When I was pregnant with my daughter, the Serum Integrated Pregnancy Screening came back with a higher than screen cut-off risk for Trisomy 18 - Edwards Syndrome. My dear daughter's risk of this condition was somewhere in the range of 1 in 400. As I read about the implications of trisomy 18, it became clear that in many cases the condition is incompatable with life and the majority of fetuses with the syndrome die before birth. Children born alive with the syndrome have a low rate of survival as a result of abnormalities of the heart, kidney malformations and internal organ disorders. Given this risk, I needed to know whether or not my daughter was actually afflicted by this condition. I breathed a sigh of relief when I read the results from the amniocentesis that clearly stated that the fetus I was carying was a female with normal chromosomes. I was thankful to be spared from a heartbreaking diagnoses.
However, many women are not spared from the heartbreaking reality of a pregnancy loss, a stillbirth, or a newborn death. For these women the anticipation of a new arrival is replaced by immense and immeasurable sadness - for all of their hopes of parenthood are dashed before they even begin.
Finding support in the face of such tragedy can be a daunting task. Recently, through an online community - I have had the privledge of becoming acquianted with Heidi Faith. Heidi Faith is a remarkable woman, who through her own experience of loss, has created an online community of support for other women who are in the midst of their own tragedies. Stillbirthday offers support for women who have suffered from pregnancy loss, still birth and newborn death.
For offering these women and their families a place to turn to, Heidi Faith and her site Stillbirthday, does amazing work.