Laura's Inspiration - Guest Post

Many a time has a well meaning stranger asked “oh, how many have you got?” after seeing me with my children or “Is it your first?” while I was pregnant.  What may be a throw away question to some is deeply loaded for others.  

I am a Mum of four. I haven’t physically got four children with me, but I am a mum of four.  My eldest son Scott died when he was just six months old.  I am so thankful for the children that I have now, a beautiful daughter six, and two cheeky chappies four and two, I truly try and cherish every single moment with them (even the tired stressful ones!).

I lost my son to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome or as it is more commonly known cot death.

He was a 100% healthy, happy, perfect little boy who was full of sunshine.  The shock to discover that he was gone forever one day is something that neither me or my husband will ever get over, as other parents who have lost a child will understand, it is like a part of you goes with them and you are literally scarred and changed forever.

It was two weeks after Scott’s funeral that I realised quite unexpectedly (I must have conceived the week before he passed away) that I was pregnant. In every way, my daughter (who I was to discover I was pregnant with) saved us.  I hope it doesn’t sound cliché but the pregnancy literally gave us something to hope for, something to get up in the morning for and to have the strength to carry on.  After the loss of a child it’s natural to feel anxious, and I was so worried about something going wrong.  Thankfully I gave birth to a healthy (10lb 6oz ouch!!) baby girl.  For me that was when the worry really started.  We were fortunate to have the support of the fantastic charity The Foundation of Sudden Infant Death.  They fund a scheme to support bereaved parents that go on to have more children called the care of next infant (CONI).  This provided us with a breathing monitor, immediate access to A&E and GP should we need it and extra support from the health visitor.  Looking back I was living on a knife edge.  It wasn’t a case of IF something happened it was more like WHEN.  I found myself living in a state of terror that I might lose her.  But as she became older than Scott had been when he died, and especially when she turned two, the fear began to gradually get better.

I then went on to have my next baby, another beautiful baby boy.  Both my husband and I found it difficult to have another boy as it brought back so many memories of Scott, both happy and sad.  Again we had the support of the CONI scheme and used the breathing monitor’s everyday from birth. This definitely gave us some level of comfort.  When my son turned one we decided to try for our final baby and one month later found I was pregnant again.  We have been so lucky with regards to conceiving and I’m really grateful of that! Our final addition was another beautiful boy and although our family is now complete, there will always be a space, a hole that can never be filled.

We have very much kept Scott part of our family.  We have some gorgeous pictures of him around the house, we will often talk about him to our children and they will often ask about him as well.  On birthdays and anniversaries, we sing, eat cake and release balloons or lanterns.  I think it has really helped all of us as a family to be open and honest and to keep his memory with us.  

Fast forward to today and I am thoroughly enjoying being mum to these three vivacious bundles of fun, there is never a dull (or quiet) moment, and that is just the way I like it!

I am now in a position with a little more free time in the evening to start something that I have wanted to do since we lost Scott.  And that is promoting the FSID charity and highlighting the risk factors of sudden infant death to new and expectant mums.  I sat down with my hubby and we talked and brainstormed ways of me doing this...

I have just recently launched a website, and with the support of FSIDS and the Red Cross I have information on lowering the risks, links to the wonderful charity and links to the Red Cross running first aid courses across the country for babies and children.

This has then snowballed into something more, and I have had a wonderful new website built that not only combines the on-line resource of information of sleep safety and a whole host of other articles from pregnancy through to newborn, but also has a SHOP as well.  I found when I was pregnant that there are lots of maternity retailers on line, but none of them had a huge range and I would find myself trawling site after site in search of what I wanted or needed. This in mind I have brought together as many of the best maternity and baby retailers as I can – all on one site! 

We have added a forum so mums can chat and share tips and potentially buy and sell used pregnancy and maternity goods as not everything needs to be bought new!  So now I am just hoping that people come and enjoy the site.

So that’s my story, I hope you have time to go check it out;

www.maternitysupermarket.co.uk 

Laura
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We would like to say a heartfelt 'thank you' to Laura for sharing her story. Yes it is one of sadness, but also one of hope and a bright future. Scott will always be remebered and his legacy will live on through his family and through Laura's plight to help raise awareness of SIDS.

From Faye and Sophie - Blissful Bambino