Monthly Archives: April 2017

Annual Parish Meeting – Community Fund

On Tuesday 25th April, we were invited to attend our town’s Annual Parish Meeting. We applied for the local community fund, to enable Little Daffodils through Towards Tomorrow Together to provide a service locally for people who have experienced the loss of a baby during and after pregnancy.
We were very thrilled with the offer of this fund and the amount in which we have received. It will go towards much needed awareness raising for the charity, the group and of course to break the taboo barrier that is baby loss.
There were other community groups there too to receive funds, for their groups, it was nice to hear of other organisations which may not always get the awareness.
After the Mayor handed out outstanding awards, it as the turn of the community fund awards, I was first up. I am an incredibly nervous public speaker, and in all honesty was hoping I wouldn’t have had to speak…but I wasn’t that lucky. Mayor Dave Bulmer asked if I could do a short talk about what we do. This time, for the first time in all the times I have recently publicly spoken, I had no piece of paper to read instead I had to stumble my way through making a good impression. I think I may have pulled it off. I love talking about the charity and of course Little Daffodils and how it was born, I am incredibly passionate about trying to make a change in this community. People even came up to us and said what a wonderful thing to have put together; I was able to give our details to Chard First Responders too.
I thanked the Mayor and the people in the room for the opportunity for Little Daffodils to shine, told all those who listened that we support families who have lost their beloved baby through pregnancy and in infancy.
I must add that all through the existence of Little Daffodils (which began life as Melody’s Voices), the Mayor has been incredibly supportive when he can, attending our launch of our first group, donating the use of the guildhall for an event; Thank you.
I really hope the next Mayor whoever that may be will give us the same support, it has been slow, maybe even hard at times to get the backing needed for this local group, but it has been incredibly worthwhile. Even if we only help 1-2 people a year, it is 1-2 people who will feel less alone.  
A huge thank you to everyone involved in letting us have the community fund, because without these funds the community would end up lacking far more resources than they already do.
If you’re not already aware Little Daffodils meet on the first Tuesday of the month, from 730pm, upstairs of Eleos Café in the centre of Chard. Our Facebook Group is here.
Thank you for reading; I will keep you updated with our up and coming projects.

Now, to learn Public Speaking Confidence…

Family Drop in Session..Little Daffodils

Why it is so important to have this session.

In May 2016 Little Daffodils (formally named Melody’s Voices) was formed as a support group in Chard for parents who have lost a baby during and after pregnancy. Working with the Somerset Charity Towards Tomorrow Together, we have formed a solid partnership.
When I was putting the group together, there was several questions about whether or not Children could come to the group.
Being a parent who has lost a baby, and have other children, you kind of become like Clark and Superman.

Split personalities

But on how you react to such loss. There’s a mask, a different identity to wear one for the children (and often even to people who don’t truly understand), and one where you can be incredibly honest and open to the heartbreak that is baby loss, scream, swear, shout or simply sit in the silence whilst you take what has happened to you in.
Then there is the side you have to be around the children..
The ”I’m ok, Everything is fine” mask.
So the decision was made to not allow children to the evening sessions, to allow parents to be free to speak, share a tear or two, or just that time to concentrate on just themselves and the loss of their little one for a couple of hours.
Having a family session allows anyone who doesn’t have child care, or who’d like to come as a couple but normally can’t the opportunity to be able get some bereavement support, we are a very friendly bunch of people, who would like to help; this could be a small step to being able to come to an evening session, when you are ready.
Parenting after a loss, can be very different to how you would before, and at times can be incredibly lonely, when reaching out to other people, particularly if the other people don’t quite understand what you are going through.
We’ll have the usual “toddler” group set up, (I say toddlers, but of course older and younger children are also welcome), toys, chairs a cuppa and cake, both Mums and Dads are welcome too.
Talk as little or as much as you want, or not at all, just being in a place surrounded by fully understanding people, is sometimes all it needs to feel slightly less alone.

First Session, special guests

Little Daffodils’ very first family session, (here) will be held in the grounds of St Mary’s Church in Chard, from  Saturday 22nd April 11am until 12.30, it’ll be £1 per family, come and meet us, have a cuppa and some cake, see what we’re all about.
We’re very lucky to have the lovely Anna and Elsa come and join us too.
We would very much like to see you there, even if the circumstances should have been nicer.
Thank you for reading
Julz
Little Daffodils Team.

April Fools Day. Why We Still Grieve the Life We Lost.

Bliss.
Everything about the life we led was normal. My second marriage, had led us to our honeymoon baby, our first together, even our rainbow baby after our two miscarriages. It wasn’t an easy pregnancy, but this was nothing new, I didn’t “do” easy pregnancies, but my babies came home.
I passed the “magical” gestations, the 12 weeks, the 20 week scan. Once we hit 24 weeks I discovered this thing in which many pregnant women celebrate, a milestone to the name of Viability Day or “V” Day. I’d hit this, and passed it, once I had passed this, we were on the home straight..right?
It’ll never happen to me.
But it did.
Everything will be fine
When she was born she fought to the best she could, the best her little body could cope with. She defied what the doctors had warned us about.
Feisty, strong willed tiniest of beings, with a huge personality, who wanted to be in the 80% survival rate. She never spoke, we didn’t spend much time with her, but I knew she wanted to come home with us. She loved a cuddle, she loved her family’s voices, her brother and sister were her people.
She wanted to join us.
As I documented her progress, announced her discharge date, jumped for joy as she hit 2lb, celebrated as my milk had arrived to feed her.
Everyone, on a daily basis would tell us, she’d be fine, she’d be home in no time.
That their baby, or their friend’s neighbours’ baby was born with less odds, they were fine.
She was a girl, she had the better odds.
Everything went in her favour.
But the odds failed her.
She died.
I relaxed.
I had allowed myself to breathe a little.
To love this tiny little miracle, who had greeted us well before her due date.
Listened to people tell me they wouldn’t buy her gifts because they’d jinx her.
We watched as people turned their heads away in disgust at her early birth photos.
The bond hadn’t come in the theatre surrounded by a sea of blue people,it hadn’t really come whilst she was inside my womb.
There was always something different about the bond I had with her, whilst I was pregnant with her.
But as the reality had begun to sink in, that our micro premature baby would come home, it was then I allowed myself to love her.
To truly know she was mine.
This tiny little person, a whole 9 inches of her was – is ours.
I fell in love with her.
Through this clear plastic box, blanketed with wires, rather than Brahms Lullaby, there was a tune of beeps, and alarms that made Melody, her.
Made her real.
I allowed myself to get excited, for the future, a fresh start.
The longing to leave the NICU behind us.
This wasn’t how we wanted to leave the NICU.  
Dying wasn’t part of the plan.
Sepsis Stole Our Baby.
April 1st 2012
We walked into NICU, parents of a five week old premature baby, a feisty, full of character little (tiny) girl.
Left heartbroken, lost and confused.
We were (are) still her parents, only we left the hospital as bereaved parents.
It wasn’t supposed to be like that.
I slammed my breast pump and hard pumped milk into the bin, defeated with no idea what the hell to do next.
I cannot even begin to describe the true feelings that appeared that day.
When people use the cliché, “there are no words”.
There isn’t.
I’ve spoken about our loss so much, how I could describe it. But I can’t.
Not the cold harsh truth, because I can’t even make sense of it, of any of it.
I cannot put into words.
I think if I tried, it would only belittle it.
The extreme pain, the intense loss.
Everything should have been different.
It really should have been.
Sepsis, snatched her.
She had a chance, but it took her.
We lost her.
Aren’t you over that now? 
Why I Still Grieve The Loss of Our Daughter.
It has been long enough.
Why do you keep torturing yourself?
Why do you keep boring us?
Stop being so morbid?
You didn’t know her very long, 
hell you didn’t get to know her at all, it wasn’t as if she came home.
She’s our daughter.
I lost the opportunity to co-sleep.
To breast feed without a tube (she actually did try to latch on, but was too little).
No chance of tasting food.
She never got the chance to leave the hospital. 
Well of course she did, just not the way we wanted.
She did have the sun on her face a couple of times, but she never felt the breeze fluff her hair or brush her cheek.
We never got to hear her voice, or an attempt at a laugh.
I cannot remember if I told her I loved her, I did when she was dying.
But when we had the best times with her, I cannot remember.
I’ll never hear the words from her, or watch her face light up as I walk in to the room. Or watch as she raised her arms for a cuddle.
I’ll never know if she would have been a Mummy or a Daddy’s girl.
Her brain scans had come back clear, but we could never have known how clear until she reached a certain age.
We saw a smile, maybe even two.
I can’t remember if I kissed her nose, my favourite place to kiss her siblings.
She never heard the Gruffalo.
Her first steps were never taken, her first words never spoken.
An empty chair in the dinner hall at school.
The missing friends.
As I spend time with children her age, I’m no longer filled with pain, but wonder; wonder who she would have been.
I grieve the life, the future we have lost.
Gone.
I grieve the 5 week old baby, who should have turned into a toddler, and an infant, into a reception child.
I grieve because I cannot comprehend what has happened, why it happened to us. 
I’m allowed.
How has it been 1826 days, since I last held her, felt her breath, her warmth?
How has it been 1815 days since we last saw her and gave her a kiss good night?
I’m allowed to be in the dark, because losing a baby, a child who we had come to love isn’t fluff and rainbows, it is black.
Time doesn’t heal, and there isn’t a reason for everything.
I’m allowed to be happy, excited about life.
But I am also allowed to scream and cry, without question or the need to be offered medication.
There is no cure.
Be patient.
Be our friend.
Be kind.
It may be 5 years, it’ll be the same in 50.
She’ll always be our baby.
We’ll always be minus one.
I never wanted to say goodbye.