Until they learned about their own child’s fatal prenatal diagnosis, Shannon and Kip Brooks didn't even know there was such a thing as a "baby loss" community.
Through the Internet, they quickly connected with other parents who had faced similar choices and decided to continue their pregnancies.
Many people ask, Why would anyone do that?
Parents who have been through it can explain it better than anyone.
Here’s Tracy Winsor, a Charlotte mother who had two miscarriages. (She's second from left, back row, in the above photo). Tracy co-founded Be Not Afraid, a group to support parents who give birth despite terminal prenatal diagnoses:
"When you have a (terminal) diagnosis, you have a loss that can’t be fixed. Nothing makes it better," Tracy said. "If you end the pregnancy, you’re still a bereaved person. Everybody wants everybody to be OK. But there are some things you can’t wish away. They just have to be met."
Since 2008, Tracy and other volunteers in her support group have accompanied many mothers during pregnancy, labor and delivery of babies they knew would die.
On Aug. 7, they were at Lake Norman Regional Medical Center in Mooresville when Shannon and Kip (seated in the above photo) welcomed their baby Skylar Tianna, who died 99 minutes later.
From these experiences, Tracy said, "We know we can squeeze some meaning and joy out of this experience…You can carry to term and not be emotionally damaged."
Sandy Buck of Huntersville, the co-founder of Be Not Afraid, lost three babies -- two miscarriages and one stillbirth at 32 weeks. (She's second from right, back row, in above photo.) Like Tracy, she wants to help other parents feel the support she didn't have.
"We're (here) when nobody wants to hear your story about your baby that's going to die," Sandy said. "It's important to see that other people have done this and survived."