"The amount of comfort that saying their name and acknowledging their existence brings is beyond describable."
Amanda Doyle - Mum of Scarlett Avery and Archibald Francis
We experienced our first loss back on Father’s Day in 2018 due to a placental abruption. Scarlett Avery was born still at 18 weeks and we got to spend eight beautiful hours with her. We then experienced the loss of our second born Archibald Francis. Archie was our well wished for IVF baby, and I ended up going into premature labour due to an infection caused by an incompetent cervix. Archie was live-born at 22 weeks and passed after around 30 minutes on 25/9/2021.
Losing a child is absolutely devastating and incomprehensible. It turns your world upside down and fills it with a sadness that is difficult to express. Experiencing two-second trimester losses has been extremely challenging but being surrounded by love and support has been pivotal in helping us get through this difficult time.
For anyone who knows someone who has lost a baby, please check in on them. Even if the message isn't responded to, messages of love without the expectation of a reply, are what got us through the early days.
I urge you to ask about the babies who didn’t get to stay, no matter how difficult or awkward it seems. The amount of comfort that saying their name and acknowledging their existence brings is beyond describable. Every loss parent’s fear is that their children will be forgotten, and we rely on family and friends to remind us they are not forgotten and to keep their memory alive.
Many people can be fearful of mentioning the loss of a child, but please don’t be afraid to ask for fear of reminding or upsetting them. We never forget, and while there may be tears, I can assure you they are tears of gratitude. Saying their name does not remind us that they are not here, rather demonstrates that they existed and you remember.
One of the most beneficial things we found useful was reaching out for connection and support. After the loss of Scarlett we cocooned ourselves to survive, and as a result, felt isolated and unsure how to share her story. After experiencing a second loss with Archie, we knew we wouldn’t survive without seeking support.
We sought professional counselling, support from Red Nose and Open House, and it has honestly been life-changing. It has allowed us space to talk about Scarlett and Archie and break the heartbreaking silence that comes with baby loss.
Saying our children’s names demonstrate a promise to honour our children and keep them alive in the present. It shows that our children matter and that you remember them, which brings so much love and warmth to our world.
I have documented my grief, TTC, IVF and healing journey on @after_archie my Instagram handle.
Photo credit - Images of Archibald and Scarlett taken by the team at Heartfelt.
Say Their Name Day is on March 25 – a special day to remember all of the little lives we have loved and lost, and support bereaved families.