On October 3, 2015, our daughter Aubrey, was born still, just one day after her expected due date. She passed during early labour as the result of an umbilical cord accident. Our lives forever changed by the words no parent ever wants to hear, “I’m sorry there is no heartbeat”.
A textbook pregnancy, as my OB referred to it, we were never once counselled on loss or its possibility, even within a healthy pregnancy. It was never brought up during any of our prenatal visits hence leaving us in such a state of shock.
Since that time, we have been passionate about creating Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness in addition to financially assisting local, in need families with their funeral expenses.
With the love and support of our family and friends, we have been able to purchase RVH’s only CuddleCot. A CuddleCot is a specially designed, bed side bassinet that has the capability to cool a baby’s body to an ideal temperature which slows the natural deterioration. This allows their baby to remain bed side, giving them more time with their baby prior to any natural changes that will occur.
This gift as we now know, is priceless to loss families. It gives these families the opportunity to create memories that will be paramount in their grief journey and memories they can cherish for the rest of their lives.
Additionally, we have able purchased 80 resource aids for the Birthing and Maternal Floor Staff, as requested by RVH. Better self care for staff will ultimately allow for better patient care.
In October 2018, we completed a month of random acts of kindness in Aubrey’s name. We gifted many unsuspecting individuals while sharing our story of love and loss, all in honour of Aubrey. Many brought to tears and offering hugs in return. Some sharing their own stories of loss of which had never been spoken of previously, due to the stigma associated with loss.
Since then, we have initiated Aubrey’s Act to assist loss families of stillborn babies and/pregnancy and infant loss. Our goal is to be able to offer financial assistance to families for end-of-life expenses in addition to bereavement services.
Additionally, we would like to be able to assist other individuals with their CuddleCot purchases (for their local healthcare facility).
We also remain steadfast in our commitment to RVH to continue to raise funds for their needs; specifically, the Bereavement Program, the NICU and Resource Aids as deemed necessary to improve patient care.
But above all, our awareness campaign(s) will always remain forefront. We believe that awareness drives prevention. This means that spreading the word will allow the conversation(s) to continue hence decreasing stillbirth #’s and also eliminating the stigma associated with Pregnancy and Infant Loss.
The loss of a baby is devastating but our vision, if only just to be able to provide a small level of assistance, will offer solace to a family who is so desperately seeking comfort.
We can not take away the hurt, but we can certainly assist with the burdens that come with a broken heart and empty arms.
Stacy & Scott Twyne