Thursday, October 7, 2010

Story of HOPE

Amanda ~ mother to Angel
who was stillborn on 05/18/2009

My daughter Angel was stillborn on May 18, 2009, at 19 weeks 5 days, as a result of a placental abruption with uterine infection.  What has helped me to heal is sharing my loss through public speaking.  It has helped significantly. Without being able to speak out about my daughter, I don’t think I would be as far in my healing as I am.

My inspiration started with a fundraiser for the March of Dimes that I did this year in memory of my daughter. I was in contact with a couple of ladies at the March of Dimes.   I kept telling them “I feel like I want to do something more.”  They put me in contact with a wonderful lady at UNC Hospital (University of North Carolina) who organizes different hospital events.  She was actually organizing an event called Perinatal Quality Care Collaborative of North Carolina (PQCNC). It is a conference that focuses on improving the quality of care of patients.  All disciplines attend, including doctors, nurses, and other staff. 

I was asked to speak about my personal experiences as a stillbirth parent.   The PQCNC was scheduled for May 18, 2009 ~ my daughter’s 1st birthday!!!  I was so excited and nervous (I think that it was Angel's way of reassuring me that it was the right thing to do).  This was the 3rd or 4th year for this event, yet I was the first Stillbirth parent they ever had speak.  

Speaking in front of people, let alone doctors and nurses, is not something I EVER imagined doing. I get nervous in front of people, but I will do it for the rest of my life if it educates people and helps someone understand that just because our babies are born still, they are still babies and we are still parents.

My inner critic always gets in the way, but I just ignore her, lol!  Seriously though, I have questioned whether what I was doing was "appropriate" and if I was doing it for the "right reasons". 

Something that has affirmed my choice to speak publicly was when I was approached after the conference.  I was invited to speak again during a nurse’s class at WakeMd about Bereavement.   The woman who asked me to speak was so sweet. She said that most people who have lived through a stillborn don’t want anyone to know what happened to them.  Apparently, some women feel they may be viewed or judged as somehow ‘defective’ and not be able to carry a child to term.  Of course, I just jumped at the chance to continue to educate those in the medical field.  I can’t wait to tell all the nurses what really helped me and what didn’t.

A quote that has meant a lot to me is written below.

“An angel in heaven wrote my daughter's name in the book of life, and whispered as she closed the book, too beautiful for earth.”

The picture I am sending is a picture of my daughter's name in the sand at Sunset Beach North Carolina. I like to write her name in the sand because it reminds me that she was real.

You can find more of Amanda's story on her


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