Guest post by Jackie
That one word holds so much weight.
Sure, I’d heard the term before but never felt the nudge of curiosity to learn more about it.
I wish I had.
One philosophy I’ve lived by: If I learn about something I do not wish to occur in my life; it simply won’t happen only for the fact that I’ve prepared for it.
Silly; yes but being prepared seemed like something I could control. Maybe.
Now that I’ve been personally touched by stillbirth I could give speeches on the topic. In fact, I could rattle off data, statistics and facts regarding pregnancy.
I wish I had known all this before. Would it have made a difference anyway?
Just over 4 million babies are born in the United States each year and stillbirth claims 26,000 of those innocent lives. That means, 1 out of 160 women will experience a stillbirth, which is a baby that dies in the womb after 20 weeks gestation.
1 in 4 women will experience a pregnancy loss. Miscarriage accounts for 10-25% of these losses.
I knew all about my risk for miscarriage. Every woman knows the first trimester is filled with anxiety and excitement. Once a woman crosses that 14th week mark, they breathe a bit easier knowing the worst is over. Right?
The second trimester ultrasound at 20 weeks assures apprehensive mothers that their baby is healthy and thriving.
I knew all about the 24th week. This is the week of viability if a woman should go into premature labor.
I knew all about the 36th week. This is the week that a baby is considered full term and could survive with little or no assistance.
I wish I knew about stillbirth.
Nothing prepared me for this. No book told me that my healthy, full term baby could die for absolutely no reason besides a diagnosis of stillbirth. What to expect when your expecting had nothing on the topic of stillbirth. No risk factors mentioned on stillbirth in any literature for the third trimester.
This epidemic is silently taking the lives of these unborn babies and their mother’s are left with the most unbearable type of loss. What do you do when happy anticipation turns into empty arms?
Stillbirth is an equal opportunity destoryer of hopes and dreams. Every mother should be told of this possible outcome in pregnancy.
I wish someone had told me.