Helping others bear loss of a baby
CANDACE Burns didn't want to be an "angel mum", but she wasn't given a choice.
In early 2010, Candace - a nurse at Maclean Hospital - was pregnant with her third child.
At 25 weeks she went in for a routine ultrasound to find out the sex of her unborn baby.
"We were pregnant with our third child, which at the time we didn't know was a little girl," Candace said.
"It was a routine pregnancy throughout. I went to have an ultrasound . . . and she (the sonographer) told us the words no parent ever wants to hear - that there was no heartbeat."
The nightmare news was made worse because it came late on a Friday and Candace had to wait until Monday to have her baby induced.
Candace's daughter was born on March 8, 2010. Candace named her little girl, Bella.
"She was born at 2am and weighed just under one pound," Candace said.
"We were given a Bear of Hope by the Grafton maternity ward in honour of another baby that had passed away."
Bears of Hope is a charity which produces special teddy bears for those suffering the trauma of losing a baby through miscarriage or stillbirth.
"They offer a support package to parents so you know you're not alone and you don't leave the hospital with empty arms, which is every parent's worst nightmare," Candace said.
"So we decided to set up our own fundraising page in honour of Bella.
"So far we've raised close to $1000, which will raise 40 Bella bears for Grafton Base Hospital's maternity ward for other parents that have suffered a loss."
Bears of Hope also has a forum for angel mums to chat about their shared experiences.
If you would like to donate to help Candace buy more bears, go to her webpage: inhonour.gofundraise.com.au/page/burnsc.