Today marks the start of Baby Loss Awareness Week.
Sadly, thousands of people across the UK are affected by by the death of a baby or experience pregnancy loss each year. Yet despite this, it’s something that far too few people feel comfortable talking about.
The week is designed to address this by raising awareness of the key issues affecting those who have experienced pregnancy loss or baby death.
When I started writing this post, I assumed that the week was a relatively new creation. Yet this is actually the 16th year. This merely highlights the point that the topic is still considered taboo.
Those of you who are frequent readers of my blog will know that my partner Charlotte and I lost our daughter in May this year. Tilly was born at just 26 weeks old with a sacrococcygeal teratoma (tumour). This meant she was simply too small and too delicate to survive. We managed to spend a few precious minutes with her, and for this we are both eternally grateful.
Since that point, Charlotte and I have been battling our way through the grieving process, through good days and bad days and through positive and heartbreaking memories. We’re getting there, but we still feel the pain of our loss on a daily basis.
One of the things that has helped us through this has been talking – both to our friends and colleagues, to professionals (such as bereavement midwifes and counsellors) and to other people who have also experienced baby loss. This has been invaluable to us. Not only does it ensure that Tilly lives on, but it also helps us understand the process we’re going through. We’ve also been able to help others on their journey.
So I wanted to blog today, in Tilly’s memory, not just to raise awareness, but also to thank everyone for their support and to urge everyone to talk about this issue. If you know someone who has been through similar circumstances, talk to them about it. I guarantee they’ll appreciate your thoughts.
If you want to know more about the issues surrounding baby loss, or would like to know the one or two things you should avoid saying (‘everything happens for a reason’, being the example for me) then visit www.babyloss-awareness.org/.