• Heather Johnston Welliver and her family organize Lydie's Loop

Lydie’s Loop Helps Share the Cause of Kick Counting

  • Kimberly Isburg
  • 08.24.21

Each fall Heather Johnston Welliver, a Count the Kicks Ambassador in the state of Ohio, organizes Lydie’s Loop: Steps Against Stillbirth. The event increases awareness, supports research, promotes education, and encourages advocacy and family support regarding stillbirth. Lydie’s Loop is held in memory of Heather’s daughter Lydie Welliver, who was born still in 2014 in the eighth month of pregnancy. 

About Lydie’s Loop

Last year’s Lydie’s Loop raised more than $19,000 to benefit Count the Kicks. Because of funding from Lydie’s Loop, we were able to add a strength feature on the Count the Kicks app. App users are now able to monitor the strength of their babies’ movements. This is another important vital sign that should be monitored during the third trimester.

Funds from last year’s event also went directly to training Ohio nurses and doctors in how to have the kick counting conversation with expectant parents. More trained providers = better birth outcomes.

Honoring Lydie

Registration is now open for the sixth annual Lydie’s Loop, which is planned for Sept. 18. We asked Heather to share more about this event and how you can get involved in sharing the cause.

“Lydie’s Loop is an event that I plan in honor of my second child, Lydia, who was suddenly stillborn due to an umbilical cord accident when I was 34 weeks pregnant. She was perfect, but born without a heartbeat.

Lydie would be 6 1/2, just 20 months younger than her big bro and 11 months older than her little sis. Recently a neighbor kid asked me how it was possible that I could love someone I do not know. I told him surely his parents loved him not only the second they laid eyes on him, but also when he was in his mom’s tummy. It’s the same for me with Lydie. I loved her while I grew her for 34 weeks and I fell even more in love with her that first moment I laid eyes on her. 

It’s a love that only grows, even though she doesn’t.

It’s difficult to know what to do with all that love, when I can’t coach her soccer team or give her a hug as she gets on the school bus. Instead, I plant flowers in her garden and we light a candle and tell her we love her out loud. I volunteer my time for Count the Kicks to prevent what happened to Lydie from happening to other babies. 

The most important thing I do with all this love with nowhere to go is plan Lydie’s Loop. It’s a 1 mile walk, 5K run, kids’ dash, silent auction, raffle, and all around good time where hundreds of people come together to celebrate the babies we never got to know. Creating this space, this happy morning, where we are CELEBRATING our love for our dead babies, is one of my proudest accomplishments. In five years, we’ve raised $100,000 for stillbirth prevention.” -Heather Johnston Welliver, Lydie’s mom; Count the Kicks Ohio Ambassador

Kids cross the finish line at Lydie's Loop kids race
Kids cross the finish line at a previous Lydie’s Loop kids dash.

Register for Lydie’s Loop

The Sixth Annual Lydie’s Loop: Steps Against Stillbirth will be held Sept. 18 in Gahanna, Ohio. Participants can register to participate either in-person or virtually. Proceeds from this year’s event will again benefit Count the Kicks mission to make kick counting a common practice in the third trimester of pregnancy. 

The deadline to have a name included on this year’s shirt is Aug. 31. Find more details and register here: www.lydiesloop.org


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