Within the last week I have been learning more about Christy Turlington Burns' upcoming documentary "No Woman, No Cry". It follows the maternal health crisis worldwide.
One night, when I was seven months pregnant, I woke with a start. I was panicking because I realized that women actually die in childbirth (this thought was news to me for some reason). What if that were me? How would Trent handle it? What if I never met my baby? I quickly calmed myself. Because really, women haven't died from childbirth since the early 1900's, right? After a trip to the bathroom (and a stop for some tums) I slipped back into my dreams repeating "no one dies in childbirth anymore, NO ONE dies in childbirth anymore."
"No Woman, No Cry" has one startling (to me) statistic. Every 90 seconds, a woman dies as a result of childbirth. I can't help but remind myself that I was almost that woman. Thankfully I had access to a wonderful medical team that acted quickly and effectively. Because of that AMAZING medical team I am here to hold my daughter's hand, to rock my son to sleep, to snuggle up to my husband and discuss our future. A future that almost didn't involve me.
It is difficult for me to talk of pregnancy for too long, only because I think about my experience every day. Somedays, I have to admit, that I'm angry that I can't get pregnant like every one else. Other times I am thankful, because I know that if I WERE to get pregnant I would be scared that the same thing was going to happen again. Other times, I feel selfish because I should be happy to have experienced pregnancy once. And if it weren't for the hysterectomy, would I have my little Leo with me now? Probably not. I would give anything (including my uterus) to have both of my kids with me now. Every night, no matter what my emotions are, I feel lucky. Lucky to be alive, lucky to kiss my husband, and LUCKY to have had the chance to get to know my children one day more.
I am not trying to write this post for sympathy or attention. I am trying to bring AWARENESS to the extremely IMPORTANT topic of maternal health. Because every day I learn of someone new that has experienced hemorrhaging, or placenta previa, or fetal distress. It brings to light that the number of women experiencing complications from childbirth is much larger than I ever thought.
Did you know that 90% of those maternal deaths are preventable? So what happens to the women who DON'T have access to medical care? I think about those women constantly. Because EVERY mother deserves a chance to live to see her child born. The chance to see her child grow. The chance to watch her child become everything she ever dreamed they could be.
As Mother's Day approaches, I want to honor the mother's that will never be. These are the mother's I cry for, I advocate for, and I pray for. Because I believe with my whole being that Every Mother Counts.