How Do You Tell Someone Your Baby Died?

When a person passes away from old age you expect and know what happens, we get old, we die. It’s blunt but there is no words because that’s what’s supposed to happen when we have a wonderful life and get old.

When a baby dies at birth it’s totally different, how do you go on to say to your family and friends, I had my baby but she died. It’s really difficult, it’s heartbreaking and it’s really painful.

It’s really shit having to have to try and say the words “my baby died” it’s hard enough hearing it for yourself but trying to say that to another person is soul destroying. I can remember when we find out about Violets heartbeat we were both in shock and didn’t know what to do or how to react. We didn’t phone any one we got through the next few hours of giving birth to our precious daughter. All I can remember is ringing my mum my hands were shaking , I was hot with anxiety because I didn’t know what to say, we had given birth to Violet I just cried and cried I told her it wasn’t good news and that Violet was born with no heartbeat. She screamed down the phone and said “is there not anything they can do?” My dad spoke to me and said we will give it an hour and come down. My sister then phoned and I explained what had happened. Sitting there crying I didn’t have a clue what was going on I wanted everything to be ok and wake up from this nightmare.

I can only describe the pain of what felt like a dagger going through my heart and stabbing it a million times, my baby had died and I had to explain to all these people who loved us that she was no longer here or going to be. After Violet was born we were moved into the observation room where I had to be looked after as I was recovering with Sepsis. My husband Ashley had already rang his mum and let her know what had happened with Violet she was really upset but calm. I still don’t know how my husband felt because it’s something we never discussed. He over come the fear and he did it better than I could. Our family came to visit us, my mum and dad, Ashley’s mum, Ashley’s dad passed away 5 years ago of bowl cancer. My sister in law and my brother in law.

They walked into that room and there I was sat there with this shocked, saddened look all over my face crying being pumped with antibiotics with my baby in my arms. I was happy, Violet was beautiful, but I couldn’t cope I couldn’t cope with the fact they came to see us and our daughter had gone. It’s not the way it’s supposed to be. It wasn’t the way we had planned, how could I say to the rest of my friends that Violet was sleeping and she wouldn’t be waking up. I’m really grateful that our family came to see us and see Violet for the first time. They got to hold Violet and give her the love she deserves like they would wether she was here or not. I felt a relief that this was one hurdle conquered but how I could I tell everyone else?

One of my best friends was pregnant at the same as me it was the best pregnancy ever we could joke about the things that were happening to us ~ like morning sickness ~ we helped each other through the hard times and gave each other a little positivity when needed! I was dreading telling her, because she’s my best friend and I love her so much I knew how upset she would be and I wasn’t sure if leaving it any longer would only make it worse. I don’t even remember actually telling her, she knew I’d gone into labour as she had given birth to little Olivia 3 days before so it’d given me the push that I could get through child birth too and our baby’s would be born only a few days apart! I think i wrote a message saying ” it’s not good news” and that Violet was born with no heartbeat to this day it makes me sick to the stomach that I actually had to write those words to one of my best friends to say that my baby had died. A few weeks later she took me out for lunch, we sat and cried, cried and cried. I asked her how she felt when I told her about what had happened I was nervous because everyone reacts differently, it’s not something that gets said often. She had said that she was actually upstairs feeding her daughter, she picked up the phone and read the message “I screamed and cried and couldn’t believe it was happening”. Since the day I sent Steph this message I can’t live with out her.

That was one of my best friends told but what about the rest? I was ten days over due so by the time everyone had an inkling it was happening soon, I had messages from my friends asking if anything was happening and if I’d gone into labour and how I was. They were so excited and caring all I could do was cry I’d only just read the messages. How could I tell them….

We had decided that next we would tell our other best friends we wrote out a message ~ which I don’t remember writing, to them explaining that Violet was born and that she was born with no heartbeat. I didn’t know at the time they were actually going away for the weekend, they told us that when we told them there hearts broken and both cried not knowing what to say or do. When all I wanted to do was for someone to pick me up and take me away.

Going through losing your baby and then having to tell everyone is heartbreaking.

I wrote out another message and sent it to my other two best friends who by this point already knew which made it a lot easier. We wrote out a similar message and sent it to my two work friends and asked if they wouldn’t mind letting the other people I work with know, my manger and the director of the company. My friend at work had mentioned to me that our director was going to gather everyone together to let them know what had happened. He stood in the main office of where I work and read out my message. I can’t even begin to imagine how he felt and what everyone’s reactions were. I can only imagine and picture a wave of sadness over everyone’s faces. I still to this day look at the director and picture him stood there telling everyone my baby had died. One of the women I work with who was pregnant at the time had let me know that the whole office for around 2 weeks afterwards was not the same, everyone was really taken a back by what had happened to me and sadness really did draw over the whole company. Which you’d expect if you were a human. It takes great courage for a grieving parent to say these words to someone and that’s something that should be appreciated.

I’m not a fan of posting my whole life on social media, I hadn’t with Violet only snippets throughout my pregnancy. For some time after birth I hadn’t mentioned to anyone but family and friends about what had happened and that how we wanted it. In late November we had decided that we wanted to share our precious daughter with the world and let them know she was born but born “sleeping”. We did so and although it was painful it was nice to see how many people showed kindness and how many people showed that they were being dam right nosey.

Sharing news of when your baby is born is exciting although everyone “presumes” you have a baby and walk out with it. Wrong that is not always the case. I found it really difficult to tell my family and friends about Violet being born and they is no shame in that it’s personal, your still a mother and always will be. I do think the best way to let people know is to right out a thoughtful message with your baby’s name, weight and time and let them know that this is a difficult time for you with anything you would like including support ~ this is your loss and you have the right to say what you do and don’t want from people. I wrote in my message that we didn’t want to be bombarded with messages or being asked about what happened. Everyone took into consideration of what we had asked for and stuck by it, the girls at work took it in turns to message me therefore I didn’t have everyone messaging me at the same time. It sound’s silly and probably think I would never tell some one over a message but it’s easier for you and the other person. It gives the person your telling time for the news to settle in and acknowledge what’s happened rather than an awkward silence of not knowing what to say. Then they can reply or ring when they have thought about what to say.

It’s a very difficult path but I know for those who are reading this who have lost that you will be able to be happy again and walk down this path with hope just like we are.

Grace & Violet xox

“How are you?”

Since becoming a mother and a bereaved one I feel that no one wants to understand what it’s like to walk in our shoes and of course you don’t, you don’t want to know what it’s like to have something every one else has got or have that missing piece cut out of your heart. We don’t just get up one day and go oh wait I feel ok that’s it, it’s all over my grief has gone and I’ve completely forgotten I’ve got a daughter in heaven. Therefore everyone then thinks, back at work, going out she MUST be ok, well we’re not and from no on it’s time to start saying how I really feel instead of covering it up and thinking too much of everyone else feelings rather than mine own!

This is where this post began!

Support is something through the loss of a baby or a loved that we as humans rely on. Its also something that some of us don’t receive. In fact 90% of don’t, We might think we do but do we?

Walking for me down a path of baby loss is really difficult it also is a very lonely place. Once Violet had passed away i was gifted with thank yous, ‘I’m here for you’, ‘If you need anything let me know’ I know its only natural for this to happen and I’m really really grateful for the amount of love that was shown I know people said it because they care. But one day it just goes away like that it goes from millions of messages to nothing. Everyone has there own lives and I would never expect everyone’s lives to be put on hold for me. People DO forget because our loss is not your loss so this eventually goes to the back of everyone’s minds that’s only natural as humans.

The most hurtful thing whilst going through loss is no one talks about our children and no one asks how we are, ok so my daughter is not here yes she passed away so I understand it could be difficult for you to talk about as what would you talk about? but we talk about other children so why not mine? I wonder how many people know my daughters age today? I wonder how many people remember when her birthday is?

Just because I get up or go to work or even see you out some where does not mean to say I’m ok, because I’m not. You see the person on the outside, the smile on my face, the clothes I wear to dress like I’m having a “good day” the brave face that covers my aniexty, depression, grief and the loss of my daughter that is eating away inside of me. You won’t see this part of me because you probably never asked a genuine question of “how are you?”. I will never open up to those who don’t sit down with me and truly ask how I am, because you know what you might be scared to ask, you might get upset or have mixed emotions, you might think I don’t want to upset her what’s worse is when it’s not asked directly, I’m the one who has to get up every day with grief over my head and a label stuck to my forehead stating “that’s that woman who lost a baby”

Some times I do need a bit of shove and yes you will probably have to make the first move as I can honestly say I hardly message any one not because I don’t care because I do my family and friends mean the world to me, it’s because I have no energy. I use all my energy to get up in a morning and get myself dressed it might sound pathetic to you, for me it’s a massive achievement. I spend all my time and energy at work I come home exhausted with a mix of different emotions with a black cloud hanging over my head, Friday appears and all I want to do is stay at home with my husband and where Violet is rested. It will take me a really long time to stop grieving although I never will. It’s a really lonely place and some times we just need that push.

See there’s a difference supporting some one it could be sending a message “how are you”

Your most probably sat on social media, so what about a message ‘Are you ok’? Or a comment on a post, a like or share? ( this is another thing that gets me – everyone comments on photos of new borns and couples but not on my baby or us, Why? Because it’s upsetting for you? Well my baby is my baby and always will be and we must be some of the strongest couples out there, if that was my friend, relative I would be shouting from the rooftops that that person or baby is amazing and strong, So yes I want to share, like and comment because it hurts more when people don’t because your too scared (and I don’t mean that in a way of “I want attention ” because I don’t.)

A phone call ‘fancy a coffee and chat’?

A letter or card through the post

People show love and care in different ways, my mum for instance she always leaves me little presents around my house some times I don’t even notice them until a couple of days later recently she left me a little sign which quote “gnome sweet gnome” and left us a new washing up sponge! This is my mums love language and something that makes me smile every time I see it.

This is one time in our lives when we need people around, we need people to try and understand, we don’t want people saying “just crack on and have another baby” or “you just need to get on with it”, “move on” this is not support this is hurtful words!

We won’t always open up and we may say “I’m not up-to it today” but that’s because we may want to be alone, or having a bad day it’s not because we’re being awkward or “we don’t make the effort” it just might be that it’ll take a couple of times for us to say “yes ok” it’s just nice to be thought of remember it takes a lot for us to go out, I get anxiety every time I have to go some where even just going to work. I went to the supermarket yesterday and saw a family friend, some one who I haven’t seen for over 10 years. I automatically went like a cat in head lights but rather than him walking away and ignoring me he said “how are you?” “I don’t know what to say but we think about you” straight away my barriers fell right down, I knew I could have a conversation about Violet and what had happened and that’s where the difference lies.

To over come the fear of “I don’t want to upset anyone” or “I don’t know what to say” is to say something.

“You will never conquer the fear unless the fear is faced”

So say it and make it easier for us both.

It’s been 7 months now since Violet was born and I’m very grateful for the people in my life who have helped me through, give me a little push or have genuinely meant the word “I’m here for you” I honestly would be lost without them. I want you to talk about Violet MY daughter and I want you to take about loss I want people to be proud that us bereaved parents are doing the public and other parents out there proud! Remember if you feel worried about asking “how Are you” then don’t because your not the one grieving or having to go through loss we are and that’s more upsetting.

Sands recently put together a video which shows what it’s like to be us for part of a day, I hope this video brings some light into what we have to go through or help anyone understand.

Grace & Violet xox