I am so proud to partner with Every Mother Counts on their Orange Rose Mother’s Day Collection to make pregnancy and childbirth safe for every mother, everywhere. We have partnered with Juniper Books , Obvious State, and artist Caitlin McGauley to create a beautiful collection for Mother’s Day. 100% of the proceeds will be donated to Every Mother Counts. Shop for your mother, read about motherhood and know that together, we are helping bring mothers safely through labor and delivery.
Why the Orange Rose? The Orange Rose is a powerful reminder that safer motherhood is possible. It represents a beautiful, vibrant and strong life, like that of a mother who has been supported through pregnancy and childbirth. And why do I support Every Mother Counts? For me, the answer is deeply personal.
Like many, I first learned of Every Mother Counts and their work through Christy Turlington Burns’s documentary “No Woman No Cry” which addressed the barriers to maternal health around the world.
I visited EMC’s website and learned astonishing statistics — approximately 303,000 women die each year due to complications in pregnancy and childbirth. That’s one woman every 2 minutes. AND 98% of these deaths are preventable. AS EMC founder Christy Turlington Burns says, “Each preventable death is one death too many.” Learning this, I kept coming back to the website, searching for ways to be involved. I was drawn to their running campaigns most as theses efforts symbolize distance as one of the significant barriers to maternal health — a barrier which I knew first hand from my own birth.
When my mother was 27 weeks pregnant with me — my mom, dad, sister and brother had just returned from Northern Michigan to their home in Atlanta Georgia. On the night of their return my mom started hemorrhaging and was rushed to the hospital. I was born at 27 weeks – 3 months premature. Had my mom not been at home in Atlanta where there was a neonatal unit, I would not have lived. Had my mother not been transported safely to another hospital to receive her own immediate care, she would not have lived. I still have scars from the heart-rate monitors and they remind me each day what a gift this life is.
As I poured over EMC’s website and the running page in particular, I kept talking myself out of it. “I am not a runner. My breath is too shaky, too winded. And what about my asthma? Impossible.” But I couldn’t shake the feeling. I had been getting my kundalini yoga teacher training at the time and during minute 29 of a 31-minute mediation, inspiration struck — (easy to have happen when you’ve had your arms in the air for a half an hour) — I knew I could do it — I could run! And so that night I signed up for the New York City Half Marathon with EMC (and signed up my sister at the same time — even inspiration needs support). That was four years ago. I have been running with Every Mother Counts since that day as one of their running ambassadors.
As I run and train, The first mile is always the toughest, and that’s where Every Mother Counts comes in. EMC provides the inspiration to lace up my running shoes, step into the cold (or the heat) and just start running, regardless of my initial discomfort. EMC keeps me running for that first mile because I am not running for myself. I am running for others and I am running with others. I am running with everyone from Central Park to Seattle, beyond and in-between, who are running in solidarity for mothers — all mothers. With each step, I remember this community that puts their hearts behind their miles and this carries me forward.
On April 30th, my family and I are headed to Big Sur. I will run my fourth marathon for EMC and my husband will run his first. We are celebrating our tenth wedding anniversary, his fortieth birthday and most importantly, we are running to raise awareness that maternal death can be eradicated.
Please join me in supporting Every Mother Counts this Mother’s Day. If you are a runner, I’d love to run with you. If you are not a runner, there are countless other ways to get involved. Hop over to www.everymothercounts.org and shop The Orange Rose Collection or host a screening, donate — the ways to help are many.