Heartbroken parents shed light on 'taboo' subject
IN A blink of an eye their lives changed forever.
At 35 weeks into their pregnancy, Emily and Sam Hill's baby girl Aleisha was taken from them before they even had the chance to meet her.
A condition called Couvelaire Uterus caused complications that lead to their baby girl being still born in April last year.
Unfortunately, nothing could have been done to save her as the rare condition was invisible to doctors and midwives unless Emily had surgery.
It was a devastating experience for the couple and their young son, Parker, as Emily also had to undergo 10 Plasma transfusions and 4 blood transfusions while in hospital as a result of the complication.
The time they spent at the hospital in the days after losing their daughter made them realise how little awareness surrounded pregnancy and infant loss.
"At the start of the pregnancy you have that danger period and no one really tells or talks of pregnancy until the three months," Sam said.
"Then everyone thinks it happy days until you get to that SIDS stage after birth but that's not always the case."
The couple have been together for 11 years and married four years ago saying they hoped the "taboo" subject could be talked about more openly to raise awareness for what could potentially happen in late term pregnancy.
"We were just talking on the weekend about still births and SIDS and how SIDS are always made aware to all pregnant women," Emily said.
"I know when we had our son it was constantly on my mind so I think the more we talk about still birth, the more awareness we can bring."
After the pair lost their daughter they wanted to honour her memory and made the decision to raise money to help foundations which support those who have experienced a still birth.
Last year they took part in Challenge the Mountain and raised money for Heartfelt, a volunteer photography organisation that captures stillbirth photos.
"This year we have decided to raise money so we can buy a Cuddle Cot and donate it to the (Rockhampton) base hospital in Aleisha's name," Emily said.
"A Cuddle Cot is a way of allowing parents to grieve with their baby in their room," Sam explained.
"It keeps the cot at a cool temperature and gives you a couple of days together rather then going down to the morgue to grieve with your baby, we would have been lost without it."
The couple have teamed up with their long time friend Luke Levitt and his business to raise funds to purchase the cot.
"They cost around $4000 for one and I believe that they only have a five years life span so it is a need up at the hospital," Emily said.
"We think it's a great way to give back and honour her memory so our great mate Luke at CQ Camper Hire has volunteered to donate the funds for the month of August towards purchasing a Cuddle Cot."
Luke who has been friends with Sam since school said it was a "no-brainer" when it came to helping his friends.
"Sam and Emily actually met because their mums worked at the bottle shop together and well, Sam and I are strong bottle shop advocates so the friendship all worked out pretty well," Luke said.
"I started the business as a fun thing and I actually support my whole business with my income as a truck driver."
Luke said when the chance to help his mates out, he didn't think twice about it.
"They do a lot for everyone so this is something a bit different where we can help them out," he said.