Apologies for the quiet over here lately, we’ve been busy moving house!
I just wanted to put a post up to let people know about The Butterfly Awards if they don’t follow along on social media.
The Butterfly Awards aim to celebrate and raise awareness of the people, both personally and professionally, affected by Baby Loss. There are people nominated for their awareness work, keepsakes that they create, their inspiration or their healthcare and Bereavement roles.
I feel honoured to be nominated in the Author/blogger category, alongside some other fantastic writers.
The process so far has involved being nominated, and then shortlisted. We were then asked to write a ‘plea’ to tell people more about us and what we’ve done.
You can read my plea here and if you’d like to vote, just simply click the heart!
It’s always a bit strange, being nominated for something that you only do because your son died. We all just do our own thing in our unique ways, in response to the love we have for them and the pain associated to loosing them. Any sense of ‘competition’ can be unsettling if you think too much about it.
That said, I also think it’s really wonderful that we can be so open and vocal about our survival and the experiences we have had – it wasn’t that long ago that things were very different for bereaved parents. I’m really proud of everything we’ve achieved through this blog, and so grateful that it’s been recognised again for an Award.
I also took a plunge for this plea and recorded a video. It’s a little long, but I just wanted to say out loud the various things that I’m most proud of. And it’s really okay to be proud of the things we achieve in Leo’s name – sometimes it’s hard to tap into that, because I’d rather be proud of seeing him walk, talk or just thrive. But there’s a lot of guilt, shame and sadness in baby loss, so finding pride is important to me.
You can watch the video here : https://youtu.be/kWIwwMclJeQ
Mostly, I’m thankful for people reading and commenting. Blogging and social media can be tough sometimes but I know the end game is worth it. More awareness, more understanding, a voice, Leo’s name getting known. That’s all so important and healing for us.
Feel free to share the awards or this post – I think it’s important to show people the incredible things people do in the face of devastating loss.
I also posted on social media some of the other nominees that I’d like to shout out, so thought I’d share too, incase people wanted to vote and needed inspiration.
You can vote for all categories at www.babylossstar.co.uk/voting
AUTHOR/BLOGGER : honoured again to be up for an award alongside Sam. Mummy to Guy, she’s documented life after stillbirth and recurrent miscarriage, as well as her experiences with the Tommys research clinics openly, really helping people understand what recurrent loss is like. Sam is also nominated in the INSPIRATIONAL MOTHER category, and she really is inspirational. Being able to attend her tea party for Guy last year was wonderful to see the impact she makes.
UK SUPPORT ORGANISATIONS : firstly, Reading Lifeline who we nominated for this Award. Reading Lifeline was exactly what we needed to find, and offered joint counselling, support groups and the antenatal rainbow pregnancy support class which without, we’d have found Eli’s pregnancy SO much harder. This service is crucial for families and it deserves all the recognition it can get.
Secondly, Aching Arms. Aching Arms have not only supported us by receiving a bear initially, our much cuddled Nora, but by being able to honour Leo in donating hundreds of bears in his name and seeing them gifted. Being able to volunteer for them has been so healing.
INSPIRATIONAL FATHER : I was really touched when Chris Binnie nominated us for the award. Chris works tirelessly for Our Angels, presenting Henry’s impact on the world, and truly making a difference. He supports not just his local community, but much wider online too. Chris is also nominated as COMMITTED BABYLOSS VOLUNTEER.
HEALTHCARE PROFESSIONAL : Prof Alex Heazell, who heads up the Tommys Research Centre at St Mary’s in Manchester looked after us for Leo’s post-mortem and throughout both our pregnancies since. He, his team and his research are truly fighting baby loss every single minute of the day and if that’s not a reason to vote for someone, I don’t really know what is? They are saving lives, constantly. Lives that some other people don’t realise can be saved.
CHERISED KEEPSAKE : too many here to choose… but I’d love to give a shout out to Emma, from Kitty’s Dream, Nicole for Our Missing Peace and Diane for Liberty Rainne. They all beautifully honour their children in the way they have provided keepsakes for others, and have become a go to in the community. Emma has as a result of her work renovated the Bereavement suite at the hospital where I was born, and that is truly special for me to know. Nicole has worked exceptionally hard to honour Ben, and create a nationwide campaign working alongside MPs and charities to unite bereaved parents. Diane has created a way for all parents to honour their lost and rainbow babies in the home, gardens and resting places and no doubt everyone is so thankful for her.
BEST HOSPITAL BEREAVEMENT SERVICE : my shout out goes to the Rainbow Clinic at St Mary’s. A group of people really working collaboratively with compassionate and true understanding of the difficulties bereaved parents face. The supported they provided after a loss and in a subsequent pregnancy needs to be bottled and sent to every area in the UK. I’ve written whole blogs on how special they are…
BEREAVEMENT WORKER SHORTLIST : please please vote for Juliette Ward from the Royal Berkshire Hospital. She worked with Reading Lifeline to provide the antenatal education in our Rainbow Pregnancy support group. She provided us with open, honest unsugarcoated support and information – which is exactly what we needed. She’s such a warm, and welcoming person and is making waves by working hard to improve services locally for families.
AWARENESS ADVOCATE : again, so many incredible people here. My first shout out goes to Antoinette Sandbach and Will Quince for the work in the APPG Baby Loss. To have MPs talk about such personal experiences in parliament was groundbreaking last October and by bringing all the key influencers and charities together, I really believe it will phenomenally change care and attitudes. I’d also like to shout out Lisa Wilson, for Still a Mama, for again uniting a community and working tirelessly to break the silence including her petition for the BBC to show Still Loved. On that, Debbie Howard is so deserving of her nomination for a ground breaking film Still Loved giving so many people a voice where they have previously been silenced.
Head to www.babylossstar.co.uk/voting to vote.
To see my plea and vote, click here : https://babylossstar.co.uk/JessicaClasbyMonk17
Thank you, J x