Starting today and over the coming week, to mark #BabyLossAwarenessWeek, I’ll be sharing a guest blog each day, written by women honouring memories of their babies – sharing stories to create greater awareness & education about baby loss.
I want to thank each and every one of these women for so bravely putting their darkest moments down on paper to help others, as Sarah Roberston says, “my story is one I still feel compelled to keep sharing if only to let one person know that they’re not alone in this”
Firstly, I want to recognise how difficult and potentially triggering these stories can be to read, each one left me in tears, they’re so raw and deeply heartfelt. I know Baby Loss Awareness Week can be heavy and so, if you’re not in the right frame of mind, please don’t feel like you have to engage – there’s no shame in retreating and allowing yourself some self care. Save them to read when you’re able to digest, feel and grieve. One thing I can promise you is that, if you’ve been in this position, you’ll feel less alone by just reading the comforting words of these inspirational women.
I also want to recognise the dangers of comparison during this week – every single person grieving the loss of a child will have their own individual way of remembering. Just because these women have shared their story, it doesn’t mean that you should be doing so as well. I can’t say it any better than a quote from the Instagram account @from_the_other_chair,
“Your worth is not reflected in how much you engage this awareness month (or any month). Your love for your child(ren) is not measured by your online content…Raising awareness happens in each and every small, brave, conversation we have. It doesn’t need to be big. It doesn’t need to be loud. You matter. Your child(ren) matter. Your heart matters.”
Finally, if you’re in the right space to do so, I want to encourage you to help drive what Baby Loss Awareness is about, it’s not just for parents who have suffered loss, but to raise awareness and educate those who have been lucky enough not to have experienced this sadness. In the words of the incredible @feathering_the_empty_nest,
“Don’t just engage with it because it’s happened to you; engage with it because it hasn’t. Please don’t turn your head because it’s too painful to comprehend; turn and face the person it has happened to and tell them that you’re here to listen. Don’t close your eyes and cover your ears because you’re pregnant and you fear it might happen to you; I promise you, it’s not catching.
1 in 4 pregnancies end in loss (that U.K statistics know of, it may be more). This could be your friend, your sister, someone you work with, the lady who lives across the street from you; it doesn’t discriminate. Thousands of parents leave hospital every year without their newborn child.
The more we ALL talk, and listen, the more those families affected will feel heard and supported.”