After Fleur Alsop lost two babies, one at 18 weeks, the other at 20 weeks, she hid from the world.
She wouldn't answer the door or the phone and wouldn't go out in case she bumped into someone she knew.
"Again our whole world had come crashing down around us, we were alone once more in this sad journey. We were lost, afraid and so heartbroken."
She felt very lonely because she didn't know anyone who had lost two boys - hers were Camden and Keegan - like she had.
Then she found out about Sands (Pregnancy, Baby and Infant Loss Support Group).
At first she was scared to go along to a meeting, she said.
"What if they think I am a complete nutter because I run out of supermarkets 'cause I spotted someone I knew and didn't want to face?"
But it turned out to be the best thing she could do.
"It was so good to meet other grieving parents who had been through something so heartbreaking just like we had.
"I found out I wasn't a complete nutter because they had all done the things I had done, too, like not answering the phone or door, taken off out of shops ...
"I spent weeks at home not going anywhere in fear of bumping into someone to be asked some of the most stupid questions anyone could ask."
Then, after more IVF treatment, Mrs Alsop become pregnant again. But at 21 weeks her baby boy, Kaeden, died.
"Our whole world not only crashed around us but our hearts were so broken they will never be mended."
A few hours after delivery, two Sands members came through the doors with a camera and loads of support.
"We weren't alone in this journey any more; we had people there to support us through this. They held us and shared in our grief.
"They held our little baby and cooed and aahed over his beauty and how perfect he was. The visitors didn't stop all day. We were blown away by the support, love and hugs of support not only for myself but my family, too."
She arrived home from hospital to home baking and meals.
"The day of our third angel's funeral was a devastating day for me. When we lost our first baby there was only us and our family at the graveside service, and with our second it was basically the same. This time we had a huge crowd there.
"Our families were blown away with the support given on that very sad day and the number of people there to farewell our little man."
To know there was a support group out there to talk to about your fears, heartache and shattered dreams with others who understood and could sympathise was wonderful, she said.
Sands will hold a balloon release on Sunday, October 13, at Brooklands Park near the zoo from 11am as part of Baby Loss Awareness Week. The public are welcome.
There will also be a candlelight remembrance service on October, 15 at 7pm in the Taranaki Base Hospital chapel.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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