I am mother to Bethany and Courtney 16, Megan 12, Grace 9, Connie 6 and Archie who was stillborn in 2009. I was 35 weeks pregnant and I suffered a concealed abruption, which meant that I bled internally. I was rushed down for a caesarean and when I came round they said that he'd not made it - he'd passed away.
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.