My husband and I found ourselves pregnant with our fourth child in 2012. In November, during a prenatal screening, we found out we would be welcoming another girl into our family! Our family was preparing for the arrival of our new baby, Darby Grace, in May of 2013.
In the early morning hours of April 7, 2013, I began having steady but non painful contractions. I thought I was in preterm labor at 35 weeks. We called the doctor and told them we would be heading to the hospital. When we reached the hospital, everything seemed to be moving in slow motion. We were finally set up in a room and the nurses were putting bands on my belly. They were having trouble finding Darby's little heartbeat. I had just been to the doctor for an OB appointment on Friday, so I knew exactly where they found her heartbeat. The nurses still had no luck. They called in an ultrasound machine which confirmed that Darby had died.
I can tell you almost two years later, I still feel like I am living in a dream and the words "I'm sorry there is no heartbeat" echo through my thoughts daily. It's a terrible nightmare that, unfortunately, I know other parents will go through as well. Stillbirth is more common than people know. 1 out of every approximately 160 babies is born silently in the United States alone. That staggering statistic equates to about 26,000 babies being born silently each year.
After Darby was born to the arms of the angels, we were able to keep her with us in our room while we got to know her little face, her dark hair, beautiful ten fingers and ten toes. After a while, changes started affecting her gorgeous little body. We needed to send her to the morgue so they could keep her cold.
What is a Cuddle Cot? A Cuddle Cot is a medical device that looks like a moses basket for an infant. It has a pad at the bottom which keeps the baby cool. There is a small motor with the Cuddle Cot which generates the coolness. Having a Cuddle Cot in the mother's room will enable a family to have their baby in their room longer, to bond, to grieve, to love.
I don't want other families to have to give their baby back before they are ready. I want to pay it forward in memory of our little one. It is my wish to have a Cuddle Cot available to all hopsitals, starting with my local hospital, where Darby Grace was born, Viruta Hospital in Mount Holly, New Jersey. While infant death is still harsh reality, a Cuddle Cot can make it more manageable for the family in their time of despair.
On Sunday, March 8, 2015, we reached our initial goal of $3,700 to provide a Cuddle Cot to Virtua Mt. Holly. I have increased our goal so that we can provide another Cuddle Cot either to Virtua Voorhees or another local hospital who is in need of one.
Thank you for your continued support!
Note: All funds raised will be donated directly to the US CuddleCot Campaign through SOBBS (Stories of Babies Born Still) a 501c(3) non profit corporation per the IRS guidelines, to the Darby Grace campaign.