COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — It’s a situation that makes parents sick to think about: losing their child before being able to see their face or hold them.
Tragically, it’s a situation that happens more than you think and is not commonly talked about. That’s why a Colorado Springs woman is trying to change that, one gift card at a time.
It was weeks of pure bliss for Suzanne Wilkins as her family prepared for a baby girl named Ella.
“I found out I was pregnant with Ella April 2, 2019,” Suzanne said. “We heard her heartbeat around six weeks, we found out we were having a girl at nine weeks. We saw her on ultrasound at 13 weeks and she measured perfectly. Everything looked great.”
But then, sometime between Suzanne’s 13 week and 20 week check up, Ella quietly slipped away.
“I was in such a state of shock, numb, disbelief, is this really happening,” Suzanne said.
Those feelings haven’t disappeared.
“This ultrasound picture, I had not looked at it until yesterday,” Suzanne told FOX21. “There’s just not any words to describe it. Just knowing she was no longer alive there.”
It’s a feeling thousands of women have felt. According to the CDC, in 2014, 24,000 stillbirths were reported in the United States alone.
Those numbers are what spurred Suzanne to use Ella’s death as a way to unite Colorado Springs women and families who are hurting and to bring awareness to people who don’t know about miscarriages.
“For Ella’s birthday last year, we decided to go to Dutch Bros,” Suzanne said. “It’s her dad’s favorite drink place, and we bought 18 gift cards because she was born on the 18th, and we decided to leave them around town.”
Included with each gift card is a small pamphlet detailing Ella’s story, the statistic that says 1 in 4 women will lose a baby during pregnancy, delivery, or infancy, and a website people can visit to learn more.
“I want them to know that they are not alone, it is not their fault, their baby is special and it’s ok to talk about them if they want to talk about them,” Suzanne explained.
Suzanne says her advocacy for miscarriage victims will continue for the rest of her life. And when it comes to those gift cards…
“We plan on leaving those gift cards for Ella for the rest of my life,” Suzanne said. “I’m hoping as my kids get older, that they will also do something to remember Ella and keep her memory alive.”