Saturday, November 17, 2012
Saturday 17th November 2012 is World Prematurity Day and this year the National Premmie Foundation is again participating in the global campaign to raise awareness of the 15 million babies who are born too soon each year. Preterm birth accounts for more than 1 in every 10 live births. Approximately 23,000 of these babies are born in Australia and we want everyone to join the campaign to raise awareness of the issues these babies and their families face.
Pre term or premature birth, birth before 37 weeks gestation is the second leading cause of newborn death globally. Babies who survive an early birth often face the increased risk of health challenges such as breathing problems, cerebral palsy, intellectual disabilities and many other hurdles. For many families pre term birth brings with it neonatal or infant loss.
The National Premmie Foundation is a founding member group of the World Prematurity Network, joined alongside other like-minded organisations from around the globe to raise awareness and change the lives of babies born too soon.
How you can get involved
We are asking people throughout Australia to get behind World Prematurity Day.
In 2011, the Empire State Building was lit up purple and it will do so again in 2012 with other buildings from around the world. This year in Australia, the Questacon building in Canberra, is lighting up purple. You can be a part of our “light it up purple” campaign in Australia by purchasing a National Premmie Foundation candle and lighting it at 7pm in your own home.
• Visit and become a fan of our Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/nationalpremmiefoundation
• Change your profile picture on Facebook (the image is available below)
• Purchase your very own candle for our “Light it up purple” campaign via our online store
• Visit our Facebook event page and click “Join” and “Invite Friends”
• Join the official World Prematurity Day Facebook page and add your story of premature birth or neonatal loss
• Light your candle on Saturday the 17th November 2012 @ 7pm
• Donate online and support the National Premmie Foundation
Spread the word
We invite everyone to help spread the word about the 17th November 2012. You can update your Facebook profile image and even your cover photo, place a WPD banner on your website or blog (linking to our website), share the link to our online store so your family and friends can purchase a candle and join in celebrating the day.
Why is there a World Prematurity Day?
Around the globe each year 15 million babies are born too soon, sadly around 1 million of these babies will not survive.
In 2008, the idea came about to raise awareness of the serious issues that these babies and their families face and since then the day has gained more and more support and each year has gone from strength to strength.
In 2009, the National Premmie Foundation joined forces with international groups, March of Dimes (USA), LittleBigSouls (Africa) and EFCNI (Germany) to raise awareness of the serious issues that these babies and their families face.
In 2010, the Foundation officially celebrated its first World Prematurity Day in Australia after moving our annual National Premmie Day celebrations from July to November in recognition of the world joining forces to make a difference.
In 2011 and 2012, further international groups, Bliss (UK) and Home for Premature Babies (China), joined the World Prematurity Network. United together, we can make a difference and raise the voice of prematurity in the public domain.
Please join us together with our member groups - Loddon Mallee Kids, Life’s Little Treasures Foundation, Preterm Infant’s Parent’s Association, L’il Aussie Prems Foundation and Yasminah’s Gift of Hope on Saturday the 17th November 2012. Let’s make some noise, unite together and be the voice for all the children born too soon in Australia.
Thursday, October 11, 2012
I find that almost 4 years into my journey of grief and learning to live again, the pain is always there. It never leaves you. It sometimes crushes you. You can't breathe! I sleep less. I cry more. I also appreciate the little things. My rainbows telling me how much they love me. Stroking my face, holding their little hands. Kisses from my son. Drawings of our family. Phone calls from friends who remember her. Letters from people who never knew her or I've never met but we share the bond of losing a child. People telling me that they saw a sign from her today. A butterfly floating past. Her name written on in a book. Or simply spending time with those I love and hold dear to my heart.
To be totally honest - this SUCKS! This is not how my life was going to be. I wanted to be a mum. I wanted 4 children. I do have 4 children, but I don't hold all of their hands, or get to wipe off ice cream from their chins and kiss their pain away. How do you look a picture of your family and have feelings of absolute joy and happiness and then a tinge of sadness because there is one person, one member of your family who will never join the photo. Their life will never be captured. Instead your grief is captured.
Thursday, September 13, 2012
Do you have any idea what it is like to have an ongoing battle with your mind? Do you know how it feels for your heart to literally ache with pain? Do you know how it feels to feel completely alone, like you are the only one who feels this way, yet you know there are thousands......millions of other people who really do understand and feel like this everyday.
I was first diagnosed with a mental illness - Depression when I was 17 years old. Depression is one of the most common medical illnesses experienced by Australians. I have been battling severe depression and today I'm speaking out. I hope that I can help one person, one mother feel like they aren't alone, that they have a choice. A chance to do something and act upon their feelings and see a professional who can help them. I have been seeing a psychologist for the past 8 weeks after hitting rock bottom and no longer being able to hold things together and fight my demons alone.
I have been suicidal, I have thought many times about taking my own life, about how to take my own life.
Every year, 21,000 Australians are bereaved by suicide. Everyday Lifeline receives 1,370 calls and tragically 50 of these calls are from people at high risk of suicide (Lifeline).
More than 2,100 Australians commit suicide each year and men are around four times more likely to die by suicide than females. For each person that dies in this way, it's estimated another 30 attempt to end their life (SANE Australia).
7 years ago my family become one of those statistic's after my uncle took his own life. I have experienced grief, the loss of my pop during my teens, the loss of my daughter Yasminah who was born silently into this world after a full term pregnancy, but the loss of my uncle was a grief like no other. Words can't even begin to explain the complete devastation, shock and confusion on how it feels to lose someone to suicide.
Revealing your feelings is the beginning of healing. Silence is the loudest scream. Today is R U OK? Day. R U OK Day is a national day of action which aims to reduce suicide by encouraging people to connect with each other and ask R U OK and take the time to listen. Sometimes all someone needs is a shoulder to lean on, a person to let all their feelings out to. Starting a conversation today could save a life tomorrow. A friend, a brother, sister, aunt, uncle, a work colleague or someone you pass on the street that looks in need of help.
Healing yourself is connected with healing others. Yoko OnoI stopped loving the things I used to love doing, the things that made me passionate about life, gave me a reason to get up out of bed in the morning. I have no drive, no energy, no urgency to do anything. I'm forgetful and absent. I make plans that I can't keep. I don't feel like going out or socialising. Sometimes I can't even be bothered to shower or get dressed out of my PJ's.
After I lost Yasminah people would ask me how I was feeling, how I was coping. I politely smiled and told them I was doing 'OK'. What does that even mean.......OK. I couldn't explain how I was feeling and didn't and still don't understand any of it in my own head. It does help talking to someone, letting it all out. It can help you feel less overwhelmed, and perhaps see things in a different light. I constantly feel as though my heart is broken, shattered into a million pieces that I'm trying to put back together, but the jigsaw puzzle never comes together. There are pieces missing. Yasminah is missing. A part of me is missing. Sometimes it hurts so much that my chest feels like it's going to cave in. I can't do this but I'm doing it anyway.
It's OK to not be OK. If you need some support and aren't sure how to tell someone how you are really feeling R U OK Day has a very helpful list on their website - 'How to say I'm not OK'
WHO will you ask today?
If you need crisis support call 1800 RUOKDAY (1800 7865 329)
If you're feeling suicidal, it's OK to tell someone you trust or call Lifeline on 13 11 14 or the Suicide Call Back Service on 1300 794 991.
If your need is life threatening call 000.
Saturday, September 8, 2012
|Aisha and Aaliyah ~ My beautiful identical twin girls|
Like ears and socks and panda bears
But best of all are sets of twins
With twice the laughter and double the grins
There's so much fun in having two
With twice as many points of view
So much alike, forever linked
And yet they're also quite distinct
They share a birthday and a name
But moods and tempers aren't the same
Although at times they may dispute
Their loyalty is absolute
From days of youth till life is done
It's one for both and both for one
We're all quite novel and precise
But special folks
They were made twice
Sunday, July 15, 2012
1. Tracey Ann Colley
2. Katie Millard Hairstylist
3. Rebecca Henricksen and her partner Nate Morabito
4. Sharon Borig-Lathlean and partner
5. Jaharri Pitts and Mariah Devontae
6. Chrissy Rickards and partner
7. Kirby Richmond Davis and Glenn Davis
8. Kellie Grainger and Christopher Grainger
9. Rebecca Harrison and partner
10. Claire Elise Griffin and Bob Lloyd
11. Renee Yeardye and James Yeardye
12. Terrilee Zimmehl and partner
The winners will be selected using random.org and announced live on my Facebook Page Hope, Light, Love and Happiness from 9:30pm AEST and full winner details shortly after on a new blog post.
Thank you to everyone who submitted a nomination and shared your journey or journey of a friend who would like to attend our ball.
Thursday, July 12, 2012
1 ~ NOMINATE a friend or family member by leaving a COMMENT on our facebook page to attend Yasminah's Gift Of Hope Inaugural Butterfly Garden Ball on Saturday the 11th of August at Lachlans, Old Government House, Parramatta, NSW.
2 ~ SHARE Yasminah's Gift Of Hope facebook page on your friends page to let them know you have nominated them, remembering to 'tag' Yasminah's Gift Of Hope.
3 ~ Nominees must LIKE their nomination to acknowledge that they are able to attend the evening.
4 ~ NOMINATIONS CLOSE - 4pm AEST Sunday 15th July 2012
18 tickets or 9 couples will be selected to attend the ball and announced on Bec's blog Hope, Light, Love and Happiness Sunday 15th July at approx 8pm AEST.
The person/s nominated must of experienced the premature birth of their child or experienced the loss of a child due to miscarriage, neonatal loss, stillbirth, infant loss or experienced the diagnosis of a congenital abnormality during pregnancy or after birth. They must be able to attend the ball to be held on the evening of Saturday 11th August 2012 at Lachlans, Old Government House, Parramatta, NSW.
Friday, June 1, 2012
WHAT CAN YOU DO TO HELP?
Either donate a journal or donate $2 for us to purchase a journal in June
*Journals can be blank or lined inside, spiral or case bound
*You can donate a journal you decorate OR send them to us plain and we will decorate them ready to donate to the hospitals
Yasminah's Gift Of Hope is endorsed by the Australian Tax Office as a Tax Deductible Gift Recipient. All donations over $2 are tax deductible.
Donations can be made by Visa, Mastercard, Bpay or Australia Post Billpay through the Everyday Hero website
OR by Direct Bank Deposit
Yasminahs Gift Of Hope
BSB: 012556 Account Number: 905083525
Please ensure you send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with your name, address and contact phone number so we can issue you with a tax receipt if donating by Direct Bank Deposit
Journals can be donated in memory or honour of a child/ren. We place very special Donated in Memory/Honour of Stickers to the back of each journal so the family who receive them know they are not alone. When sending the journal/s please ensure you include a note with the name/s and/or DOB of the child/ren you would like the journal donated on behalf of.
All journals can be posted to
Yasminahs Gift Of Hope
PO Box 17,
We would appreciate you sharing this event with your friends and fans
With Hope, Light, Love and Happiness
Saturday, May 26, 2012
Thursday, April 26, 2012
This morning after my children went off with their dad to preschool, I made myself breakfast and sat down to enjoy a hot cup of tea, warm toast and catch up on a little bit of television. At the same time I log on my phone to facebook to see what has been happening overnight.
Yesterday a lovely person whom I have come to admire, shared Yasminah's Gift Of Hope with the world. Upon reading the post I was brought to tears. I literally sat there and cried. Not because of sadness but because someone whom I hardly know took a moment from her day to say my daughter's name and share with the world what we do at Yasminah's Gift Of Hope. I felt proud. I missed Yasminah. I cried. I have poured my heart and soul into the website, and majority of it I have written myself, from what I wanted when I lost Yasminah. Things I hoped would help another during their times of grief. Someone thought that my story was worth sharing. My daughter was worth remembering.
I wanted to write her a long message, thanking her, telling her how much it meant to me. I'm sure she already knew, but I wanted her to know.
But then the doorbell sang and I closed my laptop.
As I opened the door, it was my friend. She had left her family to come and help me today with Yasminah's Gift Of Hope Auction. My friend knew that Yasminah's Gift Of Hope had been mentioned as one of the 10 websites Baby Loss Parents should visit for grief support and healing. She understood as I wiped away my tears. Knowing I just seen the post.
I really wanted to reply.
I wanted to send Devan a message.
I did, but I should of said more.
I went about the rest of my day.
Later that evening when all the children were tucked up in bed and I had finished cleaning up the kitchen. Wiping down the girls high chairs. I sat down and wrote her another brief message, thanking Devan for her support and I mentioned her son's name. Triton.
Triton was born sleeping 4 years ago on the 24th April.
What a special little soul. A child who was loved, wanted and is missed beyond words.
Struggling to keep my eyes open. There was still so much more I could do. However being sick for the last couple of weeks, I knew I should get some rest. I went to bed at 1:30am.
Then back to this morning. Reading. I read the most heartbreaking post, screaming for support, that literally made my chest hurt, my heart ache. And I felt awful that on a day when I should of stopped and took some time to see how my friend was doing. I didn't.
We all want to share our children's life. We want to scream that they were born, they are still a part of our family. Yesterday some comments were left on Devan's post, not remembering her son's Triston's life, but suggesting 'other' places that she 'should' of shared. If those people had took the time to read the post correctly - they would of read that Devan was sharing websites that had helped her during her grief. We all know there are thousands of sites out there offering support, but on this day, Devan wanted to share what had helped her the most.
So now I'm crying again. Because I know the pain that Devan is feeling. I have recently felt like this. After everything that I have created and done in my daughter's memory, I still feel alone. Very alone. Grief is so lonely. You want to connect to others who understand your pain, your suffering, the ache deep in your heart to hold the child that once grew inside of your body. The child that you nurtured, you loved, you adored. The hopes and dreams that you had for that child. But instead you are alone. You can't hold that child. You are left wondering what they would be like today. What they would look like. You are left wondering if you are the only one who remembers, and understands that today is their birth day.
My point in my writing this is, is tell you to STOP. Take a moment out of your day, out of your life TODAY. To remember the life of a child who means so much to person that you care about. Today, go and mention your niece, nephew, cousin's daughter's son, or your friend's child's name. Call your friend if you can, or visit them and give them a hug. Take some time out to mention their child's name.
"The mention of my child's name may bring tears to my eyes, but it never fails to bring music to my ears. If you are really my friend, let me hear the beautiful music of his name. It soothes my broken heart and sings to my soul."
Friday, April 13, 2012
Monday, April 2, 2012
In the words of Zach who is now 4 and was diagnosed with autism last year.
Friday, March 30, 2012
We hope that you learnt some valuable information about Yasminah's Gift Of Hope and also more information about pregnancy and infant loss, congenital abnormalities and premature birth.
Please remember Yasminah's legacy and continue to share our page and the work we do with your family and friends and help break the silence.
And the very lucky winner is.......Kristy Bates!!!!!
You have won the following:
1 Gorgeously Delicious Kiki Doll as per picture from MISS KIKI of Cherry Blossom Lane
1 $20 voucher to Something Old Now Something New
1 Handmade chain wirework glass acrylic necklace, made from metal, acrylic and mixed glass from Liz Green ~ Handmade Arts Designer1 Hope Bookmark from Babys First Bracelet
1 Basic Name Print from Needeep In Design
1 $20 Voucher from Liddle Pea
1 $10 Voucher from Loganbeary Designs
1 $10 Voucher from Wrap It with Peta
1 $20 Voucher from Moments Invitations and Hire
Our Little Miracle Book from Children Having Infant Limb Deficiency
1 $10 voucher from Always and Forever Handmade Cards
1 Hot pack and cold pack from Pumpkin's Projects!
1 Hanger from Angels from The Heart
1 $20 voucher from Evangeline's Place
**Please note: The winner will be required to pay postage on certain items.
Please contact Sarah via email email@example.com to arrange delivery and postage of your goodies.
Wednesday, March 28, 2012
An obituary is meant to be a celebration of a life and one last chance to highlight a person's accomplishments. This, of course, is not possible when a child has passed away. There are no accomplishments to celebrate, only the heartbreaking pain of a precious child that has been taken away far too soon. Your child's obituary should honour and and celebrate their life and inform the community of your heartbreaking loss.
Below I have put together some things to help you write an obituary for your child. If you are finding it overwhelming, most funeral directors provide an obituary writing service. However they will still require most of the information from you.
Contact your local newspaper and request the costs involved for placing an obituary. Ask how many words or lines are included, if you can include a photo and any other restrictions.
Begin the obituary with your child's name and date of death. Some words you may like to use include; "passed away," "left this world," "left footprints on our hearts", "playing with the angels", or "earned his/her angel wings", "bud on Earth, to bloom in Heaven". They are much kinder terms and more appropriate for a small child than "died". Some families like to include phrases like, "forever loved", "beloved child of" or "much wanted baby".
Decide what other information you want to include. Do you want to mention when your child passed away, why your child passed away, or where they passed away. This is a very personal decision. Talk about your child, the time you spent with them, how your child looked. Let people know that you will always think of your child, and that they shouldn't be afraid to mention their name.
Include family member's in your child's obituary that will live on, to honour and remember your child's life. Parents, siblings, grandparents, aunts, uncles and other close family member's. You may also want to include any family member's that have passed away before your child. Some common phrases you can use include "preceded by", or "Joining Heaven with".
Include details regarding the funeral or memorial service. Date, time, location, and any special requests. You may request people attending wear a particular colour "We kindly request all attending the funeral to wear blue in memory of our sweet boy". You may also like to nominate a charity if you would prefer to receive donations in lieu of funeral flowers, or to have donations made in his/her memory. This is especially important if your child died of an illness or congenital abnormality and you want to help other children with the same condition or support an organisation that has provided you with support following your loss.
Tuesday, March 27, 2012
Send the family a card or letter as soon as you find out about the loss of their child. If you are close to the family it is nice to share and express how much you will miss their child and what they meant to you. If you weren't close to the family, simply acknowledge their loss.
Finding a card specifically for the loss of a child can be difficult. Most newsagents and department stores have a 'sympathy card' range. You can also purchase cards online specific to bereavement online through Zazzle or Carly Marie and Franchesca Cox have a wonderful card range designed specifically for pregnancy, infant loss and infertility. This beautiful and unique collection of cards is named "Lost for words" All cards in the standard 6 x 4 size are $2.98 each.
Below we have shared some words to help you express your feelings with grace and compassion.
'Please accept my sympathy for the terrible loss of your child.'
'Our Heartfelt Condolences'
'Our thoughts and prayers are with you'
'So small, so sweet, so soon'
'[Child's name] will never be forgotten'
'I would love to know more about your child and I'm here any time you want to talk'
'I'm so sorry for your loss, please know that you are in our thoughts and prayers'
'If you need a friend to talk to or just someone to sit with in silence, I am here for you'
3. Recount any special qualities of the child or pregnancy that you can recall
I'd like to help by cooking you a meal on Thursday evening.
6. Conclude your words of condolences letter with an encouraging hope or wish
Some Last thoughts
Monday, March 26, 2012
On 26 March, we will be holding the inaugural Yasminah’s 3rd Birthday Memorial March. The concept is simple, we want to raise awareness about pregnancy and infant loss, stillbirth, congenital abnormalities and premature birth. In Yasminah’s memory, we will work to educate more people about the heart ache that so many families across the world suffer.
Through the March, we will attempt to show people some of the pages who support the work that Yasminah’s Gift of Hope does, make them aware of why we do the work we do, and hope that they will in turn, share this information with their friends and family.
If it was up to us, Yasminah’s Gift of Hope wouldn’t exist. We wouldn’t be doing the work that we do. But while families suffer through the loss of their child, struggle through the diagnosis of a congenital abnormality, or ride the rollercoaster of the NICU after premature birth, we will work to break the silence, raise awareness and provide support so no family has to go through it alone.
Each year in Australia approximately 58,000 couples experience reproductive loss:
About 55,000 experience early pregnancy loss, 1,750 babies are stillborn and about 900 babies die in the first twenty-eight days after birth – how are you going to make a difference?
Here is a complete run down of the details:
Start Date and Time - 10am AEST Monday 26 March 2012
End Date and Time - 10am AEST Thursday 29 March 2012
To complete the March:
1. You must be a liker of Yasminah's Gift of Hope.
2. You need to go to the Yasminah's Gift of Hope Facebook page and go to the 'Yasminah's 3rd Birthday Memorial March Album'.
3. From the album, you need to visit each participating business in turn and 'like' their page.
4. Marchers will need to like the status about Yasminah as they visit each page.
5. Marchers must then search through the albums on each page to find the picture with a statistic or information about Yasminah on it.
7. You need to "collect" each of these statistics and enter them into the following link - https://promotion.binkd.com/Enter.aspx?id=2993
8. Once you have visited each page and liked all the statuses, you can submit your answers.
9. Whoever collects all the statistics and submits them in the required time (before 10am Thursday) will then be in the running to win the big prize. The big prize will be chosen through random.org. Everyone will be assigned a number based on when we receive their submission and this number will then decide the winner.
10. When you have completed Yasminah's 3rd Birthday Memorial March, please share this status "Today I am celebrating the life of Yasminah with Yasminah's Gift Of Hope. Will you help to break the silence? Visit Yasminah's Gift of Hope to find out how" tagging 'Yasminah's Gift Of Hope' Facebook Page.
|3 Butterflies for Yasminah's 3rd Birthday|
He told me with a wink
He ordered me a special cake
(Its angel food, i think)
I'm getting lots of hugs from god
He's really good at that
And everytime i walk by
He gives my head a pat
Balloons will fill the streets for me
They float up through the clouds
And we have lots of clowns up here
They make us laugh out loud
There is a birthday carousel
Jewelled horses ride the wind
With music playing oh so sweet...
The magic never ends
Ive made so many friends you see
We laugh and play and sing
We ride our bikes and play jump rope
And sleep in Angel's wings
We'll have our cake and ice-cream
And open gifts, surprise
But we don't blow out our candles here
Instead they light the skies ♥ ♥
Monday, March 19, 2012
"My Scar is how the son I lost was born"
Nineteen weeks into my pregnancy, a scan picked up an abnormality in our son's kidneys. A day later, we were given a terminal diagnosis but were determined to continue with the pregnancy. We wanted to give Aiden every chance.
Fortnightly check-ups revealed his amniotic fluids were low, which meant his lung development was also affected. But I still wanted the doctors to try everything to help him. We booked a caesarean to make his birth as stress-free as possible.
Aiden was born on December 21, 2010. We could hear him trying desperately to cry and he was immediately taken to the neonatal intensive care unit. Twenty-five hours later, after receiving the results of Aiden's numerous tests, we decided to stop medical intervention. He was placed in our arms and we spent 15 minutes together before he passed away.
The recovery from my caesarean was painless compared to the emotional pain. Today, I am pregnant with a daughter. She is healthy and will be born in the same hospital as her brother. When I see my scar now I am proud. It is how my beautiful boy came into the world. I call it my Aiden scar.
Erin is vice-president of Yasminah's Gift Of Hope, an organisation that offers support to families who lose a baby
Sunday, March 18, 2012
Im a strong person, but I feel the sadness creeping in, as I try to hold everything together in what is going to be a very busy and emotional week ahead. Im eternally thankful for the beautiful people who surround me with their love, friendship and support. Thank you from the bottom of my heart
Thursday, March 15, 2012
The first camera folder was empty, the third had the photos we took this afternoon, but the second album caught me off guard! Staring back at me was the words Yasminah and time stamped 24/02/2009 They were photos that I had obviously forgot I had taken and misplaced, until tonight.
15 photos of my big beautiful pregnant belly! Pregnancy photos from Yasminah's pregnancy. 5 photos taken on the 3rd February 2009 when I was 30 weeks pregnant and 10 photos taken 3 weeks later on the 24th February at 33 weeks pregnant.
|3rd February 2009 ~ 30 weeks pregnant|
|24th February 2009 ~ 33 weeks pregnant|
I love looking back at photos when I was happy like I was in this moment. Oblivious to the pain and heartache that lay ahead. Not knowing that exactly one month from the date this photo was taken our little girl would give up her fight for life. Her little heart would stop beating. My smile was broken and heart shattered into a million pieces that I'm still putting back together.
I can see how deliriously happy I was! The anticipation and excitement of growing my second child, holding my big beautiful belly safe in my arms. I remember feeling Yasminah kick me and wiggle and squirm around. She was really active, especially at night. I'm so thankful for photos of my big beautiful belly. They are memories of a time when my daughter was alive.
Friday, March 9, 2012
Tears stream down my face. I don't know if I will publish this post, but it's here to help me when and If I decide to. I wonder if anyone will mention your name, if your sweet name will pass through people's lips, if you will be thought of on your birthday. I just miss you so much. I am so grateful to have your baby sisters and older brother to love, care and cherish each day. At the same time I feel your absence and wonder about what you would be like.
I was asked recently 'Are you OK now?' by a newly bereaved family. The questioned stumped me as I wanted to answer and say yes, I am OK, but I was honest. It gets easier.....sometimes and other times I think it gets harder. Milestones, anniversaries, birthday's, holidays, at each moment in time you wish they were there a part of your life. There are days when it can be like yesterday that I held Yasminah in my arms and all the pain and heartache resurfaces like an old wound aching in the winter.
But there is also hope, hope that a new child can bring. I briefly shared my story of our rainbow girls and how they have helped bring joy and happiness back into our lives. The tears ease as the days pass. You slowly venture back out into the world of doing the mundane tasks like cleaning, shopping and socialising with friends and family. Bravely holding in your sadness as you pass a pregnant woman or a family cooing over a newborn baby. It's hard when friends announce they are pregnant. You wish them nothing but happiness and pray that everything will be OK, but you wish you had your child in your arms, or if you have started the road of trying to conceive you wish to be pregnant too. Not to fill a gap, as nothing can or ever will replace the child you lost. But to once again have joy in your life, to nurture a baby, to watch them grow. Once you are pregnant you vow never to take for a granted a restless nights sleep, a dirty nappy or having the last feed splatted all over you, the lounge and the floor. You wish so much to be able to do those things.
When your pregnant friend goes into labour, it feels like a knife going deep into your chest. You hope and pray that everything is going to be OK and that they will get to take home their baby, that the labour will go smoothly. That their child will be born healthy. Then the baby is born and you know you will have to visit them and hold them in your arms. You brave the shops buying newborn clothes and hold back your tears when asked by a passer by when are you due? As you still have a 'baby' belly and look pregnant. You walk into the maternity ward, remembering the last time you were there. You then realise the last baby you held in your arms was your own and that soon another sacred moment will be gone. You feel like a thousand eyes are watching you hold that baby, too scared to say something wrong that might upset you. It feels strange to have a warm, moving, breathing baby in your arms, but comforting at the same time.
Friends status updates wishing that their child would 'go to sleep' have a different meaning. You would do anything to be kept awake by a restless baby, because at least they would be alive and you would be holding them safe in your arms. For weeks after losing Yasminah, because everyone kept referring to her as 'born sleeping' I used to freak out about my son dying in his sleep. I was a member of an online forum where mothers who had lost babies and children to SIDS shared their stories. Because my eldest was only 20 months old, I feared that God had already taken away one of my children, what was to stop him from taking away my son! I checked on him every night to make sure he was still breathing, still moving, still alive. It might sound crazy but it's true and completely normal to feel this way. If you have other children, I think you smother them with love and affection and maybe spoil them a little too much. But you do what you need to do, to get through each day. Life is short, our children we have lost have taught us this. Take each day as a gift, hold your loved ones, tell them how much you love them.
No one really knows what this is like, and even then each person's journey is so different and unique to that family and their special child.
No one knows.......and I wish no one ever had to know what this truly feels like.
Thursday, March 8, 2012
International Women's Day (IWD), originally called International Working Women's Day, is marked on March 8 every year across the world.
A day to acknowledge and celebrate the amazing strength and power of women in our society. The economic, political and social achievements of women. The difference women have made to our history and are still making each and every day. A day to reflect on women's talents, passion, drive, the love, the hope, the embodiment of what it means to be a woman. Also a day to spread awareness, inspire young women, advocate for change and development for women's rights.
There are so many things I want for my daughters future. My wish is for them to value themselves, be proud of who they are as a person inside and out. Love their bodies. To live their life to the fullest. To hope, dream, inspire, change, and have faith that as a woman they can do anything they put their minds towards. They are only limited by their imagination.
I hope that they will feel safe, appreciated, and valued in society. Fight for equal rights in the workplace, if you have the talent and the drive for the corporate world go for it! Today our Prime Minister and Governor General are both women! Women in authoritative positions directing the future of our country.
I hope that my daughters find true love in someone who will unconditionally love, cherish, encourage and support them as equal human beings. I hope that they won't have to chose between having a career or having a family, that they can do both. That they won't have to hide their pregnancy, and will be able to tell their employer they are expecting a child without fear of losing a promotion or their entitlements.
The most important thing in life is to just be yourself. Be kind to others, if someone is in need lend them a helping hand. Choose your words wisely as after they are spoken, it's hard to take them back. Work hard and play hard too. Reach for the stars but don't forget to take time out to marvel at their beauty. Don't feel ashamed to cry, tears speak volumes, words cannot say. Hug daily, love deeply and don't sweat the small stuff. This is all I want for their future.
Happy International Women's Day
Wednesday, March 7, 2012
Harrison lived for only a short 28 hours due to an incurable condition called Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia. His 28 hours of life was 28 hours of pure fight and courage from him. Melanie watched her baby boy fight so hard, struggle to live, and then watched as he lost that battle.
Instead of taking Harrison home from the hospital, she took a box of memories that the Mater Mothers Hospital in Queensland had kindly made up. This contained Harrisons monitor wiring, foot prints, sunnies and ear muffs, amongst other treasured items.
As an avid scrapbooker, Melanie found scrapbooking Harrisons photos a form of therapy, and a wonderful way to preserve their very special photos and memories of their time together. Harrisons Little Wings is a registered non profit charity that create special photo frames and 6 x 6 scrapbook albums for families that suffer the loss of their baby through perinatal death. They currently service the Mater Mothers Brisbane, Logan, Redcliffe and Caboolture Hospitals in Queensland and hope to service all hospitals across Australia in the future.
|Harrisons 'Gift Of Hope Journal'|
On Yasminah's second birthday, Mel made the most gorgeous scrapbook for me to put Yasminah's photos and keepsakes into. It is something I treasure. I placed all her special photos and memento's into the album from the original purple book the hospital placed Yasminah's things into.
I will share the layouts inside Yasminah's Scrapbook another time. Later this month Yasminah would of turned 3 and to mark her birthday I'm giving back where I can and sharing other organisations that have helped me, in her memory. I have been fortunate enough to have a little bit of spare time to create a few layouts for Harrisons Little Wings. Mel doesn't know about these yet and I have a few more that I am working on. I have to say that it is quite a challenge to create 6 x 6 layouts without having a photo to work around, also doing a similar style. Decorating a journal is challenging but I take my hat off to Mel and her volunteers for the beauty in each of their pages.
Monday, March 5, 2012
Two halves of the same soul
joining together in lifes journey
The one I laugh with,
the entire evening sky would be in the palm of my hand.