Tag Archives: charity

Little Daffodils

Little Daffodils – Birthday Packages

Birthdays are happy occasions; days to treat the ones you love to a special day. A celebration of love and a new age, watching their faces on their very first birthday as they watch the balloons float around the room. Piles of presents, with beautiful wrapping paper which will be torn in seconds.

The first birthdays of adulthood, 18th birthdays, 21st even as you get to the later birthdays they are a celebration worth having – especially when you have children.

Un-Birthday

Then there are the babies and children who never get to grow up, some never take a breath while others stopped growing when their hearts stopped. Some may have reached a birthday or two, while others just miss them. Even after their hearts stop, they still have birthdays most have registered dates. They are still very much remembered on these dates; by family and friends birthdays are significant for almost everyone.

With this in mind, the babies and children won’t get to receive birthday presents, some are silently remembered. Little Daffodils I set up isn’t just a face to face support group, it now offers a special package to all families who have lost a baby and child with a special birthday.

These children deserve to have acknowledgement.

The package is only small but is a little gesture to let families know they aren’t alone.

There is a little card, a tea light for missing candles on a cake; a little butterfly and a crystal rainbow maker, to give some colour on the darker days. All inside a little box.

You can add your birthday details to the little daffodils email address.

 

We will also roll these out to parents who have lost much older and adult children too. It is just a small gesture to know that you are being thought of, around such a difficult time.

Little Daffodils Birthday Packages

Little Daffodils

#togetherforchange

Relationship Changes

I had never seen my husband cry before, for me that was the most powerful thing I saw in the hours and days after she died. When I looked at the twisted pain in his face, I knew it mirrored my own feelings. I knew I must have looked the same to him. But one of the hardest things I watched was watching him not only be strong for all of us; but that I couldn’t take his pain away, there was nothing I could do.

As we returned to the hospital the next day, he sat with his eyes closed, exhausted because sleep had failed us. I’ll ever forget the silence in the room, the pure exhaustion over his face, I felt so unbelievably helpless.

From that day it struck me how men are expected to keep strong, be the tea makers and the rocks of the family. I couldn’t let him face it alone or deal with the heaviness. We had to do it together, both of us lost our daughter; both of us had broken hearts.

 

What Impact Did Your Experience Have On Your Relationship?

I am not sure how it was possible but we became even closer than we ever did. After finding out that support services were absolutely shocking and almost non-existent. Family and friends didn’t truly understand what we were going through, we understood each other. Our pain we helped pull each other through. Lit each other up when the other was in the dark. I’d never have gotten through the early raw days without him.

 

What Did You Talk About With Your Partner To Overcome The Difficulties Experienced By The Loss?

We tried to be as open as we could with each other; asking ourselves on a fair few occasions, “Will we get through this together?” From very early on we did our best to make sure we would always be there for each other, even if we weren’t on the same page – because as perfect as me saying this sounds we didn’t always have our bad days together or had the same good days either.

We’d both lost her, although grandparents, friends had lost her too, we were (are) her parents, understanding each other has been an important key to keeping together.

 

How Does It Affect Your Relationship?

There are cliché quotes about not truly knowing someone until you live with them; this may be true. But this I think goes for grieving too, for the person who isn’t grieving at that moment in time can find it difficult to watch the pain that someone else is going through. This in turn causes distance and isolation.

For both of you to grieve together, we formed our own bubble; our children were included in that too. People distanced themselves from us, and in return, we isolated ourselves from the world. We held each other up, we kept each other going. Giving up on our marriage, our family has never been an option.

Turning off our daughter’s life support left us and her siblings broken hearted; we needed each other more than ever, more than anyone else in the world. There was no reason for us to give up. Melody brought us together as a family. We couldn’t let her death consume our relationship.

 

Challenging Taboos

Opening Questions

Understanding Emotions

Coping and Sharing

Tommy’s Together For Change

Tommy's #togetherforchange

Opening Questions

 

 

In March 2018, I had the great honour of being invited to be part of a major charity campaign; involving baby loss awareness. We had lots of snow at the time, so we weren’t even sure we would be able to go ahead with it. But the charity helped to accommodate us for the night and we were able to complete a series of questions.

July 10th Kicks off the campaign put together by Tommy’s – Together For Change (hashtag); to overcome the taboo and to break the silence of baby loss, to show there is support out there. The more awareness that is raised, the more it will hopefully get people talking.

To compliment my part of the campaign, I will be sharing a few of the questions for which I was asked, and the answers. The campaign includes several well-known faces, I am almost like a duck out of water, but if it means I can share our daughter a little bit more; then I am proud to be part of what will hopefully be Tommy’s biggest campaign yet.

 

Can You Tell Me A Little Bit About Your Experience?

I’d sadly had miscarriages, and I knew of babies dying after birth. But I only had heard of the babies who’d died with a poor prognosis, either during or after birth. I’d naively thought that once you had passed through the twenty week scan, which the chances of fatalities reduced to almost nothing. I assumed that we would be okay, especially as I had already had two living children.

How could I have been so wrong? When she was born at 26+6 weeks, I again felt confident that all would be well, that she’d get through everything that she needed to; after all when babies hit 24 weeks, it is a magic number, right? She had survived the first few days of her life, not only did she survive it, she sailed through it mashing all the expectations of a micro-preemie; she did everything that she was meant to, and more.

She lived until she was exactly five weeks old, as quick as that, she was gone. Sepsis took a hold of her tiny little body, and stole her from us. Not just her but our innocence, hopes for her future. Everything just stopped; plans and future thoughts were over. Memories which were made were turned into remembrances.

This baby who had plans for going home to her family, died. Life changed.

 

How Did That Make You Feel?

 

We were heartbroken; we had absolutely no idea how we were going to move forward from that moment. We didn’t know what would happen to us as a couple, as a family. It is the most difficult thing we have ever had to cope with. But because each loss is unique and individual to the parents involved, there is no real way to explain exactly how it feels to watch the life of your child drain from them.

There are no words. With this in mind, it can be incredibly lonely too. The death of our baby is fairly unique too, with the many, many baby loss campaigns out there; at times our type of loss doesn’t get mentioned or is placed as an afterthought. Which then follows the loneliness, and the questions about whether our daughter ever really mattered?

For me, sharing her story and assisting with Tommy’s I hope, that this will break taboos around infant death.

 

Tommy’s Together For Change Campaign

melody and me

Charity Awareness – PAIL Awareness

charity towards tomorrow logo

Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Week

This week remembers and spreads awareness about the babies and children who have passed away. I have always been open and honest about my grief journey; my thoughts after Melody died. I don’t really need this single week to do so; however it gets people thinking, it gets people talking, it brings the taboo to the forefront of people’s minds. In the hope that one day the taboo will be a distant memory. We have a long way to go.

When we walked out of the hospital after Melody had died; it became apparent form very early on that the support as a whole for bereaved parents really is few and far between; even more so with Melody’s death. Leaflets, awareness, even charities concentrated on a few scenarios; which of course is amazing, the more awareness the more chances women and professionals will be able to reduce the rate of death. But it can leave parents like us feel alone, pushed out and even more isolated.

Charity

From the first few days I took to online support; but knew I wanted to help more; there’s so much more I want to do. I decided that I would like to try and get a group together. It was something I felt was missing. I ended up contacting Mel Scott of Towards Tomorrow Together, a charity who supports families who have lost a baby through miscarriage, stillbirth, babies with poor prognosis in utero and they included us. So essentially all losses, nobody gets excluded.

Little Daffodils was born; although it was originally named Melody’s Voices I came away from a prestigious baby loss event in 2016 – The Butterfly Awards and knew that giving support and making a difference was so much more than doing something in her name, and in her memory. Daffodils are the flowers for us who represent Melody but they give so much colour, but only live for a short time. I really want to make a difference; sometimes it can feel like I am hitting a brick wall; others when people message for support and then say thank you, I know something must be doing.

Towards Tomorrow Together provide Butterfly Boxes to hospitals to help families create memories in the short time after a baby or child has died. Unfortunately it isn’t something we personally received (back to the lack of support), but they do bring comfort to families who have to leave without their beloved children.

Little Daffodils

 

 

Education

Through the death of her own baby, Mel has worked tirelessly to raise awareness, put together educational sessions – I have even spoken at one; and in the midst of putting one together myself, with the help of Mel.

It is difficult to get across to professionals the real thoughts and emotions behind losing a baby; through textbooks there should be a time limit. There isn’t.

This Somerset run charity works a lot from fundraising, this year Little Daffodils as a team has made £1900 with various fundraisers.

There is so much more to do within the baby loss community, especially for infant loss awareness; it will take more than a week out of a year to achieve it, but we do need to keep talking, keep listening most importantly to not let any parents – Mums and Dads feel alone and unsupported. Their – our babies mattered.

She wasn’t “just” a baby. She is ours; she was here for five weeks. She is Melody.

 

Julz.