My daughter Sophia Rose Weeks was born in October 2011 and died on 3rd January 2012 when she was just about to turn eleven weeks old.
When my daughter died I was supported fantastically by my family, friends and employer. However, I have spoken to other males who didn’t feel that they had the same experience. I have long felt that if I am ever able to offer that support then it would be an honour.
A couple of months after our bereavement we attended a family day out organised by The Lullaby Trust. This was our first interaction with other bereaved families and whilst we found it difficult due to the fact that we were still recently bereaved, it was comforting to talk to other families who had been through the same situation.
We had also made the decision that it felt right to have another child, and luckily for us had conceived quickly, so when we attended the family day out my wife was already pregnant with our third child and being able to talk to some health professionals was extremely beneficial.
“I have always found it a personal comfort to talk and write about my experiences and emotions about my daughter”
We took full advantage of many parts of the CONI scheme. Even the simplest things like having a discrete sticker at the start of our notes meant that we knew hospital staff would be prepared to look after us just that little bit more, and after the birth the respiratory monitor meant that we could sleep at night.
Through The Lullaby Trust we have also given consent for tissue samples to be used to help further research into Sudden Infant Death and maybe move closer to an answer for many families on why a loved one died.
I have always found it a personal comfort to talk and write about my experiences and emotions about my daughter, and have pondered the love and support I received after she died. I also know how the smallest things can make a big difference. This makes me all the more mindful that if someone feels they need a little extra support, being able to assist and lend an ear could make a world of difference to them.