Jen Reid – Co Founder of charity Teddy’s Wish talks to DBHF

Jen Reid, founder of charity Teddy’s Wish along with husband Chris, contacted us about creating a package for bereaved parents. As part of their work supporting those going through baby loss Teddy’s Wish will be sending out packages. Here, Jen tells her story.

When we fell pregnant with our first baby Edward, we were overjoyed and so excited to be parents for the first time.

After a long and complicated labour, our big healthy baby boy arrived on 18th January 2014. We could never have imagined what the joy and love of becoming parents would feel like. Eddie was perfect and finally our family was complete.

 

But that all changed in the early hours April 16th. Just three short months later, we tragically and unexpectedly lost Edward when he was only 3 months old to SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome), formerly known as cot death. In that moment, our who life was irrevocably shattered.

On every medical test possible, Edward was perfectly healthy. We were left with no reason or attributable cause as to why our baby boy left us. The unknown and the unanswered questions made our grief so much harder to bear.

Losing a child is every parent’s worst nightmare. No parent should ever outlive their child. It flows completely against the natural order of life and is the worst loss imaginable. As a parent you are meant to protect your child. We felt helpless and that we had failed Edward and failed as parents.

To further complicate our grief, Edward was our first and only child. Losing Edward, our whole identity changed. Everything became past tense. We were parents. We were a family. We had a baby boy. Now it was just the two of us. Chris and Jen. How could we continue to be parents when Eddie wasn’t here? We were bereft and broken.

When we said goodbye to Edward at the hospital, Chris and I made a promise. We would live our lives for Edward and make him proud in everything we do. Just three months later, we set up a charity to search for answers and to honour Edward’s memory. We know that SIDS is just one form of baby loss and we firmly believe that no parent should ever suffer the loss of a child. For those that do, support is so critical in giving those families hope to live their life’s again. Our charity, Teddy’s Wish funds potentially life-saving research into the causes of SIDS, neonatal death and stillbirth and provides bereavement support for grieving families. Crucially, the charity allows us to continue to parent Edward in some way.

Whilst we know the charity won’t bring our baby boy back, our hope is that it will help others and that will be a fitting way to honour Edward’s memory and make him proud of his mummy and daddy.

Jen Reid, Co Founder of Teddy’s Wish

For more information on the work that we do please visit www.teddyswish.org. If you are a recently bereaved mummy or daddy, we would love to give you one our baby loss packages we have designed in partnership with Don’t Buy Her Flowers. Please contact jen@teddyswish.org for more details x

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