Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day- Count the Kicks!

Today is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day. Earlier this month, I wrote that on this day, I will take part in the Wave of Light celebration that is taking place worldwide at 7 p.m. I will light a candle in memory of my son, Gabriel. 

I will never forget the day he was born. It was the morning after Halloween and I had an appointment at the hospital for a Non-Stress Test. I woke up that morning and had orange juice and a waffle and waited to feel my baby move. I had read somewhere, during my first time mommy reading craze, that you should do a kick count to make sure that your baby moves enough. When I asked my doctor if I should be doing kick counts, he said it isn't something I should worry about. On the morning he was born, he didn't move much. In fact, I remember telling him to, "move more for mommy." Since I had an early appointment, I put it out of my mind. Hours later, when the nurses didn't see enough movement, I was rushed into an emergency c-section. You can find the rest of my story here

Almost 6 years later, I have 2 healthy daughters in preschool, and still struggle daily with trying to heal from the loss of my son. It has gotten easier, we have moved on and accepted that our son is waiting for us in heaven. But, I still have my days when I see a young boy his age and wonder what he would have been like. 

I hope that while sharing my story, it will not only help me to heal, but I also hope that I can help another mother out there reading this, who is struggling with their own infant loss. I hope that they know, it will get better, it will always be hard, but it will get better. I've shared before that almost 1 in 4 pregnancies will end in a loss. It is heart breaking, but unfortunately in the Mexican community, miscarriage is something that we are not encouraged to talk about. It is something we are taught to get over quickly and deal with quietly. It does not need to be this way, there is a huge community of support out there.  

I wanted to share and help take part in the Count the Kicks campaign. CTK helps to spread the word that by simply measuring fetal movements or counting kicks, thousands of babies' lives can be savedMany expecting mothers do not realize 1 in 160 births results in a stillbirth and that kick counting has been scientifically proven to save lives.  This campaign originated in Iowa, but this year, we are planning to take it nationwide with the help of Count the Kicks Ambassadors, seven women (Shawn Soumilas of Arizona, Kari Davis of Ohio, Meghan Petty of Tennessee, Karina Bennett of New York/California, Stacey Gripshover of Kentucky, Sapphire Garcia-Glancy of Kansas, and Sarah Firianni of Florida) from across the country who will be spreading the word about the importance of tracking fetal movement during the third trimester of pregnancy. In fact, Florida's Sarah Firianni saved her baby's life by kick counting and noticing a change in his movements. Sarah's baby had a true knot in his cord.

In this video called Mom to Momyou will meet six moms, all Count the Kicks Ambassadors, who lost their babies to still birth and are speaking out to help other moms. 
For more information and to join the movement, please visit and like www.facebook.com/countthekicks.

Did you know?

Did you know that October is SIDS, Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness month. As a stay at home mom that blogs about my girls, whenever I meet new people, and new people meet me, I am always asked the same question. In most circumstances, this question would just be a part of light conversation. But for me, this question hurts my heart each time I get asked, "Don't you want a boy?" 

The answer is: I have a son. His name is Gabriel and he is in heaven. 

I've written about my son before. My husband and I had just celebrated our 1 year anniversary and were more than ready to bring our first born son home. After an emergency c-section, and without a clue, the doctors discovered that our son had an incurable heart condition. Our son went to be with our Lord in heaven only 13 hours after being born. The amount of time I got to hold him, will never be enough. Not a day passes, where I do not think about my son. Every morning as I walk my daughter into her school, I think of him. He would be in 1st grade this year. Every time I hear his name, Gabriel, my heart aches a little. I will always wonder what kind of boy he would have been. 

Although the majority of pregnancies end in beautiful, bouncing, crying babies. The sad truth is, 10-25% of pregnancies will end in miscarriage and 90,000 infants die before their first birthday in the United States. This sort of loss is not easy to talk about and I don't blame people for asking if I want a son, because how could they know that I do have a son, he just lives in heaven. 
Although every year I honor my son's name by walking in the March for Babies walk, this year I will also be recognizing Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day (PAILRD) on October 15th. On this day we will take part in the global Wave of Light Celebration. As a family, we will light a candle at 7 p.m. and keep it lit for an hour. Around the world, we will be part of a continuous Wave of Light to honor all of the babies and children that are now our angels. My son will be remembered on this day. 

One thing that I have found useful on my journey is finding a supportive community. Please feel free to share your feelings in the comment section below. (And, don't forget to light a candle on October 15th, at 7 p.m.)