In the UK, 1 in 4 pregnancies will end in miscarriage, stillbirth or premature birth.
The emotional impact this has is devastating and leaves parents with so many unanswered questions.
There is still silence and shame around baby loss. But if we can talk about it openly and honestly, not only can we help each other feel less alone, but we can also pave the way for greater awareness and more research to stop it happening.
This is why Tommy’s is launching a brand new campaign, ‘Together For Change’.
The quote from Tommy’s is the reason for todays post. This post is in support of Tommy’s new campaign #TogetherForChange. To read more about it head over to their website, there are some amazing videos on there from some truly courageous women and men telling their baby loss stories.
Nearly 2 years ago I was sat in a hospital room on the bed with my baby. I was numb. 12 hours before I had walked into that same hospital carrying my identical twin girls in my tummy. I was a little nervous, their movements had slowed down but if I’m truly honest I thought I would be popped on the monitor for an hour, everything would be fine and off we would go home to our 3 year old little boy.
That was the ending to that day I wanted. That very same day I had finished work to go on maternity leave. I was going to be 29 weeks pregnant at the stroke of midnight. I couldn’t wait to start maternity; I had a double buggy sat in the box to put together, I had matching girls outfits to put away and I had a little boy to shower in attention before his 2 little sisters came home and the chaos began. I couldn’t wait.
Except that’s not how the ending to that day went. Instead more and more medical professionals entered the room I was lay in. The time went on and on until it was 11pm at night and I told my husband to go and ring my parents to releave our friend who was sat with Little Man. I knew. At that point I told him to do that. I knew everything was about to change.
And it did. They told me one of my babies had died and the other one was in danger. That moment when your hear those words, you become a different person. Life will never ever be the same again and that is frightening. As medical staff fussed around me, injecting me with steroids, getting forms for a c-section ready I wailed. It’s the only way I can describe the sound I made. My husband and I were in shock. We had no idea what was about to happen.
I had my 2 beautiful baby girls just after 1am. Little Lady was rushed to Neonatal to be cared for there and there she began a 9 week journey of recovery.
I was taken to recovery and then another hospital room. I remember it so vividly. It was dark in there, there were no windows. The midwife came in and asked if I would like to see Heidi. As anyone who has been in a similar position will tell you that is a terrifying question. I had no idea what she would be like, what she would look like. As she wheeled her in I looked over the edge of her cot and saw my beautiful baby girl for the first time. And she was just that, beautiful. A perfect little baby, identical to her sister. Dark hair, pouty lips, big feet.
She stayed with me for 24 hours then, it is and always will be one of my most treasured memories. I spoke to her, cuddled her and showed her how much I loved her. How much we all loved her. It was such a special time.
2 years on we are just about to celebrate the girls second birthday but instead of how I envisioned it, it looks like this.
So I guess you might be wondering why I would share such precious memories with the Internet and why I have been doing that for the last 2 years. Well the answer is simple, for that 1 in 4. For the 1 in 4 parents who are going through this or something similar right now. Sharing our story not only helps me have an outlet for my feelings but helps others too. I know because I have messages all the time saying exactly that and I’m only small fry in the blogging world. But imagine the impact the people on the videos on the Tommy’s website. Imagine how many people they are helping. There are so many bloggers and charities that have helped me, I just want to give a little bit back. Heidi may have only had a tiny footprint but I want her to have a big impact.
Sharing our baby loss stories means we normalise talking about it. It means we can justify other parents feelings for them, validate them. It makes people feel less alone. Yet still there is a taboo around baby loss; parents that are too scared to talk about it, loved ones who don’t know the right thing to say. Together we can make that change. Stories need to be told and they need to be heard to create understanding and support. And most importantly create opportunities for the medical world to try and stop this from happening. To try and stop other women being a woman like me with one baby with no air in her lungs in a cot next to me and another baby in an incubator down the corridor. It’s one of the most hellish journeys you can go on and we need to try and help the parents that are going through it and stop other parents having to go through it.
We have to try.