About the Glimmer Team
Meet Dr Ashleigh Smith...
"Welcome dear friend. I'm so sorry you're here but I'm glad we have found each other.
Like you, I’ve suffered great loss and pain. More than I ever thought I could survive. Like you, I was left completely decimated after my daughter Isla passed away unexpectedly. My heart and my soul felt broken. My friends and family couldn’t quite relate to what I was experiencing - I felt they just couldn’t reach me and at times I just felt so alone.
So here we are. You and I. Connecting over our greatest sorrow - the loss of our baby.
Having worked as a medical doctor in Obstetrics for many years – I know the great highs and the crushing lows of childbirth. I’ve witnessed the great spectrum motherhood has to offer and have sadly joined this club that no one ever wanted to be a part of. But I promise you - it is the most compassionate and loving group of people that want to support you and understand what it feels like to walk this path.
My mission in creating this project, podcast and program is to share the evidence-based gems I have collected along my own journey, and foster a small community of support, kindness and safety for you. I want to help you to come through this with as much psychological stability, compassion and connection with your self and others – your confidential and secure support group will help you to navigate and weather the triggers and hardships to come. Glimmer will honour you and your beloved baby/babies.
Don’t let the darkness swallow you, don’t let yourself do this alone.
May you find connection
May you find acceptance
May you be happy
Meet Liana Quinlivan
- Our very own and beloved specialist bereavement midwife and fellow warrior Mum. She runs the online Glimmer Program
" Welcome to Glimmer. I hope this is a space of refuge for you. A little about me…
I have been a midwife for 15 years.
The year I graduated midwiffery happened to be the year my sister gave birth to her first baby 'Isaac' who tragically died soon after he was born due to unsuspected complications transitioning from the womb to the outside. It was a complete shock and for many months following felt lost in a fog. I delayed starting my midwifery career while I considered if I was actually cut out to be a midwife. His death completely rocked my world.
I always remained interested in supporting families whose baby had died- especially after witnessing (and experiencing) the many layers of grief of Isaacs death. 7 years into my career I applied for a job as a Bereavement midwife and never looked back. It was now my turn to support families in those horrific days following their baby’s death. Sometimes families knew their baby was going to die and my role was to help with the planning. I sat with families as they birthed their silent babies and we carefully took photos, inked their hands and feet to create life long memories for families to hold. Through this time I also recognized the need to support families in a pregnancy after a loss. I created an antenatal clinic, specializing in known midwifery care to help parents prepare for another baby.
This role won my heart and will forever be an area I love working in. In 2005 I finally met a man and we planned a wedding and babies. The path was a challenge and we needed IVF. I moved away from my bereavement role to see healthy babies being born- to help my soul heal a little and trust that I could have a healthy baby of my own. But sadly I found out on an ultrasound that my baby had a bone growth disorder and would never survive beyond my womb. Audrey “Dot” (we call her “Dot” as that was her nickname during the pregnancy after seeing her embryo on a screen that looked just like a dot) was born at 23 weeks. She lived for about 15 minutes on my chest. The most precious and heartbreaking moment of my life. It happened to me. The irony was too much. It felt so surreal to be the bereavement midwife who was planning for her daughters death. I sunk into the deepest place following her death. I cried guttural tears at the injustice of it all. 9 weeks after Dot was born I was desperate to be pregnant again.
I needed a baby in my arms- it was all that kept me going. We implanted another embryo and much to my disbelief- it took! Hazel was born at term, healthy and alive after what I think was possibly the most stressful time of my life! A pregnancy after loss…well I thought I knew what it might be like! What a roller coaster of emotions that was! But worth every minute to have Hazel safely in my arms.
So you’ll see my name pop up in the Glimmer online support group. My role in the group is to guide the group as it unfolds by helping everyone get to know each other (& their stories), suggest grief concepts & ideas to consider, help navigate the confusing and unpredictable roller coaster the grief is…& perhaps provide some comfort that I am someone who has survived the death of a baby…& a rainbow pregnancy.
More from Glimmer Project on Instagram…