Mourn­ing mother shares loss

Marlborough Midweek - - FRONT PAGE - PAULA HUL­BURT

In her hand sits a fab­ric heart, its com­fort­ing heft the ex­act weight her pre­ma­ture baby daugh­ter was.

On her dresser, a small brown bear holds some of baby Aria’s ashes, the rest are worn in a spe­cial locket around her mother’s neck. Her fa­ther wears an­other. For Me­gan* it is sooth­ing to have her daugh­ter’s ashes so close. And fol­low­ing her or­deal, the 23-year-old says the sup­port of oth­ers who un­der­stand her sit­u­a­tion has been ‘‘in­valu­able’’.

She is en­cour­ag­ing oth­ers who have ex­pe­ri­enced the death of a baby to seek help deal­ing with their loss.

First-time mother Me­gan was heart­bro­ken af­ter her daugh­ter, Aria, was de­liv­ered still­born at just 17-weeks-old.

The Blen­heim woman had been at Wellington Hos­pi­tal where she was sched­uled to meet ma­ter­nal fe­tal medicine spe­cial­ists when she went into pre­ma­ture labour. Doc­tors and staff rushed to help, said Me­gan but her daugh­ter died in the womb.

What fol­lowed will haunt her al­ways, she says.

‘‘It’s a sen­si­tive sub­ject but one in four women go through it; there are so many peo­ple who have opened up to me about their losses, losses they had never men­tioned be­fore. I want peo­ple to know that they are not the only ones go­ing through this, peo­ple should be more open,’’ she says.

Marl­bor­ough SANDS vol­un­teer and be­reaved par­ent Anna Simp­son says the group is al­ways avail­able to those need­ing help.

For help and sup­port con­tact the preg­nancy, baby and in­fant loss sup­port group Marl­bor­ough SANDS sup­port net­work via San­dra Sang­ster on 027 488 1068 or 03 579 4212, Sarah Fis­senden on 027 275 7000 or Anna Simp­son on 03 577 7765 or 021 270 2662. Also visit sands.org.nz and hug­gable­hearts.co.nz.

*Names have been changed to pro­tect the iden­tity of the fam­ily in­volved.

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