Breaking the silence of infant loss

AFTER the devastating loss of her unborn son in a car accident last year, Trish Thomas vowed to do something to honour his life and memory.

The horror accident came a year after the Central Coast mother lost a baby through miscarriage.

 “When a baby dies, the grief is compounded because there are few memories, no stories – just nothing,” Mrs Thomas said. 

“For a majority of bereaved parents, there is just silence. From the ultrasound, the labour room, the family and friends. It can be deafening and so very isolating. It’s no wonder that many fall into depression and detach themselves from a world that won’t understand.”

Ten months after losing her son, Mrs Thomas created Choosing Hope, a remembrance walk to honour those little lives lost. The event, held for the first time last year, raised $10,000 for Choosing Hope and Bears of Hope, which prepares packages (including bears, support material and a keepsake book) for hospitals and GPs to offer when a family loses a baby. 

“People need to know their loss and grief and pain is valid and have it acknowledged,” Mrs Thomas said.

“Then they need to be cared for in the aftermath as they navigate this new reality.”

The mother of two girls said people needed to talk about miscarriage.

“Before my losses, I had only knew of one person losing a baby, my mum,” she said.

“So I assumed it was very uncommon. But afterwards, I quickly learnt that it is more common than I thought. Statistics show that one in four pregnancies end in miscarriage, eight babies are stillborn and nine newborns die each day in Australia. That’s a lot of loss and a lot of heartbroken families.”

People need to pre-register for the 2017 Choosing Hope walk, which is taking place on Sunday, October 15, from Saltwater Reserve, Long Jetty to Picnic Point, The Entrance. The cost is $20 per adult, $10 per child and $45 per family. Children under three are free and group discounts apply.

Registration on the day opens at 1.30pm and the walk starts at 2.30pm.

To register visit choosinghopecentralcoast2017.gofundraise.com.au