For many families facing the nightmare of losing a baby Debbie Davies, Counties Manukau Health’s Perinatal Loss Midwife walks the trail of grief with them and it was one difficult conversation three years ago that spurred her to seek a service at Middlemore that would formally acknowledge International Infant and Baby Loss Awareness Day.
Last night at 6:45pm, as has happened each October 15th since 2018, CM Health held a service at the Middlemore Spiritual Centre that sought acknowledge and remember the babies that have been still born or died while in care at Middlemore.
Debbie says that a special part of the Middlemore service, and those others around the world, is the International Wave of Light which begins in New Zealand.
“At 7pm people taking part will light a candle in memory of their baby, creating a continuous wave of light that wraps around the globe.”
Debbie says that many involved find comfort in the ritual which helps them with the grieving process.
“It is important for families to be given an opportunity to acknowledge their loss and for parents in particular to be able to say their baby’s name out loud and to assert that their baby’s life had meaning and had an impact.”
Debbie has also ensured the service is open to staff members, many of whom work closely with these families and need to be recognised for both the work they do and the weight they carry.
“I have the names of so many of the babies swirling around in my head. I have been touched by so many families, and I know other staff members have too so it is important that their grief and experiences are acknowledged.
“So while it can be difficult, confronting and emotional, this service serves a very important function and the feedback I have received from our staff and those parents who have lost babies reinforces that this is a valuable initiative.”