rose pedalsI spent around three weeks total in Perth, Amber close to a month.

We divided our time between my sister’s house and Amber’s parents, it was a little harder staying with my sister as she had an almost 1-year-old. I loved my niece dearly but couldn’t help but feel sad being with her knowing we were no longer giving her a cousin.

Trying to remember those couple of weeks is like trying to remember your childhood, lots of bits and pieces. I didn’t cry much after that day in the hospital, it’s almost like I felt I couldn’t or didn’t want Amber to see me upset, even Amber didn’t cry much after leaving the hospital, I think a lot of it was still shocking.

One day Amber’s dad, Amber, Amber’s sister and I went fishing. We went out on the boat and had taken some rose petals to put in the water. For some reason, we ended up doing it from a little bridge and it felt nice to remember the baby and do a little something.

Before we knew it, it was time to return home to Paraburdoo. Work was waiting for me, I felt lucky that I had some support from my workplace. They even had sent me some flowers when we were in Perth saying they were sorry to hear about our loss.

We were very involved in softball in the town. Amber was the President and her sister Kelly was the Treasurer. We were in the middle of organizing a competition that was to be held in our town (it involved 4 teams – Paraburdoo, Tom Price, Karratha and Dampier, it was held once a year and was our turn this year) We had almost everything ready before we rushed down to Perth and happened not to be there for the actual competition. Thankfully everyone pitched in, a replacement was called in to take my position on the team and someone else took on Amber’s role as coach. A lot of people in the town knew what had happened – especially in our softball group. Most of them had sent text and Facebook messages for support. We had said we would rather people knew about the baby, what had happened rather than get back and have a lot of questions to answer.

The first day back at work I took the children to school as normal. We had a lovely new teachers assistant in the Kindy that year and she came over to say hello (I did some occasional work at the school and had formed a friendship with some of the staff) We were talking when she asked ‘how’s Amber going with the pregnancy?’ I almost didn’t believe it, I knew not everyone would know and politely explained Amber had lost the baby. The poor girl was horrified and so apologetic. I said it wasn’t her fault and said I had better go. The same thing happened when I headed to softball training that week. One of the new girls asked if Amber was starting to get a baby belly? I was surprised that none of the softball family had told her. I did consider a lot of the girls as a second family and this particular girl was on the team taking part in that competition I mentioned earlier, I assumed it all would have been explained to those girls at least. I explained again what had happened and she felt horrible. I said it was okay and not to worry about it. I couldn’t believe that small-town rubbish gossip could spread like wildfire and yet nobody seemed to know about this!


We had one girl who was up there that supported us tremendously, I remember the first time we saw her when we got back she gave us a big hug.

This surprised us as we had not been that close before then. Her team for softball was struggling and as Amber was going to take the season off she ended up offering to help coach them when she could. I don’t think the girls from my team liked or understood this.

The months went on and I felt like nobody understood me anymore. Amber and I were coping in our own ways and I started to drift away from her. We shared some moments though, one being we were listening to the Jordin Sparks song ‘Tattoo’ we were in opposite ends of our small house and as it came on she came back out crying and we hugged, I felt like I shouldn’t cry but got teary. I never wanted to cry around Amber. I wanted to be strong for her. We ended up finding a counsellor. She was in Tom Price and went over to chat to her. To make life easier she was also gay and we found it easier to talk to her. She also came over to Paraburdoo every couple of weeks so we made appointments to see her together. Amber also encouraged me to see her on my own as it might be easier to get my feelings out.

Another way I was coping was through the Internet. I was talking to one of my best friends who lived in Melbourne at the time. She helped me be able to just chat to someone about whatever I needed to get off my chest at the time. I also had another girl I was talking to a lot. She played softball for another Pilbara town and had noticed I wasn’t at that last competition. We would talk about anything and it felt like a little bit of an escape from my life. Them both being gay also helped me as in this small town as the only out gays who also just lost a baby was difficult.

Amber had decided to play softball with her sister Nicole in the next town over, Tom Price, I am not sure if some of the girls in Paraburdoo softball were too happy about that, but I think it was a little escape from our town for Amber. I was starting to feel like an outsider in my own softball team. I filled in for the team that Amber was coaching at one point – they needed another player and as I had missed most of the night games, I offered to play. This caused a bit of a stir with the girls from my team. One day after a game I had my coach come to my house to ask what was wrong, and was I going to change teams? They didn’t understand that I was gravitating to people who were supporting us, some of the girls from my team were my best friends in town and it was like they didn’t even care that our lives had changed.

We went back down to Perth for a holiday at some point and we’re starting to come to terms a little more with our loss. Amber had an appointment with another specialist.

This was to organise a time to have that reconstructive surgery that Dr Dickinson had recommended when we lost the baby. It was organised the surgery was going to be at the end of September.

Once we got back from Perth, things still weren’t great. Amber and I still loved each other dearly but things just didn’t seem the same. I felt I was not getting much support at work. The girl who was working with me left abruptly, leaving the entire workload with me. The committee of The before and after school care did not attempt to find a replacement and I felt as though everything was a struggle. I was also running a 3-year-old playgroup through them and received little to no support. I was feeling like I was falling and just couldn’t get back up.

I was looking forward to the next softball competition coming up. This one involved 8 towns in the Pilbara and I had been asked to play for Paraburdoo.I knew that the girl I had been talking on the internet was going and was looking forward to meeting up with her. I then found that the competition was to be held when Amber was going to be going in for that surgery.

I was upset, I really wanted that escape and play, but I wanted to be there for Amber too. I was not excited about Amber going into hospital and the thought of having to go there made me a little sick. Amber and I talked it out and we decided that I would go and play but I would take Amber to the hospital in Perth and then fly back up to Paraburdoo the morning I had to leave for Carnarvon – this is where the competition was being held.

We went down to Perth and had a holiday down there for a week or so. The softball competition was over the football grand final weekend so I dropped Amber off at the hospital and spent the day with her. When she was drugged up and ready to go into surgery I headed off. I was going to be catching the plane early the next morning back to Paraburdoo and then 4 of us from the team were going to drive over to Carnarvon together.

I felt bad the next day knowing Amber was in the hospital and was wondering if I was making the right decision? What a bad partner I am! I am opting to play softball with my friends rather than stay with my girlfriend who was going through another surgery.

I got to Paraburdoo and got everything ready to go. I picked up the other three girls and off we went on a 6-hour road trip with plenty of music and girl talk. We were all excited for the weekend together and ready to catch up with the girls from the other towns that were attending the 2008 Northwest softball competition.