Poignant stories shared as pregnancy loss charity TimeNorfolk held their third party evening
- Credit: TimeNorfolk
Moving stories were shared at TimeNorfolk's third annual party evening, where the focus was on giving thanks to all those who support the pregnancy loss charity.
More than 60 people - including Mayor or Norwich Marion Maxwell and Councillor Gail Harris - went to the evening at the Virgin Lounge, in Norwich - along with local businesses, organisations and volunteers.
They heard one past client's story of how the charity had helped her.
She said: 'On the day that I gave birth to our daughter, my husband and I were both rational and calm, but we were also terrified. She was over three months early.
'A huge team of doctors and extraordinary midwives were on the periphery of our little bubble of fear, doing everything in their power to bring our tiny baby into the world with care and respect.
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'My husband and I held each other's eyes, I whispered 'Don't look, don't look'.
'We fell utterly in love with our perfect, miniature daughter, Betty Kate Ellis. In that moment we were introduced to both her and ourselves and to a love we'd never known existed.
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'We then spent the next 25, beautiful, peaceful, hours cradling her. And the next day we sung to her as she died in our arms.
'After 'coping', back at work for almost a year, I suddenly couldn't cope any more. My mind gave up. The slightest thing, like having to decide what to have for dinner, was enough to drive me to my knees and curl up in a ball, wishing I could simply disappear into an abyss of nothingness.
'My husband picked me up with indescribable love and compassion and made me go to the doctors. I was very lucky – she signed me off work for two weeks with a sympathetic tear in her eye. I then discovered TimeNorfolk: a beautiful, extraordinary charity full of wonderful, incredible people.
'A warm, funny, kind and highly trained counsellor who listened to me without judgement and showed me how to survive my ongoing grief. She taught me about the affects of trauma on the brain and that it was absolutely understandable that I was feeling how I was feeling.
'She helped me to understand that my anxiety and depression were fight or flight responses that had stayed in play since the trauma of losing Betty. She taught me invaluable coping strategies and techniques.
'TimeNorfolk helped me to forgive myself. They helped me to find my inner strength again. To stop and breathe. To trick my brain out of its unhelpful fight and flight reactions. To start to love and accept myself again. It's an ongoing process but with their help, my husband no longer worries about finding me on the kitchen floor, staring blankly into space.
'A lot of people are lucky enough not to need the help of a charity like TimeNorfolk. But for people like me, who completely lost their way following the loss of a child, no matter what stage of pregnancy or early life, and no matter how long ago, they are invaluable.
'They are selfless, skilled, kind people who give their time voluntarily to lend a trained hand to lost parents who have lost their children.
'I used to say they saved me, and they did in a way, but actually what they do best is help people save themselves. So, thank you TimeNorfolk, thank you for helping me to save myself.'
Lesley Bradfield, TimeNorfolk Head of Operations spoke during the evening about the work of TimeNorfolk and said what a year it had been for TimeNorfolk seeing a growth in clients, volunteers, training and giving talks out in the community.
It comes as the charity is on the look out for volunteers to join them in a tandem skydive, in a bid to raise £2,000 - enough money to provide 50 one-to-one support sessions.
If volunteers raise £300 in donations, they can jump for free.
For more information about the skydive, visit www.timenorfolk.org.uk/blog/timenorfolk-sky-dive-fundraiser-1st-july-2017/