Aroha from Hope
(Left to Right): Aroha from Hope Journal recipient Kirsty Hamlin holding Lennox with Tarchia Joll and two-year-old daughter Grace. Photo: Liz Inch.
Date: Thursday July 10, 2014
To: All Media
Subject: Aroha from Hope
Tarchia Joll can relate to many of the fears and anxieties felt by parents of SCBU babies.
Nearly three years after losing one of her twin daughters at 24-weeks gestation, Tarchia is able to share her empathy with other grieving parents in SCBU through her Aroha from Hope Journals.
The journals are made by Tarchia and include milestones such as “back to birth weight”, “weight at one week”, “breathing unassisted”, “on full feeds” and a certificate of graduation from SCBU.
Last week, mother of premature-born seven-week-old Lennox, Kirsty Hamlin, was reduced to tears of appreciation when presented with one of the journals at Whangarei Hospital.
Lennox was born in May at 30 weeks, three days and had a number of complications.
However, he has slowly been making progress and, after the roller coaster ride of emotions over the last seven weeks, Kirsty is looking forward to taking Lennox home soon.
“It’s such a long journey,” she said to Tarchia. “I really appreciate what you’ve made – it’s gorgeous.”
“I know exactly how you’re feeling,” Tarchia responded.
In 2011, with two teenage children already, Tarchia found herself pregnant with identical twin girls.
“I was over the moon and very afraid at the same time. Babies were far from my mind – I had two amazing kids that were 14 and 16 when my girls came into this world.”
Tarchia recalls a very difficult pregnancy journey. The girls were sharing a placenta and had Twin to Twin Transfusion (TTTS).
“There were so many ups and downs with doctors wanting to terminate one of the babies, missing organs, then organs being present after-all, the possibility of brain damage if one baby died, going to fetal medicine every two weeks and laser surgery on their placenta at 20 weeks.”
At 24-weeks gestation, the family lost their fight for Hope. “She stayed where she was snug and warm with us till our Grace was 34 weeks.”
But Grace nearly didn’t make it as well. After an emergency Caesarean she was born with a number of problems, including meconium peritonitis, a twisted cord and undersize from a lack of blood.
“At 1555gm (three pounds, seven ounces) and 41cm long, she was a little poppet. We spent a total of 99 days in Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and Starship before coming home at a whooping 2760gm (six pounds, two ounces). She has had two operations and will always have issues with her tummy but she is a tenacious wee girl with a love to jump and show off.”
Tarchia recalls many emotions throughout her journey where she felt as though no one understood the loneliness and fear she was going through. As a result, she has created the Aroha From Hope Journals to, not only remember her baby and the journey her girls went on, but to support other grieving parents in knowing they are not alone.
“It’s so pertinent to the journey,” said Kirsty flicking through the sections. “It’s really well-thought out.”
“There’s lots of love behind it,” replied Tarchia. “It’s something that’s very close to my heart.”
# Tarchia would appreciate scrap booking donations:
• 3-4 ply baby wool
• Booties and beanies for new born and premature babies
• 100% cotton material and flannel
• 1B8 / A4 books
• Children's stickers of all sorts
• Glue sticks
• 30x30 Scrapbooking paper (pattern and plain) suitable for babies
• Scrapbooking embellishments
• Small chocolate bars.
You can find details on her Aroha from Hope Facebook page