Loosing an infant or child at a young age is a tragedy that many people are not sure how to approach or talk about.
Unfortunatly, Kerstin and Jens Locher are very familiar with the tragedy.
In 2011 they lost their son Marlon two days after he was born because of complications during delivery.
One year later their son Tobias was stillborn after 35 weeks of pregnancy.
Jens Locher says the loss was unimaginable.
“We just functioned in a way. It was all so full on, it felt like a dump truck had hit us in a way. We were exhausted…there was emotional stress. We basically just tried to get through it somehow.”
Locher says it’s something that many people don’t know how to discuss.
“People are often at a loss for words. I learnt it’s not that people don’t want to talk about it, it’s just that they don’t know a way in to talk about it.”
The family now wants to use their experiences to help other parents who are going through similar struggles.
They have started a blog where they write about their life with their daughter Thea, and where they talk about the conversation surrounding the loss of children.
They have spearheaded the October 15th campaign, which is now a National day of Awareness for Pregnancy and Infant Loss.
And they are now hoping to raise money to buy Cooling Cots for St. Paul’s Hospital.
A Cooling Cot is essentially a place to keep the body of a baby that dies during or after childbirth. The cot keeps the body cool so parents can take more time to say goodbye to their child.
“During the time…with a stillbirth when you don’t have the chance to meet the child before birth and baby is already deceased after birth, you have very little time. There are mementos that we found to be very helpful for us like castings of the hands and feet, taking pictures. But this requires time to do. So there’s this very short time of opportunity that’s precious. We just want parents to be able to spend time with their baby.”
The family hopes to raise$15000 to buy a cot for St. Paul’s, and would like to expand to other hospitals in the province.
Links to the Locher family’s websites and fundraisers:
Listen to Jens Locher talk to Liza Yuzda on the Sean Leslie show earlier today: