Wednesday, 28 October 2015

To be an Inspirational father ?

When a stillbirth occurs in hospital, a butterfly is fixed to the door so that all staff know what has occurred before they come into the room. Consequently, butterflies have become synonymous with stillbirth.

Skip forward a year and out of the blue I received an email saying I’d been nominated in the Butterfly Awards.

“The What Now?”

I almost deleted the email thinking it must be spam but decided to give it a read.

The Butterfly Awards celebrate survivors and champions of babyloss, that seek to break the silence surrounding stillbirth. They were started by Mel Scott and Jade Deverill: both of whom have had tragedies of their own.

It seemed I’d been nominated for awards in the categories of Inspirational Father and Best Author/Blogger.

Thursday, 10 September 2015

The Butterfly Awards

So I have been nominated in 2 categories for a Butterfly Award
The Butterfly Awards celebrate survivors and champions of baby loss. You can find out more about the awards here -

The awards are a public vote and while I would like to win because I believe that having the awards would help me on some of my upcoming plans to honour my daughter, a quick read through of the other nominees profiles has left me so utterly humble.

This then is my wish.

Have a read through the nominees and vote for whomever you think is most worthy. It is far more important to me that this issue is highlighted than that I win

The profiles of the nominees are here -

I have been nominated for the Inspirational Father award -

Thank you 

Tuesday, 8 September 2015

The Best of times, the Worst of times

Three months ago the new normal switched again

I've talked about the new normal on this blog before. I've talked about how everything is different now that Grace has died. How fear and sadness is part of our every day reality.

Well three months ago Kira, our Rainbow Baby was born. The definition of a rainbow baby is this -

A Rainbow Baby is the understanding that the beauty of a rainbow does not negate the ravages of the storm. When a rainbow appears, it doesn't mean the storm never happened or that the family is not still dealing with its aftermath. What it means is that something beautiful and full of light has appeared in the midst of the darkness and clouds. Storm clouds may still hover but the rainbow provides a counterbalance of color, energy and hope.

Tuesday, 30 June 2015

The Invisible Parent

I usually write my thoughts but after the birth of my daughter Kira Renee Monteith, the mish mash of thoughts were a bit paralysing. However they were forced into being when I was asked to speak at a memorial service, so here's my latest post - something I think is communicated better by hearing rather than reading

If you or anyone you know needs support with bearevement or supporting friends and family though theirs then please contact SANDS -

Saturday, 16 May 2015

The Last Milestone

I have absolutely no memory of last night from a year ago. We were preparing to bury our daughter and I have no recollection of our what we did or our state of mind whatsoever. So many moments from 1 year ago today are achingly etched in my mind but the anticipation of the night before….nothing!

Funnily enough in the run up to the 1st anniversary of Grace's death and birth we felt surprisingly

Saturday, 2 May 2015

Birthday Wishes

Today I listened to a heartbeat. It's on my phone. You can see what the heartbeat looks like in the above picture.

1 year ago yesterday, Friday 1st May, my wife and I had the loveliest of days. We knew our baby's arrival was just around the corner and we were doing some prep in what would be the birth room. Hanging pictures that would be nice to look at during labour, generally making the room as lovely a place to give birth as we could.

Monday, 23 March 2015

The Gestation of Grief & Mothers Day

Tree Planting at Grace's resting place
It's enough time to have a baby I used to jokingly say when anyone would refer to a time period of nine months. It's a powerful phrase with a lot of weight attached to it. You just have to say the phrase '9 months' and pregnancy automatically comes to mind (despite the fact that a growing number of women, my wife included, find themselves giving birth nearer to 10 months)

I was reminded by Siobhan that when we started attending a support group for parents of still born children, organised by Kent SANDS, one of the things that was raised by some of these parents was how things got suddenly more difficult around the 7/8 month mark. At the time this was something I couldn't understand. Our grief was so raw, our experience so fresh, how could things get worse? And yet somehow it did.

Maybe it was dealing with the fact that life goes on and a routine is once again establishing itself in our minds and bodies; and yet there is something,deep inside, playing with the emotional weight of our new reality that doesn't want to acknowledge that life 'just goes on'. The tectonics of this internal landscape causes emotional tremors of a brand new variety.

Tuesday, 17 March 2015

Play Mas & Actings Black Promise

There have been a number of 'moments' for me in my latest job.

I went for an audition at The Orange Tree Theatre with Paulette Randell. Paulette has directed some great plays and also co-directed the Olympics Opening Ceremony in London. I knew Paulette from Fences, a play she directed with Lenny Henry in which I understudied. Although I was happy to audition I wasn't convinced it would go anywhere as the shoe, Play Mas, is a Trinidadian play and let's just say my Trinidadian accent wasn't the best.