REST WITH JOSEPH AND FRIENDS
Losing our son Joseph James Collier at 23 weeks is the most painful thing that my husband and I have experienced mentally and emotionally.
Overcoming the failings of our first attempt of IVF and then seeing a positive on the second attempt let us feel joy, hope and happiness. Seeing a heartbeat from 7 weeks and being told we are having a healthy boy at 20 weeks gave us confirmation that we would have a son. However, when my waters broke at just over 21 weeks, our son was left fighting for his life.
We later found out that an infection induced early labour and our son was born, sleeping, at 23 weeks. We would never know what colour his eyes were, what facial expressions he would have or be able to recognise his laughter and cry. The pain of this was, and still is unbearable.
The feelings of guilt, the what ifs and failure we both have seems endless. Even more distressing, giving birth pre 24 weeks, in the eyes of the world our Joseph does not exist. Not being able to register his birth 2nd December 2018 with Darren and Kay Collier as his parents is heartbreaking. We know we have a son, but without having an official birth certificate, records will never show that he ever existed.
With no registered birth, there can be no registered death. We all say hello from the first scan. How can we say goodbye?
We want to provide other parents, family and friends a recognisable place of rest for individual reflection, but also to give comfort that they are in an angel community, all dancing and playing together.
Everyone has a purpose and we hope Joseph gives legacy to many others.
Between 22nd - 26th August 2019 our fundraising campaign started with Ride 4 Joseph - a bike ride from London to Truro Cornwall on a BMX dressed as a monkey on one of the hottest bank holidays on record. This was a huge success with a lot of media coverage and was the springboard for getting the funds to start our charity.