Every year the 9th – 15th of October is dedicated to Baby loss awareness week. I was aware last year towards the back end of it, and to be honest my grief was so consuming that I couldn’t think outside of my own world to do or say anything on this topic, other than sharing my story on here as it played out. But, when I heard it was coming up for 2015 (via the announcements last month at SANDS), I was determined that this year would be different, whilst still fairly raw and easily triggered, my grief is on a different level and I am in a stronger place (mostly) and so I felt like I would use my voice and skills and create action for this cause.
Since loosing Poppy I have been aware of my natural ability to talk about it and desire to help others going through it. I know of many who choose to deal with their loss privately, who choose to rarely speak of it and that’s fine, just as we are all different, we also all grieve differently. I however cannot keep silent, because not only am I a talker and need to talk to process and make sense of it all, I also have such an urge inside to want to make a difference, to support, to talk, to change things, and so with this determination and fairly rare ability to vocalise baby loss, I channelled it to create awareness and funds in the form of:
1. A Collaboration with BritMums: At the beginning of the month I thought “what if a parenting site outside of the charities was talking about baby loss too?” and with that I dropped an email across to BritMums…within a couple of days I received an email back and together we made a plan to have them involved. I was responible for gathering bloggers and getting the content over on time and with in about a week it was all done ready for this week.
They wanted different stories and so have featured Still birth, SIDs, HELLP syndrome and pre-eclampsia, Twins/Premature birth, Loss from a dad…Through this I have connected with more bloggers who write of their losses and got to know some in person. We have all emailed back and forth, all delighted that someone wanted to know our story and hear about our babies and more that we can be a voice to the masses. I have new friends in the blogging world now that know and get my story, and greater understanding of loss from their perspectives too.
Click Here for my feature.
2. Fundraising for Leeds Sands: Leeds Sands is my local SANDS support group and they are a fantastic bunch. It strange to say that but they really are and I look forward to seeing the friends I have made there, they have helped and loved me through a lot this last year that so they seemed the obvious ones to fund raise for.
I held a small stall at my friends toddler group and it was Brilliantly supported both by those there and those who couldn’t make it. I had many great friends donate prizes and cash for the Tombola/general cause, and I used my Body Shop business connections to donate incentives for games and a percentage of sales to the cause too.
Over all it was a fulfilling morning and I raised £80 for them to continue their amazing work, with a few donations still on there way – a morning well spent I say!
3. Wave of Light: Baby loss awareness week end on the 15th with “The wave of light” at 7.00pm, where everyone lights a candle in remembrance of their babies.
I have spent the last couple of weeks emailing back and forth to try and arrange something whereby all the members of Leeds sands could get together and do a walk of remembrance and then the wave of light, with some poems and words shared, I envisioned it to be not only a time to remember together, but a time to bond more closely and share our babies. Unfortunately it doesn’t seem to be getting off the ground due to laws around naked flames in parks and open spaces haha I will be participating anyway at home and hope that anyone reading this will feel inclined to light a candle and reflect on a baby you know that is no longer in their parents arms.
I personally believe that October and Baby loss awareness is more for others than the parents, because trust me, when you loose a baby you don’t need a month to remember it! There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think of Poppy and wonder how life might be now if she was here, I work to keep a lid on my emotions, but they still tend to erupt more often than I would like…
Some days its nothing at all and your heart just breaks, some days you just feel a little numb and detached from life and others you feel alone again, emotional and lost. You still cannot understand how things move so fast when such a tragedy has happened and I think that’s why its so important that people know how many are affected, what its like and what they can do to help and support. I also think its good we have at least one month (aside from their birthday’s) that its socially acceptable to talk of baby loss and say their names. Its amazing that for one week a year people are talking about it…it should be more, but its a start!