"Myself and Andrew became volunteers for Aching Arms when an opening became available to prepare and deliver bears to one of our local hospitals. Just after we had received support from Aching Arms after losing our little boy Zachary.
The charity means a lot to us as they were there in our hour of need and helped us to help us know we were not alone on the path we found ourselves on after losing Zachary in 2018. Also by providing a bear it gave us something to hold when we was feeling empty and lost.
Our role is preparing bears with name tags of babies names that have been lost too soon, to then take to the hospital for midwife’s to give to families who have experienced baby loss. We all do this has a family especially our rainbow baby Taylor who loves to give each individual bear a special hug. We also like to attend different events in our local area to help raise funds for the charity but also to talk about and get awareness for baby loss.
Our personal journey started back in August 2018 when we went for our 20 week scan all excited to see baby and see if we could find out if we was having a girl or a boy. Our two older children came with us. As they did the scan, we found out that our babies heart had stopped and we had lost our baby.
From this we had to travel to our maternity ward in Lincoln, this was one weird journey where a million things go through your head mainly why us? Why our baby? How did this happen? Have I done anything to cause this? When we arrived I was scanned again to confirm we had lost our baby we didn’t find out that he was a boy till he was born.
The staff at the hospital were amazing and so gentle with us often knowing what we needed before we did. The next few weeks were hard and we got through in a blur of trying to manage our emotions and keep things as normal as possible for our two older children. We were given our Aching Arms bear (Oliver James Arlo Atkins) by the bereavement midwife and he stayed by my side, there ready to cuddle when I felt empty.
Just having this bear knowing we was not the only ones going through/feeling the way we did helped. Also knowing the charity was there to support and guide us was a god send. When the opportunity presented itself to become a volunteer for Aching Arms it felt like fate and that we joined a family of people who knew exactly what we was thinking/feeling, a family we love being apart of.
We also do fundraisers to help raise awareness for the charity. We have found ways of honouring our boy Zachary through Aching Arms as well has having his name on the side of two RNLI life boats (another charity we are big supporters of). Even on our wedding this year we had Zachary feature through out our wedding in many different ways from forget me knot flowers in my bouquet (we was given these seeds in his memory box from the hospital and they are his flower now), to having a lantern with the Aching Arms logo and a butterfly in to remember him, our photographer was the same one who came to the hospital and took photos of him for us to keep (who also volunteers for remember my baby) and Andrew and Zachary’s brothers ties had forget me knot flowers on.
We also celebrate his birthday every year by going to Flamborough as this is a family favourite place. All these things we do to remember Zachary are things that other Aching Arms members have advised us to do to help ease the pain."
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