Erica Aitken
  • Erica Aitken
  • Georgia Ambassador

You existed.

Alexandra Mary Aitken, I held you in my belly for 33 weeks. I nurtured you and felt you as you grew, kicked and did somersaults inside me. I knew in my heart that you were going to be a feisty little firecracker; a force to be reckoned with, just like your Mama. You were big and beautiful and strong. You were the epitome of perfection. My absolutely perfect, healthy baby daughter.

I’ll never understand why you were taken from us far too soon. If I could have, I would have traded myself for you in an instant. I wish I could have protected you better; that I could have saved you.

Life is utterly confusing. There are moments of profound joy and then there’s bottomless devastation and sorrow. Unpredictable things happen in this life that make absolutely no sense at all.

Our sweet Alex got a true knot in her umbilical cord. All of my dreams for my second daughter and for our family have been irreparably tarnished and can never be the same. A part of me died with her. I will never be the same.

My name is Erica Aitken and on Oct. 31, 2019 I unwillingly became a member of a club nobody wants to join: parents of stillborn children.  My entire 8-plus months of pregnancy with Alex had been completely normal, smooth, and had zero complications. I was less than 7 weeks from my due date when I got a nagging feeling that something just wasn’t right. I wasn’t feeling Alexandra’s pokes and jabs that I’d grown accustomed to experiencing. By the time I went in to see my OB it was too late. There was no heartbeat and there was no turning back.

In retrospect I do believe Alex’s movements decreased in the days leading up to her death. I had never been encouraged to do kick counts in either of my first two pregnancies and often wonder if I’d been better informed about the importance of tracking my baby’s movements, maybe she would be here in my arms right now.

I’m proud to be a part of the Count the Kicks organization in my daughter’s honor. There is a deficit in our healthcare system and parents deserve to be educated about the importance of staying in tune with their babies’ movements by counting kicks. I hope to be part of the solution in promoting this knowledge. If I can help empower one mama to save one baby, then I will feel I have done my part.

Alexandra Mary, I love you more than anything in the whole wide world. Your existence was not in vain.

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