I so appreciate all that being Mrs. New York allows me to do. The greatest part by far (and there have been many) was being able to help grieving parents Brooke and Colin Smith begin the steps of getting a stillbirth legislature to pass in NYC in their daughters honor. On April 11th, Brooke, Colin and I met with Assemblywoman Rodneyse Bichotte's Chief of Staff, Rona to share our stories and why we thought this legislature would be important. It has been by divine intervention that I have met and been in the same circle with Assemblywoman Rodneyse Bichotte. Not only that, but Rona Taylor, her Chief of Staff was a former doula. When speaking to her, she was very attentive and very sympathetic. Brooke shared her experience with her doctors' and hospital's callousness and flippancy in dealing with her concerns about Kennedy's lack of movement and ultimate death. She also spoke about the inconsistencies of the hospital records; mixing up datas and copying and pasting things to make them look legitimate. The list of transgressions goes. I am scratching just the surface of their story. As a matter of fact, I find the Smith's to be very brave and strong. Kennedy died last year, so their grief is still raw. Not only are they fighting in her honor but they are fighting for all future parents who will sadly go through a stilllbirth. They are also expecting again.
The great thing about trying to pass this legislature is that it has already passed in NJ, the Autumn Joy Stillbirth Research and Dignity Act. The bill was signed by Governor Christie on January 21, 2013 and went into affect in 2014. This bill requires that hospitals keep extensive and accurate data of all stillbirths for research purposes as well as expecting that all hospital personnel to be trained in the dignified and sensitive management of each stillbirth. Surprisingly, after many years, this has been the first of the bills passed. My goal is that every state has a dignity act!
Every parent and every child matters!