Still a Mum - In loving memory of Violet Grace
Violet Grace Donaldson was born on the 19/7/2019.
It was not the birth I had been hoping for. At 22 weeks pregnant my husband Chris and I were informed that our little Violet had a rare condition. Her prognosis was poor and we made the heartbreaking decision to say goodbye to our little girl.
Until I had experienced it myself, I had never heard of Termination for Medical Reasons (TFMR). I had heard of miscarriage and stillbirth, but I now understand that I have experienced the ‘taboo within the taboo’.
Most people who have experienced it don’t talk about it openly, as it comes with an added layer of politics, personal opinions, religion and much more. But, it is so much more common than I could have known. My husband and I chose to be open about our decision because we wanted to acknowledge our daughter’s life and her whole journey.
Being open about our journey has helped us and I love to say Violet’s name and I love it when people reference her too. Hearing Violet’s name is magic to me, seeing it written in Christmas cards and text messages warms my heart. People think it will upset me to mention her, but it’s not like I ever forget her.
If my words can help anyone on their journey or deepen someone’s understanding of pregnancy loss, I will be incredibly happy—despite a year that fractured my heart, turned my world upside down and taught me more than I could ever have imagined before falling pregnant.
One of my biggest fears throughout all of this has been that Violet will be forgotten and sharing our story has helped me ensure that this will never be the case. When you’ve lost a baby, the path you must travel is yours alone. There is nothing anyone can do or say to take the pain away. No one can change what has happened and no one can bring your baby back.
But by hearing stories from others who have walked that same path, it can help you feel less alone
To help me and others on their grief journey I have written a book called ‘Still a Mum.’ Below is the prologue.
The beginning of an ending
11 July 2019
To our family and friends,
It is with so much sadness and absolutely broken hearts that we share this news. At twenty-two weeks of pregnancy, after ten weeks of uncertainty- including extra scans, test, an amniocentesis and an MRI-we received the news that our baby has an extremely rare and currently undiagnosable condition.
The evident symptoms and signs associated with our baby’s condition are so rare that roughly only one baby per year in Australia is born with it.
We met with a range of specialists and were told the prognosis for our baby is poor, once born our baby would be likely to have a range of challenges, including and not limited to severe intellectual disability, respiratory issues, muscular problems, organ failure, seizures and an extremely poor quality of life.
Taking on board the information presented to us, we have made the extremely difficult and heartbreaking decision to say goodbye to our very loved and very wanted, beautiful baby girl.
This is not a decision we have made lightly and is something we know we will now live with for the rest of our lives. We find comfort in knowing that we have taken on our first role as parents by accepting all of the pain and suffering so that our baby doesn’t have to.
Next week, I will have labour induced and we will welcome and farewell our beautiful baby, Violet Grace Donaldson.
We know that this is difficult to discuss and hear, however it is extremely important to us that our story is shared and doesn’t remain a secret. There is no shame in what we have been through and what we are continuing to go through.
We know that this decision is only the beginning of an extremely difficult and challenging journey. We also know that silence is not going to help us learn, heal or receive the support we need. Xx
Meagan continues to share her story and raise funds to help bereaved parents. To learn more about her book and journey visit her website.
Still a Mum: A story of modern grief and life after loss published by The Kind Press 2021
Last reviewed: 25/9/22