Baby joy again for shattered mother
NOTHING could ever fill the hole in Jodie Tangikara's heart, left by the heartbreaking miscarriage of her baby son Marcus at 19 weeks' gestation.
But the River Heads woman welcomed another son six weeks ago, Kaiden Lindsey, a child who could never replace the baby she lost, but a beautiful addition to her family, she said.
When Marcus was stillborn, Ms Tangikara was informed his birth would not be registered because in Australia the birth of babies cannot be registered unless they are born at 20 weeks or more.
Marcus was two days short of 20 weeks' gestation when Ms Tangikara miscarried.
That meant she was not able to bring home a birth certificate for Marcus or have his name added to the birth certificates of future siblings.
Ms Tangikara fought to change the system and succeeded, with commemorative birth certificates now being issued for all babies lost to miscarriage or stillbirth, regardless of the length of gestation.
Hervey Bay MP Ted Sorensen supported Ms Tangikara as she launched a petition, which attracted thousands of signatures, to change the laws preventing the recognition of a difficult loss for many parents.
Ms Tangikara will receive a framed birth certificate bearing Marcus's name and his name will be added to Kaiden's birth certificate.
"It will prove he existed," she said.
Two birth certificates will be issued free of charge to all grieving parents, giving them the acknowledgement that their child was a person who mattered, she said.
Her pregnancy with Kaiden was fraught with tension as she remembered the loss of Marcus.
Just before 20 weeks, approaching the same gestation period that Marcus was lost, Ms Tangikara went to her doctor and requested an ultrasound.
The understanding physician ensured an appointment.
A caring friend bought Ms Tangikara a foetal heart monitor so she was able to check the baby's heart rate every night.
Ms Tangikara held off buying baby needs until after the 30-week mark, afraid that something would happen to her son and she would once again be left with painful reminders if the unthinkable happened again.
But after 30 weeks, she began to look forward to the arrival of her son and on July 15 he was born safely, although not without some drama.
Ms Tangikara's waters broke while she was dropping her older children at school and a friend quickly drove her to Hervey Bay Hospital where Kaiden was born.
Despite the joy she feels after the arrival of her son, Ms Tangikara said Marcus would never be replaced in her heart or in her family.
"There's a part that's missing that can't be filled," she said.
But she took great joy in her family, including her other children, Lachlan, Larissa, Deacon, Tyler and Kaiden.