I had the great honour of being invited by my friend Melanie to be with her on Friday as she had her first scan of her growing baby at 12 weeks.
I can’t tell you the joy we both felt as Mel is 41 and this is her first longed for child. To see the baby kicking their little leg out will stay with me forever – what a joy and what a miracle.
But thousands of women miscarry, or experience stillbirth and this extraordinary woman Zoe Clark-Coates has lost five pre-term babies.
Saying Goodbye is a way for grieving couples to experience closure and they have organised cathedral services in various cities in mainland Britain this summer – London, Exeter, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Birmingham and Manchester.
Everyone involved has donated their time – and contributions in kind – including clergymen and women, organists, choirs, florists and printers. Parents will be invited to light a candle at the service to commemorate their loss. With the backing of the Miscarriage Association, which celebrates its 30th anniversary this year, Zoe was able to approach numerous cathedrals. “Their response was amazing,” she says. “They immediately said this was exactly the kind of thing they should be doing, that there was such a need.”
Today, Zoe and Andy have two daughters, Esme, aged three and Bronte, eight months. But Zoe regards herself as a mother of seven, not as a mother of two. “I don’t want to forget the babies who were never born. They will always be a part of me,” says Zoe.
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Further information, including a list of dates and locations for services, go to sayinggoodbye.org. The Miscarriage Association offers support and information to anyone affected by pregnancy loss: miscarriageassociation.org.uk