As part of baby loss awareness week 2018 I have been so lucky to have some really inspirational families willing to share their stories of loss and parenting, having been blessed to go on to have their rainbow babies.

The first story I am sharing is from Beki, here is her story…

I’m Beki, I’m 32 and live in Blackpool. I have been married to my amazing husband for the last 12 years and we have four children, a heaven born baby boy, and three girls. I am passionate about supporting women and have two businesses in which I can do that, one through being a Babywearing consultant and Doula – Serenity Bloom, and the other through making affirmation cards and gifts – Believe in ME.

Our first pregnancy ended in a late miscarriage, after being told at the 20 week scan that our baby wouldn’t survive being born. We found out a week later at another scan that the heartbeat had stopped and I gave birth to our beautiful baby boy at 23 weeks gestation. He never got to experience this world but he is so very loved. 

We got pregnant fairly quickly after losing our first baby and on reflection were still in the midst of grief. Nothing prepares you for having to walk away and leave your baby in the hospital, the pain and the guilt that rages through you some days is too much to bear. But the hope of having a baby in our arms somehow pushed its way through the darkness and we clung to it.

Finding out we were pregnant for the second time was a mixed bundle of emotion, initially we were filled with joy and then the fear started to creep in, can we go through that again?

Because we didn’t find out until the 20 week scan that our baby wouldn’t survive being born if they got that far into the pregnancy, it was a long time until we had that reassurance that everything was ok. People around us were positive and happy, especially after the 12 week scan but those first 20 weeks were a battle against fear for us and quite a lonely time as no-one really understood what we were going through.

The stigma surrounding baby loss is still so prevalent, it wasn’t until we lost our baby that we even knew anyone who’d had a miscarriage and then people trickled in quietly and shared their stories, it’s like joining a secret club that you never want to be a part of but are so thankful to find.

Having a newborn at home for the first time is hard and even more so when you are wrestling with guilt. The guilt that we wouldn’t have had her if our first baby had survived, the guilt that we’d replaced him, the guilt that we should be enjoying every moment because we wanted her so much. So many thoughts and feelings and too tired to process! I think until you go through that experience you don’t realise how complicated and emotive it is. To everyone else you’ve got a baby and you’re happy and times moved on. For us we are always living with a part of our family missing. We miss him every day.
On July 19th 2008, almost exactly a year after the birth of our heaven born baby, I gave birth to our daughter. I didn’t have any fear going in to labour and the birth was quick and smooth because I knew it was going to be a better experience than last time. My first labour was an induction and 36 hours on morphine, in so much pain and knowing my baby was already dead.

My body was fighting to keep the baby inside my womb and the drugs were forcing it out. And after all that, having to leave the hospital with empty arms and a broken heart. So I knew this time would be easier and it was, and our beautiful baby girl came into the world after a six hour labour and only gas and air as pain relief. We named her Sky Amber which means miraculous creation, precious jewel – our beautiful miracle, our rainbow baby. She fulfilled a promise and brought hope back into our lives and we are forever thankful for that.

We have gone on to have two more girls who are so full of life. We have always talked about their big brother to them and every year on his birthday we go to the cemetery where he’s buried and take time to remember him together. Now the girls are older they make him birthday cards and read them out to him and we go for a special birthday meal afterwards. It’s such a special time for us as a family. He may not be here in person but he’s alive in our hearts and minds and although they’ve never met him the girls love him and include him in their family pictures that they draw.

Parenting after loss is really hard some days but it also carries a joy and appreciation that we may not have had. We openly share our story because we don’t want anyone else in a similar position to us to ever feel that they are going through it alone.

If you have connected with this story and you would like some support yourself, you can follow me, Helen Grimshaw, on social media by clicking the links below
If you are planning your rainbow pregnancy, are already pregnant or have your baby here safe, you are welcome to join my closed facebook group, by clicking this link. A warm welcome awaits.