After sharing Phoebe's story of losing her baby Jimmy, I have come across quite a few accounts that speak openly about stillbirth.
One such account was different though - as it was also a business page.
I asked Laura, the owner of Link and Luna, to share a bit of her story with me.
Tell us about your family -
My little family began to grow back in March 2016 when I became pregnant with our first son, Link.
My god were we excited. Everyone was. He was the first Grandchild on both sides and I was the first within my inner circle to become pregnant. Fuss factor 1000!!!
It was physically such an easy pregnancy, I was so healthy, had no morning sickness and was planning to birth at home. Apart from the heavy cloud of anxiety and fear (that I wasn't conscious of at the time) that hovered above my head, everything was straight forward.
I got to 35 weeks, my first day of maternity leave, and just thought, "when was the last time I felt him move?" I had a stressful job and to be honest just didn't have the head space at the time to focus on the baby. I was just waiting for my maternity leave to begin to finally get stuff done and clear my head. I reluctantly called the midwife (didn't want to be a bother) and she nervously asked me to meet her at the hospital (somewhere I hadn't stepped foot in this entire pregnancy). After many, many, checks and scans we were eventually told that Link had passed away.
I mean, words can't really describe the devastation in that moment. My husband James and I were just completely destroyed. My whole life flashed before my eyes and in that moment I just wanted the world to swallow me whole. I wanted James to run in the opposite direction (convinced that I was cursed and that someone else could give him a better life) and I just wished with all my heart that I didn't exist. It was just too much to bare.
Almost a year on and we're now pregnant with our rainbow baby, another boy. As much emptiness as I have felt and as much grief as I carry proudly on my shoulders, I have never felt so light, warm, content or so whole. That's been the most beautiful gift given to me by all my boys... James, Link & little bear cub #2. I feel extremely lucky.
Your quite open about Link’s stillbirth, and he is such a huge part of the story of Link and Luna – can you tell us the story after Link’s birth? How long did it take you to decide that you still had to start this business?
Oh yeah, he's my biggest driver. My biggest inspiration for sure. I was lucky enough to have a few months off after his birth and within that time I just spent a lot of time alone, a lot of time reflecting on my life, the meaning of life itself and just really sat with my feelings.
I really felt as though I was going through an intense period of transformation and it kinda felt like an outer body experience. I became incredibly attune with my intuition and felt like for the first time ever I wasn't in control. I was being guided by something far greater that myself, maybe by Link, or the universe, but I definitely wasn't in the drivers seat anymore and it's something I just truly surrendered to.
It was Jan 2017 and my paid time off was coming to an end and I just had that burning desire to create huge change in my life. If ever I was faced with a perfect opportunity to create a new life, this was it. So come Feb, I spent all our savings on baskets, fumbled through building my website and creating my business as a complete and utter rookie and just took the plunge and learnt along the way. I named the business LINK & Luna, because Link was born on the full moon.
Talk us through some products, any favs?
Well my moses baskets, particularly the signature 'Luna' Moses basket, is always going to be special to me, seeing as though that's the one that I bought for Link, which inspired the idea to begin with.
But now I stock Market baskets, 'Shoppers' (the perfect handbag), 'mini baskets' (including mini moses baskets for dolls!!), laundry baskets, baby change baskets, planter baskets and I recently released a beautiful set of milestone cards that I designed. I think my fav products are definitely the Shopper (can't leave the house without it) and my milestone cards, which I currently get to use!
Your baskets are ethically made in Ghana, have you been able to get there to visit?
Oh I wish!!!!! After having Link, then starting the business, and then falling pregnant shortly after that, there hasn't been much room for travel. I would love, love, love, to visit one day though.
I work through my supplier and they are literally on the ground in Ghana doing business side by side with the weavers. We have an awesome tribe of regular weavers that work from home or within a community co op, and then other weavers are found at the local artisan markets. After the baskets are woven, the weavers present their creations and are paid their asking price upfront. We believe that nothing can be fairer than this!
By doing business like this and purchasing these products, we don’t just empower these gifted artisans, but also contribute to sustainable development, preserving traditional skills and promoting ethically produced goods and work practices, ensuring that this art form & legacy get’s passed down for generations to come.
You wrote a beautiful piece about pregnancy after loss (read here), how are you going with everything now?
Oh it's a total rollercoaster. You expect things to go a certain way and you kinda prepare yourself for how you're going to feel, but the reality is so different.
Until very recently, I struggled immensely to connect with this baby and have felt so much shame and fear and guilt because of it. Convinced I'm going to be a crappy, emotionally numb (you know, for self preservation) mother to this poor kid who should've chosen another, less damaged family.
But you know, the universe reminded me that I'm always too hard on myself and that my baby chose me for a reason, and that if I have learnt anything through this whole experience, it's that, having children actually has nothing to do with us as parents. We're just the vessel. These babies of ours have their own plans and their little souls have their own journey, and my little babe has chosen me for a reason. I might be damaged, but he loves me just as I am and I just have to trust him and surrender to this process.
What does the future hold for Link and Luna?
Ahhhh well, some exciting things for sure. I'm hoping to release some new products in the new year and continue to develop my blog. I love writing and I'm really passionate about helping others in a way that makes us feel more connected beyond our screens. Baby #2 is due early Feb, so I'll be spending the new few months preparing for that. I can't wait to see where next year will take us!
To follow Link & Luna's journey, click here - WEBSITE // FACEBOOK // INSTAGRAM