A couple is seeking to spread awareness after an innocent mistake left them heartbroken following the loss of one of their twin girls at birth.
Milli Smith and her partner Lewis learned during her pregnancy that one of their identical twin daughters would not live past birth due to a condition called anencephaly, in which part of the brain does not correctly develop. There is no available treatment for the condition, so the couple was forced to carry out the pregnancy knowing that one of their girls would not make it.
After the birth, the parents lost one of their twins, Skye, shortly after the emergency C-section. The devastated parents gathered around their surviving daughter, Callie, and another mother in the NICU said something seemingly innocent to Milli that completely broke her heart.
“You’re so lucky you haven’t got twins,” the mother told Milli.
Milli ran out of the room, sobbing, knowing that she would give anything to have both of her twins in that moment.
That’s when the heartbroken mother knew there had to be a way to let other parents know about a loss during a multiple birth.
“None of the other parents knew what had happened or anything about Skye. The comment was completely innocent and more out of humor…. They weren’t to know that I did at one point have two,” Milli explained to Babble. “But the comment nearly broke me. I ran out [of] the room in tears and they had no idea why. I didn’t have the heart to tell them what had happened. A simple sticker would have avoided that entire situation.”
Smith started a fundraising campaign shortly after the incident to have purple butterfly stickers printed and placed in hospitals to identify families who have experienced a multiple loss. She aptly named the charity the “Skye High Foundation.”
While Milli and Lewis know that the campaign cannot bring their Skye back, they hope that the stickers will help other parents in similar situations in the future.
“Ultimately I will never be able to stop this from happening but the more support groups we can set up and put things in place like the stickers the better it will be. It’s the hardest thing anyone has to deal with.”
Smith says that Callie is back home with her parents now and is doing well.
“Callie came home on Sunday and we are enjoying every minute,” Smith said. “She is so tiny and precious — she’s used to being in an incubator and she is loving being cuddled a lot.”