Walk a chance for families to pay tribute to babies

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Jan McBain created a memory shelf at her home with mementoes of Nate, the baby she miscarried in November 2014. Photo: Laura Smith

AN Invercargill woman who suffered a miscarriage says she feels guilty, even though she knows she could not have done anything else to save her baby.

Jan McBain lost her “dearest” Nate when she was close to being 12 weeks’ pregnant in 2014.

She felt lonely when she learned she had miscarried as she said many people did not want to speak up about it.

However, discussing a pregnancy loss could be cathartic and therapeutic, she believed.

“I don’t know what I was feeling. Numbness, I think, and I still feel it now.

“It is hard. It is really hard and I did not have anybody to talk to straight away and I did not know how to process my feelings.”

Years later, she was still working to deal with the pain, but part of her recovery process was to create a memorial shelf at her home which included a glow candle, a picture with the ultrasound image and other mementos which reminded the family of the baby.

“It acknowledges he is part of the family no matter what.

“He didn’t get to survive, but he was a part of me. He was a part of my partner. He was a member of the family.”

The ashes of the baby were placed in the family garden near a windmill.

“When it starts spinning, the kids [her children] say that Nate is playing with his windmill.”

As part of Baby Loss Awareness Month, Ms McBain was promoting a Sunday at Invercargill’s Eastern Cemetery at 11am, to help bring Southland families together to remember their “precious baby”.

Families would be able to write the names of their babies in blue, pink or yellow cut-out footprints, which would be hung in a bush.

On Thursday, October 15, candles would also be lit by thousands of bereaved parents across the country as part of Baby Loss New Zealand support, which helped families deal with the loss, creating memories and healing hearts through active parenting and memory making.

“The candles are left burning for at least one hour which will result in 24 hours of candlelight all around the world in memory of precious babies and children who are taken too soon.”

Ms McBain said the main reason for these events was to incentivise families to talk about miscarriage.

“A lot of woman are too scared to talk about it but I would like them to open up. They are not alone.

“Nothing will ever replace the babies [the event] is to recognise and acknowledge the importance of the baby in the lives of those families.”

  • Anyone wishing to find out more could contact Ms McBain on 0211 759 801 or go to the Baby Loss New Zealand Facebook page.
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