Land­marks light up for baby loss

Bristol Post - - NEWS - Tris­tan CORK tris­tan.cork@reach­

SOME of Bris­tol’s land­mark build­ings are turn­ing baby blue and baby pink this week - for a very poignant rea­son.

The likes of the Bris­tol Hip­po­drome, Ash­ton Gate Sta­dium, the Wills Memo­rial Build­ing and the fa­mous M Shed cranes are all be­ing lit up in the soft colours this week.

It’s to show the city’s sup­port for the peo­ple who have ex­pe­ri­enced their baby dy­ing, ei­ther dur­ing preg­nancy, at birth or in early in­fancy.

A range of build­ings will be lit up this week and next Mon­day, to raise aware­ness and get peo­ple talk­ing about the is­sue.

They are be­ing lit up for peo­ple like Peter By­rom, a fa­ther who was re­cently sup­ported by Bris­tol SANDS, one of 60 char­i­ties na­tion­wide tak­ing part in the project.

Peter, now a mem­ber of the com­mit­tee, knows all too well how peo­ple are af­fected by los­ing a baby.

“We felt ut­ter dev­as­ta­tion as the doc­tor very clin­i­cally told us four words that would change our life for­ever: ‘Your baby is dead’.

“For what was prob­a­bly just a few sec­onds but felt like min­utes I didn’t breathe and it felt like my heart had stopped.

“That was Jan­uary 2, 2004, she was 27 weeks preg­nant, and noth­ing would be the same. Ever again.

“Three days later our beau­ti­ful son Thomas was born in the main de­liv­ery suites at South­mead Hos­pi­tal. We spent a lit­tle bit of time with him be­fore we moved to the Maple Suite to try and be­gin our re­cov­ery and fig­ur­ing out what we would do with­out the son we ex­pected to take home with us.

“We tried to work out what our new ‘nor­mal’ would be. In the days that fol­lowed we both went around in a daze and tried to com­fort each other, while try­ing to com­fort rel­a­tives who were feel­ing our loss too.”

Peter and his part­ner were ac­tu­ally lucky to have the Maple Suite at South­mead Hos­pi­tal - one of the is­sues the Baby Loss Aware­ness Week is look­ing to high­light is the lack of sep­a­rate suites, de­liv­ery units, rooms and fa­cil­i­ties for par­ents who have lost their ba­bies.

It’s a unit sup­ported by Bris­tol SANDS, whose spokesper­son Char­lotte Coombs hoped the lightup would get peo­ple talk­ing about baby loss - some­thing peo­ple too of­ten go through alone.

“We hope turn­ing the Bris­tol Hip­po­drome and the MShed cranes pink and blue will spark con­ver­sa­tions about baby loss and give lo­cal be­reaved par­ents and fam­i­lies an op­por­tu­nity to talk about their pre­cious ba­bies,” she said.

Bris­tol Hip­po­drome lit up for Baby Loss Aware­ness Week

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