Tommy's guest blog, 16/12/2016, Susan Jackson
Losing a baby is devastating. Unfortunately, Christmas can be a painful reminder of the reality you may now find yourself faced with, different to the one you had hoped for.
It’s also so hard to know how to comfort and be there for someone who is in pain and grieving their loss.
For some women, including their baby in the festivities is an important way of coping. It allows some mums to feel that their baby is involved and a part of their families’ Christmas traditions.
For Susan Jackson, receiving a glass bauble with a white feather in it the Christmas after her baby girl was stillborn meant the world.
Susan was pregnant with identical twins but, for reasons still unknown, her baby Evie was born sleeping. Susan was left to take Ella home, leaving her sister alone in the hospital.
Coping after this kind of heartbreak is incredibly difficult. Looking back, Susan told us that there are just no words to describe this pain and no words to console someone who has suffered it.
That’s why when her auntie, who has lost 2 babies herself, gave Susan a feather bauble to commemorate Evie and acknowledge their loss, it empowered Susan to begin making her own for other bereaved parents.
‘You’re trying to put on a smiley face, trying to pretend that everything is ok. You feel so isolated when you lose a baby because people just don’t know what to say and really, there is nothing they can say. But a gift like this shows someone that you’re thinking of them and that you’re acknowledging their loss. A gift like this is actually all it takes.’
Susan sells these baubles at the charity Christmas fayres she organises. Across 6 years of fundraising, Susan and her supporters have managed to donated over £47,000 to Tommy’s!
The baubles are by far the most popular item and Susan guesses that she has sold over 400 in the last year alone.
‘If the money we raise will help one little baby a year make it, then we’ll have made our little girl proud.’
If you’d like your own feather bauble this year, you can get in touch with Susan at [email protected] and place your order.
You can read our midwife Sophie’s advice for those of you facing Christmas without your baby here. We hope you find it comforting and useful at what we know can be a difficult time.
Clinical Director of Tommy’s Preterm Surveillance Clinic Professor Andy Shennan says the clinic will continue to support families and babies born too soon this Christmas.
'I know it’s silly, really: there is no actual difference between 23:59 on December 31 and 00:01 on January 1...'
Blogger Leigh from Headspace Perspective writes an insightful and touching piece about the challenges of letting go of a year in which you've lost a baby.
Al from The Dad Network talks to us about how recurrent miscarriage has made he and his wife stronger. They’re preparing to celebrate this Christmas as a family and focus on being grateful for what they have.
'Christmas is a time of cheer, of celebration and happiness. But what if your heart doesn't match this ideal?'
Blogger Michelle who writes at Dear Orla, writes about pregnancy after loss this festive season.