Sunday 15th October 2017 marked the end of ‘Baby Loss Awareness Week’ where at 7pm (local time all over the world) the ‘Wave Of Light’ is held. I find the evening such a beautifully poignant but also heartbreaking event.
This was our third ‘Wave Of Light’ that we had been part of with the first two being held to remember our baby that we lost to a ruptured ectopic pregnancy in 2015. This year was not only to remember that baby but also now Dexter Bear, our beautiful son who was stillborn at 24 weeks gestation (anyone else hate that word?) I remember watching the candles glowing thinking ‘a candle, a hovering flame, it doesn’t feel quite enough to compensate for the loss of our son’.
My lovely friend Bekkie (@bekkie_and_her_rainbows for any IG people) has unfortunately suffered multiple, recurrent miscarriages and we both thought that we would like to do something as a way to remember not only our own lost babies but also those of others. Since losing Dexter I have found so many other women and families who have lost children, not just in pregnancy but also infants too. It breaks my heart that the reason that I know these women is because of our common theme; the loss of a child or children, yet, as truly devastating as that is I am so thankful that I have had their support. I know many people might not ‘get it’, I mean how can you be ‘friends’ with people that you have never even met or spoken a word to? People that live in the tiny squares in your phone? I was probably guilty of thinking that at some point these past few years but honestly, I couldn’t have got through the past few months without them. People who well and truly get. The sadness. The hurt. The guilt. The pain. The anger. The heartbreak. The desperation. The longing. That is why Bekkie and I felt it was so important to remember these beautiful babies and their families that have touched and enriched our lives.
We decided to visit Fountains Abbey which is a place that we both absolutely adore. We are both National Trust members (geeks I know) but this is one of my all time favourite NT places to visit and thought it would be the perfect spot to remember our babies. The plan was hatched, we bought the pre-lit tea lights and we set off to find our perfect location. We wanted somewhere quite dark as we were there late afternoon so it was still light. Fountains Abbey is a beautiful old monastic ruin, very eerie but beautiful. We firstly placed the candles on the edge of one of the ruins but as it was still light it wasn’t as effective, however we still loved the window in the background of this photo.
We found a dark space in one of the ruins and placed the candles down in a heart, all the love poured into these babies that we have lost. We thought about each and every one of you that has experienced such heartache and this was for you.
Dave and I then got home just in time for the Wave Of Light although we didn’t really think through how long our other idea would take (this needs a rolling eyes emoji!)
We wanted to create Dexter’s name in candles and light some other very special candles we have been gifted as a way of remembering other lost babies so here they are; Dexter, our ectopic angel and everyone else’s babies and children that we have come across. The world lit up for that hour and it was so very special.
At first, I was completely overwhelmed, the end of the week culminating in this beautiful show of light. Having to light candles to remind ourselves that we had a lost a baby, two babies that were so desperately wanted and loved…it broke my heart. I sat shaking in tears, engulfed in sadness at the loss of our babies and overwhelmed with the raw grief of losing Dexter. I cried and cried and cried, not only for our babies but for all those babies and children that were lost too soon – all those families doing exactly the same as us, lighting candles to show the world that those beautiful lives were thought of, loved and so dearly missed. Once the overwhelming flood had subsided I was able to see the beauty in what we were all doing. We were honouring our babies and children, we were showing the world that their lives mattered, we were showing the world that we were parents and this is one of the ways we would parent our children that were no longer here. Parenting Dexter for me is so important and yet so very difficult. I’ll never have the opportunity to feed him, change his nappy, push him in his pram or bankrupt myself at the Next sale buying him things. But what I can do is say his name, talk about him and light a candle for him and all his buddies. That’s what parents do right? Talk about their children, think of them always and do their very best to do what’s right by their children.
What followed in the Wave Of Light absolutely filled my heart with so much joy. Dave and I were both inundated with messages of love, support and candles that had been lit as people thought of Dexter Bear and our ectopic baby. To know people are thinking of our babies and Dave and I is such a heartwarming feeling, we feel so lucky that people would take the time to think about us. I so wish Dexter could have been here to feel all this love, warmth and kindness but I know whichever shiny star he is sat on he was able to see the wave of light for him. He has changed our life in so many ways but I am so thankful everyday that he was part of my life for 24 weeks. After two very traumatic years following our ectopic pregnancy, being pregnant with him was the best few months of my life and I will forever be grateful to him for giving me and his daddy that. I am also incredibly proud that (hopefully) one day he will be able to earn the title of ‘big brother’ and what a title to hold, one he well and truly deserves.
Thank you to each and every one of you for thinking about our babies, especially our beautiful son Dexter – it never goes unnoticed and we will forever be appreciative.
Happy Friday (Happy Half Term for some) and thank you for the read,