How many children do I have? Zero? But that's not the full truth. And denying her existence would not be fair to her memory. We do not live in the yesteryear where such events were kept hidden and the parents were expected to forget immediately. But how do I keep her memory alive without dragging others down with sadness?
As a bereaved parent it's bewildering to me that anyone needs convincing that giving birth to a dead or dying (in my case) child is devastating and traumatic, and therefore worth targeting as a health care priority. Or that the case has to be made that many of these tragedies are potentially avoidable, even when national audits have been telling us this for two decades.
My son, Louis, would be 13 years old tomorrow. I have spent all these years silently counting the years - I know the year he would have started primary school, secondary school, I have wondered what kind of birthday parties he would have enjoyed. I look to place him in our world, picturing him on our holidays, at our dinner table, in our house.
After I lost Toby, I found it hard to get out of bed or take an interest in anything. I could just about get my daughter to nursery but that was about it. I started searching the internet for forums and websites about stillbirth and miscarriage because I couldn't talk to anybody about what I had been through.