Local woman helps parents of stillborn babies

CINCINNATI (Deb Dixon) -- The baby who doesn't come home from the hospital. It happens more you think, but often it's not something people talk about often. But one local mother is talking about her still born daughter, Ava. What happened after her 1 pound baby was born inspired her to start a project called "Sewiing Hearts: The Angel Gown Program." It looks like a bridal shop in the basement of one West Chester home. There's satin, silk, lace, and pearl beads. But the gowns will be cut to create little angel gowns for the babies who don't come home from the hospital. Catherine Diehl is behind the program. A year ago her baby did not come home. She shared she, "Delivered a still born Saturday, February 15. She had nothing to wear" Nothing tiny enough for Ava at 1 pound and 10 inches long. Catherine even searched her daughter's doll clothes for a burial gown."I ended up with a piece of material, blanket, I wrapped her in and a hospital blanket. That's what she was buried in," said Catherine.Now for babies like Ava volunteers sew wraps from donated wedding gowns. There are all sizes of angel gowns. Some pastels, some with blue trim for baby boys. Everyone is different and hand sewn. Sewing Hearts' goal is for every hospital in greater Cincinnati to have a selection at no cost. Wedding gowns come in from all over the country. Perrin Rountree is one of the volunteer sewers. Each angel gown also comes with a heart for parents to take home, made from the same wedding dress. Perrin said she finds it calming to know one of her creations could bring comfort to grieving parents.Catherine is expecting a baby boy in April and said she doesn't want another family to go through what they went through. The Angel Gown Project is successful in some other states, including Texas. Catherine needs more gowns and more volunteers to sew. To find out how to be part of the project CLICK HERE.

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