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Montia Brock (left) and Carissa Ashby (right) spend time with Ashby's daughter on the front porch of Ashby's Swissvale home. Brock, a community health worker and perinatal health policy specialist from Healthy Start, conducts home visits to Ashby. (Photo by Kat Procyk/PublicSource)

Montia Brock (left) and Carissa Ashby (right) spend time with Ashby’s daughter on the front porch of Ashby’s Swissvale home. Brock, a community health worker and perinatal health policy specialist from Healthy Start, conducts home visits to Ashby. (Photo by Kat Procyk/PublicSource)

Carissa Ashby could feel her daughter moving in the womb. She couldn’t settle on a name.  Baby Zoe perhaps? Nothing seemed quite right.

Then, late in her pregnancy, Ashby woke up and just knew. She would name her Karma.

Ashby, 32, had endured heartache before Karma was born: Two miscarriages, one in 2003, the other in 2004. A son stillborn at 30 weeks in 2005, despite regular trips to the doctor to convey her sense that something was wrong.

Her pregnancy with Karma was monitored as high risk because of her history.

On Aug. 21, 2017, Karma was born to term: 7 pounds, 1 ounce.

“I felt like it was meant (to be). She’s my little piece of karma,” said Ashby, of Swissvale, who also has an 11-year-old son and 8-year-old daughter.

Brock, a perinatal health policy specialist, still visits monthly to track Karma’s progress and share information and advice with the family. Karma took her first steps on Sept. 24. Less than two months ago, she turned 1 — a milestone in a child’s development, as they move past the fragile newborn stage and hurtle toward toddlerhood.

READ MORE AT:

https://www.publicsource.org/the-battle-against-infant-mortality-in-allegheny-county-exploring-the-progress-and-persistent-challenges/

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