Aaron Taylor and Sarah Riseham with their daughter Scarlett Rose Taylor.
Aaron Taylor and Sarah Riseham with their daughter Scarlett Rose Taylor. Contributed

Mum sensed 'something wasn't right' before daughter's birth

SCARLETT Rose Taylor didn't get the chance to take her first breath but she is the inspiration for upcoming event, Cruise for Angels.

Scarlett's parents Sarah Riseham and Aaron Taylor are planning a day to raise money and awareness for Sands Queensland - a peer support organisation made up of parents who have experienced the death of a baby, offering each other mutual support.

Their personal experience of stillbirth is driving them to ensure others receive support and help during the difficult time.

Last year the couple were counting the days until their daughter would be born, but just a few days before her due date that changed.

It was May 22 at about 11am when Ms Riseham felt a "funny movement" and she sensed something wasn't right when no other movements followed.

They went to the hospital and were assessed only to be told there was no heartbeat from the baby.

On May 23, Ms Riseham delivered Scarlett, who weighed 3487g.

"The cause of death was an accident - the cord had been too long and it got wrapped around her," MsRiseham said.

The grieving couple were able to keep Scarlett with them overnight and say their goodbyes.

Family members visited, photos were taken and impressions and casts of Scarlett's hands and feet were made.

"We had our own room and had time to become comfortable before she was taken to the funeral home," Ms Riseham said.

It was going through this experience that showed MsRiseham and Mr Taylor how many people grieve for stillborns.

Sands Queensland has helped the couple.

"They put me in contact with mothers who had been through similar experiences and I had the option of talking to them on the phone or through email," Ms Riseham said.

"I found email was easier - I was able to get more in an email."

Mr Riseham wants to spread the word that services like Sands are available.

"And it's not just for mothers but for fathers and grandparents - they have a wide variety of services," she said.

The couple have a three-year-old son, Dominic, who helps to keep his sister's memory alive.

"We visit Scarlett and we have a group of stars so he knows she's up in the sky," Mr Taylor said.

To help other families, the couple are planning a family fun day.

"Hopefully including jumping castles, face painters, mega slides, water fun, balloons - if we can obtain sponsorship from businesses or a major sponsor to help cover the costs," Mr Taylor said.

A car cruise and car, bike, truck show will be held in conjunction with local car club Bumper2Bumper.

The date will depend on the venue, which the couple are still trying to find.

"We are looking to get food stalls and vans there on the day," Mr Taylor said.

He is also hoping to hold a memory wall or stage.

"Where everyone who wants to can purchase a paper bag with a candle in it and light the candle in remembrance of either their little angel or for someone they know that has lost a baby," Mr Taylor said.

For more information or to help out, contact Aaron Taylor via cruise.for.angels@gmail.com.