I want to thank those of you who read and commented on Abbey's story and to those of you who shared stories of your own. And a special thank you to Curtis's mom - I can't even put into words how much that meant to us.
I only wish that there weren't so many babies to be remembered in this way.
I didn't mean to scare anyone by telling Abbey's story. That was not my intent. Unfortunately, I think that this is how the topic of stillbirth becomes sticky. Doctors and nurses do not want to scare their patients so patients remain uneducated.
While pregnant with Abbey, the nurse would ask me how the baby had been moving during each of my appointments. At one appointment, I casually mentioned that the baby really hadn't been moving that much that morning. What followed was the equivalent of setting off a fire alarm. I didn't understand. The baby had been moving. Just not as much. Plus, I had been rushing around trying to get ready for my appointment and had to drive in heavy traffic. I hadn't been paying attention.
I didn't fully understand until she died.
It's easy for me to look back now, after the fact, and turn everything into a warning sign that I missed. Do you know what drives me insane? Reading threads on message boards and seeing an expectant mom post that her baby (or babies) hasn't been moving all that much. Please call your doctor and do not ask a message board to justify that it is normal for babies to run out of room. Babies do not slow down because they run out of room.
If you would like to read more about kick counts and stillbirth, I urge you to check out First Candle.
So, this year, instead of taking pictures of my four year old in a party dress, blowing out candles and opening presents, I took pictures of this.
This is what no parent should ever have to live through.
Society needs to change. Babies need to be remembered and legislative actions need to occur. Do you know what it is like to be handed a death certificate for your child all the while being told that no birth certificate can be issued? Do you know what it is like to be asked if you would like an autopsy performed on your baby so that maybe they can figure out exactly what happened. So that maybe another baby can live. Some hospitals don't even ask if you want an autopsy. Parents don't know what their options are.
And that is why I write....