After the death of our month old baby Melody in 2012, and receiving minimal support professionally, I knew from quite early on in this journey, I wanted to support others going through this rather unique experience, to not feel alone and unsupported.
Soon after her death I made online connections, gained support which in turn led to me giving the support too, six months later became an admin on a pregnancy loss forum, where I continue to do so now.
But I wanted to do more; late 2014, early 2015 I was approached with an idea to be part of a new centre in Chard, which would include a Pregnancy and Infant Loss Support Group.
Being a little nervous, I contacted Mel Scott from baby loss charity Towards Tomorrow Together to see if they’d be interested in supporting the group, in May 2016 (Melody’s original due date month) my dream became a reality when Melody’s Voices was born.
Slow start, but profile raising it is becoming something truly amazing to be a part of, with another bereaved mum, Tracy comes to help run the group once a month.
The Butterfly Awards
Little Daffodils became our new name after I returned from The Butterfly Awards, stunned by how minimal bereavement care is in the West Country, it shouldn’t be, I then realised that the future of this particular group needed to be a lot more than Melody, a legacy that one day once the group is well used and I may find a time to say enough – I’ll never stop talking about her – but the group, the support can carry on years down the line.
Daffodils are her flower, but can be a symbol of short lives, which of course represent who we are.
Celebrating the ones who couldn’t stay.
The project as a whole is so much more than supporting sleeping babies (I, as well as some other bereaved parents aren’t keen on the saying “sleeping babies). I’ve found there’s a lot of awareness about the babies who were born still ‘sleeping’ or miscarriages, that many types of loss get lost. So like ours where we were given miscarriage and stillbirth leaflets rather than ‘post’ neonatal death leaflets. Doors slamming in our faces because she was too old or too young, it was something I wanted to change, leave no-one out.
Life for many families change completely, loss of their baby also brings the loss of friends and family. Leaving families alone and incredibly confused.
As well as supplying memory boxes (which was another thing we missed), which are filled with items to make memories with a precious baby who can’t come home.
To offer group support, advocacy, information and advice.
We didn’t get a lot of information when we left, things like the baby section of the cemetery in the town close by, or that there are a huge range of coffins, that cuddle cots existed or that actually parents, families can take their time with their baby after their hearts have stopped.
All too soon, the last goodbye becomes forever.
Something to assist families with these early days, questions they never knew possible, for us most of our questions were too late.
We recently had a successful fundraiser with the help of two other Mums here,
where we raised just over £1700.
I’m currently in the early stages of doing my bereavement counselling training.
I will be setting up a branch of my blog for people to write their experiences too, watch this space..
We have a Facebook group (which is Private)
And a Page
Find out more of when we meet, and about the Family Session coming up.
So, this is Little Daffodils.
If you have been affected by the loss of your baby.
Know you’re not alone.