Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 10 Hansard (Friday, 8 October 2021) . . Page.. 2992 ..
When I shared the story of our first miscarriage, I was very touched by the support I received from people that I do not even know. But what also came through was others reaching out to me about their experiences, and that is what this motion does. It does not pretend to find miracle solutions for pregnancy and infant loss, or answer why, in a lucky country like ours, we have not been able to reduce these painful experiences. But it does acknowledge the pain and grief that so many families have suffered for too long in silence.
I thank Mr Rattenbury for his initiative in bringing forward this motion. I am very proud to co-sponsor the tripartisan motion, on behalf of the Canberra Liberals, to support Canberra families that have experienced pregnancy and infant loss.
I also welcome what Ms Cheyne said about the early pregnancy loss commemorative certificate. It is really important that it is personalised. I have had a constituent reach out to me to say that, on the birth certificate of her second child, the first baby that she lost was identified in that certificate as being deceased. Every time she sees that birth certificate, it is a stark reminder of the loss, not the celebration, of her life—how short it was. I think it is really important that we recognise that everyone grieves, and needs to process and grieve, in a different way.
Whilst, of course, we acknowledge and recognise the grief and loss of these families every day, may 15 October each year be recognised as a day when we break down the stigma of talking about pregnancy and infant loss, and a day when families do not feel so alone. My last words are to the families. We see you, we hear you and we stand with you.
MR BRADDOCK (Yerrabi) (12.09): I thank you all for sharing your stories today. Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day is a day to honour our losses. They are not just a statistic; they lived and they have died. But it is also about ensuring that their names are not forgotten.
I rise today in memory of my brother, Timothy Keith Thompson Braddock, and my son, Connor Jack Braddock. Timothy was born on 19 April 1966, alive, with his poor heart beating, but he could not breathe. They whisked the baby away, never to be held in my mother’s arms. She was told to get a new one, to carry on and live her life. We now know that he is buried at the back of Adelaide’s West Terrace Cemetery, in a white cardboard box, in long trenches with other stillborn children. Fortunately, we know that a clergyman prayed over them; that was the practice back then.
My son, Connor Jack Braddock, was born sleeping on 8 September 2012. After a heartbreaking miscarriage during our first pregnancy, we were so excited when Deb fell pregnant with Connor, full of hopes and dreams that, sadly, were not meant to be. Connor was born sleeping, born still.
One in four pregnancies end in loss, but that statistic hides what the bereaved parents face—the moments when hopes and dreams are shattered. Like Ms Lee, I was also in that dark sonographer’s room when I heard those words—that the heartbeat could not be found. Parents have to go through labour in the knowledge that there is no joy to be