Thursday, 24 September 2015

Birth, Death and Beyond

Jackie Barreau, Adelaide author, shares with us an excerpt from her book 'Through a Mother's Eyes'

As I look back on my second pregnancy, and it’s unfortunate ending  - I am extremely thankful that I was able to carry my three other children to term. I also wish I could add they were in good health but that was not the case.  I do know that statistics show 6 babies are stillborn each day. These statistics are still high and yet we seem to avoid talking about child loss. Just like birth is a natural occurrence so too is death.  Elisabeth Kubler -Ross a Swiss-American psychiatrist and author of the book ‘On Death and Dying’ described her five stages of grief as; Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression and Acceptance, better known as the acronym DABDA. Kubler-Ross also suffered two miscarriages before giving birth to her two children. Her famous quotes are now shared around the world in social media circles and beyond. It is still a mystery to me that we can openly discuss acts of terrorism and the media can televise beheadings, but we can’t talk openly and honestly about child loss; that it is just to confronting.

Child loss can tear families and relationships apart or it can truly galvanise them. For my husband and I - our marriage has weathered the storm, where many have crumbled ours continues to strengthen. Child loss puts enormous strain and pressure on a relationship. I know so much has changed in the years since Cody died, and the bereavement support offered to families is readily available and accessible, it is so vitally important and necessary in the recovery process. I talk of the word ‘process’ and how grief is just that. We may be getting on with our lives but we will never get over the loss of our children.
In 2013 I published my first book of poetry ‘Through a Mother’s Eyes’ here is an excerpt.

           If the meaning of loss
           is measure by heartache
           and deep and overwhelming grief,
           then maybe we have already
           learnt one of life’s
           most difficult lessons.
           If we quantify each step taken
           forwards rather than backwards
           We will realise that the hardest
           part of the journey
           is already behind us
           It has no boundaries,
           The only ingredient
           being love.


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

Jackie Barreau
Jackie is a resident of Adelaide, South Australia and a published author. Happily married and a mother of four (two sons in heaven) she also has two teenage daughters. In 1998 her second son Cody was stillborn at 26 weeks, the cause of death an issue with the placenta. Some months later her first born Luke  just 2 yrs old whom was diagnosed with neuroblastoma (cancer) died after a short battle. Jackie's articles on child loss have appeared in She currently writes for a NFP blog for invisible illness and disability. You can also read her own musings at

Saturday, 12 September 2015

A New (And Happy) Chapter

Genevieve expresses her thanks to Sands and those that have supported her along her journey of grief following the death of precious Amalie.

     "I want to thank everyone at Sands and the wonderful mums I’ve met online 
      in other forums for their incredible support, care and empathy – both at the 
      time of Amalie’s death and ongoing."

It is 6 months tomorrow since my infant daughter Amalie died.  It seems both like yesterday and a lifetime ago.  I want to thank everyone at Sands and the wonderful mums I’ve met online in other forums for their incredible support, care and empathy – both at the time of Amalie’s death and ongoing.  I won’t go as far as saying I wouldn’t have made it through without you all, but I certainly wouldn’t have made through as well as I have done.  

I can honestly and gratefully report that I’m happy. Not just coping, but truly and deeply happy. A lot of credit goes to my wonderful partner.  It was not easy, but we worked through our grief together and have emerged far stronger as a couple because of it.  This is not for a minute suggesting that there is not still a lot of pain around our loss, and that there always will be.  We have just got better at integrating it, and at celebrating what we have rather than focusing on what we have lost.

We have decided to get married early next year. I know this seems like the wrong order of things, but the piece of paper didn’t seem so important to us before.  We are going to have the wedding at Amalie’s tree (her ashes were scattered in the roots as we planted it) so that she can be there with us.

And in other happy news, I am again pregnant and due in early January 2016. As usual, I’m as sick as a dog  (severe nausea and vomiting) and so the cat is out of the bag (apologies for the mixed animal metaphors).   This is my 7th pregnancy and they’ve all been the same in first trimester, so I wasn’t expecting to get away scot free this time!  So far everything is going as it should, and we’re very excited.

The tide has well and truly turned for us.

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

Genevieve Yates
Genevieve is a GP, medical educator, medical writer and musician from the Northern Rivers region of NSW. After a long and difficult road to motherhood, her beautiful daughter, Amalie Ella, was born in December, 2014.  Tragically, Amalie died of neonatal sepsis after only four days.
Through her clinical work, teaching and writing, she hopes to she can use her experiences to help support both patients and other doctors in managing the complex emotions surrounding fertility issues and perinatal loss, and also encourage more open discussion in the general community.

Her website can be found at:

Tuesday, 8 September 2015

Father's Day

Corey writes for us about the recent Father's Day.. his sixth without his precious baby that died.

Father’s Day used to be a day that I wasn’t particularly fond of.   It was just another day that had that undertone that it was supposed to be something other than it was, like when you plan a holiday and it’s postponed or cancelled and then that day comes when you were supposed to leave but you’re at work instead.

I do remember my first Father’s Day. My wife did everything she could to make it special for me, she made me breakfast in bed and we spent the day doing fun things but the day had that undertone I mentioned. I would have preferred to sleep the day away but my wife made this plan so that’s what we did. We went and visited the spot where we spread my son’s ashes, and it made me feel both better and worse.

I lost my boy in the November the year the before, so it had been almost a year between when I lost him and while my wound was healing but there was a large scar -  it was still very fresh.
My second Father’s Day was much better, we were trying again to bring a wonderful little person into our life and at this point we had gotten some answers in regards to what had happened and what had gone wrong and what we could to do to virtually assure it wouldn’t happen again. A month later my wife would conceive, and just before Christmas we would find out we were having a wonderful little boy. I went to my son’s spot again, and it was nice to just be there, my heart ached but I needed it.

My third Father’s Day was the best.   He was only a couple of months old but the day had that spark to it. There was that tiny undertone, but I pushed it aside, focused on what I had in front of me and enjoyed the day. Later that day, while my son was asleep, I took a drive to my first son’s spot, and just spent a little bit of time with him, and thanked him, as I knew he had a part to play.

Today’s father’s day will be my 6th. Got a full day planned: to see my wife’s parents and just basically busy work.  My rainbow is now 3 years old and he is an absolute handful, he made me a wonderful present at kindergarten and that’s all I ever wanted. I finished work early in the morning and on my way home I visited my son’s spot.   I’m not sure why this year feels different, maybe it’s because my life is a little topsy turvey at the moment or maybe it’s because this year I feel as though I have really moved forward on how I handle my grief when it comes to losing my son.  Maybe its guilt as I don’t think about him as often as I should, all I know is that there are many aspects of my life that I feel completely out of control of but when it comes to father’s day and visiting my son, I know he is with me and I feel like I am with him. 


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