I am honoured to have been shortlisted for a Butterfly Award for my blog.
Now in their second year, the Butterfly Awards celebrate people who have survived baby loss, as well as professionals who help the bereaved along their journey. The awards also seek to raise the profile of baby loss, which is still widely considered to be a taboo subject.
Winners for each of the categories will be chosen by public vote – please take a moment to read my profile. It would be wonderful if you would consider voting for me.
Friends nominated me for the award, in the blogger/author (international) category for my work blogging about the loss of my baby son, Hugo. He died at the age of 35 days in March 2014 having been born 16 weeks early because I had the rare, life-threatening pregnancy conditions HELLP syndrome and preeclampsia.
Hugo was an incredibly special baby. So wanted, so loved, and so missed. He was feisty and mischievous. His name means ‘bright in mind and spirit’ and I’ve been trying to emulate this spirit through my blog.
Blogging has offered me an excellent therapy through my grief – it is a way of helping me sort out my feelings.
My blog posts are a candid and honest account of my grief journey. Mercifully, most people will never have to share my experiences, and I’m pleased about that. I hope by being open I can help break taboos, show people it’s ok to talk about baby loss, and the better ways to talk about it.
Through my posts, I have shared the deep lows of grief, as well as the little rays of sunshine and positivity that help get me through the difficult days.
My blog has not only been a vital form of therapy for me in working through my grief, it is also the home of Hugo’s Legacy.
In addition, I am a proud ambassador for the MAMA Academy, which promotes positive pregnancy and works to prevent baby loss and for First Touch, which is the charity for the neonatal unit at St George’s Hospital where Hugo was cared for. I am working with the unit to update and improve their bereavement literature, and have produced a new item for them. I have written posts to help raise the profile of the work of these charities.
I have been overwhelmed at the response to my blog. Literally thousands of people have read and shared posts from my blog. People from all over the world have left comments to say how much our story has moved them. Other bereaved parents have thanked me for writing the posts, for talking about these issues and expressing openly the thoughts and emotions that they have also experienced.
A bereaved mother got in touch with me on Twitter recently in response to my ‘Precious Memories’ post to thank me profusely, saying it had given her the confidence to share a photo of her beautiful little boy, who had been born sleeping.
People who have not suffered the loss of a baby have also thanked me for the posts having made them think, and for giving them an insight in to the mind of a bereaved parent.
National charities such as Bliss, Tommy’s and Dying Matters, as well as organisations such as We Midwives have shared my blog posts with their own followers. It is useful to be able show others through these channels a first-hand account of baby loss and dealing with the aftermath.
Sadly, baby loss is still such a taboo subject. It can feel very reassuring to know you are not alone and that others feel the very intense, raw painful feelings of losing a precious little one.
My blog provides a comfort to me. I am heartened that it can also provide a comfort to others. I also feel proud that Hugo is helping so many people throughout the world with his legacy.
The other award categories include inspirational mother and father; best hospital bereavement service; bereavement worker; fundraiser; online support; UK support organisation; medical professional and cherished keepsake. Please do also take a moment to read about the work of these people. First Touch is also shortlisted, in the cherished keepsake category – please do vote for them too.
Voting is open until September 13.
It is by talking openly about baby loss we can seek to break the taboo and reduce the sense of isolation of those who have lost a precious baby.
Thank you for taking the time to read this post – I hope you will be taking the time to vote, too. The winners will be announced at an event on October 11.