Monday, March 8, 2010

Just a Piece of Paper

This is from a dear internet friend, Sara, who delivered her son, Anthony, still 2 years ago.


I know (minus the miscarries) that Nicholas, Sophia and Alexander were all born breathing ... so, this MAY not impact you directly, but it does to so many (like me who have experienced stillbirths). I had my Anthony at 31 weeks gestation ... he was born an angel .. luckily, the state of UT (where I was living at the time) had already signed and passed their "angel bill" (as we refer to it) and Anthony was issued a "certificate of birth resulting in stillbirth) (you can see a pic on his site: under the "in memory" tab) because of this "little piece if paper, my sons "life" was counted in the states mortality rates and statistics ... the health department then turns that info in annually and based off of that .... so many things happen. The state goes off of this info to decide where their money is most needed (as it pertains to medical grants and research). Since the bill has been past, the March of Dimes has been able to get more grant money to the state of UT for research and to raise awareness on pregnancy health, preemie care, fetal and infant care and medical (medicine and procedure) research. (this coming directly from the UT chapter president for March for Babies. I have been putting a walk together here on base to raise money to send to them) .... all this, because of a "piece of paper". (yes, I have had people say it to me like that .. 'its just a stupid "piece of paper" why bother?" ... I ask them "how much does your childs birth certificate mean to you?" This certificate proves to everyone who passes by Anthonys display, to the state of UT and to the United States mortality records.. that my son existed! Even though he never took a breath outside my womb, even though he was born into Heaven and held by us for only a few short hours... he existed! I was hoping... maybe... you could pass this info on... through your blog. I know sooo many people who read it and you are part of a wonderful community who does great things, such as raising awareness. this is the link to the MISS foundation (who started the bill) and more info on it:
Thank you!!

For some people, that "piece of paper" never makes a difference, but for parents like us who have lost children, whether it is a certificate of live or still birth, it is one of the few things we have that show our children were here. Many of us have had to fight for that recognition. While I know that we all have busy lives and things going on, take a moment, if you would, to get involved, either through MISS or by contacting your state legislators directly. It takes mere moments to send an email and, even if you havent been directly touched by still birth, someone you know has.

I'm writing my representatives today, in memory of my stillborn uncle. Who will you write in memory of?


Donna said...

Ellie may have only lived for a few hours - but her birth certificate means the world to me. She was alive. She did exist. To many people it may just be a piece of paper. But to many of us here it so much more than that.

trennia said...

I feel the same way, a life is a life rather loss through miscarriage,stilbirth,death after birth,ect a life is a life no matter what these cruel people may think!

Sara (Anthonys mom) said...

Thank you Michele....

Nan & Mike said...

Great post, its important to be informed and to also advocate...thanks for sharing xxx

Debby@Just Breathe said...

I agree, if it were me I would want that piece of paper. I am going to go over and see what I can do to help.

Reba said...

i hope they can get a similar bill passed everywhere. the weird 20-week cutoff always haunts me a little. how one day/week/month makes such a huge difference in how your baby is legally counted. my little twins didn't count to the the state, they never existed. but they were two tiny people who we held and cuddled and loved. we have pictures of them. they were baptized. they are buried in a grave. yet somehow they legally did not exist. it's a strange system.