It is national Baby Loss Awareness Week and we are sharing details of how staff across our Women & Children's Division support families affected by pregnancy and baby loss.
Here, one mum shares her experience of losing her daughter and the hope that came with the birth of her rainbow twins.
Our baby loss journey.
During early 2020 at almost 39 weeks pregnant our lives were due to change forever.
With what had been an uneventful, low risk pregnancy I was concerned on the evening of 22nd February that I hadn’t felt Florence move as much as she normally would, her pattern of movement had changed and so I decided to attend Southmead Hospital maternity assessment unit with reduced movements.
We were told fairly quickly there were concerns over our daughter's health and we needed to be taken down for an emergency Caesarean section within the next 30 mins. Our world felt like it was closing in around us as we feared for the life of our unborn daughter.
Florence arrived and everyone’s concerns were concluded in the fact she was very poorly, she was taken to NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit) and this is where she spent the remainder of her short 14 days earth-side.
Florence was given the upmost care in NICU and every effort was made in the hope we would be able to one day bring our gorgeous girl home, unfortunately despite everyone’s efforts Florence’s condition was irreversible. Florence was diagnosed with HIE there was no cure, no way forward and our darling girl had lost her fight and passed peacefully in our arms 7th March 2020.
We were very thankful Southmead Hospital had a fantastic bereavement support in place and Lauren and Sarah were there every step of the way as our bereavement midwifes to support us as a family and continue this support into any future pregnancies we would experience.
I had read about Tommy’s rainbow clinics through many of the literature that was handed out to us after Florence had died and was in awe of the amazing work that had been done to support parents with future pregnancies, we were extremely grateful for being a part of the Rainbow clinic in Southmead where we received the most attentive and supportive care.
Lisa, Steven and Sarah were there for us every step of the way on an emotional and terrifying journey.
We welcomed our rainbow twins into the world summer 2021.
Child loss is scary to think about when you’re a parent. It's every parents worst nightmare. But it’s also a reality. One that tears apart families and changes lives forever. Child loss is our reality and our lives. We have to live everyday with this. It doesn’t get easier. Our twins have helped heal us in a way we never expected, our hearts are still broken, but our arms are now fuller.
We continue to raise monies regularly to support the Southmead Hospital Charity as for us this was the only place Florence ever knew as home, it’s the one place we will always feel connected and it’s the one place we will always be grateful to every consultant, nurse and care worker who gave our daughter the best fighting chance
Baby Loss Awareness Week is not just a week for us bereaved parents, we live with this pain every single day of our lives,
This is a time to raise awareness around pregnancy and baby death in the UK.
It’s one week per year where us parents try to make people understand a little more, to try and explain how much we go through each and every day,
it’s for me to tell others it’s ok to talk about our pregnancy losses and babies, and to spread awareness of some valuable support within NBT and charities that are available.
As parents we love our children with every fibre of our being and this doesn’t end when they leave this life.
15th October is International Wave of Light, It is a way to honour and remember all of the babies who couldn’t stay with us and a way to show support to all the bereaved families who couldn’t bring their babies home.
We shall be lighting a candle for Florence our brave shining star.