parent opinion

"My first baby boy was stillborn. Then my third passed away five hours after she was born."

This article deals with an account of stillbirth that could be triggering for some readers.

If you were to see me walking down the street with my two daughters Holley, 12, and Belle, eight, you would more than likely see me smiling. There isn’t a day that goes by since the days they were born that I don’t smile and take a moment to stop and appreciate the precious gifts that they truly are.

I have no doubt that every parent looks at their children this way but when you have experienced losing a child, I believe there is something about this feeling that is deepened. What I know now is that I am one of the many parents from around the world who have learned the hard way that having full term healthy babies really is nothing short of a miracle.  

13 years ago I had my first baby boy. My little man Jesse was stillborn. Three years later, I had my third baby, Bo Jessica. Sadly and completely unexpectedly, my baby girl passed away only five hours after she was born.

Up until those two very special days of my life, I had never experienced the intensity of sadness as an emotion. I didn’t know how to say goodbye to them after I’d just said hello. I didn’t know how to function or to do much at all except grieve.

"There is absolutely nothing that prepares you for the rollercoaster of emotions that follows the loss of your baby." (Image: Supplied)

There is absolutely nothing that prepares you for the rollercoaster of emotions that follows the loss of your baby. Confused, angry, sad, frustrated, empty, lost, helpless, shock and disbelief.

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After losing my babies, during my early stages of grief, I did a lot of reading about other people’s losses. As sad as each and every story was to read, I found it to be quite healing and found comfort in knowing that I wasn’t the only one.

I then read about an organisation called Sands and started attending the monthly support meetings. I found meeting people in real life who were going through a similar journey helped me greatly. It was so healing to be able to support one another, listen to and share our experiences without judgement or anyone feeling uncomfortable.

Without a doubt the peer support I received through Sands immensely helped me mentally and emotionally during the times that I needed it the most. So much so that I am now in a place where I can use my experience of baby loss to help other bereaved parents, families and their friends. 

I have become a volunteer parent supporter for SANDS on their national support line as well as a co-facilitator for face to face support group meetings. I feel that if I can offer my emotional and empathetic support to anyone who reaches out and can help them in some small way then my heart is content.

This is my way to honour my babies and keep their spirit alive within me. I share my story for no other reasons except to remember and acknowledge my babies and to help break the silence and create awareness around baby loss.

As much as I would give anything to be able to hold all four of my babies in my arms, I will be forever grateful for the miracle of my two beautiful healthy daughters that I have been blessed to share this life with as well as for everything that my two angels have taught me about life, love, strength, hope, resilience and gratitude.

When you lose a parent you lose your past, but when you lose a child you lose your future. My heart goes out to all who have lost; I know and understand your pain.

If this article has raised any issues for you or if you would like to speak with someone, please contact the Sands Australia 24 hour support line on 1300 072 637.

You can download Never Forgotten: Stories of love, loss and healing after miscarriage, stillbirth, and neonatal death for free here.

Join the community of women, men and families who have lost a child in our private Facebook group.

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