Topics:  babies, family, grief, health, loss, miscarriage, pregnancy

Each step a loving memory of beautiful lives lost too soon

Vanessa Barry and her partner Jason Williams with their children Chloe and Travis at the Walk to Remember.
Vanessa Barry and her partner Jason Williams with their children Chloe and Travis at the Walk to Remember. Warren Lynam

NOT a day goes by without Vanessa Barry thinking of the two babies she lost.

Isabell and Hayden died during pregnancy - Isabell last August at 20 weeks gestation and Hayden this year, only three weeks before Ms Barry was due to give birth.

They are losses that are hard to accept, difficult to fathom and impossible to forget.

Ms Barry, her husband Jason and their children Chloe and Travis yesterday paid tribute to their missing family members during a Walk to Remember at the Maroochy Botanic Gardens.

The walk, held to acknowledge babies lost through miscarriage, stillbirth or newborn death, was a first for the Coast and held in conjunction with International Pregnancy and Infant Loss day. SANDS (miscarriage, stillbirth and newborn death support) representative Emma Malthouse, who suffered the loss of her son six years ago, organised the event to raise awareness about infant death.

"A Walk to Remember signifies the steps the babies will never take," Mrs Malthouse said.

"It's not just to support these families, but also to raise awareness within the wider community.

"I have elderly people here that have had a loss 30 years ago and they have never spoken of it.

"For some people they didn't even have a funeral, no acknowledgment, and have never been able to really deal with it."

Seven babies are lost to stillbirth or newborn death every day in Australia.

In most cases, there is nothing that a mother or a medical physician could have done to prevent the death.

"I lost Hayden at 32 weeks," Ms Barry said.

"I had a placenta eruption and just didn't make it to the hospital in time.

"It hit us both pretty hard. We were over the 30-week mark and were saying, 'Yes. Nothing's going to happen, nothing's going to go wrong' and then our world was turned upside down again."

Ms Barry said she wanted other parents to know they were not alone and to seek support through SANDS.

To contact SANDS phone 1300 072 637.



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