Remembering the babies

Remembering the babies

Monday, October 19, 2020

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A wave of light flickered across the globe on Thursday as grieving parents and their supporters raised candles in observance of Pregnancy and Infant Loss (PAIL) Remembrance Day. This included the Jamaican community of 'angel' mommies and daddies, led by the 4Damani PAIL support group.

As many as one in every four pregnancies end in miscarriage, some of which are undetected by even the mother. Of the pregnancies that continue past 20 weeks globally, the United Nations estimates that one of those babies is stillborn every 16 seconds. Each day, another 7,000 of those babies die before they are a month old.

In Jamaica, there were 524 stillbirths and 649 neonatal deaths (when a baby dies in the first 28 days of life) recorded in Jamaica's hospitals in 2017. That means about 16 babies out of every 1,000 births were stillborn, and another 20 died before they were 28 days old. Many more babies were lost in miscarriages, however, those figures are not routinely recorded. These are not just statistics. These are babies who are loved by parents who are left to pick up the pieces after suffering a painful, sometimes traumatic, loss.

In honouring the memories of these babies, and helping to break the silence surrounding infant loss in Jamaica, All Woman asked a handful of parents who participated in the virtual wave of light on Thursday to share their treasured memories of their little angels, and say what they imagine their babies would be like now, if they were here in the flesh. These are a few of the babies who we remember.

Tiana Gardner, who transitioned on July 5, 2018

Tiana would have been running up and down now, and I would be dressing her up, making her look beautiful and fancy.

–Nordia Brissett, Tiana's mom

Dominick Powell, who transitioned October 27, 2014

Dominick would just be starting primary school this year with this whole COVID outbreak. He would be doing his online classes. I know he would love playing football with his cousin Caleb, who I also helped raise. He was such a fighter and lived for three days. And, I believe he would have been such a mama's boy!

–Dannell Frater, Dominick's mom

Malachi Powell, who transitioned January 2, 2017

Malachi, on the other hand, I feel would be into tablets and destroying the house! He would be two years old now, almost three. We all know how the terrible twos go. He would be following his brother around the house for sure. I love my boys.

–Dannell Frater, Malachi's mom

Melody Powell, who transitioned on February 4, 2019

She would be one year and eight months old now. I imagine she would be walking and blabbering about, having us preparing for her terrible twos stage, while we try to keep up with her brothers. She and Malachi would be close in age, so we would have our hands quite full.

–Dannell Frater, Melody's mom

Damani Joshua Miguel Williams, who transitioned on September 8, 2018

Damani would have just turned two last month and would be in his terrible twos phase. I know he would have been quite the rambunctious boy, and I would be happily trying to keep up with him. I wonder if he would have been mama's handbag or daddy's twin (they already look alike). Even without thinking, my husband and I always wonder what he would be doing now. His death didn't end our love for him. He is the missing piece of our lives and is incredibly missed.

— Crystal-Gayle Williams, Damani's mom

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