Welcome to the twilight zone. That time when the birds are just waking up, someone has just got up to go to the toilet, and the thoughts of the day penetrate your half dazed brain. The time when that little baby not ½ mile away has just realised its feed time, and is crying for her mum to come and give her some well-deserved sustenance.
I’m not normally awake at this time of the night – sorry morning, but it’s not surprising taking into consideration all that has happened over the last 24 hours. The story about our little humble family has gone viral. Not only has it been taken up by an American organisation who have published it on one of their web sites, but the main news channel BBC News has got hold of it, and has run the story . The 4th most read article today on line! An amazing fund raising idea that came out of a story of heartbreak and loss, has been taken up and is now being used as something to create awareness. Check out the article following this link –
All sorts of organisations, and support networks have taken up the batten. So many families, mums dads, grandparents don’t know the words to say not just to others they come in contact with – but often their own family and friends, when they suffer such a loss. From a still birth, or loss of one baby in a multiple birth. It’s hard to hold on to the fact that often you want to celebrate new life while having to grieve, and say goodbye. Often without warning.
As a parent you go through the process with the support of medical professionals at every step of the way. You’re prepared as much as you can be, with medical explanations, and practical support. But those who stand on the periphery, the grandparents and close family are not always party to this knowledge and help. We are often left floundering on how to say things, how to offer support and sympathy, but at the same feeling inside the quiet excitement at the upcoming event, sad as you know it will be.
And then of course the idea came when a well-meaning new parent who without knowing the situation, made some polite conversation in the neo natal unit that brought tears and sadness to this mum who has suffered a great loss. That must have been the moment that broke her heart, and made the situation so much more real. Of course the neo natal unit is great at making sure as a visitor you aren’t party to confidential information spoken by health professionals about their young charges, they ask you to put headphones on when you visit. But they aren’t so good at sharing some other information. That is where this practical idea was ‘born’. A simple sticker on the cot to tell everyone that this is the surviving baby of multiple births. No one has to explain anything – everyone can see straight away. And even though it’s not there to dampen your enthusiasm at your new baby – it makes you aware that some sensitivity is needed.
It’s not going to stop there, hopefully the fundraising will go on to make the lives of those in just this situation a little more bearable. More private rooms, a place to retire to and not have to see the joy of others through your sadness. And support and counselling. Something to help in your darkest hours.
Brilliant ideas are born from often difficult situations. This is one of those. It’s not just about the simple sticker, but the awareness that this subject has brought to families.