Hi all. My name’s Mia. The lovely Hannah has kindly allowed me to share a sad story that’s affected my family this month, in the hope that some of you might be able to help turn a tragedy into something really positive.
Becca and Paul had planned a home birth in Liskeard but were rushed to Derriford Hospital when Lentil’s heart rate unexpectedly started to drop. The hospital team began preparing for a C-section, but it was too late, Lentil’s heart had stopped. Becca delivered him naturally at 9 minutes past midnight on the 14th June in the Jasmine and Central Delivery Suite, a special unit set up for parents dealing with the loss of their baby. He weighed 8 pounds 11oz, with Becca’s tiny ears and mouth and Paul’s nose and feet. The whole family immediately fell in love with him, I was lucky enough to spend some time with Lentil at the unit and the strange combination of wonder and heartbreak on meeting a baby that hasn’t made it was like nothing I’ve ever felt. My main awe was with Becca and Paul who, through their complete devastation, managed to deal with the most horrific experience of their lives with grace, dignity and extreme strength. Their support for each other throughout has been a real inspiration.
Thank you for reading this post. When Mia mailed me to tell me of her sister and brother in laws story, as a parent it broke my heart. I would love this message to be spread as far and as wide as possible to help this increible unit continue to help support parents like Becca and Paul through one of those most unimaginable times of their lives. My love and strength goes out to you both, Becca and Paul as well to your family.
Sometimes awful things happen to the people you love the most, and there are no words of comfort you can offer. All you can do is share their grief, be there when they need you and make a lot of tea. That’s the situation I find myself in right now.
Becca is my amazing sister. She’s funny, strong and super smart. Despite being the baby of the family, she’s the one who keeps me in check. She’s a primary school teacher in Liskeard and I can honestly say I’ve never met anyone who loves their job so much. She’d do anything for the kids and goes above and beyond to ensure they all leave her class at the end of the year feeling special.
Last year she married her Mr Right, Paul, who’s the most supportive, kind husband she could wish for. They were delighted to discover they were pregnant last September and nicknamed their bump Lentil, because he was the size of a lentil when they received the good news.
Two weeks ago Becca went into labour. The family gathered at my parents’ house in Plymouth ready for the birth. Everyone was so excited to finally meet Lentil. We went to bed on Saturday night hopeful that by morning we’d have news that he’d arrived safe and sound.
But it wasn’t to be. I was awoken by my Dad with news that Lentil hadn’t survived the birth. There’s no feeling like the sudden wave of shock and grief when you realise something terrible can’t be undone, and someone you want to protect so badly is enduring the most awful pain.
|Lentil Bear was born June 14th 2015|
At a time like this most couples would understandably shut the world out and grieve quietly, not Becca and Paul. Incredibly, they’ve decided to turn Lentil’s tragic death into something incredibly positive. They received huge support from the midwives and staff at Derriford, and thanks to the Jasmine and Central Delivery Suite special unit, were able to spend quiet time with Lentil before facing the real world. The unit needs to raise £200,000 to buy vital equipment and continue providing their incredible service. Becca and Paul set up the Lentil Bear Evans Memorial Fund to ensure that if other parents have to go through this awful experience, they will receive the same level of care and support from the Jasmine and Central Delivery Suite team.
In just over a week they’ve raised almost £8000 for the fund, and are so grateful that Lentil’s story has encouraged so many generous donations and words of support.
I could not be prouder of my sister and brother-in-law, it’s times like this that make you realise you don’t say those things enough. My sister’s ruddy brilliant, in fact, this experience has made me want to tell everyone just how incredibly kind, generous and loving my extended family is. I’m just sad Lentil won’t get to grow up knowing them all.
There are still no words I can offer that will make anything better. And there are only so many cups of tea one girl can make. What I can do is help share their amazing story, raise awareness of the work of the Jasmine and Central Delivery Suite and ask people to support and share their amazing campaign, at www.justgiving.com/Lentil-Bear-Evans.
All donations, no matter how small, will make a big difference to other parents during their saddest time, and will help offer a small glimmer of light to my amazing sister and brother-in-law that Lentil’s short life has left a lasting impression on our often unfair world.
Thanks so much for reading this, it means a lot. And if you’ve got an amazing sister, remember to give her a squeeze and let her know.
|Mia with Becca and beloved dog Maisy.|