16 Jan “Nobody knows how baby loss will affect them, and sadly the pain doesn’t just go away…”
Alex shared the story of her son, Samuel, with us last year during Baby Loss Awareness Week. She describes the support she received and the pain she feels to this day…
“My son Samuel was diagnosed with an unfixable congenital heart defect at 22 weeks gestation. We had no idea that there was a problem until my 20 week scan.
My son lived for 11 happy days, in a hospice where we were amazingly well looked after. He died on 12 May this year.
My husband and I were offered the support of a psychologist with the NHS, which started in pregnancy and is ongoing. She has been very helpful. The trouble with grief is that nobody can fix it for you, and you will never ‘get over it.’ You just have to carry on.
I had 5 months off as maternity leave, thankfully as I could not concentrate or remember anything for about 3 months, although it has improved now. Sadly my husband gets no such support as he is self-employed. He is really suffering with working now, esp as being self employed is so stressful, and a 24/7 thing. He is now on antidepressants and has been referred to a Counsellor.
We also have bereaved parents support from Jessie May. Our two older children are being supported by our hospice, Charlton Farm. They have been great with them. They are a private charity, not NHS. Although I am back to my normal hours at work and probably seem to be doing very well to outsiders, I do feel quite hollow in the inside and know that I will need ongoing counselling.
My GP is amazing and very supportive. I am so thankful for the NHS. I hate to think how people who have lost their babies would cope without the NHS’s mental health services, especially as many cannot afford private counselling.
A few years ago I miscarried at 9 weeks, but did not ask for and was not offered any support after that. I also had a suspected Ectopic pregnancy couple of years ago, but although finding this extremely traumatic (the early pregnancy unit at my hospital actually made the whole experience much worse for me), I was not offered any help after that either.
Nobody knows how baby loss will affect them, and sadly the pain doesn’t just go away. Some people do not understand this, and think that you should move on very quickly. Without psychological support many parents would be lost and isolated. It really is a life-saver. I am so grateful for all the kindness that has been shown to me and my family through the NHS and charities.”
For support, the Baby Loss Awareness Alliance Charities can help. View them all and contact them directly here; https://babyloss-awareness.org/organisations/
If you need help now, please call the Sands Freephone Helpline on 0808 164 3332 or firstname.lastname@example.org