'You Could Have Been ...'

You Could Have Been - Sunday Telegraph

Jane Hansen (Sunday Telegraph Jan 28, 2018)

When Ann-Marie Imrie's son Xavier was stillborn in 2015, she found reading to him helped her through the dark days.

"It was such a surreal experience visiting my newborn baby at the cemetry," she said.

"I would sit there, crying in pain and disbelief. I wanted to talk to my son but I didn't know how. So I bought a children's picture book and read to him instead. I found this softened the experience, and it also gave me such pleasure to be able to do a 'normal' mum activity with my son."

From this came the idea to write a book to breathe life back into her child.

You Could Have Been was penned as a "special way for bereaved parents to continue a relationship with their child that they are unable to hold in their arms".

Mrs Imrie, from Bexley, partnered with Little Steps publishers to produce the book, which will launch on February 1 with a portion of sales donated to the Stillbirth Foundation.

Six babies a day are stillborn in Australia.

As a social worker, Mrs Imrie had trained on the subject, even counselled families but Xavier still brought her world crashing down.

"I had training but it was such a huge smack in the face after Xavier, the depth of pain was so much more intense that I ever imagined," Mrs Imrie, 35, said.

"The continued relationship is the biggest thing to me, having Xavier acknowledged and remembered, he was not just a tragedy."

Mrs Imrie now has another baby, her son Kai.

For details about her book go to www.anniemauthor.com.

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Ann-Maree Imrie - You Could Have Been

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