Everyone likes to talk about babies.
By the time you’ve come to university you’ll have undoubtedly witnessed the baby phenomenon. Whether it be a family member who has just had a baby that everyone is gushing over, suddenly having a little sibling scurrying around who is able to be simultaneously cute and annoying, or scrolling through Instagram and seeing the photo’s your friend has just put up to tell the world that they are pregnant. Everyone will be talking about the baby for months, about how small it is, how fast it’s growing or how cute they are.
But what about when it doesn’t happen like that?
The 15th of October 2019, was National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day. Where thousands of people lit a candle at 7pm in remembrance of their daughter, their son, their sister, their brother, their niece, their nephew, their grandchild. To remember and bring awareness of the baby they never got the chance to meet, the baby that was born to never open its eyes, the baby who lived only to be lost soon after. They lit a candle and kept it burning for one hour, to honour those children and to bring awareness across the globe about this devastating reality. To show people that they are not alone in their grief.
But why is it so important to talk about this subject?
Miscarriage and Infant Loss are treated like taboo subjects, something that you should never discuss, but it shouldn’t be. We need to talk about it, to bring awareness, because 1 in 4 people are going to experience this heart-breaking loss due to miscarriage. Moreover, women under 30 have a 10% chance of having a pregnancy end in miscarriage, with women between the ages of 30-39 having double the chance of experiencing it. In 2017 3,200 stillbirths were recorded in the UK, that’s almost nine children a day.
People need to know that they have support, that they are not alone. That is why it’s so important to talk about miscarriage and infant loss.
People need to know that they can talk about their loss, because so many experience it. They are not alone. No one should feel like they need to stay silent, that they can’t talk to anyone about this painful moment.
So let’s talk about it.
Let’s start a conversation.
Let’s break the taboo.
The 21st of January was the date in which my dad came home to tell me that we were never going to get the chance to meet my little sister. It’s one of the few times that I’ve ever seen him cry. The grief that I felt, that I still feel, is unimaginable. I can’t even begin to comprehend what my parents felt that day, that they still feel even though it’s been years. If a family member dies, if a friend dies, even if a pet dies; people will ask you how you are, they’ll check up on you, make sure you’re doing okay. I don’t remember anyone doing this. Because it’s not talked about; because it’s a taboo subject. But that pain is as real as all the others. It’s important to talk about this because it’s real, and people need to talk about their grief to help themselves heal.
So, let’s talk about it.
If you didn’t get a chance, light a candle tonight and keep it burning for an hour, to remember alongside us the loved ones who we’ve lost. #WaveOfLight2019
If you or someone you love has experienced this devastating loss you can find support on:
- the NHS website
- ‘The Compassionate Friends’ on their website and helpline: 0345 123 2304
- ‘Miscarriage Association’ on their website and helpline: 01924 200799