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
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.
Make warm memories. Your children will probably not remember anything that you say to them, but they will recall the family rituals - like bedtimes and game night - that you do together.
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
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.
Don't try to fix everything. Give young kids a chance to find their own solutions. When you lovingly acknowledge a child's minor frustrations without immediately rushing in to save her, you teach her self-reliance and resilience.