Break­ing bar­ri­ers of loss

Hamilton News - - COMMUNITY -

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.face­

Photo / Shon­telle Camp­bell

Zoe Storer cradling the teddy bear she has in me­mory of her son, Wil­liam, who died.

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