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Have we cracked the nod?

July 2, 2012

I’ve just had such an exciting phone-call. Many of you who have been reading this blog for a few years will know that G and I run a support group for parents who have lost a child through miscarriage, stillbirth or neonatal death, based in Cape Town, but for all South Africans. For a long time, we pushed on doors at various maternity hospitals and wards, to publicise our work, to no avail. We had several positive meetings with various people, but since then, we’ve heard nothing at all.

In retrospect, it was probably a good thing, as I doubt we could have coped with much more than we were doing at the time. On average though, we get about 4 or 5 contacts a month, several of whom take it no further – just needing to know that there is someone there if they need it. However, we’ve been having about one meeting a month of late, so things are slowly picking up.

Which leads me to the phone call I’ve just had. I don’t usually answer my phone for numbers I don’t recognise, but for some reason tonight I decided to answer. On the phone was a trauma counsellor who works for Discovery, wanting to know whether he could refer someone to us!! I’ll skip the bit about the woman involved, and jump straight to the bit I found exciting. I asked him how he got our number, and he said he’s not sure. He didn’t know of anyone offering a support group for stillbirth, so he contacted a friend at Cape Town municipality, who then contacted someone else, who then contacted someone else, who just ‘happened’ to have our number (not even our website url or email!).

Now I ask you – if that isn’t Providence, then what is?

So – it seems that news of our small support group and the work we do is slowly starting to filter around the city. This thrills me beyond words! Not because I want to be famous for anything, but because it means that the men and women who are in deep distress can be reached, and comforted, and given hope. I’m not expecting much to change in the immediate future, really, because our experience is that Saffa’s don’t like to talk about death, or about losing a child. 

 Yet, just knowing that the right people out there are becoming aware of us, and can refer others to us, means that I know that our work of bringing hope and support and comfort to these very broken people will increase, and that excites me intensely.

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6 Comments leave one →
  1. Sindy McGarry permalink
    March 11, 2013 1:50 pm

    Hi, please could you give me a contact number for your support group and where and when the meeting take place. Many thanks!

  2. R Markgraff permalink
    September 20, 2013 5:47 pm

    Micah (pronouned Meekah) meaning “who is like Yahweh(God), is the name of our stillborn, born on May 10, 2013, only 4 months ago. I have been looking for a support group after a bad experience at a supposedly private hospital. The staff were cold, insensitive and not helpfull. We were totally shocked at the treatment we received especially when I read how wonderfully other mothers with stillborns are treated in other countries. My husband and I wanted to start a support group but it was too painful for me to deal with it at that time. Please make this much needed servive available at all hospitals, private and public.

    • September 20, 2013 6:06 pm

      Thanks. We would love to, but those hospitals we have approached, although expressing interest, are actually not fussed about it, and don’t real he ant outsiders present in the wards. They have good reason to be cautious, I guess, but it really does disturb us how blasé many of them seem to be about this issue.

  3. Jamie permalink
    May 30, 2014 6:56 am

    Hi there

    My name is Jamie. I’m 29 years old living in Silverlakes Pretoria with my boyfriend. A few days ago I had a miscarriage at 14 weeks. It was my 2nd one the 1st one (in Oct 2013) was at 6weeks and not as sever as the one I had now.
    Its been a few days only and its getting a bit better everyday, however I can feel in me that this is not going to be easy to get over as I had witness graphically how I lost the baby and the events of that day keeps on lingering at the back of my mind.
    My mom suggested I seek counseling and I have searched the internet to find your info on one of the webpages.
    I am due to see a gynecologist next week which is important but also challenging as we do not have medical aid. I was admitted to Pretoria East hospital during the happening but it cost us a fortune. I do need help though , for physical and mental analysis.

    Please advise if you could help or refer me to the right places.
    Anyone who can help is welcome to E-mail me, I could really do with some support

    Thank you

    Kind regards
    Jamie

    • May 30, 2014 7:20 am

      Hi Jamie. Firstly, we’re so sorry to hear about your losses. One is bad enough, but to lose a second can be extremely traumatic. We would definitely recommend you seek professional help – ask about discounts as some professionals are very supportive in this regard. We don’t have a list of professionals who can help, but if you email us – bornsleeping(at)gmail(dot)com – we will put you in touch with some others in your area who have walked this road. Try to find yourself a grief counsellor – churches are a good place to start looking as many have pastoral counsellors who are experienced in dealing with grief counselling. Also feel free to join our Facebook group where you can also chat to others around the country who are in, or have been in, similar circumstances. In the meantime, you could also try joining the SANDS message board – http://uk-sands.org/. Although they are in the UK, they are extremely helpful, and because of the large number of people signed up you will also find more people who have a very similar situation to your own. Strength to you as you walk this road!

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