Last year I got to “know” a blogger called Caz, a Mumsnetter whom I joined in protesting against the Eastenders cotdeath storyline. You may have forgotten the furore that followed the broadcasting of the episode where a mother discovers her son, lifeless in his cot and on the spur of the moment decides to swap her baby for a neighbour and friend’s living child. The storyline has ended, the characters have moved on but for some parents there was no happy ending. Their baby was not revealed to be alive, and living in the house of a mentally ill woman. Their baby was never coming back.
For parents it is the worst nightmare. The one thing that we all hope to be spared. We read about stillbirth and SIDs, we grieve with family or friends who have suffered and we pray to God (or whoever) that this never happens to us. Once our children are past toddlerhood we thank our lucky stars that we were one of the lucky ones, that our children are still with us. The worry about our children does not end, there are other things to worry about but we have dodged this bullet and we should be bloody thankful for it.
Some parents were not so lucky. In UK 17 babies a day are born sleeping or die within four weeks of birth. 17 babies a day. That is 6500 babies a year. 6500 families whose lives will never be the same.
Caz was one of the unlucky ones, one of people that we know as statistics. 17 babies – sounds like a lot but it feels like a hell of a lot more when you get to know the story and the people behind those statistics. Caz has been blogging about her journey without Anabelle this past year and fundraising for the charity SANDS which supports families who have suffered a loss of a child, funds research into still and neonatal births and helps raise awareness of what we parents can do to minimise the risks to our children.
Today is Anabelle’s first birthday. Caz has been blogging in the run up to this day, telling her readers of her feelings, sharing her despair, her tears, but also her hope for the future. Caz has already raised more than Â£1000 for the charity SANDs and this weekend she will hopefully raise a whole lot more at the fundraising day that she and her husband have organised.
I am a over a thousand miles away so cannot attend the fundraiser but I hope that with this blog post I can animate others to donate to a worthy cause. Please, if you can spare a little cash this month, click on the link to the Just Giving website and donate a small amount. Pass this on to your friends and family via Twitter and Facebook. Thank you.
Then once you have done that, go and give your children a hug and a kiss. Even if they have just smeared nutella all over the kitchen.
Sands & Grazia Petition to request more Government funding for investigation into research.