes the iconic purple butterfly and an infinity symbol, representing the idea that twins will always be twins, even if one of them has passed.
This vibrant purple butterfly tattoo includes baby-sized footprints, for an unforgettable memorial to your lost baby.
This butterfly tattoo includes the Infant Loss Awareness ribbon in it's design, which may give you an opportunity to talk about your loss baby and raise awareness about your unique type of loss, so that more individuals can understand how to support every kind of loss mom.
Some loss parents have memorialized lost babies with a tattoo of their footprints taken at birth. This butterfly tattoo includes footprints of both twins to honor their special bond.
The loss community has a saying that lost babies were just "too beautiful for earth." This sentiment, and tattoo, could give a loss parent a unique sense of comfort every time they see it.
The lotus flower is a symbol of tranquility, rebirth, fertility, and strength. This tattoo incorporating lotus flowers and a purple butterfly taking flight can be a symbol of remembrance and hope.
Some loss parents find healing in the act of naming their lost baby. A tattoo including your lost child's name will serve as a reminder that they existed.
Like butterflies, dragonflies also symbolized lost loved ones. This twin-inspired dragonfly tattoo serves as a reminder that those babies we've lost stay with us forever, accompanied by the quote: "Forever in my heart. Always on my mind."
If butterflies are not your thing, you can honor your little ones, and raise awareness about loss, with this stunning watercolor design, featuring the colors purple, pink, and blue (for infant loss awareness) and the quote: "Not all twins walk side by side, sometimes one has wings to fly."