A Chesterfield woman who spoke of the pain of being denied a birth certificate for her stillborn son has been fundraising in his memory- and assured other grieving parents ‘there is hope’ after babyloss.
Lily Barron was just 17 when she suffered the devastating ordeal of giving birth to her stillborn son, Leo- and was later told that at 21 weeks he wasn’t recognisable in the eyes of the law.
Three years on, Lily is still backing calls to lower the age that a stillborn baby can legally be registered, currently 24 weeks- and is encouraging parents to seek out support despite the ever-present taboo surrounding stillbirth.
She said: “Since Leo’s death, I went on to have two more children- Charlotte, who I can say without a doubt saved my life, and Thomas- who reminds me of Leo every day.
“But it never gets easier. There is no such thing as closure. At one point I was intent on ending my life. But you just learn to live with the pain.
“When people ask me how many kids I have, I always say three.
“Leo is always on my mind. I feel like every decision I make is influenced by him.”
Lily says that grieving parents can find support from a variety of different sources- for her it was online forums and groups.
“I discovered a whole community of people who’d been through the same tragedy and understood,” she said.
“You’ll be surprised by the amount of people you’ll come across who have lost a baby.
“They could be on your road, around the corner. It’s very common, but not spoken about.”
Lily’s first fundraising feat has seen her shave off her hair in aid of 4Louis, a stillbirth and childloss charity.
She’s joined by her friend Symone Cutler who also ditched her locks for Cancer Research in memory of her grandad.
The pair are attempting to raise £500 which will be split between the two charities.
To sponsor Lily visit her Go Fund Me page at: https://www.gofundme.com/3kdk5-head-shave-for-charity.
At present, parents of stillborn babies under 24 weeks are not issued with a birth certificate.
However, new rights giving paid leave to workers suffering the loss of a baby under 24 weeks are currently being set out by the Government.