Founder of Little Piece of Hope Helen Walmsley has shared with Gef how her experience of losing her third child led to the creation of the charity which helps bereaved parents.
In 2011 i was expecting my 3rd child, my First Daughter. I had no issues throughout pregnancy it was completely uncomplicated.
On the 30th of August when i was 24 weeks pregnant i woke up around 6am and I hadn’t felt any movements. I did all the usual things they tell you to do, Lucozade sport and cold water, changing positions. Still no movement, alarm bells began to ring in my head. I phoned up to the Jane who advised to try what i had done, they then advised to come straight up.
Although worried I wasn’t panicked, thinking Maybe she’d changed position. When my partner and I got to the hospital we were taken to a side room for a scan. There was silence in the room for what seemed like hours, it was really only seconds.
Then the words that stay with you forever ‘i’m so sorry we can’t find a heartbeat’. Shock hit, it didn’t seem real at first. time all of a sudden became a blur, we were asked if we wanted to go home take a tablet and wait for things to happen or start labour off at the hospital using pessaries.
It then sank in i was that many weeks, i was going to have to deliver a baby i was never going to meet. We chose to stay at the hospital at that point, things progressed fairly quickly and Hope Samara was born an angel. Hope as we needed hope at that time and Samara which means protected by God. I’m not religious atall but when something as extreme and heartbreaking as losing a child happens, meanings are important.
I was lucky as the staff were lovely, took her footprints and took photographs, I’ve heard of many parents since who weren’t as lucky. A vicar came to us and passed on information about burials, and registering her birth. as she was just on the 24 week mark i could register and bury her. Had she been a few days under she would have been classed as a miscarriage.
In the weeks that followed with up and down days and very little Aftercare I decided more needed to be done. I set up A Little Piece of Hope to support bereaved parents financially emotionally and practically. We now support parents via bereavement support, and holding a wave of light on the isle of man along with millions of others worldwide.
Hope will always leave an imprint on this world and on my heart.