During June 2017, as part of our 15 babies a day initiative, we will share 15 blogs by 15 people who have been affected by the death of a baby. By doing this we aim to show the sheer number of people who are affected by the tragedy of one baby’s death. Visit our 15 Perspectives webpage to view other blogs in the series.
Our second daughter, Rosie, was stillborn seven years ago because of placental infarction. This means parts of the placenta weren’t working properly. The shock of being told by the sonographer that ‘It’s not good news, I’m afraid’ will always be with me. Like many mums in this situation, I had gone to the hospital because of reduced movements, fearing the worst, but hoping for the best. Rosie was born two days later- perfect and tiny. We held her close and treasured the time we had with her.
The death of a baby is heart-breaking and life-changing for parents and families. The flood of grief is difficult to describe. I remember wanting (and needing) to tell Rosie’s story over and over again, to anyone who would listen. Then over time, the opportunities to talk about her became fewer and fewer; it became socially more difficult to bring it up as time passed and fewer people asked about her.
Going to my local Sands support group meetings a few years later really helped, because it was an opportunity to meet and talk with others who understood. A couple of years ago, I trained as a Sands befriender which has been a great experience, to help others in that early stage of raw grief and to help at support group meetings has felt constructive and a positive way forward.
Earlier this year, I started working for the Sands Helpline. We get calls and emails from a wide-range of people about a wide-range of issues, but one of the most important things we do is give bereaved people the time and safe space to talk about their precious babies and their grief in a gentle, compassionate, understanding and non-judgmental way. All the Helpline and Bereavement Care staff at Sands are passionate about giving bereaved parents the best possible support we can; to be with them through the darkest times and to challenge the isolation this experience can bring.
15 babies die before, during or shortly after birth every day in the UK. 15 too many. We want to reduce this number, but we need your help. Support our #15babiesaday initiative by donating or fundraising now.