KATY MAGAZINE l NOVEMBER 2019
By Natalie Cook Clark
The loss of a baby changes a family forever. In their own comforting way, these Katy families grieve, love and honor the child they will never know. They provide a voice for an important message that needs to be shared.
The Franklins always honor baby Maddison.
Shock and Loneliness
“I had no idea that something like this could happen,” says Jenifer Franklin, who delivered her baby girl Maddison stillborn at term December 7, 1997. “I had done everything right and then she was gone. We didn’t just lose our daughter that day, it was the loss of life as we knew it and I felt alone. It felt like someone put me in a boat out to sea by myself.”
A Statistic No One Wants
Statistics show that Jenifer and other families are not alone. According to the Centers for Disease Control one in four women will experience a miscarriage in their life. One in 100 pregnancies end with a stillbirth, that is described as the loss of a baby 20 weeks or later in the gestation stage. Each year roughly 4.1 million infants die between birth and one year. The reasons vary from preterm deliver, pregnancy complications, injury, and sudden infant death syndrome. Such loss is unimaginable to comprehend unless you’re one of the statistics that have experienced it.
“At the beginning, every day posed a new challenge," says April Carroll, who lost her son Grant at term last December. "I didn’t just lose a baby, I lost a one-day old, a two-day old, I lost his first dirty diaper, his first bath.” And the list of losses is never ending.
The Wave of Light
On October 15, families across the nation lit candles in a “Wave of Light” to honor those babies lost. Some families honored more than one loss.
“We’ve been through three losses,” says Dana Coleman. “The first two ended in early miscarriage. Our most recent loss was our son at 21 weeks. Although our baby boy was only at 21 weeks, I still had to go through the entire birthing process including the epidural.”