Author Archives: Mands

All for Isabelle – The story of Petals In The Park

Stillbirth is the devastating reality for far too many of us here in the UK. In the face of such crippling grief, the knowledge that we can reach out for help, for support and understanding is vital. Most of that help comes in the form of charitable organisations who rely on the generosity of the public to keep going.

Today I’m linking to Clare from Mud & Nettles. Her latest post tells the story of her friend Amelia and the loss of her daughter, Isabelle. It also tells of the amazing work Amelia has done in fundraising for the charity ‘Petals‘ who helped Amelia through such dark times.

 

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Flying Free, Moving Forward

This morning grief hit me like a tidal wave, unexpected and all consuming I wailed at the sudden longing and emptiness that was dragging me under again. My heart physically aching, I buried my face into the pillow to drown out the sound of my own cries, a sound I can’t bear, disconnected and not of myself.

That’s what grief does, sneaks up on you when you least expect it, destroying the façade of normality you’ve been building back up, and forcing you to feel everything all over again.

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Saying Goodbye – A ‘Good’ Funeral

I imagine it sounds a little strange describing a funeral as ‘beautiful’, but that’s exactly what Robyn’s funeral was…beautiful. Fate finally smiled upon on us, and the help that we received organising the funeral was amazing, but it could of turned out so very differently. Our inability as a society to talk about death, especially the death of a baby leaves us scared and floundering when we are suddenly faced with every parents worst nightmare…arranging your own baby’s funeral. Continue reading

Baking Therapy – Coping With Grief

If you’ve got a sweet tooth and like a slice of cake get round to our house and help yourself! It seems my coping mechanism is to bake, cook and then bake some more. Fortunately I haven’t got that much of a sweet tooth, so I don’t eat all that much of my own baking, I just palm it all off on friends and family. Baking comes fairly easy to me, I’m almost on auto pilot when I do bake.
After the shock of Robyn’s death had eased a little, I made my way back into the kitchen. I’ll admit I stuffed up a couple of recipes and binned some flat, rather disgusting tasting cakes, but it wasn’t long before the baking zen kicked in again (thanks Nan).

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I Don’t Believe In Angels

This is the post I really want you to read. If you read no other on my blog, that’s fair do’s but please don’t skip over this one!
Why? well it’s Dying Matters Awareness week, yes that’s right dying, death, the subject no-one wants to talk about, to the point we don’t tell our loved ones our dying wishes, we don’t make wills, most of us won’t have a ‘good death’, and subjects like terminal illness still remain too upsetting for many to talk about, ostracising patients and making an already traumatic time even more uncomfortable for everyone.

The subject I want to discuss is baby loss; miscarriage, stillbirths and neonatal deaths. Seemingly the most taboo subject of all, with people outright refusing to discuss the death of a baby…but we have to! Understanding and knowledge empowers, but ignoring the issue makes research, prevention and change nearly impossible.
We will be saying our final goodbyes to our baby girl, Robyn on the 30th of May and my biggest hope now is that people don’t ignore the terrible fact that here in the UK (2015 stats for 2013), one in every 216 births was a stillbirth, and one in every 370 babies died within the first 4 weeks of life. I don’t want any parent to have to experience the heartbreak we have, so it’s time to start the conversation.

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All Is Dream

All Is Dream

I’m writing this first and foremost for family and friends. I think those of you who know me well, know that I don’t like to ‘talk’, I don’t express my emotions easily, I’m not a sharer. The past few days have been filled with well meaning health professionals sat….waiting…watching…expecting (in vain) an emotional response. Neither me nor Tom want or feel comfortable publicly sharing our grief, tears, anger, snot… 🙂 Together though we are an unstoppable team who will get through this, in our own time and in our own way.
Part of that ‘way’ for me is blogging. I started blogging 5 years ago, just before I discovered I had breast cancer. I found that writing a blog was very cathartic, and the only way at the time I could openly express all the emotions I was feeling. I wish I’d of kept that blog going, but I figured, ‘I’ve moved on I don’t need this anymore’. Now, well it seems the right thing to do, to keep this blog alive. As ironic as it sounded to me at first, ‘Mother Mands’, I AM a mother and I need to write, to tell our story, it’s up to you if you want to carry on reading knowing the subject I’m about to discuss is the death of our daughter.

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