About the Author
Whilst I usually attempt to be vaguely amusing when I write, I decided one day that I wanted to turn my hand to a more serious subject; writing for a small charity. After a bit of discussion I settled on the charity Sands.
How did the book come about?
I was given a remit: to interview seventeen families (in line with Sands' Why 17? campaign) about their loss, how they learned to cope with their grief, and their experiences upon finding out they were pregnant again. I advertised for families on Twitter, Facebook and the local media, and collated the first seventeen responses. At that time I was new to interviewing, and was nervous to say the least. Interviewing someone is one thing, but interviewing them about the darkest and most emotional days of their lives was something else.
What happened next?
I then wrote each family's story and sent it to them so that they could read it through and make sure I'd got all of the details correct. Everything you read in the book is their story in their words: no creative license, no hyperbole, no sensationalism; just their stories through my keyboard.
As someone who has fortunately never experienced the tragedy of stillbirth or neonatal death (although we did suffer a miscarriage in 2008) I was taken aback by the strength of every parent who has suffered a loss. To continue in the face of such pain and heartache requires a special kind of person, and is a testament to the human spirit. I'd like to take this moment to thank everyone who agreed to be interviewed for their boundless bravery and openness in recounting their most grievous, private and personal moments to a complete stranger. I hope that through your experiences other parents who find themselves in the same situation can find comfort, encouragement and advice - and know that there is a light at the end of the tunnel.
One day, I hope that no parent will ever need to read this book. And, as an author, that is a very bizarre thing to say.