Friday, 25 October 2013

Day 25 - #Say It Out Loud

Day 25 - #sayitoutloud

There are lots of things I would wish to shout from the rooftops about this journey.  

~ Talk to me about my daughter, Isla. She is still so important to me
~ Don't be afraid to ask me about Isla
~ Don't forget Isla, say her name!
~ Listen to your instincts when pregnant - be strong about getting the right care
~ Miracles do happen
~ Bad days are now rare, but I still get them
~ You can survive this 
~ You don't get over the death of your child, you get through it / around it
~ Count the kicks 
I could go on. But the one thing I am just  passionate about people hearing is about Parvovirus B19 (slapped cheek). Why is immunity to it not routinely checked at booking in appointments? It doesn't cost the NHS a penny more but apparently saving 1 in every 20,000 babies is not worth the effort. Women, especially those in regular contact with school-aged children, should know their immunity status. Only when you know your status can you spot the symptoms of infection and catch it early enough or be monitored more closely. 

I asked to be tested and was told to stop worrying as I had probably had it as a child, I wouldn't be able to avoid catching it anyway and, at 16 weeks pregnant, it's not dangerous after 20 weeks so why bother? That false reassurance led to Isla's death and was wrong. 60% of adults are indeed immune to it. I was one of the 40% who weren't. No, you can't avoid catching it, but if you know that symptoms in adults are different to those in children - headache, fever, lethargy, achy joints - you can watch out for them. Though, as in my case, there can be no symptoms at all. And it IS dangerous after 20 weeks - less so, yes, but it can still infect your baby, as I and others know. 

Talking about saying it out loud, I have been asked to talk about the counselling I had with Plymouth Pregnancy Crisis Centre - by Comic Relief! The centre have been given some funding from Comic Relief to expand upon their pregnancy loss support programme called 'The Journey'. Caleigh and I are meeting a lady for a filmed / taped interview next Thursday! Could be a lovely opportunity to honour isla further,  raise more awareness of the support needed for grieving families and speak out about the taboo surrounding baby loss. Maybe I can even drop in some info about slapped cheek!!

2012 Entry

Day 25 Capture Your Grief - Baby shower / blessing

We didn't have a baby shower, though they're not really something wedo amongst us. Or maybe we do. I don't know. My sister gave me some lovely bits but I don't have them to photograph as they're now in storage. Dan's Aunty Jane sent stuff almost every week it seemed, which was so lovely. I know some people were making quilts or bibs and I'm sure others were planning stuff that they haven't told us about to save us the tears. I'd love to know if there were other little things people were planning to give Isla. I don't think I'd necessarily want them because I have nowhere to put them but to know she had belongings already seems quite important. 

We hadn't bought much really, because we were supposed to be moving house and didn't think it was sensible to buy loads only to have to move it. I had whole folders on my computer of stuff I was going to buy as soon as possible though. However, I did get the odd few bits which again I didn't really photograph - why photograph them empty when soon they'd be full of baby? I found a rocking Moses basket in a charity shop and called Dan to ask if I could buy it. It was so cute seeing it sitting there waiting for her. She never got to lay in it. The shoes in the photo were in a little box of stuff I bought from a lady at school, barely used seconds, though these seemed brand new. I adored them and took photos of them resting on my growing bump. Such happiness. 

To have a baby shower for a future baby, if we are lucky enough, is not something I think I'd want to do. Until I'm home and safe with a happy little baby, I don't think I'll be able to enjoy such an expectant event. But then, I guess I don't know for sure how I'd be if we were so lucky again. 

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