Thursday, 5 October 2017

WHY?? by Diann

When I was 19, I discovered I had a narrowed heart valve which would require surgery somewhere in the future.  I had our son 2 years later and had no problems at all throughout the pregnancy, but was advised not to have any more babies in case it put too much strain on my heart.  I had my mitral valve replaced in 2005, and now have to take warfarin daily for the rest of my life. My surgeon warned us of the dangers if I ever fell pregnant, so in 2006 my husband had a vasectomy. We were happy with the family  we had.

Very surprisingly, I found out in February 2009 that I was pregnant, however the following day, I was rushed into hospital with pancreatitis. During my 2 week stay in 
hospital, I miscarried (I was 9 weeks pregnant). We then discovered that my husband’s vasectomy had reversed! My raging hormones and subsequent long talks with my husband, led us to a meeting with my cardiologist to discuss having a baby. When we were given the green light, we started trying, and fell pregnant almost immediately in January 2010.  My warfarin was stopped, and I had to self-administer 2 x heparin injections a day. Unfortunately, communication between my GP and cardiologist had broken down, and at 7 weeks pregnant I was admitted to hospital with a blood clot in my mechanical heart valve, as my body was not absorbing the heparin being injected into my thigh. I was given 2 options - I could have a clot busting drug (which was not guaranteed to be successful) or I could have my valve replaced again. We opted for the latter, as if the first option failed, I would need surgery anyway which would be more dangerous after taking the drug.

My mother rushed the 30 miles to the hospital with our son, to see me before going to theatre. My surgeon advised it would be highly unlikely that our baby would survive as  my blood pressure would drop too low.

The surgery was a success, and 2 days later we got to see our miracle baby's heartbeat on the ultrasound screen. I was in hospital for 7 weeks, until I could go back on warfarin safely. Everything went well for the next 14 weeks, and we found out we were having a little girl.

When I was 28 weeks pregnant, I noticed I hadn't felt our little girl move very much. I went to my local maternity unit and heard her heart beating - such a relief! I had to go back later that day to have a trace done, then on the journey home I received a call to go through to the main maternity hospital as a precaution. When we got there we realised everything was not okay. The on-call obstetrician advised our little girl was in distress and had to be delivered ASAP. I was taken to theatre, not knowing the
 heartbreak awaiting me when I awoke....

What I was not aware of was that warfarin can cross the placenta. This had caused a bleed on our daughters brain.... nothing could be done to save her.  I was taken to see her for the very first time, in the neo-natal unit. The tiniest baby I've ever seen, so very perfect! We were taken to an office where we were asked to give permission to withdraw treatment.

We were taken to the private unit where we had our own family room. The hospital chaplain came to baptise Maia Jane, our very immediate family there to share this precious time. Maia never woke up in the 18 hours she was in this world. She passed away very gently in my arms.  I have never experienced pain like the pain I felt in those first few weeks, the feeling of helplessness, blame, anger, and the deepest sadness.

It's been just over 7 years since our angel died. We now have our rainbow Sophia who was born 9 days before Maia's first birthday. I had 2 x daily heparin injections, weekly blood tests and fortnightly heart scans throughout my entire pregnancy.

I felt that we had gone through so much to eventually have Maia, to lose her was the cruellest part of life ever! We always felt it was meant to be - fate!  But I cried to 
God, asking "WHY"!

I would like to spread the word to any woman on warfarin, warning of the dangers as my obstetrician merely said to me "there was always a chance this could happen"!!!  

If you require support after reading this blog, please contact Sands on 13000 72637


Hi, my name is Diann, and I live in Perth, Western Australia, but originally from Scotland.  I am a married mother of 2 children here on earth (age 20 and 6) and 2 in heaven (1 miscarriage and 1 neo-natal death).  Aside from my day-to-day work, I am a Parent Supporter with Sands on the 1300 line.  Sands were a huge support to me, and now I want to be there for others.  My hope is that by sharing my story, it will bring awareness, and save others from the same fate as our family

Thursday, 28 September 2017

28 Years Today (30/8/2017) by Kathy

Kathy wished to share a poem that she wrote  after their son Anthony was still born many years ago. He was their first born.

28 years ago today

I was getting ready to say "gidday"

And welcome you to our family

Our first born child named Anthony

But your life was cut so short

And now I sit here deep in thought

What would you have grown up to be

A butcher a baker or joined the Army

But the answer I will never know

Because it was your time to go

The tears I cry for you today

Will never ever go away

From the time I rise to the time I sleep Your photo I will always keep Safe in a locket dad gave to me My darling son Anthony


If you require support after reading this blog, please contact Sands on 13000 72637

Thursday, 21 September 2017

Helpful tips for other single bereaved mothers by Emma

I wish someone had pulled me aside and told me to do what I need to do. Grieve in whatever way I need to. 
Regardless of what anyone tells you, this is your journey. 

Do what you need to do. Grieve in your own way, don’t ever let anyone judge you or tell you how to grieve. Don’t let anyone ever tell you to get over “it”. Because “it” has a name! In my case, Lynette Mary Rose.

Unfortunately there is no map of the correct way to grieve. My motto now is as long as it’s not hurting myself or others then go for it. Do what you need to do. The world will adjust.

Early on, I was so concerned with whether or not I was “doing it” right. I sought advice from those around me. I was on my own and I didn’t know what to do. Lynette’s father and I had split during the pregnancy.  When Lynette died, I had no one. I felt alone and isolated. My family were great. But I felt that they struggled in supporting me early on because they didn’t know how to help me. They just wanted to take away the pain. 

The hospital gave me a Sands brochure. I saw that there was a 24/7 number to call. But for weeks, I didn’t call. I didn’t want to bother anyone. I just wanted Lynette back. 

After Lynette’s funeral, I felt comfort in visiting her at the cemetery each day. The baby section is beautiful. The gardens are amazing. I felt the need to be with her and that was the only place that I felt close to her. Friends and family didn’t quite understand my need to go there so often. I got criticized and judged for going by close friends, to the point where on one of my bad days, I didn’t go. I was at home, a complete mess crying because I was scared of what people thought of me if I went to visit Lynette. But yet that urge to be close to her didn’t go away.

Those same friends were not with me when I needed them. Those same friends were only there at the beginning. They weren’t there checking up on me months after I lost Lynette. It was at that point, I decided to do what I needed to do for me. Not for anyone else but for me. It’s so easy for others on the outside who haven’t experienced losing a child to judge or comment. Believe me losing your child is COMPLETELY different to any other grief you will experience in your life. 

I have lost friends, I accept that and I am ok with that. Initially I was hurt and upset but I soon realised that the people that were coming into my life after I lost Lynette were far more important to hold onto and cherish than the ambivalent people in my life. Find people who are prepared to listen, care for you and support you. The ones that don’t care if you have told them the same story 1000 times. The ones that will see through your mask that you put on for the world. The ones who are there for you no matter what.

And most importantly, remember you are not alone! Sands is an amazing organisation who has provided me support when I really needed it. It wasn’t until I was about 9 weeks into my journey that I reached out and connected with Sands. I wish I did it earlier!

My story isn’t over. I have good days, bad days and really bad days. I still visit Lynette frequently, not very day but when I need to. The pain is still there. I don’t think it will ever go away. You just learn how to adjust to a new normal. I still have so much to learn but I know I am going to be ok because I have an army of women who have gone before me who are going ok and there’s some just starting their journey that need support. We are in this together. 


If you require support after reading this blog, please contact Sands on 13000 72637

Emma Pritchard

My name is Emma. I live and work in regional Victoria as an Administrative Officer. I am a single bereaved Mother to Lynette Mary Rose. My daughter was stillborn on the 13th of May 2017.  I was 36 weeks pregnant and had gone in for a routine check up when I found out that I had lost Lynette. I think it is so important the work that Sands does and I wanted to share my story in the hope that it would help someone else on their journey. Most importantly help other women know that they are not alone. 

Sunday, 10 September 2017

Father's Day 2017 by Ted

Today is Father’s day 2017 and it’s a difficult day to say the least. While many of my friends are enjoying being spoilt with gifts and meals my wife and I are making plans to avoid public places and to find a gap in the rain to visit our daughter at the cemetery.

This time last year was an exciting time for us. My wife was five months pregnant with Ella and we were eagerly anticipating her arrival in February 2017. I had received some text messages from friends and family wishing me a happy father’s day in advance and Suzi and I talked about how different our life will be this time next year. Little did we know that ‘different’ did not mean better.

A couple of days after the 34-week mark we went into the hospital because we hadn’t felt Ella move that evening before we went to sleep. Tragically we found out that she had passed away. In that instant our life was turned upside down and inside out and we had to make a decision as to when we wanted her to be delivered. We decided to deliver the next day and after being induced Suzi gave birth to our beautiful little girl two days later. When Ella was born we couldn’t believe how perfect she was. She had a perfectly formed face, hands and feet and we were instantly in love with her. We spent the next six hours holding, bathing, talking and connecting with her. We were both excited to meet and hang out with her. Having to say goodbye, however, was the most difficult thing you could ever imagine. After our return home we had to transition from buying prams and change tables to buying a headstone and casket.

To say that our lives are different would be an understatement. Prior to Ella’s death we could only see the good in the world, in people, in relationships and our future. Now this tragedy has tarnished that bright eyed and bushy tailed perception of the world. You see, we have always believed that good things happen to good people. The reality is, of course, terrible things can also happen to good people. Just because you pay your taxes on time, are polite to strangers and ingest positive physical and mental nutrition does not guarantee you the birth of a healthy living child. And even though life has dealt us a shitty hand we still appreciate and are thankful for Ella’s short life. In our minds Ella lived for 34 weeks inside Suzi and in our home before she passed away. We talk about her often and take some level of solace in the fact that we did get to hold and nurture her for a brief moment outside her cocoon. 

We celebrate and honour her 34-week life by keeping her memory alive with conversation, keepsakes and visits to her resting place. For us she was not a tragedy, a sad event or mistake. She was and is our first daughter.            

If you require support after reading this blog, please contact Sands on 13000 72637

Ted Argyle

Hello my name is Ted and I am a full time martial arts instructor. My wife, Suzi, and I lost our precious little girl, Ella Rose Argyle, on the 21st January 2017. Before Ella passed away we did not consider the chance that we would lose our child. Our goal, in part, with these articles is to help others who have lost children to find some sanity in the fact that they are not alone. Our beautiful girl is our first child and lived for 34 weeks inside her mum’s cocoon before we held her in our arms. 

Thursday, 7 September 2017

Our Journey Through Miscarriage by Kendall

I would like to start this story by sharing that we have a beautiful 3 year old daughter Aileana; my pregnancy with her was unremarkable and to be honest I experienced very few uncomfortable pregnancy symptoms. Labour on the other hand was another matter (18+ hours of labour & then a C-section), but thankfully we came through and now have a healthy, happy & vibrant toddler.

When Aileana turned 2 we felt we were ready to try for another baby. Just like with Aileana I was fortunate enough to fall pregnant almost right away and we were thrilled, so thrilled in fact we shared our news with Aileana who, whilst not understanding completely, appeared to be excited too. When I was 10 weeks, I started to experience bleeding. As this never occurred with Aileana I asked my husband to take me to the hospital. Whilst waiting in the emergency department another woman came in who was obviously pregnant, unlike me (as I wasn't showing yet) and I overheard that she was experiencing bleeding too. Whilst waiting I was provided with a handout about bleeding in pregnancy and sometime later I met with a doctor.  The doctor was amazing and explained and reinforced what I had read in the handout that bleeding in pregnancy can occur  and that you can lose (according to his analogy) blood from 3 of the 4 walls of the room that we were in and the computer (symbol for our baby) could still be ok. The focus of this consultation was to reassure me that there was still hope and I was referred for a scan the very next day;  and as instructed I booked an appointment afterwards with a GP.

The next day with my husband and daughter I presented to the local radiology clinic where my worst fears were to be realised. I had a young male radiographer whom I would say had very little experience with breaking devastating news to people, but I know he did his best. I really felt for him, it would be the toughest part of their job. I will never forget the words "I am sorry I don't know how to tell you this, but you have a sac but no baby". Of course I broke down crying and then my daughter started touching my belly and saying "baby" and by this point I was inconsolable. Devastated and numb we left the clinic and headed to the doctors. Unfortunately I was unable to get an appointment with my regular GP and I was meeting with a young doctor in training, not the best situation for him or me.  Whilst in with the doctor in training my GP did come in and discussed the scan findings with me. I was told to go home and basically wait to miscarry.

It wasn't until a couple of days later on the day before my birthday I started to bleed heavily. By now I was starting to think more about things and realised I knew very little of what to expect and what I might experience. My bleeding would be in fits and starts for over the next 2 weeks. Some days it would be really heavy and other days I would have very little. One dreadful day whilst I was toilet training our toddler (we had just started before I knew I would miscarry) and she had an accident I had a massive bleed. I called my husband at work crying because I was in one bathroom unable to move whilst our daughter was in the other wet and crying! To make matters more challenging we are a defence family and we have no family members nearby to assist in such difficult times. My husband came home and we went back to the hospital.  The doctor this time wasn't as helpful or understanding but did request a further scan to see if I had completely miscarried - more about this later. During this 2 week period I began to ask myself questions about miscarriage and all the questions I never thought to ask the GP at the time (obviously due to shock) started cropping up. Thankfully I came across your organisation and found an information sheet about miscarriage (I had not been given any such information). This was the first time that I learned that there are actually many different types of miscarriage that couples can experience.

Throughout this devastating period I was fortunate enough to have great emotional support from family. Our family hadn't yet been told we were expecting but they were told when I was miscarrying and they were wonderful listening to me talk and often just cry. Furthermore my mother-in-law is an ex-midwife and was able to answer a lot of my questions and my own mother has also suffered a miscarriage and a stillborn birth. I had a brother Damian that neither I nor my parents ever met. I also had wonderful friends who made meals for us and cared for Aileana when we were at the hospital, doctors or having a scan. So whilst we were going through something so devastating we felt supported, cared for and loved.

After more than 2 weeks of bleeding on and off I had the second scan to see if I had completely miscarried. I thought I had as I thought I had lost the sac. I was wrong, I still had the sac. I remember asking the well experienced female radiographer "if I still have the sac what came out of me", her response was "most likely a blood clot". This was a rather scary moment and I wished I had been more informed about what to expect. After this scan I called both the GP and my obstetrician (whom I had yet to see for this pregnancy but I had seen the midwife who works with her just before I hit 8 weeks). The midwife did check base with me after I was first told I would miscarry. I called both GP and OB as I now knew I wasn't miscarrying naturally and would need a procedure to complete the process. I was informed on both accounts that I still was unable to get an appointment for another week. By this point I was beside myself and broke down with the receptionist at my specialist’s office, she was kind enough to open an early morning appointment for me the very next day with my obstetrician.

Upon seeing my obstetrician she was concerned that I had been let go so long and very apologetic that I had such a prolonged experience. I appreciated her words and knew there was little she could do as she had been on leave for the past 2 weeks. Her personable approach and coming and sitting next to me rather than across the desk whilst we talked did not go unnoticed. I was booked in for a D&C the very next day. I have to thank the nurse at the hospital as when I arrived she informed me that a baby was to be delivered by c-section that day and she knew it would be difficult for me given my circumstances. I appreciated the effort and care she took to do this. The most difficult thing though was when I learned that the mother who was about to have her baby delivered was still smoking, (she was in the bed next to me and I could hear the discussion she had with the nurse) this made me go through those thoughts about how "unfair life could be" and "why me".

Nearly 3 weeks after I knew I would miscarry it was finally complete (the physical part of miscarrying that is). Occasionally I would think about the woman I saw in the emergency department that first time and I would wonder what happened for her, I hoped with all my heart for a much better outcome than what I had. Moving forward from our miscarriage was really hard for both my husband and I, I was mindful to think of how he felt and how our miscarriage affected him as I think often the males are forgotten in this process as it is us women who physically go through it. With the love, support and understand of my husband, family and friends slowly we started to heal. The toughest times where when these wounds were re-opened inadvertently by my daughter who would often pat my belly and say baby -  we tried to explain to a 2 year old that there was no baby now but maybe there would be again one day in the future.

Almost 6 months after this first miscarriage I suffered a second at just over 9 weeks. This time I experienced a chemical pregnancy and miscarried naturally. Whilst this miscarriage was again devastating I felt more prepared from my earlier experience and felt I had developed better skills to deal this time around. In addition I had supported a close friend who also suffered her first miscarriage after my first one; I found this to help me as well.

Now almost a year to the date I started experiencing my 1st miscarriage and on this day (3rd September) my birthday & father’s day we have been able to share the exciting news with our family that we are 16 weeks pregnant and due with our second child in February 2018. I find I worry more now since I have had 2 miscarriages but it has been helpful to talk with my husband, family, doctor and others who have gone through similar experiences. Whilst I have not accessed Sands counselling services myself, the handout I accessed from your website was very helpful. The work that you do is amazing and I cannot thank you enough for getting the taboo subject of miscarriage and infant loss out in the public eye. I have made it my mission to also assist in raising awareness and starting conversation about miscarriage. I made my miscarriages public by posting about them on Facebook and I also hosted a Sands morning tea to raise funds for your organisation. Please keep up the great week it is sorely needed sadly by too many people.

Multiple Miscarriage sufferer
Birthday Girl (3/09/17)
Pregnant again

If you require support after reading this blog, please contact Sands on 13000 72637


My name is Kendall - I am a married mother of Aileana, my 3 year old daughter. I am a registered psychologist and I have worked in a variety of different fields including; sport & performance enhancement, assessment & counselling and education & deafness. I am currently a full-time mum but I hope to return to performance psychology work in the field of aviation once we have had baby number 2 and adjusted to life as a family of 4. I have had 2 miscarriages in the past year and I am now 16 weeks pregnant due in February 2018. I am also the youngest of 5 children, with my eldest brother Damian being stillborn 45 years ago. It wasn't until having my own experience with miscarriage that I learned how many friends and people I know have had similar experiences. I have a mission to assist in anyway I can to create awareness and discussion about miscarriage as it still currently seems to be a taboo subject. Mental Health awareness is vastly improving and I would like to be apart of the movement in conjunction with Sands and fellow bloggers to help do the same for miscarriage and infant loss.

Friday, 28 July 2017

My Story of Pregnancy Loss by Danielle

Danielle wrote a book dedicated to women who have experienced miscarriage called Little Big Love.  This is her story written specifically for Sands

Written four days after Danielle lost her baby

Until four days ago the word ‘miscarriage’ meant losing a pregnancy in its early stages. It was a sad concept and I felt some sense of emotion for those who had experienced one, but how bad could it be? The baby was not even really a baby yet, just a foetus, right? Wrong. There couldn’t really be an attachment between mother and child at such an early stage, right? Wrong. It was just a matter of trying again wasn’t it? No it wasn’t.

 Until four days ago I had no idea how many women had experienced a miscarriage and how many women still carry the deep emotional scar from that experience. Now I know because I am one of those women. Now I know because as a woman who fortunately for me wears my heart on my sleeve I have grieved on the shoulders and in the ears of all sorts of women in the last few days, from medical staff at the hospital, to close friends, complete strangers and everything in between. Women really are incredible beings full of strength, beauty and nurture. Having always been a woman who has preferred to hang out with the boys because they are easier, less bitchy and drink as much as me, I never had an appreciation of this until now.

 I am a 38-year-old woman with one son. Although I’m a later bloomer in the kids department this was never my plan. I remember when I was in my late teens mapping out my life. I would become a top-notch corporate lawyer and make loads of cash. I would have my first child at 23 and my second at 25. However my life went in directions I would never have foreseen. I did become a lawyer but I didn’t make loads of cash. I ended up working for a string of legal aid type services which were at times personally rewarding, but paid less than the average 'tradies' wage. I passed the age of 23 not having met Mr Right. I passed the age of 30 not having met him either. When I got to the age of 35 and Mr Right was still nowhere in sight, I began to seriously wonder whether he existed at all and whether it was my destiny to be single and childless. My mother has an aunt who has never married or had children and she seems to have a wow of a life, travelling here, there and everywhere.  So I kept this groovy aunt in my sights and started to get used to the unplanned direction my life had taken when, pop, out of the blue, he appeared. My neighbour across the street named Matthew was the most handsome man I had ever met and his conversation equally stimulated my mind.

Fast-forward a little while and Matthew moved over from across the road to live with me and we were expecting our first child. Jago Jack was born on 12 September 2010, when I was 37 years old. He was the first child for both of us and he still is the most incredible thing that has ever happened to me. Having never had a child in my twenties or early thirties I am absolutely making assumptions here, but I think that my energy levels would have been very different having a child then as opposed to now. It’s hard work! Whilst I have always had the utmost respect and admiration for my nana who had 8 living children, now I think she should be made a saint! I love every day of motherhood though like I have never loved anything and I wouldn’t trade it for a trillion dollars.

 So when I found out I was pregnant for the second time 3 months ago I was over the moon.  Matt and I began making plans for the next 9 months and beyond. From neighbours to complete nuclear family in a few years. What a whirlwind! A huge lesson that no matter what I might have planned, life has its own agenda.

 I did a pregnancy test a few days after I missed my period so I found out about the pregnancy very early on in the peace. This made the first trimester seem to go on forever, but when I made it to 11 weeks I thought I was on the home stretch, out of danger. I hadn’t had any major hiccups with my first pregnancy and so I guess I thought it was all going to be the same this time. However, I had also been going through a lot of stress at the time because my grandfather was dying from cancer.

 I went to the toilet on Sunday night and looked down at the paper to see a couple of little red brown marks. I froze. I felt nauseas. I couldn’t move. I couldn’t breathe. I steadied myself and called for Matt. I showed him and he tried to reassure me by reasoning that ‘the same thing had happened last time’. ‘No it hadn’t. Not a drop’ was my swift reply. A woman’s instinct is very strong, regardless of how desperately she wants to consciously or sub consciously ignore it. In my heart I knew this was bad. I called my midwife and she did her best to reassure me, telling me to go to bed and get some rest unless the bleeding got worse, in which case to go into the hospital. I did as suggested and not much changed overnight, giving me a chance to muster up some false hope that all was well.

 In the morning when I got up I went to the toilet and passed a couple of clots. No longer was it just spotting I was dealing with. My midwife called and I told her what had happened. She suggested I go and get it checked out. It seemed to settle again, going back to just spotting but I left my partner and 16 month old bub at home and drove to hospital. I was taken into the emergency ward very quickly which was a relief, but then I lay there on a hospital bed for hours, being checked on intermittently by a lovely nurse until I was seen by an intern doctor who gave me a few different options for what might be going on. She wanted to conduct an internal examination, which I declined. I just wanted to see my baby’s heart beat and asked for an ultrasound. The doctor said she would arrange it and within an hour I was being escorted to the x-ray department.

 I lay on the bed staring at the screen, desperately looking for the reassurance I was seeking. Instead the ultra sonographer said ‘I’m sorry but this doesn’t look good’.  ‘I can’t see a heartbeat and the baby is too small’. I just started bawling. What I had known in my heart but desperately not wanted to hear was true. My baby had died.

I didn’t want my little boy to see me like this and so I declined the hospital staff’s offer to call my partner and ask him to come in. My mum was away in Adelaide seeing her terminally ill father and I felt I couldn’t call my dad because when I had told him about that pregnancy he responded by telling me he thought I was stupid because I was too old. I thought he would just tell me I’d lost the baby because I was old. My closest friends live in other states. There was no one else I could think of that I could call to come and sit with me. So I just sat there in the ultrasound room, sobbing uncontrollably. Then in desperation for someone to hold me, comfort me, take away some of the excruciating pain I asked the woman who had done the ultrasound to go and find a woman who I don’t know well but is lovely and works in the emergency department.  My mum works in the x-ray department and so they know me in there. Word must have travelled and within a few minutes both the woman I had asked for and a work colleague of mums had come into the room. There in the arms of relative strangers I howled for the loss of my unborn baby. The pain was so intense. I had not anticipated it, which made it so much more overwhelming. All I could think about was that my baby was dead inside of me. Here I was this professional woman in her late thirties and I didn’t even know that could happen, let alone happen to me.

 The two women were absolutely fantastic. I can’t recall what they said because I was in another world, but they were of great comfort as I clung to them, drenching them with my tears. Eventually they convinced me to go back to the emergency department. After another period of waiting the obstetric and gynaecological doctor came to see me. She confirmed that my baby had no heartbeat and had died about 2 weeks earlier. She offered me three options. 1. I go into day surgery and have a d&c, where they remove the baby and placenta by surgical means. 2. I take a tablet which makes my uterus contract and causes the baby and placenta to come out. 3. I go home and wait for the baby to pass out of me naturally. She told me about the statistical success rates, pros and cons of all three options and without much hesitation I said I wanted to go home and wait for it happen naturally. I try to avoid medical intervention whenever possible anyway but there was also the mothering part of me that was still trying to protect my baby. Maybe it wasn’t dead I rationalised. Maybe they just missed the heartbeat. Maybe there was a chance it would be ok. I wanted to let nature take its course and give the baby that chance. If it was meant to come out it would, on its terms. The doctor told me it was important I watched for the ‘products’ to pass. It was important that the products came out otherwise I risked infection. In ignorance I asked what colour these products of pregnancy would be. ‘Flesh coloured’ she responded. Astounded, I asked ‘are you talking about my baby?’ ‘Yes’ was her answer, with no further explanation.

 Once I had calmed down I called my partner and told him what had happened. I asked him to come in with our son. It was much better having them with me. While we were waiting for the ok to go home my neighbour happened to walk past and see us. She looked into my eyes and all I said was ‘the baby is gone’. She knew what I was saying because she had been there too, unbeknownst to me until now. She hugged me and began to cry, telling me she knew how painful it was. I believed her. She offered to do anything she could to help, make us dinner, or look after our boy. We thanked her and said we’d be ok. She’s a beautiful woman and the third of many who were to give me the strength to get through the days to come.

We went home and I put all my mental energy into asking my baby to come away naturally, if that was meant to be. My partner went out with my son that evening to give me some space to let things happen. Acting on instinct I ran a bath and climbed in. Within a few minutes whilst squatting down my baby came out into the water. I scooped it up into my hand and couldn’t believe what I was looking at. I was holding a beautiful, tiny baby. My baby. She had eyes, tiny holes where the ears were forming, arms, legs and I could see the formation of internal organs. Even though it was too early to tell I felt like she was a little girl. She was so much more than a ‘product’ and I felt so honoured that I had the opportunity to hold her, to bond with her just for a small time. To say goodbye to her. When I was ready I put her into a little ring box nestled on cotton wool. I put her on my dresser and that night we all slept in our bedroom. My partner, my son, my tiny baby and I were together for the first and last time.

My older baby’s placenta had been sitting in our freezer since we bought it home after he was born. I had always planned to bury it under a tree but had not gotten around to it. It was pretty weird at first seeing the package every time I went to get out a steak or some frozen veggies but after a while I just got used to it being there…as crazy as that sounds. I’m glad I left it there so long because the next day I took it out and buried my big baby’s placenta with my little baby in the back yard. It felt like it was meant to be. We had a goodbye ceremony and planted a tree on top of the grave. Now we can watch the cycle of life in action, returning from the dust, day by day in our own back yard.

 In the following days I discovered that there were women all around me who had been through a miscarriage, but I had never previously known. The compassion empathy and shared stories from these women was what got me through those hardest initial days.

 When sharing her own journey, a friend told me that just after she had miscarried; her husband bought home a stranger to stay with them. My friend got upset at first, wanting to grieve in the company of familiar people. However, this stranger ended up giving Jane the same gift she gave me. Comfort.  Jane told me that this woman was a yoga teacher. The woman told Jane that babies lost to miscarriage are little souls who have almost reached the end of the karma wheel, otherwise known as maya. These little souls are very close to enlightenment, but just needs to do one last journey into the human world, before reaching nirvana. Even though I am not sure about where we come from and where we go after this life, it gave me peace of mind and brought a calm to my heart to think that what I was going through might not be in vain. I may have helped that soul to get to where they needed to go. In my times of sadness over the coming months I often thought about that story, being instantly comforted by it.

 Although I will never know one way or the other and it may have also been a coincidence, I believe that the immense stress I was going through at the time, travelling to and from hospital to see my grandfather, contributed to my pregnancy loss. My ‘Papa’ and I were very close and watching him suffer and fade broke my heart and caused many a sleepless night on top of those already attributed to being the mother of a very active 1 year old.

 I will never forget the tiny angel that came into my life for a short but profound little while. She taught me that I am stronger than I think. She taught me to appreciate the people I have in my life. She taught me that life is not a given.

If you require support after reading this blog please contact 
Sands on 
13 000 72637

Danielle Loy

Danielle was born in Adelaide, South Australia, but moved with her family to Alice Springs, Northern Territory as a teenager. She has moved between Adelaide and Alice Springs ever since. Danielle began her career as a lawyer specialising in human and women’s rights. She then transitioned into film making and writing. She has made documentary films, written a feature film and written a published children’s book. Inspired to help others by her own experience of miscarriage, Danielle wrote a  book dedicated to women who have experienced miscarriage called Little Big Love. She currently maintains a Facebook page with the same name, devoted to supporting people through the experience of miscarriage and its aftermath.

You can purchase a copy of the book directly through the Facebook page, which also regularly has giveaways

Friday, 21 July 2017

A Time of Reflection by Therese

As I read the blogs from others who have suffered a miscarriage, I often wonder: “Am I really like these other parents?”  The answer of course is ‘yes’ because we have all suffered a major trauma, a major loss. How we cope with it is what makes us different and yet again the same.

I am so envious of those who have the support of this wonderful group and are able to speak out to help other mothers. Had I been the same and had this support 36 years ago, I wonder if I would have handled my grief better/differently to the way I did. I think it so brave that parents are able to speak about loss at a time when they are vulnerable and still living in a society that is not prepared to speak of death, at least not the deaths of these little ones. Death is expected at old age but not when we carry our little ones – I think this is part of the reason it is traumatic i.e. unexpected and sudden, the event itself needing to be dealt with before the grief process can begin, as it is a grief that endures.

Losing a baby through miscarriage is a heartbreaking situation, never to be forgotten even when other children come along, our rainbow babies, being able to go on and have other children; after all I planned to have four children living.  I can't begin to imagine what it would be like for parents who could never have a successful outcome, to hold that precious bundle in their arms.

Why do I keep reflecting on this so many years later you may ask, it is because others I love have endured both miscarriage and stillbirth, from family to friends and could do very little to help at the time except be there. People deal with things differently from not talking about it or pretending it had no impact, or like me just wanted to talk to anyone who would listen, except when my miscarriage occurred there was no-one who would listen except one friend and that was because she had been through it too. My husband at the time emotionally shut off, so I was unable to share this grief with him, a grief that not only affected me emotionally but also physically because of the pain it caused.

Thank you again for reading this blog, my reflection and hope you find comfort in the following words I wrote last year.

We wonder what might have been.
These little Angels of ours.
Never to have held them or watch them grow Never to know them the hardest part.
They tell us that all will be okay
As we continue our journey this day.
They will be forever with us, A special place in our hearts.
Our little Angels above Take with you our love,
As we honour your memory On the wings of the dove.
Never to be forgotten.

(Taken from Little Angels by Therese 260716)

Therese Murphy 140717

If you require support after reading this blog please contact 
Sands on 
13 000 72637

About Therese 

Therese has worked in the field of counselling and community development for over 20 years. She has worked predominantly in the health and welfare field. She has worked in the primary school sector counselling children through a range of loss and grief and traumatic experiences.

Therese has also delivered a number of conference papers on the theme of children’s loss and grief and articles on stress management too. She also worked as a Sessional teacher in the TAFE system and the Private Sector in the Community Services area, including Mental Health Welfare for over 20 years. She is also an experienced Supervisor.

Therese has as a small business conducting Reiki, Inner Child Therapy, Meditation and similar therapies. She is also works as a Group Facilitator and teaches stress management and relaxation techniques within the local community as well as running workshops in the areas of trauma and loss and grief and related areas.

Therese is a published poet and has three children and four delightful grandsons. She enjoys nothing more than a good cup of coffee and the occasional glass of wine or bubbly. She is passionate about climate change and the environment, wanting a clean world for her grandchildren to grow up in and one where any type of violence is not tolerated.