'You feel empty... you've got the room ready then it's over'
AFTER weeks of feeling her little baby girl move inside her belly, Amy Lee Stidolph heard devastating news she hopes no other mother has to hear.
A miscarriage took away the hope of adding to her small family, but now Mrs Stidolph, 27, has married the man who was her rock through it all.
When she was 21, Mrs Stidolph was diagnosed with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) and she has endured fertility issues ever since.
Four years ago, she and now-husband Shane were blessed with a "miracle baby", Aria, but the birth almost resulted in a hysterectomy.
Medical staff saved her uterus and after eight months of trying, she fell pregnant again at the end of last year.
"Once you get to 12 weeks you assume everything is right, but we were on high alert," she said.
In March her fears were realised, when she was told her daughter Foo required a medically induced termination at 15 weeks due to genetic defects, a low chance of survival and high chance of severe health defects.
"You feel empty because you've bought the clothes, you've got the room ready and then it's all over," she said.
"It's hard trying to explain to a four year old."
But Mrs Stidolph then spent five days in induced labour to give birth to Foo, who was just 13cm long and passed away 12 hours before being induced.
"No one tells you that if you lose a baby after 12 weeks you have to have the baby, there's no other termination options," she said.
"You literally have a baby, it's still the exact same pain as you would be going through that's full term."
But she said the trauma was made harder because she was not given the benefit of maternity leave to recover, which is available to women who lose a child after 16 weeks.
"There should be something that helps women over 12 weeks, you can't go through the labour process, to just have enough time off for your physical body and mentality is huge," she said.
Mrs Stidolph said she was grateful Mr Stidolph stuck by her through the ordeal.
On Friday she gave the ultimate thank you, by marrying her partner of 10 years in a small ceremony at Leslie Park.
With Aria as a flower girl, the marriage was a way for the family to cement their commitment to each other.
"Once you've got kids, if you can save money it's well worth it, especially after losing a child, family is everything," Mrs Stidolph said.
Mrs Stidolph will be donating her wedding dress to Angel Gowns, a charity that creates funeral garments for families who have lost a young child.
She hopes to see more research and support for women facing PCOS and miscarriage.
"Although it makes you feel less of a woman because you can't easily carry babies, it shouldn't have that stigma in society," Mrs Stidolph said.
"If women feel comfortable to talk about things like this and doctors are open to doing research, we can prevent this from happening."