I had lunch with some angel mums at the beach today which was nice. We bonded over our birthing experiences and how the hospitals treated us. I realise how amazing I was treated during this time and that there is a large variation of experiences. Some women don’t get a dedicated social worker or understanding midwives. Some don’t have great doctors and are treated like any other patient. Others are wrapped in cotton wool and comforted each step of the way. I was one of the latter.
I believe more education is needed around how to handle a stillbirth through our medical system. From doctors, midwives, nurses and GPs. I had an interesting experience at my local GP today. She obviously hadn’t been exposed to anyone that has had a stillbirth as she had no idea. I told her my little boys name was Hamish and she was taken a back. Just said ‘Oh so you actually named him?’. I felt like saying of course I did you silly woman. My baby had a funeral, has a birth certificate and is registered as a birth just like any other baby. My baby looked like any other baby in the maternity ward he was just missing the cries, tears and breath. Just because my baby didn’t get to take his first breath doesn’t mean he doesn’t deserve to have a name or be remembered.
The GP then told me to keep busy, stop thinking, as thinking didn’t get anyone anywhere. Well let me tell you I will not be taking mental health advice from someone who says to stop thinking and from someone that is shocked I named my precious little baby Hamish. I will also not make myself so busy to numb my pain. To pretend it doesn’t exist. Last time I checked when you bottle up emotions and not let them out it doesn’t do anyone any favours. I will continue to feel all the feels. I will allow myself to cry when I need too. I will allow myself time to think and ponder life. I will honour my baby boy Hamish and remember him for the amazing person he is.
Thank you Hamish for enlightening me to the need for more awareness and education around stillbirths. I will do my best as your Mum to spread the word. This will start with an email to the GP explaining how stillborn babies are still born with a bunch of links to relevant articles that should increase her awareness.