Good Morning everyone, or when ever you are reading this….
I met a beautiful woman on Instagram, Shaila, she followed me on the platform and I, as I always do, creeped her profile and saw the message she was putting out there, and I loved it! I have never had to deal with the loss of a still birth, and I can only imagine the grief that people like her go through that is behind closed doors. So I reached out to her and asked her if she was willing to share her story and what it is she doing with Roxoflove_ and she said yes. I think that this is something sweet and Beautiful and story that is worth being shared, something positive to be born from grief and loss, to help you find the power to keep going, not because you have to but because you want to and use it all in a way that helps others.
So in her own words, this is what she has to say about Rocoflove_
When you are pregnant you are told to go to the doctors, have a health check with a midwife, take a variety of birthing and parent to be classes but you are not told how to deal with grief; the grief that comes from a stillbirth.
Stillbirths are defined as ‘the birth of an infant that has died after completing 24 weeks of pregnancy’. Unfortunately for me, my little boy had slipped away at 37 weeks + 5 days. The statistics for stillbirths vary between 1 in 4, 15 a day and 1 in 16. It is very common for couples to suffer from stillbirths yet it is not talked about openly amongst people. Numerous charities have been set up but there is still an air of taboo around the subject, is it because people don’t want to discuss stillbirths or maybe they just do not know what to say. Either way, I am here to share my view tell you the story of my journey to a world of changed expectations.
I had a textbook pregnancy. Very little sickness, nausea and practically no health complications. I had reached 37 weeks, set up an area for baby to sleep, packed and repacked the maternity bag and was awaiting an appointment to discuss my labour plan. I went to sleep on the 19th of October at 11pm that night with a kick to my right side from my son only to wake up at 4:14 with no further movement. I went to the bathroom, there was no pain or bleeding, just a stillness in my womb. I danced about, trying to get my baby going, drank a cold glass of milk and played some music. Still nothing. Two hours later alarm bells began to ring. When my husband woke up he told me to go to the hospital just to check if anything was wrong. I sent my husband into work and off I drove, alone, to the hospital. When I got there they set me up in a room, did the routine samples and began to listen to a heartbeat. It was twenty minutes later that I was surrounded by two doctors and five midwives, with the alarm ringing above the hospital bed I was told “I am so sorry but there is no heartbeat”. You can only imagine the pain, sorrow, grief and mania that came after that. Me and my husband had heard the worst news possible.
I was given a pill to induce labour and sent home that day in the hope that my body would prepare for labour. I returned two days later into a special suite for parents who had been in my situation to prepare to deliver my first, and only, child. It took a further two days of medication before my body finally went into labour. I remember having contractions for the whole day on 23rd of October. Trying to make the best out of a bad situation, me and my husband were watching TV, listening to the radio, enjoying the gas and air and simply doing anything to take our minds off the pain to come.
I finally delivered my baby boy at 8:24 on Tuesday 24th of October 2017. I named him Emre Elahi and was stunned by his appearance. I have a small frame and had a small, neat bump throughout my pregnancy yet this long, beautiful baby boy came out. My first reaction was “whoah”. The hospital were then amazing at providing ways for us to create memories in those few precious hours we had with our son. We took handprints, footprints, a lock of hair and pictures to cherish him by, Immediate family came to visit and meet Emre. Tragically, Emre was the first grandchild from both mine and my husband’s side of the family. He was also buried on the day of my one year wedding anniversary.
Some things in life are not scripted. I find it amazing how Emre was such a huge part of the first year of our marriage and how burying him on our anniversary completed this chapter of our lives. It was an immense struggle to deal with my grief but burying Emre on our anniversary provided some hope that I would look back at him as a positive reminder of the time we had with him.
It was this hope that propelled me to find positivity in this difficult situation. I experienced a storm of emotions in the weeks after Emre’s passing. My expectations had shifted and instead of having a baby all I had was endless leaflets of support groups under my nose. I did not want to attend a support group. I was not strong enough to leave the house and share my grief with people. Instead, I wanted to find positivity, hope and happiness. Me and my husband were so lucky to have been supported by a strong network of people who were empathetic of our situation and wanted to help restore our smiles. We received a Happy Hamper to help us smile when we were down and various tokens and reminders of our son.
I found Art Therapy extremely helpful so I began to draw on pebbles and record messages of positivity on the back. It was from this I was inspired to begin my campaign roxoflove_ on Instagram. If being positive helped me and my husband then why should I not share it with others? We have been leaving pebbles around our home city to help spread messages of positivity. The campaign itself provides messages of hope and positivity for people who are suffering from grief or experiencing grief. This is because I was a statistic and there will be more women out there who have to face the pain I did. I simply want to show that they can get through this. There will, and have been, good days and bad days but a key point to remember is that “In time this moment will pass”. Whether it is a happy or a sad moment it will eventually pass so I try to enjoy every moment I can.
My campaign has reached out to a lot of people on social media who too have had Angel Babies. I also want to use this opportunity to thank various members of the online community who, like me, have suffered from the loss of a child and are giving back to the community.
Thank you to @carsonslegacy for creating amazing graphics in memory of our lost children
Thank you to @baby_blingg who creates bling for all babies thus echoing the key message of #stillbornstillloved
Thank you to @letters_to_lillyflower who created a beautiful piece of art in honour of my son
Below are some images of the different places we leave our rocks.