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Meet Jada Calicutt

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jada Calicutt.

Hi Jada, thanks for joining us today. We’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
I was 21 years old and a first-time mom. I was so excited, my husband and I had just found out we were expecting a baby girl and we decided to name her Londyn Michelle, and everything was healthy with the pregnancy, so I thought… I first felt her move at 17 weeks, I was told that’s early for a first-time mom.

They were strong and rambunctious kicks, I loved feeling her move. At 22 weeks, it had been almost 5 days since I started realizing she wasn’t moving as much. I decided to visit the labor & delivery triage and have them check on her. They told me she had a strong heartbeat and that 22 weeks was very young for regular movement and they told me I just had “First-time mom nerves”, they sent me home, I wasn’t comfortable or certain that everything was fine but I trusted them.

Another 5 days passed and this is where the nightmare begins. I woke up one morning and decided to listen to her heartbeat using an at-home Doppler, I received for Christmas. I stayed up for hours, drinking, eating, moving from left to right, jiggling my stomach and I felt nothing. I decided to go back to the labor and delivery triage, I let them know what was going on.

They told me that they were sure it was fine. She grabbed the Doppler to listen and didn’t hear anything, I saw the uncertainty on her face, she went to get the ultrasound machine and she started to look and said “I’m so sorry there is no heartbeat”. I can remember screaming and pulling my hair, the nurse kept talking but it was drowned out. My husband held me. I was in complete shock.

My doctor gave me all my options and we decided that being induced and birthing her was the best option. I delivered her Wednesday, January 4, 2017, at 10:12 AM. We stayed for 4 nights and I was sent home with a purple keepsake box. I was overwhelmed with grief. On January 13, 2017, we buried her and said our final goodbye. It started a long journey of darkness and hopelessness.

Many nights, I wished I was with her and not here. I felt alone and isolated. Many reached out with futile attempts to comfort me but usually said the wrong things, very few could identify with the pain. One night while sitting in my bed praying I heard “The Londyn Foundation”.

I knew that it had to be someone like me, someone like my husband. Living with this pain some days felt insurmountable. However, day by day, I was prayed, picked myself up, found hobbies, rediscovered myself, found ways to honor her, and that ignited a fire and a passion to help others like me.

I didn’t allow what I experienced to make me bitter, instead, I decided to offer others what wasn’t offered to me. Hope, compassion, and support. To have the ability to turn pain into purpose. That’s how “The Londyn Foundation” was birthed.

Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall, and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
It has not been a smooth road in the slightest.

I am still on my healing journey. Grief is lifelong. I have begun grieving things I didn’t know were possible. As I help others and comfort them, I find myself needing that  same comfort.

I’ve found that God, discipline, and remembering my why, have been key to me continuing on, it’s so easy to quit, especially when it’s overwhelming, when it hurts, or when it’s uncomfortable.

Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know about your work?
Founder of The Londyn Foundation & Birth & Bereavement Doula.

My business is unique in that, I offer a support service to a group of people who are easily overlooked and unheard. I teach advocacy, I create a community by connecting bereaved parents to one another.

I raise awareness in the community about loss, and I have also umbrellaed my doula business under my nonprofit so that I can help grieving parents in a dynamic way, before, during, and after their loss.

What’s next?
My plans for the future are to continue with annual events that connect bereaved parents and honor babies that passed, to expand by having a center where the foundation and doula business are operated, to form partnerships with hospitals and other influential nonprofits with shared missions, and continuing to educate and raise awareness about pregnancy and infant loss.

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