baby loss awareness week
If I could go back and erase those days and make it so that Brandon never happened at all, I wouldn’t do it. He is my son, always will be, and I am proud to have borne him
I didn’t want to be a member and hurts to talk about it - but it needs to be normalised, not whispered about or hushed away
I didn't believe it at first. It was New Year's Eve 2013 and I was heavily pregnant - 38 weeks gone. My little boy, who my husband Dan and I had already named 'Johnny', was due to be with us in a matter of days. To say I was excited doesn't come close.
We have three children's birthdays in my house: three that we remember and mark every year. But only two of them come with the reams of presents, the frenetic energy, the birthday tea and dressing up games. That's because the third birthday is for our much-longed for and loved middle child who tragically became an angel baby.
When we started our journey to parenthood we were busy in good careers, happy in marriage, young, fresh and keen. Like many, we rejoiced in the set of double blue lines on the pregnancy stick. We told our nearest and dearest, and booked the relevant medical appointments.
Approximately 700 babies are lost each day in the UK during pregnancy, at birth or in infancy, yet baby loss remains a secretive and deeply traumatic experience for parents. For men, however, the level of support they receive has been severely lacking.
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.
Those of us that are will probably know that pregnancy and infant loss awareness week is held annually from 9th - 15th October. I remember discovering this as I miscarried 27th September 2013 and the following week I thought it was apt that I should see so many reminders on Facebook of miscarriage.
Grief is an individual journey. It is for Jen and it is for me, even though our journeys are so closely entwined. But with the support of our wonderful family and friends, as well as our simply amazing bereavement counsellor we took tentative steps each day.
There is no question that a miscarriage or the death of a baby are very difficult subjects to talk about. We don't like talking about death let alone the death of a baby. However it is only by talking about miscarriage, stillbirth and neo-natal death that we can start to address the underlying issues and causes and importantly ensure that the appropriate bereavement care is in place to support those who sadly lose a baby.