Sadly, our daughter Pippa was born sleeping on 26 March at The Royal Hampshire County Hospital in Winchester, right in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic. Although this has been a truly devastating time for us, we have been overcome by the care and support we have been provided through the maternity ward at Winchester and we would love to help their 'Forget Me Not Fund' (ref 4639). The fund is a charity within Hampshire Hospitals Foundation Trust in memory of parents who have lost a baby before or during childbirth.
The fund is used to buy resources to help parents create memories of their baby during this difficult time. Within the last 3 years the fund has helped to refurbish the butterfly suite in both Winchester and Basingstoke to make an environment that is comfortable and less clinical where parents like us can have time with their baby to create memories and believe me when I say this truly felt like a safe space to be and mourn our darling Pippa.
Currently the bereavement midwives in Winchester are in the process of creating a remembrance garden at the hospital for babies taken too soon. The garden will provide a safe space for families like us to visit and pay tribute to our babies in a beautiful and safe place. Having this space would be a true gift as right now many would not feel strong enough to visit the butterfly suite we gave birth in, but would enable us feel closer to our little ones as well as provide comfort to those who sadly will also have to suffer this same experience.
This leads me to why we have decided to fundraise. I wouldn't wish for anyone to experience the loss of a child but sadly 1 in 4 do, whether that be through a miscarriage, still birth or neonatal loss. I found this truly shocking, how could those figures be right? Why don't people talk about it more? Well they do, despite being a difficult subject to raise. Where however? It's hardly the headlines when you google pregnancy or birth etc. so you have to be quite specific when you're searching but it's there! I guess it seems like people only listen when they have been personally affected by a loss and now I have been personally affected. I'm not an influencer so I don't have the means to shout from the rooftops but this is where you can help.
Anything you might be able to contribute (no matter how small) will truly make a difference. I would also encourage you to share my page far and wide to reach as many people as possible. It takes just a minute of your time to donate or just share this story so please, I ask you from the bottom of my heart to take a moment and share in remembrance of Pippa, my sleeping beauty. I hope that by asking you to share this page my daughter may be known by many and her legacy will live through your kindness and compassion!
A little about our story
It goes without saying that it's hard in the best of times but our experience of this happening in the centre of the Coronavirus pandemic has made it feel harder for us. We knew we couldn't have visitors to meet our precious little girl and that everything from her birth to her final resting place would not be quite as we would want due to social distancing measures. Despite this the midwives showed empathy beyond what we had expected, and no need was too small. The photographer we had planned was unable to attend and it wasn't possible for the Babyprints.co.uk to come out to take casts of Pippa's hands and feet (which was so important to me) and I couldn't help but feel like my whole world was crashing down on me; but our bereavement midwife came to the rescue and took some amazing photos that make me smile each day (I have used one in the profile) and she even managed to liaise with Babyprints to arrange for a cast kit to be sent to her in advance so she could take the moulds. I cannot express what this meant for us at the time and what it means to us now to have these in our possession when we thought all was lost.
Their ability to put us at ease and support us throughout this whole experience has truly been exemplary. They provided us with everything we could possible need to spend those last moments with our baby girl in a peaceful environment; helping us to make memories that will last a lifetime. They have given all the information we need to access support and provided us with opportunities to attend memorials which they have arranged.
It was clear that they offer sincere support to bereaved parents before, during and after the loss of their baby and they should be acknowledged for their efforts, so thank you! We think you are all truly amazing and it was a privilege to have you at our side at a time we needed you the most.
Thanks for reading folks... remember to dig deep and share :)