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Mother Writes an Open Letter to Her Midwife after Heartbreak of Stillbirth Loss

Mother Writes an Open Letter to Her Midwife after Heartbreak of Stillbirth Loss

Our midwives are trained and in an intimate and integral role to help in delivering our babies, but their support and their impact extends so much further. One mum expresses her gratitude for the midwife who stood by her in extraordinary and profoundly difficult circumstances.

Pregnancy is one the greatest gifts for women and for families. It brings life and a path for the future laid before you. It is beautiful yet it is fragile and sometimes, heartbreakingly, pregnancy does not unfold as we had hoped. For my husband and I our story and our journey with our second child, tragically and abruptly ended and our beautiful baby boy was born sleeping, he was stillborn. Knowing that your baby’s movements have stopped, learning that their heart is no longer beating and preparing to naturally deliver a child who will never cry is unbearable. The weight of the loss and the pain of the grief is crushing.

Support during the birth of your sleeping baby is crucial and the role midwives play is deeply humbling and nothing short of marvelous both in their grace, the gentle kindness and beautiful, genuine empathy. My son was lost and born in France and while neither of my midwives spoke English and neither myself or my husband spoke French, grief translated, support translated and they held my hand, rallied around me through every pain, emotional and physical and as our son was born and lay lifelessly cradled in my arms they held us and they wept, openly, with us, together bonded in our grief. I will be eternally grateful to these remarkable women.

Mother, Jo Walsh, has written a beautiful, raw and open letter to her midwife first seen on Kidspot, after the loss of their baby. Her honest and cathartic words have expressed in so many ways, what those who have lost, have often found difficult to say;
Dear Shirley,
Bryan and I would like to extend our deepest gratitude to you for helping us through what we are sure has been the most difficult times in our lives together.
You were there from the beginning right through until the end, you stood up for me when I couldn’t (although I tried bloody hard) and your compassion and sympathy went a long way.
Thank you for your love and support and also for knowing us so well.
Although we were there for a short time, it did seem like forever, I feel you knew us and what we needed so perfectly.
I wanted you to know we came home and told everyone about you and how wonderful you were.
Some said, “It’s her job, of course she was wonderful” but Bryan and I both feel you went above and beyond.
We would like to thank you for being there, the call of duty.
You are an amazing coach, Shirley.
Thank you.
Lots of love,
 Bryan and Joanne

For our midwives THANK YOU, thank you in times of happiness and thank you in times of complete sadness. Thank you for finding the last ounce of strength when it’s all become to hard, thank you for knowing and for understanding without a spoken word. Thank you for carrying scared, emotional and wild women on your shoulders. Thank you for taking the hit and brushing it off. Thank you for sharing in our tears, joyful and broken. Thank you for your connection, your cool and your calm. Your role and your influence is profound and integral and, in truth, will last a lifetime. For Jo Walsh, thank you for having the courage and the strength to say what many of us have found so difficult.

Laura Sheehan

Laura Sheehan is an early childhood teacher and Perth based mum of two to Brody aka 'The Hurricane' and Daisy aka 'Little Ray of Sunshine.' Laura hosts a small blog The Whole Mummy looking at all things Mummy, the good, the bad and the ugly with brutal truth and honesty. Laura works closely with the Meningitis Centre Australia, having nearly lost her Hurricane to Meningococcal B Meningitis, as well as the Stillbirth Foundation Australia due to the heartbreaking stillborn loss of her second son Beau. Laura, along with her former Wallaby husband and their family aim to promote awareness of these two tragedies, offering support and encouraging greater understanding of each. They are ambassadors for both the Men Centre and The Stillbirth FoundationYou can follow and learn more about Laura's story on her blog thewholemummy.com and her social media (Instagram and facebook links).

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