“There is a light at the end of the tunnel” - Hipperholme couple’s message of hope to others after miscarriages
A couple from Hipperholme are organising a 54km walk in memory of their daughter and to raise money for the charity that has supported them.
Suzie Arundale, 22, and Andrew Brown 26, lost their unborn daughter Delilah Rose on April 21, at nine weeks, but have been helped through the process by the stillbirth charity 4Louis, who provided them with a keepsake memory box.
As a thank you to the charity, Suzie and Andrew, who have been together since December 2018, will be joined by friends on a walk from Moston to Brighouse on July 7, with all proceeds going to 4Louis.
“I found out on March 6 that I was pregnant. I had to go for an emergency scan because I was in pain and when I got there they said there was a chance I was having a molar pregnancy, which is where the baby receives chromosomes from just the father or just the mother, so it wouldn’t grow,” said Suzie.
“They told me I might need surgery because the pregnancy might not be successful, so I went back 10 days later but everything was OK with her, so we started buying all the furniture and everything we were going to need.
“Then I booked a private scan, and the lady just said ‘there’s no heartbeat’ and I needed to go to hospital for another one.
“The next day, when we got there, they confirmed she’d passed away and I’d need surgery.
“Two days later, I had the surgery and we had to fill out loads of documentation about what we wanted them to do with the baby’s body.
“And then we were given a keepsake box from 4Louis.”
4Louis was set-up by a couple whose child was stillborn in 2009, but wanted to help other families who suffered the same tragedy.
“They make memory boxes and put items in that would help a family go forward with the grieving process,” said Suzie.
“Me and my partner decided we wanted to raise as much as we possibly can for the charity so they can continue doing what they’re doing.
“They’ve helped us out a lot, without the memory box and without knowing the charity, I don’t think we’d have been able to progress as much as we have.
“This is now my third child that I’ve lost and I’ve never received anything from a charity before. If you want to talk, you can ring them, they’ve set-up something called Angel Avenue where you get jigsaw pieces and you put the baby’s name on it and the day they passed away.
“They’ve got over 330 names now.
“Even though they’re not physically there to help you through it, if it wasn’t for them giving my that memory box, I don’t think I’d have been able to cope with it. It has massively helped me.
“I’m also forever grateful to Marianne, and all the other staff, on the early pregnancy ward at Calderdale Royal Hospital.”
Suzie says fundraising for the charity has helped to give her something positive to focus on.
“The anaesthetist said to me it would help with future pregnancies if I were to lose weight, so I’ve bought a treadmill, and an exercise bike and lost a stone since it happened,” she said.
“I’ve got my own online business selling health and well-bring products and all the money I raised from raffles and doing bingo went to the fundraising.
“We’ve got 13, 14 people wanting to take part in the walk. Our target is to raise £1,000, and when we reach £500, the men involved are waxing their legs and the ladies are doing a body confident photoshoot for a calendar.
“Doing that photoshoot will help promote mental health as well as making other girls feel confident with their body.
“Losing three babies means I’ve got stretch marks but I don’t want to have to hide them, I want to help other people feel confident in their own bodies.
“When we reach £1,000, the guys are going to be doing a full monty.
“We’ve got other suggestions about dyeing our hair, waxing eyebrows and head shaves.”
When asked what message she would like to send to other families who have gone through what she and Andrew have experienced, Suzie said: “I’ve now had my third miscarriage and I wasn’t getting any extra support from the doctors or the hospital, to indicate why it happened.
“You only get help after your third miscarriage, and I want everybody to know that, even though I might be a nobody to other people, for me to come out and share my story about what we’ve gone through, it’s because I want people to know that every pregnancy matters, and there is a light at the end of the tunnel, you will get help eventually.
“There is somebody to talk to, if anybody needs to come and talk to me, I’m always available to talk to.”
To donate, visit https://gofund.me/b2e6be26.