16 episodes

This podcast is for fellow grieving families who have suffered pregnancy loss - miscarriage, stillbirth or neonatal death. The mission of this podcast is to assist you to come through this cruel twist of fate, with as much psychological fortitude, compassion for yourself and connection with others as possible, using wisdom, knowledge and insights sourced from interviewing experts and specialists in the fields commonly accessed by grieving mothers. Sharing these little gems will allow you to navigate the long journey ahead. Don’t let the darkness swallow you, don’t let yourself do this alone.

The Glimmer Podcast Dr Ashleigh Smith

    • Arts
    • 5.0 • 5 Ratings

This podcast is for fellow grieving families who have suffered pregnancy loss - miscarriage, stillbirth or neonatal death. The mission of this podcast is to assist you to come through this cruel twist of fate, with as much psychological fortitude, compassion for yourself and connection with others as possible, using wisdom, knowledge and insights sourced from interviewing experts and specialists in the fields commonly accessed by grieving mothers. Sharing these little gems will allow you to navigate the long journey ahead. Don’t let the darkness swallow you, don’t let yourself do this alone.

    TFMR and why terminology and language are so important - with Meagan Donaldson

    TFMR and why terminology and language are so important - with Meagan Donaldson

    Meagan Donaldson joins The Glimmer Podcast to talk about TFMR (termination of pregnancy for medical reasons), the importance of language and finding joy again after such heartache. Meagan is the author of ‘Still a Mum,’ which shines a spotlight on the stigma that still exists around pregnancy loss, TFMR and its impacts; not just for the parents but for other family members as well.
    Meagan Donaldson was 23 weeks pregnant when tests confirmed her unborn baby had a rare condition. Told the prognosis for their daughter was poor, they made a heartbreaking decision to say goodbye to their little girl. Soon after, Violet Grace was born. Still, but perfect.
    Meagan and Caitlin discuss the struggle of dealing with the busy practical side of babyloss and utilising writing to remember their babies. In relation to TFMR, Meagan has women writing to her saying they feel so much shame about the termination aspect of their baby loss so much so, they haven’t explained the TFMR to their families and carry the pain so privately. Meagan explains that the term ‘termination’ feels like it takes all the love out of Violet’s story and she felt this term didn’t appropriately describe the extremely difficult journey of saying goodbye to Violet Grace. She knows the choice of TFMR isn’t actually a choice and that it is made purely out of love. Meagan felt discomfort also with the word ‘died’ and preferred ‘loss’ while Caitlin feels differently. 
    Meagan shares about celebrating Violet’s birthday through creating cakes, donating gifts in her name and referring to her whenever asked how many children they have. She explains she has ‘muted’ certain people on social media and feels sadness when seeing babies similar aged to Violet posted on social media. Meagan used social media instead to immerse herself in a different type of community – those who have lost babies. Meagan’s psychologist told her to treat herself as she would a good friend in an effort to minimize the pressure on herself
    Meagan explains a need to make meaning out of this situation and try to help others going through a similar situation in the future. She created the fundraiser ‘Violet’s Gift’ which supports grieving parents after delivering a stillborn baby. Finally, Meagan explains how joy and light slowly returned to her life and that she worked hard to seek it out and actively move forward. Brunch, books, beach, looking at flowers, going for walks with her dogs, reading about resilience, random acts of kindness, meditation, seeing her psychologist, support groups and doing things to stay connected with Violet.
    It was hard work recovering from this immense trauma and has required a dedication that she feels has ‘felt like a fulltime job.’ At times it was too much and so at times she needed to give herself permission to just cry on the couch and ride the ‘grief hangover.’ Ultimately, what Meagan really needed to do, was to give herself some time.
     
    Links:
    https://www.theglimmerproject.com/
    https://bluehearts.com.au/the-cause.html
    https://stillbirthfoundation.org.au/  
    Booktopia link for ‘Still A mum’ link here. Website:https://meagandonaldson.com.au/
    You may also like to refer back to another Glimmer Podcast interview relating to TFMR with Anabel Bower, author of Miles Apart : Season 1, episode 4
    Special thank you to:
    - Corey Green (podcast editor - Transducer Audio)  https://www.transducer-audio.com/
    - Coby Grant (Winter Bear backing sound track)
    - Ashleigh Smith (Producer) 

    • 29 min
    Who can you talk to about baby-loss? This episode is all about managing tricky conversations with family and friends, and the free support available from the Red-Nose support line

    Who can you talk to about baby-loss? This episode is all about managing tricky conversations with family and friends, and the free support available from the Red-Nose support line

    Edwina Symonds is a red nose volunteer support line worker whose son Sebby passed away due to a rare genetic disorder. She uses writing to help grieve and also to help those around her to understand the impact child loss creates. Caitlin Crowley interviews Edwina on her work as a volunteer for the Red Nose support line.
    Edwina explains that working at Red Nose feels like a legacy for Sebby and her contribution through that work is his gift to the world.
    Edwina reassures the listener to call the 'Red Nose Crisis line' – even if you are the father-in-law, there is no grief too distant or too ‘small.’
    Edwina encourages people to just listen to grieving families and that there is literally nothing that you can do to help, just listen. She explains how often some of the people closest to us are the people that hurt us the most. Edwina advises in that situation to 'please come back to your child, come back to the love,’ and don’t spend your time or energy on that hurt from others. Be a lioness and protect yourself and say ‘no, I am not going to that event to spend time with that hurtful person.’ It is all just ‘fuzz.’
    Edwina offers suggestions for friends or family trying to ‘pull grieving people up and out of the well’ and ideal ‘tones’ to use in their texts or phone calls suggesting activities.
    She explains what helped her through those first most painful, ravages of grief. Edwina talks about organ donation and the pivotal role registering with the online organ donation registry plays. Please find the website link below. It takes less then 60 seconds to register and can save lives. 


    The episode wraps with an acknowledgement of the painful journey bereaved parents walk and how time influences that path. 


    Links:
    https://www.theglimmerproject.com/
    https://bluehearts.com.au/the-cause.html
    https://stillbirthfoundation.org.au/  
    https://www.thegriefyway.com/
    https://rednose.org.au/page/grief-and-loss-support-services
    https://www.donatelife.gov.au/register-donor-today
    https://feelthemagic.org.au/?gclid=CjwKCAiAx8KQBhAGEiwAD3EiP1uoFvJpH3A_0wClUwkYq11msBjmR3zZdL2XmiBA9_-aeV2LRz8qLBoCa8UQAvD_BwE
     
    Special thank you to:
    - Corey Green (podcast editor - Transducer Audio)  https://www.transducer-audio.com/
    - Coby Grant (Winter Bear backing sound track)
    - Ashleigh Smith (Producer and creator of The Glimmer Project, Podcast and Online group)
     
    Social media:
    @glimmer_project
    @bluehearts_au
    @stillbirthfoundation

    • 35 min
    Your grief 'war-wounds' people cannot see

    Your grief 'war-wounds' people cannot see

    Priyanka Saha is many things – a pregnancy and baby loss survivor, charity founder, lawyer, and believer in hope. Having lived through a traumatic first pregnancy loss and then the death of her first born, Lily at 10 months old, Priyanka set up the Lily Calvert Fund (LCF). LCF raises awareness of grief and loss and runs a national music therapy program providing musical care kits to paediatric palliative care programs Australia wide. Priyanka shares her thoughts on parenting after loss and post traumatic growth to her audience of over 20,000 on Instagram. She is a Very Special Kids Hospice ambassador, mother to Lily’s little brother, Jasper, and often appears in media - providing commentary on baby loss and finding hope. 
    Priyanka shares about Lily's short, but incredible life with The Glimmer Podcast. Priyanka tells Dr Ashleigh Smith that Lily brought her family and friends together in such a beautiful way. Priyanka believes there is space for all grief, be it miscarriage, stillbirth, neonatal death, baby or child loss, and that the compassion as a fellow loss mother just grows. Priyanka talks about her son Jasper - both the pregnancy (including how important prenatal testing was to reassure her and get her through), as well as bringing up Jasper now, and fostering the beautiful bond between two siblings who never met. She also talks about her marriage and how together they survived the most difficult days, despite the odds. Priyanka gives practical advice as to how to guide family and friends to provide the support that you need. Priyanka says that she is grateful for the person that she is now, while it doesn't make the loss ok, she is a better person for it, and offers a glimmer of hope to listeners. 
     
    Links: 
    Instagram: @thelilycalvertfund
    Website:  https://lilycalvert.com/
     
    https://www.theglimmerproject.com/ 
    https://bluehearts.com.au/the-cause.html 
    https://stillbirthfoundation.org.au/ 


    Special thank you to Holly Ryan (Blue Hearts) who is assisting in the production of this season of The Glimmer Podcast. 
    Thank you to Blue Hearts and the Stillbirth Foundation for supporting and funding this season of the podcast 

    • 33 min
    Specialist doctors - how they can help YOU when contemplating a rainbow pregnancy

    Specialist doctors - how they can help YOU when contemplating a rainbow pregnancy

    Dr Ashleigh Smith of The Glimmer Project interviews 2 sub-specialist medical professionals in this episode of The Glimmer podcast - for women and their families who have experienced pregnancy loss, stillbirth, neonatal loss or high risk pregnancies. 



    Dr Alex Heazell is a consultant Obstetrician and leads a stillbirth research group in Manchester, UK. He works with Tommy's charity, The International stillbirth alliance and is father to Jack, his son who was stillborn 19 years ago. Dr Heazell runs a rainbow pregnancy clinic specifically for women who have experienced pregnancy loss and are planning or currently pregnant again. Dr Heazell has written research about the economic and psychosocial consequences of stillbirth in the UK, research which had previously been so neglected. His research enabled him to develop a message that the consequences are enormous to women, families, society and the economy, supporting the argument that we should really invest in preventing stillbirth. It costs more to deliver and care for a mum after a stillbirth than in a live birth. Further, a subsequent pregnancy costs a great deal more. Particularly if there is a stillbirth with an unknown cause. In terms of psychological costs, there are 4.2 million women globally, who have symptoms of significant depression because of stillbirth. That level of burden of disease and the societal costs are huge. 

    Dr Alex Heazell talks about the Rainbow Clinic, which he developed in 2013 after a systematic review, looking at women’s experiences in pregnancy after loss. He looked at accounts of their care or lack of care in their own experiences. It helped them re-frame everything from bereavement care and pregnancy-after-loss care. The Rainbow Clinic offers support including referrals to follow up bereaved parents after their baby has died, results of investigations, post-mortem autopsy, genetic test results, and then to use that information to plan how they care for someone in the following pregnancy. The comfort their care provides mothers and parents is invaluable through continuity of care and a sense of control. He says that midwives and doctors who have the capacity to acknowledge and absorb some of the bereaved parents stress, is hugely therapeutic . The clinic has also been able to amass data from about 600 women, helping to identify patterns. They are constantly learning. Financially  - for every pound spent in the clinic, it generates 6 pound 80 in economic value. Finally, Dr Heazell talks about progress towards a gold standard of care, and offers a Glimmer of Hope for women looking for empathetic care during their Rainbow pregnancy.

    Dr Johanna Laporte is a maternal-fetal-medicine specialist who discusses the role of this sub-speciality of obstetrics and how it can address the listeners obstetric care and improve outcomes. She emphasizes team work and patient centered care. 
     
    This episode is particularly useful for anyone contemplating pregnancy or who is currently pregnant after loss. Anyone interested in current and future research occurring in the field of pregnancy loss would also greatly benefit from hearing this episode. 

    • 40 min
    Pregnancy loss is a tragedy for grandparents too...

    Pregnancy loss is a tragedy for grandparents too...

    In this episode of The Glimmer Podcast, Dr Ashleigh Smith interviews Joy Hall. Joy offers a grandparents perspective to pregnancy loss and shares her experience as  grandmother to Marley, who was stillborn earlier last year . 

    Joy speaks about the multiple layers of her grief - the grief for her grandchild and then the added grief and anguish she feels for the pain her child and partner are experiencing. Joy talks about the first weeks after Marley was born and the added complication of coronavirus, compounding both the physical and emotional isolation. 

    She shares her experience with her friendship groups. How she came to accept and give understanding and compassion for family and friends who just don’t know what to say or how to provide support. 

    She talks about the way her relationship has changed with her daughter and how she feels her role as a mother has changed. 

    Joy explains the love that Marley has brought to her life. She shares some beautiful ways she maintains her connection to Marley, and how she keeps her memory alive. Joy talks about the pride she has for both Marley, and also for Marley's parents. 

    This episode depicts the love and loss that grandparents of babies lost through pregnancy or newborn loss feel.  It is so important to give support and love to grandparents who find themselves experiencing this devastating loss too. 

    Links: 
    https://www.theglimmerproject.com/ 
    https://bluehearts.com.au/the-cause.html 
    https://stillbirthfoundation.org.au/ 

    Special thank you to: 
    Corey Green (podcast editor - Transducer Audio), 
    Coby Grant (Winter Bear backing sound track), 
    Holly Ryan (Producer), 
    Blue Hearts and the Stillbirth Foundation. 

    • 26 min
    Friendships, Rainbows and the Longer term with Mia Freedman and Bec Sparrow

    Friendships, Rainbows and the Longer term with Mia Freedman and Bec Sparrow

    Bec Sparrow and Mia Freedman formed a strong and long-lasting friendship over their shared experience of pregnancy loss. 
    In this episode, Dr Ashleigh Smith asks them about how they became friends. How they helped each other through their grief. How they continue to support each other during the milestones and anniversaries. Bec that a week after losing Georgie, she felt strongly that her stillborn daughter was going to turn the light in her life up, not down. Even though Bec “wishes Georgie was here, she is not, and that has changed the course of Bec’s life in some beautiful ways, for example, meeting Mia” Bec says she doesn’t focus on the day that Georgie died, as that would be selling her short, but what she contributed to her life.
    Bec felt like Mia was almost like her therapist. She felt as though sometimes she’d be drowning in the waves of grief, and Mia would pull her out. It felt like a fated friendship, it evolved – they later worked together at ‘Mamamia.’ It was a place that both Mia and Bec could write about their pregnancy loss – one of the only platforms that shared stories about newborn baby or pregnancy loss. Bec said that through her rainbow pregnancy, one of the tips Mia gave, was to visualize arriving home with a baby carrier coming through the front door. 
    Mia says when her daughter May died through late miscarriage, there was no internet and she was unable to surround herself with others who had suffered similar loss. Mia notes that Bec was the first person to treat May as a person, e.g. writing May on a Christmas ornament. Mia feels that before that, she was only ever real to herself. Bec made her baby feel real and that was the biggest gift. 
    Mia remembers when Kate Middleton gave birth, and she was trying to explain to the team at Mumamia, ‘this is going to be a tough day for a lot of people’ – when the whole world is celebrating the joy of a baby, that can be the loneliest of days for people suffering infertility or pregnancy loss. Mia made sure that on those days, she would acknowledge bereaved parents through Mamamia.
     It’s important to have friends when times are tough, but also for those friends to be there to cheer you on when things are good. Mia says that there are friendships for a reason, a season or a lifetime and that this friendship has transcended to be a lifetime friendship.
     Bec Sparrow and Mia Freedman have co-authored a beautiful book ‘Never Forgotten’ which contains stories of love, loss, and healing after miscarriage, stillbirth, and neonatal death. It is an ode to their daughters May and Georgie and all the other children who never came home. 
    The Glimmer of hope and advice offered by Bec Sparrow is that “the raw pain that you feel in the first year or so after pregnancy loss, doesn’t stay that raw forever. It is possible to have a joyful life, even if you have a fractured heart.” Bec feels that she has a life that is full of joy, purpose and meaning. Her pain sits in her back pocket and she can chose those moments now, she is in charge of when to pull them out. “This type of loss and pain cracks our life open, if you let it.”
    Links: 
    https://www.theglimmerproject.com/ 
    https://bluehearts.com.au/the-cause.html 
    https://stillbirthfoundation.org.au/ 
     
    Link to Never Forgotten: 
    http://cdn.mamamia.com.au/files/NeverForgotten.pdf?utm_source=Google&utm_medium=Downl[%E2%80%A6]Pregnancy+Loss&utm_content=PDF&utm_campaign=Never+Forgotten
     
    Special thank you to: -
    Corey Green (pod

    • 39 min

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