A WOMAN who has experienced baby loss has praised a Glasgow remembrance service which gives families an opportunity to grieve.

Lesley Buchanan will join others who have dealt with the same heartache she and her husband Gordon have, at the Saying Goodbye service which takes place at Glasgow Cathedral on Saturday.

"You don’t really think it happens to anyone else until you are willing to say it is happening to you," explained Lesley.

"It is just not something that people forget, and even if you go on and you are lucky enough to have children, it doesn’t take away the pain of what you have lost," she added.

Lesley, from Clarkston, has miscarried three times and recognises the support that the service organised by The Mariposa Trust offers.

The 42-year-old, who has three butterfly tattoos for each loss, said: "In 2009, we fell pregnant for the first time. I was over the moon, joyous, and told the whole world. It never occurred to us that anything could possibly go wrong.

"When I found out I lost the baby at 10 weeks, I felt guilt. I felt it was fault or something I had done.

"People just don’t talk about it and they just carry it within them. You need to be able to grieve the loss but you feel that you don’t have the right because you are grieving something that you don’t have.

"I started looking for a baby loss support charity and that is when I came across the Saying Goodbye."

She added: "The service sort of gave me permission almost to be allowed to grieve and that it was ok.

"Unfortunately, we went on suffer a second and third (miscarriage) in 2012 and 2013, and we haven’t gone on to have any children."

The Mariposa Trust was founded by Zoe and Andy Clark-Coates, who sadly suffered the loss of five babies. They saw that there was an extreme lack of support available to parents like them, and so decided to start the Saying Goodbye services. Now five years on, the charity holds cathedral services in England, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland, France and the US, and is looking to expand these further in 2018 and beyond.

Lesley, who runs a bakery businesses, said: "There is not a day that goes by when you think about what might have been. Certain times of year are harder. Christmas is always really hard, and first days of school when all the pictures start flying up on your facebook feed.

"It is always going to be hard but it is something that you learn to live with I suppose. It wouldn’t hurt if there hadn’t have been a huge amount of love there."

She added: "It really, really helps, to stand and acknowledge those lives in that service with other people. It is very healing.

"I turned 42 not that long ago and I find birthdays quite hard because I am getting older. I know it is not going to happen but it is still hard.

"Our life is good, we are happy and there is lots of things we have done because of the situation we are in.

"I have met so many wonderful friends through baby loss who I would have never had met had this not happened."

The charity says baby loss affects around one in four pregnancies each year in the UK, with nearly 700 babies lost each day.

The services are open to people of faith or no faith, whether people have lost recently or decades ago, and welcome not only parents, but also the extended family and friends.

The services are uplifting and moving events filled with music, poems, acts of remembrance and more, and have been attended by countless thousands of people, who have found healing and solace by attending.

More information on the charity can be found at www.mariposatrust.org and via www.sayinggoodbye.org.

The Glasgow service starts at 11am.