Janet Whitelaw-Jones and Lyn Borsberry are not medal-winning, world record holders. They have not climbed mountains or sailed the seven seas but they are both extraordinary women.
They are friends of mine (who did not know each other before this call) who have both experienced baby loss and I am so grateful to them for publicly sharing their stories.
Janet and Kenny’s son, Joshua, was born at 25 weeks, nearly 20 years ago, lived for four precious hours and died in their arms.
Lyn and Tom’s beautiful boy, Pip, was born sleeping in 2016, four days overdue, after an IVF conception, a totally normal pregnancy and a night of labouring at home.
The conversation is about as special as I could have imagined.
Memories, moving stories, laughter, positivity and above all a sense that despite the life-changing, gut-wrenching loss they have both experienced, that their lives will go on. They are different lives to how they were before but they have learned to sit in it, let it be and live around it
We talk about how people can empathise and help friends and family who experience the death of a baby. We touch on IVF as well as making the decision to go on living and how to mark birthdays and include the loss in conversation and in family life.
Losing a baby is something that no one should ever have to go through and yet it happens all too often.
Both Lyn and Janet were helped enormously by organisations who specialise in this. They have lots of resources for grieving parents as well as for people supporting them.
What I learned: you can help by talking to anyone you know who is experiencing this, being kind, offering to help, asking about the birth and the baby, asking if they want to talk about it and treating them like the person they were before and not running away or staying silent because it’s too hard for you. Do not make it about your grief.
You can also donate or raise money for these charities, they really do do incredible work that helps so many people.
Thank you for listening. It’s not always an easy listen, but it is so vital to talk about these things.
If you have experienced this as part of your life, I send you my love.