All posts filed under: Babyloss

It is CHD Awareness Month – here’s my story…

February is Congenital Heart Defect month – Here is the story of  my son Jamie… My 20-week scan during my third pregnancy did not go to plan – a potential defect with my baby’s oesophagus was highlighted and I was referred to the Fetal Medicine Unit at the RVI for a more detailed scan. They too thought there was an issue with my baby’s oesophagus but they also thought there was a problem with his heart – both would need monitoring and so my rollercoaster journey of hospital appointments and huge emotion began. Every couple of weeks I was scanned, my baby’s heart was thoroughly checked but there was no agreement on what the defect was. After one scan, it was even thought that there was no heart defect. But the next scan confirmed that something wasn’t right. The majority agreement among the brilliant team of consultants was that my baby had hypoplastic left heart syndrome – the left side of his heart was not developing properly. This is a life threatening defect. I was …

Babyloss & grief – you don’t always have to keep it together…

I feel like an old hand at babyloss grief now – 11 and a half years in and I know how to function well with my grief, I know how it can surprise me when I least expect it,  I know that I will miss my boy for the rest of my life, I know I am grateful for being on the other side of the intensity of grief and I know how to look after myself. It has taken a long time to reach this point. We all do grief differently and there is now more conversation about baby-loss on social media, which is a good thing – anything that attempts to ease the isolation of baby-loss, to create more awareness, support and conversation for grieving families has to be a good thing. However, a few life-after-baby-loss posts this year have made me think because everything on social media can be subjective and interpreted differently. These are well-intentioned, honest, supportive posts but they are a snap-shot and they often don’t convey the emotion, the …

What to say when a baby dies

Every grieving parent is different so there isn’t an accurate guide on what to do or say when a baby dies. One of the biggest comments can be “I don’t know what to say” – in my experience, be honest and say that, better than saying nothing at all.   Some of the things that helped me when my baby died are: let me talk about my baby. If I am talking about my baby, please let me and please do also talk about my baby. Don’t ignore their existence because that hurts. let me cry – I need to fucking cry, it helps to get rid of some of the hurt. And sometimes I will have no choice, I will have no control over it. Please don’t tell me to shush. please don’t make me try to feel better – you can’t, my baby is dead, there is no feeling better, there is no snapping out of this.  please don’t have any expectations of how I grieve and heal and how long it takes …

babyloss – arranging a funeral

There is no preparation for this. Arranging any funeral is difficult but arranging a funeral for your child is unspeakably difficult and I think most of us do it in a blind numbness that keeps us sane. The thought of a funeral was crippling for me – I went through the motions but I resented having to do it. Jamie had died during surgery and the hospital offered to arrange his funeral, which I am grateful for. A lovely woman at the RVI – whose name and title I just don’t know – talked to us about what we wanted. We explained that as we are not religious, we wanted a cremation and simple service, with as little religious input as possible. She found us a funeral director who would respect our wishes and who was wonderful – they organised the date, time and the crematorium  as well as his coffin and we went away to plan music and let people know. We spent an evening deciding on music – I cried a lot and …