Helping Others Grieve Pregnancy Loss & Stillbirth | Business with Purpose Podcast EP 257: Ashley Opliger, Bridget’s Cradles
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My guest today is Ashley Opliger, president and executive director of Bridget’s Cradles, a nonprofit ministry dedicated to providing comfort, hope and healing to families grieving the loss of a baby in Heaven. They have donated cradles to more than 1,100 hospitals in all 50 states.
Ashley lost her daughter, Bridget, during pregnancy. Ashley’s mother knit a blanket for Bridget and made it into a knitted cradle. That was the start of Bridget’s Cradles.
This discussion is very personal to me, because I have had the horrific experience of losing babies, my sons Elijah and Malachi, during pregnancy.
5:21 – Ashley 101
- Ashley lives in Wichita, Kan., with her husband, Matt. They have three children, their daughter Bridget in Heaven, and their two sons who are 4 years old and 6 months old.
- Her life right now is a mix of motherhood and ministry.
- She had a subchorionic hemorrhage while pregnant with her daughter Bridget and was on bed rest for 11 weeks before losing her daughter.
10:50 – Deep grief
- Ashley was dealing with deep grief when she came home from the hospital. She fell to her knees in Bridget’s nursery and asked God why she had to lose her daughter.
- She surrendered her grief to God, and she has seen God redeem her grief so she can help others.
17:54 – Cradles
- Nurses saw the knitted cradle Ashley had for her daughter. They said it would be nice to have those for other babies who pass.
- Ashley created Bridget’s Cradles. Nurses say the cradles are unique and special gifts to give grieving families.
25:16 – Nurses
- Once the cradles are shipped to hospitals, nurses are responsible for giving them to families.
- Nurses are the hands and feet of the cradles.
32:25 – Volunteers can knit cradles
- You can volunteer to knit cradles. They will send patterns, dimensions, yarn type and colors.
- The cradles are shipped to Bridget’s Cradles, and they add lace, ribbon and charms. Every cradle has a cross on the foot.
40:09 – Cradles are for everyone
- A few hospitals have said no to the cradles because of the religious connection and the crosses on the foot of the cradles.
- Families can choose to remove crosses from the cradles. The cradles are for everyone.
46:49 – Get to know you
- Guilty pleasure? Dark chocolate
- What she’s reading? Mama Bear Apologetics
There’s nothing wrong or weak about going to counseling. I think it’s a sign of strength to be able to go in and have someone help process that grief. – Ashley
“My life right now is a mix of motherhood and ministry.” – Ashley
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About Ashley Opliger:
Ashley Opliger is the President and Executive Director of Bridget’s Cradles 501c3 nonprofit organization based in Wichita, Kansas. Bridget’s Cradles donates cradles to over 1,090 hospitals in all 50 states and comforts over 26,000 bereaved families a year. She is the host of the Cradled in Hope podcast and the leader of Hope Gatherings support groups.
Ashley is married to Matt and they have three children: Bridget (in Heaven), and two sons. She is a fully-devoted follower of Christ who desires to share the hope of Jesus and Heaven with families grieving the loss of a baby.
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