My name is Lucia, mum to Edmund Joseph, who we called Teddy.
It was early 2021 and everything had been going well with this, my first pregnancy. We’d reached and passed the halfway mark and there were no signs of any trouble ahead.
But, I now know that even in a very low risk and uneventful pregnancy, the journey can change in an instant with frightening, traumatic and life-altering consequences.
At 24 weeks I experienced Preterm premature rupture of the membranes, known as PPROM. Just 2 weeks later, Teddy was born in a hurry and very unwell with a significantly under-developed left lung.
He was sent straight into the NICU, where he spent all 40 days of his life, hooked up to a ventilator, but knowing he was deeply loved by his parents who were right by his cot at every moment until he needed to say goodbye.
Seeing Teddy in his crib often went against every urge I had as a parent. When I think about silence - this year’s theme for Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month - it triggers memories of seeing Teddy during his time in NICU, ventilated but visibly upset. His facial expressions clearly showed that he was crying, but because of the ventilator tube there were no sounds of crying, only silence. Fighting every single urge to pick up Teddy and provide comfort during these times were very difficult.
Even though it was such a tragic and difficult time, Teddy brought us so much love and joy. He will always be our first-born son that we are extremely proud of
I chose to share my PPROM journey and snippets of Teddy’s life on social media. My husband and I were overwhelmed with messages and phone calls of love and support.
Many comments were about us being ‘brave’ for sharing our journey but I simply do not see it that way. I don’t think we are brave at all. Our little boy Teddy was the brave one having experienced more in his 40 days than most people go through in their lifetime.
Acknowledgement of Teddy’s life is extremely important to us. We are so proud of Teddy and as his parents we feel it is our job to talk about him, say his name out loud, and to share his story of hope and his fighting spirit. He changed ours, our family and friends lives forever, and we are so very grateful for the time we had with him on earth.
Every single babe deserves to be remembered and having a day like Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day on 15 October to signify the remembrance of lost babes encourages parents and families to share their child’s story, unashamedly, which can open dialogues for people to understand more about the emotions surrounding pregnancy and infant loss. This is incredibly important to me.
October 15 is International Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day.
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This year to acknowledge International Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day we are sharing the moments of silence affecting bereaved parents to encourage conversation about pregnancy and infant loss for the month of October.