Our precious Eleanor Marie was stillborn on March 27, 2015 due to complications from Noonan syndrome.
Despite a devastating diagnosis, we did our best to save her in the weeks before she passed when I was 25 weeks and 5 days pregnant. Though Ellie was a silent angel when she arrived, she left us a powerful message about what it means to live with joy, love and purpose.
The last thing I said to her before we closed her tiny coffin was that I would make sure something positive came out of our tragedy.
Thank you to everyone who continues to support us in our effort to help other families and make sure Ellie is remembered as a spirit who inspires kindness and love.
More about Star Legacy Foundation and our chapter:
In 2015, I met a fanastic group of moms and dads, and we formed the NY Metro Chapter of Star Legacy Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to stillbirth prevention, education, research and family support.
Ellie couldn't be saved, but some babies can if a mom's risk factors are detected early and doctors/physicans educate their patients about paying attention to their babies' movements.
In addition to losing Eleanor, I suffered serious pregnancy-related complications, including gestational hypertension, a pulmonary embolism and depression.
During my second pregnancy, I took blood thinners, monitored my blood pressure daily and managed gestational diabetes.
At 37 weeks 4 days, I was induced due to rising blood pressure. Our beloved Timothy Francis arrived on Sept. 25, 2016 at 8:45 p.m. This happy boy has helped mend our broken hearts.
My first pregnancy taught me a lot about the importance of advocating for yourself and child, doing your own research and asking questions. I also experienced the best and worst in the medical community, and that's why I want to improve care for all pregnant women.
I can't be a mom to Ellie in this world, so my work with SLF is my way of honoring her memory and my promise to her.
I'm really excited to see our chapter grow!
So far, we've launched a great SLF program called Peer Companions, which pairs volunteer "companions" with families who have lost babies. We've partnered with Northern Westchester Hospital and North Shore University Medical Center, where we have also provided family care package items.
In addition, our chapter plans to sponsor a group of OB professionals from the region to SLF's Stillbirth Summit in June, and we've already secured committments from a few nurses.
We plan to reach out to more hospitals and OB groups in the coming months to partner on stillbirth education programs.
Again, we are truly grateful for your generosity and support.
Theresa and Tim