Aware

1 Oct

I am pretty much hijacking this wholesale from Antigone, who said it better than I could have:

October 15th is National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day in the United States. More than 25,000 children are stillborn in the United States every year leaving mothers, entire families and communities devastated. Estimates of the rate of occurrence of stillbirth make it at least as common as autism.

Stillbirth is not an intractable problem. Greater research would likely significantly reduce it’s incidence, but good research requires good data. H.R. 5979: Stillbirth Awareness and Research Act is under consideration by Congress. This proposed bill would standardize stillbirth investigation and diagnosis, thus providing more data for the needed research. Better research means fewer children born still.

On October 15th, remember the thousands of unfinished children lost and the families who remain to grieve them. Honor them by taking action. Let’s help pass H.R. 5979.

Action Steps:

Step 1. Use Your Blog to Enlist Others
-Copy the contents of this entire post and publish it on your blog immediately.

GOAL: Enlist 10 of your readers to spread the word

Step 2. Use Your E-mail to Enlist Others
-E-mail 5 bloggers and ask them (nicely and in an unspammy way) to publish these action steps on their blog. Consider contacting celebrity bloggers, political bloggers, medical bloggers, or bloggers who are not part of your reading community.

GOAL: Enlist 3 bloggers outside of your normal blog sphere to spread the word in other online communities.

Step 3. Help Pass the Stillbirth Awareness and Research Act
-By October 15th, publish a post on your blog supporting H.R. 5979 Stillbirth Awareness and Research Act. For maximum impact, title your post: “Stillbirth Awareness and Research Act.”

GOAL: 1,000,000 Google results on October 15th when that term is searched for. Currently, Google only returns 20,400 pages – most of which have nothing to do with the bill.

I know this is a tough issue for so many people.  As I think was mentioned on another blog, pregnancy and infant loss do not have the same pull as autism or childhood cancers.  There is no suffering child to save, only parents with broken hearts.  Supporting research for something like this doesn’t have to mean giving thousands of dollars or days worth of time.  It can be done more simply.  A dollar here and there.   Awareness of what the bill says, (thanks K@lakly.)  Support the International Infertility Film Festival.  Join the International Stillbirth Alliance.  Write a letter to your representative; you can find a template here.

In fact, it can even be more simple than that.  If you have lost, tell your story.  Get out there and let people know what you have been through.  Loss should not be about hiding.  It should not be about keeping quiet.  Loss should be something we can share the burden of, something carried at least in part on the shoulders of our fellow humans.

I encourage you to do whatever you can to really spread the word this October 15th.  I know you all have amazing hearts and minds, and I cannot wait to see what you come up with.  If you post, please link in the comments!

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One Response to “Aware”

  1. Brandee October 1, 2008 at 11:12 am #

    Posted! HUGS!!

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