40 stories for #Sands40
40 stories for #Sands40, | 9 January 2019

As part of Sands 40th anniversary, we have collected 40 stories by 40 parents, family members and friends affected by the death of a baby, helping them cope and feel less isolated in their grief. These stories are powerful in helping us end the taboo of talking about baby loss and raise awareness of stillbirth and neonatal deaths. Discover 40 stories for #Sands40 


She's our little honeymoon baby.

She was such a wanted addition to our family - myself, my husband, our two sons from previous relationships and our own daughter.

I was thrilled to find out we were expecting another girl. I couldn't wait to watch my two daughters special bond grow!

After another easy pregnancy, she decided to try come early like her siblings. But at 30 weeks it was too early and thankfully everything settled down in hospital, although we found out she was breech.   

By 36 weeks, the threat of early labour and beech position combined brought me to an appointment for a procedure called External Cephalic Version (ECV), we thought we would try this before opting for a C-Section.

As my daughter was manually turned within my stomach the pain was excruciating. Within a short time she had turned, she was now ready for a natural delivery.

I went home but by that night she had still not moved. I returned to hospital.

The noise that came from me when I was told my daughter was no longer alive was inhumane, like a monster within. I instantly blamed myself. The next hours were a blur.

My daughter had gone but yet was still inside me, my daughter had died yet I was still breathing. It just didn't make sense.

None of it made sense to us but we somehow had to explain this to our children.

With the specialist care of the midwives we were supported in doing this, our children's hearts broke. This seemed so cruel.

With the care and support of specialist midwives at 13.39 on 5th March 2015 I reached down and raised my beautiful daughter, Rebecca Florence, out of the birthing pool silently into my arms and into the world. She was perfect, 7lb 8oz.

We made precious memories and placed them in our memory box. We left holding this memory as other parents left holding their babies.

When it was time to say our final goodbye, my husband and I read Rebecca a story, tucked her up inside her coffin, kissed her cheek one last time and took her to her resting place.

My husband had already returned to work which I think it helped him stay focused. My children had returned to school. I was on maternity leave but I had no baby to look after.

I sank deeper and deeper into grief. When we found out Rebecca's death was due to complications during ECV this added so much guilt. It consumed me.

I was in contact with Sands, predominately my local group in Swindon soon after Rebecca's birth. I was supported through email and support groups. I was also on the online national forum.

Without the support from other bereaved parents I don't know what I would have done. They got me through the darkest days and urged me to not feel guilt for the brighter days.

By September I had returned to work, but something was missing. So I joined my local Sands committee, taking on the role of memory coordinator and secretary. As of last spring I became co-Chair and befriender.

I wouldn't be without Sands now, I have met some amazing people and I feel Sands is now a part of me for life, a gift left from Rebecca.

Natasha
Picture: Natasha Wilson and baby daughter Rebecca.

Sadly 1 in 4 pregnancies in the UK end in miscarriage or stillbirth. This means every 90 minutes a family experiences this devastating tragedy. We want to reduce this number, but we need your help. 
 

Support-Sands-button

Support Sands today to help ensure that anyone affected by the death of a baby receives the care and support they need, whenever they need it.​​​​​ Be part of our ambition to reduce the number of babies dying. Thank you!