#BestGiftEver

My Diary of a Swelly Belly ended suddenly after I lost my baby this summer, suddenly and tragically, at 33 weeks gestation.  I’ve fought to come to terms with what happened over the last few months and thanks to the incredible support of friends, family and Bump Class girls, I’m looking forward to saying goodbye to this hellish year and embracing 2015 which I hope will be filled with better fortune.  As Christmas approaches, I’ve been asked by my family what I really want for Christmas and what I really, really want, is a healthy baby.  Sadly that can’t happen for me this year, but I can potentially help other women and I want your help.

For a few months now, I’ve been involved with a brilliant charity, Chasing Zero, which is dedicated to elimination of HIV worldwide. For the first time, this is looking possible and a big part of this is supporting HIV positive women in their pregnancies, giving them every chance of protecting their unborn children from contracting HIV.  But the cleverest part is that they’ve created a really simple and effective support system using Mother Buddies, whereby an HIV positive woman who has had children of her own, supports, teaches and guides another HIV positive woman through her pregnancy. Through sustained friendship and a shared problem, a deep trust and respect is created.

If there is one thing that has become evident to me in the last five years, becoming a mother, starting The Bump Class and even losing our little boy, it’s that women offer other women one of the greatest support networks that exists which is why I’m so keen to help them raise funds.  This Christmas we’ve launched a social media campaign – #BestGiftEver and we are asking people to tweet / instagram / put on Facebook an image of someone they love as a baby alongside a donation of £5 (via text) to Chasing Zero and nominate 3 friends to do the same.  The picture doesn’t have to be of their baby – it can be of a godchild, a nephew, even their boyfriend as a baby.  All of the £5 donation will go directly to help ensure that HIV women in Malawi are given this very gift.

We want as many people participate in this as possible and in order to do this, we wondered whether you, My Baba readers would participate and help kick start this campaign, which could make a profound difference to a group of pregnant women who are in dire need of help.  This year has been a huge challenge for me and in spite of such a terrible summer, I’m more aware than ever how lucky I am.  And if, this Christmas, with your help, I can make a difference to mothers who haven’t got the support and love that has kept me going, then it really will be happier.

Please share a photo of someone you love as a baby with #BestGiftEver, text ‘ZERO15 £5’ to the number 70070 to donate £5 to Chasing Zero and nominate at least 3 other friends to do the same.  Do this as many times as you can and together we’ll ensure that a group of women really do receive the #BestGiftEver this Christmas.

By Marina Fogle, The Bump Class