Updated: May 30
1. Invitation to share your story!
Each year, I run a 'Story time' segment on my blog, which gives loss families the opportunity to share their story of baby loss. You can read passed submissions here. I am honoured to invite you to share your baby loss stories as a guest blogger. My goal is to raise awareness about the unique challenges and experiences that families face after the loss of a baby and to break the stigma surrounding our grief. Having tragically lost a baby, I wholeheartedly understand the pain and heartbreak that comes with it. I also remember feeling isolated. It doesn't have to feel so lonely when there is many families going through a similar tragedy. Through our stories, I hope to offer support, hope, and comfort to others who may be navigating the same nightmare.
Everyone's story is important and valuable. By sharing your experiences, you can help others feel less alone, validated and more understood. If you are yet to read the story about my son, Chayce, please feel free to do so here. It was hard to write and harder to share but I found that the emotional release was a healthy outlet for my overwhelming grief. It's important to me that this space remains a safe and supportive space for people to share their stories. This is why I also offer the opportunity for you to remain anonymous if that is what you feel more comfortable with.
I hope that you'll consider sharing your story as a guest blogger. Together, we can create a space of healing, empathy, and compassion. Applications close on the 26th May 2023.
2. The importance of storytelling
The importance of storytelling in the context of baby loss cannot be overstated. Here are several reasons why storytelling plays a crucial role:
Breaking the Silence: Baby loss is often accompanied by a sense of isolation and societal silence. Sharing personal stories helps break this silence, creating space for open dialogue and reducing the stigma surrounding the topic. Storytelling brings the issue to the forefront, fostering understanding, empathy, and support.
Validation and Empathy: Sharing personal stories allows individuals who have experienced baby loss to validate their own feelings and experiences. It helps them realize they are not alone in their grief and that others have gone through similar challenges. Storytelling creates an empathetic connection between storytellers and their audience, fostering a sense of belonging and understanding.
Providing Support: Sharing personal stories of baby loss can be a source of comfort and support for others who are going through similar experiences. It offers a sense of solidarity, reminding individuals that there are others who can relate to their emotions, struggles, and journey of healing. Hearing stories of resilience and hope can inspire and provide solace during difficult times.
Raising Awareness: Storytelling is a powerful tool for raising awareness about the prevalence and impact of baby loss. By sharing personal stories, individuals can educate others, including friends, family, and the wider community, about the complexities and emotional toll associated with the loss of a baby. Increased awareness can lead to improved understanding, empathy, and support.
Honouring and Remembering: Storytelling allows parents and families to honour the memory of their babies. By sharing their stories, they give voice to their child's existence and celebrate their lives, however brief. It creates an opportunity to remember and cherish their baby's presence, ensuring they are not forgotten.
Advocacy and Change: Personal stories have the power to drive social change and influence policies related to baby loss. By sharing their experiences, individuals can advocate for better support systems, improved healthcare, and policies that address the needs of families who have suffered the loss of a baby. Storytelling becomes a catalyst for positive change.
Healing and Transformation: Sharing a baby loss story can be a cathartic and transformative process for storytellers. It allows them to process their grief, reflect on their journey, and find meaning in their experiences. By articulating their emotions and thoughts, storytellers embark on a healing journey, finding strength and resilience within themselves.
Overall, storytelling in the context of baby loss is a vital way to provide support, raise awareness, honour memories, and drive change. It creates a space for healing, understanding, and connection, while amplifying the voices and experiences of those affected by baby loss.
Guest contributors bring fresh perspectives and unique experiences. They offer different viewpoints, stories, and insights that can further support our community. They may cover a topic that is outside my experience, therefore appealing and connecting with a broader audience, which is exactly what we are trying to do when raising awareness! Guest contributors may introduce new coping mechanisms, healing suggestions, or ways they honour their babies that a reader hadn't come across before.
By welcoming guest contributions, I aim to create a platform that is both informative and engaging, offering my audience a broader range of content and perspectives that hopefully positively impact them in their life after loss journey.
3. Benefits of being a guest contributor
Increased Exposure: Guest posting provides an opportunity for guest posters to reach a new and wider audience. By sharing your story and insights on a different platform, you can gain exposure to readers who may not have been familiar with you before.
Community Engagement: Contributing guest posts can spark engagement and discussion among readers. Guest posters have the opportunity to interact with readers through comments, social media, and other channels, which can lead to valuable connections and feedback.
Strengthened Writing Skills: Guest posting helps you to improve your writing skills.
Personal Growth and Reflection: Sharing personal stories or experiences through guest posts can be cathartic and healing for guest posters. It allows you to reflect on your journey, gain closure, and potentially inspire and support others who may be going through similar situations.
Influence and Impact: By sharing your knowledge, insights, and experiences, guest posters have the opportunity to make a positive impact on the lives of readers. Your words can inspire, educate, and empower others, providing valuable information or emotional support in their respective fields.
Inspire through vulnerability: Opening up about your story showcases your vulnerability and authenticity. It demonstrates that healing is not linear, and there may be setbacks and challenges along the way. By sharing both the highs and lows, you give readers a realistic portrayal of the healing journey. This can inspire them to persevere, find resilience within themselves, and seek the support they need.
Personal satisfaction: Think about why you want to share your story and what you hope to achieve. Is it to raise awareness, connect with others who have had a similar experience, or to help process your own emotions? To honour your precious baby? All the above? Or for a totally different reason?
Offer hope and reassurance to those who need it: Sharing your journey can provide a beacon of hope to others who are navigating their own grief. By highlighting your struggles, the steps you took to navigate out of the darkness, the coping mechanisms you found helpful, and the progress you made, you can inspire others to believe in their own ability to heal and find strength. Your story can serve as a reminder that there is light at the end of the tunnel.
4. Fears that might be holding you back
Here are some common fears that could be holding you back from sharing your story;
You might be fearing judgment
You are worried no one will read it, or that LOTS of people will read it
You might have privacy concerns
Sharing might be too emotionally challenging for you, right now
You may not have access to a supportive community
You may feel isolated in your grief because of the nature of your loss.
If you are experiencing any of these fears that might be holding you back, its okay. In fact, its totally normal and understandable, especially considering all the trauma you have endured.
I wanted to try and ease your mind a little bit, so please know;
I regularly monitor comments on the blog to ensure a safe and respectful space for all contributors and readers.
Your privacy is important to me, and I will never share or sell your information to third parties.
I DO NOT include hospital names in ANY posts, regardless of electing to remain anonymous or not.
I have clear T&C's outlined, that all members, contributors and readers are expected to follow. This includes expectations for respectful communication, guidelines for appropriate content, and consequences for violations.
I offer the opportunity for contributors to remain anonymous, meaning your details wont ever be shared, so nobody will ever know its your story. You just need to let me know when completing your registration form.
If you are still struggling to come to terms with your loss, it may be best to wait until you feel more comfortable and confident in sharing your story.
Having a strong support system in place can help make the process of sharing your story easier. Consider reaching out to family, friends, or a support group for guidance and encouragement. I am always here for a chat too!
Here are some pointers if you do decide that you are ready to share your story;
Familiarize yourself with the blog: I encourage you to read some of the previous guest blog posts to help inspire you to write & share your own story.
Familiarize yourself with the guest blogger agreement: This agreement outlines the guidelines, as well as terms and conditions for submitting your post, and helps ensure that this community is a safe and respectful space for all. You can find the guest blogger agreement here. Please read it carefully before submitting your post, and make sure you understand and agree to all of the terms and conditions. If you have any questions or concerns, please don't hesitate to contact me. I appreciate your cooperation in making sure that this blog remains a supportive and positive space for all members of our community.
Emotional Readiness: Sharing your personal loss story can be emotionally intense. I encourage you to gauge your emotional readiness to ensure you are in a stable place before proceeding. It's okay to take breaks or seek support if emotions become overwhelming when writing.
Self-Reflection: Take time for self-reflection before embarking on the storytelling process. This involves examining your emotions, thoughts, and experiences surrounding your baby loss journey. I suggest journaling, talking with loved ones, or seeking professional support to aid in this reflection.
Privacy and Boundaries: Its important that you establish personal boundaries when sharing your story. Decide which aspects of your story you are comfortable sharing and what information you wish to keep private. You have full control over what you choose to disclose.
Use your own unique voice: Write from your own perspective and use your unique voice. Write in a natural, conversational tone that reflects how you speak. Avoid using overly complicated language or trying to imitate someone else's style. Focus on expressing your own unique perspective and personality through your writing. This will make your post more engaging and personal for readers.
Language and Tone: It is important to select appropriate language and tone to convey your story sensitively. I encourage you to find a balance between expressing your emotions authentically and using language that is respectful and considerate towards readers who may be experiencing similar loss. Avoid using overly formal or complicated language, instead, use simple, clear, and direct language that is easy for your readers to understand.
Structure: I have provided some guidance on how to structure your story effectively, incase you need it. Please check the "7. An example structure of a guest post" for more details. Consider a balance of storytelling and reflection to engage readers while conveying the depth of your experience.
Be authentic and vulnerable: Write from your heart and be true to yourself. Don't try to imitate someone else's style or tone. Instead, focus on expressing your unique perspective and personality through your writing. Be open and honest about your emotions, thoughts, and experiences. Authenticity and vulnerability can create a deeper connection with readers who may be going through similar situations.
Embrace your uniqueness: Remind yourself that no two journeys through baby loss are exactly the same. While there may be similarities with the experiences of others, your story is unique because it is intertwined with your emotions, perspectives, and personal growth. Embrace the distinctiveness of your journey and recognize the value it holds for those who will read it.
Focus on self-care: This is your reminder to prioritize self-care throughout the writing and sharing process. I encourage you to engage in activities that promote your emotional well-being and to reach out for support when needed.
Proofread and edit: Please proofread and edit your post before submitting it. This will ensure that the post is error-free and easy to read. As you write, take time to edit and revise your work. This will help you refine your voice style and develop your writing skills.
Share your post: Once the post is published, I encourage you to share it on your social media accounts and with your networks. This will help increase your post's reach and visibility. I also suggest engaging with readers by answering any questions that come through.
6. Suggestions you can include in your post
Below are some suggestions on what you can include in your post;
Positive pregnancy test: The moment you found out you were pregnant, the emotions, thoughts and feelings you experienced.
Introduction: Introduce your baby, including their name if you had chosen one, and any significant details about their birth or pregnancy journey.
Personal Connection: Share the emotional connection you felt with your baby, the hopes, dreams, and expectations you had for your future together.
A Heartbreaking Loss: Share the circumstances surrounding the loss of your baby, acknowledging the pain and grief that followed. Be honest and vulnerable about the emotions you experienced during this challenging time. Provide an overview of the circumstances surrounding the loss of your baby, whether it was a miscarriage, stillbirth, TFMR, neonatal death, or another form of baby loss. Feel free to include any relevant details such as timing, medical factors, or specific challenges you faced, including diagnosis etc. Please share whatever you feel comfortable sharing!
Emotional Impact: Express the emotional impact the loss of your precious baby/s had on you, from the initial shock to the depths of grief and the complex range of emotions you experienced in the aftermath.
Seeking Support & Coping Strategies: Discuss how you sought support from loved ones, support groups, therapists, or other resources. Highlight the importance of finding a safe space to express your feelings, share your story, and receive understanding and empathy. Share the coping mechanisms you used to navigate your grief, such as self-care activities, or creative outlets that brought you solace (if any).
Share insights and lessons learned: Reflect on the lessons you have learned throughout your journey. What strategies, therapies, or resources have been instrumental in your healing process? By sharing these insights, you offer practical guidance and support to readers who may be seeking similar tools or approaches. Your firsthand experience can help readers make informed decisions and find paths to healing that resonate with them.
The Healing Journey: Discuss the support you received from loved ones, support groups, people from the internet, or professional services, and how these resources contributed to your journey. Describe the various steps you took on your healing journey. This could include therapy sessions, self-care practices, journaling, participating in memorial events, or engaging in creative outlets such as art or writing. Emphasise that healing is a personal process and that there is no right or wrong way to navigate it.
Remembering & Honouring Your Baby: Share how you found ways to honour and remember your baby. Discuss rituals, memorial activities, or special tributes that brought comfort and helped keep your baby's memory alive. This can include lighting candles, planting a tree, creating a memory box, or participating in awareness campaigns.
Impact on Relationships: Reflect on how baby loss affected your relationships with your partner, family, friends, or other children, and how you navigated these dynamics during your healing process.
Hope and Moving Forward: Discuss how, over time, you discovered moments of hope and resilience. Share the moments or experiences that helped you see light amidst the darkness. It could be a renewed sense of purpose, a newfound appreciation for life, or connections with others who have gone through similar experiences, rebuilding your life, and embracing joy again after baby loss. Feel free to discuss any subsequent pregnancies, parenting journeys, or other paths you have pursued in your healing journey.
Spreading Awareness and Support: You could talk about your decision to share your story openly and why it is important to break the silence surrounding baby loss. Encourage others to seek support, speak up, and share their own experiences. Offer resources and support organizations that can provide assistance to those who are navigating the journey of baby loss.
7. An example structure of a guest post
The structure of a guest blog post that includes a personal story of baby loss can follow this general outline:
Begin with a compassionate and empathetic tone to connect with readers who have experienced similar loss.
Introduce yourself briefly and establish your connection to the topic of baby loss.
Express your intention to share your personal story in order to offer support, comfort, and understanding to others who have gone through this experience.
Provide some background information about your journey to parenthood, including the anticipation and excitement leading up to the pregnancy.
Share any relevant details about your pregnancy, such as the joy and hopes you had for your baby's future.
Your Tragic Loss:
Describe the devastating moment when you learned about the loss of your baby. Express the emotions and thoughts that flooded your mind and heart during this heartbreaking time.
Reflect on the immediate aftermath of the loss, including the support you received from loved ones or any coping mechanisms you employed.
Navigating Grief and Healing:
Share your experience of grief and the various emotions you encountered along the way, such as sadness, anger, guilt, or confusion.
Discuss the coping strategies, therapies, or support systems you sought out to help you navigate the grieving process.
Share any breakthrough moments or milestones in your healing journey, emphasizing the importance of self-care and self-compassion.
Finding Meaning and Moving Forward:
Reflect on how you found meaning or purpose amidst the pain of baby loss. Discuss any personal growth or newfound perspectives that emerged as a result of your experience.
Share any rituals, remembrance activities, or ways you honor your baby's memory and keep their spirit alive.
Offer insights into how you found strength and resilience to move forward, acknowledging that the healing process is ongoing.
Supporting Others and Raising Awareness:
Discuss your motivation for sharing your story and the impact you hope to make on others who have experienced baby loss.
Offer words of support, encouragement, and understanding to readers who may be going through similar situations.
Encourage open conversation and the importance of breaking the silence surrounding baby loss to raise awareness and provide support to others.
Summarize the key points of your personal story and the lessons you've learned throughout your journey.
End with a message of hope, resilience, and the reminder that no one should go through baby loss alone.
Provide resources or support organizations that readers can turn to for additional help or guidance.
Remember, this structure is meant to provide a general guideline. Feel free to adapt it to fit your own personal story and the flow of your narrative. The goal is to create a blog post that is compassionate, relatable, and offers support to those who have experienced baby loss.
8. Why share on my blog?
I believe that your unique perspective can provide comfort, understanding, and hope to readers who have also walked this challenging path.
The more we share our stories of baby death, the more we will be able to break down the shame and silence that too often surround it. We can create a community of individuals who are connected by their shared experiences and who support one another through their grief and healing journeys. Most importantly, we can honour the lives of the babies we have lost by speaking their names and keeping their memories alive.
9. Register your interest & submission guidelines
2. Once registered, you will receive submission guidelines via email. Please check your junk/spam folders and save my email so that you don't miss out on any correspondence from me.
Written Blog Piece: Please send your story via email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Feel free to share your story in as many or as few words as you wish. This is your opportunity to express yourself authentically.
Optional Photo: If you would like to include a photo alongside your story, you are more than welcome to do so. Simply attach the photo to your email and provide a caption that will accompany it.
Links to Your Website or Social Media: You have the option to include links to your personal website or social media profiles. If you'd like to direct readers to your online presence, please provide the necessary links or handles.
A few important reminders:
Please review your piece for any spelling or grammar errors before sending it over. If you require editing assistance, please don't hesitate to let me know.
Ensure that your submission is entirely your own original work.
Kindly refrain from submitting content that has been previously published on other websites, blogs, social media platforms, chat rooms, or forums.
Take a moment to explore the previous 'Story Time' guest posts on our website. They provide a great reference and showcase the diverse range of stories we feature.
You can access the guest blogger agreement that you agreed to upon registering by clicking here.
If you have any questions, you can contact me directly on email@example.com
Here are some questions that have come through, that I thought I would address;
What is guest blogging? Guest blogging is the act of writing and publishing a blog post on another website as a guest author.
Is this a paid opportunity? No, this is not a paid opportunity and you shall not be entitled to any compensation. You will need to agree to these t&c's when you register.
Can I share my story anonymously? Yes of course. I respect your privacy. You will just need to select this option upon registering. Or, if you have changed your mind since you have registered, you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to let me know and I will make the adjustments as necessary.
Is there a specific word count or length requirement for the guest post? No, there is not.
Will my guest post be edited? I can provide editing support if desired, while ensuring that the authenticity and voice of your story is maintained, however I do prefer it if you submit your story after you have edited, proofread as well as spell & grammar checked it.
What if I'm not a professional writer? Let me reassure you that professional writing skills is not a requirement to be a guest contributor on my blog. Your personal story and insights are what makes your story so valuable to me and my readers.
Can I include photos or other visual elements in my guest post? You are welcome to submit a photo, however this is optional. If you do decide to share one, please provide a caption which will go underneath the photo. Eg: Chayce James Phillipps-Lewis ~ 24/12/2020 First born child to Mark & Tayla Phillipps-Lewis. Gone way to soon. Fly high baby boy x
What if I change my mind or want to make edits after submission? I am open to discussing any changes or edits you may want to make even after the initial submission, if there is sufficient time to do so before your post is scheduled to go live.
Will I receive credit for my guest post? Yes, if thats what you would like.
How will my guest post be shared and promoted? I plan to share your post on my website, social media channels, and monthly newsletters. You are welcome to share the link as well.
How can I contact you if I have further questions or concerns? You can email me at email@example.com
11. Previous stories submitted
Remember, your story has the power to touch hearts, provide solace, and empower others. Don't underestimate the significance of sharing not only the heartbreak but also the resilience and healing that has emerged from your baby loss journey. By focusing on your unique path and offering hope, inspiration, and insights, you contribute to a collective narrative of strength and support within the baby loss community.
So to anyone who has experienced baby loss, I encourage you to share your story. Whether you share it with a friend, a support group, or on a platform like this, your story has the power to inspire, comfort, and connect with others.
In addition, to those who have not directly experienced the loss of a baby, I kindly ask you to read the stories of those who have, with empathy, compassion and an open mind.
Together, we can create a world where baby loss is no longer a taboo topic, but one that is openly discussed and supported.
Sending love as always