Since the loss of her daughter, Orla, Michelle has been penning beautiful dedications on her Tommy’s Award-winning blog, Dear Orla.
This year, she welcomed her adorable rainbow, Esme. Amazing, fulfilling, confusing, exhausting – parenting after loss is a roller-coaster, and it's something Michelle's written about often.
"Pregnancy after loss was hard. Parenting is hard. Parenting after loss is H.A.R.D. The constant worrying, questioning and comparing. The pressure to love and cherish every moment because of how hard your journey has been."
Telling your story over and over
One of the difficulties Michelle has mentioned is the need to repeat her story to different health professionals when they ask, "Is this your first baby?". It's a common scenario for many parents who have experienced loss and it can be upsetting and painful each and every time.
A simple solution: stickers
To help parents show rather than tell their story, Michelle teamed up with her friend Lisa Robinson to design two beautiful stickers for rainbow babies’ red books. These will notify health visitors and doctors that the mums or dads in their care may need some additional understanding and help to navigate the emotions they may be feeling.
Where to get them
'Parenting is a journey that is shaped by many different experiences, but the loss of a baby is totally unique and can very much influence future parenting experiences. Recognising a previous loss is imperative to supporting parents with the anxieties and vulnerabilities of adjusting to life with their next baby. It is necessary to acknowledge that taking home a live baby does not provide a resolve or end to a loss but actually places greater importance on creating a safe space to discuss ongoing anxieties and thoughts as much as the parents need.' Kate, Tommy's Midwifery manager and practising health visitor