How to give love and support on International Bereaved Mother’s Day

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May 7th is International Bereaved Mother’s Day.

It is a day for those in the Pregnancy and Infant Loss community to come together to show their support and recognition for those mothering children no longer here with them.

On this day we encourage you to reach out and let a bereaved mother know that you remember their baby and you see their motherhood.

Our volunteers have created and gifted to you a beautiful card that you can down load and print to give to a special Mum on this day as a simple gesture of understanding and love.

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Click on link to download card

One card on A4

Our volunteers have also been creating matching personalised profile pictures via our Facebook page. Images are free to request at this link HERE

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5 posts on how to support a bereaved mother this Sunday

  1. Why We Need Bereaved Mother’s Day, Women’s Weekly

Sands Parent Supporter Anne shares why she believes we need Bereaved Mother’s Day and how you can reach out to a bereaved mother.

2. On Mother’s Day: Remembering Mothers Without Living Children, Anxiety House Brisbane

Tara Schafer shares what loving family and friends can consider doing to help support mothers without living children coping with loss.

3. Dear Non-bereaved Parent, 

A heartfelt letter to a friend explaining the feelings around loss.

4. Mother’s Day Perspective From a Bereaved Father, Still Standing Magazine

Insight from a father on Facing Mother’s Day.

5. Carly Marie, Project Heal, International Bereaved Mother’s Day

Tips on how to how to help a bereaved mother and if you are a bereaved mother, how to survive the day.

Sands Queensland wishes all mothers a gentle and loving Bereaved Mother’s Day and Mother’s Day. Please know you are not alone.

For full Sands support information, please visit our Sands Queensland Website and Facebook page.

Our online support groups are open to all Australian residents who have experienced the loss of a child during pregnancy or shortly after. To request to join, please email events@sandsqld.org.au

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Sands Awareness Month

June is Sands Awareness Month when we can all come together and raise awareness of miscarriage, stillbirth and newborn death and the importance of support for those who experience the death of a baby through pregnancy or shortly after.

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Every year in Queensland around 700 families face the heartbreak of stillbirth or neonatal death.  Many thousands more will experience early pregnancy loss. Sands Queensland exists so parents don’t have to navigate this terrible time alone.

This year we are launching our ‘Go purple for Sands’ event to raise the profile of Sands in the community. We need your help to reach out and make sure these families, and the professionals that support them, know about the support Sands offers and know they are not alone.

How you can help raise awareness

Go Purple

Turn Facebook purple by changing you profile picture or banner to our customised graphics.

Download ‘Go Purple’ profile picture HERE

Download ‘Go Purple’ Facebook banner HERE

‘Go Purple’ for a day at you work or school, asking your collegues to do the same. You could collect a gold coin donation or sponsor a Sands Resource Gift.

Promote

Ask your local Doctors office, Women’s Centre, Hospital or other care services if they would display the Sands Services poster or would be interested in Sands Support Brochures. You can download copies at the link below or request copies from our head office.

Download Sands Support Services Poster HERE

Browse Sands Support Brochures HERE

Contact our head office and request a Sands Professional Pack, containing a copy of each brochure.

Sponsor Resources

Help Sands get resources out to the parents who need them now.

Give a Gift of Resources from Sands Queensland.

Sponsor supplies for the SandsQ Butterfly Memory Bag Program.

Volunteer

Pledge your time, services or skills to Sands. There are so many ways you can volunteer, find out more HERE.

Share Your Story

By sharing our stories we let others know they are not alone, we share in their grief and can show them support is there when they need. Sharing your story also shows those who have not experienced this loss what it means to us and how they can be supportive. Your story could be in words, pictures, music, art or other expressions and can tell as little or as much as you feel comfortable with.

Email Sands at events@sandsqld.org.au to have your story shared on the Sands Blog.

Use #SandsQ on social media to have your story shared.

Join With Sands

Do you have your own project, group or activity that supports bereaved parents? Why not connect and work with Sands to extend the consistent and professional support services in your area. Contact our State Manager to discuss how we can work together.

Book an Educational

Sands npw provides Educational Workshops on Caring for Bereaved Parents. These workshops are about meeting the psycho social care needs of parents whose baby has died during pregnancy or in the neonatal period. Participants recieve 3 CDP for complettion. Workshops are held quarterly at Sands House, Brisbane or can scheduled in your local area. Please contact our office for more information.

Download the Workshop Flyer HERE

Sign Up

Become a member of Sands Queensland. Membership shows your support of Sands and gives you subscription to our newsletter ‘Hourglass’.

Keep updated with future events, volunteer opportunities and fundraising by signing up to our Enewsletter.

Follow us on Facebook (www.facebook.com/SandsQld), Instagram (@SandsQueensland) and Twitter (@SandsQ)

Thank you for helping Sands reach out to the community and support bereaved parents.

There is Always Hope

Guest post by Alicia, Declan’s Mum

My names Alicia, I’ve been with my childhood sweetheart Mat for just over eight years now and we are to be married in June this year. We were told due to health reasons that I had to try for a baby quiet young as time was against me. In making the decision to have children and knowing the complications I had to give up my job, as I had to be on full bed rest at times.

We experienced five tough years where I suffered severe depression, I was hospitalised, Mat and I separated due to the stress, we had six miscarriages, including the still birth of our son Declan in 2010 Finally in 2015 I gave birth to our beautiful, healthy miracle, Nate on the 20th of February.

Mat and Nate

Mat and gorgeous Nate

It was only after all this did I hear from a friend about Sands Queensland and all that they do. My aim was then to fundraise and make people more aware of this wonderful organisation as I feel if I had been made aware and had the support that is available from Sands, I may have never gone down the terrible depression road that I did. With the help of my local Lions Club (Mirani Sugar Valley Lions), which is a non for profit organisation that assists with the local community fundraising for special causes and help with development and building of local parks, community venues and sporting centres, we fundraised through out the year raising $1000 for our local Sands Mackay organisation.

Alicia presenting Sands Parent Supporter, Julie with the donation.

Alicia presenting Sands Parent Supporter, Julie with the donation.

I feel by sharing our story hopefully people will start to open up and talk more freely about baby loss in general as it still is such a taboo subject and I believe talking is the best medicine and support for one another going through this.

I hope that our story also gives hope to others “That miracles do happen, our son is living proof of this”.

Releasing a butterfly for Declan at the Mackay Walk to Remember 2015

Releasing a butterfly for Declan at the Mackay Walk to Remember 2015

 

Mackay Sands Queensland

Julie Thompson is the Mackay Parent Supporter and has been with Sands for over 10 years. Julie holds support meetings at the Mackay Women’s Centre on the fourth Tuesday of the month for anyone effected by the death of a baby. For more information see SUPPORT MACKAY

Mackay Walk to Remember is held in October as part of International Pregnancy and Infant Loss Month. It is a beautiful day held in memory of babies who have died during pregnancy or shortly after. To find when the next Walk will be held please allow us on Facebook at Sands Queensland Walk to Remember

In 2015 Sands fundraised for 2 Cuddle Cots for the Mackay Base and Mater Mackay Hospitals. To read more go to HERE

SandsQ Butterfly donates memory bags and bereavement clothing to Mackay Hospitals. If you would like to become involved or find out more, please email Lyndell at events@sandsqld.org.au or follow us at Facebook SandsQButterfly

The Gift of Time to Mackay Parents

2015 was a big year for the Sands group in Mackay with the group raising over $7000 to purchase two Cuddle Cots for their local hospitals.

A Cuddle Cot is a special cooling unit that gives bereaved parents the option of spending extra time with their baby. Using the Cuddle Cot means baby can be kept in the room with them, allowing that extra time to make memories. Time to hold and love their baby, time to allow family to visit and time to capture small mementos like photos and feet and hand prints.

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The group held a Hoy and Cent Sale, a Mackay traditional fundraising event, as well as raffles and stalls at various local markets. The response from the community was overwhelmingly positive with many individuals and businesses donating items and money to the cause.

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Community Stall

 

Old fashioned Hoy and Cent Sale

Old fashioned Hoy and Cent Sale

The lovely Roz from Arozona donated the proceeds of her market day to Sands, Instagram store owner Yvette Williams from Adam & Yves held an auction and donated the proceeds, Mary Noonan held an Easter Egg Hunt, Annette Boyd from Mackay Base Hospital held a raffle, the QCWA Mackay gave support wherever they could.

 

Easter Egg Hunt and Raffle

Easter Egg Hunt and Raffle

A huge thank you goes to Zonta Mackay who donated $2000, which gave us the last push to get enough funds for the second Cuddle Cot.

Cheque Presentation at Sands Walk to Remember

Cheque Presentation at Sands Walk to Remember

Of course there was also the support from the Sands Mackay families who supported and gave in memory of their babies.

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Charlotte

 

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Chelsea

In August we purchased and delivered the first Cuddle Cot to Mackay Base Hospital. The local TV station, Channel 7 covered two stories about the Cot and our local group fundraising, helping increase awareness of the importance for support for bereaved parents and the role Sands plays in that support. The second cot was delivered to Mater Mackay and received by midwife Michelle Dodds. Both hospitals also received memory bags and bereavement clothing from the SandsQ Butterfly program.

Cuddle Cot donation to Mackay Base

Cuddle Cot donation to Mackay Base

 

Cuddle Cot donation to Mater Mackay

Cuddle Cot donation to Mater Mackay

 

Thank you to all who contributed to making this possible.

 

Further Information

Julie Thompson is a Sands Parent Supporter based in Mackay. Support meetings are held at the Mackay Women’s Centre the 4th Tuesday of each month. For more details go to this link HERE

The Mackay Walk to Remember is held each October as part of Pregnancy and Infant Loss Month. To find out when the next walk is visit the Sands Queensland Walk to Remember page HERE

Sign up to the Sands Queensland eNews for the Mackay region HERE

If you would like to fundraise for a Cuddle Cot at your hospital, contact events@sandsqld.org.au to find out how Sands can help.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In memory of Charlii

Guest post by Bree Hammond, Charlii’s Mum.

I found out I was pregnant with our second child on December 13th 2011. We couldn’t have been happier – an addition to our little family of myself, my husband Sean, and our Daughter Ellah (9 at the time, now 13).

I had my 18 week scan and the sonographer noticed something not quite right so I was sent back at 22 weeks to have another scan. I was ushered into a room with the head of the hospital…. it was a small town North Queensland hospital. It was there we found out that our baby was unwell and had a severe heart condition.

Eventually I was sent to a Brisbane hospital for scans and after many weeks, it was decided that we would move into Ronald McDonald house at 36 weeks for baby to be born, operated and assisted with the heart condition.

Over the weeks, we travelled fortnightly from home to Brisbane to have scans and relied on a fundraising event, family, friends and unknowns to assist in our travel and accommodation as I had to leave work at 12 weeks due to severe morning sickness.

At 32 weeks, the team of specialists decided that an amniocentesis was required. Once results came through, our baby was diagnosed with a genetic condition that only a handful within Australia are alive with this genetic disorder. The team of specialists decided that they would not operate on our baby’s heart.

We decided to have our baby at our local hospital where we were closer to home, and our family came to stay. We were told that our baby may live a few minutes or a few days… we organised the funeral before our child was even born. It was only days prior that we found out we were having a girl and had clothes handmade for her as she was smaller than other babies.

Bree Hammond

Our baby girl arrived at 2.13am on the 20th of July (our daughter Ellah was also born at 2.13am years prior). We named her Charlii Grae-Emma Indigo…. her heart was beating however she never took a breath and was therefore classified as stillborn.

I will never forget looking at my husband, holding his precious girl who we would never see grow.

Today, three and a half years later, we have our 13 year old daughter Ellah, and a little cheeky 2 and a half year old boy Junior, who both light up our every day and have assisted us in learning to not sweat the small things that occur in life.

I decided to have a fundraiser for Sands who greatly assisted all of us through the loss of Charlii and for months afterwards. Join us in the fun and win whilst raising money for Sands!

 

 

How do you join Bree’s Jamberry Bash for Sands?

Join her VIP group on Facebook HERE or

Order at breehammond.jamberry.com and help raise money for Sands by clicking on the Sands Fundraising party at checkout

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If you would like to fundraise for Sands Queensland, please email events@sadnsqld.org.au

Why do I keep talking about my baby?

Guest post by Lyndell Price, in memory of Charlotte Mabel.

This year will be Charlotte’s 4th birthday. Four years seems so long, yet no time at all. She is part of our daily lives still, in our thoughts and the things we do.

I recently took my second daughter to a playgroup. There were two sisters there, one about her age and the other about four, Charlotte’s age.  We watched as they chased each other around, giggling and exploring. We smiled as the bigger sister held out her hand for the younger and helped her climb up. That is when I realised ‘we’ were both watching. My youngest daughter was fascinated by these two and had such a wistful look on her face as she asked me ‘what’s that?’ and pointed to the two girls.

‘They are sisters sweetie’

I am reminded everyday with moments like these of what we will never have with Charlotte.

As I watch my second child, Rosie, grow and learn, I am reminded I will never watch Charlotte grow. Never see her delight in the new, hear the words ‘watch me Mummy’ and her hand will never reach out to mine as she asks me to help her.

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When I watch Rosie there is always a shadow there next to her in the shape of a girl, just a little older. I see Charlotte in the corner of my eye. She is there as we all cuddle in bed in the morning. She is there as we splash in the pool. She is there as we open Christmas presents, go on a holiday and when we visit family. She is there, but she is not.

She will never leave us. Her memory grows each year, just as she would.

That’s is why I keep talking about my baby.

 

 

 

Lyndell is currently fundraising for two Cuddle Cots for Mackay Base and Mater Mackay. To donate, please go to the link HERE

Links

Children and Grief – Sands Queensland

Caring for your your other children – Sands Australia

 

Do all things with Love

This Valentines Day Everyday Hero is donating $3500 to an organisation and you can help Sands Queensland be the recipient.

 What do you have to do?

Download Sands Queensland I LOVE beCAUSE sign or make your own.

Take a photo of yourself holding up a poster that reads I LOVE Sands Queensland because (why you love them).

Upload the photo to either Instagram or Twitter or post it onto the Everyday Hero Facebook wall. Remember to tag @everydayhero and #IlovebeCAUSE so your entry appears on the global ‘Wall of Love’. If you also tag your photo with #SandsQld we will reshare on Instagram (@SandsQueensland) and add to our album on Facebook (www.facebook.com/SandsQld).

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@everydayhero #IlovebeCAUSE #sandsqld

Guest post by Sands Queensland volunteer Lyndell Price, whose daughter Charlotte was stillborn.

I volunteer with Sands Queensland because I love my daughter. The love I have for her had nowhere to go, no baby to care for, no parties to plan, no cute outfits to wear. So for me, I pour that love into making a commitment to something that I know, first hand that makes a difference to parents whose child has died.

From the very beginning I needed to do something practical, so I made the commitment to come into the main office and help one day a week. That day gave me something to look forward to and an opportunity to step out of the house and focus on something other than the pain I was feeling. What I also found was it gave me the opportunity to meet other parents, to talk about my experience, listen to others and know that the grief I was feeling was completely normal. Grief comes from love, and I loved my daughter Charlotte very much. It was ok to keep on loving her.

I have been volunteering at Sands Queensland for just over 3 years now. In that time I have met many wonderful people and made life long friends. Through the support I have received, lesson I have learned from them and watching the amazing way their love for their baby drives them to give back I have grown as a person and found something for the first time in my life that I am truly passionate about.  It is an organisation and a family I am proud to be part of. I love Sands Queensland because it is a place I can love my daughter and use that love to help other parents.

What do you love about Sands Queensland?

* Update

Thank you to all who participated. Sands Queensland came third and received a $500 donation from Everyday Hero.

Here are our entrants

Anna-Leigh Burgess

Anna-Leigh Burgess

 

Dani Hall

Dani Hall

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Georgia Bedford

Georgia Bedford

Jen Miles

Jen Miles

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kym Marshall

Kym Marshall

Nerissa Healey

Nerissa Healey

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Penny Ten Brinke

Penny Ten Brinke

 

Sarah Kelly

Sarah Kelly

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sharon Louisson

Sharon Louisson

 

Sophia Miles

Sophia Miles