By Shaye Woodhouse - Mother of Charlee and Founder of Charlee's Basket .
On the 16th of December 2015, I had a traumatic experience – my second child was stillborn.
This was due to a true knot (a knot in the umbilical cord that stops the flow of oxygen). It was an unexpected and unforeseen tragedy. At 37 weeks into a healthy pregnancy, one day I woke with no movement.
I was told that my baby had died. I was yet to give birth to my daughter, whom I had already named Charlee – but suddenly I was forced to think about Charlee’s funeral arrangements.
For nine long months I had been dreaming of and planning for Charlee’s life. Instead I was handed bereavement forms and information packs – telling me what to expect, what to do next, how my relationship would suffer and how others would react to my baby born sleeping.
Immediately after giving birth to my stillborn daughter, I was to discover there was little support to help me through this horrible time in my life.
A few months after losing Charlee, I identified an opportunity to support other bereaved parents and families. I recognised the care and services I had sought at that difficult time – that were missing in the bereavement support offered by hospitals. I felt I was isolated and was only handed these bereavement booklets that at the time I saw as bits of useless paper. I set out to create Charlee’s Basket Bereavement Hampers INC. A complimentary pamper pack of essentials to support families that have experienced the trauma of stillbirth and or neonatal death.
The definition of Stillbirth in Australia is defined as the death of a baby beyond 20 weeks’ gestation. In Australia, if a woman is pregnant, there is a 1 in 6 chance that the baby will die before it is born. There in a 1 in 3 chance of a miscarriage. 2,200 fetal deaths (stillbirths) and 786 neonatal deaths. 60% of stillbirths occur after 28 weeks. Often there is nothing wrong.
Whilst I was provided with information, brochures and documents immediately after the death of Charlee; something more was needed to support me through this devastating time in my life. Nobody came to visit although, people would have if Charlee had not passed. This is a gift I find would have been welcomed in my time of fear and isolation.
The mission of Charlee’s Basket is simple to create hampers for families that have experienced the loss of a child during pregnancy, or in the days after birth. Beautifully presented, modern gift baskets will be filled with all the essentials for the parents during their hospital stay, plus some non-essentials to take home for the meant-to-be mum and/or dad.
Little gifts, flower seeds and children’s books explaining the situation are also included for siblings.
The products that comprise Charlee’s Basket are primarily Australian, sustainable, cruelty-free items that consider and benefit our environment, whilst still being as nourishing and sensitive as possible.
Charlee’s Basket is a gift to families while in hospital. Given by staff in the most compassionate way. All donations go to filling each basket and to the running or the organisation.The Charlee’s Basket brand helps to promote awareness of the need for further education around prenatal death, and provide better support networks for those going through this heartache.
How can you help?
Charlee’s Basket Bereavement Hampers Inc. is registered and recognised as a charity on the ACNC (Australian Charity and Not-for-profit Commission) website. If you'd like to contribute product, make a donation or reach out to Shaye - she'd love to hear from you.
ABOUT CHARLEE'S BASKET
Charlee's Basket is dedicated to providing a pamper hamper to women and families who have suffered from the trauma of birth experience ending in tragedy.
Biz owner: Shaye Woodhouse
Kids: Lana 3 yrs old and James 6 months old
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