Facebook Post January 28, 2015
Hi all, I was wondering your opinions on the following letter I wrote this weekend and what I should do with it (i.e. forward it to someone in particular, argue for a certain goal, etc.).. I don’t want to stay silent about stillbirth and want to do all I can in my son’s name to prevent others from having to go through this in the future.. thoughts? I was thinking of posting something similar to this on change.org but again, wanted to perfect it first! Any advice you have would be so appreciated; thanks and may God bless you all!
The March for Life was this past Thursday, January 22nd, 2015. I am greatly thankful for those who marched to support life for the unborn. Every human being is entitled to life from the moment of their conception. While there are many parents who, for whatever reason, may not want their children, today I want to discuss the unborn from a different angle. This is an angle that rarely, if ever, receives public attention. I speak on behalf of we parents who desperately want our unborn children, and then lose them because of inadequacy on part of the medical field.
Our son, Alexander Lloyd Marsh, was greatly wanted and loved. As eager parents, we took every precaution in preparing for his arrival, by attending all prenatal appointments, reading up on what to expect, and calling the doctors when we had questions. We were a “textbook pregnancy”. Then the unthinkable happened- our son died in my womb. No explanation other than “sometimes these things happen”, and “often we never know why”. Despite an extensive medical workup, we were one of the many left without answers. The medical world failed us.
If your loved one outside of the womb suddenly dropped dead, you would want answers. IMMEDIATE answers.
Why then are the unborn treated differently?
We prohibit abortion after 24 weeks, yet when a child dies in the womb, whether before or after 24 weeks gestational age, the child still has no rights. If a 24 weeker lives outside of the womb, he or she receives more recognition than a 40 weeker who is living in the womb and subsequently dies there.
We are not alone in this dreadful cry for our child. 1 in 160 children die in the womb after the first trimester. 1 in 160! Some of the most common diseases in America, such as Epilepsy and Asthma, affect comparative numbers. Yet why had we never heard anything about Stillbirth? Maybe because no parent would be accepting of a 1/160 chance of their child spontaneously dying?
Some would counteract “this is all nature’s way”. The common knowledge is that, in the first trimester, the majority of miscarriages are caused by chromosomal problems. This is not the case for the second and third trimesters, where the majority of unborn children lost have normal genetic workups.
Many others remark “you can just have another child”. Again, would that be good enough for you if your living child died? Even as women again become pregnant, there is not much different doctors will offer the next time around. We can do kick counting and more frequent ultrasounds, but these have yet to change the statistics of 1 in 160. And while yes we will rejoice when that next child is born healthy, the grief of our first child’s death will always remain.
I write today to urge for increased funding towards care for the unborn. No parent should have to undergo the loss of a child, whether inside or outside the womb. We victims urgently need improved research and public recognition. Families are suffering in silence and without answers. 1 in 160 is not acceptable. Such an inadequate understanding of the health of the unborn is wrong. On behalf of Alexander and all the other babies desperately wanted and lost too soon, show us what you will do to prevent loss of life in the womb.
Thank you for your attention to this urgent matter.
Alexis Dallara-Marsh, MD