Anyone who has lost a baby understands how utterly heartbreaking it is.
Two years ago I had a miscarriage and I felt feelings that I didn't think were possible. I entered a darkness because I couldn't talk to people about what had happened. I wanted to but other people simply didn't know what to say. I did find however, that so many people had experienced a pregnancy loss. 1 in 4 to be exact. How are these numbers so high and yet so little discussed on the matter?
There seems to be somewhat a taboo about discussing a pregnancy that never came to be. With my little Holly, born sleeping at 25 weeks, less so of a taboo but it IS still there. Is it simply because people don't know what to say? Or is it because it hasn't happened to them that they lack the empathy needed to understand the heartbreak?
This is what we have these awareness weeks and month for. Its to help those who have lost a baby to feel that they can discuss it, without fear of judgment. I think, just as importantly, its for those who don't understand how pregnancy loss can affect someone, to be able to empathise and listen.
The statistics for pregnancy loss are incredibly sad. 2.6 million stillborn babies were reported last year. 1 in 4 pregnancies end in miscarriage. Everyday, on average, 11 babies are born stillborn in the UK. Stillbirth, in particular, is 15 times more likely to happen than a baby dying of cot death. The statistics are HIGH. While somethings can be done to prevent miscarriages and stillbirths occurring, some simply cannot and that's were the need for emotional awareness is just as high as the need for healthy pregnancy awareness.
This month, the annual Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness week is being held the 9th - 15th, concluding with an international wave of light, where candles are lit, all over the world at 7pm (local time) to remember babies and support the awareness. I hope you will all share in lighting a candle, sharing this post and breaking the silence because after all, you never think it'll happen to you, until it does.
Just over three weeks ago I gave birth to my wonderfully beautiful daughter, Holly Dao.
Sadly, this isn't a post on the struggles of having 2 under 2. It isn't a post on my worries of having another baby with GORD. Against all expectations and all the will in the world, Holly Dao was born sleeping at just 25 weeks gestation. I hope one day to be able to share my experience on meeting Holly but I am not quite there yet. Instead I just want you to meet her.
I haven't shared Holly's picture with many people. Its not that she doesn't look well because she is actually the most beautiful little baby I have ever seen but more because of the worry of what people may think of me, posting a picture of my sleeping beauty.
During the last three weeks I have searched, read and cried at other ladies blogs, sharing their experiences on losing their little ones. It helps me to see that I am not alone. But maybe more importantly, its shown me that I shouldn't hide Holly away. Holly isn't my little secret, she was a fully formed little being and to hell with it, I am so bloody proud to be her mummy. Giving birth to her was single-handedly the hardest thing I have ever had to do but I still want to show her to the world. I still birthed my baby and I am still her mummy, even if she can't be here right now.
Like any other baby, Holly deserves her birth announcement. So in light of it almost being October and the month for pregnancy and infant loss awareness, this is me breaking the taboo..
Holly Dao Nguyen
Born on September 7th 2016 at 14.54 and weighing 1lb 7oz
On the 7th September 2016 at 25 weeks gestation, Holly was born sleeping after a battle with complete heart block.