(WSYR-TV) — Losing a child at birth is a silent struggle many moms and couples never forget. October is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month, a time to honor and remember those who have lost a child by miscarriage, stillbirth or infant loss.
For Elisa Sharman, motherhood hasn’t been easy.
“My husband and I lost our daughter Ava in May of 2021 to stillbirth,” said Sharman.
A painful, devastating shock for Sharman and her husband. It was something no one should ever have to go through.
Sharman added, “We just had never heard of stillbirth. If we heard of it, it was you know, because the pregnancy…wasn’t safe or healthy. I had a typical healthy pregnancy so we were pretty blindsided by this.”
Not knowing where to turn next, Sharman and her husband would soon realize through their journey they weren’t alone. She said they were surprised that although stillbirth isn’t common, its also not rare, and its not really spoken about.
“That really kind of drove my husband and I to…give Ava a voice and other babies lost a voice and see what we could do about raising awareness,” said Sharman.
Soon becoming a member of the Pink and Blue Awareness Project. The project was created by Jen Chappell in Rochester in October of 2017. Chappell, also the owner of The Cooper Project began making a few pink and blue bracelets, asking her friends and family to wear during the month of October to honor her son Cooper and all the other babies who did not survive. Since 2017, the project has grown tremendously, making its way through the U.S.
“Its sort of a solidarity, like I said nationwide now its over 20 thousand bracelets in I think almost all 50 states are represented in this project,” said Sharman.
Sharman is continuing her mission to support other women, welcoming a rainbow baby boy in August with her husband. Sharman also created The Ava Bunny organization. Sharman and her husband created the organization to honor their daughter, Ava.
If you’re interested in getting involved, follow The Cooper Project on social media for updates and how you can show your support.
People can also order bracelets, and if you’re comfortable share your own story. Other organizations to donate and volunteer at include The Ava Bunny organization, The local Star Legacy Foundation Chapter, The Pink and Blue Awareness Project and The Darcie Project.
Click here to learn more about the Pink and Blue Awareness Project.
Click here to learn more about The Ava Bunny Organization.