Valour's story is very close to my heart. Because his foundation focuses mainly on success stories, many believe I am a mother with a success story as well. Unfortunately, I am not.
There are two sides to Valour's story. On one side, it is a deeply tragic nightmare. That is not the side I broadcast or chose to share. No one should ever have to go through what me or my son went through. The other side of his story is about the deep connection of love between a mother and son. You see, my husband and I tried for a baby for six years before Valour finally came along. Ironically, we had already chosen names for both a boy or girl, and Valour was to be his name long before anything came to pass. When things ended how they did, many thought we chose the name to represent the courage he had. The word valour (or valor) means courage in the face of danger, and it was exactly what he faced. He was our only baby and we have no living children today. Despite having a deep hole in my heart, I am proud to be a mother who has lost because it means I am still a mother.
I know all too well what it is like to be a mother who lost her child to PPROM. Losing a child sends the parents down a very dark path, one which their lives are never the same. It is not the only path a parent can choose. One thing is important to realize: one's life becomes the sum of many small decisions made over a lifetime. I chose to approach my deep loss in a different manner. I chose to remember joy and love as my way of grieving for Valour. By doing this, suddenly he was all around me. By sharing love, his spirit lived on in everything I did.
I created the Valour Foundation in tribute to my son, and to ensure his death was not in vain. Once upon a time, I was pregnant too and remember the liberation and joy I felt the moment I realized PPROM was not a death sentence as all my doctors promised. I have no doubt my uplifted mood gave his final moments quality of life since babies experience the physiological effects of their mother's emotions. That was a feeling I wanted to share with every mother suffering the same path- to have someone believe in them. Every tiny baby inside a belly deserves that hope. Sharing this liberation and hope brought a deep connection back with my son beyond the grave. If my doctors would have believed in Valour, I think things would have been different for us both.
There is a retribution I feel to right wrongs for mother's who have suffered loss in PPROM. I want doctors to know PPROM babies can survive. I want mother's to know they have options for pro-life which is okay to pick. I want researchers to see merit in finding solutions in PPROM. These thoughts bring peace to my heart in my own loss. This is why Valour's Foundation focuses on the positive side of PPROM. You can find the facts anywhere, many of which are not good. I want Valour's Foundation to be a shelter from the rain and a sword for the meek. This is what is needed in PPROM. Babies lost to PPROM, like my son, are never forgotten. They are the grace behind every good deed and cure researched.