A few people have commented that Carly and I are like 2 peas in a pod. We like the same cheesy music, the same rubbish tv and pretty much the same jokes.
I first met Carly aged 16 when we were both studying performing arts at Hitchin college, obviously! We got on well, hung in the same group and bonded over comedy scripts and a love of Abba. We lost touch over the years until we bumped in to one another at work many years later. It turned out that Carly had started working in the same office as me and also lived not far from where I was sharing a house with 2 friends. We had lunch a few times, reminisced over careers that never happened and once again became good friends. We started car sharing into the office every day and this was pretty much the favourite part of the working day and the making of a strong friendship. Yes we would bicker, of course we did, everyone is a bit cranky in the mornings. There would be days I’d be moody from getting up, days when Carly would be moody from her workday, but the other person would often try their best to lift the mood. It almost always worked. Almost.
Sharing a car with one another meant that we shared pretty much everything with one another, just how good friends should. Carly knew that we’d been trying for a baby for a while so when it finally happened I told her straight away (her driving caused my morning sickness to go into super sonic mode so I kinda HAD to tell her!) She was over the moon for us. She’d talk to the bump every day, listened to me moan and was just such an amazing support to me.
Not long before Dexter was born Carly came round for dinner and to catch up about her holiday in Italy. That’s when she told me she was pregnant. Wow. I was so blooming happy for her and her husband, Keith. This was a girl who’d been told that she might struggle to fall pregnant so for them to conceive without even trying was a miracle.
Carly was brilliant when Dex was born. She came round for baby cuddles and mum chat a lot. It was always so nice to have her around.
Carly went for her first scan and was given 25th March as her due date. This would mean sharing a huge chunk of my maternity leave with one of my best friends and our babies. I was literally on cloud nine, life couldn’t be better. When she found out she was having a boy well our plans of a boy band/Billy Elliot tribute went into overdrive!
Throughout her pregnancy Carly felt crap but looked better and better everytime I saw her. She was glowing, but never once took a compliment! I knew Carly would make an amazing mum and Keith a brilliant dad. And this is what makes all this so hard to deal with.
On 14th March little Samuel Logan Raw was stillborn. A sleeping angel cruelly taken from his parents before he’d even arrived. It breaks my heart to even start to understand what they are going through. For a mother to nurture and grow her baby for 9 months and to have him taken from her. For a father to never have that first look bond and to never kick a ball with his son. Its just horrible. The pain I’ve seen my friends go through hurts me. The loss of anyone is hard but the loss of an unborn child is very, very cruel.
I’ve found coping with my feelings very hard. I’m mourning for him and for them. I feel I have lost this little boy too. I have loved Baby Raw from the minute my best friend told me she was expecting. I had daydreams of what he’d be like, his laugh, his smile, his future. I never once thought I’d be attending Samuel’s funeral. I promise to tell Dexter all about his friend Samuel and I hope Sam looks over Dex and protects him through life.
Carly and Keith have received an amazing amount of support from friends and family that they are truly grateful for. The support they also received at the hospital means they’ll have lasting memories of Sam.
They will also have ongoing support from the charity SANDS. SANDS help families who have lost children, not just through the early days but ongoing support that is much needed.
Carly and Keith have set up fundraising page in memory of Samuel in aid of SANDS. Money raised will go on to help other parents try to come to terms with losing their baby. I know they are both hugely thankful to the charity for the help they’ve given them and without funding this wouldn’t have happened.
I am blown away by the strength and courage Carly and Keith have shown. I know they will never, ever get over losing Sam but I hope things get easier for them as time moves on.
Sleep peacefully Sammy, we love you very much.