'I wish I had known that stillbirth was a possibility'

Rachel was never told what she was doing could have caused her stillbirth.

What I’m about to say might scare you and to be honest, it should.

If you are pregnant or plan to be pregnant, there is a chance that your baby could be stillborn.

Why am I telling you this?

Because no one told me. Not even when I was on bed rest and doing everything I could to avoid preterm labour–no one mentioned the possibility of stillbirth. They didn’t tell me because they didn’t want to scare me. I get that. But, I really wish someone had told me.

I wish I had known it was a possibility

It's a scary conversation to have, but it's important. Image: iStock

It's a scary conversation to have, but it's important. Image: iStock

I wish I had known the risk factors that can contribute to a stillbirth. I wish I had known that sleeping on your back can contribute to stillbirth. When it comes to pregnancy, I wish I had known that there was no such thing as a “safe zone.”

I wish I had known how important it is to know your baby’s movement patterns. I wish I had known that it’s not normal for a baby’s movements to noticeably decrease OR increase.

Normal rules apply. Discipline the child who stutters just as you do your other children and just as you would if he didn’t stutter.

I wish I had known that a mother is the greatest advocate for her baby’s health.

I wish I had known that it was my job to speak up. I wish I had known the power of my maternal instincts.

I wish I had known that imagining the worst case scenario is a lot better than living it. I wish I had known that 1 in 160 pregnancies in America ends in a stillbirth.

'I know how terrifying it is to exist in a world without your baby.' Image: iStock

'I know how terrifying it is to exist in a world without your baby.' Image: iStock

It's scary, but listen up

Now, I need to say something else that might scare you. Even if you know all these things, stillbirth remains a possibility for your baby.

Knowing about stillbirth and knowing about the research won’t keep your baby from being stillborn–but, it might.

Knowing about the possibility of stillbirth and listening to someone’s story of stillbirth–that might be the difference between bringing home your baby and bringing home a box of memories.

So, I know that it’s scary to think about your baby being stillborn, but, I also know how scary it is to experience a stillbirth.

I know how terrifying it is to exist in a world without your baby. I wish that no person would ever have to know that heartbreak.

Model brave behavior. Want confident kids? They will be less likely to be easily flustered if they see you taking healthy risks. "A lot of adults won't go to a movie solo because they would be embarrassed to be seen sitting alone. So do it, then talk to your kids about it," says David Allyn, the author of I Can't Believe I Just Did That. Similarly, if your kids see you laugh when you realize that your shirt has been on backwards all morning, maybe they'll giggle, instead of feeling embarrassed, when it happens to them.

This post originally appeared on An Unexpected Family Outing and have been republished here with permission. You can follow Rachel on or her blog .