Our beautiful son, Elliott was born on the 28.10.16, forever sleeping.
I had met mothers over the years who I had known to have lost a baby, and even close friends, but in all my trying to imagine what it would be like, that imagining didn’t even come close to the reality.
The gravity of it all, how far the impacts spread, what it changes, what’s involved.. all things I was previously unaware about but wish I knew, as I would have been a greater help to others before if I knew the right words, actions and emotional support.
Amongst our life shattering grief we realised how much of a lack of awareness there is on pregnancy and infant loss.
I’ve sought comfort in the listening ears of friends and family, and other mothers who also have angel babies. Most mothers I spoke to expressed sorrow for the lack of understanding, and hurt from dismissive words and feelings from some people they encountered. They told me of their desperate want to talk about their baby but did not out of fear of reactions or judgements. People were scared to talk about it, and others were too uncomfortable to listen. I realised it was one of the last social taboos- to talk about your passed baby, to grieve openly and honestly.
Everyone talked about feeling alone, even though it’s so far from the truth. I researched our specific circumstance and found that each year in Australia over 2000 parents will go through the pain of having a baby who is still born, and a further 1000 will lose their baby within a few days after birth. (SANDS Qld) That’s a huge number, and yet people feel so alone. These are our babies, as much as a part of us, as real and important and loved as the babies who get to stay. They have no less bearing than other children we may have. They are unique and irreplaceable. Even though they are not in our arms, we are still their mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters etc. And yet there is a culture of silence and there can be an attitude to “move on” as quick as possible. Although as I have found and have been told by mothers who have also experienced such loss, you will never really move on, get over it, stop grieving. I have been told in time you learn to live with your grief and living with it gets easier, but you don’t get over it, people just stop talking about it.
And so, I have decided I desperately want to spread awareness about child loss. I thought the best way I can do this is to share our story, and perhaps some others. I’m hoping that if people see, read and feel our journey and others, maybe more people will have a better understanding. Hopefully with understanding people will feel empowered to know ways in which they can help a family member or friend who has experienced this pain, to know what to say and perhaps what not to. In turn I hope this gives bereaved parents an easier and gentler path and journey than what so many have been on. I also hope in sharing our story, some bereaved parents might not feel so alone and may take some comfort from knowing that.
With my love, Elliott’s Mummy xo