Sometimes it is better to just not ask questions. Sometimes you see something innocuous but it has a horrible story behind it. That is just what happened here. If you ever see a baby's crib and you see a purple butterfly sticker on it, don't talk about it. Millie Smith and Lewis Cann can tell you the heartbreaking reason why these stickers are used. The story starts with them expecting a baby and being happy about it.
She was pregnant with twins
Lewis and Millie were very happy. They had been waiting to start a family and had been blessed with twins. Imagine waiting for one baby only to be blessed with two! They were as happy as a couple can be.
The doctor went quiet when she saw the ultrasound
Every time the couple went for an ultrasound the doctors responded the same way. She would make jokes about how great the babies looked. This time, however, the doctor was silent, which was a bad sign. Every couple dreads this sort of a reaction from their doctor.
One of the twins had a problem
They asked what was wrong and the doctor said that one of the twins showed signs of anencephaly. This is a problem where certain tubes do not form correctly in babies. This meant that one of their babies would only be alive for a few seconds.
They were heartbroken
As any parent would be, both of them were at a loss. They had already named both the babies and the one with the problem was Skye. They both cried about the loss of Skye and the doctor left them to give them some privacy.
She went into labor at 30 weeks
When she was 30 weeks pregnant Millie went into labor. She chose to deliver the babies through a C-section. She was in the operating room with a bereavement midwife. Lewis just hoped that the other baby was fine and waited to console his wife.
Both the babies cried
When they were born both babies started crying. This was a huge surprise as doctors had told them that the other baby would only live for a few seconds and would not be able to move or make a sound. Her crying was music to the couple's ears.
But the happiness was short-lived
While the couple thought that maybe there was some hope, that maybe the crying meant that the baby would survive, it was not to be. Skye managed to outlive the couple of seconds she was supposed to have, and was with the couple for 3 hours.
The other twin had to stay in the hospital
While they were all sad, the hospital staff and Lewis chose to focus on the other baby. It had been born early and needed a lot of medical support to survive. The other twin had to stay in the hospital for a month before they could take her home.
Meanwhile, more twins were born in the hospital
During the time that their baby was in the hospital three other sets of twins were born in the hospital. One of the parents of those twins joked "You are so lucky to only have one", not knowing the tragedy that had befallen Skye and the couple.
It broke the couple's hearts
Understandably, the couple's heart broke when they heard the joke. They didn't blame the other couple - how were they to know about Skye's passing? But Lewis decided that he had to do something to make sure nothing like this would happen again.
Lewis designed the purple butterfly sticker
The sticker was made by Lewis to make sure that his wife didn't have to go through the pain of any other such remarks. The purple butterfly sticker is meant to go on cots. It means that the baby was part of multiple births that did not survive.
The sticker can save someone's feelings
While it may not mean much to you, think about how the couple in question felt. That is why the purple butterfly sticker is so important. It makes sure that a grieving mother isn't reminded of her baby that didn't make it.
They set up a foundation
The Smiths decided to make sure other couples didn't have to go through the same thing. They created the Purple Butterfly foundation which helps grieving parents that lost a child who was a twin. They offer emotional support and resources to get help.
They spread awareness
They also spread awareness about the purple butterfly. Their mission is to make sure that parents going through the same thing are given the space they need to grieve. It is a small thing which can make a big difference.
They had 7 months to prepare but it wasn't enough
They knew 7 months in advance that Skye would pass way but it still wasn't easy to bear at all. Imagine having to carry a baby in your womb for 7 months, knowing it will never get to live a life. That's why we need to be sensitive about the sticker.
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