There’s a number I’d like to share with you all today:
Twenty-thousand three-hundred and seventy-seven
20,377 is a pretty big number to me and just a few hours ago, it seemed a whole lot bigger than before. Since Jensen was born forty-one weeks ago, twenty-thousand three-hundred and seventy-seven babies have been stillborn.
Let that really set it.
That’s 40,754 mothers and fathers that have lost their children and 163,016 grandparents who have lost their grandchildren. Just in forty-one weeks.
The absolute crazy thing about that number is, it grows by 71 each and every day, in the United States alone. (I read this statistic today from stillbirthday.com.) Even more bizarre before Jensen was born, I didn’t even realize that stillbirths still happened. I honestly thought that is was just something that happened in the medieval period. That sounds very closed-minded and uneducated, but I literally did not know. I knew people who had miscarriages, but I only thought it happened within the first trimester or at the very latest twenty weeks. I didn’t realize babies died, until mine did and it completely flipped my whole entire world upside down.
Through my entire grief journey, I have wanted people to, one, know Jensen and how much he means to me. Which, by the way if you haven’t noticed, he means everything to me. But, I’ve also swore to myself and Jensen, that I would speak up about stillbirth. I want this taboo topic to be talked about. There is NO way seventy-one babies in the United States should be dying every day. I know that these parents have done nothing wrong to cause this, believe me. But there has to be something more we can do. People, like Danielle before Jensen, should know stillbirth happens.
Parents grieve, hard.
Lives change forever.
‘But Danielle, no one wants to talk about how babies die. It’s too sad.’
Yes. It is sad. Losing a child is a tragedy no one should ever go through, but I’ve lived forty-one weeks of this life after loss. There’s people that have lived this life for way longer than I have and there has been seventy-one sets of parents who have entered this new life. That’s the reality. Our world isn’t all rainbows and puppies. It sucks. Life is hard and although there is no way to prepare for giving birth to your lifeless child, it should at least be talked about. Those babies deserve to be talked about and much, much more.
I urge you to take one day and put your timer on for every twenty minutes. Each time you would press to shut that alarm off, another child has died. Another mother’s dreams have been shattered. Another father will try to comfort his partner. Another family effected by something some people don’t even know happens any more. The seventy-one times your phone would go off through the day would really set in. For every chime means another angel will get his or her wings.
This isn’t meant to make anyone feel extra sad or to make anyone feel bad. It’s the truth and the hard statistics. To be quite honest, it’s horrible to be on the wrong side of it. Being that one of seventy-one a day. It breaks your spirit. Just knowing those numbers, I don’t know how this world can absorb all that pain and heartbreak day after day.
Happy forty-one weeks in heaven Baby J. You made it to St. Paul, Minnesota today to play in the snow. Make sure you send Kristyna a big thank you sign. I think you would have really liked the snow and would have eventually thrown snowballs at me every time we walked to the car. There’s no snow here today in Ohio, but I’m sure you’re getting whatever you would like in heaven. I wish you were physically here with me. I miss you. I love you.