One in 160 Pregnancies End in Stillbirth. Mine Did

Dr. Eleni Michailidis discusses what is 'rarely discussed' in the NYT
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 27, 2015 10:47 AM CDT
One in 160 Pregnancies End in Stillbirth. Mine Did

The percentage sounds small: just one-sixth of one percent. But the number sounds huge: One in 160 pregnancies end in a stillbirth, and Dr. Eleni Michailidis' was one of them. The 38-year-old orthodontist opens up to the New York Times, recounting an experience that the paper notes is "rarely discussed." In February, pregnant at 38 weeks with the child that was to be her firstborn, Michailidis noticed that her formerly active baby was no longer quite so active. A visit to the doctor revealed there was no heartbeat; they never determined the cause. "I remember thinking, I have to deliver my baby," says Michailidis. In neighboring rooms, newborns cried and families celebrated. Her own room was marked with a red rose outside it, "so that people knew this wasn't a happy room."

"Part of me was thinking I want this over with as fast as possible, but then another part was thinking, I want to honor him. I was still bringing him into this world. There was a hint of beauty in the whole thing. There really was." She hadn't known the sex of her child. When Alexander was born, she realized she did indeed want to see him; she and her family held her beautiful son for four hours. "I would say to another family going through this: Bathe the baby, change the baby, spend that time. And take pictures. Even if it feels weird and morbid, that’s all you have." Read the poignant piece, which also talks about what hospitals could do to better ease the pain of the experience, at the New York Times. (More pregnancy stories.)

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