Service to remember lost babies
It’s been 10 years since the passing of Waikato mother Zoe Storer’s son and she plans to honour his memory this Baby Loss Awareness Week.
Her son William died at 37 weeks gestation on May 15, 2008.
Zoe cradles a teddy bear in her arms as she speaks of William.
It is a possession she treasures, bought in memory of her baby and inside 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,” Zoe says.
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 4 at the time, was there to meet William, along with the grandparents as well.”
The family brought William home with them later that evening and began to grieve.
It has been 10 years since that day, but Zoe still remembers the lavender scented 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 9-15, commemorates losses like Zoe’s.
She is a long-time volunteer for the Waikato region of Sands New Zealand, 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) in Temple View, where families can bring a painted rock to hide in honour of their baby. If you don’t have access to rocks to paint, Sands Waikato will have some pre-painted 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 in 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 kick off 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 babies.
“I feel Baby Loss Awareness Week makes it possible for everybody to mention their babies,” Zoe says.
“You don’t need to belong to a group to be part of the events, there are mothers who may not share their babies with the world at any other time but can light a candle to honour their child,” she says.
As a part of Sands Waikato services, they offer support meetings and Maggy’s Catering has sponsored them with the use of their upstairs venue space as a support room.
There is quite a bit of work to be done to tidy up the space, so the charity is currently seeking help with painting, flooring and furniture to get this room up and running for bereaved families.
If you have experienced a loss and would like to get in touch with Sands Waikato, or you’d like to offer help with their new support room, contact the charity on 0800 570 033 or visit www.facebook.com/ SandsWaikato/
Zoe Storer cradles a teddy which holds the ashes of her baby William, who died 10 years ago.