Archive - October 2019

Second Annual Pregnancy & Infant Loss Remembrance Day
Safety in the Dark
Proactive Self Care

Second Annual Pregnancy & Infant Loss Remembrance Day

By: Suzanne Masland, District Director, Morrisville Local Health Office

Jon Gailmor, Performing Artist

Last week, performing artist Jon Gailmor and Copley Hospital chaplain Alden Launer, joined the Compassionate Bereavement Coalition (CBC) and many families in celebrating the Second Annual Pregnancy & Infant Loss Remembrance Day.

The event included an invocation from Alden Launer and a naming recognition ceremony. Jon Gailmor led attendees in uplifting songs and attendees participated in a lantern release just as the sun was setting over the memorial stone that was dedicated “In Remembrance of Our Children” on this beautiful evening.

The SIMON Project (The Sudden Infant/Child Mourning Network), a resource for education, advocacy and support, and the CBC raised funds to purchase the memorial stone for families who have experienced the loss of a child in pregnancy, to stillbirth, or in infancy. The memorial stone was placed in the Pleasant View Cemetery in Morrisville, VT. The memorial stone will be open to the community and any family who may wish to add their child’s name to the memorial. This will not be a community burial site. Instead, it is intended to serve as a tangible place to recognize and honor those babies who are gone too soon. 

Copley Hospital chaplain Alden Launer

The Pleasant View Cemetery trustees donated the site for the memorial stone. The Third Annual Pregnancy & Infant Loss Remembrance Day will take place October 15, 2020 at the Cemetery. The date, October 15, is chosen because it is the National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day. This is a day when families around the globe light a candle at 7 p.m., local time, to create a continuous wave of light spanning the globe for a 24-hour period in honor and remembrance of children who have died during pregnancy or shortly after birth.

Memorial stone with the setting sun

To add a baby’s name to the stone, call Jenn Chittick at 881-2917 or email Wendy Hubbard, Maternal Child Health Coordinator with the Morrisville Health Department at Please let either of them know if you want to apply for financial assistance.

Safety in the Dark

By: Caleb Magoon

Fall is here and all Vermonters are starting the countdown to winter. Our long to-do lists of outside projects take top priority as we prepare for the cold and dark months. But we also want to squeeze out the last bike rides, hikes, and other outdoor activities with the few nice days we have left. As LED light technology has improved by leaps and bounds, we increasingly are pushing those recreation activities into the evening hours.

Here are a few tips to take advantage of the dark hours and stay safe.

First off, be aware that dusk is a far more dangerous time than full dark. Drivers can’t see safety lights as well and the flat light makes obstacles much harder to see. So be prepared and ready to turn on those lights earlier than you think.

When going for a run or bike ride, reflective clothing and material is a great place to start. At the minimum, wear a reflective vest or add reflective tape to your arms or shoes, which are always moving and hence more visible.

But remember that reflective material on your clothing isn’t necessarily enough. For those to work effectively, they need to be hit by car headlights. People often don’t have their headlights on at dusk, making the reflective gear ineffective. So make sure you have lights, preferably in a strobe or blinking function on your body.

Adding lights to your setup greatly increases your safety. You can get clip-on strobing lights very inexpensively – under $20 for a set of two or $40 for a nicer set that is rechargeable. These can easily clip onto your clothes, belt, a bag you carry, or reflective vests.

If illumination, not just visibility is your goal, a two light setup is ideal. Lights pointed away from a car can be hard to see. But having lights pointed in both directions, ensuring one is pointed at a driver in each direction increases visibility dramatically.

Many bike companies are now offering daytime running lights. As dusk becomes longer and more prominent, consider adding these to your setup so you are always visible. When biking, adding one light on your handlebars to illuminate where the bike is going and one on your helmet to see where you are looking provides excellent coverage.

As you get out in the dark more and more, keep adding to your safety setup and looking for more options. Drivers will thank you for being as visible as possible. I love getting out this time of year when the weather is perfect for outside exertion. But as the darkness comes, we all have a responsibility to make ourselves as visible as possible.

Caleb Magoon is a Hyde Park native who grew up hiking, hunting, biking and exploring Vermont’s Green Mountains. His passions for sports and recreation have fueled his career as the owner of Power Play Sports and Waterbury Sports. Caleb encourages outdoor activity and believes it is an essential element to a healthy lifestyle and the Vermont way of life. Caleb serves the Lamoille Valley by volunteering on numerous community boards such as the Lamoille County Planning Commission, The Morrisville Alliance for Commerce and Culture, Mellow Velo, and the state chapter of The Main Street Alliance. He lives, plays and works in Hyde Park with his wife Kerrie.

Proactive Self Care

By: Emily Neilsen

The term “self care” is everywhere, yet its definition is squishy, at best.  The term often conjures images of stressed out moms taking group trips to the spa, getting massages, and going on yoga retreats. Certainly, these things can be self care. But, self care can be much simpler and is often most effective when it is integrated into everyday life. It also does not need to cost anything.

At its most basic, self-care is simply taking care of oneself and one’s needs.  It stems from the idea that we cannot give endlessly (to our loved ones, our careers, those in need, etc.) without also taking care of ourselves. In fact, self care is much more effective if we approach it proactively, instead of reactively, by incorporating simple routines into our lives, and maintaining them even when we feel good. These habits can also be renewing and energy conserving, allowing us to move through the world more calmly and peacefully.

What is proactive self-care? Truly, anything you do that supports your mental, physical, and spiritual health before you feel burnt out or exhausted.

A few examples:

  1. Doing something ahead of time to increase calm and decrease chaos during busy moments: Making your bed in the morning, laying out clothes for next day, meal planning for the week, or doing anything that will help you feel calm, organized, and centered in the future.
  2. Creating a short bedtime routine that allows you to feel relaxed and grounded before heading to sleep: e.g. journaling, meditating, taking a bath, or reading.
  3. Getting extra sleep before you feel over tired or scheduling time in your calendar that is reserved for relaxing, not accomplishing.
  4. Addressing your physical and emotional health before symptoms arise. This could mean changing your diet, incorporating more or different forms of exercise, sleeping more, or seeking counseling, among many other possibilities.  
  5. Self care can also be about asking for help or saying “no” to invitations and requests that are draining or don’t easily fit into your schedule.

As with any new habit or goal, you may find that integrating proactive self-care can be challenging. Start small, by identifying and incorporating one or two small changes that fit well into your life. Be patient with, and kind to, yourself (that’s self-care, too!)

Here are a few articles for additional information:

Emily Neilsen is a mother and educator, who loves asking big questions, digging in the soil, swimming in natural bodies of water, and playing outdoors. She is a 500-hour and Prenatal certified yoga instructor. Emily currently plans arts & cultural events and reading initiatives, and works with first-year students at Northern Vermont University-Johnson. She cares deeply about health and believes mental health, movement, and diet play essential roles in wellness. Emily lives with her husband and 2-year-old, as well as a husky and a calico cat in Hyde Park, VT.