In honor of today’s release of Save the Children’s annual State of World Mother’s report, I am sharing the emotional aspects of my birth story to help advocate for the one million newborns that die needlessly and helplessly within the first 24 hours of life. By sharing my birth story, I am joining moms from across the United States to help bring awareness and advocacy steps in making the first 24 hours of life count. The bottom of this post will have more information on the results of the report and how you can help spread the word.
I will be completely honest. I was never sure that I wanted to become a mother. At 32, I felt my life was already fulfilling enough, being happily married, working hard in my career and enjoying traveling to crazy places, running marathons and having all the freedom I could possibly want. Perhaps I was selfish but I was happy.
All this changed the day I was half way around the world, doing my very first dive in Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, when I got the call. That terrible call that I will never forget. The call to tell me that my two-and-a-half-year-old nephew had unexpectedly died. I was in shock. It couldn’t be true. How could a healthy, beautiful happy child that I had seen only two weeks ago be gone just like a flick of a light. How could something so ungodly awful and tragic happen? I felt raw. Numb. And deeply distraught. Although I wasn’t a mother and I couldn’t possibly understand, I loved that little boy with the bright blue eyes and the dashing smile. It was that tragedy that made me realize how short and precious life truly is and how I couldn’t imagine not possibly being a mother myself.