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Why are we raising money for the Stillbirth and Neonatal Death Charity (SANDS)?

SANDS have helped us in so many ways and I am aware that those who are lucky enough to have not needed their support may not fully understand the breadth and depth of their work and why they are such a special charity.  In our last few days of Andy’s epic cycling challenge across the US, I wanted to take some time to say just why we are raising money for this amazing organisation.
So, what have SANDS done for us?

  1. They helped us to understand what had happened and how to make decisions about our baby

When we found out that Orla had died, the induction process was started and we were trapped in the labour ward for almost two days.  Induced labour can be long and painful – add to that knowing that the baby you are delivering will never even open their eyes and you can imagine that this time is excruciating in terms of emotional pain.  There is so much time to think that it can really push you to the edge.
During those initial hours, when the contractions were slowly building and I was able to talk, we were given a bereavement pack by our midwife who went through the information with us.  This gave us a wealth of information regarding what to expect and next steps following Orla’s birth.  At a time when you should be getting excited to meet your new baby and finding out their gender, whether they have hair and who they look like, imagine instead having to make the most difficult decisions of your life.  Without the information given to us by SANDS, I honestly don’t know how we would have coped: Continue Reading


Cycling For Orla – Planning and Preparing

We decided very soon after losing Orla that we wanted to do something that would give us a focus for our grief and that would hopefully help others and make a difference.  We had just 12 weeks to prepare for the trip, which included training, booking, planning routes and sharing our story in order to promote fundraising.  We want to make as much money as possible for SANDS, so we were keen to ensure that we used as many platforms as possible – local newspapers, social media and blogging.  We were both surprised at how much time and effort was involved, and continues to be needed throughout the trip.  At times it can be hard, particularly when having a difficult day emotionally.  However, knowing that we are doing this to honour our precious daughter and make her proud is the most profound and meaningful motivator.
This is our story of preparing to Cycle for Orla.
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