When I found myself experiencing a motherhood that I never expected, one that I was terrified of living, I didn’t know how I would carry on being ‘normal’. I didn’t know how much I would long for people to say my son Teddy’s name, to not treat him like he didn’t exist. Maybe you’re in this boat too, or maybe you want to support someone who is? Whatever your reason, I hope our story goes a little way to help.
What do you do when the unthinkable happens? Elle Wright had an admittedly easy pregnancy – her scans went well, she and her baby were healthy throughout, and in May 2016, she and her husband welcomed their son, Teddy, into the world. Just a few hours after giving birth, they woke to find a nurse holding a cold and unresponsive Teddy, who had stopped breathing during the night. The happiest day of Elle’s life had turned into every parent’s worst nightmare, and she had to let her beautiful baby boy go. Three days after delivering him into the world, Elle sat with Teddy in her arms as he took his last breaths, and tucked him in for the final time. Ask Me His Name is a moving account of Elle’s pregnancy, Teddy’s life, and what happens when a mother leaves a hospital with empty arms. In the UK, one in four pregnancies ends in premature death, but conversations about the heartbreakingly frequent issue of baby loss are few and far between. In this honest, beautifully written and hopeful exploration of a different kind of mothering, Elle explores how she navigated a parenthood that no one had prepared her for.