The month of June, I look forward to it but I also dread it. I love it but I also dislike it.

June marks the half way point of the year, and dare I say it, only another six months until Christmas, eek! June is also the beginning of summer in England and the beginning of winter in New Zealand. Living in New Zealand now for just over 12 years I am well adjusted to the seasons here, but June will always be a summer month to me.
I celebrate and remember some pretty special people during this month. The first week of June, it is one of my younger brothers birthday and Little Misses birthday. (I still remember the same brother saying to me shortly before I had Little Miss that I wasn’t too have her on his birthday, as it was his day). Brothers huh?

June 2nd 2011 was the day my beloved Grandpa passed away, he lived for 97 years, pretty good innings huh? And the 3rd June 2011 was the day I delivered our beloved, firstborn baby boy Alex.

This year marked five years since we met him and said goodbye to him. Wow, five years, it’s quite a milestone huh? The build up to the day was harder that the actual day itself, it always is. I had the day planned, I knew how we would celebrate his day and we did.

It is a day to remember him, but of course it is also a day to celebrate. I miss him everyday, and often find my mind wandering at different times of the day, what would he look like, what would he enjoy? What would he have liked for his fifth birthday?

A few days leading up to his birthday I explained to Little Miss that we would be having a family day for Alex’s birthday. Mummy and Daddy would not be going to work and the four of us would have a day of fun. Little Miss decided Chipmunks would be a great idea (indoor soft play venue), followed by cupcakes for afternoon tea and a trip to the cemetery with Nana and Grandad (my Husband’s parents) to do our balloon release.

When I was having this conversation with Little Miss, one evening after dinner, she looked at me and said “But Mummy, Alex is supposed to go to school this year”. With these words I burst into tears. Just hearing these words from my daughter made the event seem more real. I hadn’t felt like crying prior to my chat with her, so the tears caught myself as well as her off guard. I guess with the lead up to the actual day, the tears were a form of release. Little Miss and I shared a hug and I explained to her that Alex couldn’t go to school because he lives with the stars, but he would be watching over her when it will be her and Mr Happy’s turn to venture off to school.

To us Alex is our shining star, we look to the sky at night and we can always see him. Little Miss will always point to one of the brightest stars and says it is Alex. For me and our family I feel it is really important to have a symbol we can look for and see and be able to think of our boy and big brother.

We had a lovely day remembering Alex and celebrating his fifth year. To me as hard as it is, his birthday is a celebration. He existed, he was and still is my first born baby. I think of him everyday, and these days I smile. It wasn’t always easy to smile but know I feel that I can.

Here are some of the photos from our day.


Mr Happy


Slide Fun











Five Yummy Cupcakes


Beautiful Flowers 3 vases xxx











Balloon release














Mothers Day

Sunday May 8th is Mothers Day in New Zealand, Australia (where some amazing Mumma’s live!) as well as several other countries. The day to awknowledge our special Mum’s and thank them for everyone they have done and continue to do for us. This day has always been a day I haven’t forgotten (memory of an elephant over here!) and now I am a Mum myself it is even more significant.

Unfortunately Mothers Day isn’t always a joyous event, it ends up being another day we would rather just forget about.

Mothers Day 2011, I was pregnant with our firstborn, dear Alex. I remember working that day and a few people mentioned to me, that Mothers Day next year would be my first Mothers Day because my baby would be here. Apparently, some people thought being obviously pregnant means you aren’t a Mother yet or deserve a Mothers Day. At the time I didn’t think anything of it, why would I? I would have my baby next year to celebrate being a Mummy with.

Moving on to Mothers Day 2012. I was heavily pregnant with my second baby, (with our soon to be four year old daughter). This Mothers Day officially sucked arse! I was angry and sad my baby wasn’t in my arms. I knew I was a Mother but I thought back to the comments I had the previous year, this WAS supposed to be my ‘first’ Mothers Day. Instead, I was blessed to be pregnancy but also mourning the loss of my boy. I remember my thoughts drifted to “Why me? Why my baby? And would I be able to celebrate Mothers Day next year?”

You are probably wondering what it the point of this blog post? Well, for me I look forward to Mothers Day, as I’m sure most Mothers do, but I also dread it. As my boy’s fifth anniversary looms next month I find myself thinking about him more and more as the day comes closer. And sadly Mothers Day is another reminder that I have three children but only two to wrap my arms around.

Mothers Day can be incredibly difficult for Mothers that have lost children or are yet to have living children and of course those that do not have their mother around to share the day with.

Some women will choose to ignore this day and want to hide away from the world and that is fine, but please remember you are a Mother, this beautiful quote from Franchesca Cox sums up exactly how I and some others Mum’s feel

“A Mother is not defined by the number of children you can see, but by the love she holds in her heart”


My beautiful ‘Queen Mum’ mug from Sands New Plymouth xxx


This is an awesome article by Lexi Behrndt of Scribbles and Crumbs

7 Ways To Remember the Hurting Mothers This Mother’s Day

Please be kind to yourself  on this day if it is particulary hard for you, sending love and hugs dear Mumma.

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Goodbye September, Hello October

Wow, another week has gone by and tomorrow will be October. Lots happening next month, I have a ball to go too and a wedding, fun times! Plus the other day I found out one of dear friends in England is expecting a baby soon, I love a bit of baby shopping!!!

I don’t work again until Sunday so I had planned to have a day to myself. Poor Mr Happy is not so happy though, he’s sick poor guy. It’s not even lunchtime and he is on his second nap for the day. So a lazy day ahead for us, gives me a chance to do some writing and watch TV. I really enjoy Mr Selfridge, so I’m catching up with that. I just love the clothes, the way they talk and its history. Believe or not I find some history quite interesting. Any other secret Mr Selfridge fans out there????

I’ve always been a bit of a TV watcher, I mean who isn’t?  I find these days I have to be quite selective about what I watch. I will admit though I still watch Eastenders, (much to my husbands annoyance!). For those of you who don’t know it’s a soap set in the East end of London and its been on U.K television since 1985. I have probably watched it from the beginning on/off. We are fortunate to have Sky and I follow it on UKTV. Anyway, I found out that would be covering the storyline of Stillbirth. As someone who has unfortunately experienced one I was keen to see how they would portray it. The U.K. is several weeks ahead of the episodes here in NZ so I was quite prepared for when it would be screened here.

I’m glad they have chosen to portray such a taboo subject. 1 in 4 pregnancies result in a loss and sadly I am one of those four. I read quite a few stories and watched a few clips before the Eastenders episodes were available here to watch, I wanted to mentally prepare myself. And they did a great job. It made me feel like my experience was normalised and I’m not alone. It took me back to how I had felt at the time, and it was ok. I embrace it, I awknowledge I feel sad and it brings me comfort, if that makes sense. Eastenders had a lot to do with Sands in the U.K whilst they were researching the topic and filming. And I really think the actors who portray the Mother and the Father to the baby did a great job. If you feel you want too, I have selected a couple of the scenes from the recent storyline which I found powerful and what I could relate too.


I have been working on some other projects alongside my blog which I’m pretty excited about. Unfortunately I’m not going to share too much right now, hopefully I will be able to tell more soon!!!!! I have approached a couple of online Mum type websites and other blogs, so watch this space.

I’ve developed a bit of an obsession with Instagram, actually who am I kidding I am obsesses with Instagram. It’s been great and putting me in touch with other bloggers and just seeing what others get up too. I actually applied to be a Brand Representative for a couple of businesses I saw via Instagram, sadly I wasn’t picked. I wasn’t really expecting to be but I was gutted. I’m ok now, I’m just too sensitive for my own good. I’m just really keen to help out any small businesses by helping them promote what they have. I guess I will have to see what else comes along.

October also marks babyloss awareness week which is the 9th-15th October. I’m working with my local Sands group to organise some events for this week. We will do a balloon release on the 11th and there will be the ‘Wave of Light’ service on the 15th. I might save how the events of this week go for another blog post.

CarlyMarie, (a bereaved mother who I have mentioned before in previous blog Sands Conference Wellington 19-21 June 2015),  is doing her fourth year of Capture Your Grief. This is a monthly photo challenge for the month of October. I only found out about this year at the Sands conference and when I heard about it, I was immediately keen to take part. The prompts were shared a few days ago. Looking at some of them I’m wondering how I can photograph some of the prompts, I will have to get thinking. I did also think it would be nice to maybe write a few words each day. I will have to let you know how I get on.


The journal I will use to document Capture your Grief 2015


I actually wrote the beginning of this post several days ago before Mr Happy had to go into hospital. I thought it was best to get him checked out by our GP, who quickly rang the hospital as he felt he should be seen by the doctors there. His respiration rate was 60, normal range is 35-45 and his heart was beating faster than usually. Plus watching him breath, he was sucking in his chest where he shouldn’t of been. This poor Mumma, wanted her Mumma but couldn’t, several times I almost burst into tears but managed to push them away. I had to be strong for my boy, plus he was still reasonably happy in himself. By doing this though I have been left feeling overwhelmed and low in mood, how I wish I had let myself cry at the time, as any mother knows seeing you child unwell and distressed at times is just awful. He is doing well now though. We were given an inhaler which helps with his wheeze, we were told it was viral wheeze, quite common in small kids. I have asthma and it is in my family, so could be a sign of that, we are also dealing with a small amount of eczema as well…… The joys of parenting huh? 

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Sands Conference Wellington 19-21st June 2015

I figured it was time that I shared some of things I experienced at the Sands conference in Wellington. I felt I needed a few weeks to let everything ‘digest’ and reflect on it. I have shared some thoughts with people who have asked me about it. I know there are some people who aren’t in a position to ask me or haven’t seen me since I went, but I just want to say I would love to talk about it if you want to listen.

We had an extremely bumpy landing in Wellington, it was my suggestion to fly so I take full responsibility and again I’m sorry to the other 2 ladies I flew with. I usually don’t mind flying but this particular morning I wish we had driven down the night before. On a positive note the weather was fab when we flew home, so it kinda made up for the unenjoyable arrival.

I had the pleasure to hear 4 wonderful keynote speakers. Sherokee Ilse and Suzanne Pullen from the United States and CarlyMarie and Jane Warland from Australia. All four of these ladies shared their babies stories and it was truly an honour to have them share their stories about their losses. It was definitely a weekend where it seemed to appropriate to say your babies name and share your story of babyloss.

There were various workshops to attend, often there were 3 running at the same time so we were able to choose which topic we wanted to be a part of. There were a couple of workshops that were ‘creative’ focused, so I was pretty keen to attend those.

CarlyMarie spoke about Creativity in Babyloss, this was fab. She shared the things she has done to heal herself since the loss of her baby. Another Mum who is also a bereaved parent shared the things she has created and made in her babies memory. This workshop was called Speaking from the Heart and this Mum also has a great blog where she shared the things she creates and provides information for others wanting to do the same. Check out milaandcuatro

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I also attended a workshop which discussed the importantance of sharing your baby loss story and ways you can do this. We were all encouraged to write a letter to our babies and we were given the opportunity to share what we had written with the group, if we wanted too. It was actually the first time in 4 years I had written to Alex. The words flowed easily once I put pen to paper, and it make me question why I had never done it before. I found it very therapeutic and I was happy to read my letter out loud.

Another workshop I found beneficial was Parenting After Loss; a workshop for Bereaved parents. Since I have been fortunate to have 2 children after baby loss I felt this appealed to me. I found it really good. Jane Warland was the speaker and she discussed parenting after loss with and without living children. I often worry that I will mess up my children due to the loss of their big brother but there is actual research out there which states the opposite. This is a great relief to me. It is important that my children grow up knowing there have an older brother and why he isn’t here.

I managed to go to a session which discussed Natural therapies for grief and loss. We were all given a gratitude journal (which I’ll save for another blog post) and did a deep breathing/mediation exercise which was very beneficial.

I also attended the conference dinner on the Saturday night which was a lot of fun. I was feeling pretty tired though and didn’t party too hard as I was keen to get back to my hotel room and sleep.

I’m going to end this blog post, I feel I have summed up my weekend. I am so grateful for the opportunity to meet some wonderful people and hear their stories on baby loss. I feel I came home healed, refreshed and more positive about my grief. It was a great experience to attend the conference and I look forward to the next one in 2017.

Travelling home

Travelling home


Remembering Alex

10:18am on Friday 3rd June 2011, is a day forever etched in my mind. It is the day we welcomed Alex Michael Smith into the world. He couldn’t stay though, he was stillborn. He was 27 weeks gestation, a perfect bundle of 2lb 2oz and 37cm long. There was nothing wrong with our dear boy. My husband was holding my hands as I birthed Alex and I remember looking to my left hand side and my Mum was holding onto my Mother-in-law, both were crying. Tears of sadness? Or maybe tears of joy. Or maybe both. I remember being asked by the midwife before he was born if I wanted him placed on my stomach. “I don’t know”, I replied, “let’s just get him out first”. My first instinct was to grab him and pull him close, which I did. I looked at my Mum and said “He looks so familiar” and she said “Of course he does, he yours”. He sure was, is, my first born Son and baby.

We spent most of that day with Alex at the hospital in the room in which he were born. The things I remember most about that day are holding him, staring him and loving every one of those previous moments. Only a few family members got the privilege to see him and hold him, we decided it wasn’t a time for friends to visit. We took as many photos as we could. I had left my camera at home, but luckily the others who were there took photos. I couldn’t bring myself to have a photo with Alex, I felt I had to smile in the photo and I didn’t feel like smiling. That is something now I wish I had done. I think we always look back at pivotal moments in our life and think about how we could of changed them to make it better. I do love the photos we have, they are very special. Leaving the hospital without him was gut wrenching. I’m sure I must of cried the whole way home. I feel a piece of me died that day and that part is with Alex. I hold his memory in my heart and he was buried in mine and Daddy’s love.

Wednesday 3rd June 2015, Happy 4th Birthday to Alex. 🍰🍰🍰🍰🎈🎈🎈🎈

My husband and I decided last year that each year we would use Alex’s birthday as a family day. We would both take the day off work and do something fun with Little Miss and Mr Happy. We are thinking about swimming, since Little Miss has been asking to go to the pool lately. We will visit his grave at the cemetery, take him some flowers and we will release 3 balloons. We released 2 balloons at his funeral and it has always seemed to be something special we can do each year to mark his birthday and to eventually involve his siblings. We chose 3 balloons because we felt one balloon represented us, his parents and siblings, one balloon on behalf of my family and the third balloon symbolises my husbands family.

Last year I made 3 cupcakes, so this year it will be 4. Plus I have the added help of Little Miss to help me decorate the cupcakes. She has already requested we make Alex a pink one! Each year I try to think of something we can do as a present for him, the idea of donating money to a worthy cause is always a good thought. But back at the beginning of April CarlyMarie  was offering a deal on one oh her beach butterfly memorial prints. There were lots to choose from but I’m pleased with the one I picked. We can put the print onto a photo, card or a canvas if we wish.

For those of you that are interested CarlyMarie has a Facebook page and a website. She is a bereavement artist from Perth, Australia and she will be the keynote speaker at the Sands Conference in Wellington on 19-21st of June, so I’m looking forward to hearing her speak.

Thank you if you have read this, it means a lot to me to be able to share my journey.