By sharing our stories we can impact the world is so many ways. We can releasd ourselves of those inner thoughts and give them to the world to hold, so we don’t have to anymore. We can connect with others who get it, and who have shared similar experiences - making us all feel less alone. It can be read by someone too scared to share, but now feeling heard. It can educate and inform those around us to understand the way that we have gone through. It can cause ripple effects by empowering others to share their stories, or do so, vicariously through yours.
I think overall the shock and disbelief I felt after our first loss has just been compounded with more shock and grief over the years. I still can't believe this is our life, that after four pregnancies our home is still so quiet. That we have two graves to tend to.
Leaving the hospital last time after lots of scans, blood tests, arms full of letters and leaflets I felt the strongest I had felt after any of the other miscarriages, because I knew I had a support network I could turn to.
Medically I had suffered a second trimester loss, but to me I birthed our sleeping baby boy. I contracted, I felt every pain, my waters broke, the umbilical cord was cut and I delivered a placenta. I held our little boy in my arms, I kissed his little button nose and dressed him in the smallest outfit. It can be very isolating knowing Arlo-Jorg is not acknowledged as a baby because of the gestation he was born.
I was a mother losing her son yet I didn’t look like it because he wasn’t in my body. As much as I wished it was me going through it rather than my wife, I was in awe of her strength at delivering our boy into the world. But we had to go through the usual rigmarole of being asked if I was Holly’s ‘friend’ or ‘sister’ accompanying her to the appointments. It gets so draining always being mis-labelled in these circumstances. How hard is it too have a quick glance at the notes before walking into a room?
A few weeks ago, I saw a email notification come up and instantly recognised the name - Prof Jacqueline Dunkley-Bent, the Chief Midwifery Officer for NHS England. I'd seen her speak at Better Births in March and knew very much who she was. Needless to stay, I was stopped in my tracks. I'd been invited … Continue reading There is Power in Being Heard – Podcasting with the Chief Midwifery Officer for NHS England
Recently I hosted a #BabyLossHour with guest, Kate Pinney, a Tommys Midwife and Health Visitor. I invited Kate alone as the Health Visitor voice is one we don't really hear from in regards to baby loss and I wanted to explore that a little more. As always, whenever after care is discussed - it was … Continue reading Aftercare in the Community after the Loss of a Baby : Anecdotes for GPs, Midwives and Health Visitors
Every week, bereaved parents affected by Baby Loss get together on Twitter and chat about various topics about life after baby loss. We do this through my twitter chat, #BabyLossHour. A recent topic was 'how to support a bereaved parent' - something that no doubt many people have typed into Google in a quest to answer one of the most challenging encounters of friendship (or other such relationships).
I’m Karen Burgess the CEO of Petals, the baby loss counselling charity. I am also the founder, having set up Petals in 2011 – I am a counsellor by training and have been working with maternity services for 10 years.
Welcome to the latest addition to the It Still Takes a Village - Working in Baby Loss Interview Series where we take a closer look at those who dedicate their day to day to preventing baby loss and supporting those affected. You can read more interviews, here. I'm a big advocate for research - its why we support charities … Continue reading Opening Up the Conversations for Men through Research | Lucy, Trainee Clinical Psychologist for the #ItStillTakesAVillageBlogSeries