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Byline: Vicky Farncombe

BEREAVED parents laid flowers on a lake at a Birmingham park in a moving ceremony to remember their lost babies.

Organised by the Birmingham Stillbirth and Neonatal Death Society (Sands), the Flowers of Remembrance event at Cannon Hill Park, in Edgbaston, attracted more than 20 mums and dads.

Among them was Marie Newton, from Bartley Green, whose premature twin daughters died at Birmingham Women's Hospital nine years ago.

Rhiann and Iona were born four months early and lived for less than two hours.

"It will always hurt," said Marie who has tried for more children. "I won't ever forget them. They were my children.

"I lost my mum and dad but I would rather have lost them every day than have lost my children."

The 39-year-old auxiliary nurse said she welcomed the event because it helped to break down the idea that miscarriages, stillbirths and neonatal deaths should not be discussed. "People should be able to talk about it," she said. "I can talk about my mum and dad. Why can't I talk about my children? "When I come here I can openly grieve them. I'm not having to be locked in a building behind closed doors." After a service where poems were read, families lit candles and laid gerberas in pink, white and orange upon the lake's surface.

Every year in the UK more than 6,200 babies - 17 every day - are either stillborn or die within the first four weeks of life. As well as providing support for parents, the event promotes the services of the five charities involved with baby loss: ARC (Antenatal Results and Choices), Babyloss, The Ectopic Pregnancy Trust, The Miscarriage Association and Sands.


Comfort: Linda White, Marie Newton and Brian White at the Flowers of Remembrance event. Right: More tributes are paid.
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Publication:Birmingham Mail (England)
Date:Oct 11, 2010
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