Saturday, November 17, 2012

World Prematurity Day - November 17

Join us and help raise awareness

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. 

To participate

• Visit and become a fan of our Facebook page
• 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

Captured Week 1

I have always tried to honestly share my thoughts and feelings before and after losing Yasminah and what it is truly like to mother a child you will never see grow.

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

Silence is the loudest scream

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 Ono
I 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

Double the Joy

Aisha and Aaliyah ~ My beautiful identical twin girls
So many good things come in pairs
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

Author unknown

Sunday, July 15, 2012

The winners of the Butterfly Garden Ball Tickets are....

Congratulations to the following winners who have each won a ticket to attend Yasminah's Gift Of Hope Inaugural Butterfly Garden Ball to be held at Lachlans, Old Government House, Parramatta, NSW on Satruday the 11th of August from 6:30pm.

The winners will join us on this very special evening as we dress up, dance the night away, make new friends and also to remember the children who were miscarried, born premature, born sleeping or who passed away during infancy or were born with a congenital abnormality.

We will honour, remember and celebrate them during the evening.

 Rebecca Henricksen and Nate Morabito
Sharon Borig-Lathlean and partner
Jaharri Pitts and Mariah Devontae
Chrissy Rickards and partner
Kirby Richmond Davis and Glenn Davis
Kellie Grainger and Christopher Grainger
Claire Elise Griffin and Bob Lloyd
Renee Yeardye and James Yeardye
Terrilee Zimmehl and partner

I look forward to meeting you all on the evening and want to thank you for supporting Yasminah's Gift Of Hope. 

If you could all please send me an email to book your tickets

Congratulations to the finalists for our Butterfly Garden Ball Giveaway

Congratulations to the finalists for our Butterfly Garden Ball Giveaway

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 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


We are blessed and grateful to announce that we have a total amount of 18 seats to give away to our lovely supporters. We would like to thank Mr and Mrs Cupcake for sponsoring 2 seats and a very generous sponsor who wishes to remain anonymous has very kindly sponsored the remaining 16 seats. To have the opportunity to attend our ball simply follow the instructions below

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

Journals For June

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.


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 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,
NSW 2160

We would appreciate you sharing this event with your friends and fans

With Hope, Light, Love and Happiness

Saturday, May 26, 2012


Yasminah’s Gift of Hope will celebrate its second birthday as a registered charity today 26th May. The charity was founded to support families who experience the miscarriage, premature birth, neonatal loss, stillbirth or infant loss of their child or diagnosis of a congenital abnormality during pregnancy. One in four pregnancies ends in loss and premature birth is the leading cause of new-born deaths. In the two years since it was founded the charity has provided over 6000 Gifts Of Hope to families and many more with support.

We are very excited that Haley Bracken has accepted the role of Ambassador for Yasminah’s Gift of Hope. Haley has experienced premature birth and knows the struggle that parents go through at that time. With her help and her passion for the cause, we can reach many more families who would otherwise have to suffer through this difficult time with little or no support.

As the mother of Yasminah who was stillborn and of twins who were born prematurely, my experiences have made me realise how important it is to have something by which to remember each child and their special birth journey. The tragedy is that some families have nothing: no photos, no record, nothing to hold.

Yasminah's Gift of Hope Journals allows families to keep ultrasound images, photos, cot cards, arm bands, and foot and hand prints as a cherished keepsake of a precious life. The journals are donated to hospitals, neonatal intensive care wards and to families struggling with loss or the worry of premature births.

As Ambassador, Haley Bracken will help promote awareness of the high rate of premature and stillbirths in this country and the ongoing support and understanding available from Yasminah's Gift of Hope. 44,000 babies are admitted to neonatal and special care units across Australia each year. That is an incredible amount of families we need to reach. We will hold our first Fundraising Ball on August 11th with Haley Bracken as MC and Ambassador, to raise funds and help us achieve our goals.

Yasminah’s Gift of Hope has achieved a lot in two short years and with Haley Bracken as Ambassador, we intend to achieve a lot more.
Anniversaries remind us to count our blessings. I would like to personally thank all of our amazing, dedicated and passionate volunteers who pour their hearts and souls into providing Gifts Of Hope to families and continueing Yasminah's memory. Thank you seems so small compared to all you've done, but know that your kindness and support doesn't go unnoticed. It is appreciated by families who receive a Gift Of Hope and support when needed most.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

In memory of ~ Triton ~

Yesterday was busy. Another crazy, busy day.

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."
Author unknown

Friday, April 13, 2012

Friday Family Fun Day!

I love Friday's and here's why.

It's the last day of the working week, the one day that I have all 3 children home with me and a day I like to spend with my family having fun!

This Friday we decided to do some finger painting. I love all things craft and the kids do too!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Big beautiful sky

My son Zachariah was only 21 months old when we lost Yasminah, but it still astounds me to this day what he remembers and the questions he asks.

Last week Zach was drawing a picture and asked me if Yasminah had feet. This may sound like an odd question to most, however we only had a few photos of Yasminah and none of them included her feet.

In the words of Zach who is now 4 and was diagnosed with autism last year. 

"This is the big beautiful sky. Yasminah is in your belly and her eyes are closed."

How lucky and amazing are we, to have a special little boy like Zach in our lives. We love you Zachy and are so proud of how far you have come and hope there are many great things ahead for you.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Winner of Yasminah's 3rd Birthday Memorial March

We would like to thank everyone who took part in the Yasminah's 3rd Birthday Memorial March, both as a supporting page or as a participant. Your support towards Yasminah's Gift Of Hope is greatly appreciated and allows us to continue the work we do to support families in their time of need.

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 to arrange delivery and postage of your goodies.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

How to write a child's obituary

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

Offering Condolences

Many families like to keep notes, cards or letters received from their friends and family as keepsakes to remember their child.

When someone close to us suffers the loss of a child, it can be hard to find the right words to write in a card or letter to offer your condolences. Finding the right words and expressing them with love, care and compassion can help someone heal from the emotional pain the loss of a child brings. Losing a child is different than losing a parent or grandparent. Everyone grieves differently and finding the right words to say can be difficult. You don't want to say something that will cause any extra distress to the family.

To avoid unintentionally hurting someones feelings, don't minimize the loss of their child by using cliches such as; "everything happens for a reason", "God needed another angel", "[child's name] won't suffer anymore" or "time heals all wounds". It is important not to offer advice as to how a family should grieve, especially if you have never personally experienced the loss of a child. In other words, never say "you should do this", "you shouldn't do that", "you can have another baby". Sometimes the simplest sentiment "I'm sorry" or "I don't know what to say" may be enough to show you care.

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.

'The right words can be so hard to find. Simply know that I'm thinking of you every moment'

'We send you our love and heartfelt prayers that you may find the strength you need to get through each day'

'Please accept my sympathy for the terrible loss of your child.'

'Our Deepest Sympathy'

'Our Heartfelt Condolences'

'Our thoughts and prayers are with you'

'So small, so sweet, so soon'

'[Child's name] will never be forgotten'

'Always in our hearts'

'May you find peace and comfort'

'Sending you our love and deepest sympathy'

'Please be patient with yourself and take all the time you need'

'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'

'Even on your darkest days there's an angel beside you to guide you along the way'

'If you need a friend to talk to or just someone to sit with in silence, I am here for you'

If you prefer to write the family a letter, below is an example. This is more specific for a family who have experienced a stillbirth, neonatal loss or infant loss, but can easily be adapted for any bereavement.

Dear _____________,

1. Recognize the loss and mention their child's name

I am so sorry to hear about the loss of your precious child__________________.

2. Convey your sympathy

I was heartbroken to hear the news, and I want you to know that my thoughts and prayers are with you during this difficult time.

3. Recount any special qualities of the child or pregnancy that you can recall

I still remember when you announced your pregnancy and the very first time I felt ________________ kick inside your belly.

4. Point out the strengths of the bereaved

I know that the depth of love that you and your family share for each other and for _____________ will pull you through.

5. Offer specific help

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

I wish there was something more I could say or do to take away your suffering, but instead please know that I care for you and I'm here for you. Wishing you hope, light, love and happiness

Your signature

This is merely an example, of what to write in a words of condolences letter. Use it as a guide, but feel free to insert your own thoughts and feelings into your letter. Speak from the heart and you can be sure that your words of condolences will bring comfort to your grieving loved ones.

Alternative ways to offer condolences

  • Listen, hold the parents' hands and allow them to cry or talk about their child.
  • Give them a hug.
  • Have a tree, flower or bush planted in memory of their child.
  • Cook a few meals in freezable containers and leave them at their house or arrange a home delivery service from Aussie Farmers Direct or Coles Online.
  • Help the family with household chores like shopping, cleaning, washing, lawn mowing, garden maintenance etc
  • If the deceased child had siblings, offer to take them out to a movie or to the park. They're grieving too and need attention.
  • Offer to help look after siblings whilst the parents can receive some rest, or time away for a coffee or movie together.
  • Arrange a family holiday so the family can escape for a few days and privately grieve their loss.

Some Last thoughts

Even though the parents may not recognize it immediately, they will be very thankful for your words of condolence. Remember to always speak of the child by his or her name because it puts a value on the child's life, no matter how long or short it was. Condolences can also be sent or given on the child's birthday and anniversary of death often referred to as 'angelversary'. The parents will be humbled that someone remembered their child and thought of their family on these dates. If the parents have gone on to have more children, that doesn't mean they don't want to talk about or have forgotten about the child who died. Their deceased child will always remain a very important part of their family.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Yasminah's 3rd Birthday Memorial March

On Monday 26 March 2012, Yasminah should be turning 3. Her family should be celebrating the life she had lived. Instead, they will be reflecting on the impact she has had on so many people’s lives.

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 -

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 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.

Happy 3rd Birthday to our Precious Butterfly

I'm overwhelmed by everyone's love, support, emails and messages today. I'm blessed to have amazing and supportive friends who understand the need to share my daughter's life and choose to help and support me share Yasminah's legacy.
I was brought to tears this morning. My husband asked if I had checked Facebook when I woke up, but amidst the normal morning madness getting our son ready for preschool and the girls breakfast I hadn't yet checked. When I logged onto Facebook there were already messages of support on my page and a sea of pink butterflies as people's profile pictures. Something the girls who volunteer for Yasminah's Gift Of Hope had organised as a surprise.
3 Butterflies for Yasminah's 3rd Birthday
Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for thinking of us and remembering our baby girl today on what would of been her 3rd birthday.
Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ Happy Birthday to our beautiful little girl Yasminah Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ 
We love and miss you beyond words and know one day we will meet again in heaven.
Fly free our precious butterfly
Lots of Love Mummy, Daddy, Zach, Aisha and Aaliyah x x x x x X
Another angel mummy friend left this poem on my page today and I would like to share it with you.
God planned a special day for me
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 ♥ ♥
I'm also sending my love, thoughts and prayers to a dear friend from highschool. Tanya experienced the loss of her daughter Makayla on the 28th of March but 6 years earlier. Tanya helped me get through those early days of grief, often stayed up late talking online, we shared our photos, our memories, our pain and grief. Thank you Tanya for your friendship, support and understanding. Happy 9th Birthday to your beautiful angel Makayla. This poem is dedicated to 'Our Angels' x x

Monday, March 19, 2012

Aidens Scar

Our amazing and beautiful Vice President Erin bravely shared the very special story of the the birth of her son, Aiden and the story of her caesarean scar.
The Story of My Scar - The Sunday Telegraph Body+Soul Magazine - March 18, 2012 Page 10
Beverley Hadgraft meets four women whose scars have become an integral part of their life experience.

 "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

I'm a strong person but...

As we approach Yasminah's 3rd Birthday ~26 March~ I am feeling the weight and pain of her loss but also the beauty and gift of her incredibly brief but precious life. The memories, the joy, the happiness she has brought us and how much her little Gift Of Hope has helped others.

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

Big Beautiful Belly

Today with the help of a volunteer we took photos of items that have been kindly donated towards our upcoming fundraising auction in April. So tonight once the kids were all in bed and I had some time chilling out watching TV I decided it was finally time to get the photos up on our facebook page. But then I saw there were 3 folders - from each of the 3 digital camera's I have owned.

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

I don't remember my hair being that short, but I kinda like it and I loved those pants. They were my comfie, fat belly, pregnancy pants. They were light, stretchy and I lived in them, well at night anyway as they were my PJ pants.

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

No one knows.......

No one really knows exactly how I truly feel. How much I still miss you and ache from your absence in our family. There are simply no amount of words, or the 'right' words I can express to say how I truly feel, not even to those closest to me. I think about you every day, I still cry tears out of happiness of how much I love you and how blessed I am to be your mummy. You have changed me incredibly. My beautiful, beautiful little girl you are a true gift.

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

IWD ~ For their future

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

Harrisons Little Wings

Melanie is a mother of 4 beautiful boys, one who is an Angel. Her son Harrison Alexandar McKenzie was born on the 14th of September 2010 and passed away on the 15th of September 2010. In Harrisons memory she started Harrisons Little Wings.

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'
 I first met Mel online around April last year. We have formed a wonderful friendship, even though we have never met in person. We talk on the phone a lot, we have cried together and laughed too. Mel is an amazing woman and I'm very lucky to call her a friend. Mel has similar values and beliefs  to me. We know that together we are going to make a difference to newly bereaved families journey and help them capture their precious memories. Melanie is strongly advocating to change and educate the support midwives provide following the loss of a child in Queensland Hospitals. I admire her courage and strength, through what has been a very difficult time for her family.

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.


If you can scrap and would like to help Mel with Harrisons Little Wings contact her via email  

Monday, March 5, 2012

A love like ours....

We met thirteen years ago and fell in love!

Two halves of the
same soul
joining together in lifes journey

My first glance fell on your heart

This day eleven years ago I married my best friend.
The one I laugh with,
Live for,
Dream with,
Always and Forever.

To love and be loved is to feel the sun from both sides

If I could reach up and hold a star for every time you've made me smile,
the entire evening sky would be in the palm of my hand.

Happy Anniversary to my darling husband Mohammed. It has been an incredible eleven years and the best is still to come.

Lots of Love Always your Angelface x x