We were grateful to love and continue to love him so completely.

In June 2022, Adam’s son Joshua was sadly stillborn at 41 weeks. He says opening up and discussing how he feels with his wife and loved ones has helped him through the darkest of times.

Our son Joshua 

My wife fell pregnant with our second child, a boy, in September of 2021. As a family, we spent many precious moments talking to bump, telling him about our day and singing songs altogether. We were all so excited and couldn't wait to meet him.

With my wife 40 weeks and 6 days pregnant, we attended what should have been a routine overdue appointment. We went in to discuss inducing, but once we arrived, our world turned upside down. Our baby boy no longer had a heartbeat. He died before he'd even had a chance to have a life. It was heartbreaking.

This heartbreak got worse when I realised my wife would still have to go through the pain of labour knowing the awful outcome. She did so the next day and our beautiful son arrived, weighing 7lb 13oz. Our baby looked an awful lot like our daughter, his older sister.

Saying goodbye 

We had a precious 24 hours with our son to say goodbye. Some of our immediate family came to meet him and say goodbye themselves, and others did so over video call. The time came where we had to leave the room knowing we could never see him in person again. Although those 24 hours were bittersweet as they were both hello and goodbye, we were grateful to love and continue to love him so completely.

The care we received from both the midwives and staff at the hospital was excellent. We were all treated with compassion and sensitivity.

We then had to return home and tell our daughter Abigail that her baby brother had died and wouldn't be coming home after all. It was heartbreaking as she'd already grown such a bond with him, telling bump about her day and how they would play together.

Finding answers

Soon after losing Joshua, we started the process of trying to find answers. We went through all the full post-mortem and investigations to find no cause. This left us with mixed emotions - on one hand we had no reason, so why did it happen? But then on the other, because there was no reason, nothing could have been done and we there was hopefully no reason for it to happen again.

A boat with Joshua James and a rainbow on it

Opening up

So why am I telling you all this deeply personal, tragic event? It's because hardly anyone seems to talk about pregnancy loss. 1 in 4 pregnancies end in loss, whether through miscarriage, stillbirth or other kinds of loss. Yet, many feel unable to talk openly about their experiences.

I doubt it's a surprise that as a mental health professional I believe that being able to open up and truly talk about how you are feeling is important.

My wife and I talk about how we're doing everyday, even if to tell the other it's a harder day or need some space. That communication hopefully means as we continue through the darkest of times we'll find solace in each other and our loved ones.

It's fair to say Joshua's memory lives on in us. We talk about him all the time. But it does hurt to know he and Abigail never got to properly know each other and grow together.

Creating something positive

Since losing Joshua, we have sadly had a miscarriage, which left us again feeling lost. We’re also now pregnant, which we’re so excited about, but our experience with baby loss has left us a lot more anxious and cautious than we were before.

I hope that by sharing our story we can help raise awareness. If our story helps other families feel less alone in this most horrendous of experiences, then at least something positive can be taken away.