Letters from Cardiff in lockdown: Jude Davies

Today’s instalment for the Letters from Cardiff in lockdown series comes from Jude Davies. We’re looking for your stories, so please contribute to Letters from Cardiff in lockdown. 

I had just begun my new normal life when we went into lockdown. In December I had suffered a horrific miscarriage which had left myself and my husband shell shocked. Initially I locked myself away, not speaking to or seeing anyone. To lose a child and all your hopes and dreams for them is devastating, the worst thing that can happen to any parent and I couldn’t comprehend how life just continues.

I felt lost at sea, with no idea how to navigate my new life. I was an emotional wreck, I thought I was having a breakdown. I couldn’t sleep or eat.

I tried filling the void that was left. I put Morgan’s ashes in a teddy bear, I bought an urn necklace for the remainder of the ashes, had a tattoo, built a memory box, planted a tree, wrote my miscarriage story down, got an inscribed ring, but nothing helped. After weeks of searching I decided to start a not-for-profit group to help others in our situation and so… Morgan’s Wings was born.

I was on a phased return to work whilst trying to recover from the physical and emotional aspects of miscarriage and setting up Morgan’s Wings with my husband and a friend when we were suddenly plunged into lockdown. It was around this time that my uncle passed away from Coronavirus too. I was already scared but this drummed into me how serious this awful virus was and how serious I should be in keeping myself, my family and everyone I knew safe too.

I tried not to dwell on everything too much though, I had just climbed out of the darkest days following my miscarriage and with news of lockdown and loved ones dying I needed to keep myself out of that black hole. I needed to keep focussed. I ploughed myself into my work, looking after the children and working hard to get Morgan’s Wings off the ground.

It was (and is still) our aim to provide parents in hospital with a hygiene care package, as we found when we were kept in unexpectedly that we didn’t even have a toothbrush. We also want to provide memory boxes with certificates of life, support groups where we and other parents could talk about our loss and we also aim to hold sessions to help with stress, self-esteem and self-resilience. It is also important that we raise awareness of, speak out and toss away the taboo surrounding miscarriage. One in four pregnancies end in miscarriage but I felt so alone going through mine. Some of these things we can do without funds but the care packages and memory boxes do require fundraising.

In March, just before news of the coronavirus hit we started “March for Morgan” we decided to complete a marathon (not including our normal day to day activities) over the course of March. We were quite lucky that a trip up Pen-Y-Fan put us ahead of schedule so that we completed our “March for Morgan” before we went into lockdown but it did mean that the final walk was cancelled for spectators and supporters due to gatherings being forbidden. We did a Facebook live instead and still managed to raise some funds.

We had planned our first support group and a fundraising party for May and had collected prizes ready to auction and raffle off. We needed to change our focus. The support group was cancelled and we are looking at holding our next support group on Sunday 7th June online (more details available on our social media channels). Our fundraising party has also been cancelled and we have now set up a little gift shop on our facebook page where we have items that have been donated to us that we are selling to raise funds. We have still managed to provide parents from all over the world with certificates of life to acknowledge their babies that were born sleeping. We are also selling ‘numbers’ over on our facebook page where the winner will win £100.

So lockdown hasn’t stopped me setting up and fundraising a not-for-profit group to raise funds to help support anyone that has been affected by miscarriage. It has certainly made things harder. We have had to cancel events and have had supporters who were going to raise money through sponsorship cancel, as more and more events were cancelled. We are unable to attend events and promotion is primarily on our social media accounts and word of mouth. A positive point though is that our volunteers have had more time to knit little bears for us to put in the memory boxes.

Lockdown has taught me that I am more resilient than I thought, we are juggling working from home fulltime, home schooling our children and working on Morgan’s Wings. Although we don’t go out, I am busier than I have ever been. It’s just a different busy, a different life, a different normal. I do wonder if lockdown has been easier for me as I was pretty much self-isolating anyway. It may make it harder though when I do have to go back into work. I do miss my family and friends, long walks and our little holidays.

We had to cancel our honeymoon in April. We had booked several hotels in Wales, Scotland and England and were going to visit lots of national parks. These things can always be re-booked and I would rather stay home safe and well than risk catching and spreading Coronavirus.

When lockdown is lifted, I cannot wait to see and hug my family and friends. Although my miscarriage was at the end of December, I locked myself away for a couple of months and only have seen my family and friends a handful of times between Christmas and lockdown. It has been tough grieving without the normal support and hugs from my mum and mother-in-law. The first thing I will do is hug them and then go about organising a fundraising (and post lockdown) party.

If you or someone you know is going through miscarriage and would like support or you would like to raise funds, donate items or spread the word, you can visit our Morgan’s Wings website. On our website we have information as well as people sharing their stories of miscarriage. It is so important to know that you’re not alone.

Follow Morgan’s Wings online: Morgan’s Wings Facebook / Morgan’s Wings Twitter / Morgan’s Wings Instagram / Morgan’s Wings YouTube

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