Josh and I met in 2018, thanks to a mutual friend (our children's Godfather, Dan) playing cupid. We fell pregnant in 2021 and couldn’t wait to start a family together.
The pregnancy was uncomplicated and supposedly low-risk. We had no problems, and felt more excited than anxious. But, our world fell apart in November when our son, Harrison Joshua, was stillborn. It was a complete shock.
We were desperate to understand what had happened and would not accept it was just 'one of those things'. We made the most painful decision as parents to opt for a post-mortem.
We were one of the lucky families to receive answers, which concluded our son was healthy but there was an issue with the placenta that had failed him. It was not news we were expecting and we didn't know much about how important placenta are.
Coping with loss
Losing Harrison was heartbreaking. But there have been a few things that have helped me to cope with my grief.
I had the most amazing Bereavement Midwife, Anwen, who truly supported me in every way possible. I also found counselling helped me begin to process the trauma, as well as attending a support group. I've met the most amazing group of friends, and now only surround myself with those who are there to support us.
Our rainbow girl
Heartbroken and grieving, we decided to continue growing our family, and were blessed to fall pregnant again. This pregnancy was terrifying and filled with anxiety, until we met with Prof Alex Heazell at the Rainbow Clinic in Manchester.
Prof Heazell scanned our baby and the placenta, and provided us with reassurance that empowered us to push for more monitoring in our local hospital. We also started low-dose aspirin and vitamin D, on Prof's advice.
My husband and I visited Tommy's Rainbow Clinic twcie during the pregnancy, to check the placenta and our baby. It was a 4 hour drive for us, but it was worth every minute and mile.
Our rainbow baby, Daisy, was born safe and well via emergency C-section. Without this monitoring things could have been very different, again, and we are so grateful to Tommy's for their support in getting her here safe.
I haven't always understood the term 'Rainbow Baby'. I hated the thought of Harrison being considered a storm, but now I see it as the grief following his death was the storm.
Thank you, Tommy's
The care we received from Tommy's Midwives and Prof Alexander Heazell will stay with us for life. It made the most terrifying time of our lives more manageable and gave us hope. We feel so lucky to have had this world-class support and so grateful for the research being carried out by Tommy's to prevent stillbirth.
In October 2022, Josh ran the London Marathon in memory of Harrison and raised £2,500+. This is in addition to the £4,500+ we raised in the weeks following Harrison's death, which supported the new Bereavement Suite at our local hospital.