Thursday, December 20, 2012

Interview With Vicki Culling of SANDS

I just watched this wonderful interview with Vicki Culling, a social worker from Sands NZ. Sands is a parent-run organization that supports families whose babies are stillborn. I was fortunate to meet Vicki and her team at the MISS Foundation conference in October. She was incredibly supportive of us in our grief, but also with what we are trying to achieve here in Canada with Still Life. I also got to meet the interviewer, Alana Sheeren, whose son Benjamin was stillborn two years ago. She's a lovely person and used to live here in Vancouver although she's now based in California. Her website is a good resource for anyone grieving the loss of a loved one.

This interview covers a lot of the information Vicki and the Sands team presented at the conference. I was struck by how different her experience was to mine when she had her stillborn daughter, Aster. It was very upsetting to think about my regrets and to realize it could have happened so differently. I told people at that presentation: "Our son was born in a dump." A few months have passed since the conference and the Still Life team continues to talk about how we can help Canada catch up to other nations in caring for newly bereaved families. One of the key messages we want to get out there is minimizing regrets for families who have experienced the death of their baby.

In this interview, Vicki talks about some of the common challenges faced by parents of stillborn babies. In addition, she gives a moving account of the precious - and in some ways, joyous - time she and her family got to spend with Aster before they had to say goodbye. Not that it wasn't heart-breakingly sad, but it was clearly different to the wrenching experience we had with Toren.

1 comment:

  1. Our hospital did nothing to help us. We have regrets. Neither my husband or I got to hold our James, Jr. We should have had that! He was whisked away from us. No pictures and he was so beautiful! If only we had of had some kind nurse or someone to help us!