Meet our specialist bereavement midwife and fellow warrior mum
"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 midwifery 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 recognised the need to support families in a pregnancy after a loss. I created an antenatal clinic, specialising 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."
Journey with those who understand, learn practical skills that build resilience,
and find hope after loss