A stillbirth is said to occur when a fetus has reached 24 weeks of gestation and is born with no life. As rare as it may seem, there are actually 109 babies a day that are stillborn in the U.S., that is equivalent to more than 40,000 babies a year. The world wide tragedy of stillbirth transcends every culture, race, religion and economic status.
On September 11, 2006, I gave birth to Evelyn Yang, a beautiful 6 lb 11 oz stillborn baby girl at 38 weeks of gestation. She was just ten days short of her original due date. There were no complications thru out the pregnancy or an explanation for the stillbirth. I went into the hospital after having decrease fetal movement, thinking that it was just a result of the growing baby and the limited space in the placenta. The facial expression and silence of the medical staff immediately told me something was wrong. I was induced after confirmation from the doctor and went thru 8 long hours of labor. Imagine going thru labor knowing the end result and knowing that your child had already left the world.
Candy McVicar, the founder of the Missing GRACE Foundation, walked into my hospital room holding a white wicker basket that day. We had only one thing in common, the loss of a child due to a stillbirth. She dressed Evelyn in a beautiful white gown and took the most breath taking pictures. She molded the imprints of Evelyn’s hand and foot. She even took a huge lift off my shoulders by helping to arrange the burial ceremony. Without Candy, memories would have been all that I had left of Evelyn. On the day of my discharged, I walked out of the hospital with the white wicker basket in hand and, believe it or not, it made a huge difference! The white wicker basket was like the car seat holding a beautiful newborn, instead the basket held the memories and essentials that held my heart together.
In remembrance of my daughter I coordinate fundraisers thru out the year with my team, “Team Evelyn”. All proceeds will benefit the Missing Grace Foundation. The mission of the Missing GRACE Foundation is to provide resources and support to families who have experienced a pregnancy or infant loss, infertility or adoption challenges and to advocate for proper management of pregnancies for all women. They provide support and resources locally in MN and nationally to aid individuals as they Grieve, Restore, Arise, Commemorate and Educate. Annually, Team Evelyn walks along side hundreds of individuals and Teams not only in remembrance of our babies, but also for hope for the future through education and research and supporting the hearts of families who have lost to move forward. The walk has grown tremendously over the years, thanks to all the volunteers and supports. The next Kaila & Grace’s Hope & Hearts Run/Walk is scheduled for Saturday, September 11th, 2010 in Coon Rapids, Minnesota. We walk for the little ones that didn’t have a chance to, please join us! We are always looking for sponsors and volunteers. For more information on how to sponsor or donate, please contact me at [email protected].
By Elaine Kue