I’m Lewis, I'm a 33-year-old fitness enthusiast from Devon, originally from London. I am a proud father to my daughter Ruby who recently turned 9 years old; I am however, a father to two other babies, not with us today.
Before 2010 I am sad to say, baby loss was a subject I knew very little about, to me it was an extremely rare occurrence and something you only ever heard about when it was a news topic – which was also rare. Fast forward to the middle of 2010 and I then realised just how shockingly common it actually is, my partner at the time and I lost our son, during the second trimester.
Why did this happen to us, what did we ever do wrong to deserve this?
That day in March 2010 will never leave me, seeing my son being born on a scan bed, shortly after being told all was fine with the pregnancy.
The months after are now a blur, I can recall every ill feeling and heartbreaking moment when you see other parents with their children, it’s just not ok to feel that way, ever.
The one question you never get answered is, ‘why?’. Almost 11 years later, that question still isn’t answered.
Safe to say I haven’t and never will be able to move on from what happened in 2010, this year was just a further reminder.
Earlier this year my partner had a miscarriage. We were in the first trimester when we were told that the baby had stopped living. That heartbreaking feeling returned. That twisting in your gut and numbness in your heart. We didn’t get very long to enjoy this pregnancy, in fact, I couldn’t really enjoy it at all through worry and fear. I wish I had been wrong. The look in my girlfriend’s eyes will stick with me forever. How do you comfort her? What do you say? She doesn’t deserve this. We have to stop this happening as much as we can.
Since 2010 I have been fundraising for Tommy’s - mainly running and other fitness events. I have slogged for hours and hours, completing 100-mile runs and 1000’s of burpees, just to raise some precious funds for Tommy’s, hopefully to help stop this happening to other families.
Tommy’s is amazing in many ways, but to me the best part of Tommy’s is bringing people together. Making people realize they aren’t alone in what has happened. I have met so many people through this amazing charity, both at races and on online forums.
I met my friend James a couple of years back, we quickly realised the importance of Tommy’s to one another. We were both fathers to children we raise and to children we didn’t get the chance to.
As fathers you can often feel alone, helpless and left with a feeling that you shouldn’t be feeling as bad as you do, you weren’t carrying the baby so you shouldn’t be feeling as bad as the mother, you’ve got no right. That is a heartbreaking feeling. It’s hard to talk about.
We are doing this for the fathers, as well as the mothers.
I met Lewis in 2018 when I asked Lewis for some personal training sessions at our local gym. We hit it off and through casual conversation about Lewis’ tattoos I found out he had lost his son. I had never spoken to anyone about my own losses before, certainly not another man.
I then joined his running club 'KPR' with the aim to get fit and help raise money for Tommy's with like-minded people, many of whom have experienced baby loss themselves. It felt good to be running with people who had been through similar experiences and to spend time with other guys, that understood it from a man’s perspective.
As Lewis says, being men in this awful situation we feel like we have to be strong and brave for our partners because they have a physical and deeper emotional connection to what has happened.
My wife and I first experienced miscarriage back in 2009, when my wife Gemma had two miscarriages in the same year. We were both in our mid-twenties and were devasted by the losses.
Thankfully, we have been lucky enough to go on to have three lovely baby boys, Toby in 2011, Louis in 2014 and Kit in 2017. We are a happy family and I count my lucky stars that I have been able to become a dad and Gemma become the loving super mum that she is today.
Unfortunately, my wife Gemma had another miscarriage earlier this year and it was an extremely hard time in what has proved to be an extremely difficult year for many. We went to our 12-week scan and unfortunately all was not as we hoped it would be. We then had to wait another agonizing week before it was confirmed that we had lost the baby. Gemma had surgery and we went home to try and recover physically and mentally from another traumatic loss.
This experience has strengthened my desire to help raise money for all the babies that have been lost and to help babies and families in the future.
At the start of year we had the idea of a joint project, to make a sock brand in aid of Tommy’s. Together, that was the name we came up with again and again, the more we said it the more it made sense. Together Socks, we are all in this Together.
Not only do socks go together to make a pair, we hope that by wearing our socks parents can be reminded of the babies they have lost and feel like they are together whenever they put their socks on. Our aim is to raise money for Tommy’s, but we also want to raise awareness of baby loss and hope our bright pink socks can be a conversation starter.
We have created some stylish Tommy’s pink socks, designed for sporting occasions and for casual wear. 50% of any profits go straight to Tommy’s.
The staff at Tommy’s have supported us from day one and have been beyond amazing with their help. Thank you, Thank you Tommy’s for bringing people together, for bringing strangers into our lives that have now become close friends, Together.