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This is My Story - Sarah

This series of personal stories from parents who have suffered pregnancy or baby loss holds space for talking about loss and grief and remembering our babies gone too soon.


In sharing their stories about their pregnancy journeys, feelings and insights, these parents are beginning to exorcise the double demons of silence and ignorance that afflict so many conversations in the space of pregnancy and baby loss.


Parents share their journeys and the lessons they have learned about grief, parenthood, friendship and living after the death of their baby. They tell us how they have changed, who they have become, and what truly matters now.



Angel baby boy Jasper James with his mum and dad



I found out I was pregnant in early January 2017. We had been trying to conceive for a while, so we were over the moon when we found out. There was a lot of excitement regarding what I needed to buy and how to decorate the nursery.


I found out I was pregnant in early January 2017. We had been trying to conceive for a while, so we were over the moon when we found out.

It was an easy pregnancy and I only felt sick for 3 or 4 days. I had some exhaustion and back pain, but generally my discomfort was minor.


My labour proceeded slowly. I was induced at 37 weeks due to an initial small bleed. I was working through the contractions and they were starting to gain intensity and increase in frequency. My husband and midwife were in the room and we were just carrying on with general conversation to pass the time. The television was on in the background and I was changing positions when I got uncomfortable.


I was induced at 37 weeks due to an initial small bleed. I was working through the contractions and they were starting to gain intensity and increase in frequency.

After being in natural labour for 3-4 hours I had a mass bleed. I was rushed into theatre for an emergency cesarean, from which I woke to ask where my baby was.


I was told he had died at 31 minutes old. Whilst I registered these news I was being handed my son. A lot didn't sink in until I was fully awake from the surgery. A lot was also blocked out by the trauma I was in at the time, so I have a lot of blank spots in the early memories.


Then I had a mass bleed. I was rushed into theatre for an emergency cesarean, from which I woke to ask where my baby was. I was told he had died at 31 minutes old.

When my son was passed to me and I looked down at his face I fell in love instantly. My heart broke instantly, I broke instantly and my world was turned completely upside down all at once. I was still on high doses of pain relief in the initial 12 hours following the loss, so the true pain of the loss did not hit me until that pain relief had worn off and I had time to process what had happened.


I quickly realised that the experience of baby loss is a journey you walk for the rest of your life. Time does not heal the wound of baby loss. It simply allows us the space we need to learn to live with it.


When my son was passed to me and I looked down at his face I fell in love instantly. My heart broke instantly, I broke instantly and my world was turned completely upside down. I quickly realised that the experience of baby loss is a journey you walk for the rest of your life.

I have my own collection of 'life lessons', which I have learnt throughout my loss journey. Bereavement has changed me in many ways. It makes you appreciate the smaller things, it has taught me to see everything in life in black and white. It has changed the way I view the people in my life and it has taught me whom to leave room for and for whom not to.


The loss of my son has given me a clearer vision of my values and morals and in a way stripped life back to bare basics. I believe it does not change just your life but also you as a person - the person I was died with my son. The journey I was on and the story I was living ended when Jasper died. The new book of my life then began, the book, story and journey of a bereaved parent living their life in honour of their lost child's memory. I continue to fundraise and donate in honour of Jasper and ensure that I continue to create a legacy in his memory, so that his memory is carried on.


Bereavement has changed me in many ways. The person I was died with my son. The journey I was on and the story I was living ended when Jasper died. I continue to fundraise and donate in honour of Jasper to ensure his memory is carried on.

I feel we need to raise more awareness of and provide education around the possibility of losing your baby, especially with regard to the 12-week rule. There is so much focus on getting to the 12-week mark of pregnancy that I believe you fall into a false sense of being safe from complications after this point in time. There is no education around all the other things that can go wrong after 12 weeks.


This being the case, I don't think there is anything you can really do to set yourself up about baby loss before it happens to you because you don't expect that it could. Maybe one of the antenatal classes during pregnancy could provide some information on resources and support avenues for the event that something does happen. This way you would have immediate knowledge of resources and support services available if you find yourself in a position where you need to access them.


I don't think there is anything you can really do to set yourself up about baby loss before it happens to you because you don't expect that it could. Maybe one of the antenatal classes during pregnancy could provide some information on resources and support avenues for the event that something does happen.

To a recently bereaved parent I would say that this is a long journey - a roller coaster ride you will forever be on. You will learn to live with it, learn to open your arms to the grief and welcome it in. Ignore the people who say it gets better because it doesn't, you just get stronger in your ability to walk in your 'new normal' shoes.


Be prepared for the exceptionally hard times that will come - friends announcing pregnancies, people hosting parties and gatherings and not inviting you because you are the parents who do not have a living child. Open your arms to those who make an effort to be in your life; not just months after your loss but years after, because they are the people you want to keep by your side.


To a recently bereaved parent I would say that this is a long journey - a roller coaster ride you will forever be on. Ignore the people who say it gets better because it doesn't: you just get stronger in your ability to walk in your 'new normal' shoes.

Allow yourself time to find what works for you in your grief and what doesn't. I quickly realised I could continue to create a legacy in memory of Jasper and began by being part of book collaborations and sharing my story, organising and hosting fundraisers where I would donate various items to hospitals in South Australia as well as donating money to organisations such as Still Aware and Heartfelt Photography. It is a way for me to give back but to also feel like I am still being a mother to Jasper.


My Possum Portrait will be a one of a kind, unique keepsake piece - as individual and unique as our son. Over the last 6 years I have been collecting as many unique and personalised keepsakes as possible to add to the collection and continue to create and build a legacy for our son and his memory.


My Possum Portrait will be a one of a kind, unique keepsake piece - as individual and unique as our son. [I will] continue to create and build a legacy for our son and his memory.

Our second born is only 9 weeks old, so we have not yet had to approach the topic of baby loss with him. But our son will grow up knowing his brother and his story, be involved in remembering him and celebrating him on special occasions such as his anniversary, birthday and Christmas.


Our second-born son will grow up knowing his brother and his story, be involved in remembering him and celebrating him.

My experience has made me realise many things. While society has come a long way, Pregnancy and Infant Loss is still very much a taboo subject and we need to keep sharing our stories and encouraging others to do so. People need to learn that sharing their personal story means they have to have the courage to be vulnerable, and that being vulnerable is not a sign of weakness but a true sign of the strength they have within.


My experience has made me realise many things. While society has come a long way, Pregnancy and Infant Loss is still very much a taboo subject and we need to keep sharing our stories and encouraging others to do so.

Find a way to have your thoughts and feelings validated and realise that it is ok to not be ok.







Did this story resonate with you?


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