An open and honest book about the traumatic loss of a stillborn baby and the emotional impact on mother, father and immediate family.
It describes the journey of a normal pregnancy that tragically ends and the heartache that follows. It seeks to understand and make sense of the loss, while exploring the difficult emotions and responses that can be experienced.
For professionals it provides helpful guidelines on what Anna found useful and also what hindered her process. And for family and friends it is a useful guide to the impact that this type of loss can have both physically and emotionally on the parents, while offering suggestions of what was helpful and what might not be.
Sleeping Angel, written by Anna Marie, a mother who lost her baby, Mac at 41 weeks, was desperate to find resources to support and help her through the difficulties of giving birth to a stillborn baby. Anna found nothing, so using her own experience she wrote Sleeping Angel to help others who have sadly experienced the same loss.
Anna describes the normal excitement expectant parents experience and how quickly this changes when told their baby has died. Through her experience Anna has hi-lighted key areas to help parents, family and friends experiencing this type of loss.
Losing a child through stillbirth brings about many challenges to the parents in that moment and months afterwards. Anna talks about the impact of being informed of the death, giving birth, how the body of the expectant mother behaves as though the baby has arrived safely and how distressing that reminder can be in the following weeks after the loss. More importantly Anna openly discusses what can be beneficial in those precious moments after the baby has been born and why it is important to create memories and how this can help the grieving process.
Stillborn loss is different to other types of losses and this book seeks to connect with those experiencing this type of loss. It provides an experience of another, giving a sense that you are not alone.
The book covers in more detail the following –
• Helpful list of ‘Must-knows’ for the parents of the stillborn, family and friends. And explored in more detail further in the book.
• The journey of Anna’s happy, normal pregnancy and the impact of the sudden loss of that pregnancy at 41 weeks.
• An honest, frank overview of Anna’s experience and a discussion on what was helpful and what wasn’t.
• Anna’s reflections on regrets and what she would do differently, especially around the importance of spending time with baby, creating memories, taking pictures, planning funeral/memorials.
• The difficulties Anna experienced when facing the world again.
• Anna wrote the book because she wanted others to know that they are not alone in this experience and help understand some aspects were a normal part of the loss. She also encourages you to talk with others who have also experienced a loss through stillbirth to help you heal.
• A frank discussion about subsequent pregnancies; the difficulties that may be experienced, how this may help in the healing process and how meeting others has helped with her journey.
If you feel you would benefit from meeting others who have experienced a pregnancy or early infant loss and bereavement please contact me to discuss attending a Support Group. Individual and couple counselling is also available if you prefer.
Contact Julie on 07929 953978
Previous blogs related to Sleeping Angel:
13th February 2018, Training
21st February 2018, Early Pregnancy and Infant Loss and Bereavement
Picture: jenniferfuchs. (2018) ‘Baby.’ [Online] Available at: https://pixabay.com/en/baby-footprint-feet-1276064/ (Accessed: 7 March 2018)
Picture: ulleo. (2018) ‘Book’ [Online] Available at: https://pixabay.com/en/book-read-learn-text-literature-2306181/ (Accessed: 7 March 2018)
Smith, AM. (2004) Sleeping Angel: A true story of a mother of a stillborn baby. Mustang: Tate Publishing, LLC.