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Our Emma was stillborn on May 7, 2017.
Her death and thousands more ARE preventable. More research, awareness and education for health professionals and expectant parents can help avoid the heavy tragedy of stillbirth.
Like other anxious first parents, we filled Emma's nursery with a crib, books and stuffed animals. We didn't know if we would have a boy or girl. So we painted the room in a neutral tone.
But Emma was born without a heartbeat. She never took a breath. And, so, her brother, Benjamin uses that crib, those books, those cuddly stuffed animals.
For 3 years, he's slept beneath a shelf that holds Emma’s ashes. She's always near. And he's getting to know his big sister, whose photos fill the houses of family who held her briefly, as we did, for a previous few moments.
Less than a year separates the births of our two children. It's hard to imagine that Ben wouldn't be here if Emma was.
No parent who’s lost a child should ever struggle to answer when asked, “How many children do you have?” But that's life after loss.
We’ll continue to carry Emma in our hearts. We can’t thank our family and friends enough for sharing our pain and happiness in these past 4 years, and for filling them with joy.
-Jessica and Doug Livingston
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