A mother who tragically lost two unborn babies within five months has shared her heartbreaking story to help other grieving parents dealing with a similar loss.
Rachael Tickner from Queensland’s Sunshine Coast has two beautiful and healthy boys named Ollie and Oscar with her husband Brenton.
But before they came into the world, she lost two other children she nicknamed Chickpea and Chestnut, both after eight weeks of pregnancy.
In an emotional interview with Daily Mail Australia, Mrs Tickner told how she was left shattered by the tragedies and took years to process her grief.
‘Not a day goes by when I don’t think about my babies,’ she said.
‘It’s comforting to think that they are forever watching over us.’
Rachael and Brenton Tickner are now the parents of two healthy little boys Oscar (left) and Ollie (right) after a heartbreaking start to parenthood
Chickpea was due on July 29, 2014 while Chestnut was due on January 5, 2015 – the same day as Mrs Tickner’s dad’s 60th birthday.
December will mark six years since she found out at an ultrasound she’d miscarried her first son at eight weeks.
‘The moment I saw the look on the woman’s face at the ultrasound, I knew something was wrong,’ Ms Tickner told Daily Mail Australia.
‘Then she said the words ‘I’m sorry, there is no heartbeat’. It was devastating as it was something I never expected to happen.
‘It was very hard losing him so close to Christmas and on Christmas morning we hung his personalised Christmas tree bauble, which we have for both of our Flutterby Babies today.’
Ms Tickner fell pregnant again several months later and found out the news on the same day she and her husband bought their home.
But the couple’s joy was short-lived when they suffered the loss of their second unborn baby, nicknamed Chestnut, at seven-and-a-half weeks through a ruptured ectopic pregnancy weeks later.
Rachael Tickner, pictured with son Ollie, has written Flutterby Baby: Forever In Our Hearts, a support book to help other parents mourning the tragic loss of an unborn child
It was Mother’s Day 2014 when she started bleeding while attending a friend’s wedding.
‘For the week that followed I had the HCG tests every couple of days, to see if my levels were doubling as they should be, and sadly they weren’t,’ Ms Tickner recalled.
‘In my heart, I feel that our second pregnancy loss was a little girl. Sadly we will never know, but I find comfort every day knowing that we have them and their little souls watching over us and our family.’
Ms Tickner’s successful pregnancies were treated as high risk as she suffered various complications.
‘With our pregnancies with Ollie and Oscar, we waited to announce to everyone at 20 weeks,’ she said.
‘Close family and friends still knew earlier, as we felt that if something was to go wrong again, that we would need that support.
After the loss of two unborn babies, Rachael Tickner fell pregnant with Ollie, who’s now 4
Flutterby Baby: Forever In Our Hearts (pictured) will soon be available for sale online
‘I was a nervous wreck the whole time I was pregnant with Ollie and tried to stay as calm as possible,’ she said.
‘Holding Ollie for the first time was the most incredible feeling after what we’d been through.
‘I think that going through what we have, being a parent is something which we will never take for granted.’
Ms Tickner took several years to process her grief.
‘Prior to losing my unborn babies, I had never gone through adversity so I struggled with not knowing why it happened,’ she said.
‘The first loss was harder emotionally while the second was harder physically.’
It wasn’t until her fourth pregnancy with youngest son Oscar that she began seeing a psychologist where she learned to open up about her losses to help others.
Ms Tickner has never forgotten her unborn babies and reflects on how old they would have been on their due dates.
She has written Flutterby Baby: Forever In Our Hearts, a support book she wishes was around when she and her husband Brenton were mourning the loss of their unborn babies.
The book was a 18 month project in the making with the help of Sunshine Coast and Brisbane locals.
Ms Tickner didn’t start opening up more about her losses until two years ago when she was pregnant with her youngest son Oscar (pictured as a newborn with big brother Ollie)
‘If the book could one day be given to women in hospital or who go through their GP for miscarriage loss, or their specialist, it would be comforting to know that it might help them through their time of grief,’ author Rachael Tickner told Daily Mail Australia
Rachael and Brenton Tickner believe their first two babies are watching over their family
Despite a heartbreaking start to parenthood, the couple are now parents to two healthy boys
Pink and blue butterflies illustrated in the book represent Ms Tickner’s lost babies and all of the lost little flutterby babies for other families who have also experienced early pregnancy loss.
The book is now stocked in Harry Hartog’s Bookseller at Sunshine Plaza and will soon be available online.
Ms Tickner has also been approached by a national distributor and hopes the book will raise more awareness about miscarriage.
It’s estimated one in four pregnancies in Australia end in miscarriage.
‘If the book could one day be given to women in hospital or who go through their GP for miscarriage loss, or their specialist, it would be comforting to know that it might help them through their time of grief,’ Ms Tickner told Daily Mail Australia.
‘It’s something that I wish had been out there when we had gone through our loss.’
‘It’s comforting to think that they are forever watching over us,’ Rachael Tickner said
Rachael and her husband Brenton lost two unborn babies in the space of five months
Ms Tickner has joined forces with The Pink Elephant Support Network, where $5 from every purchase of the book will be donated to the charity.
‘The books will not only help women and their partners grieving the loss of their baby to pregnancy loss, but they will also help us to increase our circle of support to other couples going through the heartache of pregnancy loss with the donations we receive,’ charity co-owner Sam Payne said
October 15 was International Pregnancy Loss Remembrance Day.
The Pink Elephant Support Network used the day to spread the word about its latest campaign calling for paid parental leave for women who have miscarried.
The campaign was formally submitted in federal parliament in July.
‘When we lose our babies to miscarriage we are not sick, we do not have the flu. We deserve bereavement leave to validate our experiences as loss, to acknowledge our grief & to help us begin to heal,’ the charity posted on Facebook.
‘It’s time miscarriage, early pregnancy loss & termination for medical reasons are validated as bereavement.’
Rachael Tickner (pictured) fallen pregnant four times in the last five years