TimeNorfolk aims to spread hope after pregnancy loss. We do this by offering time to listen, time to grieve and time to heal. 1 in 4 pregnancies end in a loss and there are 9 babies stillborn in the UK everyday (www.tommys.org). These statistics are heart-breaking, and this is why our services are so desperately needed. We have run a small support Centre in Norwich for over 20 years where we can help bereaved parents. Requests for our support have nearly doubled in the past 3 years.
We have been running a very limited, almost ad hoc service in Gt Yarmouth for many years, but this simply isn’t enough to meet the demand. We know there is such a need to have a permanent facility there and desperately want to open a new centre in Gt Yarmouth. Getting to Norwich is just not an option due to geographical and public transport constraints, for so many people who are in crisis and need the right sort of help to heal from such a traumatic experience of losing their baby.
It is so distressing knowing that we could help but just cannot reach everybody currently.
Bereavement of a baby is like no other bereavement as “you don’t have the memories that others have when you lose a baby”.
This funding will enable us to launch a pilot centre in Great Yarmouth where we would be able to support a larger number of clients who are currently unable to reach us.
We know that the work we do makes a difference to people’s lives, these are some words from a recent client:
'When I got those 2 lines, my life changed forever. Ryan and I were going to have a child together. We were both so excited. 2 months later we had our twelve-week scan, it was amazing seeing the little person we had created.
As the pregnancy progressed, everything was normal. Towards the end I felt severe anxiety, but knowing I was going to meet my baby at the end helped me through. Throughout the whole pregnancy I kept thinking, ‘just get to your due date and everything will be okay.’
Around 40 weeks I noticed that she wasn’t moving as much, so I phoned the delivery suite and they told me to come in. We went in, and a midwife put me on a monitor. She kept moving the Doppler around my stomach and all there was, was an eerie wind-like sound. I knew, but I still begged just to hear her heartbeat.
“We are so sorry, there’s no heartbeat.” The words that shattered my world forever. Ryan broke down, but I just couldn’t take it in. I was going to have to give birth to her, and she isn’t okay.
I was in labour for 3 days. On the third day, I gave birth to the most beautiful girl in the world. Luna-Mai, a perfect angel. She came silently into this world looking peacefully asleep.
We spent the next two days in the hospital with our beautiful daughter. She met all her aunties, uncles, nannies and granddads. She felt nothing but love. We had a naming ceremony for her in the hospital. On the Tuesday evening we left the hospital, without our daughter in our arms.
Over the next few days it all felt surreal. We registered her stillbirth – not her birth, not her death. We had to tell excited friends who had been waiting to hear the good news. The next three weeks were spent planning Luna-Mai's funeral, and that day, watching Ryan carry her tiny coffin down the aisle, my heart broke all over again. I watched them lower her into the ground; it was absolutely unbearable.The pain is like nothing I can compare it to. After her funeral, it hit me hard. Suddenly, I had nothing to concentrate on and the realisation that I was alone hit me. My baby, my beautiful baby girl, was dead.
It was then that I contacted TimeNorfolk, and it has taken time, and it is something I will never get over, but thanks to Julie* I can see that there is life after loss, and although it will never be the same, I am living for Luna-Mai instead of with her. She lives on in the fundraising and in all the things we are doing to keep her memory alive.'