All posts tagged: Babyloss

babyloss awareness

Surviving Babyloss

In the first few days and early weeks after my son died, I wished to feel normal again. I longed, not just for the pain to ease, but just to feel like myself again. It felt like I lived in a bubble, everyone around me was living their normal lives but I was in a very lonely, isolated bubble of vulnerability and pain. I have never felt pain like it – physical pain, mental pain that affected how much I could do, how much I could cope with, how much I could enjoy, how much I could focus on. I felt like I could break at any moment – each day was about forcing myself to get out of bed, to do something rather than just wallow; to do something rather than just desperately want my baby back. There was an aching in my arms for the baby I  couldn’t hold and a physical pain in my heart as it ached for what I had lost. In those early weeks I wasn’t sure how much …

birth and new baby newcastle and tyneside

My experience of birth trauma…

I experienced birth trauma after the birth of my third baby 12 years ago, which left me with PTSD. Initially it was assumed that I was ill because my son – who was born with a severe heart defect – died during heart surgery when he was 3 days old. But it was only when I started seeing a psychotherapist who specialised in grief and trauma that we worked out that beyond the grief and trauma of losing a child, there was also birth trauma. It was a complex trauma of grief with the impact of an emotional pregnancy and the death of my baby. Being pregnant with a baby who had two life-threatening defects was emotional torture in many ways – with additional scans, discussions with consultants, a great deal of hope, a great deal of despair and helplessness, along with plans for his birth, if he lived that long and an attempt to prepare for early life in the heart unit. If Jamie had lived, we faced months in hospital with him so there …

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 …