I'd never really thought about it but assumed having a stillborn child was uncommon until it happened to me. I was 36 weeks and 5 days when I found out Nairn’s heartbeat wasn’t there anymore.
I started talking to others about this and I sadly realised how common it is. My family and friends, and especially my eldest son who was only two at the time, kept me going. Talking about Nairn has been the real difference in helping me cope both at the time and learning to live with his loss over the years.
Initially I was desperate to speak to people in a similar situation, lingering around when I went to visit him at the cemetery each day hoping that maybe one of the parents of Luke or Abbie who were buried by him may come by.
Eventually I found SANDS and started to attend their group sessions which really helped me come to terms with our loss. I met others in similar situations and made good friends who have supported over the years, especially at Nairn’s anniversary which for many years was a really difficult time.
It also helped me support my husband who really struggled, having not even had the connection with Nairn as I had as the pregnancy developed. Fortunately, now there are specific support groups for dads too.
Back then Asda didn’t have a policy on baby loss, but I had a great manager and Asda were fantastic, allowing me the time I needed and providing support and flexibility when I was ready to return to work.
As times have changed, it’s great that we do now have our Baby Loss policy and we provide our managers guidance on how to support colleagues in this situation. We also have a Baby Loss connection group where colleagues can support each other and so many other ways to help.
Fourteen years later Nairn is never far from my thoughts, however this experience has helped make me the person I am today.