A Global Wave of Light
Birthdays and Baby Loss
Today is my son's 35th birthday. Nothing unusual in that you might say, but to me it is more special than I can describe. I am very blessed to have him. And every year on this day, I remember how I felt when I was carrying him.
Because he is my Rainbow baby. Although that description wasn't even thought of back then, it became a ‘thing’ in 2008 apparently. He is my Rainbow baby because, like so many other women, I'd suffered a baby loss before him. My pregnancy came to an end on August bank holiday 1986 - and I never got to see or hold or name that baby.
I've always felt that baby was a girl and – here comes the woo-woo - I've been told several times that I have a daughter in spirit, which I firmly believe. So now I don't celebrate that baby girl's ‘birthday’, because it was not a time of celebration. But I do think of her on my son’s birthday. Sometimes I wonder what if? What if she had been born full term?
Well, I would have a 36 year old daughter for a start. And of course there was a reason why she wasn't born full term. I accept that, but I also know that I carried her for several months and being told all the usual ‘it wasn't meant to be’, ‘there'll be others’, ‘you'll get over it’ just didn’t help. My own Mum was the only person who understood what I was going through. I wanted, needed, other people to acknowledge and accept that I was grieving too.
I did go on to have a second baby, my now 33 year old daughter, and once she was born I thought that was it. I had two wonderful children. I was finished and wouldn’t have any more children. And I was very happy and blessed to have two healthy children.
Then a few years later, I realised I was expecting again. Which was a total shock. But once I got used to the idea I was very happy, and I had another beautiful daughter. And then it gets a bit woo-woo again. When she was born, I looked into her eyes and I could see her soul. I felt like I already knew her, because she'd been here before.
This second daughter, my wonderful little surprise, carried the soul of the daughter I'd lost back in 1986. Now you can believe that or not, but I believed it then and I still do.
And in some ways that gave me comfort. Just the same as people who grieve a baby loss and now celebrate that birthday or anniversary. It brings them comfort. They have a memory of the child they've lost.
I just have to look at my youngest daughter and I know that in some way my baby is still with me, which is a wonderful feeling for me. This daughter is also very spiritual, just like me, she gets it. I’ve talked to her about this and she understands, she’s not fazed by it at all.
And it's not just me
I know, and know of, so many women who have suffered miscarriage, stillbirth or neonatal death, and of course Dads and Partners are affected too. There are some scary statistics around baby loss in the UK. I didn't realise they were quite so high - and of course they are far outweighed by successful, happy outcomes.
According to Tommy's, the latest UK statistics estimate that 1 in 4 pregnancies end in loss during pregnancy or birth. It's little wonder that they are committed to funding medical research and providing information to help more people have a healthy pregnancy and birth.
Global Wave of Light
So I will be lighting a candle on October 16th at 7 o'clock, participating in the global “Wave of Light” at the culmination of Baby Loss Awareness Week, to honour all those children who don't make it into this world, including my own. And I’ll be offering up a prayer for all the parents who suffered, or are struggling following the loss of a baby.
I'm so pleased that it's easier these days to talk about that loss and I would encourage parents, anybody who's suffering with that baby loss to speak up and reach out. Don't struggle alone as I did. It's no longer swept under the carpet as it was for me back then.
And you know what? It's okay to remember. It's okay to feel a little sad when you remember. Yes, there will be a reason why that baby didn't make it into this world or left this world so soon, but it doesn't make it any easier to know that. It's okay to feel those emotions. It's okay to feel that pain. And it's good to talk.
You can find more information about Baby Loss Awareness Week and the Wave of Light here: https://babyloss-awareness.org/wave-of-light/
There are lots of charities and organisations you can reach out to for information, help and support following a baby loss too. Sands, Tommy's, Lullaby Trust and the Miscarriage Association are just a few that come to mind, and of course there are many more.
To find out how HypnoWellbeing solutions can help you with grief and baby loss