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Something close to my heart… Red Nose Day

Jenny Tiffen

I went to a SIDS AND Kids event once. I didn’t want to go. I didn’t want to belong there. I didn’t want to see photos of babies that had died and I certainly didn’t want to make friends with the parents that had lost a child. It was all so sad and confronting. But I pulled myself together and asked my husband and family along with me. Because like it or not, we DID belong. My first baby was stillborn and we ALL needed to cope with the pain.

In 2005 I was lucky to conceive my first child. A boy! We were ecstatic as most first time parents are. The pregnancy for the most part was great. I grew and “glowed” and did all those mum-to-be things. And like many pregnant women, experienced a day where my baby bump was a bit quiet. The kicking had calmed right down. “This happens sometimes, it’s okay” I was told. But in my case, my baby never kicked again. He had died.

My world and my heart completely shattered. I didn’t know much about stillbirth back then. I had heard of SIDS and Kids but I never thought it would be a charity that I would be overly connected with. I was wrong.

SIDS and Kids ACT was there for me and my family within the first week of delivering. They even provided information that I could email my friends, to help them deal with me! You can find those resources here. It is incredibly hard to know what to say to someone who has lost a child. The people around me were pleased to have the tools they needed to help me and to help them get through this sudden loss. We were also provided with a number of free counselling sessions where my husband and I could start to process and work through our feelings together.

I make a sick joke that SIDS is code for “We don’t know why your baby died”. Which is actually kind of true. Some little people without explanation simply don’t make it into the next hour of life. It’s a horrible thought that no likes to think about. Now when I see the Red Nose stand I think of it as “Buy a Red Nose to help a broken heart”.

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This Friday 26 June is Red Nose Day. There are so many great charities and causes out there and we are constantly asked to fork out for each of them. You can’t even go to your local shop these days without being hit up for cash. All charities do amazing work. But if you want to support SIDS and Kids – this is the week to do it.

SIDS and Kids ACT is encouraging everyone to buy Red Nose Day merchandise. Support is simple but life-changing for Canberra families dealing with the tragic and heartbreaking loss of a little one.

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On average SIDS and Kids ACT receives two new referrals every week. Their organisation offers free counselling to anyone affected by the loss of a child during pregnancy, birth, infancy or childhood – no matter what the cause of death. And sadly, nine children under the age of four die suddenly and unexpectedly every day in Australia from causes including sleeping accidents, drowning, motor vehicle accidents, sudden onset illness, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) and stillbirth.

My story has a happy ending. My husband and I have gone on to have four lovely children. The reason they exist is because their mother was brave enough to try again {their father too but seriously it’s the mother right!?}.

I bought my tribe some Red Nose Day merch as I do every year. It helps us talk about their big brother Cooper in heaven AND reminds me of how lucky I am that these four all drew breaths at birth. Suddenly the noise of a crying baby becomes the most beautiful sound in the world.

Your help will truly make a difference.

Red Nose Day is this Friday 26 June. Find out how you can get involved here. If you need to talk, call SIDS and Kids ACT on 6287 4255 – they provide free, trusted counselling to anyone affected by the loss of a little one from conception onwards.

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Jenny Tiffen

Jenny Tiffen is happily married with four healthy children. She dates her husband every Wednesday and blogs about it {and other stuff} at lovewednesday.com.au. Jen is a pug-loving, cake-eating gym junkie and a lifelong Canberran who now lives on the internet. Follow Jenny on Instagram @love_wednesday

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