Mississippi has one of the worst records for maternal and infant health in the U.S., as well as some of the highest rates of teen pregnancy and sexually transmitted disease, and among some of the most restrictive policies on abortion…

"It is tremendously, tremendously frightening, this case…There’s real fear for young women whose babies are dying early who [lack the resources to] defend themselves and their actions."

Rennie Gibbs’ daughter was stillborn with the cord wrapped around her neck, but when autopsy results turned up traces of a cocaine byproduct in her baby’s blood, Gibbs was indicted for “depraved heart murder,” with a maximum sentence of life in prison.

It should come as no surprise that Gibbs is a young, low-income black woman, a member of a demographic disproportionately targeted by the legal system in cases like this and others, and more vulnerable to stillbirths.

A committee for the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists determined that “pregnant women who fear the legal system avoid or emotionally disengage from prenatal care - the very thing that might help assure they give birth to health babies. Drug enforcement policies that deter women from seeking prenatal care are contrary to the welfare of the mother and fetus.”

Until we stop pretending punishment and stigma is an effective deterrent, and work to address the underlying issues in maternal health, women will continue to be targeted for addiction, mental illness, and self-determination.

You NEVER get over losing a baby.

You don’t get over it, you don’t let it go.

You just get used to that excruciating pain and hollow feeling in your heart.

It’s still there everyday, but becomes what’s normal for you.

It doesn’t matter if you had a kid before the loss, or have your rainbow after.

They don’t replace the loss of the life that was there. The loss of an individual baby who can never be replaced.

One of my favorite poems about miscarriage/stillbirth though it makes me cry every time.

I thought of you and closed my eyes. 
And prayed to God today. 
I asked what makes a mother and 
I know I heard him say, 

A mother has a baby. 
This we know is true. 
But God, can you be a mother 
when your baby’s not with you? 

Yes, you can, He replied 
with confidence in His voice. 
I give many women babies. 
When they leave is not their choice. 

Some I send for a lifetime 
and others for a day. 
And some I send to feel your womb 
but there’s no need to stay. 

I just don’t understand this. God, 
I want my baby here. 
He took a breath and cleared His throat 
and then I saw a tear. 

I wish I could show you 
what your child is doing today. 
If you could see your child smile 
with other children and say, 

"We go to earth to learn our lessons 
of life and love and fear. 
My Mommy loved me, Oh so much, 
I got to come straight here. 

I feel so lucky to have a Mom 
who had so much love for me,
I learned my lesson very quickly.
My Mommy set me free.

I miss my Mommy, Oh so much, 
but I visit her each day.
When she goes to sleep,
on her pillow’s where I lay.

I stroke her hair and kiss her cheek 
and whisper in her ear,
'Mommy don't be sad today,
I’m your baby and I’m here.’”

So you see, my dear sweet one,
your children are okay.
Your babies are here in MY home 
and this is where they’ll stay.

They’ll wait for you with ME 
until your lesson is through. 
And on the day that you come home, 
they’ll be at the gates for you.

So now you see what makes a Mother—
It’s the feeling in your heart.
It’s the love you had so much of,
right from the very start.

Though some on earth may not realize you are a Mother,
until their time is done. 
They’ll be up here with ME one day, 
and know you’re the best one

-Unknown

Skeleton displaying “fetal rickets”. What was once known as “fetal rickets” is actually the most common form of dwarfism, called achondroplasia. Since achondroplasia is spontaneously occurring in 85% of cases, it’s understandable that doctors would believe that nutrition of the mother was the cause of the deformity of their baby.

Around 1900-1920, a large amount of research was done regarding prenatal care and disorders in the newborn. The fetal x-ray work done by George H. Evans et al was one of the defining projects in differentiating achondroplasia from nutritional deficiencies of the mother.

2

We had a beautiful daughter named Elodie. She was born sleeping on the 12th of the 12th at 4.12am. She weighed 2.35kg and was 45cm long. She has thick dark brown hair, dark blue eyes and is absolutely perfect. Brett and I couldn’t be more in love with her.  She will always be a part of us and forever missed. 

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