I'd like to think that, in honour of Isla, I have lived my life slightly differently, given more to the baby loss community and offered a more empathetic support to other pregnant women. In terms of living my life more positively, I am certainly a more thankful person. I appreciate the little things as well as the big things. Two years ago, I probably would have said I did this anyway but I'm really not so sure!
In honour of Isla, I have my personal mini-campaign regarding parvovirus b19 immunity testing in pregnant women. It is so important that awareness around this issue is increased. If I can make at least one woman aware of slapped cheek that might otherwise have lost her baby to it, I would be very, very happy - but then, I'll never know whether that happened!
The most honourable thing I have done in memory of Isla is, I believe, helping raise money for the Snowdrop Appeal. To raise money for the Snowdrop Appeal is very close to my heart. They are trying to raise money for Derriford Hospital in Plymouth to have a separate bereavement room for grieving parents going through the worse time in their lives. They are well on their way! Thanks to them, we were able to have Isla in a 'cold cot' when she was born, which allowed us to spend over 2 days with her, making some precious memories. As well as giving the profits from my sewing to them (https://facebook.com/Sewcology), my choir chose them as their nominated charity (http://www.bignoisechorus.co.uk) and my school raised a generous amount over Christmas. By far the biggest, most honourable achievement was the charity event I organised in December 2012 with my friend Abbie. It was a sponsored assault course and we had so much amazing support from friends and family. We are trying to wrack our brains for what to do next, probably in February or March 2014. The amount raised for the Snowdrop Appeal was £3237.49 which is so amazing!
Thank you to everyone who supported us last year - please get your ideas to me for next year's event!!
Day 21 Capture Your Grief - Sacred PlaceThis weekend Dan and I joined 10 other people from our bootcamp to go to the Brecon Beacons in Wales and climb a mountain or two. We climbed the mountain on Saturday. I was, of course, the most unfit and slowest but darn it, I was determined!
Having just had Isla's due date on Thursday, we had made this weekend quite special, saying we were climbing the mountain for Isla. We chose to lay an engraved pebble at the top once we got there! We climbed Pen y Fan on Saturday. I love the thought that she represents an achievement of ours and that other people will see her pebble and not know who it's for or what happened to her, but they will know it means someone special has been lost to the world. As we were up there, having laid the pebble with another memorial stone, other people were having their photos taken at the summit. That means that their photos will have Isla in them. Other people from now on will have Isla in their photos. Our group leader, Tick, said he'll tell the military guys he knows to keep an eye out for Isla's pebble when they train up there. I love that. This is my sacred place now - one day we will go back ... though maybe climb the easier, gentler route!!
We climbed another peak that day and went up some more mighty big hills! Roughly 20km I think we walked, up hill and down. Slightly achy today for sure! Here are some more photos of our weekend!