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SANDS group

(18 Posts)
gingerbreadmanm Thu 23-Jun-16 11:25:57


I am attending my first sands group meeting next month and wondered if anyone attends any and can tell me what to expect?

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Alb1 Thu 23-Jun-16 17:22:15

Hiya, I don't no either but I'm hoping to attend one soon, I keep chickening out, so thought I'd boost to see if anyone else comes along...

gingerbreadmanm Thu 23-Jun-16 19:04:15

Oh thanks alb. Been almost a year for me! I didnt really want to go at first but when i did it was a bit too far away and at an awkward time. Theyve relocated so next one it is.

I am just wondering what the format is e.g. all sat in a circle talking about what happened or what? I duno!

I do know its probably going to feel amazing speaking to someone who has felt how i have.

Hope you r ok and sorry for your loss.

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Alb1 Thu 23-Jun-16 19:17:54

I wonder the same, I really can't imagine what the format will be! I'm nervous about it because I don't no anyone whos been through it, and 90% of people are still avoiding me as they don't no what to say, I feel like a real outcast at the minute, so on the rare occasion I do have to talk about it out loud I just burst into tears, it's so embarrassing! But I'm hoping speaking to people who aren't desperate to change the subject before they say the wrong thing will make my embarrassment worth it. When is it 1 year for you?

gingerbreadmanm Thu 23-Jun-16 19:39:54

I think ive spoken to you on another thread actually alb! If you dont mind me asking, what happened and when?

My son was born the end of july last year at 27weeks 2days. I had a scan booked at 27weeks due to a disability being diagnosed at his 20 week scan (PFFD).

No1 talks about him now. If i ever mention him at work everyone goes quiet. It's like it never happened.

I am so looking forward to being able to talk about him and not feel like i shouldnt.

I have a dear friend at work she has been good to me through all this but she minimises it so much what happened and it gives me the rage. People have no idea what its like to loose your child before you even have the pleasure of getting to know them.

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Alb1 Thu 23-Jun-16 20:22:33

My DD was born on 1st may this year, went to a routine appointment a few days before and her heartbeat was incredibly high and it had caused hydrops so she was swollen and there was loads of excess fluid around her, they tried to treat her in me but it was too late and she passed away.

Apart from DH and one friend and one family member everyone is too afraid to ask me about it, it's like she never existed. It's weird how people treat stillborn babies like some sort of taboo isn't it? People recommend the sands forum aswell but it seems very quiet which is a shame, hopefully wel both have a nice experience with the meetings smile

gingerbreadmanm Thu 23-Jun-16 20:29:38

Ahh yes ive been on your threads before. That's terribly sad. Very recent too? How are you getting on?

If you would like to talk about her im all ears!

I was getting mega anxious with ds's birthday coming around incase people ignored it. I know two or three family members that have already bought things for it so that has settled me down a bit.

I'm off work the week before but it falls on a sunday. Not sure what state ill be in on the monday.

Have you taken a longish maternity leave?

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Alb1 Thu 23-Jun-16 20:47:55

Doing ok generally, some days are worse than others but I'm guessing that's the same for you? I'm not decided about maternity leave yet, work have been lovely thankfully and havnt even asked about it yet, I can't imagine going back at all at the minute and facing everyone who I chatted to about my pregnancy every day, I feel ashamed somehow, I'm hoping it will change with time.

When did you go back to work? Aww that's lovely that people have bought things, your baby really diserves to be remembered on his birthday so I'm glad people are making the effort, also glad you've managed to take some time off work for it, iv found so far that the build up to the big dates is worse than the date itself, although I'm sure that's different for everyone

3littlebadgers Thu 23-Jun-16 20:47:57

Hi ladies, my dd2 was still born at 40+5 last March. I have been to quite a few SANDS meetings and found them really helpful.

I was a bit worried they would be like an AA meeting 'hello my names badgers and I'm a bereaved mummy' and all that, but they just didn't feel like that at all. Our local group has a day time meeting and an evening meeting. The day time meeting and evening meeting have quite a different feel. The evening one was busier, in a church hall, and tended to be couples but there were people like me whose DH didn't feel comfortable attending and the day time ones tended to be the odd couple but mostly the mothers. The day time ones on our local SANDS group were more intimate and in one of the befriender's houses.
For me the daytime meetings work better.
The meetings are quite informal, and generally the conversation flows just as it would with a group of old and dear friends. We share experiences and stories and remember our babies with others who understand just how lovely it can be to just be able to talk about that much loved child. If you are approaching a tricky milestone or just getting over one, having that group of wonderful people to walk that path with you is a little blessing.
You take from it what you like to. I took pictures of my Dd to the first meeting, I just wanted people to see her who wouldn't be shocked by colour of her skin or her black little lips, and they lovingly looked at her and appreciated her in a way that you imagine people would when looking at a baby's photos. That meant the world to me.
Another lady on our group found that she was getting herself into repetitive habits, I guess a bit like OCD and she used the meetings as a way to talk about it, and focus her own mind on overcoming her urges. Everyone has been so supportive to her.
The loveliest the thing is how when you are there you feel like you belong. These people know your pain as they feel it too. There are no uncomfortable silences, and sometimes we even have a giggle and share the good times too.

A few of us have swapped numbers so we are there for eachother when we are having one of those down days, and to send eachother texts on those significant days. I feel like these ladies, who I have only known for a year, know and understand me better than my own parents.
I hope this has helped, if you have anything specific you'd like to know I'll try and answer as best as I can.
I hope you both get some peace from the meetings and I am so very sorry for you losses flowers

gingerbreadmanm Thu 23-Jun-16 21:17:53

Thanks 3 for sharing. I think we have spoken about our losses before. That sounds great and just like what i need.

The feeling of being so alone is the worst part of it all. I think with his birthday coming around it is quite significant also the thoughts of ttc. I will definitely need support through that. You've made it sound lovely, i'm looking forward to going now. I wouldn't have thought to take a picture so will have a think about that.

alb i took 4months then went back on a phased return for three weeks then had hols over christmas. Tbh, if it hadnt have been for money id have took longer. It was good to have something to do being back at work but being sat there made me feel like nothing has ever happened and i guess brought a feeling of guilt on me. I also missed going to the cemetery daily at first. That did get better though.

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Alb1 Thu 23-Jun-16 21:22:33

Thanks badgers that's very helpful, I also hadn't thought about pictures, nobody has seen ours so that could be nice.

ginger do you think you'll start TTC soon? We decided to try straight away but have already run into problems and the whole thing is very stressful and emotional so it's a good plan having people to support you first

3littlebadgers Thu 23-Jun-16 21:29:57

Ginger, I hope you have a lovely time celebrating his birthday. That little boy deserves all of our thoughts and wishes on his big day.

I found the run up to Azra's birthday quite traumatic, we had planned her headstone to be placed on the same day. Originally it was going to be something to focus on but then it sort of gave me conflicting emotions. Anyway a bit of a long and slightly woo story but it turned out alright.

Her birthday itself was lovely. I really enjoyed having a valid reason to go all out her. I filled lots of pink helium balloons and tied them to various bits of hers that I took out for the day. Her little outfit, the weighted memory bear we use to signify her etc. I tied some to the from if the house and even the post lady stopped by to give me a hug and say she remembers. smile we ate cake and opened cards and sent her a special balloon. I got to celebrate her and that in its self was the best gift I could ask for.
We are missing our gorgeous babies, but we are still their mummies. Our love for those little people is stronger than death itself and when you think of it like that our pain is almost beautiful because of them.

gingerbreadmanm Thu 23-Jun-16 21:48:34

Oh 3 that is lovely and i have welled up. I am glad you found a way to celebrate her on her birthday.

I fell to pieces when my sons headstone was placed very unexpectedly. Think knowing it was there in black and white knocked me for six.

Im not sure. Dp and i havent been getting on. I want to and i only want a baby with him but i know a pregnancy is going to be mega stressful so now probably isnt the ideal time.

Im getting older though, only 32 but since i have had an mmc then the problems with lucas i just think i shouldnt really be hanging around. Id like to be trying before the year is out. Difficult to know what to do for the best though.

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3littlebadgers Fri 24-Jun-16 18:36:42

Ginger, believe me, I understand. Ds3 is 21 weeks old. I found the prospect of becoming pregnant good, in the fact that there was hope, but the moment I became pregnant I became a nervous wreck and the anxiety increased as the week's ticked on.

Accept all of the help that you can, lean on the health care professionals and do not be afraid to show them how venerable you feel. Our SANDS has just started a pregnancy after loss group (west London) and there is a thread on here called the Rainbow Cave which is pretty much the same thing. You will not be alone, and I am always here to offer an ear if you want to offload.
Much love to you all and the very best of luck

gingerbreadmanm Sat 25-Jun-16 00:10:41

Thanks 3.

Ooh 21weeks how lovely. Hope he is bringing you lots of happiness!

Tbh i think leaving it a while will have done me good. My memory is crap so i wont necessarily associate it all with lucas but i guess until the time comes i wont know for sure.

Ive browsed the rainbow cave a few times and am sure it will be helpful when the time comes. Thanks again.

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gingerbreadmanm Wed 06-Jul-16 14:48:41

Just wanted to say thank you all for your comments. I attended my first sands group last night and it was great. For the first time in a year i felt normal.

Being able to talk about my son and how i brought him into the world was so therapeutic. I'm so pleased i went.

I was a little over whelmed at first. When i saw all the women say around the table i started crying uncontrollably as i was so sad that we had all been through that nightmare.

Its left me feeling a little odd today. I have never felt like my partner really acknowledged what we had been through and for me to feel so sad for a bunch of strangers, its just made me wonder how he doesnt feel that way.

When i think back now, i dont even know if i have ever seen him shed a tear for our son. Is that strange?

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Alb1 Wed 06-Jul-16 16:15:26

Thanks for updating ginger I was hoping you would! I'm glad you enjoyed it. Does everyone sort of sit in a circle and take turns to talk about their experience? I don't mean that to sound negative if it does, I just have it in my mind that it'll be set up like an AA meeting so I'm curious.

With regards to your partner maybe he just deals with it differently? My DH cried loads with me for the first few days, and at the funeral, but other than that he hasn't, he says that he doesn't like to show it in front of me as he likes to be strong (although I've told him I'd rather he cried with me), and that he just handles it differently to me. Grief is just such a personal thing isn't it? It's a shame really because if found that fact that me and DH deal with it differently leaves me feeling alone with it, although we are best friends generally. We're there any men at the group?

gingerbreadmanm Wed 06-Jul-16 19:17:15

It wasnt like aa at all. I was dreading the sitting in a circle introducing yourself and telling your story but apart from introducing myself to the two befrienders running it there were no introductions.

Sounds weird but it worked well. The befriender basically started a conversation and you just joined in if and when you wanted. It was all very natural.

Its the first time in a year ive felt normal.

I was surprised at the people there. I guess cos sometimes i wonder if i was to blame (overweight), but the women were all different and it made me feel, well not good, but like it can happen to anyone. I really enjoyed it.

As for dp, in all fairness we unexpectesly lost mil 3 wks before ds was born. She waa early 50s. He didnt cry much about that either. I just feel like he doesnt get it at all. He doesnt talk about lucas and i feel like he has no sympathy for me when he regularly feels sorry for people for stupid reasons. I dont think he truly knows how heartbroken i am and the pain ive been through.

Another eye opener for me yesterday was speaking in front of the women who have gone on to have other children and how upset they still got. I naievely thought when i was fortunate enough to bring a healthy living child into the world it would all hurt a little bit less.

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