SANDS Awareness month 2016

June is SANDS awareness month, a charity that, as you well know, is close to my heart. There is so much that I could tell you about this charity, about how they work tirelessly to raise awareness of stillbirth and neonatal death, how they offer support to bereaved parents and how, most importantly, they campaign to ensure that the stillbirth rate, which currently lies at 100 babies each week, is lowered. I could tell you that donating to this charity could make a big difference to the lives of others, to a parent missing their child, to a baby, clinging on to life. I could ask you to donate, just a small amount, and yet I know if you are anything like me you will be inundated with these requests, from friends running marathons, charity bike rides, jumping out of planes and a whole variety of sponsored events. And so I suppose that all I can tell you is this.

To those of you with children, or those who care to imagine, just for a moment think back to your pregnancy, about the joy that you experienced when you saw those two blue lines appear on a test, the fearful excitement that your whole life was about to change. Remember how it felt when your baby kicked in your stomach, when you saw their little face on each scan, lovingly chose a name, began to imagine what your child would be like. Think about those days leading up to the birth, how you had already forged such a bond with your baby, how your whole life was set to centre solely around them. Remember how you had decorated the nursery, how the Moses basket lay next to your bed, how the babies clothes, nappies, toys filled your cupboards, your drawers, the baby lotion sat waiting in the bathroom. Think about your labour, how excruciating that pain was and how in those moments when you felt like giving up, you didn’t because the thought of your baby spurred you on, made you push even harder, because you knew that in the end it would all be worth it. Remember that moment when your baby was placed on your chest, how they opened their eyes, let out the most precious of cries, and how you knew right there and then that you would die for this child, that you could never imagine a life without them in it. Remember the day that you took them home, the proudest parents in the whole world, how you burst with pride with every stranger who cooed over your baby in their pram, how you lay awake each night simply watching them breathe, pinching yourself that this little one was really yours, how you had a whole lifetime waiting ahead of you.

And it was amazing wasn’t it? The best feeling in the whole world.

And at the same time imagine that, during those last few weeks of pregnancy, you lay in a sterile hospital room whilst a doctor placed a sympathetic arm on your shoulder and told you, “I’m sorry, your baby has died”. Imagine having to go through a gruelling, 35 hour labour, absolutely terrified, fighting against the urge to push, knowing that at the end of it all you would live your worst nightmare. Imagine the silence as your baby was placed on your chest, knowing that they would never open their eyes, that in just a short while their body would grow cold, that you would have to prepare to say your goodbyes. Imagine trying to fit an entire lifetime into just twenty four hours, to make as many memories as you possibly could, holding on to your little one and trying to memorise every single detail, the curve of their nose, the softness of their skin. Imagine leaving the hospital empty handed, the silent drive home, returning to your freshly painted nursery, to drawers filled with clothes that will never be worn, to a pram that will never see the light of day. Imagine laying in bed, looking at the empty cradle, and feeling that your heart was shattered into a thousand pieces, that you would actually die with the pain. Imagine seeing your child for the very last time in a funeral home, sobbing at the state of their body, at the haunted expression on their face. Imagine knowing that, as you left, you would never see them again, that the following day you would stand beside your husband as he held your baby in a tiny white casket, watch as it was lowered into the ground and covered with a mound of earth. Imagine having to face the world, to go about your daily life, and see pregnant women everywhere, cradling their bumps, holding their healthy babies, your breasts still engorged, your arms physically aching to hold your own.

Imagine that. And I can promise you that however heartbreaking it may be to even consider, for us parents, the reality is a million times worse.

Because there is nothing, absolutely nothing that I can think of, that could compare to the loss of a child. There is nothing more physically or mentally enduring than having to wake up each morning, to take a breath, to put one foot in front of the other, and try to work out a way to survive. I have been asked repeatedly over the last decade, “How did you survive it?” and my reply is always the same, “I’m really not sure that I did. ” Whilst I may have survived it with my life intact, as sadly there are some who do not, those first months, even those first few years, were simply an existence, a reluctant passing of time, a limbo like state of not knowing whether to live or die. And there are so many things that did not survive our loss, my marriage being one of them. It may shock you to learn that following the loss of a child, 80% of marriages end in divorce, and whilst I am loathe to become a statistic, slowly but surely I did watch my marriage crumble.

There are so many parts of me that did not survive the loss of our son either, deep voids left inside of me that neither time nor hope will heal. To say goodbye to our child, when we had only just met, destroyed me as a person, destroyed my faith, my hope, my beliefs. To hold my baby in my arms and know that this was it, their whole life right there in that moment, that kind of thing is impossible to get over.

And whilst at first everybody flocked round to offer their support, slowly but surely they went back to their normal lives, oblivious to the fact that I could never do that, that my world had changed irreversibly. And it was during those days, the times when I felt so desperately alone, that I turned to SANDS and they offered me a lifeline.

Simply to have someone tell me, “It’s okay to feel that way.”, to reassure me, “That’s completely normal.” was all that I needed to hear. A channel to vent my anger and utter devastation, an opportunity to talk about my son without feeling judged or with the knowledge that I was making others feeling uncomfortable. And it saved me, in the darkest of times when I genuinely believed that I would never get through it, the support and the care that the SANDS team showed me absolutely contributed to the fact that I got through it and am still here to tell the tale.

And a decade has passed, and perhaps for some the pain is less, but for me, every year that passes is simply another reminder of all that we lost. I can’t look at my children together without knowing that one is missing. I can’t hear a newborn cry without the memory that my son did not. I can’t look into my children’s eyes without wondering what colour Josephs would have been. I can’t be the person that I was, because she exists only in a time before Joseph, in a time that feels like a whole world away from here.

SANDS is absolutely a charity close to my heart, but it is also a charity close to the hearts of many. Those who have lost a child, a grandchild, a niece, a nephew, a friends baby who they would have loved with all of their hearts. And although I am hosting the SANDS Summer Soiree, which you can read about here, for those who can’t attend I have also created a Just Giving page, here, where you can donate, even the smallest amount in Josephs memory, your own childs memory, a missing family member or simply with gratitude that you never had the need for this charity in your lives at all.

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125 Comments

  1. June 6, 2016 / 8:27 pm

    A lovely, heartfelt post. It is a very hard thing to think about going through and I admire those who have managed to come out the other side in one piece. Well done for raising awareness of SANDS. #MarvMondays

    • June 7, 2016 / 7:34 am

      Thank you. I think that’s the main thing isn’t it, just trying to stay in one piece, maybe with a few pieces missing. xxx

  2. June 6, 2016 / 8:59 pm

    You have put something so devastating so succinctly here. I really get a sense of the loss and pain. Beautifully written. SANDS sounds like an important piece of a long and difficult journey. #FartGlitter

    • June 7, 2016 / 7:34 am

      Thank you. Absolutely, without SANDS I think a lot of parents would be going through this alone, as much as others do try to understand it gets quite hard to reach out sometimes. xx

  3. Baby Anon
    June 6, 2016 / 9:17 pm

    This is absolutely gut-wrenchingly moving. You’ve conveyed so much emotion and sentiment…I have a lump in my throat. A beautiful post in tribute to such a good cause, and to the memory of your son. My heart goes out to you xx

    • June 7, 2016 / 7:33 am

      Thank you so much. It was hard to write but so important to share. xx

  4. I can’t even begin to imagine what it’s like, the loss, the pain and having to live each day without the baby you carried in you for nine long months 🙁 Words fail …

    • June 7, 2016 / 7:32 am

      Thank you, I think it’s important that those of us who have gone through this are honest about our experiences, we can never raise awareness if nobody speaks out about it. xx

  5. June 7, 2016 / 12:40 am

    Thank you so much for sharing your story. I think it’s great to help raise awareness for something that affects so many. #KCACOLS

    • June 7, 2016 / 7:31 am

      Thank you, I hope that in a small way it contributes to raising awareness. xx

    • June 7, 2016 / 7:31 am

      Thank you, it’s a hard read I know but I always think it’s best not to sugar coat it, it’s a harsh reality isn’t it? xx

  6. June 7, 2016 / 7:37 am

    Something so devastating and heartbreaking are my only words, infact when it happened to a friend of mine, I just didnt say anything, nothing I felt I could say would be of any use and she thanked me for not saying all of the cliches because even though I was sorry, it is just the most awful thing imaginable she didn’t need to hear it constantly. Great post to raise awareness x

    • June 7, 2016 / 7:30 pm

      You’re absolutely right. I wrote a blog post a while ago, “Eight things no bereaved parents want to hear” and listed all of those clichés that the majority of people do spout out in times of loss. All I wanted to hear was, “I’m sorry!, to have somebody hug me, to be a shoulder to cry on, a sounding board, with the understanding that there was nothing at all that they could say or do to make it better. You sound like an amazing friend. xx

  7. Kerry Norris
    June 7, 2016 / 7:57 am

    This is so beautifully written. It had me in tears. Thank you for sharing and raising awareness x

    • June 7, 2016 / 7:29 pm

      Thank you so much for commenting. xx

  8. June 7, 2016 / 8:49 am

    Oh hunny how I wish I could give you a hug right now, noone should have to go through the pain of seeing their child die before them. I am so sorry for everything you have been through and admire that you have had the strength and bravery to share your story with us. Never stop raising awareness of still birth because there are so many mothers who know nothing about SANDS and I am sure this will help them too xxx

    • June 7, 2016 / 7:29 pm

      Thank you. You’re right, I think it’s the hardest thing a person can ever go through, and I don’t mean that to take away from anyone elses tragedies, but to lose a child just isn’t in the natural order is it? I won’t ever stop raising awareness, even when I know that it isn’t easy for others to read, it’s important that our stories are told and our voices are heard. There is no other way is there? Thank you for your lovely comment. xxx

  9. Sara Handy Herbs
    June 7, 2016 / 9:32 am

    So important to raise awareness of SANDS – what a great thing to do. I am lucky enough to never have needed the support but I know someone who did. This is such a beautifully written post and I am so sorry that you had to go through such a devastating experience. #KCACOLS

    • June 7, 2016 / 2:25 pm

      Thank you so much. I think so many are still unaware of SANDS and the work that they do, I know that before Joseph I had no idea about them, now I know just how amazing they are. xx

  10. June 7, 2016 / 9:56 am

    Such a moving post and thank you for raising awareness. My worst fear is losing my boys and I honestly can’t imagine how people who have lost children survive the pain, it must be devastating xxx

    • June 7, 2016 / 2:24 pm

      Thank you. It’s hard isn’t it, I fear losing our children even now they are here safe, it’s just another set of worries, another set of fears with every stage and every age. I doubt that will ever end. xx

  11. June 7, 2016 / 10:00 am

    goodness, you are right. I can honestly not imagine what you have been through and continue to go through. When I was pregnant, I was very much aware that not all pregnancies have that happy ending and that anything can go wrong at any point. everyone kept telling me and hubby to stop being so paranoid but I just felt I couldn’t really be happy until I had baby there, in my arms, all ok. I cant believe it is still 100 babies per week too that are stillborn. surely there is more that can be done to lower that number. such a great post for raising awareness. thank you for sharing what must have been difficult to write #TwinklyTuesday xx

    • June 7, 2016 / 2:24 pm

      It’s horrific isn’t it? Our stillbirth rates in this country are the worst in Europe and some of that is due to poor antenatal care. Even with Joseph I was having regular scans and consultant led and yet they still missed vital signs that he was in danger and ultimately, we paid the price. It’s too difficult to think about really, all of those what ifs, but I do know that every child is an absolute miracle and I still cant believe that I have four of them in my arms. xxx

  12. June 7, 2016 / 10:16 am

    I love your writing so much, your posts never fail to move me. A beautiful and moving post with a very important message. Sands is such a fantastic charity and one that is doing such important work. We all need to take the time to support Sands. Big hugs as always xxx

    Thanks for joining us this week on #KCACOLS we hope to see you next week x

    • June 7, 2016 / 2:22 pm

      Thank you so much. I think that fundraising for SANDS and campaigning for greater awareness is almost a form of therapy to us parents missing our child. In a world where we can do very little for that child we lost, I think we just want to feel that we are doing SOMETHING, anything just to make them proud and keep their memory alive? Thank you. xxx

  13. June 7, 2016 / 12:00 pm

    Such a personal story, thank you for sharing. I can’t begin to imagine what it’s like. I lost one grandparent and can’t imagine losing something you’ve created. A great charity and good awareness month.

    Alina from The Fairytale Pretty Picture

    • June 7, 2016 / 2:20 pm

      Thank you. I’m sorry for the loss of your grandparent. It’s hard losing anyone but we grow up to know that one day we will lose our grandparents and our parents, but no-one should ever have to out-live their child. xx

  14. June 7, 2016 / 12:25 pm

    I’m glad to see you post on this with such honesty. I hid my details away in links and focused on the resources and what they offer to the bereaved parents. I’m wasn’t sure if I made the right decision but reading this makes me feel I was right.

    Reading your vivid account, still so raw after nearly a decade was almost too much. Distance through writing in the more abstract helped avoid that rush of memory. I’ve been really moved to see the level of support Sands Awareness Month has generated and keen to see that the momentum carries on throughout as we move out the first week.

    I will continue to share your post and highlight not only the pain but the good work you have done to get so much fundraising in the memory of Joseph and so many, many, many others.

    #BigPinkLink

    • June 7, 2016 / 2:17 pm

      Thank you. I was very reluctant to press the “publish” key on this as I knew that it was a brutally honest account of stillbirth and it would be very hard for others to read. I think I have always felt that stillbirth shouldn’t be sugar coated, we shouldn’t play it down or skip out the details because actually, there aren’t enough words to describe just how horrific that kind of loss is. I find writing about it hugely cathartic and although it may be hard to read, I hope that it sticks in at least one persons head, makes one person reach into their pocket and donate or share my post with their friends and family.
      And thank you, and I for you, sometimes it feels like we are fighting our very own crusade doesn’t it? xxx

  15. June 7, 2016 / 12:30 pm

    SANDS is such an important charity and I know many families whom they have helped. Good luck with your fund raising

    • June 7, 2016 / 2:14 pm

      Thank you, I hope that I am able to raise as much as possible. xx

  16. June 7, 2016 / 12:33 pm

    Very moving and beautifully written as always, you have such a way with words and this post really paints a picture of what it is like for bereaved parents. SANDS sounds like an amazing charity, well worth supporting. Well done for being so open and sharing your story, I’m sure that is never easy. xx #TwinklyTuesday

    • June 7, 2016 / 2:13 pm

      Thank you. It really is an amazing charity, and one which I feel is often bypassed for the bigger charities. It’s hard to give to everything, wouldn’t it be amazing if we could, but I think that stillbirth affects more people than we realise, the rippling effects of grief reach far too many of us. xx

  17. June 7, 2016 / 12:55 pm

    So beautifully written, none of us can ever really imagine what you and others have gone through. Amazing that you are able to convey your emotions so eloquently. /#kcacols

    • June 7, 2016 / 2:12 pm

      Thank you, I hope in a small way that my post helped others to think about it just for a moment. xx

  18. Amy Ellis
    June 7, 2016 / 1:04 pm

    Dear five little doves, I am new to your blog and noticed this particular post on instagram as Sands is also very close to my heart. Firstly may i offer my empathy and deep condolences to you over the loss of your precious son, I’m so sorry at the burden you bear each day, the journey of grief never ends. Everything you wrote in your last blog post was very close and cutting to my heart, as we lost our third son Abel Bear. He was stillborn at 40 weeks and He was a perfectly lovely 7lb 20z with lots of pretty dark hair. No explanation could be given as to why our son died just a beautiful lifeless body to hold and a lifetime of love crammed into a few hours. We did all those things you wrote about including putting Abels little powder blue coffin into the ground and saying good bye to our son, for now, in the cemetery and at the hospital mortuary was deeply sorrowful and something you can never get over, not ever. It doesn’t get any better, you just get better at it I think. You are changed forever and I felt I had to get to know the new me, the mummy without the baby. I can still often feel the weight of him in my arms as I embraced him and memorised him so desperately in those short hours we had together after his birth. You know all these feeling well I’m sure, The loss of a baby is like no other and the sadness is so heavy to carry each day. I will be doing my part for Sands awareness month also and I just wanted to send my love to you, a fellow survivor and mummy to a son in heaven. You are very amazing.
    Take care and many blessings to you and your lovely family, Amy X x

    • June 7, 2016 / 2:12 pm

      I am so, so sorry to hear about your baby Abel Bear, how utterly devastating for you. It does change you as a person doesn’t it? There is no way back, and nor would I want there to be, but it’s such a heavy burden to carry forward. I am sure that Abel was absolutely perfect, just as our Joseph was, and we too found no reason why he had died, it was just “one of those things” we were told, we were just “very unfortunate”. That was no consolation as you can imagine and even now, ten years on, I think that had we been given a reason that maybe I could have got my head around it, maybe there would be something I could cling to other than this nonsensical loss.
      We have been so lucky and gone on to have three more beautiful children, but it doesn’t change the fact that there should have been five, and that there ARE still five, just one of us will always be missing. I hate that, I still struggle with how angry and sad that makes me, I don’t suppose that it will ever get any easier in that way.
      Much love to you, it takes amazing strength to lose a child and to survive, you and Abel are in my thoughts and it’s lovely to “meet” you. xxx

  19. June 7, 2016 / 2:16 pm

    Such an emotional moving post – I am sat here with tears in my eyes. No one should have to endure what you went through and the stigma of stillbirth and miscarriage still surround us. I will be donating. Thank you so much for raising my awareness of a great cause. #twinklytuesday

    • June 7, 2016 / 2:19 pm

      Thank you so much for reading, I know that it was particularly difficult to read but I needed to be brutally honest to get the message across. There’s no point trying to make it anything less, baby loss is absolutely devastating, whatever the circumstances, and that will never change. What will change is the awareness of others, the availability of support from charities such as SANDS, and hopefully in time fewer parents will be sat where I am missing their child. xxx

  20. June 7, 2016 / 8:46 pm

    Thank you for sharing your story. I hope that someone else gets the supper they need after this too.

    • June 8, 2016 / 7:08 pm

      Thank you, I couldn’t help but laugh at the thought of someone getting their supper. Thank you for making me smile. xxx

      • June 8, 2016 / 7:14 pm

        Well, supper is important too! 🙈

        • June 8, 2016 / 7:47 pm

          Absolutely!! 😂😂😂

  21. beccaweatherall
    June 8, 2016 / 11:58 am

    Such a heart-wrenching, beautiful, and honest post….words escape me but please accept my thoughts and deepest sympathies. You are so brave to talk about it. But your words will bring comfort to so many I’m sure. Sands is close to our hearts as my cousin and best friend both had still births. I can’t imagine the pain but I am just so pleased that such an amazing charity exists and provides comfort x #KCACOLS

    • June 8, 2016 / 7:07 pm

      Thank you so much. I’m so sorry to hear about your cousin and best friend, how utterful devastating for you all. SANDS is an amazing charity but one that sadly not everyone is aware of. Raising awareness of not only stillbirth, but the charity itself is so important. xx

    • beccaweatherall
      June 8, 2016 / 7:50 pm

      #puddinglove

  22. June 8, 2016 / 1:16 pm

    I can barely read your words – and I have not experienced the death of a child. I don’t know how you wrote them. Learning to live again, put one foot in front of the other, as you say – I can’t imagine how hard that must have been. But then to talk about it, to relive it, to write these words, to conjure the last memories of your beautiful boy so perfectly and painfully – it must have been so hard to write. But you are doing it for a charity, to give others that tiny, tiny speck of hope in the bleakest of times. That has convinced me to donate. Heading to the Just Giving page now. #BloggerClubUK

    • June 8, 2016 / 7:06 pm

      Thank you so, so much for your donation, that is really so kind of you. I know that it wasn’t an easy read but I also make no apologies for that, there is no point in sugar coating it is there? Stillbirth is horrific, there is no way that I could paint it as anything less, and it is crazy to think that in the UK our stillbirth rates are still one of the highest in Europe. SANDS have been a lifeline to me but also to so, so many. Far too many. Thanks again lovely, means so much. xxx

  23. twotinyhands
    June 8, 2016 / 7:41 pm

    Well written and a brilliant awareness post for SANDS. I can only imagine how it feels and brings tears to my eyes in seconds. Thank you for sharing with #abrandnewday

    • June 9, 2016 / 11:55 am

      Thank you for even allowing yourself to imagine. xxx

  24. June 8, 2016 / 7:46 pm

    What a beautiful and honest post lovely. A well written post to raise awareness. Bless you xx

  25. June 8, 2016 / 7:53 pm

    I got a lump in my throat that took 10 minutes to swallow reading this. My heart literally hurt and all I did was read your story, it’s not a patch on what you have felt every day since and that is scary, because I just don’t know how someone with no support would cope like that. I’m so glad you found SANDS and that they helped you through this. I’m so very sorry that you lost so much on that day. Thank you for linking up and helping so many other families feeling your agony. 100 a week is a statistic I had no idea about and shocked me to the core. #bigpinklink

    • June 9, 2016 / 11:54 am

      Thank you so much. It’s shocking isn’t it? 100 babies each week and most of us are walking round completely oblivious to that statistic. One in every 200 pregnacnies ends in stillbirth, and you are fifteen times more likely to have a stillbirth than a baby to die of cot death. It’s a terrifying statistic, more so as our rates are one of the highest in Europe, and the most devastating fact is that so many of these are preventable. I had a consultant sit me down, six years later, and admit that they failed me with Joseph. That had they not missed certain things on scans, during antenatal care, he would have been here today. I can’t allow myself to dwell on that or I would go insane, but it’s just so so sad, and I will never stop raising awareness in the hope that less parents end up where we are now. xxx

  26. June 8, 2016 / 7:54 pm

    A truly heartbreaking story but so beautifully written. I cannot even imagine how you felt (I am yet to experience the joys of the motherhood). I have donated to your cause. Best wishes xx

    http://www.quirkylittleplanet.com
    #lifelovinglinkie

    • June 9, 2016 / 11:49 am

      Thank you so, so much. That is so lovely of you and has really touched me. It’s an amazing cause and your support is much appreciated. xx

  27. June 8, 2016 / 8:48 pm

    What a difficult subject to write about expecially with what you have been through. I’m glad you found SANDS and that they were able to offer support in such a difficult time.

    • June 9, 2016 / 11:48 am

      Thank you. I am so grateful to SANDS for the help they gave me, it’s so important for me to give something back. xx

  28. June 9, 2016 / 2:57 am

    This is so beautifully written but a heartbreaking post. You should be so proud of yourself for getting through the devastating loss and then having the strength and courage to write this.
    Much love and respect… Xxx

  29. June 9, 2016 / 6:01 am

    Such a beautifully written post. The way you described both scenarios, taking us from sheer joy to the worst possible thing a mother could endure, was pretty incredible. People say since I don’t have kids yet, I can’t possibly understand how it feels to love one’s own child (even though I love my niece and nephew beyond a ridiculous amount, my sister says it’s nothing compared to your own kid…). And I’m sure I don’t, but you definitely gave me a good glimpse of how it would feel.

    I was crying my eyes out for you.
    I am so, so sorry for your loss. You are one strong woman in every way, shape, and form.

    Thank you so much for sharing your story with us and thank you for educating us on SANDS. 💕#mg

    • June 9, 2016 / 11:47 am

      Thank you so much, that means a lot to me. I think that having empathy is so important isn’t it? Just putting ourselves in someone elses shoes for a moment can really put things into perspective. I think that’s one of the things that I gained in losing Joseph, I became a better person in so many ways and even now, I just want to make him proud. Thank you for reading. xxx

  30. mackenzieglanville
    June 9, 2016 / 12:27 pm

    Joseph was such a beautiful baby, I still can clearly see the photos in my mind that you shared in your post a while back, it touched me so profoundly he was so perfect and always will be. I think it is beautiful how you share your story and honour him and all the babies lost. He is lucky you are his mum, as you are lucky to have felt him as part of you even though your time together was far, far too short. Much love to you and all your family xx #mg

    • June 12, 2016 / 1:39 pm

      Thank you, he really was utterly perfect, I miss him so, so very much. Raising awareness helps me to make sense of it and feel I am giving something back. Thanks for reading lovely. Xxx

  31. June 9, 2016 / 12:33 pm

    Such a worthy charity. Your post is so beautifully written that it would touch even the most hardened of hearts. I don’t know how you managed to put this into words, but I’m glad you did.

    Sally @ Life Loving
    #LifeLovingLinkie

    • June 12, 2016 / 1:37 pm

      Thank you Sally, much appreciated. Xx

  32. June 9, 2016 / 7:05 pm

    I really can’t imagine the pain you have been through, I can’t even think about this subject without feeling heartbroken. Sands sounds like an amazing charity and good on you for raising awareness for such a worthy cause. You write beautifully and I imagine it couldn’t have been easy to relive those memories xx #BloggerClubUK

    • June 12, 2016 / 1:37 pm

      Thank you so much. It’s impossible to truly describe just how awful it was, and is, but I think that anyone can imagine just how heartbreaking it would be. Thank you so much for reading. Xx

  33. June 9, 2016 / 7:47 pm

    Though I had not heard of this charity before it sounds like and one I can get into supporting for the amazing work they continue doing.

    • June 12, 2016 / 1:36 pm

      I’m so glad to share this charity with you then, it’s so important that we realise just what a worthwhile charity they are! Xx

  34. June 9, 2016 / 9:27 pm

    A heart moving and emotional post and a great charity to know about.

  35. June 11, 2016 / 1:25 am

    A really powerful and touching post. Sands sounds like a great charity and cause amongst the many others out there. I know from your posts just how important and close they are to your heart, and there is such good reason that they are. I really hope that your posts and the others that I have seen from a few other bloggers in the last week, helps to highlight their cause. Thanks for sharing it on #MarvMondays. Always lovely to have you join us x Emily

    • June 12, 2016 / 1:25 pm

      Thank you Emily. Sometimes it feels as though this is all I have, to give back a little to all that they gave me. Thank you for hosting. Xx

  36. randommusings29
    June 11, 2016 / 3:07 pm

    I can’t even begin to imagine what this is like, I don’t think it’s comparable to anything else. As always, your beautiful words have touched me deeply.
    Thanks for linking up to #BloggerClubUK 🙂
    Debbie

    • June 12, 2016 / 1:24 pm

      I don’t think that I will ever find the words to truly express just how hard it was, and has been, but I try my hardest! Thank you for reading and hosting. Xx

  37. June 11, 2016 / 4:50 pm

    Such a heartfelt post. SANDS is a wonderfully supportive charity. Thank you for raising awareness for them. Thanks for linking up to the #BinkyLinky

    • June 12, 2016 / 1:23 pm

      Thank you. Absolutely, I have no idea where I would be without the support they showed me and my family. Xx

  38. June 11, 2016 / 5:21 pm

    Such a moving post. I have Seen both my own mother and my sister in law go through Stillbirths and I can’t imagine what they were going through. #justanotherlinky

    • June 12, 2016 / 1:23 pm

      I’m so sorry to hear that, it happens far more often than most realise, raising awareness is just so important isn’t it? Thank you for reading. Xx

  39. Nige
    June 11, 2016 / 8:06 pm

    A wonderful charity and a very moving post thanks for sharing and linking to the #binkylinky

    • June 12, 2016 / 1:22 pm

      Thanks Nige, so important to share and support such a worthy charity. Xx

  40. June 11, 2016 / 9:53 pm

    Such a beautiful post and wonderful charity by the sounds of things. We have similar charities here in Australia. So needed and so important.
    Feel free to drop by linky today and share the love via the #lovinlifelinky
    http://www.DeepFriedFruit.com.au
    Cheers

    • June 12, 2016 / 1:21 pm

      Thank you. Oh I will check out that linky when I am home later today! Xx

  41. June 12, 2016 / 10:30 am

    I have read about #Sandsawarenessmonth from Shoebox full of Memories last week. You and him and many others have shared something very personal, embedding the toughest emotions to be shown. With the help of SAND and others, you strive to help others that have gone through the same thing. I admirable you for doing this as it DOES make a different to someone else also. So Thank You.

    Thank you so much for linking up with me on #FabFridayPost Big Hugs. XXXXX

    • June 12, 2016 / 1:21 pm

      Thank you. It’s so important to raise awareness not just of SANDS but of stil birth in general. Still far too many babies dying, it really is so important that we make changes. Thanks for reading. Xx

  42. June 12, 2016 / 12:09 pm

    What a truly beautiful, heartbreaking post.
    This was truly a difficult one to read, but one that needed to be said. I’ve got tears streaming down my face at the very thought, my heart physically aches for those who have endured the most painful thing. Thank you for sharing your Joseph with us-and thank you for raising awareness on a topic of such importance. <3 #FabFridayPost

    • June 12, 2016 / 1:20 pm

      Ahh thank you so much for reading, I know it must have been difficult. I’m so glad that I could contribute in a small way to raising awareness, thanks again for taking the time to read. Xxx

  43. June 12, 2016 / 3:46 pm

    What a totally amazing charity and thank you so much for sharing your pain with us to raise awareness of such an amazing charity. I have recently been told that I will not ever have my own children, and this is crushing. I cannot imagine how shattering it must be to have a child only to have him / her taken away. I am sorry that this hurt your marriage, and can only try to understand from what I am going through how awful and life changing this must be for you. SANDS is an amazing charity and I am sure your post will raise the much needed awareness of this.
    Amanda. #kcacols

    • June 12, 2016 / 6:48 pm

      Oh Amanda I am so sorry to hear that, that must have been such a blow for you and so much to digest. We initially didn’t believe that we would ever have children either, Lewis was an absolute blessing and so for Joseph to come along really was a miracle for us. I have lost many babies over the years, fifteen to be exact, and it was heartbreaking with each and every one of them, but to come so close to keeping our baby and to lose him right at the last minute was just inexplicably painful. I don’t think you ever get over something like that, and nor would I want to. He is such a huge part of our family, just this afternoon my girls sat in the back of the car chattering away about him, discussing whether he ate sandwiches or pizza up in heaven, and it made me so happy. I’m so sorry for what you are going through, much love to you and thank you for reading. xxx

      • June 14, 2016 / 1:01 pm

        It is such an awful thing to happen, but for you still to take some happiness from Joseph, and to have him a huge part of your family is lovely. I expect he would enjoy pizza and sandwiches. 😉
        Thank you for your kind words for me too. x

  44. June 12, 2016 / 8:27 pm

    Oh my goodness me. Quite simply heart-breaking. As cliche as it is, I cannot even begin to actually imagine the raw emotion of this x #pocoloi

    • June 13, 2016 / 3:21 pm

      It’s impossible to describe, I don’t think that I had any idea, even whilst it was happening to me, just how devastating it was and how it would impact on our whole lives. Thank you so much for reading. xx

  45. June 12, 2016 / 8:34 pm

    Firstly sending my love and hugs for the truly sad time you went through.
    Well done for being so brave and sharing your story and raising awareness x
    Thanks so much for linking up to #PoCoLo xx (Guest Co-hosting with Morgan just for this week)

    • June 13, 2016 / 3:20 pm

      Thank you so much for reading, much appreciated. xx

  46. June 13, 2016 / 1:02 am

    Thank you for sharing something so very hard, that I no words to say. My heart goes out to you and your family. Thank you for introducing me to your son. ❤️

    • June 13, 2016 / 3:19 pm

      Thank you so much for reading, much appreciated. xx

  47. June 13, 2016 / 11:50 am

    You are so very right, a part of you does not survive, you are never the same person again as your precious little lamb took a huge chunk of you with them, massive hugs to you xx #bigpinklink

  48. I can’t imagine, I don’t want to. This is a great post, a great way to honour your baby. I have made a donation and shared on Twitter. Props to you and I am so very sorry for your loss xxx
    #stayclassy

    • June 14, 2016 / 12:10 pm

      Thank you so, so much. That is so hugely appreciated, they are an amazing charity without the publicity that they deserve. xx

  49. June 13, 2016 / 7:53 pm

    Oh goodness, those words, your beautiful writing. You are amazing. Thanks for writing and sharing such a difficult subject, you are to be admired and this brought me to tears. Thanks for linking up lovely #bestandworst

  50. June 13, 2016 / 8:39 pm

    This is a beautiful yet utterly devastating post. I don’t know how you carry on after such a loss. It was my worst fear through both my pregnancies and I can’t imagine having to go through such a thing. You are an incredible person and I wholly admire you. A great charity that need as much recognition as possible, because nobody can truly understand the loss of a child unless they have had to live through that devastation. Thank yo for sharing with #PuddingLove

    • June 14, 2016 / 12:07 pm

      Thank you. It’s funny because with Joseph I never even considered it, I knew very little about stillbirth and never once thought that it would happen to us. With my youngest three I was 100% convinced that the same would happen again, I couldn’t believe it when they were born, I had completely prepared myself for the worst happening. I still cant believe it now to be honest, we have been so, SO lucky. Thank you for reading. xxx

  51. June 14, 2016 / 6:18 am

    I have donated to Sands previously and I will again because this post is beautiful and terrifying at the same time. There is no way I can even begin to imagine your experience, it was even hard for me to read this. I say this all the time, but you are such a strong woman and I admire you for everything you have been through. Thank you so much for sharing with #StayClassy.

    • June 14, 2016 / 12:03 pm

      Thank you so much. I knew when I wrote it that it wasn’t an easy read, but then as I have said previously, you cant sugar coat something like stillbirth. There is no point in telling half the tale, I think that it is a very British thing to do to play down our tragedies isn’t it? Stiff upper lip and all that, where as really, it WAS devastating and it still IS devastating. SANDS are an amazing charity though, I am hoping that our event in July raises lots of money in Josephs memory. Thanks for donating lovely. xxx

  52. June 15, 2016 / 6:22 pm

    I have never heard of this charity so thank you for bringing awareness to it with this beautiful post that is clearly straight from your hear as always. It helps to know that there are people such as these that help those mothers who need it when placed in a heart wrenching experience. To know that there is understanding and people who are well educated on how to handle the situation. I wouldn’t know the first thing to say to a mother who had just lost her child. I would honestly be tearful and speechless. Thank you for linking up with #momsterslink. *hugs*

    • June 16, 2016 / 9:17 am

      I’m so glad that I could share it with those of you who had not heard of them. There are SO many amazing charities out there, sometimes it feels impossible to support them all. It saddens me that far too many have needed this charity at some time in their life but I’m also hugely grateful that it was available to them. xxx

  53. June 15, 2016 / 8:19 pm

    This is heartbreaking and, like all your posts, beautifully written. Obviously, the circumstances of needing them are always terrible, but I have only ever heard good things about SANDS – they clearly do an amazing job with the most difficult of circumstances. #stayclassy

    • June 16, 2016 / 9:15 am

      Thank you so much. They really are an amazing charity and the volunteers deserve all the recognition they can get. Thanks for reading. xx

  54. June 16, 2016 / 11:57 am

    I wish I had words. Instead I am sharing this beautifully written post and your bravery xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

    • June 16, 2016 / 3:48 pm

      Thank you, much appreciated. xxxx

  55. June 16, 2016 / 2:02 pm

    What a brilliant charity and beautiful words by yourself. You are incredible to have gone through this and to be able to talk so openly and help others. Thanks for linking up to #justanotherlinky xx

  56. June 17, 2016 / 5:05 pm

    This is so heartbreaking lovely 🙁 Such a beautifully written post though .
    Thank you for linking up to #justanotherlinky

    • June 18, 2016 / 6:54 pm

      Thank you, and for reading even though I know it cant have been easy. xx

  57. June 17, 2016 / 9:24 pm

    This was heartbreaking to read, I can’t imagine that happening to my baby because when I do imagine anything bad happening I have a panic attack. Good luck to your fundraising efforts. It’s on my payday donation list for this month! #kcacols

    • June 18, 2016 / 6:53 pm

      Thank you so much, much appreciated. xxx

  58. June 18, 2016 / 7:07 pm

    It is really heartbreaking to read this. I can’t even imagine to go through something like that. How painful! I’m so sorry that you have been through this Laura. It is nice to hear that there is a charity that understands you and a lot of people going through the same thing and is there to help. Thanks so much for sharing this at #KCACOLS, 🙂 x

    • June 20, 2016 / 5:44 pm

      Thank you so much. It has really helped me to share this charity with you all, sometimes finding a positive amongst so much sadness is all we need to keep going? Thanks for hosting. xxx

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