Racquel Bodensieck soaks up every second with her two kids.

“CC is very social and energetic, and Teddy is not social and he has no fear of anything," said Bodensieck.

There’s another member of their family that’s not physically in the room, but always on their mind.

“If you ask her, I'm sure she would say like she has a brother and a little sister," said Bodensieck.

What You Need To Know

  • Advocates are pushing for stillbirths to be covered under New York paid family leave

  • According to the CDC, New York loses 1,422 babies a year on average to stillbirth

  • Paid family leave offers up to 12 weeks of paid family leave for parents with a newborn

Last year, Bodensieck and her husband Alex had an unexpected loss. In her third trimester, just a little more than 32 weeks pregnant, she received heartbreaking news.

“I went in that morning for a regular OB appointment, and the nurse couldn't find the heartbeat," said Bodensieck.

At 5 pounds and 18 inches long, Rosemary was stillborn.

“I had just given birth and had a baby, but I didn't have a baby here to show people,” Bodensieck said. “And it was almost like it didn't happen."

“Having to explain that to our daughter, who's three going on four, was really hard because she didn't understand. So she would ask questions like, ‘Where's my baby sister? [Is] she at the hospital? Like, when is she coming home?’ "

New York offers up to 12 weeks of paid family leave for parents with a newborn. However, that doesn’t include stillbirth parents. Lawmakers in the state are considering a bill that would change that.

“It was just no way, after experiencing the loss of a child, to just jump right back into work,” Bodensieck said. “Within a couple of days, we were looking at planning a funeral instead of bringing home a brand new baby.”

If passed, the legislation would provide paid time off for the mom or dad. Alex spent a little time at home, but after two weeks, he was back at work.

“Those first few weeks back are impossible … it's the most trauma that I've ever experienced. And then you're also trying to be strong, for I'm trying to be strong for Raquel," said Alex Bodensieck.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, every year, about 21,000 babies are stillborn in the U.S.

“I have supported women through this for many, many years. When a woman delivers a stillbirth, it is the same recovery as a woman who would have a normal vaginal birth," said Valerie Keville, a midwife for Capital Region Midwifery.

As a midwife, Keville says it’s vital for women to have time to recover emotionally and physically.

“Having that time for their body to recover, for their uterus to loop back to normal, for their hormones, to kind of get back to normal, if they still get a milk supply … It's all the same," said Keville.