Thursday, 28 September 2017

28 Years Today (30/8/2017) by Kathy

Kathy wished to share a poem that she wrote  after their son Anthony was still born many years ago. He was their first born.

28 years ago today

I was getting ready to say "gidday"

And welcome you to our family

Our first born child named Anthony

But your life was cut so short

And now I sit here deep in thought

What would you have grown up to be

A butcher a baker or joined the Army

But the answer I will never know

Because it was your time to go

The tears I cry for you today

Will never ever go away

From the time I rise to the time I sleep Your photo I will always keep Safe in a locket dad gave to me My darling son Anthony


If you require support after reading this blog, please contact Sands on 13000 72637

Thursday, 21 September 2017

Helpful tips for other single bereaved mothers by Emma

I wish someone had pulled me aside and told me to do what I need to do. Grieve in whatever way I need to. 
Regardless of what anyone tells you, this is your journey. 

Do what you need to do. Grieve in your own way, don’t ever let anyone judge you or tell you how to grieve. Don’t let anyone ever tell you to get over “it”. Because “it” has a name! In my case, Lynette Mary Rose.

Unfortunately there is no map of the correct way to grieve. My motto now is as long as it’s not hurting myself or others then go for it. Do what you need to do. The world will adjust.

Early on, I was so concerned with whether or not I was “doing it” right. I sought advice from those around me. I was on my own and I didn’t know what to do. Lynette’s father and I had split during the pregnancy.  When Lynette died, I had no one. I felt alone and isolated. My family were great. But I felt that they struggled in supporting me early on because they didn’t know how to help me. They just wanted to take away the pain. 

The hospital gave me a Sands brochure. I saw that there was a 24/7 number to call. But for weeks, I didn’t call. I didn’t want to bother anyone. I just wanted Lynette back. 

After Lynette’s funeral, I felt comfort in visiting her at the cemetery each day. The baby section is beautiful. The gardens are amazing. I felt the need to be with her and that was the only place that I felt close to her. Friends and family didn’t quite understand my need to go there so often. I got criticized and judged for going by close friends, to the point where on one of my bad days, I didn’t go. I was at home, a complete mess crying because I was scared of what people thought of me if I went to visit Lynette. But yet that urge to be close to her didn’t go away.

Those same friends were not with me when I needed them. Those same friends were only there at the beginning. They weren’t there checking up on me months after I lost Lynette. It was at that point, I decided to do what I needed to do for me. Not for anyone else but for me. It’s so easy for others on the outside who haven’t experienced losing a child to judge or comment. Believe me losing your child is COMPLETELY different to any other grief you will experience in your life. 

I have lost friends, I accept that and I am ok with that. Initially I was hurt and upset but I soon realised that the people that were coming into my life after I lost Lynette were far more important to hold onto and cherish than the ambivalent people in my life. Find people who are prepared to listen, care for you and support you. The ones that don’t care if you have told them the same story 1000 times. The ones that will see through your mask that you put on for the world. The ones who are there for you no matter what.

And most importantly, remember you are not alone! Sands is an amazing organisation who has provided me support when I really needed it. It wasn’t until I was about 9 weeks into my journey that I reached out and connected with Sands. I wish I did it earlier!

My story isn’t over. I have good days, bad days and really bad days. I still visit Lynette frequently, not very day but when I need to. The pain is still there. I don’t think it will ever go away. You just learn how to adjust to a new normal. I still have so much to learn but I know I am going to be ok because I have an army of women who have gone before me who are going ok and there’s some just starting their journey that need support. We are in this together. 


If you require support after reading this blog, please contact Sands on 13000 72637

Emma Pritchard

My name is Emma. I live and work in regional Victoria as an Administrative Officer. I am a single bereaved Mother to Lynette Mary Rose. My daughter was stillborn on the 13th of May 2017.  I was 36 weeks pregnant and had gone in for a routine check up when I found out that I had lost Lynette. I think it is so important the work that Sands does and I wanted to share my story in the hope that it would help someone else on their journey. Most importantly help other women know that they are not alone. 

Sunday, 10 September 2017

Father's Day 2017 by Ted

Today is Father’s day 2017 and it’s a difficult day to say the least. While many of my friends are enjoying being spoilt with gifts and meals my wife and I are making plans to avoid public places and to find a gap in the rain to visit our daughter at the cemetery.

This time last year was an exciting time for us. My wife was five months pregnant with Ella and we were eagerly anticipating her arrival in February 2017. I had received some text messages from friends and family wishing me a happy father’s day in advance and Suzi and I talked about how different our life will be this time next year. Little did we know that ‘different’ did not mean better.

A couple of days after the 34-week mark we went into the hospital because we hadn’t felt Ella move that evening before we went to sleep. Tragically we found out that she had passed away. In that instant our life was turned upside down and inside out and we had to make a decision as to when we wanted her to be delivered. We decided to deliver the next day and after being induced Suzi gave birth to our beautiful little girl two days later. When Ella was born we couldn’t believe how perfect she was. She had a perfectly formed face, hands and feet and we were instantly in love with her. We spent the next six hours holding, bathing, talking and connecting with her. We were both excited to meet and hang out with her. Having to say goodbye, however, was the most difficult thing you could ever imagine. After our return home we had to transition from buying prams and change tables to buying a headstone and casket.

To say that our lives are different would be an understatement. Prior to Ella’s death we could only see the good in the world, in people, in relationships and our future. Now this tragedy has tarnished that bright eyed and bushy tailed perception of the world. You see, we have always believed that good things happen to good people. The reality is, of course, terrible things can also happen to good people. Just because you pay your taxes on time, are polite to strangers and ingest positive physical and mental nutrition does not guarantee you the birth of a healthy living child. And even though life has dealt us a shitty hand we still appreciate and are thankful for Ella’s short life. In our minds Ella lived for 34 weeks inside Suzi and in our home before she passed away. We talk about her often and take some level of solace in the fact that we did get to hold and nurture her for a brief moment outside her cocoon. 

We celebrate and honour her 34-week life by keeping her memory alive with conversation, keepsakes and visits to her resting place. For us she was not a tragedy, a sad event or mistake. She was and is our first daughter.            

If you require support after reading this blog, please contact Sands on 13000 72637

Ted Argyle

Hello my name is Ted and I am a full time martial arts instructor. My wife, Suzi, and I lost our precious little girl, Ella Rose Argyle, on the 21st January 2017. Before Ella passed away we did not consider the chance that we would lose our child. Our goal, in part, with these articles is to help others who have lost children to find some sanity in the fact that they are not alone. Our beautiful girl is our first child and lived for 34 weeks inside her mum’s cocoon before we held her in our arms. 

Thursday, 7 September 2017

Our Journey Through Miscarriage by Kendall

I would like to start this story by sharing that we have a beautiful 3 year old daughter Aileana; my pregnancy with her was unremarkable and to be honest I experienced very few uncomfortable pregnancy symptoms. Labour on the other hand was another matter (18+ hours of labour & then a C-section), but thankfully we came through and now have a healthy, happy & vibrant toddler.

When Aileana turned 2 we felt we were ready to try for another baby. Just like with Aileana I was fortunate enough to fall pregnant almost right away and we were thrilled, so thrilled in fact we shared our news with Aileana who, whilst not understanding completely, appeared to be excited too. When I was 10 weeks, I started to experience bleeding. As this never occurred with Aileana I asked my husband to take me to the hospital. Whilst waiting in the emergency department another woman came in who was obviously pregnant, unlike me (as I wasn't showing yet) and I overheard that she was experiencing bleeding too. Whilst waiting I was provided with a handout about bleeding in pregnancy and sometime later I met with a doctor.  The doctor was amazing and explained and reinforced what I had read in the handout that bleeding in pregnancy can occur  and that you can lose (according to his analogy) blood from 3 of the 4 walls of the room that we were in and the computer (symbol for our baby) could still be ok. The focus of this consultation was to reassure me that there was still hope and I was referred for a scan the very next day;  and as instructed I booked an appointment afterwards with a GP.

The next day with my husband and daughter I presented to the local radiology clinic where my worst fears were to be realised. I had a young male radiographer whom I would say had very little experience with breaking devastating news to people, but I know he did his best. I really felt for him, it would be the toughest part of their job. I will never forget the words "I am sorry I don't know how to tell you this, but you have a sac but no baby". Of course I broke down crying and then my daughter started touching my belly and saying "baby" and by this point I was inconsolable. Devastated and numb we left the clinic and headed to the doctors. Unfortunately I was unable to get an appointment with my regular GP and I was meeting with a young doctor in training, not the best situation for him or me.  Whilst in with the doctor in training my GP did come in and discussed the scan findings with me. I was told to go home and basically wait to miscarry.

It wasn't until a couple of days later on the day before my birthday I started to bleed heavily. By now I was starting to think more about things and realised I knew very little of what to expect and what I might experience. My bleeding would be in fits and starts for over the next 2 weeks. Some days it would be really heavy and other days I would have very little. One dreadful day whilst I was toilet training our toddler (we had just started before I knew I would miscarry) and she had an accident I had a massive bleed. I called my husband at work crying because I was in one bathroom unable to move whilst our daughter was in the other wet and crying! To make matters more challenging we are a defence family and we have no family members nearby to assist in such difficult times. My husband came home and we went back to the hospital.  The doctor this time wasn't as helpful or understanding but did request a further scan to see if I had completely miscarried - more about this later. During this 2 week period I began to ask myself questions about miscarriage and all the questions I never thought to ask the GP at the time (obviously due to shock) started cropping up. Thankfully I came across your organisation and found an information sheet about miscarriage (I had not been given any such information). This was the first time that I learned that there are actually many different types of miscarriage that couples can experience.

Throughout this devastating period I was fortunate enough to have great emotional support from family. Our family hadn't yet been told we were expecting but they were told when I was miscarrying and they were wonderful listening to me talk and often just cry. Furthermore my mother-in-law is an ex-midwife and was able to answer a lot of my questions and my own mother has also suffered a miscarriage and a stillborn birth. I had a brother Damian that neither I nor my parents ever met. I also had wonderful friends who made meals for us and cared for Aileana when we were at the hospital, doctors or having a scan. So whilst we were going through something so devastating we felt supported, cared for and loved.

After more than 2 weeks of bleeding on and off I had the second scan to see if I had completely miscarried. I thought I had as I thought I had lost the sac. I was wrong, I still had the sac. I remember asking the well experienced female radiographer "if I still have the sac what came out of me", her response was "most likely a blood clot". This was a rather scary moment and I wished I had been more informed about what to expect. After this scan I called both the GP and my obstetrician (whom I had yet to see for this pregnancy but I had seen the midwife who works with her just before I hit 8 weeks). The midwife did check base with me after I was first told I would miscarry. I called both GP and OB as I now knew I wasn't miscarrying naturally and would need a procedure to complete the process. I was informed on both accounts that I still was unable to get an appointment for another week. By this point I was beside myself and broke down with the receptionist at my specialist’s office, she was kind enough to open an early morning appointment for me the very next day with my obstetrician.

Upon seeing my obstetrician she was concerned that I had been let go so long and very apologetic that I had such a prolonged experience. I appreciated her words and knew there was little she could do as she had been on leave for the past 2 weeks. Her personable approach and coming and sitting next to me rather than across the desk whilst we talked did not go unnoticed. I was booked in for a D&C the very next day. I have to thank the nurse at the hospital as when I arrived she informed me that a baby was to be delivered by c-section that day and she knew it would be difficult for me given my circumstances. I appreciated the effort and care she took to do this. The most difficult thing though was when I learned that the mother who was about to have her baby delivered was still smoking, (she was in the bed next to me and I could hear the discussion she had with the nurse) this made me go through those thoughts about how "unfair life could be" and "why me".

Nearly 3 weeks after I knew I would miscarry it was finally complete (the physical part of miscarrying that is). Occasionally I would think about the woman I saw in the emergency department that first time and I would wonder what happened for her, I hoped with all my heart for a much better outcome than what I had. Moving forward from our miscarriage was really hard for both my husband and I, I was mindful to think of how he felt and how our miscarriage affected him as I think often the males are forgotten in this process as it is us women who physically go through it. With the love, support and understand of my husband, family and friends slowly we started to heal. The toughest times where when these wounds were re-opened inadvertently by my daughter who would often pat my belly and say baby -  we tried to explain to a 2 year old that there was no baby now but maybe there would be again one day in the future.

Almost 6 months after this first miscarriage I suffered a second at just over 9 weeks. This time I experienced a chemical pregnancy and miscarried naturally. Whilst this miscarriage was again devastating I felt more prepared from my earlier experience and felt I had developed better skills to deal this time around. In addition I had supported a close friend who also suffered her first miscarriage after my first one; I found this to help me as well.

Now almost a year to the date I started experiencing my 1st miscarriage and on this day (3rd September) my birthday & father’s day we have been able to share the exciting news with our family that we are 16 weeks pregnant and due with our second child in February 2018. I find I worry more now since I have had 2 miscarriages but it has been helpful to talk with my husband, family, doctor and others who have gone through similar experiences. Whilst I have not accessed Sands counselling services myself, the handout I accessed from your website was very helpful. The work that you do is amazing and I cannot thank you enough for getting the taboo subject of miscarriage and infant loss out in the public eye. I have made it my mission to also assist in raising awareness and starting conversation about miscarriage. I made my miscarriages public by posting about them on Facebook and I also hosted a Sands morning tea to raise funds for your organisation. Please keep up the great week it is sorely needed sadly by too many people.

Multiple Miscarriage sufferer
Birthday Girl (3/09/17)
Pregnant again

If you require support after reading this blog, please contact Sands on 13000 72637


My name is Kendall - I am a married mother of Aileana, my 3 year old daughter. I am a registered psychologist and I have worked in a variety of different fields including; sport & performance enhancement, assessment & counselling and education & deafness. I am currently a full-time mum but I hope to return to performance psychology work in the field of aviation once we have had baby number 2 and adjusted to life as a family of 4. I have had 2 miscarriages in the past year and I am now 16 weeks pregnant due in February 2018. I am also the youngest of 5 children, with my eldest brother Damian being stillborn 45 years ago. It wasn't until having my own experience with miscarriage that I learned how many friends and people I know have had similar experiences. I have a mission to assist in anyway I can to create awareness and discussion about miscarriage as it still currently seems to be a taboo subject. Mental Health awareness is vastly improving and I would like to be apart of the movement in conjunction with Sands and fellow bloggers to help do the same for miscarriage and infant loss.