Tommy's guest blog, 12/09/2016, by Jess Clasby-Monk
Many of you who contact Tommy’s and bravely share your stories wonder what to call yourself following the loss of your baby.
The absence of your baby means you struggle to know whether to refer to yourself as a mother or father.
Jess from The Legacy of Leo sums up the feeling as “fraud” in an early blog post following the stillbirth of her baby boy, Leo.
“I’m a mother. And I feel like a mother. But what does a new mother look like? It’s a mother with a baby. I see them out and about and I recognise them. And I do not look like that. For my baby is not with me.”
Jess looks back on how she felt in the early, intense days of grief and compares it to how she feels now as she dons her Tiba & Marl Selfish Mother sweater, £10 of which goes to Tommy’s with each sale.
“I was hoping, almost 6 months on, I’d feel different – but it’s all still so true. Motherhood after stillbirth and miscarriage is a complex one. You are the invisible mother. The bereaved mother.”
Tommy’s collaboration with Selfish Mother is helping fund vital research to save babies lives as well as helping us shout about the unacceptable statistic that a quarter of all pregnancies will end in loss in the UK.
For Jess this collaboration has given her confidence in calling herself a mother.
“Selfish Mothers’ collaborations with Tommy’s has really validated what we all know. We know that we are mothers. And that is a special, incredible gift to give the baby loss world.”
We are so pleased that Tommy’s and Selfish Mother have empowered Jess in this way and hope it has done the same for other mothers out there.
These sweaters are more than just an item of clothing. They are a show of solidarity with the 1 in 4 parents whose pregnancy ends in lost.
They are a sign that we see your motherhood and we support it.
Are you struggling to know how to best support someone following a stillbirth? Read our advice on comforting a bereft mother or father here.
Read Jess’ original blog post here.
Want to wear one of our Selfish Mother Tiba + Marl sweaters or T-shirts? Get shopping here.
Kings College London published a new study today, which found that more women suffer with mental health during pregnancy than previously thought.
Tommy's own Professor Andrew Shennan has been recognised with an OBE for his work in maternity services.
We have received a huge amount of coverage for our #SleepOnSide campaign this week. These are some of the commonly asked questions about the research and the campaign, and our responses.
Nicola writes beautiful and uplifting posts about her experience of losing her first baby, Winter Wolfe, and parenting her second child, Raven Rain. Here she explains why she’s supporting Tommy’s Sleep On Side campaign.
I didn't need ten days, I passed my baby the next day, I knew I was no longer pregnant, the second scan confirmed a blighted ovum, but to me that wasn't a blighted ovum, that was my baby.
On that Monday I remember saying to the nurse, "I'm worried it might be ectopic." Her reply was that it probably wasn't. And that was that.
The best thing anyone said to us was that parenthood is a roller coaster, sometimes right from the start - I think it sums up our experience perfectly.
I have always been someone who believes in everything happens for a reason but when something happens THRICE I can only try to be positive.