Yes, I have been told this. No, I am not.
I chose to share Otis and his story because I refuse to let my little boy become part of a statistic.
When you become a mummy, it becomes your duty to protect your child.
When you become a mummy and your child dies, it becomes your duty to protect your child’s memory.
Stillbirth is the unspoken word of pregnancy. It’s a statistic. It’s taboo. It’s a stigma. It’s also reality. Not once through my pregnancy was I told ”stillbirth happens” or made aware of how OFTEN stillbirth happens. In this day and age, with the access we have to technology, it should not be happening.
A ‘stillborn’ baby defines a baby born with no heartbeat over 24 weeks of gestation. Over 3500 babies are stillborn every year in the UK. A lot of people associate these babies with having something wrong with them when, in reality, only 1 in 10 babies that are stillborn have a genetic abnormality or serious condition that prevents them from living a full life or being completely incompatible with life. How SCARY is that? 9 out of 10 babies that pass away in utero do so for ”no reason” … due to ”tragic accident” (starvation of oxygen, blood clots getting in to the umbilical cord etc).
Stillbirth needs to be spoken about. This is the reason I am sharing our story.
Before Otis I was more than ignorant to stillbirth myself, because I never expected it to happen to me. I was aware of it, I knew what it was, but I didn’t know at all what it entailed and I certainly didn’t know just how common it is.
Since sharing Otis’ story I have had people come forward telling me how thankful they are and how much they appreciate me speaking up. I’ve had numerous people tell me that it’s thanks to me and Otis they now have the strength to share their stories too.
That was lovely. My mom had a still birth when I was 3ish and I don’t remember anything about that time. Reading your posts and, especially this blog post, make me curious about my reaction at that time. It is encouraging me to have a conversation with my mom about that time in our lives. Thank you for that. – Amanda.
I always hesitated to read your blog before because it does bring back memories of my twins but something made me read this one and i had to say thank you! Reading this was hard yes not a dry eye here but i needed that… Its ok to not be ok sometimes… Im happy to see your girls are doing ok through this experience. Huge hugs. – Martine.
Beautiful! I had a stillbirth in November. At that time my older boys were 18 months and 3. And I have to agree my heart broke into a million more pieces, too, when my 3 year old asked why I didn’t bring his baby sister home. 8 months later, he still talks about her being in heaven. I always wonder if it’s something he will remember or just fade away. As I was sent far away to a specialty hospital to deliver and the boys never got to meet her. I guess time will tell. Thank you for Sharing. It makes it more comfortable to talk about what happened to us in November. – Tanisha.
That was beautiful. Reminded me a lot of how I felt when my own brother didn’t come home from the hospital. I’m so glad your girls got to see him, I truly believe it will make all of the difference in their lives. I know I wish I had. Thank you for using your experience in such a powerful positive way. Hugs to you from across the pond. – Danielle.
Those messages, right there, are why I am doing what I do.
Since I started sharing our journey of grief, countless men and women – mummies and daddies – have told me about their journey with stillbirth; each one harrowing, each one different to the next. I’m happy people trust me to share, I’m happy people find the courage to share, but it frustrates me that there are so many people in the same situation as me. It upsets me knowing there are so many people who only have a gravestone or a tub of ashes to look at when they speak to their child. I hate knowing that there were so many people before me who know this pain, and I hate even more, now knowing what this pain feels like, that there are so many people after me who will know this pain.
So for those who insist on believing that I am sharing Otis’ story purely for attention, please know that you could not be more wrong. I would give the world to be sharing stories about my 1 month old baby and how he would just be learning to smile for the first time. I would give the world to be sharing pictures of my growing boy. I would give the world to have announced to the world that my 5lbs1oz bundle of pure perfection was born crying. I would give the world to see my son with his eyes open, even just the once. I would give my very last breath, just to see Otis take his first.
Every single time I write about Otis my heart breaks, it takes a LOT out of me to do this. It is mentally and emotionally exhausting, forcing myself to remember every last feeling and every last memory that another part of me is trying to force myself to forget and move forward from. Every time I write about Otis, I grieve that bit more for what should, could and would have been. Every time I write about Otis, I get a small realisation that my little boy is dead, adding to the bigger realisation that my little boy is NEVER coming home. I don’t do this for me. I do this for Otis, and the 3500+ other babies born with no voice.