Tuesday, 16 October 2018

Baby Loss Awareness Week

It's the end of Baby Loss Awareness Week, 2018 (#BLAW2018). I'm not sure how this week makes me feel, because for me, I don't need to raise my own awareness; baby loss is part of my reality. My blog is not limited to one week, it's part of a continuous narrative, sharing my ongoing journey through baby loss. One day, I intend to transfer these blog posts over to a new website, specifically for the purpose of remembering Holly Rose, but in the meantime, I'll continue to post here, and on Instagram (under the hashtag #RememberingHollyRose) where I've posted a few mini blog posts over the course of the last week.

Yesterday, I tweeted about baby loss awareness, and it was picked up and quoted by the press. Part of me wishes I had never strayed into the online world of social media on a day which made me feel vulnerable. But part of me is proud to continue to raise awareness, and to speak on behalf of myself and other baby loss parents who shouldn't feel silenced. So I'm sharing below one of the news articles that quoted me, along with the response I felt compelled to write in response to some unsympathetic comments I read.

I'm sure many of you are sick of #babylossawarenessweek (then again, maybe you didn't even know about it). Yesterday it concluded with the #WaveOfLight which was about remembering babies who died, worldwide. I attended a lovely service with a shocking number of other bereaved parents (literally - a shocking number, and that was just one service). Meanwhile, Meghan and Harry announced their pregnancy yesterday. 

For many people, pregnancy announcements in general are a painful trigger, as a reminder of what they have lost - particularly if the loss is more recent. That can't be avoided. But this particular announcement completely took over the news, and overshadowed the wave of light on the one day of the year it takes place, during the one week when we can theoretically openly talk about #babyloss without the stigma of silence so frequently associated with it. That's the whole point of baby loss awareness week - to #breakthesilence - as it so often feels like something nobody is willing to talk about.

At least three news articles (that I know of) quoted me from Twitter, in articles about the royals announcing their pregnancy on #waveoflight day. On some sites, I read hurtful comments about "PC gone mad," and how everyone is so easily offended. It's not about being "offended," offended isn't even the right word. It's about being hurt, and you simply cannot tell people who are hurting, not to be hurt. Nobody is upset with Meghan and Harry for having a baby. But their advisers could have done better research, and if they genuinely didn't know about the timing - to me, that's even more sad. #Babylossawareness is needed. It's needed because when you've lost a child, you need to feel able to talk about them. That's all we ask, and for that to happen, there has to be understanding.

I've subsequently been trolled by people who presumably read my comment in one of the media articles. So, I apologise if you don't want to hear or think about #babyloss. Neither do I really, but it's part of my reality all day, every day. I'm sorry if my posts "offend" anyone. But #babylossawareness is needed for the sanity of parents like me.

 Just a small number of the candles representing lost babies at one of the many "Wave of Light" services held for Baby Loss Awareness week. 

My lovely boy, remembering his little sister at the Wave of Light.

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