Our beautiful baby daughter Anabelle was born sleeping June 2010.
Blessed with the screaming arrivals of our gorgeous rainbow sons,
Alexander October 2011, Zachary November 2013 and Lucas July 2016.

After Anabelle - Raising Rainbows
Heartbreak. Joy. Death. Life. But most of all Love.

Sunday, 10 October 2010

Baby Loss Awareness Week

This week is National Baby Loss Awareness Week.  (9th-15th October)
Today and every single day 17 babies are born sleeping.  This and every week 119 families will be devastated by the death of their precious baby. By the end of 2010, as every other year, there will have been 6500 angel babies.   Jon, I and Anabelle are one of those families. Anabelle is one of those babies.
Stillbirth is 10 times more likely than cot-death, but not spoken about even a fraction as much. Not publicised.  Everyone is made aware about how important it is to put a baby to bed properly, to reduce the risks of cot death – yet we’re a society that thinks when we’re past that magic 12 week milestone of pregnancy our babies are ‘safe’ and we’ll be bringing them home. We take it for granted.  I too was guilty of this. Especially after our 20 week scan – we were having a baby girl and everything looked fine. After that it was a waiting game.
How wrong could I be? Especially as Anabelle isn’t the first angel baby in my family. When I was 13 my cousin Andrew was born sleeping at 38 weeks. I should’ve been more aware than anyone, I knew babies could die, but it still wasn’t going to happen to me. Andrew’s was the first funeral I ever went to. His tiny white casket has lived with me since. I would never have believed I would be seeing another tiny casket in my lifetime, let alone my own baby daughters pink casket.  Apparently lightening does strike the same family twice.
I often feel angry at myself. I shouldn’t have just assumed everything would be ok, not when I already had a baby cousin in heaven. But I don’t think the full impact of the situation sank in when I was 13. However, one thing I’ve learnt out of this, is 12 weeks means nothing, 20 weeks means nothing. In future, my baby is not safe until they are screaming in my arms.
I desperately want people to become more aware.  Not to take a single moment of their pregnancy for granted – because whatever stage or week you’re at – it could be over in a moment.
I loved being pregnant. We were excited about having a bump and embraced my changing body. Having a baby was all we wanted after we got married. We’d booked a pregnancy photographer who visited us for the first time at 12 weeks, and continued to visit every 6 weeks. We have a beautiful record of Belle growing. The last time the photographer visited us was 2 days before Anabelle died.  That final visit couldn’t be more precious to us.
Apparently, according to the SANDS forum, This Morning (daily television programme), were asked to cover Baby Loss Awareness Week. Instead, it appears National Chocolate Week will be more deserving.  Our babies and the heartbreak of 6500 families this year alone, dismissed.  ITV had the opportunity to break the silence surrounding stillbirth, to raise awareness – but no, let’s celebrate chocolate instead.  
Anabelle’s short 32 weeks, her death and birth are important. Please take the time to look at the SANDS campaign website. I think ITV could do with a read too. http://www.why17.org/
After reading on the forum about the lack of support from This Morning and ITV I was inspired to email my local paper. I implored them to listen to Anabelle’s story and run an article about Baby Loss and to support Baby Loss Awareness Week. I will be gutted if they don’t respond.
Baby Loss Awareness Week will end on Friday with a “Wave of Light”. At 7.00pm parents and others of precious angel babies will be lighting a candle for one hour, to honour and remember their sons and daughters.  We will be lighting a candle for Anabelle and my cousin.
If you have visited my blog this week please take the time to join in the “Wave of Light” .  If you do join in, please comment here and let me know that you lit a candle for my beautiful daughter and her angel baby friends.


Caz said...

This Morning appeared to have yielded to the pressure of thousands of angel parents and will be acknowledging Baby Loss Awareness Week today at 11.30am.

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After Anabelle - Raising Rainbows. I'm Caz, Mummy to beautiful angel Belle and my wonderful rainbow boys, Xander, Zachy and Luc. Wife to Jon. Twitter @cazem Instagram @cazzyem
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