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Mother Turns Tragedy Into Inspiring Photo Series

CONTENT WARNING: Infant Death

Suffering a stillbirth has a profound effect that can never be accurately described. Over 24,000 babies each year are born sleeping in the United States alone, but moms often feel terribly isolated. One mother, Kristin Naylor, was a week away from a planned cesarean section when a routine check-up showed there was no heartbeat. Devastated from the loss of a much-wanted third child, Naylor delivered her stillborn daughter, Abby, hours later.

According to Huffington Post, Naylor had reached out to a photographer a few months prior to her due date, arranging for Meg Brock to take the first official family photos after little Abby made her entrance to the world. When Brock found out about the tragic news, she reached out to the grieving husband and wife to see if they would like to do a photo shoot anyway, in memory of Abby. Kristin's experience saw her determined to end the stigma surrounding stillbirth, so she said yes. The result was a stunning set of photos, accompanied by Kristin's story.

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PREVIOUSLY: STUDY CONFIRMS THAT SLEEPING ON ONE'S SIDE REDUCES RISK OF STILLBIRTH

Kristin revealed that she and her husband found out they were expecting a baby girl by surprise. Already parents to two boys aged 4 and 2, they weren't actively trying for a third child. However, when they found out, they were over the moon. As Kristin was 40, she was considered a "geriatric" mother and was closely monitored throughout the nine months. While her pregnancy was relatively uneventful, Kristen did go to the hospital at 38 weeks after taking her own blood pressure at home and seeing it was high. Concerned and with a history of preeclampsia in a previous pregnancy, she wanted to be sure there was nothing to worry about.

Medical staff monitored Kristin and the baby for a few hours, but with no immediate concerns, she was released. This, she says, is one of the things that haunts her the most. Just one week later, the expectant mother found herself at the doctor's office, calling her husband to tell him that their baby daughter had passed away before she even got a chance to be born. "I mean, sometimes I still feel like I'm in shock," wrote the mom of three. "I feel like I'm telling you someone else's story."

In an attempt to tell friends and family, the couple posted the news on social media. It wasn't long before other people started reaching out with their own stories of stillbirth, which both shocked and comforted Kristen. "It was like whoa," she said. "This is so much more common than anyone realizes." The Naylor's hope that the touching series helps others in their situation, and helps people to understand that stillbirth is not a taboo subject.

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