As part of Sands 40th anniversary, we have collected 40 stories by 40 parents, family members and friends affected by the death of a baby, helping them cope and feel less isolated in their grief. These stories are powerful in helping us end the taboo of talking about baby loss and raise awareness of stillbirth and neonatal deaths. Discover 40 stories for #Sands40
The day of Friday 3 February 1995 is etched into me. It is as much a part of the woman I am now as my heart is.
It is the day my son was born sleeping, only he wasn't asleep, he was dead. He had been for approximately 10 days.
I’m the mother of twins so I only had that pregnancy to compare to and the movements of twins as opposed to one baby are greatly different.
I went to antenatal at 28 weeks and the midwife couldn’t find a heartbeat and neither could the doctor, so we went to the hospital.
We were told what I think I had secretly already known that my baby was gone.
I went to the hospital the following day to have labour induced. I needed to focus on having my baby. In my mind he was going to be born and going to be OK.
The day was fraught at times and I felt squirmish with my consultant who seemed to find it appropriate to discuss how he wanted my child stored after his birth, along the lines of how to keep cold meat!
At 22.30 my son, my blood, my life, my hopes, my dreams, my happiness, my everything was born.
I held him, I washed him, I christened him, I cuddled him but I could not breathe life into him.
I had failed this beautiful boy, who had died inside me which is the one place he should of been safe. 25 years later my heart beats but is not complete and never will it be.
I've had a rainbow daughter, and I've had two further stillborn daughters. Why?
Sands has been my life raft, my solace in my darkest hours and I am eternally grateful.
Zachary Michael Davies, 3 February 1995.
Mia Rose Reed, 20 May 2006.
Ava Marie Reed, 30 November 2009.
Sadly 1 in 4 pregnancies in the UK end in miscarriage or stillbirth. This means every 90 minutes a family experiences this devastating tragedy.
We want to reduce this number, but we need your help.