People of Georgian: Daughter’s stillbirth leads to charity for grieving families
Oct. 20, 2023
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The Georgian community is full of unique, inspiring perspectives —and we’re sharing them as part of an ongoing series.
People of Georgian: Meet Mathew Morrison
Trigger warning: pregnancy and infant loss
My wife, Theresa, got pregnant almost straight away after we got married, but we lost our first pregnancy within a few weeks.
That was tough. But then she got pregnant again three to four months later when I was finishing my studies at Georgian. It was a healthy pregnancy, no complications.
During our last midwife appointment, my wife was full term – but they couldn’t find a heartbeat. So, we went to the hospital for an ultrasound and that’s when they confirmed there was no heartbeat.
Obviously, it was really hard news to hear and one of those traumatic events that keeps playing in your mind.
And then we had to start the induction process because you still have to give birth to that baby.
Bridget was born on Nov. 2, 2017.
‘A really peaceful moment’
We hadn’t known if it was a boy or girl, so when she was born it was exciting to find out the gender. We had a boy name and girl name picked out.
After the dust settled though, we sort of felt isolated, like we were the only ones this had ever happened to.
We soon discovered there had been many before us. Pregnancy and infant loss is one of those topics nobody really talks about or knows what to do when it happens.
We had supportive family at the time who provided some items to us like notepads, a stuffed animal bunny to squeeze, food and this special sage tea that reduces milk supply.
The first three kits to support families
The first Mother’s Day after Bridget was born, Theresa had the idea to create some kits with similar items to provide the hospital for people who had lost their own babies. Theresa’s friends got together and gave us about $600, and we were able to purchase our first three kits, which we provided to Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre.
They were very happy to receive them, and we got a call a couple weeks later asking if we could provide more.
That’s when we came up with Bridget’s Run, a charity run to fund these kits. We expected maybe 50 friends to come out, but 350 people showed up and we raised about $33,000.
It really showed us the community was looking for something like this and needed to be able to celebrate their babies as well.
Bridget’s Run during Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month
Since then, it spiraled into a registered charity, Bridget’s Bunnies, with one employee and a board of directors. This year’s Bridget’s Run is on Saturday, Oct. 21 during Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month.
We’ve expanded to most of the hospitals and primary care centres in Simcoe Muskoka, along with some midwifery clinics and an on-demand, free service online for anyone across Canada.
You’re not alone
Today, we have two daughters – Jocelyn, five, and Lillian, three. They both know about Bridget, their big sister.
We want people to know they’re not alone in pregnancy and infant loss.
We’re never going to solve it, but at least we can support one another.
Mathew Morrison, Financial Analyst and Reporting Officer and alumnus of Georgian’s Business Administration – Accounting program. Mathew and his wife, Theresa, founded Bridget’s Bunnies, a registered charity named after their late daughter, aimed at supporting people experiencing pregnancy and infant loss.