The Baby Loss Hub - Neonatal death - Instagram pages, shops & charities
Following on from part one of my recommendations of what has helped me in this past year, which you can read here. This part will concentrate on instagram pages, shops and charities. For me, finding instagram pages that shared so many of the thoughts and feelings I was having was so validating. It gave me the option to simply share the post to my story, letting friends and family know a snippet of what I was feeling without having to express it in my own words all the time. Having Clay die at full term in the way he did also meant I sometimes found it hard to find people that I could fully relate to. However I realised after a while that regardless of the type of baby loss a lot of the emotions cross over into one another. I appreciate and respect that everybody has their own shitty path, their own emotions and feelings and no one person can every truly understand what you are feeling in your head, but I have come across many pages along the way that I have found comfort in. Theres too many to mention them all, but I've listed a few below that come to the forefront of my mind.
everymamasheart - Caileigh has such a beautiful way of writing and sharing many thoughts that happen with life after baby loss. She also has a beautiful Etsy shop that you can look at here. Caileigh touches on many different aspects of what life is like after your baby has died in a really relatable way.
Zoeadelle - I'm sure many of you know of Zoe's instagram, but if you don't I would highly recommend following her. I have shared so many of Zoe's posts, it was one of the first instagram pages I found and followed after Clay had died and I really appreciate how beautifully she articulates so many of my thoughts.
After Evalyn - As well as her blog that I mentioned in my previous blog, Lyndsey's condense thoughts serve as the most beautiful instagram posts. Her poetry and quotes have helped me so much and I think many will find them relatable.
Breathing After Loss - I've only recently found Katie's page, but as soon as I started this list of helpful instagram accounts, I wrote down this one. She speaks about a lot of the topics that are messy, raw and difficult to articulate and one's that I have struggled myself to find the right words to express. But reading Katie's posts often feels like reading my own thoughts back to myself.
Unexpected Family Outing - With Rachel's posts I find them really helpful to send on to friends and family sometimes to help them understand a little more about what we are going through. Rachel also has polls on her story's often which I've personally found really helpful as it gives you that reassurance that you aren't alone in your thoughts, no matter how odd you might think they are in your head.
Babylossresource - Natalie is a baby loss lawyer in the UK. As much as I wish that wasn't a thing at all I'm forever grateful for Natalie's and her posts, they have helped so much with understand so many new terms that may be thrown at you after your baby dies.
HSIB, the coroner, Inquests, complaints. In quite simple words 'what the actual fuck' is what went through my head the morning after Clay died and paperwork was thrust into our lap about post-mortems, did we want a HSIB or hospital investigation? and many more questions that your brain can't fathom. Having Natalie's posts to help understand the process a little more and also to send on to family and friends has helped a lot. She also posts a lot of relatable life after loss thoughts.
Grief Club - last, but definitely not least on this list is this instagram page. The thing I love most about this page is the fact that Beth does not in anyway sugar coat her words. Even in baby loss its easy to sometimes soften the way we phrase things to make it more palatable for the other person to take in and understand (I've done this before), but Beth's posts are real, authentic and so relatable. I find myself nodding a long when I'm reading a lot of her posts.
When you are in the early days of grief shopping doesn't really come to mind. But when those shit firsts come along, birthdays, mothers day, fathers day, Christmas. I found myself searching for cards, presents, something tangible that felt right for us.
Heart in their hand - I was lucky enough to come across this instagram page/shop before Clay's funeral. I loved the idea of having a keyring where the missing piece had been touched by Clay. The hearts are now in Clay's urn with him. I know this one is quite a niche shop as its only really helpful if you are reading this before your baby's funeral. But I wanted to mention it, it might be you know of a friend or family member that would find comfort in something like this like we do.
When you wish upon a star - The thing I really like about this shop is the collection of different cards that don't contain the phrase 'angel baby'. Now there is nothing wrong with that term at all, and if you find comfort in it that that's amazing but for me personally I don't connect or use the term when talking or thinking about Clay. I have found a lot of baby loss stuff though does use this term so it can be difficult to find products that don't have it on. I especially love When You Wish Upon A Star's cards.
Little Harry & Co - This shop is mainly clothes for loss mums, it has some really lovely tops, jumpers and pyjamas. I do like wearing tops that say 'mama' on them and this shop does some really touching ones. Theres also baby clothes for either siblings and/or rainbow babies.
I know most of you will have heard of charities such as SANDs and Tommys, but the one I wanted to mention was Beyond Bea Charity, their aim is to raise awareness around baby loss and also educate healthcare professionals. For me, educating healthcare professionals is such an important thing to do. I, for one, received little support after we left the hospital from healthcare professionals. I did have a visit from a bereavement midwife but after she said the words ' I know how you feel, my dad died last year' I couldn't confine or find any kind of connection with her. Not to say the death of a parent is easier than losing a baby but this lady was probably in her 60's and her dad was probably at a very good age before he passed, so nothing like the hand we had just been dealt. I really think I would have found comfort in my bereavement midwife if she had more education on baby loss and knew how to support me better at a time where I didn't know how to support myself, instead of just thrusting pantalets in my hand and having incredibly long, drawn out pauses with the infamous head tilt. I'm sure there is good bereavement midwives out there, but there's definitely a lot of room for improvement. This is why I think what Beyond Bea is doing is so important and needed, we haven't yet done much fundraising but I do think when we do Beyond Bea will be at the forefront of my mind to fundraise for.