Pregnancy loss charity gives thanks for support
TimeNorfolk the pregnancy loss charity held their third annual evening party at the Virgin Lounge in Norwich on February 23. This year the focus was on giving thanks to all those who have supported TimeNorfolk over the last year.
The evening was attended by over 60 people, the Mayor of Norwich and Councillor Gail Harris along with local businesses, organisations and volunteers were present to hear past clients' stories of how TimeNorfolk helped them through their experiences of pregnancy loss.
Here is an excerpt from one of TimeNorfolk’s past client stories which was shared on the evening:
'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. My husband and I held each other’s eyes, I whispered ‘Don’t look, don’t look’, and together we repeated our new mantra “we are just two animals on a planet". 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.'
'We then spent the next twenty five, beautiful, peaceful, hours cradling her, and the next day we sung to her as she died in our arms. We were suddenly three animals on the planet.'
'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 Time Norfolk: 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.'
'Time Norfolk 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 Time Norfolk. 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 Time Norfolk, thank you for helping me to save myself.'
Lesley Bradfield, the Head of Operations at TimeNorfolk [pictured above] 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. TimeNorfolk are so grateful for all the support they receive and it is a privilege and truly humbling to work with ladies and men who have suffered some form of pregnancy loss."
She thanked the four past client speakers and said how courageous they were to share their stories in public. She also thanked TimeNorfolk volunteers and local businesses for all their support and fundraising, without this TimeNorfolk would not be able to provide the service that is so vital to many men and women across Norfolk.
For more information about TimeNorfolk visit www.timenorfolk.org.uk