Breaking barriers of loss
Ten years on since the passing of Waikato mother Zoe Storer’s son, she plans to honour his memory this Baby Loss Awareness Week.
Her son William died at 37 weeks gestation on May 15, 2008. Storer cradles a teddy bear in her arms as she speaks of her son. It is a possession she treasures, bought in memory of her baby and it holds his ashes.
“I had stopped feeling movements and went to check with my midwife, so she put me on a monitor before going to the hospital to have a scan,” Storer said.
It was at that scan that she found out William had died. After this devastating news, she was scheduled to be induced a few days later, but the day before it was meant to happen she started having contractions while talking with the funeral director.
“We met the midwife at the hospital at 1pm and I was fully dilated. Over two hours later I delivered William. Our eldest son who was aged four at the time was there to meet William, along with the grandparents as well.”
The family brought William home with them later that evening to grieve.
Storer still remembers the lavenderscented oil her midwife used to bath William that day.
She thinks of him every day, along with her husband and their children. Baby Loss Awareness Week, held annually from October 9 to 15, commemorates losses like Storer’s.
She is a long-time volunteer for the Waikato region of Sands New Zealand which is an organisation that supports bereaved parents and families who have experienced the death of a baby.
To commemorate Baby Loss Awareness Week, Sands Waikato will hold a memorial service and walk on Sunday, October 14 at 2pm, at the Taitua Arboretum — meet at the Roman Ruins section — where families can bring a painted rock to honour their baby.
If you don’t have access to rocks to paint, Sands Waikato will have some prepainted rocks available on the day for people to hide.
Sands Waikato will also be participating in the global wave of light at 6.30pm on Monday, October 15 — the final day of the awareness week.
All are welcome to join them at the Rose Gardens, Gate 2 of the Hamilton Gardens. Meet at the Garden Pavilion.
After the candle service, all are invited to a shared supper and to place flowers in the river in honour of their babies.
New Zealand is the first country to start the global wave of light, with every country lighting candles at 7pm their local time to ensure the light continues on for 24 hours around the globe in honour of angel babies.
“I feel Baby Loss Awareness Week makes it possible for everybody to mention their babies,” Storer said.
■ If you have experienced a loss and want to contact Sands Waikato, or can help with their new support room, contact the charity on 0800 570 033 or visit their Facebook page www.facebook.com/sandswaikato/
Zoe Storer cradling the teddy bear she has in memory of her son, William, who died.