Baby Number 3, Babyloss, Life, parenting

Recap: April

I haven’t felt the urge to write much lately. I usually use writing as a bit of an outlet during bad times, so basically life has been treating me well recently. I’ve been feeling really good. Not a lot of down days – although even on a good day I still believe life is unfair – and lots to keep me busy.

Here’s a quick recap of my last 2 weeks:

  • My cuddle cot fundraiser has been featured in the newspaper, on the radio and on TV – The local news really jumped on it, and the response has been fantastic. Charlie, my boys & I featured front page on our local newspaper Tuesday morning and as a result we received a message from ABC Radio wanting an interview, our local Prime7 News followed not long after. I was pretty nervous about being interviewed, but I think I did okay. Check out the article here: ‘Gift offers time with lost babies’, or watch my nerve-wracking TV appearance: ‘Mum on a mission’.
  • My fundraiser is now at over $1,100 – As a result of the recent media coverage, we’ve now raised enough for 1/6th of a cuddle cot in only a month of fundraising. Which also translates to 22 Bears of Hope packages in honour of my boys (if enough money for a cuddle cot isn’t raised).
  • I got chickens – probably not an important point but I find it exciting. Six 6-week-old Isa Browns. Seriously looking forward to not having to buy eggs in the near future. Charlie also absolutely adores them, which is a nice little bonus. We spend probably half an hour with them every morning playing outside and it definitely makes the day seem shorter having so much fun.
  • I spent some time with my beautiful sister, and my brother also visited from Melbourne – Family is important. Mine may not be very functional at the best of times, but I love them all the same and Charlie spending time with my family is also very important to me. My sister’s visit meant non-stop giggles from Charlie, we’ve missed her while she’s been away at university.
  • We got out personalised child loss book in the mail yesterday – From the author of Sam and Finn, these books are ‘a story of hope created especially for you’. It’s going to be beautiful reading it to Charlie as she gets older – a special little story about her big brothers. We already have Someone Came Before You, and it’s lovely, but this book actually has Andrew & Eric’s name in it! You can buy your own here: Personalised Child Loss Book.

That’s pretty much it. Condensed into a list, none of that seems as big of a deal as it actually was – I feel like there’s been so much excitement here lately!

My laptop is officially up and running again by the way, so look forward to more frequent blog posts. Unfortunately there’s been a hiccup with our new internet installation, but hopefully that’ll be working soon too.

How have you all been while I’ve been gone?

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Baby Number 3, Babyloss

Pregnancy & Infant Loss Remembrance Day, Oct. 15th

Yesterday was Pregnancy & Infant Loss Remembrance Day. I was almost too busy to think about it, but it was on my mind all day.

Yesterday I also had an obstetrician appointment. My little girl is 100% okay, I know some of you will understand why I find that to be a miracle. We’re over halfway now. It seems to have gone so fast. In 4 months she will be here, and our arms will be a tiny little bit less empty. I don’t feel like she’ll fill the gap left by her big brothers. But maybe she’ll make that hole seem not quite as big.

As I said before, the significance of yesterday’s date was on my mind all day. And at 7pm, my Facebook newsfeed filled up with candles. It was so lovely to see. But besides that, it really did feel like any other day. I missed my boys just as much as every day before – the only difference was that people seemed to accept that and liked my “I miss you” post rather than commenting about how I can’t let their loss ‘define the rest of my life’.

I guess I almost ended the day on a sad note, because I thought, why should my grief only be recognised on this one day? I do love that we have a day for everybody to remember our babies, but for my friends that aren’t a part of the baby-loss community it seemed to mean that today was the only day I should remember my sons.

Anyway, I’ll end my post on a happier note. Yesterday, seeing my little baby-loss community come together was lovely. Seeing other people, who don’t know our grief, remember our babies was also beautiful. My Facebook newsfeed really was a wave of light. And I did feel my sons’ presence quite heavily yesterday – I felt like they were watching over us. I’m proud that my little girl has such wonderful angels to look after her, even though I’d rather they be here to grow up with her instead.


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Babyloss

Friends of bereaved parents:

It’s not about you.

This is the most important piece of advice I could possibly give anyone who wants to be there for their friends during moments of grief. There is so much more I could tell you, but you could easily find a hundred other blog posts out there if you want a list. But to me, personally, the most important advice for you to have is that it’s just not about you.

I’m not being selfish when I say this. And you’d be surprised at the amount of people who just don’t understand. But if you want to be there for you friend, you have to remember that this is about them. This is something that is happening to them. You are there in a supporting role, you are not the star. Your friend does not have the strength to care about you at the moment. That may sound harsh, but they’re not being selfish – they are just grieving.

You honestly should not burden your friend at this time with having to worry about you as well. They’re trying to figure out how to go on living, they really don’t need anything else on their shoulders.

You should keep an open line of communication, but remember, that is on you. You can’t chuck a hissy-fit because your friend isn’t being as receptive as you’d like them to be. You can’t get personally offended that they might take days to reply. You can’t get jealous if they would rather speak to someone else. This is not about you. This is about your friend. And if you truly want to be supportive, you won’t burden them with your hurt feelings – you will at least try to understand, and you will continue to try and support them.

And if you decide that trying to maintain contact is too hard, that is also on you. Your friend will notice. They will remember that you stopped trying, or didn’t try at all; that you thought the relationship was not worth the trouble. And I have no sympathy for you. You have just lost a relationship that you probably didn’t deserve. If you don’t have the patience to deal with your friend’s grief you do not deserve to be there when they finally emerge from their dark hole and feel almost up to living again. You do not get to re-enter their life when the hard part is over. You don’t deserve to.

You need to understand that, during this time, you have to put your friend first. I can’t stress this enough. They may hurt your feelings. And supporting your friend can be exhausting. You also might feel like they don’t appreciate you, but believe me, they do, they just don’t have the energy to show it. In the months to come you will get your appreciation.  

You may have your own grief about their loss, but you need to find your own support for that – it is not up to your friend to support you. I’m not saying you don’t have a right to grieve. You are allowed to be sad as well. But it is ultimately your friend who has lost a child, not you.

This is not about you. You can’t make it about you. You have no right to demand support or care from your friend during this time – that’s what they need you for.

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