The “Faith” episode of Outlander in season 2 has affected quite a few Outlander fans who have found themselves in a similar situation as Claire.
I have been where Claire was…. I myself lost twins, one at around 15 weeks into the pregnancy, the other was born at 26 weeks and lived for 2 1/2 days before he went to live with the angels.
Just like Claire I held my baby for a few hours before I had to hand him back to the midwives.
Caitriona Balfe did an amazing job as an actress playing the part of a distraught mother so realistically that I could see myself in her when she didn’t want to let Faith go. (her child taken from her before she really had a chance to acknowledge that she had given birth). A feeling that never really leaves you …. even now I have a pain in my heart when I think about how I had to say goodbye before really saying hello.
The feeling of leaving the hospital without him still makes me catch my breath 14 years later.
Everyone was so kind ..Doctors, Midwives, Chaplain etc but I couldn’t really talk to anyone apart from my husband as my friends didn’t know what to say, that was until I came across SiMBA ( www.simbacharity.org.uk ) a few years later.
The good work that SiMBA does is amazing so that babies that are taken too soon are never forgotten.
Susan Simpson (an Outlander fan herself) approached us to see if we would write a blog talking about this very sensitive subject and highlighting what SIMBA does as an organisation to help bereaved families that have found themselves in Claire and Jamie’s situation.
Susan sent us some information she thought we could include but we all felt Susan had said everything so we thought you might like to hear Susan’s story and all about what she does here in the Highlands.
so this is Susan’s story……
When a couple discovers they are having a baby in that moment of joy they are hit by the realisation that they become a family. Even in the early stages of the pregnancy they start planning for that family, imagining what their baby will be like, how much their life will change, what their child will grow to up to be ~ close family and friends are invested in the excitement and anticipation, often bringing gifts as they await the happy day.
The death of a much loved, greatly wanted baby can have devastating effects on the parents and can have an immeasurable ripple effect on the surrounding family and friends.
The storyline with Jamie and Claire when their daughter Faith is stillborn is not only beautifully written but stunningly acted by Sam, Caitriona and the rest of the cast. For families bereaved through the loss of a baby it was painful but empowering to watch. Each of us who has been experienced the loss of a baby will see so many aspects of the scenes that strike a bell with us.
When Mother Hildegarde of L’Hopital des Anges says, “I am sorry Madame, she has joined the angels, she was born dead” this resonates with so many who have been told “I’m sorry, there is no heartbeat.” The feeling of loss can be overwhelming as all your hopes and dreams come crashing down around you.
When Claire says, “My body had healed, my soul had not” she encapsulates all that a bereaved parent, especially the Mum, feels.
The solemnity and sorrow of Claire returning to their Parisian home without her baby … the anguish of opening the Christening gift … Jamie’s heartache as Claire tells him about their beautiful daughter, describes her, shares the lullaby she sang to their sleeping daughter, talks about how she counted her fingers and toes, and kisses her goodbye as she hands her to her friend Louise de Rohan ~ every single scene brings memories flooding back for those who have experienced that grief.
And finally Jamie and Claire return home to heal in the Scottish Highlands …
I am Highland Ambassador for a charity called SiMBA, Simpson’s Memory Box Appeal – I found the charity after our fourth and youngest daughter, Eilidh Beth, was born still at 34 weeks gestation in September 2010. We left Raigmore hospital in Inverness with empty arms and aching hearts, having spent so little time with our beautiful lass. With no offer of support out with our family and online search led me to SiMBA, a charity working tirelessly throughout the UK acknowledging and honouring babies lost at any stage of pregnancy and after birth.
SiMBA’s services include:
• gifting precious Memory Boxes to hospitals, full of beautiful memory making items, for staff to give to bereaved families.
• through the Lola Commons Fund, refurbishing and equipping Family Rooms in hospitals, enabling families to spend precious time with their baby.
• installing full sized, hand sculpted copper Trees of Tranquillity in peaceful locations, the leaves of which are sent to bereaved families to be engraved before attachment, provide a permanent memorial for families to visit.
• training volunteers to host SiMBA Monthly Support Groups bring parents, Grandparents and others affected by loss together in a safe place where they can talk about their baby and experience of loss.
• offering Bereavement Care Training in hospitals for midwives and other health professionals
• hosting Annual Awareness Events like SiMBA Butterfly Releases and Wave of Light, which brings bereaved families together to honour the memory of their baby
I cannot watch many TV programmes where baby death is featured, but Outlander is one of the few that I have been able to watch and that is purely because the actors portrayed the reality of the anguish of losing a child.
If you or someone you know has been affected by the death of a baby during pregnancy or after birth, if you would like information on any of our services, or to speak to someone who understands please do contact us via our website www.simbacharity.org.uk or by emailing me at simbacharity.org.uk.
All of SiMBA’s services are funded through donations and fundraising events ~ if you would like to raise funds and awareness for us please contact our Fundraising Coordinator Danielle Vailitis on firstname.lastname@example.org
People can donate by texting SIMB17 £2/£5/£10 to 70070 & 100% goes directly to SiMBA.
And for other ways to donate –
SiMBA Highland Ambassador