31 October 2013

Day 31 - Sunset

What a journey! I have been challenged, encouraged, supported and stretched while I have been writing my 31 day 'Capture Your Grief' journal. Thank you to everyone who has read my posts, 'liked' them and left comments, it has been very encouraging. To write is therapy, to have people read what I've written is liberating... a grief shared.
I have felt connected, part of a community, united sadly through the loss of our babies. We find strength by standing together, understanding through personal experience and love for each other through tender, broken hearts.
All of this is written in honour of the One who gave us life.
I also honour the memory of my precious baby girls Charlotte Rose & Abigail Faith- 
for without them there wouldn't be a story to tell.


The Sunset - Perth Western Australia
31st October, 6.40pm


30 October 2013

Day 30 - Change

One of life's most defining moments - the loss of a child, how can you not be changed?

Many times I have wondered where 'I' have gone??
My loss... has tilted the axis of my heart, allowing me to see the world from a slightly different angle. Those things that were invisible or unclear to me, have now come into focus. People... life... suffering... joy... grief. What can I do? How can I help? This clarity brings responsibility. I want to change because of them. Their lives were impacting.

They have made love richer, relationships important, heaven even more real, appreciation and thankfulness deeper and our love for God stronger.

My babies... I will be forever grateful for the gift of you and the difference you have made.

Oh how I love them...


29 October 2013

Day 29 - Healing...

A baby to hold and a balm to my heart...


A letter written to Charlotte - April 2012, shortly after the birth of Leah
 ~A heart torn between blessing and loss~ 

My darling girl, my pen is not dry, my heart has not forgotten and my mind has not finished with your story. 
An earthly glimpse reveals your new little sister - you now have 2 brothers and 3 sisters - one that is by your side throughout all eternity.
You will always be our 4th born child, our second daughter, forever etched into our family regardless of your address.
For the 9 months that your sister grew, I wrestled with carrying life and the loss of you. You, my sweet baby who never cried, I miss not having life with you.
The birth of your sister, a God-given gift brought a wail from my soul - one of thankfulness and sadness, as two worlds collided - life and loss.
I see you in her. Your face, your hands... I call her Charlotte, only to abruptly remember that she is not. My mind is confused as if someone is playing a trick on me.
All my children, a gift from God, meant to be, none replacing the other, each created for God's own purpose and glory. All loved, all wanted, all eternal.
My girl, my heart will always be scarred with the loss of you and filled with love for you.
Forever your Mummy xxx

28 October 2013

Day 28 - A Special Place to Remember ~ Charlotte

A special place....

My heart's the place that holds her.

From my heart...
I desired her... I loved her... I prayed for her... I wanted her...

It was my heart that broke with the loss of her.

And it is with all my heart that I will forever love and remember my precious little girl.

Together we remember Charlotte at the place where we feel closest to her - her resting place. 
Peaceful... and full of natural beauty.

And at the beach near by, as the sun sets... we remember... 

27 October 2013

Day 27 - Signs

27. Signs: If you believe in life after death do you believe your child has ways of contacting you? Have you had any signs?

Yes, I believe in life eternal, in heaven and in the One who created us.

I believe that I will be reunited with my babies one day...

While I wait... I imagine them dancing in the courts of heaven, singing with the angels, laughing and playing with each other and their friends. I imagine them surrounded by beauty and filled with love, joy, freedom and contentment, alive and well, whole and healed.

I imagine what I believe to be true.

I love watching the sun set over the ocean, thinking about my babies lost. Not long ago, as we were watching the last of the sun's rays pierce through the clouds, I turned to my children and said, "Look, the doors of heaven!"

"I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me." 2 Samuel 12:23

The door of heaven!

This heart-shaped cloud appeared in the sky after Charlotte's Memorial Service.
I felt His love for me in that moment.

26 October 2013

Day 25 - The Baby Loss Community

This community brings:

Understanding through personal experience
Heartfelt empathy
A listening ear
Wisdom to navigate the path of grief
An outlet, an audience
Truth and honesty
Realness - no masks here
Respect for each other

I am so grateful for this community -
It is a privilege to walk the journey along side you...

25 October 2013

Day 25 - 'SAY IT OUT LOUD'

#SayItOutLoud: Say It Out Loud is The STILL Project’s famous hashtag. STILL is a feature-length documentary film project aimed at breaking the cycle of silence surrounding pregnancy and infant loss. If you could say anything out loud about your journey with grief with the death or your baby, what would it be? What do you want the world to know? Is there a cause that touches your heart that you want to raise awareness for?

Life is a journey that we travel through together, in relationship with each other. We travel with family, friends, colleagues, acquaintances, teams, groups, congregations, authorities, employees... we are surrounded by people on our journey through life.
So then... why are the hardest times in life often the loneliest? Why is grief so isolating, so desolate?
Everyone hurts. At some stage, everyone will experience loss and grief. So why can't we (myself included) travel this part of life's journey together, in relationship with each other?
So I would like to 'SAY OUT LOUD' - that it's time to change the way we respond to people in grief and in pain. We all have the power to choose how we are going to respond.* It's time to stop hiding in fear of not knowing what to say of do. It's time to acknowledge 'them' despite how uncomfortable we may feel. It's time that we offered ourselves and our time, even though a lot of the time may be spent in silence.
Let's enter into each other's pain. Let's walk the journey of life together as we were intended to do. Let's support each other. Let's take the good with the bad, the joy and the grief, the ugly and the beautiful. That's what life is about...


Doing Life Together...

'When we honestly ask ourselves which person in our lives means the most to us, we often find that it is those who, instead of giving much advice, solutions, or cures, have chosen rather to share our pain and touch our wounds with a gentle and tender hand. The friend who can be silent with us in a moment of despair or confusion, who can stay with us in an hour of grief and bereavement, who can tolerate not knowing, not curing, not healing and face with us the reality of our powerlessness, that is a friend who cares.'    Henri Nouwen - Grief and Grace by Amanda Axelby

(*) The Shaming of the Strong - Sarah Williams

24 October 2013

Day 24 - Artwork

I miss you
I think about you
I remember the day you were born.
I recall the uncertain days leading up to your birth
and the painful days afterwards.
I look at the tiny clothes you wore
spread out next to my bed.
I look at the photo I keep on the fridge
of you in my arms.
I write about our journey together on my blog.
I talk about you regularly.
I feel lost without you here with me, it is unnatural.
I do the things that need to be done
even though my heart is hurting.
For 11 weeks and 2 days
I've missed you
I wrote 'Everyday' on Charlotte's due date.
My writing is my artwork, my way of creatively expressing my grief.

My brother drew this picture of a 'Charlotte' rose for the front cover of
Charlotte's memorial booklet.


23 October 2013

Day 23 - Jewellery

We arrived at the church early, I felt hurried and tense, it was the day of my baby's funeral. We waited quietly in a side room as people arrived. The funeral director gently averted my attention to the little white casket waiting in the corner of the room. It was time to say goodbye... 
As we were holding her, we fastened a tiny chain with a broken pendant around her neck. On it, we had engraved the word 'Mummy'. I wear the other half.
It is a physical reminder of a love lost, of a heart broken and of a piece of it that's missing...


22 October 2013

Day 22 - Words

For you created my inmost
you knit me together in my mother's womb.
I praise you because I am
fearfully and wonderfully
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
My frame was not hidden from
when I was made in the
secret place.
When I was woven together in
the depths of the
your eyes saw my unformed
All the days ordained for me
were written in you book
before one of them came to

 ~Psalm 139:13-16 ~

I love these words.
God knew my babies.
He created them for His purpose.
The number of their days were in His hands.

21 October 2013

Day 21 - Honour

It is an honour to be a mother. A mother to children who live with me and a mother to children in heaven.

I have honoured the memory of my girls by making their story known @ 'We Dreamed of You'. Even though their lives were short, they were significant and impacting.

We also honour them by:
Celebrating them, their anniversaries and birthdays.
Participating in a 'Walk to Remember'.
Delivering gift boxes to the hospital for families who have lost babies.
Visiting their resting places.

Their siblings honour them when they publically correct me saying that I have 4 children instead of 6.

We honour them every time we speak their name -

Charlotte Rose & Abigail Faith
we will forever honour the memory of you, simply because you are ours.
Charlotte's Memorial Day - April 2011

20 October 2013

Day 20 - Hope

I hope that  -
Charlotte's life will continue to make an impact and a difference.

I hope that -
I will be able to help and encourage others on their journey.

I hope that -
resources, organisations and communities will continue to grow and flourish in order to help families who have suffered the loss of a baby/child.

"...but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint." Isaiah 40:31

Day 19 - Support

It is difficult in the early days when grief is raw to connect with people. I felt like I was living in a bubble, disconnected with reality and suspended in time. Texts and comments on my blog became my lifeline to the outside world. It was good to know friends were there for me even though I couldn't make contact with them yet.

As I got stronger, I wanted talk to about my baby and my grief. My world was 'Charlotte' and she was all I wanted to think about. I deeply appreciated those who entered into my pain, as it wasn't the most comfortable place to be.

At times, I lamented over the silence which seemed to surround me. Grief can be a lonely place. Grief surrounding the loss of a baby particularly so.

My blog brought a lot of healing to me. It provided me with a way to put my deep pain into words. I needed to communicate, to tell my story, to make it known. People could read it if they wanted to, but simply knowing that someone was reading it was enough. I also desired to connect with others through my blog, who were walking a similar path to mine.

"The best way to help people in grief, I have realised, is not to try to pull them out, not to try and make them better, but just climb down, take their hands, and sit with them awhile. Let them cry, and cry some more." Anna Hogbin from Grief and Grace - Amanda Axelby

18 October 2013

Day 18 - Release

I don't feel any bitterness, anger, guilt... in regards to my babies lost.

I am deeply thankful for the path that we chose to walk after my 12 week scan...

We chose to let God be the 'giver and taker' of our baby's life. We committed the difficult days ahead to God and let Him make the decision as to how long our baby would live.

"All the days ordained for me were written in Your book before one of them came to be." Psalm 139:16

God in His mercy gave Charlotte 28.5 weeks of life and He gave us the opportunity to meet her, hold her, love her and then... release her into His everlasting arms.

'HE' released me.

17 October 2013

Day 17 - Time

"Many grieving parents speak of a wish for time to stand still, a desire to be suspended in time, because the pain of moving from here is too hard." Amanda Axelby

The rhythmic hands of time, tick... tick... tick...
Relentlessly marching forward...
Not stopping, pausing or slowing for a moment
...it leaves me behind in my pain.

Caught in a vacuum of grief,
I can not keep up time's frantic pace, nor do I want to.
My heart belongs in April 2010,
It is there that I'm with her.

But time succeeds in tearing me away,
Removing me from the moment.
It takes me a million moments away...
From where I want to be.

I've been taken three and a half years away -
From that moment in time.
Has 'time' helped to heal all wounds -
Like the saying goes..?

Despite the measure of time against me
It can not change the simple fact -
That she was my baby, my child, my family.
Wounds, now scars remain as evidence of her existence.

Time can not take away the impact that she had,
Or the reality that she was here.
Our fourth born child, a part of us,
Now alive where 'time' does not even matter.

A moment in time - the time of Charlotte's birth

16 October 2013

Day 16 - Seasons

My favourite season is Autumn...
The cooler, shorter days; trees awash with colour - purples, deeps reds, browns; wind, falling leaves, clouds, changes in the weather, blankets out of storage, jumpers.
April marks the turning point...
The heat dies off and the sun leaves at a respectable hour. I love these changes.
A beautiful time of year to remember my sweet baby's birth - April 14
L    O    V    E
'There is a time for everything, and a season for everything under heaven.' Ecc 3:1
Sunset at Mullaloo Beach, Perth - April 14, 2013


Day 15 - Day of Remembrance

15. Wave Of Light: Today is October 15th Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day. Light a candle at 7pm to help create a continuous wave of light around the world for 24 hours. Photograph your light! Please remember to share your location for this day as well. Wishing you all a ton of love for this sacred day of remembrance. Carly Marie @ Capture Your Grief
Remembering my baby girls today & always...
Charlotte Rose - April 14 2010
Abigail - January 25 2011
"May the Lord keep watch between you and me when we are away from each other." - Genesis 31:49

14 October 2013

Day 15 - International Babyloss Remembrance Day


Day 14 - Family

What our family looks like...
Ethan, Leah (holding Charlotte's heart), Caleb (holding Abigail's heart), Mikayla
 Mum & Dad in the reflection ;)

What our family really looks like...
Mikayla (2003)---Ethan (2005)---Caleb (2008)---Charlotte (2010)---Abigail (2011)---Leah (2012)
 Forever a part of us...
"Can a mother forget the baby...the child she has borne? (Isaiah 49:15)
"Sometimes when one person is missing, the whole world seems depopulated." Alphonse DeLamartine
A white heart for miscarriage
A pink heart for stillbirth

13 October 2013

Day 13 - A Helpful Book

Written by Amanda Axelby, 2007

I highly recommend this book to anyone who has lost a baby or is supporting a family who has.
It is a story about Amanda's personal journey of loss - the birth and death of her daughter Grace. Although Amanda's story is incredibly sad and painful, it was an encouragement and a blessing to me. I related and identified with her grieving heart. I often referred back to this book as I began writing my own story of loss. I quoted from it regularly. Along with her personal story, Amanda has included resources, practical help and ideas and stories of others people's losses. Amanda's story is written from a Christian perspective. She refers to Jesus as her source of comfort and hope.


12 October 2013

Day 12 - An Article

The article that meant the most to me during my journey was one that I read during a hospital stay while pregnant with Charlotte. I found it in a Billy Graham Decision Magazine and the title of it was "Is God Really in Control? - Trusting God in Times of Adversity by Jerry Bridges (April 2008).

The article began by reflecting on some of the disasters that have affected the world over the past decade - tsunamis, earthquakes, floods, famines, terrorists attacks.... and the question that seems to naturally arise out of these calamities - Where is God in all of this?

The article included this verse from the Bible, "Consider what God has done: Who can straighten out what He has made crooked?" (Ecc 7:13) Could I trust God even if He chose not to make my 'crooked' path straight? What if He didn't heal my baby? As I read the article, I considered the Bible verses I came across that talked of God's Sovereignty. "Who can speak and have it happen if the Lord has not decreed it? Is it not from the mouth of the Most High that both calamities and good things come?" (Lam 3:37-38)

God could heal my baby, I believed that without a doubt. But would He? Regardless of the answer, would I trust His decision?

This article challenged me to 'work out' my faith. It is an ongoing process, a lifelong journey. I believe that God in His Sovereignty holds all things in His hands, for He is the Creator of all things. This gave me comfort. Charlotte's diagnosis didn't take Him by surprise. He was and is in control of my life and Charlotte's life, our lives were in His hands. We also live in a broken world and brokenness is unfortunately a part of every human being's life. But... we are not alone in our pain...I believe God himself hurts with us. Jesus cried with His friends when their brother Lazarus died, He understands it because He has felt it. I believe that God hates death. He went to extraordinary measures to rescue us from it and from our brokenness and pain.

I had a choice to make. I chose to bow my knee and trust in the God of the Universe. God gave me the assurance that He was enough, and the hope that I would be reunited with Charlotte one day.

One day we will be able to step out of the fog of our circumstances and see...
What He had purposed we will understand.

Until then... He is God. The God of the mountain and the valley. And He holds my future.

11 October 2013

Day 11 - Emotional Triggers

Photos bring memories into clear focus. Especially memories wrapped up in strong emotions.

There is a box that sits in my study cupboard. It contains a pile of photos, an album, scrapbooking papers and some accessories.

My desire... to create an album in honour of Charlotte. An album which tells her story, an album for our family to look at, read and remember. I really want to do this for her...

For 3 years I have been trying... but I'm not really getting anywhere. Each time I reach for the box, I enter into an old, predictable cycle, similar to that of a washing machine - pre soak, wash, rinse, wash, rinse, spin. My cycle includes - photos, memories, overwhelming feelings, panic, leave the room, wait a few weeks, go back, pack away. Even writing about this cycle of mine sets the panic rising. How do I make progress let alone finish?

I really want to do this for her...

10 October 2013

Day 10 - I Believe...

I believe...
In heaven and in eternity,
That my babies are more alive than me.

I believe...
That they were created for His good purpose,
That they were intended, they were meant to be.

I believe...
That they are loved beyond our comprehension,
That they are cherished and are filled with joy.

I believe...
That one day we will be reunited,
And life's finished tapestry we'll see.

09 October 2013

Day 9 - Music - We Dreamed of You

While  we were in hospital awaiting the birth of our baby girl, the staff gave us a package to look through and inside this package was a CD. Interested, I put it on and listened to it over and over again...
The music was beautiful and the words... told my story...

We were travelling down the road of life
When we learned that we would have a child
Emotions overwhelmed us,
Surprise, turned to love and joy.

Plans were made for your arrival,
We changed the house around to suit your needs.
We made space for your crib, soft toys, for everything,
We'd bought for you.

We wanted you.
We dreamed about you
Sweet child of ours
We'll pray for you.
And everyday you are in me,
I love you so much
Sweet child of ours,
We'll pray for you.

Then the time went by so slowly,
I felt you grow and move inside me.
Each day that you were in me,
I prayed for you.

Then that day arrived, I'll never forget,
When we learned that we would lose you,
I can't explain, how I felt at that time,
But I just cried.

I love you so much,
Sweet child of ours,
We pray for you.

The words were hard to hear, but they were also a blessing, because this song put my thoughts and feelings into words. I knew I would play this song at Charlotte's funeral. Devon Plumley, a midwife, wrote this song. She had been a singer and pianist for many years and she created it in an attempt to understand grief and loss through lyrics and music.

08 October 2013

Day 8 -The Colour That Reflects Her...

Pink for a girl
Light for a baby
The colour of roses
Feminine and
It's the colour of our little girl -
Charlotte Rose 

07 October 2013

Day 7 - Where I Am Now

My heart carries the scar from the loss of her, torn twice through with the loss of them. It's an ugly scar, the result of deep pain. It's there bearing witness to the journey.

I wouldn't say that this is the end of the road because it feels like it's a new road, a road I diverted down one day in December '09. That day marks one of life's defining moments, when life as I knew it shifted and changed. I have grown and learnt and changed because of it - my focus sharper, my heart softer.

I was knocked down, but I'm not defeated. I have cried many tears but hope has comforted me. For I believe that my babies live on in the presence of their Saviour. Their joy unending, their love divine. Had Charlotte lived, hers would be a journey fraught with disability and pain. Yet our merciful God took her home and made her whole again.

I believe beyond doubt that I will see them again... it's only a matter of time. Until then I will rest in the knowledge that my girls are perfectly happy growing and dancing in the courts of heaven and that...  allows me to smile again.

Me now

06 October 2013

Day 6 - Rituals

Remembrances of you are a part of me - engraved on my heart for always.

When we stand on the shore-side of heaven, watching the sky as the sun sets, it feels like heaven's reaching down in the moment. Sun spills through the clouds as they part, the sky is radiant. Did I just witness the door of your glorious home?

We visit your resting place knowing you are not there, but it's that feeling of being as close as we can to you that draws us.

Your birthday is celebrated and rightfully so. The day you were born marks your birth-day. Our celebration though is of a different kind - we celebrate "you" - our daughter, our sister, but you are not there to celebrate with us...

We also light candles on special occasions... an outward demonstration of our desire for you to be there too, in your rightful place as a member of our family.

However I don't need rituals to remember you... because you are a part of me - engraved on my heart for always.

05 October 2013

Day 5 - Memories

I knew from very early on that my pregnancy was not going to end well. Therefore many of my memories are etched with sadness and pain. These memories include - the day of her diagnosis, her declining health, her stillbirth, leaving the hospital without her, her funeral and living life without her.

These difficult memories are also clothed in love. A love that could not and would not give up despite the prognosis. A love that forever binds a mother to her daughter. A love that endures despite her child's absence.

My memories... both bitter and sweet

04 October 2013

Day 4 - Her Legacy

Even though she did not take a breath, our baby Charlotte has left a legacy in many ways...

Because of her, the axis of my heart has been forever altered, tilted off centre. This is not necessarily a bad thing, it's just different. My grief, my loss(es) have been so profound, so deep.
Like an earthquake they rocked me to my very core. How could I not be changed?
The world looks and feels different now. My vision altered, I see people and situations from a different angle, a new perspective. It's like my glasses have new lenses. What was once important, now holds a different value.
I have wondered where "I" have gone and when the "old me" will return, but I have come to realise that this is a new path, one that I would not have chosen, yet one that I must now walk. I will follow the One whom I believe is gently leading me. It is a permanent shift. Once altered, how can a heart return to how it once was?

by big sister Mikayla
Her footprints are also forever engraved into our family tree, along with her little sister Abigail's.

These are only some of them....

03 October 2013

Day 3 - Myths About Grief

Best if we leave them alone... 

A painting by Mikayla
Portraying a girl drowning in her grief, while those around her
give her the space that they think she may need.

The best way to help people in grief, I have realised,
is not to try to pull them out, not to try and make them better,
 but just to climb down, take their hands, and sit with them awhile.
Let them cry, and cry some more.

Anna Hogbin - Lennox Heads, NSW, Australia
Taken from Grief and Grace - A Journey Through Pregnancy Loss - Amanda Axelby

02 October 2013

Day 2 - Identity

Charlotte Rose
April 14 2010
28.5 weeks
Child of mine
His princess
Remembered always
Loved immensely
Tiny baby
Treasured memories
Enduring legacy

Our heart's desire
Eternity resides

01 October 2013

Day 1 - Sunrise

 We can only appreciate the miracle of a sunrise if we have waited in the darkness... (Author unknown) 

Sunrise in Perth Western Australia - 1st October 2013 - 5:55am

1267 sunrises
between you and I...
1267 sunrises
closer to you again.
The circle of life...
is marked by sunrises.

"The heavens declare the glory of God;
the skies proclaim the works of His hands."
Psalm 19:1

25 September 2013

The October Project

I am looking forward to taking part in this 31 day photo journal throughout October.
Through this journal I will be exploring what grief looks like for me after 3 and a half years.

14 April 2013



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