Tag Archives: together for change

October guest post submissions

October Guest Post Submissions

Once again I am opening up a corner here for October Guest  Post Submissions. I am running a series of posts throughout October – Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness month.

Last year I opened it just for Neo and post-neonatal deaths.

This year I would like to open it up to anyone who has lost an infant; included during and shortly after birth. You may not want to specifically share your baby, your story but maybe raising awareness of how you come to lose your little one. I, for one never knew babies could die of sepsis even before leaving the hospital; I had always thought it was an infection you pick up going about your daily business.

Maybe you have a letter to your little one or something you want to say to the world.

I would like to run a mini-series to run alongside to include grandparents, aunts, uncles and siblings of children lost. Looking at a different perspective of losing such a young relative; or watching your family member go through such pain and maybe feeling helpless.

 

Special Information

  • Submissions are open from 14th August 2018 – 14th September 2018.
  • Posts should be a minimum of 300 words
  • You can add a photo if you wish
  • All gestations welcome
  • All ages welcome
  • I will link back to any blog if requested.
  • I will share on my social media outlets
  • If you wish to stay anonymous then please let me know.
  • I will schedule the posts from October 1st

Mums, Dads, Grandparents, Siblings, Aunts/Uncles who have lost a child, grandchild, brother/sister, niece/nephew.

Having an understanding of such a complex type of grief can be so difficult, leading to feelings of loneliness.

For one month, I am aiming to bring not only awareness of baby loss in general, but to bring people together in their grief. It is incredibly hard to understand something when you’ve not been through it.

 

If you would like to add something then please email me

melodyandme35@gmail.com

We’re in this together.

#togetherforchange

Remembering Your Baby

Remembering her is easy; her life isn’t something we as her family will ever forget. She may have only been with us five weeks; but she has made a huge impact in our lives. For me personally, she has changed the way we think, the way we behave. We can’t just forget.

 

How Do You Remember Your Baby?

Saying and writing her name; talking about her and our experience. I could never have imagined not speaking about her…Believe me, I have tried. For me, it doesn’t feel natural to not talk about her, I speak about my children all the time; she is one of them.

Do You Feel You Can Share Your Grief?

 

When it felt like the whole world was turning their backs writing became my haven, starting the blog – although this one is only a year old, I have written since July 2012. It helped me so much to be able to get out my feelings especially when I found it hard to talk face to face. Because I found writing I found it easier to share my grief, to make people aware of how I was feeling. But it became my therapy too; it was a way for me to get things out in the open rather than bottle things up and hide away.

 

What Are Common Triggers For These Emotions?

Aside from the usual, like places of death, or even places of life too can be triggers. Saying her name, bringing her up is NOT a trigger, she is my daughter. After six years I am okay just dropping her into conversation without a tear being shed. But just occasionally I may be hit by the overwhelming sadness of how unfair this whole situation is. This overwhelming feeling, when it hits, it hits you hard, there isn’t really a lot that can take that sadness away; it doesn’t last very long.

Some people believe that these short outbursts of emotion are our babies wanting a little attention for a moment, which is an incredibly nice way to think of it like that. I believe that simply, it is so unimaginable, that the death of babies and children is so wrong; you just can’t get your heads around any of it.

Yet there is absolutely nothing you can do to stop those thoughts, or worse to change the outcome.

 

I’ll always remember and speak of her. That is my job as her Mum, to be her eyes, her ears and above all her voice.

 

Tommy’s Together For Change Campaign

Relationship Changes

Opening Questions

#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

#togetherforchange

Becoming Pregnant Again.

My head was all over the place in the days after she died, I can just about remember asking if we could have another baby just the day after she died.

It must have sounded cold-hearted like I had tossed her aside. I guess it was a (strange) reaction to the situation. I needed to know I could make sure my body worked. We wanted her so much, wanted a baby so much too. There was nothing about a replacement.

 

What Emotions Did You Feel?

We made the decision to have another baby fairly soon, but we weren’t going to try, but we weren’t going to protect either. It happened a lot sooner than we were expecting. When the positive pregnancy test came clear, the first question was “What have we done?” We were happy, of course we were happy, but it wasn’t the happy we had felt before.

It was fake and real all at the same time. Fear settled in very quickly; you see not only do you have the fear of living through another death of our own baby, of losing another baby the way we did. But weeks of seeking support on forums brought you to a whole new world of reasons for why babies die – some with no reason at all. There was absolutely no innocence, no ignorant bliss; with both the viable pregnancies after Melody I knew very quickly I would never be able to enjoy a pregnancy again.

That enjoyment was stolen from me, from both of us.

We were absolutely terrified; we had a wonderful consultant (actually both of the consultants for each of the two after babies were great). I couldn’t let my bumps rest for too long, I felt myself poking and prodding all the time; I could barely sleep through fear of rolling on them. I suffered Hyperemesis during pregnancy anyway, but the stress of these pregnancies made it worse, making it unbearable.

Having a pregnancy after a loss needs a lot more support than what is provided currently. The support is very hit and miss, that isn’t fair. Our worries didn’t stop once they were born, actually they didn’t stop even at the five-week milestone; for this reason I don’t call our girls rainbows, or at least not because of being after a loss, more for the difficult pregnancies.

 

What To Do When Your Friends Become Pregnant?

As much as you don’t want to hurt the feelings of your friends, as their baby is as important to them as your child is to them. But if you need to distance yourself a little, then do so protecting yourself is a massive part of self-care, looking after your mental health. Being around babies isn’t often easy, but there is also a strange stigma surrounding bereaved parents and taking children.

No idea why, but we don’t want your child, we just want ours.

It is okay not to be happy for your friend, speak to them but make sure not to create too big a wall between you and your people.

I still struggle a little bit with holding other people’s babies, and I know people take offence to that. But I was never a play “pass the newborn” type of girl anyway.

 

What Advice Would You Give To Someone Who Is Anxious About Becoming Pregnant Again?

We went into our pregnancy fairly quickly after her death. I have to admit that I wish we had left it a little bit longer. Grieving whilst trying to keep your baby alive, the stress was unbearable. Those two pregnancies after her had to have been the most challenging times outside losing her I have ever been through.

It sounds very cliché, but it really is not for the faint-hearted. As I explained earlier, you do know a lot more of the negative sides of pregnancy. You need to make sure you have decent health care support, which includes every single person you meet throughout – from the consultants to the sonographers and midwives. Having misery caused by a lack of empathy can just add to the stress of an already difficult pregnancy.

Talk to your partner, have friends, family or even an online network to support you, you really cannot do a pregnancy after loss alone.