Birmingham Poet Laureate, Casey Bailey, Pens Poignant Poem On Baby Loss For Woodland House Appeal Poet Laureate for Birmingham, Casey Bailey, has thrown his support behind Birmingham Women’s Hospital Charity’s Woodland House Appeal to bring a standalone bereavement centre to the hospital, by penning a poignant poem which conveys the pain, anguish and heartbreak experienced by those who lose a baby. He says: “I started writing poetry to express things that I didn’t know how to process. When writing this poem, I reminded myself how indescribable baby loss is, and how life changing. This is something that many people will never know, and I hope for them that this never changes, but I wanted use this opportunity to convey the importance of Woodland House and the amazing work that will be done there.” Approximately 2,000 women experience loss at Birmingham Women’s Hospital every year. When complete, Woodland House will be a safe-haven, away from the hustle and bustle of the maternity wards, where families can grieve in private and get the support they need. The latest fundraising total stands at £1.6m and Birmingham Women’s Hospital Charity is urgently calling on members of the public to help it raise the next £1m, which will allow the hospital to begin building the much-needed centre. Find out more about the Woodland House Appeal or make a donation. Or to donate £5, text WOODLAND to 70970 (standard terms apply). Guidance: this video contains content that some viewers may find upsetting. Poem Transcript: Silence isn’t always golden You haven’t heard the violently loud scream of silence Until you’ve listened for the words of a sonographer Who doesn’t know what to say Or the doctor and the midwife pause for just a little longer than is natural Until the heartbeat you came to listen to is lost And your own heart stops for a moment in solidarity When you look across into the eyes of the person you started this journey with And see tears rolling like hopelessness into lungs, falling like dreams onto reality What do you do? When the world that you’ve been building for months ends before it begins? There are mothers and fathers who planned paths for their children that will travel beyond their lifetimes to see them live only for hours. In that room, it feels like more than one life has ended That room, filled with an emptiness that takes up space in a way that emptiness never should What do you say? When a mother has to give birth to a baby that she knows has already lost their fight for life And she walks down corridors where people tell her “good luck” and “congratulations” When the world has taken everything from you and doesn’t even have the decency to swallow you whole When you have the sleepless nights that they promised you, but the tears that keep you awake are your own Who carries the parents who were meant to carry their child? When you hold your lifeless child on a maternity ward and hear the cries of babies all around How should you feel? How can you feel anything? At these times we need sanctuary We need Woodland House at Birmingham Women’s Hospital and we need safe havens just like it everywhere Where candles flicker and fade Everywhere that a permanent light was promised and an ever present shadow is left We need sanctuary We need space We need each other, sometimes in person, sometimes in spirit or thought We need to care for those who only ever wanted the chance to care for another.