Babyloss Awareness Week 2014

 

The mountains are yearning.

I am of course very supportive of and grateful for initiatives, such as Babyloss Awareness Week 2014. I want people to talk about the causes of Stillbirth (along with other pre and ante natal causes of babyloss).

However, it is also obviously something I desperately wish I had no affinity with whatsoever.

During my first pregnancy the term ‘stillbirth’ was never even raised as a possibility – many other dreadful scenarios and conditions are highlighted and explained to expectant couples, but the fact my son could simply die for no reason at 41 weeks did not feature. A lot has changed in the 12 years since Louis died, in terms of support, but sadly Stillbirth rates have not decreased in the UK, hence why these awareness weeks are so important.

Sometimes I’ll read or hear about a very sad case of Stillbirth, I recognise it as the enormous tragedy it is and I’ll think to myself ‘I just can’t imagine’…I forget for a moment that I can imagine, I have that story too. I wonder how that mother will go on, because I didn’t know how I would go on, and I remember all the times I simply didn’t go on.

As the various whys and hows of Babyloss are discussed this week, I thought I would talk a bit about the road I have travelled with my grief and about how it has shaped the world I live in today:

  • Grief made me forget myself. I had just turned 21 when my son died and I really can’t tell you very much about the girl I was before it happened, or the immediate years that followed. My life is split in two; two families, two identities. I sometimes feel like a fraud in my own life, cheating on the little family I had before by being so happy in the present.
  • Grief has made my skin paper thin. I was always prone to be a little sensitive but now I feel exposed to every bump in the road. The world took on a sadness that I can’t ever seem to shake. I cry so easily I annoy myself.
  • Grief has made me fearful. As parents we are all scared of something bad happening to our children, from the day they are born that must be our greatest fear of all. Once something has happened (regardless of the child’s age) and it stops becoming a fear but instead a reality, you can never go back. You can’t imagine that these bad things happen to other people, they happen to you and your family. Now I am blessed with two lovely daughters, I have to live with a twisted cruel mind that taunts me with all the ways in which I may lose them.
  • Grief has made me strong. I may be fearful but I have been strong enough to rebuild my life, to go to university after my son’s father left me, to work, to risk my heart again, to think anyone would want the broken version of myself, to become a mother. I have had to fight my way back up but I did it – and I know that makes me strong. It takes a special kind of strength to be happy again.
  • Grief has made me grateful. Yes it’s a cliché, but I am so grateful that I ever got to hold my beautiful newborn daughters, hear them cry at birth and raise them in a happy, imperfectly perfect family.
  • Grief gave what it took away. This one is so hard. Where would I be now if not for my grief. If it were not for my loss and the journey my grief took me on I would never have met my husband, I wouldn’t be writing this now while my youngest daughter naps and my eldest is at school. This family wouldn’t exist. I have had to accept my grief is part of my story. It has in many ways been the biggest part of my story but less so now, new and happier chapters are being written.

Has grief been a part of your story?

Xx

The List

Brilliant blog posts on HonestMum.com

 

18 Comments on Babyloss Awareness Week 2014

  1. leighk77@hotmail.com'
    Leigh - Headspace Perspective
    9th October 2014 at 5:06 pm (3 years ago)

    I’m so sorry for your loss. My own son, Hugo, died earlier this year aged 35 days – he’d been born 16 weeks prematurely. I’m still very early on in my journey, but I am already changed completely. I recognise myself in a lot of the points you have described above. I am grateful for the small things, and have a more balanced perspective on life – and I have discovered a strength I never knew I had. I would give it all up for another cuddle with Hugo though of course. #brilliantblogposts xxxx

    Reply
    • Claire
      10th October 2014 at 8:49 am (3 years ago)

      I read Hugo’s story on your blog – I’m so sorry. My heart goes out to you as it must still be so raw and you must be missing him so much. I know there are no words of comfort that actually help; all I can offer is my own experience, that in my darkest moments I never thought I could be happy again, but I am. It takes time but you have already shown yourself to be strong so all you can do is keep going. If you ever want to chat please do get in touch. Xx

      Reply
  2. samantharickelton@googlemail.com'
    Samantha Rickelton
    10th October 2014 at 1:17 pm (3 years ago)

    I’m so sorry for your loss. Thank you for writing a post and helping to raise awareness of such an important issue xx #thelist

    Reply
    • Claire
      10th October 2014 at 1:21 pm (3 years ago)

      Thank you for reading my post and for your kind comment – These awareness weeks are so important, if my post means something to anyone that’s great. Xx

      Reply
  3. yvette.lamb@outlook.com'
    Yvette @ Big Trouble in Little Nappies
    10th October 2014 at 1:23 pm (3 years ago)

    I’m so sorry for your loss. You are right that grief has also brought to you your husband and daughters, but it’s so sad that it had to be one or the other. Life is so complicated and can be very unfair. I had a much earlier loss last week due to an ectopic pregnancy and am struggling to come to terms with what should have been and what is. Thank you for writing such a beautifully put piece about something so heartbreaking. #TheList

    Reply
    • Claire
      10th October 2014 at 2:22 pm (3 years ago)

      I am so sorry, a miscarriage is dreadful but an ectopic is another level. I hope you’re healing OK as it’s so recent. Life is certainly unfair and all we can really do is make the best of the good times – I hope you have some good times again really soon. I’m thinking of you. Xx

      Reply
  4. youbabymemummy@gmail.com'
    You Baby Me Mummy
    10th October 2014 at 5:17 pm (3 years ago)

    Thank you for writing this post. I think it is very brave of you. I cannot begin to image the horrors you have gone through. I lost a baby very early on before I fell pregnant with Baby, but it made me fearful. Thanks for linking up to #TheList x

    Reply
    • Claire
      10th October 2014 at 6:37 pm (3 years ago)

      Hi, Thank you for your lovely comment. It’s taken me over a decade to write about it so I’m not sure that counts as brave! So many people, such as yourself, experience babyloss that it’s vital we are able to talk about it – feeling alone with grief is so painful.
      Thanks for hosting such a great linky, I’ve been working through some fantastic posts today! Xx

      Reply
  5. charne@mailbox.co.za'
    charne
    11th October 2014 at 6:12 pm (3 years ago)

    we lost our little boy Ethan Noah on 12 September 2014.

    after battling infertility and doing many ivfs for 10 years we were eventually blessed with our adopted daughter.

    After 15 years of marriage we had a miracle conception.

    The pregnancy went soooo well every scan showed him growing and doing soooo well.

    At nealry 37 weeks his little heart stopped and he was born sleeping on the 12 Sep 2014.

    our miracle baba gone to be a angel way to soon x

    Reply
    • Claire
      12th October 2014 at 5:05 pm (3 years ago)

      Words fail to describe how sorry I am for your loss. I can only imagine how devastated you and your family must be right now. I did find a way to be happy again but it took a long time, please be kind to yourself and take the time you need. If you want to talk please do get in touch. Take care Xx

      Reply
  6. Mum@honestmum.com'
    Honest mum
    14th October 2014 at 10:55 am (3 years ago)

    Thanks so much Claire for sharing your story here, I cried throughout your post on Mums’ Days blog, I’m so sorry for your loss, grief and losing Louis, sending so much love. Honoured you have linked up to #brilliantblogposts x

    Reply
    • Claire
      14th October 2014 at 12:55 pm (3 years ago)

      Thank you so much for your lovely comments – though I am sorry to be making people cry! So important to raise awareness of stillbirth and get people talking. Thanks xx

      Reply
  7. spidermummy@hotmail.com'
    Spidermummy x
    21st October 2014 at 8:22 pm (3 years ago)

    Claire this is such an amazing post. I am so sorry that you had to say goodbye to Louis.

    You are so strong and I hope that you are proud of yourself for carrying on when I bet you never thought you would be able to. This post will give strength to all of those who may have lost a baby & are struggling to deal with it xx

    Reply
    • Claire
      22nd October 2014 at 11:25 am (3 years ago)

      Thank you for your lovely comments.
      I am proud of my life now but It took a very long time to feel that way, there was a lot not to be proud of years ago. I did decide to share Louis’s story in the hope it might make somebody out there feel they are not alone, purely because that’s how I’ve always felt when I came across another stillbirth story. 12 years ago there really wasn’t a lot of support, mindboggling how many families suffer in silence.
      Thanks for reading.
      Xx

      Reply
  8. jenny@letstalkmommy.com'
    Jenny
    26th December 2014 at 11:59 am (3 years ago)

    I am so sorry for your lost Claire. You are so strong for keep going and sharing your story will help others find strength and support. You are brave for sharing it. Thank you for linking up to Share With Me #sharewithme

    Reply
    • Claire
      27th December 2014 at 3:44 pm (3 years ago)

      Thank you – I have a great life and a happy family now but it’s been a long journey and it’s not without it’s shadows, you simply never forget. I would have benefited greatly from connecting with other mother’s stories early on, I felt very alone. I hope by talking about it someone else can benefit.
      Thanks for reading.
      Xx

      Reply
  9. ghostwritermummy@hotmail.co.uk'
    ghostwritermummy
    3rd January 2015 at 1:28 pm (3 years ago)

    What a beautiful post. I’m not sure how I missed it during baby loss awareness week. I know that there is still much to be done to improve stillbirth rates but I also know that much has been done too. During my last pregnancy I was given weekly scans due to poor growth and I know that this is one of the biggest causes of stillbirth. Without the interventions we may not have Elsie now, so for that I will forever be grateful. I am so sorry for your loss but thankful that people like you continue to raise awareness that helps babies like Elsie x x x x

    Reply
    • Claire
      5th January 2015 at 4:15 pm (3 years ago)

      Thank you so much for your lovely comment and congratulations on the safe arrival of your daughter.
      Growth scans are vital for detecting problems. Had we had a later scan things may have been different for my son – it’s so important that women are better educated to recognise potential problems (many still don’t even recognise the possibility), and feel strong enough to push for the help they need.
      Thanks for reading.
      Xx

      Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>