Elle wrote this book to share her story about becoming a mother and how sometimes the path to parenthood isn’t quite the journey we expect it to be. Heartbreakingly Elle’s son, Teddy, died when he was just three days old.
But this isn’t a sad book, yes it is extremely emotional and raw but it is also an achingly honest and hopeful book. I feel it is actually a very important book and one that can hopefully pave the way to a wider conversation, and to encourage people to open up about difficult and heartbreaking issues and knowing that we don’t need to be afraid to say something/anything to a parent who’s child has died.
The sad reality is that some babies don’t make it home, some parents come home without their baby in their arms and now is the time we need to break the taboo and start discussing child loss as well as miscarriages and still births.
I remember telling her not to be afraid to ask questions, that no question was too silly, and that I wouldn’t get angry or upset with her for asking. It enabled me to talk openly about Teddy from the start, and this was a tactic I went on to use when I first saw any of my friends after Teddy’s death.
As nannies we need to be ready for these conversations as we work so closely with parents and are sadly likely to come across these situations during our careers and it is important that we are sensitive to the emotions and feelings of our employers as well as not being worried about what to say.
This also applies to our friends and peers and being able to be there for them and support them at such a distressing time.
A lot of reviews for this book state how helpful it has been for parents who have suffered the loss of a baby, Elle mentions in the book how she was looking for hope that things would get better- and hope is what this book offers to bereaved parents. Elle talks about Teddy with such love and pride and it is her biggest want to never stop talking about Teddy and her parenting journey.
I believe that there are always brighter days to be had for all of us, no matter what we have been through; sometimes we just have to find those little extra things that help us get there. Sometimes we just have to be brave enough to help ourselves.
Elle set up a JustGiving page shortly after Teddy died, it has so far raised an incredible (correct as of September 2018) £71,360. If you would like to read more about Teddy’s legacy or donate you can do that here.