Thursday, 29 September 2016

How Can This Make Me a Better Person? by Tennille

I never understood why people said “losing my baby has made me a better / stronger / kinder person”

After Oscar was born, (stillborn at 33 weeks) I read books by other bereaved parents, read the literature given to us in the hospital, cover to cover several times, wondering how I was going to get through the next day, I wondered how other parents survived, or went on to have other children. I wasn’t able to believe I would ever hold a living breathing child in my arms or that I could create a “new” life where I felt genuinely happy.

One comment which cropped up repeatedly on blog sites, from other bereaved parents and in stories I read of family who had lost a child was “this tragedy has made me a better person” or “it has made me stronger”. I remember thinking “How could this tragedy change me so profoundly” or “”I’m so upset that my baby died, why would I want to show compassion to others?” When friends commented that I had been so strong, it really felt very awkward because I didn’t have a choice in what was happened to my baby, I did what I had to do at the time to survive.

Nearly five years on, I still think I am not necessarily more compassionate or am a better person because of my experience but perhaps I now have a better understanding about what these people were trying to say. When your baby dies, you have to dig deep to live every day. Nothing is as you imagined and you have to reorder your life again. Oscar was our first child and I had planned to take time out of the workforce and become a stay at home mum for a period of time, enjoying my new baby and relishing in all that parenthood had to offer. When all of that was suddenly taken away from me I needed some way to keep Oscar’s memory going. I felt like losing my child was like being scrubbed raw with a wire brush, your skin is red, scratched and tender. I knew that I wold never forget my son but I needed to know that our family and friends were not going to forget him either. This was critically important and while friends would comment our willingness to discuss stillbirth and our son as strength it was more a way for me to share my son, just as any new parent wants to and to make sure that people would not forget him.

I think what I understand more now when people say it made them a better person, was that it gave them a grit and determination they may not have known they had, it also gave them a purpose for doing something:  that purpose could be to make sure this never happened to anyone else again, that another bereaved family did not have to have the same lonely experience they had or that by discussing their child and helping others keeps the memory of their own children alive. Whatever the reason, I think this experience has taught me not to shy away from death, dying and grief. I have learnt to accept that bad things can happen to good people and we don’t always get a say in the outcome, even if we do all the ‘right’ things.

When your baby dies, you lose your innocence. Children and babies should never die, but they do. When you lose your baby your trust and belief in all that is good is shaken to the core. Each person who has been through this has to rebuild themselves from the ground up and sometimes that rebuilding process leaves a hole, a scar or completely rebuild a new person from the rubble. So rather than being more compassionate or stronger perhaps I have become more accepting of other people’s choices in how they live their life and less presumptuous about people. Because sometimes people have a story they don’t want to share because it is just too raw for them.

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

Tennille Welsh

Tennille Welsh is a mother to three beautiful boys. Mark (her husband) and Tennille experienced the stillbirth of their first son Oscar, at 33 weeks gestation in 2011, cause unknown. Tennille is passionate about raising awareness of the high incidence of stillbirth in Australia and shares Oscar's story in the hope that it may help other grieving families.

Thursday, 15 September 2016

One Year ago - Miscarry No 2 but Baby No 3 😭

Today (7/8/16) one year ago Heaven got another angel. The loss of Tristan was the worst out of my two miscarriages and I’ll tell you why.

On the 7th of August my husband and daughter were supposed to go to WWE that was in Melbourne that night and due to bleeding that day my husband decided to stay home and care for me. I was begging him to go and not let out 5 year old down but as a husband he must have known. At 2am on the 8th of August I had a huge bleed, what felt to me was the size of a newborn slipping away and then I got dizzy. My husband rang the ambulance and I went to hospital. I went to the hospital on my own and for the next 8 hours was a nightmare. I was in so much pain, every inch I moved blood would pour from me like a bucket getting tipped on my bed and even the endone wouldn’t ease the pain and the bag of blood I was receiving wasn’t catering for what was coming out.

It was a night I wanted to end as soon as I could. It got to a point where I knew deep down I was losing my baby and asked if there was a way to hurry it along and they didn’t want to because they said he might be ok.
At 10am that morning the pains got worse and I needed to push. I finally got a cleaner’s attention and she got me help. I was pushed up to the birthing suit and given gas as well as a tablet to help things along. By the time I got up there and comfortable I had a puddle of blood and something bouncing off my legs. That’s when they looked and saw my little man laying there in his sack.

Within a few minutes I was holding my little man I was devastated: 3 boys and I wasn’t even entitled to keep one. That’s when I noticed his little heart beating through his chest and I didn’t know what to do or think. So what I did was covered him up and placed him in the cot next to me to let him go. I couldn’t stand watching. It was giving me false hope.

By the time my husband and kids came in he was cold and resting. And I remember the girls saying mum he is sticky. But they were still so proud of him.

By night I was finally aloud to come home. I was so excited to relax but Luke needed to help me around because I was feeling rather dizzy and almost falling over. I was confused as to why I was so bad until I got a phone call saying my blood levels were far too low being on 70ish and needing to be on 120. So I had to go back.

When I went back I had to go up to birthing suit. And that is where they left me. In a room across from a screaming baby until lunch the next day to receive my 3 bags of blood. I remember one cleaning lady come and ask where my baby was “in care?” she asked ever so nicely and I just replied “no my baby didn’t make it.” She was shocked she was very sorry and I said it wasn’t her fault.

But that is why this miscarriage was the worst.

I seem to do great until these little days where no one remembers and they wonder why you’re are not in a happy mood or why you say your day hasn’t been great. Or little comments like don’t loose this one (being pregnant again) or on anniversaries you want to talk and you get oh one of your kids died.  I miss my boys each and every day but I go on living for the princesses I’ve got but days like today are always the hardest. 

If you require support after reading this blog please contact

Sands on 13 000 72637

Tiffany Aghan

Wife to Luke and mummy to Tamara and Summer, in her arms, and Wade, Jax and Tristan, in heaven. I have recently completed certificates in law and in psychology and in the process of completing certificate in medicine. I am having time off at the moment to spend more time with my girls. But I am hoping one day I will continue where I want to go.

Thursday, 1 September 2016

Just Once by Glenda

Glenda is the grandmother to precious Kaeden who was stillborn on June 1st 2013.  She shares with us the poem she wrote about her experience.

Just once we held you in our arms
‘Twas more than we could bear
To see you lying oh so still
Our teardrops in your hair

Just once we watched the only bath
Your daddy gave to you
His tears were added to the depth
Of love he has for you!

Just once we put your nappy on
And fixed it firm in place
You did not squirm, you did not kick
It will not be replaced

Just once we dressed you in your clothes
The only ones you’ll wear
And placed you in your Mummy’s arms
So she could dry your hair

Just once she whispered in your ear
And kissed your chubby cheek
The dreams and hopes she had for you
All fallen in a heap

Just once your daddy hugged you tight
But little did we know
He held you through that long, dark night
Not wanting to let go!

Just once we watched with aching heart
Your mummy count your toes
You picked up the Jamaican part
You have your Mumm’s nose
...Definitely the Jamaican bits
You also have her lips!

We heard your newborn cry – not once
Nor saw your smiling face
No gleam of mischief in your eye
No strength to your embrace

You’ll never hear your name – not once
No tiny footsteps take
Our lives will never be the same
Without you here awake

We’ll tuck you into bed – not once
Nor listen to your prayer
Your birthdays we will celebrate
But you will not be there!

Each night your parents wake with tears
And listen for your cry
But empty silence greets their ears
And broken they ask, ‘why’


We trust our Father up above
Though you are now asleep
God comforts us with His great love
I know He cares and weeps

Forever you’ll be in our hearts
Until we meet with joy
No one will ever take your place
Kaelen – our precious baby boy!

©Glenda McClintock