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

Friday, March 2, 2012

Strike a pose

Aisha and Aaliyah are featured in Issue 10, March 7, 2012 of That's Life Magazine, Page 56.

I originally submitted their photo in early January, along with a multitude of others! I was surprised to find out through a friend who happened to be reading it this week, that Aisha and Aaliyah's photo was selected for print. They were actually 4 weeks old when this photo was taken. It was the first week they were home from the NICU. It was summer in Australia and HOT!

They often strike the same pose

Or pull the same facial expression

They learnt to crawl and stand the same way....

Say cheeeeeese!!!! They even smile for the camera with the same cheesy grins :)

They have an amazing bond, are absolutely beautiful girls and I'm so lucky to be their mummy x x

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Guest Post ~ Children Having Infant Limb Deficiency ~ CHILD ~ Katherine Moffett

This is my very first guest blog, of what I hope will be many more. My dear friend Katherine Moffett. I will always remember when we first found each other online, I was about 25 weeks pregnant with Yasminah. It was so wonderful to find someone who also had a child with a congenital limb difference. It gave me hope that everything would be OK and it didn't matter that Yasminah had a limb difference, she would still be able to do amazing things and would always have the support and strength of her family and friends. I still remember when I had to tell Kath she had passed away :( It was heartbreaking as she had offered to pass along some of Sienna's clothes. I knew even before I had Yasminah that I wanted to help other families in some way. Katherine was the person that helped me get all the paperwork and charity started as she had only recently done it for CHILD. Thank you Kath for being the most amazing, supportive friend a girl could ever hope for. I will continue to help with CHILD wherever I can as it will always have a place close to my heart and all the amazing friendships with the many different CHILD families I have made along the way. Don't forget that you are amazing and the person who inspired me to start something in Yasminah's memory, for that I will always be grateful ♥ Bec x x

This was Katherine's post on our Facebook page last week
I was sitting here thinking about the past three and a half years for me. All the amazing people who have touched my life thus far. Rebecca and I met after she found out about Yasminah's differences as I run Children Having Infant Limb Deficiency - CHILD. We spoke here and there, I would try and shed light on the situation because I don't like parents thinking their alone when something like this i...s diagnosed. I remember when I found out about Yasminahs passing. I was sitting in my loungeroom in Prestons, Sydney. And I read a message Rebecca had sent me. I started to cry. She was the first little baby Id had the honour of being involved with who had lost her life. So when time went on and Rebecca said she wanted to start Yasminahs Gift of Hope, I was more than happy to help with whatever I could and I'm sure you remember Rebecca, the paperwork was a nightmere LOL....But Id just like to express my absolute love and admiration for one of my closest friends Rebecca Aziz. I have the utmost respect for her and all the work she puts in. Literally! Blood sweat and tears!! She is why I still do what I do, she is my inspiration. When my ex husband left me because we had a child born with disabilities it was my friends who picked me up and who encouraged me. In the last week alone, Rebecca has helped me so much, twitter, the blog, I just cant express how important you are to all of us Bec and I pray that a big tycoon with millions of dollars comes up and says "Here love, $1,000,000 to make a difference"! Love you xxx

Pregnancy can best be described as riding a very intense rollercoaster of emotions. Some days your up, others your way down. Other times you feel like your going around in circles and the weeks and months will never end.

But once labour is over, or the caesarean section is complete and your holding your newborn for the very first time, touching her soft skin, adoring her face, it all seems worth it. Picturesque isn’t it? Sounds perfect. Well the fact of the matter is, it’s not always like this.

This is her story, it is one of extreme lows, mounting highs and all the in-between.

Siennas pregnancy seemed normal. Besides some crazy dreams about her being born with dwarfism, a reoccurring dream I had at least five times and some bouts of anxiety my pregnancy was what I would call perfect.

Ultrasounds out of the way, we were told the baby was healthy, ten fingers, ten toes, I was content and anxious to meet my little bundle. When she was born though she was whisked away to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit of the Hospital. I saw her for one minute after she was born and she was tightly wrapped, so tight in fact I could not unwrap her blankets and any attempts to do so were squashed.

Three hours after her birth, the news was broken to me that my perfect little girl, with ten fingers, ten toes and a button nose, wasn’t in fact what I'd expected. I was confronted with a very little baby, her arms were significantly different lengths, her shoulder on the right was smaller than the left, her right elbow was fused and could not be bend and the biggest shock of all, she had no thumbs. Eight little fingers is all she had. She had major upper limb issues, a heart condition and scoliosis of the hips.
The weeks and months that followed were tough, trying to adjust to life with a child with such different needs to what I would have called back then a normal baby.

My marriage broke down. The stress was all too much and I found myself attending the hospital appointments alone, dragging a three year old with one hand while trying to push a pram with the other.

Over the past three and a half years, I’ve tried to make Siennas life as normal as possible. She never misses out. She is always involved. Never left behind is my family motto. We have all pitched in to make sure my children’s lives are as unaffected by all of this as possible.

But what do you do when a child, who is around seven years old, decides to point out that he thinks your pride and joy, your little princess, is a “freak” and is “scary”. How would you deal with this? It’s so easy to dish out advice to other parents about how to handle things like this but when it actually happens to you, it hits you like a ton of bricks.

My answer, educate the community. Teach your child that staring at someone who has a disability, or any difference is not polite. Calling someone a freak, scary, ugly, fat, four eyes, none of it is right. Sticks and stones may break my bones, but I’m telling you words do hurt. How can I protect my daughter from the big bad world when all I want to do is hide her away and protect her? I’m asking parents all over the world, to do what’s right and educate your children. Teach them what is right from wrong. My daughter didn’t ask for this. She didn’t ask to be born like this. Lately she has been asking me why she can't have ten fingers like mummy. And also why she has to keep going back to the hospital.

I am now the sole parent to three amazing children. All of whom adore and love each other unconditionally. They are all protective and respectful of each other.
Please, help me make the world an easier place for children like my daughter to feel safe and not judged because of their physical appearance. Bullying is wrong! Teasing is wrong! Poking, prodding and pushing are wrong whether the person is disabled or not!

I'm doing my best to educate the world. I started a charity in 2009 called CHILD. Children Having Infant Limb Deficiency. To date I have made contact with over 500 families from all over the world whose child has either been born with a limb difference or has an acquired limb difference (amputee). Our children are all amazing human beings. And I am trying to help them get the confidence they need to face the world loud and proud!

I’m normally a very calm and placid woman but I need to stand up and fight for the rights of my daughter now and those of other children with any type of disability. Bullying is wrong; educate yourselves and your loved ones. Bullying is ignorance and I for one will not tolerate it anymore.

Katherine Moffett

To learn more about CHILD and support Katherine's work please visit and follow them on Facebook