The past week or so in Copeland has seen a Labour campaign that has made me angry and sad in equal measure. To see a mainstream political party - a party I respected - run a campaign quoting from unnamed midwifes saying 'mothers will die, babies will die, babies will be brain damaged' is simply disgusting.
Recently, Coronation Street ran the heartbreaking story of Steve and Michelle suffering a late miscarriage and losing their baby. It is a devastating experience that I wouldn't wish upon anyone. Unsurprisingly, with it coming into the fore, emotions will be running high for anyone who has experienced any sort of miscarriage.
If you look at the records, he simply doesn't exist, as if he was a somehow nothing more than a figment of my imagination. But he's so much more than that. And while Archie was only on this Earth for a few short minutes, he existed to me. He was, and will always be, my little boy and there's not a day goes by that I don't think of him. You see, according to UK law as it stands, a parent cannot be issued with a birth certificate if the child is born showing no signs of life before 24 weeks.
Three whole months went by after the miscarriage and it got harder to deal with the more negative pregnancy tests that I took. Then in the February, I finally tested positive and it was a very mixed-emotion moment for both myself and my fiancé. After having one healthy pregnancy and a baby boy, to having a miscarriage, we couldn't let ourselves get too excited.
You might even get to the point of already having an early scan, have seen its little heart beating and tiny, still forming legs and arms beginning to wave and kick around and then you get the wow moment and everything seems really real and it's your baby already. And then you start thinking about names, and if this one will have your Granddad's eyes too, and how many people will be annoyed if it's a girl and you name it after your cousin who everyone thinks is odd. And if you have an older child as I did, you automatically think of this new baby as an extension of them and get excited about how similar or different they will be.
Over the years I have met with thousands of bereaved parents who never cease to shock me with their tales of horror and lack of support following the devastation that is the loss of a baby. In some trusts, stillborn babies are still being delivered in delivery suites to the sounds of babies crying, excited visitors arriving with bunches of flowers and congratulation balloons.