“Alexander lived for 39 days… to make a choice between life and death is something no mother should ever have to make.”
Trigger warning: This episode talks about miscarriage and infant death.
Imagine the feeling of giving birth to your baby after several miscarriages. The joy, the elation. The anxiety of ‘will everything be ok’ finally slipping away.
Only for your baby to become critically ill in the hours and days following his birth, and eventually dying in your arms.
This was Amelia Davatzis’ experience. Her son Alexander was born with duodenal atresia – a condition where the first part of the bowel does not develop properly. It is usually repaired quickly and easily, but for Alexander this was not the case.
In this episode of the Tough Mothers Podcast and Tough Mothers TV Amelia bravely shares her story of conception, miscarriages and her first-born’s very short life and tragic death.
I am so grateful Amelia has shared her experience, even though it is very sad for her, and hard for us to hear. But we need to talk about everything in motherhood. Even the tough stuff. ESPECIALLY the tough stuff. We cannot sweep devastation in motherhood under the rug.
As you will hear, infant death is something people don’t know how to deal with, which is exactly why we need to talk about it.
Key takeaways from this episode of the Tough Mothers Podcast and Tough Mothers TV:
♥ Infant death and miscarriage are real, and we need to talk about them openly.
♥ The more we talk about baby death and miscarriage, the more normalized the conversations will become and the better we can support the mother.
♥ There is no right way to grieve. Do what works for you, and take your time.
Or hit the play button below and watch the full episode on YouTube
In this episode you will learn [Podcast, TV time points]:
The signs and symptoms of ectopic pregnancy you must know, and how it can affect you.
It is common to experiencing challenges when trying to conceive. Amelia shares her story.
“That was a blow. Your hopes and everything [are shattered].”
Falling pregnant after miscarriage. Learn the common, and very normal, fears a mother has.
“Will there be a heartbeat, or won’t there? I wouldn’t let myself get too excited.”
Amelia’s first birth experience: from induction to childbirth and what happened next to Baby Alexander.
“He said: this baby is so sick. He needs to be transferred to the Children’s Hospital right now”
The Davatzis’ had to make the devastating decision to choose Alexander’s quality of life over having him in their lives.
Amelia shares the beautiful, yet heart-breaking final days she had with Alexander.
“I would always choose for him not to suffer.”
Alexander’s death left Amelia numb. Losing a child can make you feel like you are not a mother.
“I felt I had no purpose. I only ever wanted to be a mother. It’s something I dreamed of my entire life”
You have permission to grieve in your own way. Grief is different for everyone. Amelia shares how she dealt with her grief and what might help you.
“Just do whatever it is you need to do to get through [your grief].”
After losing a child it might feel like you will never be able to be happy again. You will be happy again. You will experience joy again.
“Motherhood is magical.
It grants you the power to fall in love with someone before ever meeting them”
Mentions in this episode:
♥ A bit about Amelia’s very successful blog and Instagram page A Glimpse of Amelia.
I started this page to share a glimpse into my life, sharing what I love. 2012 is where it all began, as when I fell pregnant, I seriously started questioning what I was using on my skin. I thought I was making good decisions by choosing organic products from the supermarket, but it wasn’t until I started turning products over and trying to decipher labels that a whole new world opened up to me. They were so hard to decipher, and I had to keep researching what each ingredient meant. It was so time consuming! This is when I started to discover marketing and labelling was so greenwashed. Reading labels was the only way to truly know what was in a product. What really bothers me the most, are products marketed for our babies and children containing harmful ingredients and also everyday cleaning products we use around our home that are incredibly toxic. I want to empower people to start reading labels, start asking questions, don’t take anything for face value and don’t believe everything you see on the front of a product.
I didn’t feel my page would fully represent me without the ability to share my journey of losing Alexander. I share snippets, quotes, poems, and his story in an effort to help anyone not feel so alone in their grief journey.
Amelia’s page encompasses all of this. “Along with my desire to leave the planet in a better way than when I found it. Buying organic, supporting biodynamic practices, Australian owned and made, composting, reducing plastic, buying bulk, making my own products, keeping a healthy low tox home and passing this information onto my children so one day they can feel empowered to make healthier choices in their lifetime.
To further empower people and support them in their choices, Amelia is working on her new website:
A Glimpse of Amelia www.agoa.com.au
Bookmark it now!
♥ If you need support in your motherhood journey, please check out our Tough Mothers courses which implement a three-step framework to:
1) Help mothers understand how matrescence and motherhood changes them and their brain.
2) Explain to women that they can train their brain to thrive in motherhood.
3) Teach simple, specific, individualised exercises mothers can fit into their busy day to train their brain to be a happy mother.
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Mental Health Support Services
If the topics in this episode are triggering for you, or if you feel you need support, please contact you doctor or local mental health line.
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