Losing our son Joseph James Collier at 23 weeks is the most painful thing that my husband and I have experienced mentally and emotionally.
Overcoming the failings of our first attempt of IVF and then seeing a positive on the second attempt let us feel joy, hope and happiness. Seeing a heartbeat from 7 weeks and being told we are having a healthy boy at 20 weeks gave us confirmation that we would have a son. However, when my waters broke at just over 21 weeks, our son was left fighting for his life.
We later found out that an infection induced early labour and our son was born, sleeping, at 23 weeks. We would never know what colour his eyes were, what facial expressions he would have or be able to recognise his laughter and cry. The pain of this was, and still is unbearable.
The feelings of guilt, the what ifs and failure we both have seems endless. Even more distressing, giving birth pre 24 weeks, in the eyes of the world our Joseph does not exist. Not being able to register his birth 2nd December 2018 with Darren and Kay Collier as his parents is heartbreaking. We know we have a son, but without having an official birth certificate, records will never show that he ever existed.
With no registered birth, there can be no registered death. We all say hello from the first scan. How can we say goodbye? The options offered to us were a private funded service with his body placed in a shared grave, a group hospital cremation. Buried on our own private land, like a pet. He was too small to cremate to obtain many if any ashes. Any collected could have been scattered over a dedicated memorial garden at a cemetery.
We are aiming to start our own charity to raise money for a plot of land to allow a place to lay sons and daughters to rest who have been born through a late miscarriage.
‘Ride 4 Joseph’ has been born. It is a bike ride, over 300 miles, that his Daddy, Darren is doing dressed as a monkey riding a 20” BMX from London to Truro from 22nd to 26th August 2019.
We want to provide other parents, family and friends a recognisable place of rest for individual reflection, but also to give comfort that they are in an angel community, all dancing and playing together.
In order to get this charity registered, we need to raise £5K. We are asking you kindly to donate and share our link to get our son, Joseph James Collier, known to the world and to let his untimely death have purpose. To help others in grief and provide a better option and support that can bring some comfort in desperate times of sorrow.
Everyone has a purpose and we hope Joseph gives legacy to many others.
Ella’s Memory and Sands gave support to us both, and so we would like to donate 10% of the funds between them.
Now please, please donate however small and share the link. A little amount can still make a big difference. Thank you.