Pregnancy and childbirth are one of the hardest things a woman can go through in her life, and when it happens to go wrong? The results can be devastating. One mom went through a heartbreaking ordeal that has led her to start an initiative to ease the pain for other moms who will inevitably go through the same thing.
Milli Smith was having a conversation with another new mom who happened to be the mother of twins. She was struggling to keep the twins comforted when she made a passing comment about Milli’s one infant:
You’re so lucky you haven’t got twins.”
The comment, obviously meant as reassurance, felt like a slap in the face. Milli had been pregnant with twins, but 12 weeks into her pregnancy, she learned that one infant had been diagnosed with anencephaly, a condition that caused the brain to develop abnormally. The twin would not survive.
Normally, doctors would recommend termination of the pregnancy, but since there were two infants involved, Milli pushed forward to give the second baby a chance at life.
She gave birth via an emergency C-section, knowing all the while that one baby would die shortly after birth. They named her Skye, and while doctors were caring for Callie, the baby who was healthy, Milli cuddled and cooed at baby Skye for 3 hours until she passed away. The two babies were photographed together just before Skye said goodbye to her new family, but Milli only has this photograph to remember of her daughters alive together. She wasn’t able to leave her hospital bed, so she relies on the picture to remember her twin girls.
That comment gave her an idea. With the placement of the purple butterfly in the neonatal unit, other parents would know immediately that a surviving baby once had a twin that didn’t make it. A silent explanation that would prevent any more devastating comments without an awkward conversation. After months of campaigning, these purple butterfly notices are popping up in hospitals everywhere, and this is what bittersweet story behind them.The Skye High Foudation is working to spread the word, and mothers everywhere are grateful for the efforts.