On July 1st, Wendy called me feeling ill. She was experiencing symptoms not common to pregnancy aches and pains. I encouraged her to keep an eye on her health because what she was experiencing didn't sound normal. Sunday night, I was packing to teach a doula training in DC through Doula Trainings International and Wendy called me. She was admitted and a stillbirth was highly possible. My brain went into full gear for Wendy to have support during my week long leave from NYC through a meal and errand train. Various doulas came through to support her with food, a listening ear and help for her 4 year old daughter. Through Wendy’s journey, my belief in community has strengthened as well as the need for resources. This is her story.
“Nothing could ever prepare you when your OB/GYN tells you you’re about to have a stillbirth. For a moment I felt like I was in a twilight zone, a terrible nightmare I was having. But it was real, the pain, the grief, the despair, it was all real. The only question I had in my mind was, “why me? What did I do wrong?” I was only 19 weeks pregnant with my second child, the first boy in my family. His name is Killian. I was experience flu like symptoms, light bleeding, and pain in my uterus when my husband John and I went into the ER. My uterus and my baby was infected by Haemophilus influenzae. I was already in labor and dilated at 2cm. There’s no way in stopping the labor, or saving Killian. I had to give birth by induction that evening.
I had my doula with me to help me throughout my powerful contractions. I birthed Killian in an hour after the induction was done. John and I only held him for 2 hours before his body began to “change” in room temperature; he was taken away from us, never to hold him again.
Unfortunately the hospital I was in did not have a CuddleCot. The day I was release from the hospital, my breasts were engorged and leaking of breastmilk for Killian. I decided to pump out my milk and donate to babies in need of breastmilk.
In three months, I have donated to 6 babies with over 2,000 ounces (125 pounds) of my breastmilk. Pumping had help me with my grieving process and heal after my loss with Killian. I have also created a CuddleCot fundraiser to place in Methodist Hospital where I had my stillbirth. I want to give the gift of time to future stillbirth families. Time I wished I had with Killian, in hoping other families can get the proper closure they deserve.”
In honor of Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month, Wendy is fundraising for New York Methodist Hospital to have a CuddleCot for any other family which may experience loss. Funds can be donated at
As this time, no NYC hospitals have one which was a shock to both her and I. Wendy has also began an Instagram page for others to share about their loss @mothersofstillbirths. Wendy is a local mom, doula and lactation counselor, who by sharing her heart and story, is bringing awareness to loss, pumping and donor milk. Pregnancy and Infant Loss is not uncommon, however many do not share their stories and endure in silence. We encourage those who have experienced loss to reach out to your community for support. There are various support groups and therapies available.
If needing support around loss please reach out to your local community for resources. Currently there are various Infant Loss Support groups for in person and virtual sessions. Below are a few.