A teenager when first child was stillborn, Dickleburgh mum launches charity fundraiser
As a teenager expecting her first child, Hannah Day spent the last month of her pregnancy planning her unborn baby’s funeral.
A 20-week scan had shown up problems and her baby was stillborn at 25 weeks in December, 2011.
I count my blessings in a way that I found out I was going to lose my baby. I did not go in one day expecting to have a baby and then it didn’t happen
Yet she can still say: “I count my blessings in a way that I found out I was going to lose my baby. I did not go in one day expecting to have a baby and then it didn’t happen.
“Up to that point I was oblivious about what could happen in pregnancy and you think everything is going to be OK and it isn’t. I had never been aware how many babies were lost.”
Now 23, a single mum to three-year-old Joshua and living in Dickleburgh, she is determined that something positive should come from her misfortune. She returns to the James Paget Hospital at Gorleston to talk to medical professionals and discusses with student midwives how to cope with people who are going through the same loss she suffered. “Everyone has their own different coping mechanism. It is making something positive out of a bad situation.”
And although Joshua wants her time as much as any busy toddler, and ill-health last year meant she could not carry on with a property rental business she launched, she has set herself the task of organising a huge charity ball to raise funds for SANDS and Count Kicks for research into stillbirths and neonatal deaths and family bereavement support.
”Both of them do phenomenal work and I do want to give something back,” she said.
Hannah added: “The support I had at the Paget from the chaplain and SANDS and other bereavement services was brilliant. I had numbers I could call at all times and I got a memory box with handprints.”
Support was there for Hannah in her second pregnancy - “I was very anxious and nervous because by then I knew things could go wrong” - and still is at times like anniversaries or Christmas when she saddened by memories of her loss. “It touches you more than you understand,” she said.
It is to secure that same sort of support for other mothers that Hannah now has to sell 300 £45 tickets for the ball at Sprowston Manor Hotel on July 30, with a meal and music by the Jonathan Wyatt Big Band, casino tables, raffles and an auction. Ring 07833 722 056 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for tickets.
n SANDS (Stillbirth and Neonatal Death) and Counts Kick both offer mums and families practical and emotional support during pregnancy and after the death of a baby. The SANDS website reports that in 2013, 5700 babies - more than 100 a week - died just before, during or soon after birth. Counts Kick teaches that counting a baby’s movements is a good health monitor.