Well today was the day… Thursday 18th August 2011, we woke up and the nerves immediately set in for both Gordon and myself. A couple of hours to go and we were on 6 Towns Radio – our local community radio station.
We were invited by Bret Shah, presenter of the Love Stoke radio show to be guests in the studio to discuss our baby loss experiences and our new baby bereavement range of greetings cards. I have to admit that it wasn’t quite as daunting as we expected!!
We were on the show from 11:00am until 12:00noon during which time we discussed our business, a bit of our background and also baby loss: how to cope, emotions and experiences. We hope that by talking about this subject then we will help members of the local community to realise that they are not alone.
Gordon and I have lost four babies during pregnancy so baby loss and baby bereavement is something very close to our hearts, we have been through the ups and downs, the questions, the nightmares, people avoiding the subject and the grief.
We want to try to help other people.
When you find out that you are pregnant it should be a happy time, a happy healthy pregnancy to look forward to, a healthy baby to hold and to cuddle, a new life to celebrate and raise with values, manners and respect. A new addition to your family.
Sadly, this happiness doesn’t always last for many couples… miscarriage in early pregnancy is incredibly common as this statement from Baby Centre explains:
How common is miscarriage?
It depends when it happens. Sadly, early miscarriages are very common. Often, a woman miscarries before she even realises she’s pregnant. Perhaps as many as three-quarters of all fertilised eggs are lost in the very earliest days of pregnancy. After a positive pregnancy test, there’s about a one in five chance of having an early miscarriage. This is when most miscarriages happen.
Late miscarriage is much less common. It happens in about one in 100 pregnancies. Late pregnancy loss can be very hard to bear. At this stage, for many parents, the term “miscarriage” doesn’t do justice to the depth of sorrow they feel at losing their baby.
Some women experience the anguish of recurrent miscarriage. This means that they have three or more miscarriages in a row. This happens to about one woman in 100.
The important thing to remember is that having a miscarriage is not your fault. Doctors explain this as “a process of natural selection” – these are not the easiest of words to hear and definitely do not give the much needed answers which you are looking for but at the same time it is important for you to realise that in most cases there was nothing you could do to prevent your miscarriage.
A baby lost through miscarriage is heartbreaking – regardless of how early in pregnancy your miscarriage occurred, he/she was still a part of you. Your baby is still a part of your family and they always will be. There is no shame in being upset. There is absolutely nothing wrong with showing emotion and wanting to carry on your child’s memory. You have every right to talk about your son or daughter and talking is a very important part of the grieving process. Most importantly though, talk to your partner – he/she will be going through the same emotions and feelings that you are, you don’t have to go through this alone. You don’t have to hide from what you are feeling – grief, upset, anger and frustration are all natural emotions which you have every right to feel and you are not alone in feeling this way.
There are many support groups and internet forums where parents who have suffered the loss of their child gather to share experiences, give advice and help each other through these difficult times. Sometimes chatting to someone who has been in your situation in the past can help as they understand your fears and emotions. Other times talking to people who are outside of your situation can help as it gives you a welcome distraction for a period of time. But remember, grieving for your loss is natural… it is to be expected, when your baby passes away it takes a part of you with him/her and that is something you will always remember and hold close to your heart.
Many people who have not experienced baby bereavement themselves do not know how to react or what to say when a friend or family member suffers the loss of a baby, the most important piece of advice that I can offer is to tell the parents that you don’t know what to say – in our experience we found that having someone tell us they had no words was easier to deal with than have them not acknowledge our loss.
Baby loss and baby bereavement should not be a taboo subject, why in 2011 is this still something which talking about is frowned upon? Many people experience the loss of their child whether during pregnancy, childbirth or infancy – people should not be afraid to discuss their feelings!! Communication is key.
There are many websites around to help people cope in the awful situation of baby loss, these include:
There is a BABY LOSS AWARENESS campaign which runs throughout the year with International Pregnancy And Baby Loss Awareness Day taking place on 15th October. Baby Loss Awareness campaign is something close to our hearts as we believe that in order to move forward then our loss needs to be acknowledged, as a society we cannot ignore these sad occurences.
Brief history of the campaign
October 15th 2002 was the inaugural Baby Loss Awareness Day in the UK and was initiated by a group of parents inspired by Pregnancy & Infant Loss Remembrance Day in the United States. Through the sale of, handmade blue and pink ribbon pins they raised several thousand pounds for UK organisations supporting bereaved parents.
You can find out more about the Baby Loss Awareness campaign, what they do and who they help by visiting their website at www.babyloss-awareness.org where you can also make a donation to the charities involved.
Is there life after losing your child?
When you first suffer the loss of your baby then it often feels that you have let someone down, you feel like a failure and it seems like there is no way forward but in time you find ways to manage your emotions. You realise that you can move forward, honour your baby Angel and if you choose to, then try for another child when the time is right. Many people go on to have perfectly healthy and happy children after suffering baby losses during pregnancy and childbirth.
You need to make the decision which is best for you and your partner. Talk about what you both want, how you feel and what you both want to achieve from your future… look at the bigger picture and your life as a whole and most importantly have faith in yourself and in each other. Be honest about your feelings, your emotions and your fears… talk about your unanswered questions and any concerns you may have. If you feel it will help then visit your doctor to talk about any health related issues which you feel may contribute to your fears. Never be afraid to ask for help if you are struggling to cope with your emotions… man or woman, you have every right to be upset and you should never feel like you need to hide these feelings from anyone.
With all of this in mind, Cards And Candles For All Occasions have taken a great deal of pride in being able to introduce our new range of baby bereavement greetings cards – something for parents to treasure and look back on in years to come, something to send a grieving parent to show that you care even although you don’t know what to say. Just a little something to honour baby’s existence and passing – something many people do not know how to do.
Our new range of greetings cards is incredibly emotional for us, it is difficult for us to think that other parents are going through the emotions and grieving processes which we have suffered ourselves but we want to give all of our unborn Angels a voice, help people to show their emotions for these sad losses and give something which can be a lasting memory/keepsake for the parents and family of these Angel babies.
You can read more about our range of baby bereavement greetings cards HERE and if you would like to discuss these cards or have anything else you would like to chat to us about then please feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org 🙂
Take care, chat to your family and share your love!!
xxx Lots of love, Laura & Gordon xxxx
xxx With special Angel wishes from our four baby Angels xxx