Wednesday, January 30, 2013

First Day of School

My eldest child started Kindergarten today.
We have planned for this moment, waited for this moment and rejoiced in this memory.
It's such an exciting, emotional, beautiful gift to be able to send my first born child to school.
I found this note 'To My Child's First Teacher' and wanted to share for all the parent's who have sent their child to Kindergarten this year.

My Name is Zachariah Sherif Aziz
1st Day of Kindergarten ~ Wednesday 30th January 2013
Age I started school ~ 5 years and 7 months old
Height ~ 121cm
Weight ~ 22.4kg

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

For Yasminah

I can't always do it all. I think that I do my very best and always try to do my best to juggle everything that life has to offer me. My dad always taught me to do my best. It didn't matter if I failed, or I made a mistake, as long as I had tried my best that was all that mattered. It isn't always easy, it isn't always magical, amongst the joy and laughter there are tears and sadness too, but I always push on trying to make the best of this life that I have been blessed to be given. Living each day with joy and gratitude. I give back in memory of my daughter, in the hope that it helps ease the pain of another family and that a little piece of Yasminah is remembered and her spirit lives on. Each breath I take, I take knowing my little girl didn't take one. Not one single breath. However she did her very best to stay with us. She did her best. Yasminah has taught me more in her lifetime than I would of ever learned in mine without losing her. I continue to do my best and try to make a difference when I can. I don't always get it right, but I always try.......

The tears have fallen tonight, they haven't stopped. I felt this wave of grief coming after visiting Yasminah yesterday. I just wish I never had to feel like this :( I wish I could tell you all that everything will be OK, but sometimes I don't even believe that myself. Dealing with grief, loss, sadness day in day out takes it toll and I need to often cleanse my own soul, and release the tears to keep doing my very best.

Then tonight I received a message and I wanted to share something a very dear friend is doing for Yasminah. She is doing her best. My friend has remembered Yasminah and has chosen to honour her life, by giving back to the community and an organisation called Heartkids. She is doing something in Yasminah's memory, for Yasminah that makes my heart sing, my eyes overflow with tears and made me more of a blubbering mess than I already was tonight!

Em helped me start Yasminah's Gift Of Hope. She was there for me during my loss, during my rainbow pregnancy, through the weeks that my girls spent in NICU and is still there for me today. She was going through and is still going through her own journey. She is still trying to do her very best despite all the difficulty life as thrown at her. Amongst all of her own struggles she is doing this for Yasminah. How seriously lucky am I to have such beautiful, supportive people in my life! A friend who isn't scared to say her name or talk about her and helps share her story. She is still there for me almost 4 years on. Words can't ever truly explain the gift of having someone you can share your innermost thoughts with or just cry and they don't question any of it. They don't judge you, they are simply there for you, offering a shoulder to lean on, a tissue for when you cry. This is Em. She is a beautiful, young, inspiring young woman and a wonderful role model for her daughter Kenzie. I'm so lucky to call her my friend :)

This is what Em wrote on her fundraising page tonight......

Over the last 4 years I have had the absolute honour to call the Aziz family my friends. I remember the first time I met Rebecca was when Kenzie had just been born and she travelled out to see me whilst glowingly pregnant with her beautiful twins Aisha and Aaliyah. We spoke of our losses, our joys and our daily struggles. Sitting in front of me was a woman of warmth, grace and above all courage. A woman who had farewelled her beautiful angel daughter Yasminah only months before and was already finding ways to help others.

So in the last week I decided upon reflection about congenital heart anomalies..Kenzie and I are not just doing this run for the fun of it. We are not just doing this run to take photos. We are not doing it for ourselves.

We are running "For Yasminah".  
Whether we raise $2.00 or $2,000000 to contribute to research into childhood heart conditions we do not care. All that matters now is that we will do it for her. We cannot bring her back, nor brighten the sadness at her loss...but we can run, skip, jump and dance for her alone.

We will honour you Yasminah.

Our love

Not many people are aware but during Yasminah's pregnancy at one stage it was thought that she may have a CHD, but further tests came back with the all clear. Heartkids is a very deserving organisation. I know that they have helped some of the families we also support so understand the valuable work they are doing and the drive to find a cure for CHD.

I made a donation a few weeks ago on my birthday, but will be donating again and would love to see Em and Kenzie reach their goal of $250 before the Swiss Color Run on February 10, 2013. So please get behind E&K and do it 'For Yasminah'!

To make a donation please visit Em and Kenzie's fundraising page

Thank you Em from the bottom of my heart. Words can never truly express the depth of my gratitude and how grateful Iam to have you as my friend. Love you always xx

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

12 reasons to smile

January - Zach starts Kindergarten!
February - My husband opens his Dojo
March - Yasminah's 4th Birthday, My 12 year Wedding Anniversary, The Jackson's Concert!
April - End of my 12WBT
May - Mother's Day
June - Journals For June
July - Zach turns 6
August - Pink Concert!
September - Time with my family
October - Pregnancy and Infant Loss Month
November - World Prematurity Month
December - Aisha and Aaliyah turn 4

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy New Year!

On behalf of everyone at Yasminah's Gift Of Hope, I would like to personally wish you all a Happy and Safe New Year for 2013. 

Thank you to each and every one of our 5285 supporters for your likes, comments, shares and help spreading awareness and offering support to families across Australia and the World. Your love, ongoing support and generosity truly touches our hearts and we can never thank you enough in words for simply being here and sharing Yasminah's Gift of Hope. You are a part of our family, our story and we hope that you will continue to share and support Yasminah's Gift Of Hope in 2013. We have so many new hopes and dreams to strengthen and extend our support services and break the silence on Premature Birth, Pregnancy and Infant Loss. This year we were able to help well over 1500 families across Australia. A bittersweet number, but only possible because of your support.

Yasminah's Gift of Hope is a 100% voluntary organisation. We currently have 49 volunteers who all dedicate their time to helping others, many in memory of their loved one. Please send your love and thanks to each and every volunteer. They are the true heart and soul of YGOH and become a part of our family, a friend. Each volunteer brings a significant contribution towards creating a Gift Of Hope and offering support to families during a time of need. You should all be so proud of your achievements. Keep up the amazing work and thank you all from the bottom of my heart for your passion, commitment and support. Your help is always valued and deeply appreciated.

2012 has been a tremendous year for us at Yasminah's Gift Of Hope. We celebrated our 2nd year as a charitable organisation, Yasminah's 3rd birthday, our most productive Journals For June, our first Pregnancy, Baby and Children's Expo, our first Butterfly Garden Ball and 2 Rainbow Babies for the Yasminah's Gift Of Hope family - Nyah and Lincoln and there are a few Rainbow Babies on the way due in 2013! We welcomed our Official Ambassador Haley Bracken and are forever grateful for her beautiful inspiring video created to spread awareness and for her love and dedication towards the cause. Thank you Haley ( Haley Bracken (Official)

45,000 babies are admitted to Neonatal Intensive Care or Special Care each year across Australia

3 - 4 children out of every 100 born will have a Congenital Abnormality, Malformation or birth defect

1 in 4 Pregnancies in Australia end in Miscarriage, Stillbirth or Neonatal Loss

6 babies are Stillborn each day in Australia

Each one of these families needs our support and a Gift Of Hope. I have personally sent 63 families a Gift of Hope this year, hand delivered over 250 Gift's Of Hope to my local hospitals in NSW and sent a further 824 Gifts Of Hope to Hospitals across Australia. Our Hospital Liaison officers have sent many more Gifts of Hope to their local hospitals, volunteers have decorated journals, hand knit booties, beanies and blankets and sent scrapbooking material to help. I'm overwhelmed at the kindness, love and generosity. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

Yasminah's Gift Of Hope aim to provide a safe, supportive community for families to share their thoughts, feelings and personal experiences without judgement. We currently support over 378 families across 10 different support groups. Each in their own stage of grief, hope, peace and understanding.

To the families who gave birth prematurely in 2012, Congratulations on the safe albeit early arrival of your child. We hope for those of you who are still in Neonatal Intensive Care, Special Care or Pediatric Care that you find some time to enjoy the small things and be with those you love. We know how hard it is not having the New Year you envisioned but hope that you will be home together as a family in 2013. Gain strength, stay healthy and keep smiling :)

To the families who lost a child this year, the year before last or many years ago we are thinking of you all. We know how your arms ache to hold your child, how the tears will silently fall as the clock strikes midnight. Instead of thinking of it as another year away from the time you were with your child, think of all the beautiful memories and joy they brought you - when you found out you were pregnant, the first ultrasound, the first time your felt your baby kick or have the hiccups, the moment they were born. Each families journey is unique and individual to their own experience. Whilst some of us know the pain and heartache you feel, and share similar thoughts and feelings your child's memory is your own. You are never alone, there is always someone to lean on for support and understanding. Please take care and go gently so you can continue to heal emotionally and physically.

My thoughts are with some very special families that are always in my thoughts - Gerry Tye, Andrea Clare Bishop, Daniel Morcombe Foundation (official page)l, RIP Jill Meagher and the families from Sandy Hook Elementary School.

I wish you all hope for 2013, strength for the days ahead, love for the families that will give birth prematurely or experience the heartbreak of losing a child in 2013, peace for everyone, and a year full of life's abundant blessings and most of all good health and happiness!

I'd also like to thank my husband and my 3 children Zach, Aisha and Aaliyah. I love you all very much and know that Yasminah is always with us in spirit until we meet again. Thank you for standing beside me this past year and supporting me. Love you lots xx


Hope, Light, Love and Happiness