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24.5.11

Is it something you can ignore? [SANDS Raffle]

In the past I've been a member of three pregnancy/baby forums.
It was on these sites that I became aware of baby loss. From early miscarriages to babies born sleeping at full term.

Joining these forums I expected it all to be fluffy and full of happy birth stories. New mothers sharing how in love they are with their newborn babies and discussing the new stages and developments etc.
But I soon realised the reality of pregnancy and birth. The side we don't hear about enough, that some women and families are almost not allowed to share because people don't want to hear it, people ignore it and pretend it doesn't happen.

I made a promise to myself, that from that point on, no matter how upset or uncomfortable I felt, I would read every post which included *sens* [sensitive] in the title.
Although I no longer visit any of these baby forums I have continued my promise not to ignore baby loss and will read stories and articles in papers and magazines, watching features on the tv and through blogs such as the recent post on Maternity Matters covering the story of a couple who's baby was cremated without their knowing.

17 babies per day are stillborn, or die soon after birth, thats 6,200 per year in the UK alone. This is a shocking statistic and among the highest in the developing world. The figure is 10 times the amount of cot deaths and more than the number of people killed on the roads, yet stillbirth seems to remain taboo in today's society. 

Through these forums I also became aware of the Stillbirth and neonatal death charity Sands.

Sands is a national charity, established by bereaved parents in 1981.
They have 3 core aims which are to:
  • Support anyone affected by the death of a baby;
  • To work in partnership with health professionals to improve the quality of care and services offered to bereaved families; and
  • To promote research and changes in practice that could help to reduce the loss of babies' lives
To find out more about their core aims please follow the links above. 

Through searches on the internet via Google you can see the many Fundraising events for Sands.
One I have recently noticed via another blog, Something about Clairey, is a Charity Raffle in aid of SANDS.
There are some really amazing prizes up for grabs, its definitely worth checking out! You can buy raffle tickets in multipules of 5. [5 for £5.00, 10 for £10.00, 15 for £15.00 and 20 for £20.]
They are aiming to raise £10,000 for SANDS in memory of baby Mia, who was sadly born asleep on 26th March 2011.  
On Saturday 26th March 2011 I gave birth to a beautiful baby girl at 2:35am at Furness General hospital in Barrow. Baby Mia weighed a healthy 7lbs.6ozs, she had lots of dark hair (just like her mummy), a cute little button nose and pretty little mouth, she looked just perfect.

On Friday 25th March 2011, the day before Mia was born, I hadn't felt any movements for a few hours and alerted my midwife. At 39 weeks and a perfectly normal pregnancy, me and my husband David were given the terrible news that our baby had died. The doctors, to date, haven't been able to give us any reason why this happened, just days before my actual due date. I was induced and our precious daughter was born sleeping. A sister for our 2 year old son Jack, a niece for our brothers and sisters and a grandaughter for our parents. So many people have been affected by this tragedy and as two healthy individuals aged 25 and 27 it just doesn't seem to make sense... "this sort of thing doesn't happen to us." Well sadly it does, it happens to many families across the UK every single day.

If you would like to donate directly to SANDS through the Just Giving page dedicated to Mia, without entering the raffle, please do so at Mia’s Just Giving page.

Every moment I feel this baby move inside me I say thank you and am so grateful that everything is ok. But I am fully aware that it doesn't make me safe, and that in reality, I could be one of those families that experiences stillbirth. [Hense why I get very annoyed at friends moaning about pregnancy on Facebook a lot]
I have no connection to this family or blogger at all but reading their story touched my heart and I couldn't just ignore it, I promised myself after all.