Beats for Bristol, Inc was founded in memory of my daughter Bristol Sparks, who was born still on December 18, 2009. During a routine ultrasound I learned her heart had stopped beating and later learned she had a cystic hygroma. No one can prepare you for the heartache that accompanies the loss of a child and the roller-coaster of emotions that follow. Three short months after Bristol was born, my husband and I were surprised and blessed with a subsequent pregnancy. The heartache from Bristol was still fresh but I was able to find refuge in a special group of women that participated in a subsequent pregnancy support group. Each of these women had experienced a loss, and though our stories were not the same, we all shared the same heartache of empty arms. It was through this group that I learned of the organization, Tiny Heartbeats (www.tinyheartbeats.org).
I received a doppler through Tiny Heartbeats during my subsequent pregnancy and was forever grateful for the peace of mind that accompanied being able to hear our baby’s heartbeat. A subsequent pregnancy brings new excitement and anticipation, but for women who have experienced a loss, it also brings fear, doubt, depression, and anxiety. On the anniversary of Bristol’s first birthday, I raised money for Tiny Heartbeats…it was my way of remembering our special angel knowing it would help support other women. As the second anniversary of her birthday approached, I decided there was more I could do. The journey of losing Bristol, opened my eyes to the incredible need our communities face with infant loss and the minimal resources available. Infant death and pregnancy loss are often taboo topics which results in fewer resources available to help grieving parents. Beats for Bristol was formed to reach more women and families in a subsequent pregnancy. My hope is that women will find reassurance, comfort, and encouragement during a time that is often shadowed by grief, fear, and anxiety.
I hope that Beats for Bristol will provide the same reassurance for women in a subsequent pregnancy that I was able to receive from use of a fetal doppler. I am forever grateful to have been able to hear our precious baby throughout my pregnancy and be comforted by the sweet sound of his tiny heartbeat!
Clink on the link for an article on Beats for Bristol, Inc. that was published in the Indianapolis Star, 12/2011. http://www.facebook.com/l.php?u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.indystar.com%2Fapps%2Fpbcs.dll%2Farticle%3FAID%3D2011112080316&h=tAQHiGeFeAQHwVK4S642AVAm7uc9hThSBI3qHGTE7eEcAhQ