It has been an interesting week and life is plodding along.
I am talking tomorrow morning in the Ardhowen Theatre about a group that I want to set up called, Growing A Rainbow. This will be a support group for women who are pregnant after experiencing the death of a baby, either through miscarriage, stillbirth, or infant death. I know what I want it to be, but I do not know how to go about it. I want it to have a physical location firstly; I want it to be more than a group on Facebook (although I have set up a group on Facebook). I want to be able to fundraise for it (I have plans to purchase a sonographer machine for scans) and want to be able to apply for grants for funding. The services on offer will be group and individual Counselling, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, and Life Coaching - covering the past, present, and future. There will also be reflexology and other alternative therapies, and relaxation and meditation classes. I want it to be a support group, but also want it to be more than that. I want to provide literature and studies on the mental health issues which mothers and their families experience and want to get rid of the silence around baby death and maternal mental health.
So, with all this in mind, what structure does it take? Does Growing A Rainbow become a support group, a charity, a foundation, a non-for-profit organisation, a business, a community partnership, or an off-shoot of my own private practice?? I simply do not know. I have tried to pinpoint what is best and there is so much out there, so much that is contradictory, that I cannot figure it out.
The talk tomorrow is to brainstorm with other people in my community what they think would be best. It is also about networking and getting the word out there. I have sat on this idea for a long time and am laying the foundations in the hope that Growing A Rainbow will be up and functioning this time next year. The more I talk about it the bigger it becomes, and I haven't really talked about it in a public forum yet. I am excited about this talk tomorrow. Fingers crossed for me...!
I have returned. I am back from two days of training to be a volunteer for Sands. I am glad that the training is behind me, even though I thoroughly enjoyed it. Well, I do not know if enjoy is the correct word. It was intense, but not as hard as what I thought it might be.
We discussed many issues around stillbirth and bereavement. We focused a lot of the time on how to actually provide support to a bereaved parent, or couple. I found the talk about communication - both written and in person - very helpful. We talked about body language - always an interesting topic - and how to talk to bereaved parents.
I found it very insightful into the grieving process. Some topics, like embarrassment which people may feel about getting emotional, was helpful for me because it reaffirms the point that everyone is different and everybody responds to grief in different ways. I had not even thought that someone might not open up in a meeting because they would be worried about crying.
The ways that people deal with grief and the emotions that come up are so diverse that I need to be reminded sometimes of other possible ways which people may cope with their situation and their grief. Just because I have not dealt with a certain situation does not mean that it is not out there. And, on the flipside, just because I talk about Patrick and have photos up does not mean that every person displays photos of their child and talks openly about them. There is a myriad of ways which people react to their situation and cope with grief in their life.
It was a very insightful few days. I look forward to moving on with all the work that is in the pipeline for 2017.
I am jetting off to Manchester on Friday. Well, not quite jetting off, but going away nonetheless. I have training on the weekend and I am looking forward to it. I have been waiting for this for a long time.
Before the weekend, there are a few things I need to complete. I was sent a workbook of tasks to think about before the training. Most of these tasks are fine, but I am having trouble with 'my story'.
You see, I have to think of what I am going to say to someone when they ask me about Patrick. When someone asks me in a professional setting, for example, during a meeting, what am I going to say? What do I mention? What do I focus on? This is what I have come up with:
I was 39 weeks pregnant with my second son in April 2015. I went to hospital on a Saturday morning with reduced fetal movements. CTG scans showed that Patrick was distressed and an examination showed that I was haemorrhaging. The doctor decided that Patrick needed to be delivered and I was fasted for a c-section. However, a senior doctor overruled this decision and we were eventually sent home. After misreading a blood test on the Sunday which showed the extent of the haemorrhage, the senior doctor again missed an opportunity to act. I last felt Patrick move at 9.30pm on Sunday and, after being called into the hospital later that night, we were told that Patrick had died.
How is that for a 'story'? Is there a right and a wrong type? Should I focus on the doctor? Should I bring blame into it? Can Patrick's story be any other way? Again, too many questions. I suppose it is one thing to have it planned, and another to actually say it.
What will I say when it comes to it? I guess I will find out on Saturday.