Remembrance day for lost babies

Phoebe Wearne
Grieving parents John and Kate De'Laney. Picture: Dione Davidson/The West Australian

As she grieved the loss of the six babies she miscarried, Kate De'Laney penned a letter to Colin Barnett asking for a day to remember them.

The Premier listened and yesterday WA commemorated World Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day for the first time, prompting five MPs to share heartfelt stories of losing their own children soon after birth or during pregnancy.

Mrs De'Laney and her husband John, who watched from the public gallery, shed tears as Belmont MP Glenys Godfrey told State Parliament she lost her first baby to sudden infant death syndrome.

"From the excitement of a full-term pregnancy and safe delivery to the tragedy of the death of an innocent baby is very traumatic," Ms Godfrey said. "It took over 20 years before I could talk about her." Supporting the motion to recognise the day, Victoria Park MP Ben Wyatt told how he and his wife lost a baby boy during the final stages of pregnancy in 2007.

"My wife has never gotten over that and I don't think she will," Mr Wyatt said. "Each year, on September 24, there's that 'what might have been' . . . the absence of that baby is still very much front and centre in our lives."

Kalgoorlie MP Wendy Duncan revealed she had two miscarriages during early pregnancy.

"Although I have four beautiful children, one of whom was married two weeks ago, there are two that will never see their wedding day," Ms Duncan said.

The De'Laneys endured six heartbreaking miscarriages before their daughter Mary-Jane was born in 2012.

Mr De'Laney said they hoped that October 15 would become a day when people could talk openly about losing a child because it was an important part of the healing process.

"One of the things that we decided, when we finally started to talk about it, was that we would do whatever we could to ensure that nobody else ever felt the sense of loneliness that we felt," Mr De'Laney said.