Our daughter was delivered stillborn at 39 weeks
In the days that followed her death, we felt so lost and alone, we didn't know what to do or how to feel, everything was so completely numb and bleak.
It was my sister who made us an appointment with the Plymouth Pregnancy Crisis Centre. I believe she felt so helpless given the situation so tried to find us some support. I think she must have rang every baby loss agency and charity in the whole of the South West! Some places no longer offered support, some only did telephone support and some didn't offer anything that would have been useful.
The only one place that stood out was the Plymouth Pregnancy Crisis Centre.We decided to attend the appointment. If I am honest, we went with the attitude that it probably would be of no help and that we wouldn't go back again.
I am pleased to say that we were completely wrong. Although the first session was sad with having to talk about what had happened, I felt almost a sense of relief of having someone to talk to who wasn't directly affected by our loss.
Although my sister had been an enormous support to us, she also felt so sad that our daughter had gone that at times I felt bad for talking about it because I didn't want to upset her further.
In the weeks and months that followed, both my partner and I attended sessions together which helped us individually as well as a couple. We were able to discuss our feelings around big issues such as the funeral, the postmortem results and returning to work, as well as how we felt just on a day to day basis.
The sessions have been held at a pace that has suited us. In the beginning we went every week but then made appointments for every 2-4 weeks depending on how we felt.
It has been of such enormous help to us to be supported through our journey of coming to terms with the loss of our daughter.The staff have been incredible and we could not have asked for more from them. They have been supportive, non-judgmental and kind, which in turn meant we could be so honest about how we felt.
Our sessions are not all sad though; it has also been a place where we could smile together and reflect on our short time with our daughter - despite everything, we do have some very fond and precious memories of our beautiful daughter and has been so lovely to be able to share them.
Some people say that with time the grief heals, others say that the sadness never goes away and you just learn to live with it in a different way. As yet, I do not know which of these is true, but I do know that without the staff at the Plymouth Pregnancy Crisis Centre, then we would not be where we are today. We are able to look to the future together knowing that in her own special way, our daughter ....... will always be part of our future too.