Pregnancy & Baby loss awareness month. #captureyourgrief

Every year when October comes around, the month of Pregnancy and Baby Loss awareness, I see my social media news feeds slowly fill with posts, with photos of pink and blue ribbons, heart wrenching quotes and the inevitable comments of, “Thinking of you”, “Lots of love” and “Big hugs”. And it breaks my heart that so many of my friends have suffered baby loss, at whatever gestation, under whatever circumstances, but it still astounds me that in 2016, when one in four pregnancies end in miscarriage, we are still skirting around the issue, still glossing over it with the lighting of candles and updating of profile pictures.

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And every year at this time I ask myself, why is nobody talking about it? I mean actually talking about it? Why is nobody laying their soul bare, telling their story and saying, with brutal honesty, this is how it is and its horrific, it’s soul destroying, it’s unbearably painful and it’s happening, every single day, to somebody that you know?

So this year I was pleased, although I feel very uncomfortable using that word in this context, to see so many people taking part in the Carly Marie project, “Capture your grief”, where, over the thirty one days of October, those who have suffered a loss are encouraged to raise awareness through “mindful grief, healing and storytelling” with given prompts across social media. And whilst I’m not going to sit here and share all thirty one with you, I’m sure that would leave you all, and myself, emotionally drained, I would like to share with you one that, for me, is the most important.

Who they are.

And I’ll be honest, when I saw this prompt last night and read through the many, many posts shared across social media, I actually felt quite envious of the parents who had so many stories to tell. The parents who had lost their child to illness or sudden death, whose stories are absolutely heart breaking, so utterly tragic, and whose losses are so great I can’t even imagine how they ever found a way to survive them, but whose memories are so precious and real, something tangible to hold on to, and share, without fear that their only memories, and photos, of their children are tainted by death.

And I think that this is the one question which will haunt us forever, the fact that we will never know what he would have been like aged two, or aged ten, that we will never know his personality, his likes and dislikes, what our lives would have been like with him in it. Who they are? It’s undoubtedly a question that we will ask ourselves, time and time again over the years, and never really know the answer to, and whilst at first I thought that I had very little to share, it turns out that I have plenty.

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Who was he?

He was the two, much sought after, lines on a pregnancy test one Christmas Eve, the Christmas present come early, the feeling of pure gratitude and excited anticipation at our growing family. He was the dinner table announcement, the smell of turkey and Christmas pudding, the congratulatory shrieks, slaps on the back, the tears of happiness and popping of champagne corks.

He was the little dot on the ultrasound scan, the most beautiful little flicker, the ever growing bean. He was our little secret for twelve long weeks, the nausea and the insatiable appetite, the early nights and the late mornings. He was the undeniable flutters in my tummy, the bloating in my belly, the bursting of my bras and the craving of all thing savoury.

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He was the painting of the nursery, the buying of furniture, the building of the cot, the beautiful little baby gros, lovingly chosen and hanging in the wardrobe. He was the pram just waiting to be pushed, the teddy bears waiting to be held, the little brother that Lewis was so excited to meet, a partner in crime, a best friend forever.

He was the scans, far too many to count, the steroid injections, the weekly monitoring, the midwives and the doctors who we came to know on first name terms, the constant nagging feeling that something wasn’t right. He was the worry and the panic and the overwhelming relief every time we hit another milestone and our little fighter continued to grow.

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He was the face on a 3d scan, the sucking of his thumb, the blink of his eyes, the kicks and the squirms and the tell tale signs of his hair. He was the spindly arms and legs, the big round belly, his little mouth opening and closing as we watched in complete amazement.

He was the hottest of Summers, the sunniest of Julys, ice creams in the sun, the cool evening breeze and the walks in the park. He was the excited chatter of a two year old Lewis, the fairy tale we told at bedtime, the other half of the terrible twosome we lay awake and imagined at night. He was our hopes and our dreams, the final piece of our jigsaw, the baby of the family and the very last little one we would shower with love.

He was the silence, the fear, the resounding words of a sonographer, the still figure on a screen. He was the complete and utter shock, the numbness and denial, the long, silent journey to the hospital. He was the cups of tea, laden with sugar, the flurry of consent forms and rushed explanations, the looks of sympathy and gentle pats on the back, the tearful midwife and the shake of her head.

He was thirty hours of labour, the excruciating pain, the silent prayers, the desperate hope that somehow they had made a mistake. He was the perfect sleeping angel, five pounds, ten fingers, ten toes, a mop of black hair, the most beautiful button nose and ruby red lips.

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He was twenty four precious hours, the whispered lullabies, stories told, tears cried and memories made. He was the happiest of hellos, the saddest of goodbyes, the emptiness and the physical ache in our hearts. He was the end of our world as we knew it.

He was the all-consuming grief, the why’s, the what if’s, the maybe’s. He was the anger and hurt and frustration, the agonising feeling that life was so desperately unfair. He was the shallow grave, the wilting flowers, the lovingly placed stuffed animals in the cold, dark shadows of the setting sun.

He was the rainbows on the darkest of days, the brightest star in the sky, the warm Summer sun drying our tears. He was the sound of his brothers laughter, the twinkle in his eye, the beat of his heart and the DNA running through his blood. He was the angel on my shoulder, ever-present, a little ray of hope through the miracles that followed, the big brother we never dared imagine he would be.

He was a million different words, a thousand precious moments, a lifetime of sadness and despair, of love, pride and happiness, all rolled into one.

He was a baby.

Our baby.

He is Joseph Allan Emmerson.

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http://carlymarieprojectheal.com/

Capture Your Grief | For baby loss awareness month this mother shares how losing her son is more than just grief, how all the moments throughout her pregnancy define her relationship with her son and what the grief of a bereaved parent is like when face with life after baby loss www.fivelittledoves.com

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152 Comments

  1. October 4, 2016 / 7:15 pm

    Beautifully written. I am so sorry for the loss of your lovely Joseph xxx

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      October 4, 2016 / 7:40 pm

      Thank you Pippa. xxx

  2. October 4, 2016 / 7:26 pm

    ? I wish I was as brave as you. I know there is nothing to say. But I want to say thank you for sharing this, it helped me. Thank you x

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      October 4, 2016 / 7:40 pm

      Thank you. I’m always surprised when others say that I am brave, I certainly don’t feel brave some days but I do think that it’s amazing what you are capable of when you are faced with your worst nightmare. Thank you so much for reading. xx

  3. October 4, 2016 / 9:46 pm

    Another sad but heartwarming post from you Laura. I can’t even begin to imagine what it’s like for you and other parents who have experienced this kind of loss and grief 🙁 My heart goes out to all of you. xx

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      October 5, 2016 / 7:06 am

      Thank you lovely. It’s just so important to share our stories, raise awareness and show others that we should speak about our losses and not to hide them away. I still meet people who find it very uncomfortable when I mention Joseph but I think that says more about them than it does me. He is my son, I will always talk about him. xx

  4. October 4, 2016 / 10:29 pm

    RIP Joseph – and how brave that you talk so openly about this. I’m sure by doing so you’re helping others feel brave enough to confront all the emotions that they must go through when something like this happens to them. He’s in a better place now – beautifully written too.

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      October 5, 2016 / 7:04 am

      Thank you. It’s so important that others in the same situation know that they can speak about their child. When I had Joseph I hadn’t even HEARD of stillbirth, it was definitely way more of a taboo ten years ago then it is now. xx

  5. October 5, 2016 / 5:17 am

    Beautifully written post. And you’re right, it is so important that pregnancy/baby loss is brought out into the open. It shouldn’t feel like a secret that needs to be kept. We should be talking and sharing. I personally think it’s an amazing tribute to a life that was unable to be lived.

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      October 5, 2016 / 7:03 am

      Thank you Tara. That’s exactly the reason why I do talk about it so much, not only to raise awareness but also to honour a little boy whose name deserves to be heard. xx

  6. October 5, 2016 / 7:15 am

    Oh blimey I’m welling up eating my porridge and reading this. I’m so sorry for your loss. We lost our son aged 21 months and nothing prepares you for saying goodbye. #bestandworst

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      October 5, 2016 / 12:31 pm

      Thank you, and I’m so sorry to hear about your son, I honestly don’t know how you would survive such a loss. It’s so important to talk about it though isn’t it? Much love to you and your family. xx

  7. October 5, 2016 / 7:26 am

    There are no words for your loss, rest in peace little man x

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      October 5, 2016 / 12:30 pm

      Thank you Cathy. xx

  8. Jayne @ Sticky Mud and Belly Laughs
    October 5, 2016 / 8:25 am

    Such a brave and beautiful post Laura.
    I think it is a subject that many prefer to keep covered up. I can only imagine how awful this was for you. I had a miscarriage and it took me what seemed like eternity to even speak about it. Well done for reaching out to others.
    Gone but never forgotten, sweet dreams little Joseph xxx

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      October 5, 2016 / 12:30 pm

      Thank you Jayne. You’re right, but it’s so sad that so many feel that way isn’t it? There is nothing we as parents want more than to talk about our children, whether they are here in our arms or sadly gone too soon. It’s important that we share our stories and help those who feel they have to hide away theirs. Love to you. xx

  9. October 5, 2016 / 10:35 am

    Rest in peace Joseph. This post made me sad but I am happy you are so brave to share your story. It must be hard some days but we women are stronger than we look some times.

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      October 5, 2016 / 12:29 pm

      That’s exactly it, you think when the worst happens you will just fall to pieces and never survive it, but we are all far stronger than we think. xx

  10. October 5, 2016 / 11:56 am

    Such a beautiful post, made me really weepy! I’m not at all strong enough to cope with a loss like this. Thankyou for sharing <3 #sharewithme

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      October 5, 2016 / 12:28 pm

      Ahh thank you. I thought the same but when it happens, you don’t really have a choice. I think we all imagine we will fall apart but in reality, you just find a way to keep going. xx

  11. October 5, 2016 / 1:07 pm

    This is such a beautifully written post – I hope it helped to write it. #dreamlinky

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      October 5, 2016 / 3:59 pm

      Thank you, and yes it always does. xxx

  12. October 5, 2016 / 7:39 pm

    The courage it must have taken just to write that truly amazes me. You must be one hell of a woman and I’m very sorry for what you and your family have had to endure. It’s simply not fair.
    You have my deepest sympathies. X

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      October 6, 2016 / 11:22 am

      Thank you so much, that’s lovely of you to say. I think that’s the main thing isn’t it? It’s simply not fair. I found myself saying that a lot in the early days, even now too, but the reality is life isn’t always fair, but you’ve just got to deal with the blows. Thanks again for reading. xx

  13. October 5, 2016 / 9:31 pm

    What a beautiful and heartbreaking post. I am so sorry for your loss. You are so strong and brave I am not sure how would I manage to deal with this enormous pain.

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      October 6, 2016 / 11:21 am

      Thank you. I think that we all think we wouldn’t be able to cope but you do find a way to carry on. Ten years now and I still struggle some days, but these babies of mine keep me going. xx

  14. October 6, 2016 / 7:53 am

    Rest in peace little one, so sorry for your loss thank you for sharing your story 🙂

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      October 6, 2016 / 11:18 am

      Thank you Marie. xx

  15. October 6, 2016 / 11:10 am

    What a beautifully written, yet heart-wrenching post. I’m so sorry for your loss I really can’t imagine going through that. I’ve had two miscarriages – one at 7 weeks and one at 10 and I always say I’m ‘thankful’ that I didn’t lose them later on. It’s so important that we raise awareness of pregnancy and infant loss as it really does leave such a lasting effect. I’ve found that with early miscarriages there is very little sympathy or support available and you do feel very alone. But I’m not sure I’d be strong enough to cope with a loss like this. Thanks for sharing with us xx #coolmumclub

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      October 6, 2016 / 11:16 am

      Thank you, and I am so sorry for your losses. We lost fifteen babies to miscarriage, between 6 and 13 weeks, and my heart goes out to anyone who has lost a baby in that way. I think after a stillbirth you do become hardened to miscarriage in a way, I guess with any tragedy you always compare it and for us, we had been through worse and I knew we would survive the miscarriages. It was hard though, losing so many, as I felt like we would never give Lewis another sibling. But here we are, with three more babies, and I look back now and do think how did we survive it?! Everyone always says you must be so strong to have got through it but I don’t see it as that at all, I see it as we had no other choice. I had a son to carry on for and I am grateful for that every day, without him I often wonder if I would still be here. xx

  16. October 6, 2016 / 11:50 am

    I am so so sorry for your loss. What beautiful 10 little toes you showed us. Such a beautiful piece of writing for your gorgeous little boy. Thank you for joining the #weekendblogshare

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      October 6, 2016 / 6:34 pm

      Thank you Hannah, his toes were absolutely perfect, it’s my favourite photo of him and probably the easiest one to share. xxx

  17. October 6, 2016 / 1:20 pm

    Oh my, I am crying right now. I can’t imagine the heartache. I worry often about something happening to my boys, how would I live on, it doesn’t bare thinking about, my heart breaks for everyone who has had to go through it xx #coolmumclub

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      October 6, 2016 / 6:33 pm

      Ahh Claire I’m so sorry to have made you cry. I used to hear stories of people going through similar tragedies and think if that happened to me, I would die. And then it did happen to me and somehow I survived it, because the truth is, there really is no other choice. It helps massively that I can share Josephs story, he was an amazing little boy. xxx

  18. October 6, 2016 / 1:55 pm

    This is one of the most beautifully written tributes to a child that I have ever read. I can not imagine.

    There are no words to cover the experience- so I will just leave it at that…

    #coolmumsclub

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      October 6, 2016 / 6:29 pm

      Thank you Kristin, that means a lot to me. I always hope that I can do him proud, be that by sharing his story or raising awareness of stillbirth. He was such a special little boy and I am such a proud Mummy of all he has achieved. xx

  19. October 6, 2016 / 3:11 pm

    Beautifully written – one of my closest friends went through something very similar to you and I know it weighs on their hearts everyday

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      October 6, 2016 / 6:27 pm

      I’m sorry to hear that Kara, you never get over something like that, and nor should we. Joseph is as much a part of my family as these four and it’s lovely when others include him in their thoughts too. xx

  20. October 6, 2016 / 7:45 pm

    I know how hard it can be:( My sister lost her first baby:( He was fighting in hospital for 2 months:(
    #sharewithme

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      October 6, 2016 / 8:21 pm

      I’m so sorry to hear that. That must be utterly devastating for her and your whole family. Life can be so unfair can’t it? I will never understand why some babies make it and some don’t, I am just grateful that I have four healthy babies in my arms. xxx

  21. October 6, 2016 / 7:48 pm

    You know I am one of your biggest supporters Laura, in all of the incredible work you do for awareness and support for parents like, well, like us. This is a beautifully written tribute to Joseph and so much of it echoed my own experience.
    Part of me wishes I could share my story with you all, however for me, it’s my one sacred parenting tale that I just couldn’t blog about. I wrote every detail of our story into a journal at the time (always a writer) and have never even read it back. I guess it’s just too hard. I hope you understand that, as I really do believe in speaking out – but for me, it’s one for over a cuppa face to face. One day, maybe!
    Thanks for linking up to #coolmumclub

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      October 6, 2016 / 8:20 pm

      Thanks lovely, and I’m so sorry that this echoed your experience too. I completely understand why some parents would prefer to keep their story to themselves, I think the difference is that you have made the choice to keep it to yourself because it is your story to keep, not because you feel that you shouldn’t share it. Every parent deals with grief differently, I have never shared the stories of my miscarriages, not in detail like I do with Joseph, mainly because for most of them, they were horrific experiences with nothing positive whatsoever to come out of them. At least with Joseph I had a baby to hold at the end of it, I had a little face to remember, photographs and memories and a name to speak about whenever I needed to. Baby loss is devastating, no matter what the circumstances, and I would never judge someone for the way in which they dealt with it. You just do what you’ve got to do. Love to you. xxx

  22. October 6, 2016 / 9:18 pm

    I am so so sorry for your loss! My little Joseph rest in peace! You’ve written so beautifully, its got me all teary eyed!

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      October 7, 2016 / 10:56 am

      Thank you Ayesha, that means a lot. xx

  23. October 6, 2016 / 9:37 pm

    Such heartbreaking loss and I’m so glad you’re sharing it. #momsterslink

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      October 7, 2016 / 10:56 am

      Thank you Heather, it’s important to share and raise awareness whenever possible, even though it can be hard to relive some of those memories xxx

  24. October 6, 2016 / 11:47 pm

    What a beautiful post. This had me wiping tears away. I can’t even begin to imagine the pain and agony. Thank you for sharing your story. #momsterslink

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      October 7, 2016 / 10:55 am

      Ahh thank you so much, I know it’s often difficult to read this kind of post but it’s so important to share and raise awareness. Thank you.xxx

  25. October 7, 2016 / 8:20 am

    Beautiful and heartbreaking. All your children are gorgeous. Including Joseph Allen. What a cutie! I hope you find strength in sharing your words with those who maybe need to hear them to feel their own story is valid. #picknmix

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      October 7, 2016 / 10:53 am

      Thank you Lisa, I’m a very lucky Mummy that’s for sure. It always helps me to share Josephs story, if I can help just one person going through something similar I will have achieved what I set out to do. Thank you for reading. xx

  26. October 7, 2016 / 10:52 am

    Laura, I’m a huge supporter of your blog and your Mumsnet nomination. I find the posts about your family interesting and funny and I find the posts on loss incredibly difficult to read but very important. Your basic message of ‘talk about it’ and sharing your story is honorable and very important. Thanks for sharing this #stayclassymama

  27. Claire
    October 7, 2016 / 12:45 pm

    I can’t stop the tears from running down my face as I write this. That was so beautifully written, yet truly heartbreaking. I am so truly sorry for your loss. Sending my love to you and your family xxxx

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      October 7, 2016 / 4:32 pm

      Thank you Claire, I really do appreciate you reading this, however much it pains us all to imagine the loss of a child it’s important to raise awareness isn’t it? I’ve been such a lucky Mummy to have four healthy children and as a family we take Josephs memory with us through the years. xxx

  28. October 7, 2016 / 1:46 pm

    What a beautiful tribute to your son and who he was, even though you had him for only a short time. Thank you for sharing your story – I’ll hug my daughter a little harder tonight because I’ve read this. #PoCoLo

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      October 7, 2016 / 4:30 pm

      Thank you so much. I always hope that I do him and his memory justice, he was a very special little boy and his story deserves to be told. xxx

  29. October 7, 2016 / 1:46 pm

    So beautiful. I am completely moved to tears. My heart goes out to you and I am so sorry for your loss. You are incredibly brave to be able to write this and share your experience with others. Thank you for sharing with the #DreamTeam xx

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      October 7, 2016 / 4:29 pm

      Ahh thank you Annette, I feel awful that I have made so many people cry today, but I do appreciate you reading as I know it’s not easy to read something that as parents, is our worse nightmare. Thank you. xxx

  30. October 7, 2016 / 1:50 pm

    This post is so heartbreaking but so beautifully written. Good on you for writing so candidly about your loss, I hope it has helped you and helps other parents who have gone through the same thing. Sleep tight Joseph xx #picknmix

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      October 7, 2016 / 4:28 pm

      Thank you Wendy. It always helps me to get these thoughts down on paper and to know that Josephs name is being spoken by others even a decade after he left us. I don’t think that you can be anything other than candid when it comes to sharing a story like this, I would feel I was doing him an injustice if I glossed over it or lessened the way in which his death affected our family. He was an amazing little boy, I’m a very proud Mummy. xxx

  31. October 7, 2016 / 2:06 pm

    I so admire your courage for writing this. It must be so heartbreaking. The lost that can never be replaced, but is forever be remembered within your heart. Rest in peace Joseph Allan. You are beautiful. Your mother has written such a beautiful post about you and is also helping others who is in the same situation to ease the pain. She is so so very proud of you my dear. XXX

    Thank you so much for linking up with us on #FabFridayPost

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      October 7, 2016 / 4:26 pm

      Thank you Su. He was the most special baby and it makes me so proud that so many people have taken him into their hearts. I know that you too have experienced a difficult loss in your family, it changes everything doesn’t it? I always said if I could find a positive in Josephs death then it wouldn’t have been in vain, and I think being able to share my story with others who are looking for comfort during their own loss reminds me of that. xxx

  32. October 7, 2016 / 3:11 pm

    I read this earlier this week and completely welled up and had to abandon the comment I was writing as I couldn’t find the right words. You’re right, we do need to talk about miscarriage and baby loss more, but I do think for a lot of people (and sadly I include myself in that group) it’s really hard to find the words. But your words get right to the heart of it and are just beautiful. I know this will be an emotional and inspirational read for so many people, and, for those who can’t quite put their feelings about it into words, I think it makes it easier to pinpoint what you’re feeling and to validate those emotions. Thank you so much for sharing this, both with the world, and specifically with us at #SharingtheBlogLove

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      October 7, 2016 / 4:24 pm

      Ahh thank you Katy. I always know when I write one of these posts that it will make for an emotional read. I understand that for some people they just can’t bring themselves to read it, especially as a Mother, as it’s just to awful to consider. In that way, I am always grateful to the people who do take the time to read it, and I apologise to those who it made cry! I couldn’t be anything less than honest with my story of Joseph, it would be wrong to try and lessen the pain of what we went through or how it has impacted on our lives over the last decade. I have had so many lovely messages from people who say that they too struggled to find the right words and yet my posts resonated with them and gave them the words they were looking for. That is a lovely thing to hear, although I don’t wish baby loss on anyone, that perhaps I have helped someone or made them feel a little more “normal” in the way they feel about their own loss. I hope so. Love to you Katy. xxx

  33. October 7, 2016 / 7:55 pm

    I cried reading this….I don’t have the words. I just wanted to send lots of love and hugs xxx

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      October 8, 2016 / 4:35 pm

      No words needed, thank you so much. xxx

  34. October 7, 2016 / 8:31 pm

    So so beautifully written. Our loses (6) all came before 12 weeks so we don’t have any sonogram pictures, never saw them move. Sometimes this hurts, sometimes I’m thankful as I don’t know how I could have coped had the pregnancies progressed and then lost them. I do think it shouldn’t be so taboo, that it’s important to talk about. At the same time, other than as replies like this it’s something I find extremely hard to talk or write about. Thank you for sharing your story x
    #Momsterslink

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      October 8, 2016 / 4:34 pm

      I’m sorry to hear of your losses, it’s just devastating isn’t it? I sometimes think that we were fortunate with our fifteen miscarriages (although again, that’s really not the right word at all) as we had scans with several of them and something that we can treasure forever. Some we had nothing, and that was difficult and yet as you say, I was always thankful that they were no later than 13 weeks as to go through one stillbirth was bad enough. Lots of love to you. xx

  35. October 8, 2016 / 6:24 pm

    As always beautifully written, brought a tear to my eye. Thanks for linking up #bestandworst

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      October 9, 2016 / 4:41 pm

      Thank you Helen, I appreciate it’s always difficult to read but thank you so much for allowing me to share our story and continue to raise awareness. xx

  36. October 8, 2016 / 6:24 pm

    I’m sorry for your loss. I can’t even begin to imagine or comprehend this. Beautifully written. Thanks for joining in with #ThatFridayLinky

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      October 9, 2016 / 4:41 pm

      Thank you Emily, and for hosting as always. xxx

  37. Ky
    October 8, 2016 / 9:07 pm

    Such a beautiful, honest and brave post. You are completely right, we need to talk about this more. Thank you for sharing this. x #kcacols

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      October 9, 2016 / 4:40 pm

      Thank you for reading, it’s so important that we continue to talk about baby loss. xx

  38. October 8, 2016 / 9:20 pm

    What a beautifully written post. Sad but happy too. You are amazing. Thanks for sharing #FabFridayPost

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      October 9, 2016 / 4:40 pm

      Thank you Sarah, he was an amazing little boy that’s for sure. xxx

  39. October 8, 2016 / 9:52 pm

    Such a brave & honest post. I miscarried at 13 weeks & have always wondered so many things about who they would have been.. I was days away from my first scan. All I have is a blood test form & my hospital bands from a&e where I was sent home after being told everything was fine.. I have no real proof my baby ever existed apart from the fact I was severely ill for the 13 weeks. It’s a tough subject but we do need to talk about it more xx #KCACOLS

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      October 9, 2016 / 4:39 pm

      I’m so sorry to hear that. We lost our first at 13 weeks and yet we were “lucky” that we had had an early scan and still have those precious scan photos. With our other fourteen miscarriages we had many where we had nothing at all to show for it either, no scans, just discharge papers from the hospital, and I found that tough. As you say, there is nothing to ever show that they ever existed and yet for us, their memory lives on in our hearts and they can never be truly forgotten. xxx

  40. Savannah
    October 9, 2016 / 4:58 am

    I truly feel so lucky when I read about your sweet little Joseph. Like I am, somehow, able to share a part of his life with you, and it truly makes me feel special that you would share it here for all of us to read. Baby loss is so so hard to read and talk about, but like you pointed out, with it being so common it NEEDS to be. I will definitely be sharing this. Thank you <3 #KCACOLS

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      October 9, 2016 / 4:38 pm

      Thank you so much, it’s an absolute honour to share his story with you all and know that his name is being spoken, that’s the most important thing for me…that he is never forgotten. I know it’s never easy to consider the unimaginable but I appreciate you reading and raising awareness. xx

  41. October 9, 2016 / 7:41 am

    Another beautifully written post. You have such a stunning way with words, especially when it comes to talking about your little Joseph. #KCACOLS

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      October 9, 2016 / 4:37 pm

      Ahh thank you Becky. I always hope that I do him justice, it means a lot that others read his story. xxx

  42. October 9, 2016 / 12:48 pm

    So beautiful and so sad. I wish you and all my friend who have suffered similar losses did not have to go through them. This is certainly something that she be talked about more openly. People should not have to suffer in silence. Thank-you for sharing your story x #KCACOLS

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      October 9, 2016 / 4:36 pm

      Thank you Angela. It’s heartbreaking how many people have actually been through a similar loss, it feels like more and more these days although I think that it’s more just that we are talking about it more openly, and rightly so. As proud parents we want to talk about our children, even the ones that are no longer with us. xx

  43. October 9, 2016 / 1:24 pm

    I can’t imagine your loss. 🙁 Thank you for sharing your beautiful, bittersweet story. #justanotherlinky

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      October 9, 2016 / 4:35 pm

      Thank you so much for reading. xxx

  44. October 9, 2016 / 3:20 pm

    this truly is a beautiful post and thank you for sharing such an honest account. it is completely shocking that 1 in 4 pregnancies end in miscarriage and you are right, people are reluctant to talk about it. I remember when I was pregnant and my husband and were incredibly anxious throughout – we said we’d only get excited once baby was here, in our arms. everyone told us we were being silly but I really think we were being realistic. horrific things do happen and not just to other people. I honestly cant imagine how you hard it must be to lose a child.
    On a separate note, love your blog header – I hadn’t seen it before now.
    Thanks so much for linking up at #KCACOLS. Hope you come back again next Sunday!

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      October 9, 2016 / 4:35 pm

      Thank you Emma. I was so completely naïve with my first, at 22 we didn’t even know about the risk of miscarriage or stillbirth and when we lost that baby at 13 weeks we were just in complete shock. With Lewis we were anxious before 12 weeks but afterwards we thought that it was a given that he would be born healthy, and thankfully he was. Again with Joseph, I didn’t even consider that he wouldn’t make it, once we got to 12 weeks we just assumed the same, that he would be born safe and well and our family would be complete. I will never forget that feeling of absolute shock that a fully grown baby could just die like that, for no given reason. With my youngest three I was convinced that they would die, I refused to buy a single Babygro, refused to imagine our lives with them in it, and although it sounds completely morbid, although understandable given what we had been through, all I could actually imagine was their funeral. I still can’t believe we have been so lucky to have four healthy children, it really is a miracle isn’t it? And thank you, my husband designed my header, it’s perfect for our family xxx

  45. Nige
    October 9, 2016 / 6:44 pm

    So beautifully written feel for your loss Thanks for linking to the #THAT FRIDAY LINKY come back next week please

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      October 10, 2016 / 9:40 am

      Thank you Nige, it’s always therapeutic for me to share and feeling that I am helping others. xx

  46. October 9, 2016 / 7:58 pm

    Gorgeous and hugely important to say these things. Thank you fore sharing on #sharewithme

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      October 10, 2016 / 9:40 am

      Thank you so much for reading. xxx

  47. October 9, 2016 / 8:35 pm

    Oh Laura, what a beautiful post. Thank you for giving me a moment with Joseph. A beautiful boy, a beautiful soul. <3

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      October 10, 2016 / 9:39 am

      Thank you so much for reading. As always it is an absolute honour to share him with you. xxx

  48. October 9, 2016 / 8:59 pm

    So very beautifully written. Those memories though not the way you would wish for them are memories and to document them like this is powerful and inspiring. You’re right there is too much silence, I will write my story this month and it will be partly thanks to you, and to Joseph. Thank you for sharing X

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      October 10, 2016 / 9:39 am

      Thank you Laura. I think it’s important to remember that we do have memories, even when we think that we don’t. I lost fifteen babies to miscarriage and have very little to show for those babies, some I was “lucky” enough to have a scan photo, other nothing at all but discharge papers from the hospital. But if I think about it I can remember the excitement with every positive test, the feelings of nausea or the cravings I had, different with each of them. There is a lot to hold on to and remember, and it’s important to share that too. Thanks again. xxx

  49. October 9, 2016 / 9:12 pm

    You are an amazing woman Laura. Joseph is beautiful. Jo x

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      October 10, 2016 / 9:37 am

      Thank you so much, that means a lot. xxx

  50. October 10, 2016 / 9:57 am

    I’m so sorry for your loss of Joseph. This is a beautiful tribute to him and so very brave of you to write and put out to the world. It will help others who’ve experienced such a loss, and the friends and loved ones of those who’ve experienced such a loss to understand a little bit better.

  51. October 10, 2016 / 10:02 am

    Thank you for sharing your story. I hope it encourages other women (and men) to open up and share their true feelings about their own losses. I lost my first baby at 12 weeks. It was hideously upsetting and I was devastated, but talking about it seemed to be a real taboo and it shouldn’t be. I couldn’t even talk to my GP as her attitude was, it happens every day (yes she actually said that to me). Once again, thank you and your beautiful little boy for sharing in such a beautiful and touching way x #MMBC

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      October 10, 2016 / 6:10 pm

      Oh Lisa I’m so sorry to hear that. We lost our first at 13 weeks and we were told the same, just one of those things and it’s very common. I remember thinking if it’s so common why has nobody ever mentioned it before now? It always amazed me that some GPs are so unsympathetic towards babyloss, I’ve seen countless doctors and even midwives who have referred to Joseph as “the stillborn”, no name, no acknowledgement that he was a real baby. I even had one midwife tell me, when I corrected her that I had five children, “the stillborn doesn’t count.” That hurt a lot, that’s why I am determined to make sure that he DID count, that all of the fifteen babies I lost to miscarriage counted, because they do. Every single one of them. xxx

  52. October 10, 2016 / 11:15 am

    Laura, that is a heartbreaking but beautifully written post. I am so sorry for the loss of your beautiful little boy. God Bless Him xx #KCACOLS

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      October 10, 2016 / 6:08 pm

      Thank you so much. I appreciate you reading, it is hugely therapeutic for me to share and know I am helping to raise awareness. xxx

  53. October 10, 2016 / 12:59 pm

    Oh Laura, this was beautifully written. As I was reading it I could feel your excitement, loss, and grief in your words. I am sorry for yours and everyone else’s loss.

    xx

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      October 10, 2016 / 6:07 pm

      Thank you Debbie, it means so much to me to be able to share it with you all. I am so proud of all of my children, Josephs story deserves to be told. xxx

  54. October 10, 2016 / 1:18 pm

    This is so beautifully written and I’m so glad you have shared it. I haven’t had any personal experience of loss, but just a moment ago read a post by my own cousin detailing the loss of two babies and I never knew about it. I agree that it is something people should talk about, however, having never been through it myself, I don’t think I can truly appreciate how hard it is to do so. Thank you for sharing the memories of your beautiful boy #MarvMondays

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      October 10, 2016 / 6:07 pm

      Thank you so much. I think that’s exactly it isn’t it? So many people suffer in silence and never speak about it. When we lost Joseph the number of people who then shared their own stories with me was astounding, I remember thinking why did nobody ever tell us before now? I won’t ever hide my son away, nor the fifteen babies we lost to miscarriage, and I am grateful that however emotional it can be to read about it, that so many people still do. Thank you. xxx

  55. October 10, 2016 / 1:32 pm

    The words and the way you write this are just right and so beautiful. My SIL had a stillbirth at 8 months and it was one of the hardest things our family had been through at the time. I wasn’t a mum at that point, yet I still felt every single bit of pain my brother and SIL went through. I had the job of phoning family to let them know and I still have no idea how I found the words. People should feel able to speak more about their loss, but sadly so many don’t. Thank you for always being honest about your own loss and sharing it with everyone. I know it brings comfort to so many. Thank you for sharing it with us at #SharingtheBlogLove x

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      October 10, 2016 / 6:05 pm

      Oh Laura that must have, and still must be, devastating for your family. I think that we often forget that stillbirth doesn’t end at just the parents, I think in the early days I was guilty of forgetting that my family shared our grief equally, that my parents lost a grandson, my brother a nephew, my son his own brother. It often feels like a dream looking back, I honestly don’t know how we all survived it, but you just do don’t you? Because what other choice do you have? I hope that your sister in law has been blessed with her own little rainbow, it never takes away from the grief but it does help to heal a broken heart. xxx

  56. October 10, 2016 / 2:49 pm

    So beautifully written, I’ve just really welled up reading this. I’m sorry for your loss, it’s such a hard thing to talk about but I’m glad you have shared this #KCACOLS

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      October 10, 2016 / 6:02 pm

      Thank you so much Louise, it means so much just to share his story. xxx

  57. October 10, 2016 / 3:13 pm

    The bravery you summoned to write this is inspiring. Thank you for talking about your loss. I have a friend who experienced similar thing and will be sending this to her, she needs to know it’s more than candlelight once a year x #justanotherlinky #KCACOLS #fortheloveofBLOG

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      October 10, 2016 / 6:02 pm

      Thank you so much. I’m so sorry to hear about your friends loss, it’s just devastating. I felt hugely insulted in the early years that it felt only acceptable to speak about my son just once a year, during the month of October. I think it’s so important to know that for us, the bereaved parents, it’s so much more than just a memorial candle or a facebook status, this is our lives every minute of every day, forever. I hope that she finds some comfort in my post. xxx

  58. October 10, 2016 / 8:08 pm

    What a stunningly beautiful and heart-rending post. I can’t even begin to imagine the sorrow and grief. As someone who can’t have children, I too think there are still too many taboos around the subject – be it infertility, baby loss or women who have right to say they simply don’t want children. I hope for one day we can be as open and respected to talk about these topics as it should be X #mg

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      October 11, 2016 / 8:06 am

      I am so sorry to hear that, you are absolutely right, there are far too many taboos and ignorance too surrounding these subjects. I think that sometimes people simply don’t want to talk about it because the concept of baby loss, or infertility, is too heartbreaking to even consider? People are often guilty of burying their head in the sand and even with awareness campaigns, they are too afraid to learn too much about a subject that they hope they will never be a part of? xxx

  59. October 10, 2016 / 8:29 pm

    Ou my goodness Laura this is so heartbreaking. You know that tightening knot you get at the back of your throat (or is it the top of your chest? I can never quite pinpoint it) that comes from the experience of loss? I feel that right now as I’ve been reading your tribute to Joseph. I can’t imagine going pretty much full term to then discover my future, my family’s dreams and my heart were all shattered in the blink of an eye.

    I lost my first baby (I also call him or her that (I never got to know the gender) even though I guess the medical profession would say it was ‘only a foetus’) at 12 weeks, literally 2 days before our first scan. I had been so happy up until that point. I’d so desperately wanted to have a baby for so long and I was 36 at the time so had the constant fear that there was something I’d done wrong. Which I know is rediculous, but I think that’s also something people never talk about.

    It took me a long time to get over it and I was scared stiff through my two subsequent pregnancies. I’m happy to say I went on to have two babies, but I’ll always wonder about who he or she would have been. I can’t begin to imagine losing a baby the way you did. I can only say that I feel your pain in that lump at the back of my throat. Xx #mg

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      October 11, 2016 / 8:00 am

      I’m so sorry to hear about your own loss, it’s just devastating isn’t it? I think with your first, we also lost our first at 13 weeks, you are so wonderfully naïve and never for one moment imagine that it will happen to you, I often look back and wish that I had really enjoyed that time more as I’ve never had a pregnancy since where I felt that way. I hate that medical professionals refer to our babies as a foetus, they were our babies, regardless of how many weeks we were, they are so much more than that aren’t they? I always say that a miscarriage isn’t just the loss of a baby, it’s the loss of your hopes and dreams and the life you imagined, and it’s a huge grieving process to come to terms with the fact that your life isn’t going to be the same one you planned. We lost fifteen babies to miscarriage and in that way I can tell myself that it would never have been a reality, and had any of those babies survived I wouldn’t have the children I have now. In that way I can comfort myself, but with Joseph it’s harder to rationalise with, infact it’s impossible, and I will always tell others that I have five children, because I do. I’m so glad that you went on to have two more children but you never forget the baby you lost, and nor would you want to. Love to you mama. xxx

  60. October 10, 2016 / 8:42 pm

    Goodness – this has taken my breath away. What a beautifully written and poignant post – I am sure this post will offer such solace to other parents who are grieving. xx #fortheloveofBLOG xx

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      October 11, 2016 / 7:55 am

      Thank you so much, I hope so too. It’s comforting to know that, however hard it is to write at times, my posts could help others. xxx

  61. October 11, 2016 / 6:50 am

    I am literally shaking with emotion as I read through to the end of your post – so poignant and heartfelt and I felt all the rush of emotions. Thank you so much for telling me more about Joseph Allan Emmerson. It has been a privilege to get to know more about him. #bigpinklink

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      October 11, 2016 / 7:48 am

      Thank you so much for reading. I always feel apologetic that I have caused others to feel such emotions, but that’s part of raising awareness isn’t it? I always think it would be wrong of me to gloss over it for fear of upsetting others, there is no other way to describe baby loss than the sad truth that is our reality. I do appreciate you reading though, it was an honour to share him with you. xxx

  62. October 11, 2016 / 8:00 am

    So beautifully written. You made me blub with your raw emotion. I can’t even begin to contemplate your loss. My deepest sympathies. I have two good friends who have lost their babies. It really does bring home how many are affected by this. Thank you for sharing #mg

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      October 11, 2016 / 8:07 am

      Thank you so much, and I’m so sorry – for making you cry and for your two friends who lost their babies. It affects far too many doesn’t it? Thank you for reading. xxx

  63. October 11, 2016 / 1:27 pm

    Such a lovely written post. Well done for speaking out about such an important topic and I am sorry that you have had to go through it #fortheloveofBLOG

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      October 11, 2016 / 7:18 pm

      Thank you, it definitely helps to write about it and raise awareness where I can. xxx

  64. October 11, 2016 / 4:39 pm

    A great post. I’ve been surprised by the level of candour in sharing stories and photos. I thought that the #CaptureYourGrief project seemed a little hokey bit I’ve found it helpful if only to encourage me to think of our sons in an uncomplicated happier alternate time line.

    I’m impressed by your dedication to the link cause too. I had considered joining in but my psychic energies are being spent on sharing all the stories and writing my own. At this time of all times I need that focus.

    Love to you all.

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      October 11, 2016 / 7:17 pm

      I thought the same initially but I have spent the last week chasing the hashtag across social media and although it was heartbreaking, it was also really lovely to see so many parents talking about their children with such love and pride. Carry on writing your own stories, we all need that focus sometimes. Love to you too. xxx

  65. October 12, 2016 / 2:13 pm

    I have no actual words I can say, so beautifully written, so eloquent and with so much raw emotion x

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      October 12, 2016 / 5:04 pm

      Thank you so much Rachel, no words needed. xxx

  66. October 12, 2016 / 10:11 pm

    Oh Laura, he is beautiful – as is this post. Sending hugs and many thanks for linking such a powerful post to #PoCoLo x

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      October 13, 2016 / 4:17 pm

      Thank you so much, he was utterly beautiful. I was very lucky that a good friend of mine painted him so beautifully. xxx

  67. October 13, 2016 / 9:16 am

    You’ve just made me cry…. you write so beautifully and I can feel the emotion between the words. I won’t pretend that I can imagine how this feels, as that would be patronising when it isn’t something I have had to go through myself, but I just want you to know that I really respect your strength in writing this… and in carrying on.

    I have a friend who lost her baby to cot death, and I have seen the effort that it can take simply to get out of bed after losing a child. You amaze me lovely, you really do.

    Stevie xx #PicknMix

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      October 13, 2016 / 4:16 pm

      Ahh Stevie, thank you so much and also I’m so sorry I made you cry!! I’m also so sorry to hear about your friend, I cant even begin to imagine how someone carries on after that kind of loss, I think that’s the thing with loss isn’t it, every one feels it differently? I find it hugely therapeutic to share Josephs story and to channel that grief into raising awareness. We have been so lucky in so many ways, not just to have four healthy children, but to know Joseph for that short time. He was an amazing little boy for all he taught us. xxx

  68. October 13, 2016 / 7:44 pm

    Thank you for sharing, such a brave post and has left me with a lump in my throat and a tear in my eye x #eatsleepblogrt

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      October 14, 2016 / 2:10 pm

      Ahh thank you so much for reading. It’s a pleasure to share it with you. xx

  69. October 14, 2016 / 6:02 pm

    This is heart wrenching to read lovely but a beautiful story, one that is such an important to your Son. It’s so important that more us are awareness of child loss as it’s so common. Thanks for sharing your story and linking up at #fortheloveofBLOG. Claire x

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      October 15, 2016 / 6:38 pm

      Thank you so much, it’s so important to keep sharing our story and if that can help even one person in the same situation then I feel as though I’ve achieved something. xx

  70. October 14, 2016 / 10:24 pm

    Such a lovely, lovely post. It must have been really difficult to know how to answer this question, but you’ve done it so eloquently and so beautifully. I cant imagine anything more difficult for any parent than what you experienced, but I dont know anyone that does so much to keep their little ones spirit alive like you do. Thanks for sharing this on #MarvMondays. Emily

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      October 15, 2016 / 6:37 pm

      Thank you so much, it was a difficult question to answer but I found that actually, it came easily in the end. xxx

  71. October 15, 2016 / 7:37 am

    Every time I read about Joseph I fill with a sense of such affection, I know I don’t know you personally and I never got to meet Joseph, but somehow you bring him to life in my heart as you write of you love for him. You are a beautiful mother xx

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      October 15, 2016 / 6:35 pm

      Thank you so much Mac, that means so much to me. It’s an honour to share him with you, it really is. xxx

  72. October 17, 2016 / 6:46 am

    Your happy and sad posts always make me cry! This is so heartbreaking and so beautifully written. I’ve read about Joseph before and I’ve read so many posts surrounding baby loss awareness week. It’s something that does need to be talked about, so much, because people need that support and understanding. Grief is just such a raw and personal journey but something we all experience in life no matter what. We just don’t expect it to be our own children. Lots of love xx

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      October 17, 2016 / 12:07 pm

      Ahh thank you Kat, I’m sorry I make you cry! I’ll try not to make you cry at Blogfest though, promise! xxx

  73. Intrepidbebe
    March 6, 2017 / 9:11 am

    Thank you for bravely sharing xx #postsfromtheheart

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      March 6, 2017 / 4:38 pm

      Thank you for reading. xxx

  74. March 6, 2017 / 2:46 pm

    Your posts never fail to move me, and this one is no exception. I’m sat here moves to tears by this. I’m so sorry for your loss. Thanks for sharing this with #postsfromtheheart xxx

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      March 6, 2017 / 4:36 pm

      Thank you so much for reading, it means a lot that you continue to read even when they are hard going. xxx

  75. March 12, 2017 / 9:04 pm

    Laura, I have no words that can do this justice. Beautiful in every way. Thank you so much for sharing such a precious post with us at #PosrsFromTheHeart

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      March 13, 2017 / 9:19 am

      Thank you so much, it’s always a pleasure to share posts with you. xx

  76. March 12, 2017 / 9:51 pm

    This makes me cry each time i read it. Joseph would be so proud of you and your campaigning Laura. Not enough is spoken about it and im sure you have helped many people with your writing. #postsfromthehear

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      March 13, 2017 / 9:19 am

      Thank you so much, I always feel guilty of making people cry but I think it’s important not to sugar coat stillbirth. I also think if you can cause someone to feel emotional about a subject then you have reached them in a way that will stay with them, and that’s the best way to raise awareness. xx

  77. March 13, 2017 / 9:33 am

    Wow. A beautiful post, thank you so much for sharing, it made me cry buckets. Raising awareness of this issue is so important. xxx

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      March 13, 2017 / 9:43 am

      Ahh sorry I made you cry but thank you so much for reading. xxx

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