LOST CHILDREN: Megan and Luke Butterworth are hosting a Walk To Remember to raise awareness for SANDS.
LOST CHILDREN: Megan and Luke Butterworth are hosting a Walk To Remember to raise awareness for SANDS. Patrick Woods

Couple's unimaginable grief after losing five babies

MEGAN and Luke Butterworth were engaged at 21 and had "grand plans" of what their life would look like.

However, Luke suffered from an autoimmune disease and Megan was diagnosed with polycystic ovary syndrome. A doctor told them their chances of conceiving were slim and they should look to IVF.

They lost their first son, Noah, in 2013 and the grief was unimaginable.

"We were so amazed to fall pregnant," Megan said.

"We thought getting pregnant was the hard part, it didn't even cross our minds that keeping him would be hard."

The couple spent the better part of five years trying to fall pregnant, where they lost four more children - Eli, Genevieve, Sophia and Samuel.

They stopped putting themselves through the trauma and grief and began work with SANDS, a group that provides miscarriage, stillborn and newborn death support.

"I decided I wanted to help other parents. I had to do something to support other parents, I had to do something to survive the grief," Megan said.

She works with the organisations 1300 hotline, connecting parents with other grieving parents, and works on events within the community.

She said some of the hardest parts for grieving parents were people saying the wrong thing and telling them to try again.

"People don't realise with early loss it is a grief, you're not grieving just for the tiny baby you lost, you grieve for those moments that you will never have," Megan said.

"People don't realise that it's there. Their clerk at the supermarket, their next-door neighbour, their child's teacher."

She hoped by speaking out it would break the taboo and silence that surrounds the topic.

They will host this year's Walk To Remember at Happy Valley in Caloundra on Sunday, October 14 from 9.30am.

The day will be a chance for grieving parents to connect, to participate in activities to help them remember their children and to raise awareness within the community.

More information can be found at www.sandsqld.org.au/support/walk-remember/.

For parents seeking support, call 1300 072 637.



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