Thursday, 23 June 2016

Dreaming of Being a Mum by Kristina

When I was a little girl, I dreamed of being a mum and all the happiness it brings - like you see in the movies,  all laughing and full of love.  I have four children: Charlie and Neve are my angels and Maya and Zack are my rainbows.

So part of my dream did become reality, but not like in the movies.  To get my rainbows I had to endure a horrific nightmare which I never thought I'd come out of.   At times I'm still stuck In that place.  I had to endure not bringing two of my babies home. I became a statistic. I had to bury them. I had to endure darkness I never knew.

I still have very dark days. Days I want to stay in bed and not be a mum, wife, daughter or friend.  Sometimes I can tell when the darkness Is coming,  normally around Charlie and Neve's birthdays. The months of August and September are months I hope pass quickly every year.

Sometimes like today it hits without warning. It starts with waking through the night and feeling I have lost something, I don’t know what It Is I've lost.  Then I remember in that split second that I've lost two beautiful babies.  It continues with me feeling tired and teary all day. If an advert with a baby comes on I will be In tears. If a song we played at their funerals is on the radio I'm a mess.

These days used to last weeks. I've had to teach myself it's ok to have one bad day. It's ok to feel sad.  It's not something to run from anymore or to try and hide. I have to allow myself to stand In this pain.  It's pain I need to feel to be able to process why I'm feeling like this.

Sometimes it can be as simple as hearing their names being called in a shopping centre. That hurts every time. 

Sometimes It can be because I feel like a bad mum to my two rainbows. That I'm not a good mum, that I could do better.  That I focus too much on the past and not see the present.  I used to run from my feelings and in the end I was a big ball of stress and anxiety and so angry.  

I ended up in counselling twice because of my running.  They taught me that it's ok to face it, to understand it, as to understand the pain iIs to allow It to pass.   I had to learn to let myself grieve Instead of focusing on others. To put me first. That was hard - to put me first.
I hadn't done that since my mum was sick.  For so long the pain would take over my body, with my body showing signs of stress and all these aches and pain In my shoulder.

Once I understood the pain was my body trying to tell me something wasn't right. That all the tests showed nothing. That no amount of massage or acupuncture eased the pain.

I began to realise the pain was grief.  Grief I refused to feel. Once I allowed myself to feel it, I noticed the pain slowly went.  When it comes back I have to stop and ask myself am I denying grief again.  Most of the time its yes.  Somebody once told me that the grief and pain will never disappear, you just learn how to live your life with it. 

I never thought I would get to this point.  Yet here I am 10 and 9 years later. Still standing and still breathing.  Sometimes still it's all too hard and I want to hide under the covers.  It's been a long and difficult journey, it will always be bumpy.

The darkness still comes. I guess I have just learnt the signs and know what it Is that I need to do to let the sun back In.

The only advice I can anyone on this journey with me is to allow yourself the space to feel. That's its ok to stay in bed all day and not want to see anyone.  Just make sure it’s not every day. If iIt starts to feel this way ask for help. Seek some counselling.  The grief will never stop just as the love you feel for your children will never stop.  Yet somehow you do learn to live with it and keep breathing.

Don't run away.

If you require support after reading this blog please contact

Sands on 13 000 72637

Kristina Riley

Kristina is a children's nurse and a counsellor.
She has four beautiful children.
Charlie and Neve are her two angels who are the  inspiration for raising more awareness about stillbirths and pregnancy loss.
Her two miracles Maya and Zack are the reason she keeps moving forward on this journey of grief.
Her husband Curt is also her inspiration to raise awareness for fathers and their grief.

There needs to be more awareness for us all.

Thursday, 9 June 2016

The Wonderment And Confusion Of The Loss Of A Baby by Therese

It often occurs to me still after thirty plus years, what would this darling baby I carried and then miscarried have looked like? Would he/she (because I never found out) have looked like my other children? I think that not knowing the baby’s gender has in part led to this sense of wonderment and sometimes confusion, not that it really mattered whether it was a boy or girl.

Why was I never told? The only thing I remember being told was: “your baby didn’t grow; it had no heart”. I wasn’t told why my baby had no heart. I carried this bub in my womb for 16 weeks! Why didn’t he/she have a heart? So many unexplained questions to which I never had answers to. This too, I think, led to the wonderment and confusion of losing this little angel. These feelings I think also left me feeling dissatisfied with this lack of knowledge and angry too. As much as I loved/love my three children, this sense of not knowing enough about my lost baby has left me with an empty feeling, a not knowing who this little person was.

I think now Winter is coming, I am reflecting much more about what was and what is. This may sound strange but I am sure there are many out there who get this just as there are many out there who do not! One can’t really explain these feelings as they are so personal, a fact in itself I feel adds to this feeling of wonderment, confusion and dissatisfaction.

“How can you feel like this after all this time”, I hear some people ask? I say I just do, that is it! I can’t explain it, it just is; so if you feel confused, think of me and all the other mothers who didn’t see their babies, didn’t feel them in their arms, didn’t see another part of themselves grow up and be parents themselves. Give us a break and show some empathy. If you can’t say anything of a supportive nature, don’t say anything. No words are better than the wrong words. We don’t need to be judged! Not that I am good at modelling this for myself sometimes! The part of me that comes from my critical parent ego state, a part I often don’t like, says “get over it and move on.” Then I get sensible and release myself from the burden of “having to get over it” and say “it is what it is and it is all okay.” In other words, I give myself permission to grieve still even if it is 30 plus years since my miscarriage. I can only imagine what it must be like for women who have had multiple miscarriages. Just love these women as that is all you can do.

I wrote these words as part of a poem some years ago but they still hold true today:

Little angels are here today,
As we wonder what might have been.

(Taken from Little Angels 2011)

Yes, I do wonder what might have been and yes I still feel an emptiness that will never be erased. I will continue to wonder and be confused from time to time, so bear with me and other Mums please especially at those times that are special to us.


 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.