Rainbow Babies, Sleeping Babies & A Baby Who Broke The Odds
Getting pregnant for some is easy and for others it’s a heart wrenching journey. Miscarriage and stillbirth are very real too. They’re still taboo subjects, mainly brought on by the discomfort of those around who simply do not know how to react or what to say.
In this blog, I talk about my own loss and my rainbow baby, my work with Remember My Baby and families who have experienced the loss of a baby. I also bring you a story of Faith. You will see the hope and great resilience of a family who didn’t expect their baby to survive, but is here despite all of the odds against her. And finally, I have a gift for any family who has experienced loss and is now expecting their Rainbow Baby.
My Journey to Motherhood
I never expected to fall pregnant easily, I don’t know why. Maybe it was my natural pessimism. Or maybe a little realism that we could very be one of the 16% of couples that take over a year to fall pregnant, or maybe never succeed.
We were lucky. I fell pregnant within 2 months of coming off the pill with my first daughter. We nervously awaited our scans and we were blessed with a healthy 7lb 11oz baby girl.
The 2nd pregnancy wasn’t plain sailing and I miscarried at 9 weeks. Nothing prepared me for the devastation of that feeling. To have lost a child, whom I’d already envisioned being part of our family. Little moments already played out in my mind… Holding them in my arms for the first time and watching our 2 children play together. As a second time mum I knew what to expect and I felt so much more relaxed about the whole thing that I allowed myself to think it was safe to envisage a future with my baby. And then there was no more baby.
My experience of loss and the lack of compassion from my doctor will never leave me. At first, when I noticed a show of blood I contacted my midwife straight away. She told me not to panic and that it was likely a settling bleed and was likely normal. But if it didn’t slow or stop to contact them the following day. Over night it worsened, with severe stomach cramps. I knew I had lost my baby and had very little hope that I might be wrong. Having looked online and spoken with a relative who worked on a gynae ward, I felt I needed an early pregnancy scan (EPS) to confirm what I already knew and ensure that everything was as it should be given my loss.
On the Friday I called my doctor, who listened to what had happened. She told me bluntly, you have had a miscarriage, nothing can be done. You need to wait for the process to complete (or words to that effect) and should you have any further intermittent bleeding or heavier bleeding than normal, then come see us. Despite my very rational response that I agreed I had almost certainly miscarried, she refused to send me for an EPS, saying that they would not see me as it was clear that I had miscarried and there was no necessity for them to scan me. I felt like I was a hinderance, this was just one of those things. Get over it, move on. This happens all the time. I insisted that she called to get me a scan and call me back. That phone call never came.
So a day later, on the Saturday, and still bleeding heavily, I called the labour ward. They were amazing. Listened to my concerns and agreed that regardless, I needed an EPS to confirm and to clarify if any intervention was needed. I was given an appointment for the Monday morning, and I was so grateful to speak with someone who had compassion and empathy. The appointment came, and the miscarriage was confirmed & we were grateful to know that no medical intervention was required.
I was left feeling lost and empty, with nothing to do but accept & move on with life. Even now, I feel such raw emotion for the baby I lost almost 7 years ago. We were fortunate however, to fall pregnant again within a few months & be blessed with our Rainbow Baby. A healthy daughter just under a year later, but our angel baby still stays with me in my thoughts to this day.
I thank my lucky stars that we have our girls. Like most parents, we can often feel tired by the bickering, but we are so lucky. And it’s because of this that I wanted to give my time and skills to help families that have experienced the loss of a baby born sleeping. In September 2018, I was accepted as a volunteer photographer for Remember My Baby. Since then I have met 5 little angels along with their families.
This wonderful charity was founded on 18thAugust 2014 by 8 women who had all been touched by loss.
Remember My Baby is a UK registered charity whose professional volunteer photographers visit families who may be experiencing the loss of their baby before, during or shortly after birth.
When a family loses a lifetime’s potential for capturing milestones as their child grows, we will capture a precious baby with parents, siblings and extended family for free. Each family will receive a ‘free gift’ of high resolution digital images with a copyright license to print for their own personal use.
Since 2014, we have given the gift of memorial photography to 3000 families across the UK.
If you would like to know more about this wonderful charity please click here
And if you would like to donate to this wonderful charity, please click here
I feel very blessed to be able to offer my time and experience to help families experiencing loss, and I now plan to extend on this by offering one complimentary newborn photoshoot per month, for any family, living in Sussex, who have previously had a baby born sleeping.
Always have Faith…
In March I noticed a remarkable post from a previous client on Facebook. Vicki had brought her young son Logan to me for a 1st Birthday Cakesmash session and a Christmas Mini Shoot. Unbeknown to me, and most other people outside of close friends and family, Vicki had concealed her recent pregnancy and surprised us all by announcing that she and her partner had a new addition. Faith was 50 days old when they finally felt that they could shout about their beautiful baby. Here are Vicki’s words describing their journey…
“Faith is a true miracle baby, early in the pregnancy we were made aware that she had incredibly small odds for survival. After birth she had major brain surgery and had damaged brain tissue removed and has recovered beautifully. We are yet to know what the future holds for Faith but she has already proven that she is a strong and determined baby. She is our little miracle.”
I also knew that Vicki had previously experienced the loss of a baby, when her son Finn was born sleeping at 21 weeks. On seeing news of Faith, I wanted to do the only thing I could to show my total admiration and respect for Vicki and her family. I asked if I could photograph her family and Baby Faith. It was clear to see that Faith’s prognoses was unknown and I wanted to gift them photographs of their special girl. I’m very happy to say she accepted!
We had such fun at her photoshoot. Faith was an absolute diamond and her little brother Logan had us all in stitches as he demolished any piece of food in sight. Big sister Lily, is a natural behind the camera and such a credit to her mum, helping with both Faith and Logan.
The images we captured are priceless. They will always be special to both Vicki, Nick, and her Mum who also features in the images.
Click on the video link to see the full gallery of Faith’s Photoshoot…
6 months on and Faith, at only 9 months old has surprised everyone, including her medical team. Considering her parents were given no hope during pregnancy, Faith is doing extraordinarily well.
Faith has lots of challenges ahead of her, but continues to show us all what a wonderfully strong willed little girl she is. Her family are incredibly proud and are taking things one day at a time with their amazing little warrior.
If your family have experienced the loss of a baby born sleeping and you’re now expecting your rainbow baby, you can apply for a complimentary newborn photoshoot, by completing the application form.
The session is completely free and you will receive up to 15 images by digital download.
Due to my own diary commitments I can offer one complimentary session per month only. Miscarriage and loss of a baby happens all too frequently & it’s my hope that this blog will help to raise awareness of miscarriage & stillbirth.
Whilst I would love to be able to offer this service to families who have experienced loss at any stage in pregnancy, the complimentary photoshoot is applicable to those who have lost a baby after 22 weeks.