Speaking Up for Change
Learn more about the courageous advocates who are helping us raise awareness and push for systemic change.Advocates for Change
My daughter Lydia was stillborn from an umbilical cord accident in November of 2014. She was the most active of my four babies, until the moment she wasn’t. I’ll never forget saying to my doctor, “She moves so much!” and her response: “An active baby is a healthy baby!” And Lydie WAS healthy — but her umbilical cord was not. Lydie is my second child and I had no risk factors. I wasn’t counting kicks nor were any of my pregnant friends. It never even occurred to me.
The moment we found out Lydie had no heartbeat, my doctor said to me, “This is NOT your fault.” I had a hard time registering her words, still deeply in shock, but I remember thinking that as soon as I could make sense of this, I was going to blame myself. And I did. Who else was there to blame? A mother’s job is to take care of her child, and I failed to do that.
I’ve spent seven years now living with that everyday. Working through that guilt. I know now that if we had looked at Lydie’s umbilical cord on an ultrasound, we might have seen an issue. If I had had just one NST, it would have likely shown a heart rate deceleration caused by her cord. I know if I had been advised to monitor her movement, I would have. And I might have known she was in trouble.
I also know that I can’t turn back time.
I can give other parents the gift of knowing what I did not. I can educate them, and help them get their babies here safely. I tell pregnant mamas that they’ll be advocating for their child for the rest of their lives and they need to start during pregnancy. I tell doctors that we aren’t delicate flowers, that we deserve to be empowered with information and trusted with our intuitions. I tell them that stillbirth can be preventable, and my daughter should be seven.
I use my voice because Lydie never got the chance to.