Sisterhood of Angel Mama’s Magazine | September 2021
Ivyanna Fields’s Story
Photo & Written by Sadija Smiley
My world came crashing down around me after hearing the words “there is no heartbeat”. I was immediately paralyzed and overwhelmed with silence. My First child, Ivyanna Salene Fields, was stillborn on November 13, 2003. I was 36 weeks pregnant and had no complications. My pregnancy was completely normal. I went to all my prenatal appointments. All the ultrasound and anatomy scans were normal. I was 21 years old, a junior in college and hundreds of miles away from my family.
I thought God was punishing me for getting pregnant out of wedlock and other decisions that I made with my body. Ivyanna’s 19th birthday is this year and God has been faithful even though I cursed, shouted and turned my back on his word for a while. I’m so glad he never left me, watched over me and waited for me with open arms. I never imagined, during my pregnancy, that I would have to deliver my daughter sleeping. She was born silent into this world but her little life spoke volumes.
1 in 4 women will experience a pregnancy or infant loss. Unless we talk about stillbirth, we will never break the taboo, or help families who have experienced it know that they are not alone. I am thankful for my journey and I am at a place now to share and help others as they ride the waves and break their silence. I was inspired by this traumatic experience to create a nonprofit organization, Stillborn and Infant Loss Support (SAILS), to honor the love, life and legacy of my precious angel Ivyanna Salene.