National Baby Loss Awareness Week
Supporting Sands Charity
To help raise awareness of Baby Loss Awareness Week, Wilsons has donated to Sands, the stillbirth and neonatal death charity. They work to support anyone in the UK affected by the death of a baby, improve the care received by bereaved parents and promote research to reduce the loss of babies' lives.
We believe that it’s so important to raise as much awareness about this subject as possible. With this in mind, we’ve shared the story of Peter, a personal story of loss from one of our own Directors:
“My son was born on the same day as the Zeebrugge ferry disaster. He would be in his thirties now. He arrived on his due date following a textbook pregnancy. When I arrived at Epsom hospital in the early stages of labour, a student nurse listened for his heartbeat with an ear trumpet. Stupid girl I thought, but tried to be patient and still whilst she tried again. They then tried the monitor, and eventually said they would break my waters and put a clip on the baby's head.
I didn’t know then, that the 'tell tale' meconium confirmed what they already knew. Still I was concentrating on my labour, not worried, thinking they were simply faffing about. The words "I'm very sorry, there is no heartbeat. Your baby has died", will always stay with me. I felt so sorry for the poor midwife who had to tell me.
“Five hours later I was holding my 7lb 7oz son, my first child. They handed him to me, I touched his hand, his face, held his beautiful perfect body to me. I then touched his penis and I remember the exact words that went through my mind "you'll never do any damage!", it was an innocent, jokey, blokey thought, but my loss was of him, and my future grandchildren... and my future. This future ended with his death.
“The events of those hours, days and weeks that followed are still as clear as if they were yesterday. Pain, disbelief and anguish that I can't give words to. The post mortem found no cause. He was perfect and healthy and his death had no explanation.
“I would not change my three daughters that would never have been born if he had lived, given the subsequent birth intervals. They are everything to me. I don't think about baby Peter all the time, or even often, but he will always be my son, my future and my lost future. My daughters never knew him, but he is their brother.
“Every year on his anniversary, 5th March, I remember him and also those who died on the Zeebrugge ferry disaster. When I see boys born in 1987 (the year of the great storm) achieving life events of starting school, leaving school, getting their first job, getting girlfriends, getting married or having their own children, I think back to my son's lost future. His lost opportunity of life. It is just so sad to grow and then bear a perfect, but dead child.
“As a director of a fourth generation Epsom business, when people say 'it's funny how you Wilson women only breed girls', I smile knowingly and say nothing. Talk of dead babies is a conversation stopper and mums like me know the betrayal of silence.
“I am writing this for all the other mums and dads, and grandparents, who always thought they would outlive their children. I want to show my support for National Baby Loss Awareness Week. Each year, the 9th-15th October is Baby Loss Awareness Week and it is an opportunity for parents, their families and friends to acknowledge and remember their precious babies, who have sadly passed away.
“It’s also an opportunity to banish the taboo around the subject and raise awareness of the emotional impact of pregnancy and infant loss, which affects up to one in five families in the UK. The subject was even raised in the House of Commons, where Labour MP Vicky Foxcroft, bravely spoke of her own experience of the death of her baby daughter. It’s only through courageous acts that people will begin to not feel ashamed of discussing such a distressing subject.”