First, I’d like to have a little personal talk about why Remember My Baby is such an amazing charity, and one that is so important to me. Donating to help bereaved parents is a cause that sits very dearly in my heart. Many of my friends, family and acquaintances will know that over the past two years, my partner and I have sadly lost two babies (Willow and Teddy) before birth, and the recovery has been a long process in which we clawed our way back to reality and sanity. To lose a child is to lose a part of one’s soul.
I first heard about Remember My Baby in the summer of 2015, not long after losing my daughter Willow. I was sad that I did not know about them at the time of her passing, but more than anything, it was something I admired. I wanted to be a part of it. I wanted to help other parents who had lost a child. But I could not bring myself to be around parents in that stage of their grief at the time, being too fresh from it myself.
Since losing Willow in February 2015, I have made sure to dedicate time to support causes in relation to bereaved parents, whether it be fundraising for awareness campaigns, donating to the hospital or staying up late, chatting to mums online who are wracked with grief. It took me a long time to be able to be around a newborn again, since every time I felt wracked with a feeling of unexplainable guilt, nausea and tears. Grief. Slowly, I worked my way back into the newborn photography field last year and now offer it year round.
One day in early summer of 2017, I was admiring the courage of a bereaved parent who had shared their story online, when I realised that the photographs and story no longer re-opened my own grieving wounds. I realised it was time to apply to join the ranks of wonderful people who are donating their time to honour these precious babies.
For those of you who don’t know or haven’t already guessed, RMB is a charity who have professional photographers volunteering their photographic services (retouching of parent’s personal files and professional photo sessions of lost babies and their families) for the benefit of parents across the UK who have suffered a loss, before, during or shortly after birth. Our goal is to create images that will help bereaved families remember and treasure their lost babies forever.
It’s a really wonderful cause, one that deserves to be shared across the nation. Sadly, the subject is very taboo. But the facts are: Every one in 200 births ends in a stillbirth and 1 in 4 women will suffer a miscarriage. Eleven babies are stillborn every day, and around 250 infants will pass from SIDS every year. This is happening everywhere. This is happening in your local hospital every week. These amazingly strong angel parents are everywhere.
I write this in the hopes that anybody reading it will put the word out. Firstly, RMB needs volunteer photographers to devote their time to offering their services to bereaved parents. And secondly, to hospitals and parents who might benefit from this service. Many parents are worried that they will not be able to afford the photographs and so opt out of them, but this is not the case. This is the gift of our time to you. WE DO THIS FOR FREE for you, entirely for you to cherish and help remember your baby forever. Over the past two years, RMB has become more and more widely known, but there is still work to be done.
If you’d like to know more about RMB, head over to www.remembermybaby.org.uk to get involved, share the charity or seek out the services.
Other wonderful charities/services in Kent for bereaved parents:
Cherished Gowns for Angel Babies – www.cherishedgowns.org.uk
Abigail’s Footsteps – www.abigailsfootsteps.co.uk