Some things must be experienced to be understood, which is why the connection between those who have lost babies is so visceral and important.
In Australia, one in four confirmed pregnancies ends in miscarriage and many more woman miscarry without ever knowing they were pregnant.
Every year, one in 120 births will be a stillbirth or result in a newborn death.
Behind these statistics are the woman who are often silently dealing with their grief as it comes in waves, overwhelming them and pushing them under, before lifting them up again and giving them just a little glimmer of hope.
When a woman and her partner experience a pregnancy loss they often don't know who to turn to for support and all they really want to do is connect with other people who are experiencing the same immense grief.
They need to know they're not alone and they need to know there's hope.
That's why Mamamia created the Never Forgotten community – to build a place for those people to share their pain, offer support and discover a way to move forward, when even a smile seems impossible. Because while these babies may leave us, they will never be forgotten. Especially when their stories are shared.
This year for Pregnancy Loss Awareness Week we asked you to share your stories of loss, grief, healing and hope, so that other women could be comforted by the knowledge they're not alone.
Here are your stories:
"Those words ‘I am sorry, there is no heartbeat’ will stay with me forever." - Belinda ODwyer.
"In just a few swipes of the ultrasound wand, they were gone, together with the future we planned with them, and everything we hoped and dreamed for them." - Cindy Lim.
"I can still recall how loud their heartbeats were when I held them on my chest. It was the loveliest feeling." - Simone Grace
"Just over an hour after Isabel was born I turned her over and felt her little chest, but this time there was nothing. Quietly and gently the tears started slipping down my cheeks. I wrapped her in the blanket and cradled her in my arms like I would any newborn baby. I took in every part of her, her perfect little fingers and toes, her delicate button nose, her beautiful little lips with her tongue just peeking out, her soft fragile skin. That hour was and forever will be the most precious and beautiful hour of my life." - Catherine Irvine.
"We stayed with Mika for a few hours holding her, bathing her. Even then we didn’t know what we were doing. We were in a state of utter shock." - Belinda ODwyer.
"We are the statistic, we are the one in four. We were the parents that held the baby that didn't make it home." - Till Marie Woods.
"Grief comes in waves. Some waves are so big they dump you, and you can’t catch your breath. Other waves are small and they come over you and leave pretty quickly, and you can continue with your day." - Simone Grace.
"What I have learnt is to really appreciate what I have in my life and to treasure the time I had with Isabella." - Alison Main.
"Miscarriage is silent. We don't talk, because it is painful, because we are told to move on. It’s lonely... quickly dismissed. But maybe it is time to talk, to scream, to stop the silent grief from paralysing us." - Rita Bosm.
LISTEN: What do you say to someone who's lost a baby? Post continues after audio...
"I turned her over to feel her heartbeat, if I close my eyes I can still feel it in my fingertip, gently beating away, the most precious thing I have ever felt." - Catherine Irvine.
"We talk about our birth stories, both beautiful and traumatic to friends and even to strangers." - Rita Bosm.
"Claudia’s death left an undeniable scar on me, and this marks me always, but it’s a mark I carry with love, the mark of a mother." - Till Marie Woods.
If you or someone you know has lost a baby, and is looking for support, Mamamia urges you to contact SANDS.