Supporting children through literature after the loss of their sibling

Toni Watson 

Supporting children through literature after the loss of their sibling    


My Blog

The Highs and Lows

Posted by Toni on December 1, 2012 at 10:00 PM Comments comments (3)

It's taken me a week to sit down and write this new blog entry because of the rollercoaster ride I found myself  up and down on again.

Just one week ago, on Friday 23rd November, I was booked in for my nuchal scan. This was the first time I've been for this scan and I suppose because I am now 36, it is warranted. Waz and I drove down to New Lambton, anxiously.

I arrived with a painful bladder and a tad excitement anticipating the view of our baby, but it was more the nerves pounding my stomach and increasing my heart rate that were taking over this situation.

We were called in by the ultrasound technician who was really lovely asking questions that were simply answered, but then hitting me with the "what number baby is this?" 9 "How many do you have at home" ..........1. It hit like a tonne of bricks and I sucked it all in to try and persuade my tears not to fall. In that moment I yearned for my babies in heaven.

Our baby didn't move as she was scanning and taking images. It was all curled up and faced into the placenta but we could see it's strong little heart beat beating away (163bpm). I loved that sight and the sound of it. Music to my ears, reassuring me in that moment that our baby was doing well.. The technician, continued doing her measurements and checking out our baby quietly. We found out the placenta is sitting on the front of my uterus with this pregnancy. I wondered if it was a boy or a girl. (We are not going to find out).

The technician asked me to go and relieve my pain and come back for further scanning.  It sounds silly but in that moment I thought there must be something wrong. I went to the toilet thinking what am I going to walk back into that room to hear? However, our baby didn't seem to have much room to move and she wanted to get some really good photo's for us to keep. With an empty bladder, our baby moved around freely, which brought the biggest smiles to our faces and to our hearts.

Before we left the room, I caught the measurements of the fluid behind the neck . As soon as we got out into the waiting area to see the Dr for the results, I immediately googled the fluid measurements for Down Syndrome. I couldn't wait to hear from the Dr, so it was a relief to read up that we were in low risk.

We walked out of that appointment with photo's, video footage and a result that puts us in low risk for certain abnomalities. But most importantly, we walked out of that appointment with more excitement and hope in our hearts for this precious growing baby. For me, another milestone achieved that I can gratefully tick off.

So this was a wonderful result for 12 1/2 wks gestation. The lead up to such milestones is alway fraught with more worry for me because of not knowing the outcome, not knowing how I will react, worrying about what the future may hold.  Yes, I probably put myself through the wringer, but for me its treading cautiously trying to protect myself if something awful was to happen again. We can never prepare ourselves entirely for something awful, but I have been let down so many times I know not to go in expecting life will turn out exactly how i want it to.

Over the next few days I was on a high, despite reeling from all day  sickness. Nights are still my enemy.

On Monday 26th November I had a routine appointment organised with my Obstetrician. I was looking forward to sharing the results with my dr. This was the second time I have seen him and I automatically felt comfortable under his care, with my history. He listens, shows concern, and goes out of his way to make me feel reassured and confident. We have already planned that I will be having a c-section at 39 wks because of the high risk of uterine rupture. I hated the recovery of a c-section with Isabella but I will do anything to bring a baby safe into this world.

He popped me up onto the bed and started searching for the heartbeat with a doppler. I had no idea he was going to do this. I know very little about how soon you can hear a heartbeat with these devices, however 10min later he is still searching for it amongst the beat of my own.

I was intently watching my dr's face for anything that may suggest he's found it or worse, that he's worried. I got nothing. He looked relaxed which I tried to replicate my thoughts with. I couldn't look at Waz without mustering all the courage I had as to not let him know I was panicking (thank goodness he was with me!) and kept saying to myself it was only a few days earlier that our baby  was ok. It still has to be!

My OB wasn't having any luck. By then I was starting to feel sick. He organised for us to meet him at the hospital in half an hour (go home and drink lots of water). I got home and burst into tears. What if it wasn't ok? What if our baby had died?

I couldn't get down there and onto the machine soon enough. The screen wasn't in view so I watched Waz's face as he began to scan me. My OB turned the machine and showed me my baby with its little heart beating away. The relief that swept over me was strengthening and gave me that little more hope I needed in my day. Needless to say i informed by OB I didn't want him to use that doppler again for quite some time!

I am now 13 wks 4days into my pregnancy. It has been an awful first trimester with all day sickness and just feeling yuck and tired for the most part. It's been worse than I experienced with my twins and Isabella but I feel I am just older now and don't cope aswell.  All wonderful signs too! I feel like I have hibernated away from the world. I am so looking forward (and hopefully the day arrives) to when this nauseousness disappears so that I can start enjoying food again, so that I can make a decision on what I want for dinner that won't come back up again.

But that is enough of my rant about morning sickness. I just hope I can start enjoying this pregnancy at some point, but realistically the ups and downs of it probably won't allow me to, as I still have a few more milestones to get through to bring this beautiful baby home in my arms.








The Unknown

Posted by Toni on November 3, 2012 at 7:35 PM Comments comments (3)

I have decided to blog the next chapter of my life, although i'm sure I will easily delve into my history along the way :) I will provide you with a bit more of an insight into my life as a mother, bereaved mother, author and co-founder of Bears Of Hope Pregnancy & Infant Loss Support.

I am currently 9 wks and 3 days pregnant with my 9th precious baby. I've heard and felt alot of excitement and congratulations surrounding this little one already from close family and friends. However, I look at that number and so many emotions fill my heart and my soul.


I cry for my 7 babies who live in heaven, I hug and hold closer my beautiful and divine 7 year old, who I am absolutely and knowingly blessed to have, and I terrifyingly worry about this baby. I worry if this baby is developmentally "normal", I worry about the outcome of giving birth naturally or having another caesarian, and I worry about all the things that can go wrong right up until after birth.  Plain and simple, I worry if this baby is going to come home in my loving arms. I know too much...I see too much in this often cruel world. Will I be blessed with this ultimate gift?

Any parent who has ever lost a child will tell you what a true miracle it is to walk out of those hospital doors with a baby who is alive. Any parent who has ever lost a child will tell you that the safe arrival of a healthy baby is unknown.

We can only hope and pray that all goes to plan.

1 in 4 pregnancies end in loss with 6 babies stillborn every single day in Australia.


With these harrowing statistics and my torturous pregnancy history, it is the unknown life of this precious little baby, that I fear, because I have absolutely no control over this. All I can do is muster all the courage I can to address day by day and attempt to savour every moment I have with this darling little baby I have affectionately and currently named, The Blob.


I hope you enjoy reading my blogs and learning a little more about pregnancy after multiple losses. Over the next 6 1/2 months you will read about the rollercoaster ride of this rainbow pregnancy and hopefully I am still sane by the end of it :)