MUM’S AGONY NEVER STOPS

Month for in­fant loss aware­ness

Stanthorpe Border Post - - FRONT PAGE -

IT’S been 19 years since Nat and Remo Rac­canello lost their daugh­ter.

The cou­ple have con­structed a memo­rial gar­den gar­den to re­mem­ber Emily, Emily, but theh tragedy off their loss is still the h hard­est ordeal they’ve been forced to en­dure.

“It was the worst time of our lives, there’s no doubt about that,” Nat said. “Just that empty feel­ing.”

Oc­to­ber marks Preg­nancy and In­fant Loss Aware­ness Month and Mrs Rac­canello said seek­ing so­lace in sup­port was the best thing you could do.

CHRIST­MAS is in­tended to be the most joy­ous time of the year but for Nat Rac­canello and her fam­ily, it’s a painful re­minder of a daugh­ter they lost.

Dur­ing her first preg­nancy, Nat and hus­band Remo walked into the hos­pi­tal an­tic­i­pat­ing they’d leave with a beau­ti­ful baby daugh­ter.

They left shat­tered as Emily was still­born.

Oc­to­ber is Preg­nancy and In­fant Loss Aware­ness Month and Ms Rac­canello has opened up about that day and the en­su­ing heartache.

“It was the worst time of our lives, there’s no doubt about that,” she said.

“Just that empty feel­ing. You go into the hos­pi­tal ex­pect­ing to have your first baby and to walk out with noth­ing – it was the hard­est thing we’ve ever done.

“So it’s 19 years this com­ing Christ­mas since Emily passed away.

“I was full term.

“It was a bit of a shock – not some­thing you ever think would hap­pen to you.”

The Rac­canel­los have had two healthy chil­dren since – So­phie and Adam – but the pain still lingers.

“I found sup­port at the time through other mums who’d come to me who’d also lost ba­bies,” she said.

“I think other peo­ple don’t know what to say to you ei­ther be­cause it’s like a taboo sub­ject.

“The months af­ter Emily died, peo­ple would see me and they’d cross the road be­cause they just don’t know what to say, which I un­der­stand.

“I don’t think los­ing a child will ever go away. It’s al­ways with you.

“I got preg­nant with So­phie about eight months af­ter los­ing Emily – it was a very, very stress­ful time.”

The fam­ily cre­ated beauty out of tragedy – Ms Rac­canello’s fa­ther cre­ated a gar­den in Emily’s hon­our.

“We had her 18th birth­day

You think how hor­ri­ble it’d be but the re­al­ity is 10,000 times worse.

— Nat Rac­canello

cel­e­bra­tion out there last year,” she said.

The only so­lace she found af­ter los­ing Emily was through talk­ing to moth­ers who suf­fered sim­i­lar fates.

“I had two ladies who con­tacted me who’d lost ba­bies at full term so that was prob­a­bly the best sup­port I had,” Ms Rac­canello said.

“They came to me and helped me.

“Over the years there’s been more ba­bies in Stan­thorpe that have been lost so I’ve tried to give back

and con­tacted the mums and hope­fully I’ve helped them.

“You just don’t re­alise.

You think how hor­ri­ble it’d be – but the re­al­ity is 10,000 times worse.”

More re­cently, the Com­pas­sion­ate Friends Sup­port Group has been a god­send for her.

“I guess we’re lucky in Stan­thorpe with it be­ing

such a small com­mu­nity that ev­ery­one knows ev­ery­one and it’s a very sup­port­ive com­mu­nity,” she said.

“To speak to some­one who knows what you’re feel­ing or what you’ve been through is re­ally im­por­tant.

“It’s pretty ca­sual sort of meet­ings – we just go for a meal at the Cen­tral or some­thing like that.”

The group isn’t just for mums, it’s open to any­body who has suf­fered the loss of a loved one.

PHOTO: MATTHEW PUR­CELL

PHOTO: MATTHEW PUR­CELL

SHAR­ING: Nat Rac­canello says as­sist­ing oth­ers has helped put a smile back on her face.

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