#miscarriage #stillbirth #babyloss
In September 2013 I lost one of my twin sons shortly after birth. As a dad and husband this has had a profound impact on me, something I am only just beginning to understand many months later.
I am not the man I once was, and will never be him again. In looking for support myself I have found that there are very few resources specifically for dads - this is why I am creating 17dads.
As dads, our first instinct is to protect and support our wives and partners, handling those difficult calls to family and friends, making arrangements, sorting things out while putting on a brave face.
Dads are often overlooked after a baby has passed away, it's nobodies fault, it's just the way it is, but sometimes we need to reach out or have others reach out to us. Blokes don't like asking for help, we're proud, we're stubborn and we are expected to be strong, but going it alone and bottling it up can sometimes be a slippery slope - this is what 17dads is for.
Somewhere we can easily and discreetly communicate with our peers, share stories, share advice, forge friendships or maybe arrange to meet over a beer for a chat.
Awareness.. I would also like 17dads to create awareness of the impact of miscarriage, stillborn and baby deaths on dads and their families. A place friends and family who may find it hard to know what to do or know how to reach out to grieving dads can find information and advice. Many employers are unaware of the impact of child bereavement on dads who often go back to work too early, who are often shown very little compassion and support from their employers.
So, what happens now?.. Development has already begun but it will take time before we can launch the project. Myself and other dads are doing this in our spare time so it will be a few months before we're ready. In the meantime please show your support by subscribing to the newsletter or following the project on twitter. We will keep you informed of progress. Please get in touch if you have any suggestions for the project or would like to offer your support.
May 2017 - Social Support Platform. The Beta release of our Social Support Platform for dads will soon we with us. Watch this space..
Nov 2015 - Thor's story has been published today, for the RCOG’s national quality improvement programme Each Baby Counts, to try and reduce the number of babies who die or are left severely disabled as a result of incidents occurring during term labour.. an important project and a privilege to have been asked to contribute to it..
We hope Thor's loss can hopefully begin to bring some good and enable him to make a positive mark on the world..
"Every mother, every father and every family who have to suffer, and live with the consequences of a preventable loss share one thing, a simple thing, a deep and powerful wish that things could have been different - through Each Baby Counts, you have the power to makes things different!" read the full article..
Nick Mason (Pink Floyd fame) has kindly agreed to host a private tour of his extensive car collection in aid of 17dads.org, one of the best private collections in Europe. His collection is not open to the public and access to it is extremely rare. A massive thanks to Nick for kindly giving us his time and access to his toy box. More details on this to follow.
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Please get in touch if you have any suggestions for the project or would like to offer your support by email (email@example.com) or by sending a message using the form below.