Empty Cradles, Hurting Hearts, Finding Hope

Join us for our first Conference on the 8th of October  themed ‘Empty  Cradles, Hurting Hearts, Finding Hope. The event will bring together women and men who have experienced baby loss, are trying to conceive or trying again for a baby.

We believe it is a journey no one should walk alone. Our coming together will be a great opportunity to connect with others in a similar position and support each other through this process. Together we are stronger!

It will be an interactive afternoon of sharing stories, discussions, presentations from organisations addressing these issues, Q and A session chaired by ferility experts and consultants.

There is also a time for worship and prayer.

Our aim is the event will be a place for you to connect with others who have walked in your shoes, share what’s on your mind, get advice, support and encouragement. Above all, our goal is you will leave the event filled with hope for your journey inspite of your circumstances.

Come along, tell others who have been there or are there and let us walk this road together!

Doors open at 11.15am.

The baby conference starts at 12 noon and ends at 4pm.

Light lunch will be provided and a gift box to keep your hope alive.

We look forward to see you on the 8th of October.

WHEN: Saturday, October 8 from 12:00 – 16:00

WHERE: All Saints Church, Inmans Row, Woodford Green, IG8 0NH

Register now at http://www.thebabyconference.eventbrite.co.uk

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I can tell by Steven L. Channing

I can tell by that look friend, that we need to talk.
So come take my hand and let’s go for a walk.

See I’m not like the others -I won’t shy away.
Because I want to hear what you’ve got to say.

Your child has died and you need to be heard.
But they don’t want to hear a single word.

They say your child’s with God ,so be strong.
They say all the “right” things that somehow seem wrong.

I’ll walk in your shoes for more than a mile.
I’ll wait while you cry and be glad if you smile.

I won’t criticize you or judge you or scorn.
I’ll just stay and listen ’til night turns to morn.

Yes, the journey is hard and unbearably long.
And I know that you think that you’re not quite that strong.

So just take my hand ’cause I’ve got time to spare.
And I know how it hurts, friend, for I have been there.

See, I owe a debt you can help me repay.
For not so long ago, I was helped the same way.

And I stumbled and fell through a world so unreal.
So believe when I say that I know how you feel.

I don’t look for praise or financial gain.
And I’m sure not the kind who gets joy out of pain.

I’m just a strong shoulder who’ll be here ’til the end.
I’ll be your Compassionate Friend !!!

Close to home

The same day Isaac was born; one of the midwives came round later in the day and made enquiries about our funeral arrangement. At that point I was not in the right frame to make such a decision; still in shock about Isaac’s death. It was all too much for one day. We informed her we needed time to decide. Before long the registrar was also after our resolution, so they could finish up with their paper work. The next day she was back again. I felt like saying please go away, actually I wished I could go back in time and just skip this scenario. I never imagined I would be in this position in my lifetime.

 

After much pressure, we chose to sort out our own funeral arrangement. Just glad this aspect was dealt with by my husband as it was one less thing to worry about. So where were we supposed to lay Isaac to rest? I felt it was better to choose a cemetery far from home to avoid a constant reminder of my loss. My husband thought otherwise. Eventually I agreed for him to be buried close to home. In hindsight, I am so glad we went with this option as I go past the cemetery each week and it is good to know he is close by (physically). There are times I have gone past in recent years and because I am preoccupied with other things I totally forget about Isaac and also Faith’s physical abode (she was buried there too). But I know on the other hand that even whenever we relocate they will always be close to home (in my heart).

 

Why me?

Everything had gone on fine from the start to nearly the end of my first pregnancy until the day I went into labour. I just could not fathom how things could change in a twinkle of an eye and what was meant to be a day of joy turned out to be one of immense sadness.

As the days, weeks and months passed by I could not help but ask, why me? I felt I did not deserve to lose my son. At that point in my life, I was totally oblivious to the thousands of women in a similar plight all over the world. Through my experience I have observed that adversity is indeed a part of life whether we like it or not or want it or not. And every human would face hard times; one form of hardship, sorrow, misfortune, trouble and distress at some point in his/her life.

I have come to the realisation that adversity though unwanted has enabled me grow, find out more about me, caused me to depend on God more and clarified my purpose. As a result of this process, when I lost my 23 week old daughter shortly after birth, what made me pull through and not break down was the fact I saw the bigger picture and not my immediate situation. I believe the right support structures would enable anyone climb and overcome every mountain of adversity and come out stronger.

Life continues

I just could not understand how others (both known and unknown) were able to laugh, smile and celebrate whilst I mourned my loss. I remained in hospital for a couple of days after Isaac’s departure and being in there was like being in a cocoon which I did not appreciate until I stepped into the big ‘unfeeling’ world. As we drove home, I felt like hanging a sign on my head to portray the ordeal I had just been through in order for others to stop and stop carrying on as if nothing happened. Everywhere I turned it seemed it was business as usual. There were good days and bad days. I could not understand how people could pay us a visit and after conveying their condolence then engage in mundane talk, at that point I did not care about what was happening in the world. All I cared about was what had taken place in my world. In hindsight the ‘mundane’ talk at least helped take my mind off grieving continuously and focus on other things. From personal experience and my observations, I am of the opinion that majority of people who haven’t been through a similar experience are unable to understand the ups and downs of baby loss. My previous post ‘Out of sight is not out of mind’ highlights a few issues. Hence they may be unable to provide the on – going support (a phone call to check how you are, a shoulder to cry on when you need one, remembering the birth day of your baby(ies) and giving you space/time to adjust) required even days, weeks and years after the initial episode.

The day came when we made the decision ourselves that life indeed had to continue for us. We were very conscious that both our children (also Faith, who was born after Isaac) would never be forgotten. We planned and looked forward to a future with more children. I believe each mum can sense when it is time to forge ahead and when that time comes mum may life give you reasons to smile again!

It is good to talk!

I have always been the strong one. I have always given my shoulders for others to cry on. I have always listened to others discuss their heartache and hardly shared mine, because I could handle my own, until the day I went into hospital to give birth to my first son. After 8 hours of labour with intense pain and in and out of sleep, I woke up to find the room full of medics and the Registrar asked me ‘do you understand what is going on? We cannot find a heartbeat! I nodded my head but thought it can’t be and I was waiting to give birth to my son and was positive he would be born alive. He never uttered a sound after he was born, you could actually hear a pin drop in the room. It is a scenario no one would ever wish to live again and I did nine months down the line.

So, being the person that I am, who could I talk to? I am so grateful for the relationship I have with my husband, we talked a lot and sometimes we sat quietly as words sometimes could not express how we felt and other times we cried individually and together. But we believed against hope and were confident our story would have a great ending.

Despite my secretive nature and keeping things to myself, I knew I could not handle this on my own. Yes, I talked to God but I also needed to talk to other people. I found it useful to talk to others who had gone down this road before, women who were currently in my shoes and people who had never walked in my shoes before (medics, strangers, friends and family). The interesting thing was although the people I spoke to could not reverse what had taken place nor guarantee a ‘happy’ ending they provided a platform for me to ask questions, they listened and sometimes their encouragement brought comfort and gave me a glimmer of hope. And sometimes their comments made me very upset. I certainly had mood swings. The funny thing I discovered that though my situation looked bad some other women had it worse off than me and I ended up crying for them and myself after hearing/reading their stories.

We all need an avenue to be real, to say how we really feel and that in itself is liberating.

From loss to joy!

We were made to believe that my first son’s death was unavoidable and it was unfortunate Isaac was born stillborn. As the days and weeks passed by, I spent time processing what happened and lots of questions ensued. The response we got from the hospital was unsatisfactory and we decided to take it further because I felt if we let go, the same thing would happen to another family and I was also disappointed with the level of care I had received. After going back and forth for nearly three years, some of my complaints were upheld by the Health Care Commission but due to the length of time it had taken to get to this point, we had very little time to take the hospital to Court. I found the whole thing mentally, physically and emotionally draining. At that point I was upset that after trying for so long to get to the bottom of what happened, time was not on my side.

About two weeks to go to this deadline, I decided not to proceed any further because the road to discovery was far off, and neither an apology from the hospital nor compensation would replace what we lost. Instead I decided to let my loss/pain benefit others in similar situations and to prevent the same thing happening to expectant mums. It was not an easy journey but looking back, reaching out to other women in my position presented me with the opportunity to turn my loss to joy!