I’m sharing this post on behalf of a lovely friend, Louise, who lost her first child, Amy, 10 years ago. Louise has offered me much emotional support since my own loss and I have been inspired by her strength. Please read and appreciate the years of love and loss in these words and images.
Thursday, 17th March 2016, marks the 10th anniversary of the death and birth of our daughter, Amy. She was stillborn at 39 weeks, following a textbook pregnancy, and with no logical explanation.
Having happily carried her for nine months, to then endure labour and birth knowing there would be no positive outcome is certainly the hardest thing I have ever experienced and I truly hope never to surpass it. I know, my husband, Jason feels similarly about having to helplessly watch it happen.
It took me a long time to begin to face my grief, but even in my darkest days I started to write about it. This poem took me years to complete (and I am still editing it as I re-read it!) but I thought, a decade on, I might dare to share it.
“It’s not there, sweetie”.
Those words I’ll never forget.
The words of a consultant,
Searching for a heartbeat,
So strong for nine whole months,
That now had ceased to be.
Disbelief so whole,
And pain so numbing.
We held onto each other, as our world collapsed.
To leave that room was to accept it.
I couldn’t move.
I kept repeating, “NO!”
I had felt so joyful,
As I nurtured our first child within.
I had taken great care,
And yet our daughter, Amy,
Our little ‘Bean’,
Was born sleeping.
Although so cold,
Her skin was soft,
As it should have been.
We caressed her face, her perfect hands,
And took our birth day photographs
Of our precious girl.
I felt broken.
So sad and lost.
I gave birth to her
And yet I didn’t feel like a mother.
I treasured the memory of her kicks.
Poor Daddy had nothing to remember.
Three years passed and, despite two beautiful sons,
I was feeling desperate.
I had confined Amy’s photographs to a box
my grief alongside them.
But now the lid was about to blow.
I was losing control.
I reached out for help
And someone grabbed my hand.
Rachel. A bereavement counsellor.
A rock to cling to in the whirlpool of grief.
She helped me find my way out of the dark
And I am so thankful.
Ten years on and my grief persists.
Sometimes it washes over me like a wave.
Occasionally, it still bends me double with its force.
But I don’t attempt to control it now.
I accept it has a place in my life
And our darling Amy, a place in my heart.
We sadly know we are not alone in our experience and were thankful for the support given by SANDS (the Stillbirth and Neonatal Death charity). Their work provides an essential resource to grieving parents, so if you would like to donate in Amy’s or any other baby’s memory they would welcome any support. Please click this link https://www.uk-sands.org/donate Thank you. x