Something that I have found challenging since Esme’s birth is how your status as a parent after loss seems to be forgotten. During pregnancy after loss, there can be greater compassion and understanding as to why this would be a difficult journey; why you feel anxious all of the time and fear that you will never bring home a live baby. Yet, it seems that once your baby is in your arms, the expectation is that all of this worry and fear will immediately dissipate. But sadly this isn’t always the case, and the anxiety can sometimes transfer and manifest in other ways. Moreover, having a ‘take home baby’ will never negate the fact that you have suffered the painful trauma of losing your child.
In particular, I have found it hard when questioned by healthcare professionals whether Esme is my first child. To have to announce my status as a parent who is parenting after loss, in a potentially vulnerable situation, is a hurdle that many of us would prefer not to have to navigate. I therefore wondered whether a sticker on Esme’s red book would help in some way – just to highlight that Esme is not my first baby, that I may be more vulnerable in this adjustment to parenting a live baby and that I would like my first child to be recognised. Orla existed and she has shaped me as the parent I am now.
Therefore, a kind friend has helped me out in designing a sticker exactly for that purpose. The symbol represents that we are mothers with a baby in our arms as well as one (or more) in our hearts. The larger sticker gives space to write the name and date of birth / loss of your baby. Or if you would prefer, there is a smaller sticker that simply states that you are parenting after loss.
(A4 sheet, circles are 35mm wide and should fit a template such as this. Alternatively, you could print on normal paper and stick with glue / tape)
These stickers are free to download. However, if you decide that they would be helpful for you, we would ask for just a small donation to our fundraising page. We are fundraising for Tommy’s who work to save babies lives and ensure safer pregnancies.
You can make a donation here:
Also, if you would like to check out the wonderful work of Lisa who designed these stickers, her website is below:
Thank you so much for visiting this page and please do pass it on to anyone who you believe could benefit from this resource.
Michelle and Lisa x