Saturday, December 17, 2011
Aisha ~ 16/12/09 ~ 11:53pm~ 1554g ~ 41cms ~
Aaliyah ~ 16/12/09 ~ 11:55pm ~ 1730g ~ 41.5cms ~
Happy Birthday to our beautiful little princesses. You healed our hearts, gave us a reason to smile and filled our lives with hope, light, love and happiness. We are thankful for every moment with you and are so proud of how far you have come. Lots of love Mummy, Daddy, Zachariah and I'm sure Yasminah is with us x x x x x x
Wednesday, October 26, 2011
I don't know why this always brings a wave of sadness over me. Is it because the significance of the 26th makes me realize time is getting away from me, and the amount of time since I held you in my arms for the last time. It was the day we said hello and goodbye to you all at once. The day my heart was crushed and overjoyed all at the same time.
A little bit of my heart broke the day I lost you and you took that piece with you.........
I will love and miss you everyday of my life and take the time to remember you where ever I may be, what ever I may be doing. I know you are always with me too
Saturday, October 15, 2011
It has been a very emotional day. October 15th is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day - a day to honour and remember all the children we hold in our hearts instead of our arms.
These are the only words I can find today to express what it means to lose a child and how heartbreaking it is that this sadly happens every day. 1 in 4 families experience the loss of a child.
Right now a woman is giving birth, but her child wont ever open their eyes or cry, this child will be born sleeping, but still born
Right now a parent is wondering why their child hasn't woken for a feed, only to discover they have passed away suddenly and unexpectedly in their sleep
Right now a child is losing a battle against a fatal congenital abnormality or disease
October 15th Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day......will you remember?
My thoughts and prayers are with you all for a gentle day/evening. My candles have been burning since 7pm tonight in memory of Yasminah and all the beautiful angels missed by so many.
Thursday, September 22, 2011
Gavin Larkin, inspirational suicide prevention campaigner and founder of R U OK Day passed away yesterday after a 19 month battle with cancer at just 42 years old leaving behind 3 children, a loving family and an amazing legacy. I encourage you to watch his story on http://www.abc.net.au/iview/#/view/826942
I was deeply moved by Gavin's passion, commitment and his own story and willingness to make a difference. Gavin experienced the loss of his own father, who took his life and ironically Gavin spent the last 19 months of his life fighting to keep his life. My uncle also took his life. It came as a huge shock to everyone in the family. He 'seemed' to be 'ok'. He had 2 gorgeous little boys, a new love in his life, and all the material things that deemed him as successful. Only a few weeks prior, he had visited his family, taking a vacation. Looking back on it now, we realize that he was probably saying his goodbye to us all. To think that we could of prevented him taking his life, by keeping in touch with him and making sure he was ok will stay with us forever.
Suicide is a serious mental health issue, and help is available. You are never alone on your journey, in your thoughts and feelings, there is always someone, somewhere out there that can help. I know as I too have suffered depression and many years ago thought of taking my own life. I was very lucky to have someone there to ask me if I was OK, and to pull me out of the depths of my depression. It made me a stronger person, and made me even more determined to live my life to its fullest.
Its OK not to be OK, its OK to cry at times, its OK to not feel right, its OK to not want to ask for help... but its OK to know I'm here to help. Its OK to cry on my shoulder, its OK to tell me whats going on, its OK for we all get like this... R U OK today?
R U OK Day http://www.ruokday.com.au/
Lifeline 24/7 13 11 14
Saturday, September 10, 2011
1. I would hold you in my arms.
2. I would introduce you to your big brother
3. Take LOTS of photos, especially of your sweet little face, your hair and your feet.
4. Invite everyone to meet you and hold you.
5. Insist that the rest of my family meet you and hold you in their arms.
6. I would take you outside so the wind could kiss your cheeks
7. Record a video of you, so I could watch it when I feel like I'm forgetting parts of you
8. I would smother you in kisses from head to toe
9. I would comb your hair and put a pretty bow in your thick black, curly locks
10. I would dress you in the most prettiest purple dress I could find ( I think you liked purple)
11. I would sing to you, or maybe daddy should sing to you, just like he always did
11. I would read 'Always' to you as I did when you were alive in my womb
12. I would arrange hand and foot casts
13. I would arrange hand and foot prints for jewellery
14. I would arrange a photographer, so we could have a family portrait
15. Sleep with you lying on my chest
16. Change your nappy
17. I would give you a warm bubble bath (every little girl deserves bubbles)
18. I would take you for a walk in your pram
19. How I would love to just look at you one more time, and soak in every gorgeous detail
20. I would wrap you in the blanket my poppy made for me
21. Eat breakfast with you again
22. I would hold your hand
23. We would eat cake to celebrate you on your birth day
24. I would whisper in your ear, how much I love you.
Every hour of every day is precious, don't waste it, grab it with both hands, treasure it and make it count.
Tuesday, September 6, 2011
The moment we lost Yasminah is often revisited in my thoughts and memories on a daily basis. Especially when I learn another little angel has grown their wings, and another family is now going through the same heartache and swirl of emotions we experienced when we lost our daughter Yasminah. Knowing they are probably struggling to share their heartbreaking news with those who care about them.
How do you tell the people around you, the people who love you, the people who are waiting to hear news of your beloved child's arrival, that instead your baby has passed away. It is an incredibly hard hard thing to do and something you never ever think about or dream one day you will have to do.
I was on bed rest and waiting to reach that magic milestone of 38 weeks. My reasons are my own, but I felt it was in my child's best interests to be delivered safely into this world via an elective cesarean and to avoid any complications that may arise if I chose to have a VBAC, knowing Yasminah would require some special care once she was born to have casts to correct her feet. At least if we had some control over her arrival, all the care and assistance she needed would be available.
However I only made it to 37 weeks and 2 days when very unexpectedly Yasminah passed away in utero.
We realised we had no control over anything, and as much as we had planned and prepared for our daughter's arrival, we didn't know that our much anticipated and loved first baby girl would be born sleeping. All plans went out the window. Inititally I still wanted to have a cesarean and couldn't believe it when the hospital told me that they thought it would be better if I had her naturally, as having a second cesarean would mean all future births would be cesarean and I would also be limited to how many babies I could have. How on earth could I deliver a child naturally who had passed away. Why wouldn't they take her out straight away. Our medical team knew that we wanted more children and urged me to consider having a VBAC. They would monitor me closely to ensure my scar didn't rupture during labour and that things wouldn't progress too quickly. I was given the option to allow nature to take it's course and for me to go into natural labour which could take a few days or a few weeks, or to come back the next day and start the induction process. I have told Yasminah's birth story briefly before so wont re post it here tonight.
But one thing that was incredibly hard was telling people our daughter had passed away. Everyone was waiting for the phone call to tell them we had our baby, but I don't think anyone expected to receive the news we had to tell them. We decided we would only tell immediate family and friends. Many of our friends knew I was already on bed rest in hospital and waiting to have her later that week, so it was hard to avoid. Many of my friends had sent me text messages the very morning of the day she passed away. One friend sent me this message: Take care and if you are still in there on the weekend without a baby we will come keep you company otherwise we will see you at home with the bub!
Another one ~ Not long now! xo ~ Keep me up to date on everything ~
The announcement: I wasn't strong enough to call anyone to tell them of our loss. At the time they were confirming that there was no heartbeat, my best friend, who was 39 weeks pregnant was calling me, instinctively knowing something was wrong. I couldn't answer the phone. Then the hospital staff asked if they would prefer they call my husband to let him know. I wanted to let him know, but not like this. He already knew from our earlier conversations that afternoon that I was concerned something was wrong, but I don't think he ever thought he would hear my next words whispered through a sea of tears "Leave Zach at home, don't tell anyone but she has passed away".
It is a grief and loss and incredible pain that a much as you can try to explain to someone, unless you have lived through it, unless you have been there you will never truly understand.
My incredible, strong, supportive, loving husband, fighting back his own tears had to tell everyone that Yasminah had passed away. The evening that she passed away, the 24th of March 2009, we called our parents, then our siblings, then our close friends from our bed. Both lying down touching my big belly, willing her to move and for this to all be a nightmare that we could wake up from. It became too much to call everyone, so we made the decision to hold off telling anyone else until the following day.
Hi all, Yasminah fought well, however she passed away peacefully last night. She is now playing with the angels in heaven.
Then when we arrived home, we discovered that someone had posted a message on our Facebook page, so we had to let everyone else know what had happened.
Thursday 26th March at 09:58am our precious little girl walked into our lives and left footprints on our hearts
I was in shock, but I was also so incredibly excited that I was going to finally meet my baby girl! I had been dreaming of meeting her and probably a few days before her birth I had a dream that Yasminah was born but for some reason I couldn't hold her. It didn't matter how much I reached out for her, my arms could not reach her. I remember discussing this with my husband and he shrugged it off, putting it down to the possibility that she would be admitted to special care to have casts placed on her feet and maybe that's why I wouldn't be able to hold her straight away. Maybe someone was trying to break the news to me, about what was about to happen..........
Tuesday, August 9, 2011
It may seem like a really simple question for most, but when you have lost a child it is one that you struggle with each time it is asked. Personally I answer it depending on who is asking the question. For example if I am in the supermarket and the cashier is just making small talk I will say 3, but if I get the chance to bring up my firstborn daughter Yasminah in conversation and get to include her in my family I tell them I have had 4 children, but my second child passed away before birth at 37 weeks.
So what do you do when the government, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) in particular asks -
For each female, how many babies has she ever given birth to?
Include live births only
Exclude adopted, foster and step children
Personally this question had me torn. I gave birth to Yasminah, she is my child.
Many of my friends and the babylost community were in uproar! How can we not include our stillborn babies? We gave birth to our children, we held them in our arms. What about families who have adopted children or are foster parents? Why do they not get to include their children?
The following experts were obtained directly from the ABS, but I thought it was important that the information was highlighted so that we can all understand why the question is asked and why it is worded the way that it is and remove a lot of the confusion out there about this question.
This question is asked by the ABS to analyse the changing trends of the contribution of births to Australia’s population growth.
The term "fertility" is commonly used to refer to the capacity to, or the occurrence of conceiving and becoming pregnant. The term 'fertility' is used by the ABS in the context of 'measures of lifetime fertility' as a demographic concept, rather than a person’s biological ability to conceive. The Census aims to measure the population's performance in replacing itself by reproduction.
The term 'birth' is used to refer to the number of babies contributing to population growth, rather than the process of giving birth to a baby.
The ABS recognise that the use of the above terms (fertility and birth) may upset or offend some people. None of this should be taken to mean that babies that pass away before or during birth are not important. They are incredibly precious to their families, and are included in official statistics. The terminology used is consistent with guidelines set by the United Nations.
There are comprehensive statistics collected by State and Territory health departments on all births (including fetal deaths of at least 20 weeks gestation or 400 grams weight) and neonatal deaths. The national results are collated by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare's (AIHW) National Perinatal Epidemiology and Statistics Unit and published in the annual report Australia's Mothers and Babies - Perinatal Statistics Series No. 24 (Cat. No. PER 50).These reports are available free on the AIHW website www.aihw.gov.au.
Australia has very good quality death registration statistics and particularly perinatal statistics, and therefor it is not necessary to include an additional question on the Census on stillbirth and perinatal deaths.
Did you include your stillborn child in tonight's Census?
If you want to make a difference and have your voice heard and have all children counted in the next Census
There will be an opportunity for further consultation, research and testing of the question wording before the next Census in 2016. In late 2012, the Australian Bureau of Statistics will call for submissions in preparation for the 2016 Census and invite public comment on changes to the Census form
The full article regarding question 32 can be found here
What are your thoughts?
I remember so clearly the night I found this poem, it was the night we were told that our daughter had congenital abnormalities and we were at that stage unsure what the future held for us and our unborn child. I didn't save the poem at that time and went back to search for it but couldn't find it. A few weeks after Yasminah was born, I found it again, or rather it found me. Although I am Muslim and believe in Allah, I still connected with this poem. The thought that somehow I had been 'choosen' for choice of a better word to bare a child who was different, who would be deemed by society as 'disabled' was life changing.
It is natural to ask why? Why me? Why our baby? What did we do wrong? I treated my body as a temple when I was trying to conceive and finally pregnant. After having such a hard battle and fight to even bare a child, I knew how sacred the gift of life was. I ate a balanced diet, I drank 8 glasses of water every day, I slept on my left side, I did gentle exercise, I didn't smoke or drink or take drugs, so WHY did this happen to me?
This poem in many ways answered that question and helped......it wasn't anything I did or didn't do, but God knew that I could handle this. We have a saying that Allah will never give you anything more than you can handle in life. This still seems somewhat cruel and very hard to hear, but in many ways I understand it and can appreciate the gift I was given.
Most women become mothers by accident, some by choice, a few by social pressures, and a couple by habit. This year, nearly 100,000 women will become mothers of disabled children. Did you ever wonder how mothers of disabled children are chosen?
Somehow, I visualize God hovering over Earth selecting His instruments for propagation with great care and deliberation. As He observes, He instructs His angels to make notes in a giant ledger:
"Armstrong, Beth, son. Patron saint, Matthew."
"Forest, Marjorie, daughter. Patron saint, Cecilia."
"Rutledge, Carrie, twins. Patron saint…give her Gerald. He's used to profanity."
Finally, He passes a name to an angel and smiles. "Give her a disabled child."
The angel is curious. "Why this one, God? She's so happy."
"Exactly," smiles God. "Could I give a disabled child to a mother who does not know laughter? That would be cruel."
"But does she have patience?" asks the angel.
"I don't want her to have too much patience, or she will drown in a sea of self-pity and despair. Once the shock and resentment wear off, she'll handle it."
"I watched her today. She has that sense of self and independence that are so rare and so necessary in a mother. You see, the child I'm going to give her has his own world. She has to make it live in her world and that's not going to be easy."
"But Lord, I don't think she even believes in you."
God smiles, "No matter, I can fix that. This one is perfect. She has just enough selfishness."
The angel gasps. "Selfishness? Is that a virtue?"
God nods. "If she can't separate herself from the child occasionally, she'll never survive. Yes, here is a woman whom I will bless with a child less than perfect. She doesn't realize it yet, but she is to be envied."
"She will never take for granted a spoken word. She will never consider a step ordinary.
When her child says "Momma" for the first time, she will be witness to a miracle and know it. When she describes a tree or a sunset to her blind child, she will see it as few people ever see my creations."
"I will permit her to see clearly the things I see – ignorance, cruelty, prejudice – and allow her to rise above them. She will never be alone. I will be at her side every minute of every day of her life because she is doing my work as surely as she is here by my side."
"And what about her patron saint?" asks the angel, his pen poised in mid-air.
God smiles. "A mirror will suffice."
Maybe things will never change, and that's alright too.
Thursday, August 4, 2011
We have a beautiful screen saver slide show of all our family photos on our media PC and Yasminah's photos are included. We don't have many photos of her but I deeply treasure the ones that we do have. She was just so beautiful and perfect! a true little angel. Little bits of her and memories come back to me as I watch the slide show. As I brush her younger sister's fine auburn hair each day, I think about what it would be like to also have her beautiful thick black curly locks of hair to brush, so different from her sisters.
Tonight after we read our bedtime story we blew kisses to Yasminah in heaven.
I just had no motivation today, no get up and go. Life goes on, but sometimes we just want the world to stop with us.
Monday, August 1, 2011
Two nights ago my husband and I both had the same dream, we were watching our youngest daughter run! At the moment our twins are learning to walk. They are both happy to cruise around hanging onto furniture or holding our hands but not confident enough to let go and go off on their own, which personally is perfectly fine with me as I don't know what I am going to do when I have two little people running off in totally different directions!! Something they already like to do, one holding each hand pulling me in opposite directions. The day after having this dream Aaliyah took 9 whole steps on her own! All be them a little wobbly, a surfing moment at step number 5 before regaining her balance for the next 4 steps. I was loudly cheering her on for every step of the way and deafening my best friend who was currently on the phone with me listening as I yelled out each step.
Whenever my children reach any milestones, I always end up thinking about Yasminah and how we have missed out on these sorts of things with her. We will never see her take her first steps or run with her brother and sisters. It makes me sad.
I have only shared this with a few people, because it wasn't until later, much later after we lost Yasminah that I remembered this dream. When I was still pregnant with Yasminah, around week 35-36, I dreamt about Yasminah. At this stage I was on bedrest patiently waiting to get to the magic 38 week date for my scheduled c-section. It was such a strange dream and the only way I can describe it was confusing.
I dreamt that I had given birth to our beautiful baby girl, but I couldn't hold her. I could see her, but I kept reaching out my arms to hold her but she was just out of my reach. I felt like I was floating, trying to reach out to grab her. I remember mentioning this dream to my husband when he visited me that night. We knew when she was born she would be admitted into the neonatal intensive care unit for monitoring, so my husband just said the dream could just be about us not getting to hold her straight away as they will be taking her to NICU.
Was my dream a warning of what was to come? Was she trying to let us know that we wouldn't get to hold her forever.....
This is the one and only time I ever dreamt about my daughter and every night I wish, and wish, and wish that she might visit me in my dreams.
Monday, July 18, 2011
in your beautiful dress, the only one you would ever wear.
Your thick black curly locks of hair,
hidden underneath your pure white beanie.
You just look like your are sleeping, eyelashes curled up so daintily,
Your cheeks are so soft and smooth,
I want to hold you forever, how can I let you go.
You have the cutest little button nose,
That I just cant stop kissing.
Pretty pink lips,
That will never take a breath.
I tenderly hold you in my arms,
Wondering why this had to happen.
I kiss your cute little button nose a thousand times,
I soak up your warmth, and whisper I love you gently in your ear.
As the tears fall down my face, I have to say goodbye.
Sweet dreams my beautiful girl, mummy will always love you.
Written by Rebecca Aziz in memory of Yasminah Ann Stillborn 26th March 2009
Saturday, July 16, 2011
If I recently 'unfriended' you it is nothing personal, I am just wanting to limit my profile to my close friends and family. It’s hard to not take Facebook personally, but you should really try. Remember — it’s supposed to be fun, not stressful!
A Reason, a Season, or a Lifetime
People come into your life for a reason, a season, or a lifetime. When you figure out which one it is, you will know what to do for each person.
When someone is in your life for a REASON . . . It is usually to meet a need you have expressed. They have come to assist you through a difficulty, to provide you with guidance and support, to aid you physically,emotionally, or spiritually. They may seem like a godsend, and they are!
They are there for the reason you need them to be.
Then, without any wrong doing on your part, or at an inconvenient time, this person will say or do something to bring the relationship to an end. Sometimes they die. Sometimes they walk away. Sometimes they act up and force you to take a stand. What we must realise is that our need has been met, our desire fulfilled, their work is done. The prayer you sent up has been answered. And now it is time to move on.
When people come into your life for a SEASON . . .Because your turn has come to share, grow, or learn.They bring you an experience of peace, or make you laugh.They may teach you something you have never done.They usually give you an unbelievable amount of joy. Believe it! It is real! But, only for a season.
LIFETIME relationships teach you lifetime lessons; things you must build upon in order to have a solid emotional foundation. Your job is to accept the lesson, love the person, and put what you have learned to use in all other relationships and areas of your life.
That's why It is said that love is blind but friendship is clairvoyant.
Thursday, July 14, 2011
Over the past 12-15 months we have grown incredibly fast as an organisation. We have an amazing team of volunteers who work just as hard and are just as dedicated to our cause as I am. They all help in various ways - decorating journals, contacting hospitals, referring families to YGOH, helping us to raise funds and spreading awareness through the community so people know our service is available and we can initiate early support. We have heard so many heartbreaking stories from families who have lost their child or watched as their tiny child fought for their life in intensive care. I have personally visited some of these families and sat with them talking about their precious little baby and the battle ahead of them in intensive care. I have watched through friendships on facebook as some of these children fight, grow and survive their premature birth eventually making it home. Some have made it home only to pass away a few weeks or months later, others have been blessed with more time creating a lifetime of memories with their child. Some sadly don't make it home, or learn that like me their baby passed away in utero. Many of our families have experienced the loss of their child during infancy and we have even helped families that have lost teenage children after a long battle with terminal illness. I have cried with them on the phone and sent numerous emails back and fourth sharing our emotions and the overwhelming connection of missing our child, whether they were taken from us too soon or in a hospital ward fighting for their life. We have shared our good days and also our bad days. Being there for each other through thick and thin.
A person's a person no matter how small. Dr Suess
We have helped families from all across Australia capture memories, through our partners Smallprint, Sue-Ella Signatures Keepsake and Memorial Jewellery, Fetal Impressions, Drawing From The Heart and The Eddy Bear Company.
Through the donation of our writing journals we provide families with a place to write and express their emotions. Yasminah's Gift Of Hope Journals are a unique, special keepsake that allows families to keep ultrasound images, photos, cot cards, arm bands, and foot and hand prints as a cherished keepsake of a precious life. Each journal contains a special page that the family can fill in about details of their child like name, date of birth, place of birth and details of the funeral or memorial service if their child has passed away. We encourage families to write about their journey. The family may like to keep it is a diary during their pregnancy after being told their child has a congenital abnormality, a journey through the roller coaster ride of a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit when their child is born premature, or life after the loss of their child. Some other uses are to write about the birth of their child, write poems about how they are feeling, write a letter to their child and keep any cards or messages received from family or friends.
Personally I have grown and enriched my life from the work that I do. I have spent countless evenings up into the early hours of the morning answering requests from families, continuing to create and develop our website and perfecting our support program. I have cried silent tears as I lay in bed looking at my daughters photo on my bedside table, with immense love and gratitude for her lifelong legacy. I am now the proud mummy of 4 children and have a new found appreciation for the simple things in life and try to live each day as if its my last! Life is busy with a 4 year old and 19 month old twins, and a national charity to manage. There are some times I just want to 'be' me and spend time with my family even though there are others who need me, but my family will always come first and that's OK. I still struggle a little with how much I should share about my grief, but do find support and comfort from people who have told me just reading my blog helps them. So I will try to 'share' more of me and my crazy chaotic life!
Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter, and those who matter don't mind. Dr Suess
Sometimes it's hard to believe that this happened to me, as you never think this sort of thing can happen until it does! It is so overwhelming seeing such a tiny coffin and knowing your child is in there and is gone. Or being rushed into surgery to deliver a premature baby knowing your child's life is hanging in the balance. You lose all your dreams and vision of the future. Your life changes in an instant! One thing that always helped me in any time of trouble was to pour my heart out in ink onto the pages of my journals and I hope that the families who receive our Gift Of Hope also find comfort from writing and something to look back on.
When Yasminah was born sleeping I had the same feelings I am sure many other families have of wanting to reach out to others and to help. Help educate others that this happens, help other families know they are not alone and to help make a difference and hopefully prevent even just one family from going through the heartache that we experienced. Help families have no regrets and to capture precious memories and offer advice about ways to cope, ways to remember and ways to live a different life.
It has been an incredible year and I know that it is only the beginning of many exciting things to come. I thought it would be appropriate to share Yasminah's Gift Of Hope Mission for the future...
For every parent who experiences the premature birth or loss of their child through miscarriage, neonatal loss, stillbirth, infancy loss or diagnosis of a congenital abnormality during pregnancy or after birth to receive the same level of support, understanding, information and an opportunity to create lasting memories and keepsakes of their time with their child to treasure forever.
To raise the importance of awareness and support within the community about miscarriage, premature birth, neonatal loss, stillbirth, infancy loss and congenital abnormalities.
Lobby the Australian Federal Government to officially recognise October 15th as Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day.
Thank you for all your incredible support and we hope that we have helped bring a little bit of hope, light, love and happiness your way.
Find hope to keep you strong,
Find light to lead the way,
Find love all around you,
And happiness one day
Thursday, July 7, 2011
Stop. Look. Listen. Heal.
Treasure the silent moments.
Take note of what is happening around you.
Listen to what your mind and body are trying to tell you.
Look after yourself, heal your mind and body. Eat good healthy food, drink plenty of water and get plenty of rest.
These are words I personally to need to listen to and act upon. My family and I have been unwell with colds, chest infections, throat infections, croup the list goes on, for the past month. Just when I think we are over the worst of it something else pops up. My poor little man got croup on his birthday and I spent most of the day cleaning up vomit and comforting my child. We had to take him to the doctor in the afternoon because he couldn't keep anything down. The receptionist noticed it was his birthday and offered her well wishes but said she felt sorry for him being sick on his birthday. He was prescribed steriods to help, but again that night he vomitted in bed so ended up spending the rest of the night in mummy and daddy's bed. There is something precious about watching your child sleep, blissfully unaware of all the troubles in the world. The extra hugs and kisses in the morning when they wake up are nice too.
Right now I am sitting rugged up in my dressing gown, surrounded by a pile of tissues, my nasal spray and an empty glass after taking no less than 6 different medications and herbal supplements in an attempt to heal. I am on my third course of antibiotics and to say I am over it would be an understatement. I am sick of being sick!
So I will be taking it easy over the next few days. I am sure last nights weakness ordering pizza for dinner wasn't a great start to my eat well, live well philosophy, but hey we all have moments when picking up the phone becomes easier than standing in the kitchen preparing a meal. On the upside Aisha and Aaliyah enjoyed their first taste of pizza and we did try to keep it healthy by ordering vegetarian and cheese pizza's. Oh and there is some left over for lunch!
Tuesday, July 5, 2011
I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.
Write one to two pages about someone who made a difference in your journey and how they made you feel.
People often don't know what do when a friend or family member experiences something like the premature birth, loss of a child or diagnosis of a congenital abnormality. Sharing how someone has made you feel by something they have said or done, may in turn help someone else who is going through their own journey.
We would love for you to share what you write and welcome you to post it below or if you have a blog, please link back to our blog http://hopelightlovehappiness.blogspot.com/
Monday, July 4, 2011
Below is an early journal entry:
You arrived via emergency ceasarian after 21 hours of labour on the 4th July 2007 at 6:58am weighing 4.025kg and measuring 55.5cm long. You had the cutest button nose, the most gorgeous thick black hair, long fingernails and cute long wrinkly feet. I have loved you from the moment I knew you were mine.
You have been smiling since you were 6 hours old. You have the most amazing smile and infectious laugh, hidden behind your cheeky personality.
Friday, July 1, 2011
Personally I am on my second round of antibiotics and feel that they just aren't working. I still feel sick and every morning wake up hoping today will be the day I start to feel better! I look after my body as much as I can because it is important being a mother, wife, friend and running a charity full time. If I'm not well then everything else falls behind.
Our eldest child Zach is turning 4 in a few days and as his birthday approaches I tend to think about Yasminah more and being sick hasn't helped my over all well being. I am a big sook when I am sick and really want to crawl into a ball and do nothing, but 'nothing' isn't an option when you are a me. There hasn't been a lot of cooking or cleaning or anything happening and it is starting to take it's toll. I wish there was a fairy who could come and cook, clean and look after me so I can get better. After expressing this wish to a friend today I had to have a little giggle when she offered to come help me out and even slip into a fairy costume to make me feel better. Every one needs friends like this and for a moment it lifted my mood.
It makes me sad that we don't have Yasminah here to share her brother's birthday with us. That instead we will visit her grave. It makes me sad that people think we should be over her and we should move on. Our lives have moved on, we can stop that from happening but she is a part of our family, a part of me and I miss her. I just miss her :(
Please forgive me if I don't reply to your email or message straight away. It's nothing personal I am just feeling the winter blues and life, grief and the pain sometimes becomes overwhelming.
Thursday, June 16, 2011
Our first challenge - What Happened?
Make a list of what happened in your life. Tell your story. It is often helpful to start at the beginning for healing to take place. Relive the day your life was forever changed. How did you feel? How did you react?
It may be hard. You may cry, but let the tears flow and hopefully the words will follow.
We would love for you to share what you write and welcome you to post it below or if you have a blog, please link back to our blog http://hopelightlovehappiness.blogspot.com/
Wishing you Hope, Light, Love and Happiness
Bec and Erin x x
Poppy I miss you everyday and wish you that you could of met my beautiful family. I know you will be taking good care of my angel Yasminah and hopefully letting her play in the mud too x x
Grief overwhelmed me. I tried to hide the tears. We were asked to stand up and pray. I heard them close the coffin and saw them place the flower arrangements back onto the coffin.
We had come to say goodbye. Goodbye to a man whom we loved dearly and hold close to our hearts. He was my grandfather. My father's father. His life was short lived but happy. Even in his last days as we call them now, he was happy.
My sadness extends further than my words, it's hidden in my heart. Buried deep in that little corner of my soul. I mourned the passing of a great man and things lost forever. He was English by birth, a Catholic by nature. A true authoritarian, who stood his ground with a tough will, but a kind forgiving heart. He lived a hard life where the milk was straight from the cow and there was no sewerage system, he had seen two wars and fought in one. Transport was hard and he often walked miles to reach his destination. Equality between women and men was unheard of, as were the children.
A tear rolls down my cheek, the moment of realisation of love. You don't know what you've got until it's gone! No more care and share of family stories and those fun new year's eve parties. All that's left now are heartfelt reminders.
The eulogy was read by the eldest son. I was asked to read something as I am the eldest grandchild, but I was too overcome with grief. Then I noticed her, my grandmother standing there all alone among the crowd of familiar faces. Her eyes were fixed on my uncle as he read the eulogy. A smile ear to ear, a tear strolled down her cheek. Her eyes fixed on my uncle. Her love is one I've yet to experience, but know exactly what I'm looking for. Her sorrow is deeper than ours. She had lost not only her husband, provider, father of their children but her best friend, her soul mate.
The psalm was read;
The lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures; He leads my beside quiet waters. He restores my soul; He guides me in the path of righteousness For his names sake. Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil. For thou art with me; Thy rod and staff, they comfort me. Thou dost prepare a table before me. In the presence of my enemies; Thou hast anointed my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely goodness and loving kindness will follow me. All the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the lord forever.
Twenty third Psalm
The hymns all carried 'on eagles wings'. The service was smooth and the saddest experience of my life.
I looked at her again. She was seeing more than you and I. Feeling more pain than any of us felt. I wondered if she was all cried out. My heart began to ache. I remembered. Her grief I wondered was it for now, or years ago. Her mother was taken in similar circumstances.
The solitary tear is etched in my mind. His birthday was two weeks after his death, I wonder, how did she cope. Her life will never be the same, as will mine. There is a void, a missing person. A hug that will never be.
After the service we go back to the house. I remember him, after loosing so much weight. Small and frail. Skin hanging bone to bone. My grandfather or my 'poppy' as he was know had a terminal disease. No cure, as yet has been found but it's opened my eye's to life.......and death. I wonder how you're feeling now, I wonder if you see our pain. Forever in our memories you will remain.
My nan opens his closet, with all his clothes in it. She walks out of the room. Tears are shed. I hold her in my arms and tell her it will be alright. But will it? I tell her I'm here for her. Her sorrow comes from deep down inside. All that's left now are heartfelt reminders.
I have never shared these words with anyone or shared this drawing of my poppy, not even with my nan, but today 13 years on, nan I want you to know we remember and love him dearly. This was also read at my poppy's service - to every one missing a loved one today, this is for you
To One In Sorrow
Let me come in where you are weeping friend
And let me take your hand
I, who have known a sorrow such as yours, can understand
Let me come in - I would be very still
Beside you in your grief
I would not bid you cease your weeping friend
Tears bring relief
Let me come in - I would only breathe a prayer
And hold your hand
For I have known a sorrow such as yours
~Grace Noll Crowell
What are your Heartfelt Reminders?
Wednesday, June 15, 2011
"I've learned that no matter what happens, or how bad it seems today, life does go on, and it will be better tomorrow. I've learned that you can tell a lot about a person by the way he/she handles these three things: a rainy day, lost luggage, and tangled Christmas tree lights. I've learned that regardless of your relationship with your parents, you'll miss them when they're gone from your life. I've learned that making a "living" is not the same thing as making a "life." I've learned that life sometimes gives you a second chance. I've learned that you shouldn't go through life with a catcher's mitt on both hands; you need to be able to throw something back. I've learned that whenever I decide something with an open heart, I usually make the right decision. I've learned that even when I have pains, I don't have to be one. I've learned that every day you should reach out and touch someone. People love a warm hug, or just a friendly pat on the back. I've learned that I still have a lot to learn. I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel."
— Maya Angelou
Tuesday, June 7, 2011
I am joining in on the Right Where I am Project, where you do exactly that, write about where are you in your grief? Emotionally. Physically. Psychically. It is a chance to write about where life is right now for me, in this very moment after the loss of my second child, my first daughter. How things were back in the early days of loss and how they are now. Right Where I Am 2 Years, 2 Months and 16 Days into my journey
I am a 30 year old woman. I have been married for a decade to a very funny, deeply passionate man who is my best friend. I am a proud mum of 4 children and I volunteer my time to run a non profit organisation helping other families who experience miscarriage, premature birth, neonatal loss, stillbirth, infant loss of their child or diagnosis of a congenital abnormality.
I will do my best to describe where I am. I still find it hard, hard to share, hard to talk, hard to grieve. Hard to express the ache deep within my heart, especially to those on the outside looking in. I feel I have grown as a person, friend, a wife and a mother. I wear my heart on my sleeve. I sometimes wonder right now if my 'friends' think I am nuts. I know they think I should be 'over it' but losing a child is not something you ever get over, nor do you get through it. You just learn to live a new life. When you lose a baby who has never taken a breath, you don't have the same memories as if you lost a spouse or a relative, someone who was an adult and lived a life. I don't know what colour Yasminah's eyes were, or what her voice sounded like, or how she would look if she smiled or laughed! I have only a handful of photos and memories of her time within my womb.
It's like my heart has been scarred, permanently damaged. The early days and weeks after losing Yasminah I thought I could never go on. I wasn't suicidal, I was just so angry and hurt that this had happened to me! How could this happen to me? My body was confused just as much as my heart and mind. I will never forgot the day she was born, that first night listening to other babies crying in the ward and as the tears flowed from my eyes my breasts cried out for the child I longed to nurse. I wanted my daughter, I wanted sleepless nights, dirty nappies and late night feeds. I didn't want to know that the world went on, that meals still needed to be made, that washing had to be done, bills had to be paid, that the world around me had no idea that I had lost my child. I didn't leave the house, I stopped talking to my best friend who had her baby 10 days after I lost my daughter. Our children were meant to be growing up together. Everyone said I was very brave to visit my best friend in hospital so soon after losing Yasminah. I remember walking into the ward and seeing my friend and all her family were there. I felt like I had 100 pairs of eyes glued to my every move. I then held her child, I was so nervous, the first baby I held in my arms since my daughter. It felt wrong and weird to have a moving, breathing baby in my arms. This is what I should be doing not visiting my daughters grave. I held it together until I made it back to the safety of the car then proceeded to break down as the pain cut deep into my soul and the reality of everything I was missing crept in.
I felt hurt when I searched for other mums to try and relate to, I didn't want to feel alone, but that's exactly how I felt. Because Yasminah had differences I was made to feel from other mums who had perfectly healthy babies die that it was for the best because there was something wrong with Yasminah. This is the worst thing you can say to a mother who has lost a child who was different. I was angry with the world around me, angry that it kept moving. I couldn't stop crying. Why did this happen?
Two years later and I think of my daughter almost every moment of every day. Yasminah's name passes through my lips as often as I can. I cry but not as much as I used to and it is no longer always a hysterical, chest beating, screaming cry. You know the type of cry that gives you an instant all day headache, puffy and red eyes. Rather I shed silent tears, as the water flows in the shower or in the still of the night looking at her photo beside my bed. Sure there are still moments I break down and it can feel like I am right back in the beginning of my journey. I am no longer angry. It really does get a little easier as time goes on.Emotionally I would say I am doing OK. I still have good and bad days. Today wasn't a good day but it wasn't a bad day, it was somewhere in between. I stayed in my PJ's, I didn't shower or brush my hair. I thought about her a lot! I cried a few times today. I LOVE to talk, and have the phone bills to prove it ;-) There are 3 women who I talk to on a daily basis. My best friend, we share everything and I can talk about Yasminah to her and whilst she has never lost a child she is there for me unconditionally. It is hard to watch her child grow and celebrate birthdays, but in a lot of ways it helps me too. She listens to me rant, rave and cry. This is important. You really learn who your real friends are and who you can rely on. There is a saying I love that says you have friends for a reason, season or lifetime. My best friend is a lifetime friend. I have lost a lot of my season friends, you know friends from high school, old work colleagues, and neighbours. Many of whom may read this. It is not that I didn't want to still be friends with them, rather we just didn't connect anymore. The other two women I talk to are fellow BLM who both lost their child because of a congenital abnormality. They have lost a child who wasn't prefect in the eyes of others. To us our children were perfect, we understand each other and I would be lost without them all in my life. I no longer feel alone.
I have held another baby in my arms, my rainbow babies. For me it was a no brainer to try again. It was a difficult and a challenging pregnancy filled with fear. Would there be a problem during the pregnancy? Would they pass away too? Experiencing their sudden premature birth and watching my twins fight for life was scary and confronting. But I had a silent faith in my heart that everything would be OK, that they would survive. I held onto hope. Having our twin girls after the loss of Yasminah brought joy and happiness back into my life. I got to do all those things I missed out on with Yasminah. And still do, but I always wonder what it would be like to have 3 girls. The What if's are always there. Yasminah's little sisters spent 4 weeks in NICU but are now thriving happy, beautiful little girls who are learning to walk and talk. They play with dolls and I get to brush their curly hair. They have an wonderful big brother who loves them so much but he also talks about Yasminah. I love how he includes her in our life. I am happy and blessed that I have 3 beautiful, happy, healthy, living children and an amazing husband who stands by me through it all.
Life is good at the moment, it is hard, but it is filled with hope. Yasminah was a gift to me and I will miss her always and forever. But right now 2 years, 2 months and 16 days into my journey of grief I am surviving one step at a time. Big breaths, baby steps.
Thursday, June 2, 2011
Also included was a lovely card, personally written to the team at YGOH with this small inspirational quote. And you all know how much I LOVE quotes!
We admire and congratulate you on the beautiful work and support network you offer to others. Your website and Facebook page clearly displays that you are there for those in need and certainly generates a warm feeling and supports what you offer...Hope, Love, Light and Happiness.
We're thrilled that you have taken the time to reach out to us for help and are very pleased to enclose scrapbooking papers to use on your wonderful books.
At intrinsic we all share a common thread to make a difference in people's lives...to give...to help them learn and grow. Our Website intrinsiconline.com .....is one way of making a deeper connection, with Adele and many others offering their words of wisdom and hope. Of course our gorgeous freebies are very welcomed each month too, so please keep in touch!
With love and light, Trish, Adele, Jamie and all the team
For me personally this was a truly touching gift as my children's journals are from the intrinsic range. Including Yasminah's pregnancy journal.
My husband purchased these journals for me when we finally fell pregnant with our first child on the 25th October 2006 after a long battle trying to conceive. The idea was that I would use one journal for each tri-mester of my pregnancy. But I only managed to fill one journal; Cherish, with my journey through my first pregnancy. We then decided that we would keep the other journals and I would use them for future pregnancies. Not knowing then just how important Yasminah's pregnancy journal would become. I love how pretty these journals are and how they inspired me to write. Inside the journal Adele writes :
A journal should be written on pages within a cover that inspires your soul.It should be beautiful to you because your life contains beauty. It should feel precious to you because your life is precious. Your journal will become a friend for life and within its pages you will find greater insight, awareness and wisdom to encourage you on your lifes path Love Adele
I would personally like to thank Adele, Trish, Jamie and the team at Intrinsic on behalf of Yasminah's Gift Of Hope, for all their support and generosity. We have distributed your lovely donations to our volunteers to help them, help us decorate our Gift Of Hope Journals.
Tuesday, May 31, 2011
Today I feel your love all around me. The heavens are even sending their love to earth. It has been pouring with rain for 2 whole days. You know how much I love the rain as it always reminds me of you. It was raining when you were born and when your service begun the day we said goodbye. I like to think its your way of letting me know that you are proud of everything I do in your memory and you are showering us with your love. You always manage to bring a smile to my face, when just the mention of visiting you at the cemetery brings tears from the skies.
How I miss you and wish every day that we could have you here with us. I wonder what it would be like for Zach to have his special little baby butterfly. I watched him play with a child your age and they had so much fun! He talks about you and mentions you when he spots a butterfly. He is always getting me to open my locket with your photo, footprints and lock of your beautiful dark curly hair and he likes me to keep it open, he even gets angry with me if I close it. You are very much a part of our family even though you are not physically with us. We speak your name everyday. You will forever be his Minah.
Your little sisters Aisha and Aaliyah are an amazing gift of love and hope. I often think how they might not be here if we had not lost you. As much as I want you here I wouldn't change anything in my life as they are brought us sunshine, happiness and joy after so much heartache. It still pains me that Aisha and Aaliyah don't have their big sister here, but I am glad they have each other and thankful we had twins. Daddy always says that God took you away but gave us back two. Definitely double the love and joy. It is amazing we even conceived another baby after everything daddy and I have been through, let alone twins! They are our miracle. Thank you beautiful girl for watching over your sisters and keeping them safe despite their early entrance to the world.
I knew right from the start that you were special, but I never knew how much you would change my life and make me grow as a person. I wonder what it is like in heaven. I believe in it, I have to, I have to believe that there is a place where you are happy and that we did not lose you, that we will meet again......one day
Yasminah I love you, always and forever mummy x x x x x x
Monday, May 30, 2011
Yasminah's Gift Of Hope Journals are donated to Maternity and NICU wards in public and private hospitals around Australia for families who experience miscarriage, premature birth, neonatal loss, stillbirth, infant loss or the diagnosis of a congenital abnormality during pregnancy. On average every hospital we support around Australia needs 30 journals a month.
WHAT CAN YOU DO TO HELP?
Either donate a journal or donate $1 for YGOH 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 http://www.everydayhero.com.au/charity/view?charity=1382-
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 of a child/ren. We place our very special Donated in Memory 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 blogger friends
With Hope, Light, Love and Happiness
Bec, Erin & YGOH Team
~Yasminah Ann 26.03.09~ ♥ ~Aiden Gary 21.12.10-22.12.10~
As I write this Linda is currently 22 weeks pregnant with her Rainbow Baby a little boy Stig McGowen Due the 2nd October 2011
Wishing Linda and Raymond Hope, Light, Love and Happiness
Saturday, May 28, 2011
I still remember my husband looking at my belly and asking me If I could be pregnant. I immediately dismissed the suggestion replying that I was still 'just fat'. Placing my hands on my wobbly belly, staring at the marks permanently etched into my skin. Marks of love, honour and growth. A part of my body that once held so many dreams and nurtured two precious babies. The crushing weight of knowing I'd only ever get to hold one of my babies in my arms lived with me each time I saw my scarred body.
The doubt, fear and excitement set in. Could I be pregnant? Would this baby die too? What would people think? Yasminah just died! Are we ready to have another child? Who cares what they think! OMG we might be pregnant! There could be a baby growing inside me right this very moment.
Then I was late........So I did a test, but I was so busy that I didn't wait the three minutes for the lines to appear. I saw one faint line appear on the test and put it aside on the bathroom vanity and went on with the day. Perhaps it wasn't being too busy to stop, it was the fear that held me back from waiting any longer after seeing that one faint negative line appear. My body had failed me, it had failed my child only a few short months beforehand. How could I believe that anything positive could happen after the devastating loss of my one and only daughter.
How on earth could I be trusted to deliver another healthy, living, breathing child into this world? How could I be trusted with growing another child? How could I trust my body growing a new child? A million and one questions and doubts ran through my mind. There was this little glimmer of hope and I grasped it with both hands and held onto it tight! How beautiful would it be to have the opportunity to grow our family, to bring another child into this world, to give my son the sibling he so desperately wanted. To feel that moment of happiness when you hold your newborn child in your arms.
It wasn't until after lunch, cleaning the ensuite I realized the test was still sitting on the bathroom vanity. When I picked it up, holding it in my hands, I couldn't believe my eyes! There staring back at me were two pink lines!! Two pink lines. A positive pregnancy test. I was pregnant. Right in this moment there was a child growing inside my broken womb. A new child. We were going to have another child. I started shaking and crying and staring at these two pink lines that appeared on the test in my hands. Something to hope for.......
Thursday, May 26, 2011
A Gift Of Hope for Rachael and her family
Rachael honours her daughters memory by raising funds for SIDS and Kids
You can support her efforts by visiting
Monday, May 9, 2011
But one word always give me encouragement to keep going, to keep giving, to keep fighting for awareness and support.
Every now and then I put up 'Inspirational Quotes' on the Facebook page as they bring me comfort and offer hope and inspiration in life. They are a shimmer of light in a dark world.
Mothers Day I received this beautiful email.
Just wanted to say thank you for helping inspire me how to remember our baby we lost through miscarriage today on Mothers Day. You had a lovely quote on your Facebook page a couple of months ago now, and I think at the time that I commented on it saying how it really struck a chord with me. Today I wrote that quote on a piece of paper and we placed a stone inside it and wrapped it with ribbon stood on the beachfront as a family (me, DH and our 2 year old daughter).
It was perfect, with the sun softly twinkling on the water we each held the small parcel, then my husband threw it into the water,right in front of the beachfront spot we often sit and have a picnic lunch. Today as Mothers Day would have been my due date for our 2nd baby, so our little ceremony was very important to me. Just wanted to say thanks again for the inspiration.
The quote was: "The soul would have no rainbow, had the eyes no tears".
Take care, Names removed for privacy
To know that I have helped make a small difference in one family's life, by giving them inspiration to acknowledge and remember their child makes my heart smile. I am truly sorry for your loss send you lots of hope, light, love and happiness for the future.
But I really need to thank you for the inspiration. Every story of loss and heartache I read gives me inspiration to keep going, giving and fighting for awareness and support for a under acknowledged heartache experienced by 1 in 4 families every day. Thank you for sharing your own story of heartache and healing with me. I share my story and my thoughts with you, so you know you are not alone......there is always hope
Sunday, May 8, 2011
It was always a very special day from the moment I was pregnant with my first child Zach. I celebrated Mothers Day and every hope and dream it brought along with it. Cuddles and kisses and breakfast in bed, special paintings and handmade crafts - all of these wonderful moments to look forward to. After years of TTC I was 7 months pregnant on my first Mothers Day and finally a mum.
Most people believe that "The moment a child is born, the mother is also
born. She never existed before. The woman existed, but the mother, never."
I like a lot of first time mums was told like this quote that I wasn't a mother until my baby was born. But I knew and felt in my heart I was. From the moment those two pink lines show up on that little stick you are a mum! You nuture, care, provide and love your child. Everything that a 'real' mother does. You should be able to celebrate and enjoy the precious child/ren you have growing inside you and the gift of motherhood. You are a mum!
My second Mothers Day was wonderful because my son was old enough to call me mum and I remember him bringing me breakfast in bed, a beautiful card with the outline of his handprint on the back and being smothered in cuddles and kisses. This was to be my last Mothers Day where I wouldnt a shed a river of tears.
My next Mothers Day I was mourning the loss of my daughter.
Mothers Day was only 6 weeks after Yasminah was born. It was incredibly hard and full of emotions and a day I will never forget. I spent part of the day with three generations of mums, my mum, my sister and both of my grandmothers. Most of the time in tears. I then visited Yasminah at the cemetary.
We spent the evening with close friends and their family. I didn't feel like celebrating and I remember having to run out of the room because I didnt want to cry in front of them. This day had just taken on a whole new meaning and become so incredibly hard and painful.
Mothers Day is a day when all mothers should have their children with them. But all over the globe mums miss their children and children miss their mums.
And I miss my daughter.......
Sunday, May 1, 2011
Sending special thoughts today to women all around the globe. Wishing you all a gentle, loving, peaceful Mothers Day
To the mums who hold their babies in their hearts I share your tears
To mums with precious babies in your womb or in your arms Happy Mothers Day
Special thoughts are also with children missing their mums in heaven and on Earth