This year's Baby Loss Awareness Week was a total whirlwind, a bundle of emotions, and I think I'm still trying to process it all.
Guardian & Daily Mail: The 12 week rule
Things kicked off two days before the start of #BLAW2019 when an article I’d written about miscarriage and the 12 week rule was published in the Guardian on Mon 7th Oct - more about this and how it blew up (becoming a ‘new campaign’. according to Dame Jenni Murray!) in my previous post.
The following day, on Tues 8th Oct, I attended the funeral of a dear friend, who’d passed away very suddenly and unexpectedly: the day itself was somewhat of a blur, but on reflection I can’t help but think about mourning her death and celebrating her life juxtaposed with how we commemorate losses for those family members who never joined the family tree.
Tortoise: Why don’t we talk about miscarriage?
Editor Polly Curtis reached out to me on Twitter to very kindly invite me to the event after she’d read my article about the 12-week rule - but I only learned afterwards that she has a particularly personal perspective on this subject, having written about her own experience of 8 devastating miscarriages in the Guardian in 2015. She chaired the discussion, featuring 3 terrific special guests
Julia Bueno - psychotherapist and counsellor specialising in bereavement & pregnancy loss and author of a brilliant book about miscarriage The Brink of Being (that I was lucky enough to review for the Observer Books Review)
Here’s some highlights from a really inspiring, thought-provoking evening (& a full recording of the event is available here):
Then on Thu 10th Oct I was thrilled to be invited onto Moncrieff (apparently one of Ireland's most popular afternoon shows!) on Newstalk FM to discuss the 12-week rule with presenter Seán Moncrieff - you can listen to the interview on the Newstalk website (approx 12 mins - not deliberate!) We spoke about why the 12-week rule is harmful, why I want to change the way we talk about pregnancy loss, and also a little about my own experience of infertility and miscarriage (and why I think it's time to reclaim the word 'barren'!)
The cycle of life
In a cruel accident of timing, I was discussing my first miscarriage on national radio on the very day that would have been that baby's due date - and in another life we might have been celebrating a 3rd birthday.
In another life we wouldn’t have been lighting two candles at 7pm on the 15th October, for the global #WaveOfLight, where grieving parents across the world light candles to remember all the babies who have died too soon.
But in this life our journey took a different path. And just as we mourn loss, we celebrate new life. The morning my Guardian article came out, just before the start of #BLAW2019, I received the most wonderful (and unexpected) news from my brother. My beautiful nephew had come into the world 4 weeks early, and I was now an aunt. I am utterly besotted and overwhelmed with love for this tiny human, and so overjoyed he is safely here.
A microcosm of life in one week - birth, death, memories, new experiences, happy, sad and everything in between. Life, eh?