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).
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.
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.