More than 600 post-it notes installed on the window of the former Dreamland Bars mark the loss of hundreds of babies and infants around the world.
Margate mum Stacie Goddard created the memorial as part of her Angel Parents facebook group’s annual tradition of lighting a candle in memory of their little ones lost shortly after birth or during pregnancy.
Many of the 2,200 members of the group take part in the tradition, called the Wave of Light, every October 15 at 7pm. Former care worker Stacie set up the page after the loss of her son Peter in July 2016.
At a routine 20-week scan Stacie and partner Stephen Price discovered the devastating news that their unborn son had renal agenesis, meaning his kidney were unable to form. A lack of amniotic fluid also meant his lungs were unable to develop.
Stacie was induced at 22 weeks on July 1, 2016, and baby Peter, who weighed a tiny 420g, survived for just a few minutes, dying in her arms.
The experience was all the more traumatic because she had to give birth on the labour ward at QEQM.
Stacie, 23, said: “When I was spending time with Peter I was still on the ward surrounded by mums giving birth to live babies and celebrating while me and my family were trying to grieve. It was traumatising and I am still getting over it, I suffer PTSD. It would have been better if we’d had our own space.”
The upset was compounded by Stacie and Stephen’s struggle to raise enough money for the perfect headstone for Peter, named after forever young Peter Pan. The couple chose a Peter Pan themed memorial but had to set up a crowdfunder appeal to raise the £2,250 for it.
The headstone has now been designed and is due to be installed at Peter’s resting place.
The experience prompted Stacie to create Angel Parents, mums, dads, rainbows and TTCs (trying to conceive), a group aimed at supporting others going through the dreadful suffering of infant death or miscarriage, as well as those trying to conceive despite obstacles.
The group, which helped raised funds for the newly opened maternity bereavement suite at QEQM, created the post it notes with each recording the baby’s name, date of birth and date of death, or simply name and date of death for stillbirths or miscarriages.
Stacie said: “It was pregnancy and infant loss awareness week and I wanted to do something special along with the Wave of Light where the candles are lit to remember every single life that was lost in infanfancy, pregnancy or childbirth. I wanted to show the world how huge and serious infant and baby loss is.
“I asked my group if they wanted to be part of it and 600 of them said yes. I put them on the wall to symbolise that they are not just names on a bit of paper but babies.
“Hundreds of people asked us about it when we were putting them up and many have added to it which is really touching.”
The installation was put in place by Stacie and group members Georgina Chandler, Sheryl Green and husband, Nadia Enani and 13-year-old Hartsdown student Yasmin Enani.
Yasmin was given an award at her school for her efforts and Stacie is now making arrangements to talk about the group and baby and infant loss at an assembly.
The installation is the second major memorial created by Stacie. The first, at the beginning of this year, was prompted by a message to her first-born Peter, named after forever young Peter Pan, posted by Stacie.
In a photo she posted the words “Peter, Mummy and Daddy’s love for you is so big that your memory lives on all around the world.’
The picture went viral with shares around the world and people posting their own messages to Peter globally from countries including the USA, UK, Japan, Australia, South Africa and more.
In fact messages are still being sent and to date Stacie has collected more than 1,000.
She said: “ I’ve now made a book of them. We did it because I was expecting our daughter Aurora and I wanted her to be able to see how much her big brother was loved.
“The response was amazing and beautiful and made me cry.”
Aurora was born on May 4 weighing in at a healthy 7lb.
Stacie is not finished in her quest to raise awareness of infant loss and gain support for those affected,
She said: “I think I may have to do something even bigger next!”
What is renal agenesis
Most people are born with two kidneys. Renal agenesis means one or both kidneys do not develop while a baby is growing in the womb.
Renal agenesis may be picked up before birth on the 20 week antenatal ultrasound scan, or soon after birth. It may also be picked up in an older child who has some symptoms.
If one kidney has not developed, this is called unilateral renal agenesis. Many children and adults live with one kidney with no serious problems. They may need to go to follow-up appointments to check for any possible long-term effects.
If both kidneys have not developed, this is called bilateral renal agenesis. If this is suspected your antenatal scan, you will need to go back to the hospital for more scans to confirm the problem. Sadly, babies with no kidneys are unable to survive.
Angel Parents, Mum’s and Dad’s, Rainbow’s and TTC
Devlins babies (infant loss) charitable company