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By Shaun Odgers
How do you explain the day that your old world stops and you are faced with a whole new world, one you don’t necessarily want? This is what I faced on the 20th of April 2011. It was at 5.30am in the intensive care ward at the Royal Melbourne Hospital where my world had changed and I didn’t know what to do. My wife Carli and I have been together for twelve years and married for four. We had always wanted kids and went down the path of creating security for ourselves before we planned for a family. We tried to fall pregnant for six months and in January 2011 we announced to all of our family and friends that we were due in August with our first child. Carli’s pregnancy had been easy for her early on with no sickness or anything to concern us. We were naïve and looking forward to what lay ahead for us as we started our family.
The week before Easter Carli (who was at 23 weeks) called me on a Thursday afternoon saying she wasn’t well and I had to come home to take her to the doctors which was unusual as she had never needed me in the past. We made an appointment and Carli was diagnosed with gastro and sent home. Over the next few days we were in and out of hospital as her symptoms and pain got worse until the Monday night, where we stayed for some time. They suspected at different times that it was gastro, of pelvic problems, an obstruction of the bowel and other diagnosis. After another night of pain Carli was rushed to emergency surgery as her vitals were dropping fast and the doctors were now concerned for Carli’s life. During all of this, our little baby was fighting along with their mum doing well. After a 5 hour surgery our families were advised that the worst case news that Carli had suffered a perforated appendix and was now suffering peritonitis. Carli had 2.5 litres of septic infection through her abdomen removed and this infection was now throughout her body. Due to complications, they could not close her wound and they could not monitor our baby in her fragile state.
Looking back to those few hours of hope that I held onto is a bitter sweet moment. As I stayed with Carli, the feeling was that she was closer to not making it than surviving and the fate of our baby not known. It wasn’t until my family was taking me home at 4.30am that morning for a shower and something to eat that I was again taken into a room and advised that we had lost our baby. Carli’s body had been struggling to survive on its own and had gone into natural labour at some point during the night. Due to the massive wound they advised that our baby was to be delivered in the ICU department as if there was any bleeding or issues with removing the placenta they would need to rush Carli into another round of surgery to try and save her. I wasn’t allowed to be there and as I waited that little bit of hope that I held onto was gone and the reality was setting in.
I was brought into the room to meet our baby. When you picture the birth of a child, I had always pictured the room with doctors busily working away. Then that moment that you hear the first scream of a child and a doctor saying it’s a boy or girl. The first time a baby gets to cuddle mum and the photos of the three of you in the first minutes together. There are tears of happiness, well wishes and calls to be made. My world stopped at that point. I was in a curtained room. Up until that point we didn’t know what we were having and our baby became more real in those moments. They had wrapped our little boy at the base of the bed and left me to it. I slowly unwrapped the blanket and his tiny little body was so warm. I noticed his little chin, my wife’s nose, perfect long fingers but all in miniature, our son was born at 570 grams. I cried and cried. Here there were no doctors, no flashing cameras, no congratulations. Just a father, holding his son who was born asleep and his mum, in a coma struggling to survive. The only noise was of the machines keeping Carli alive and the nurses tending to others. I stayed there and didn’t know what to do. My best friend, the parent of our child lying there our sleeping son all together as a family, but not in the traditional sense. During this time our parents came and spent time with their grandchild. I tried to do as best I could for Carli so we had plenty of photos together and of our boy. I look back and wish I could have done more for her and our son.
It took Carli just short of a week to come out of her coma. On the inside I was conflicted, thrilled as I finally had my wife back to talk about everything that had happened, horrified that we needed to talk about our son who she wasn’t aware of but everyone in our lives was. Carli was awake when I got there and she already knew what had happened. As Carli had no recollection of meeting our son she left it up to me to decide what name we would pick. I chose Sam as he will be the little boy who never had the chance to grow up. We have been given a good indication of how Sam passed and we take comfort in that he didn’t suffer which is all that I needed to know. Carli has recovered well from what she endured and the past few months have seen her get back to almost full health.
The things that have been the hardest for me was the losses that we went through. Sam lost the potential that every parent hopes for. He could have been anything, done anything and now he stays as a memory to all that he touched with his story. As parents, we lost the innocence of having your first child and that things do go wrong for people like us. Our families lost a grandson, a nephew and a cousin. We are a few weeks out from Sam’s 1st birthday and as we hope to have kids in the future, I think what type of big brother he would have been. During that week we lost what should have been the ideal family but we take with us and always will hold the memories’ of Sam close by.
In early 2002 my husband and I were absolutely ecstatic to discover I was pregnant with twins. At my first ultrasound we were told our twins were identical and that they were girls. It didn't take us long to give our babies names ... Ella and Jasmine. We were both so incredibly happy and couldn't believe our lives had been so blessed. We instantly made so many plans and every day we talked about how wonderful it was going to be once our girls finally arrived.
However on June 16, 2002 my world fell apart when my first daughter Ella was born after my membranes ruptured prematurely. Several hours later Jasmine was also born. Both of my daughters died shortly after birth and we now know that "Twin to Twin Transfusion Syndrome" was the cause. My beautiful babies, taken so tragically before their beautiful lives had even begun.
The grief I experienced consumed me for many, many months and I never ever thought I would recover from such a tragedy. In the weeks following my babies deaths, all I wanted to do was speak to someone who had been through a similar experience. When I finally found that someone, I was comforted in a way that my family and friends weren't able to provide. From that day on I have always wanted to be able to do the same for another bereaved Mum, just like me. The terrible loss that I experienced was unlike any pain I have ever felt, and hope that I will never feel again. The loss of a child is something so devastating that unless you have experienced it, one cannot begin to imagine the agony it brings. I'm just so grateful that there were other bereaved parents who have helped me so much over the past 18 months, just as I hope to help other parents in the future.
The hospital I delivered my girls at gave me 2 quilts that had been donated by a Mother who had lost a baby. My girls were brought to me after they had died, wrapped up in these beautiful quilts that were so lovingly sewed by another grieving Mother. I treasure those quilts more than I can describe in words. By being a part of Teddy Love Club I'm hoping I can be of the same comfort to another Mum who leaves a hospital with empty arms, just like I did.
I truly understand the grief that is associated with the loss of a child. I know we can never replace what has been lost, but hope that these special teddy bears can provide some kind of comfort to those in need. They are all donated in memory of other special Angel's who were so wanted, so needed .. but so sadly lost.
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In Honour of ~ Erin Joy ~ and 2 baby Angels
In 1998 we were surprised to learn that we were expecting our 1st child after become quite ill during the second trimester & already having gestational diabetes I was horrified to be admitted to hospital at 31 weeks with Pre- eclampsia and was extremely sick. After spending 6 weeks in hospital well monitored we were informed that we would have our baby induced the next day (37weeks). All progressed ok until our babies heart rate dropped and an emergency c-section was performed and our little boy Blake weighing 2220kg was delivered he was in Neonatal for 3 weeks initially tube fed, we were lucky (this time).
After a year of trying again (we both wanted our children close) we were delighted to find out we were expecting again. Unfortunately I miscarried in July 2000 at 8 weeks. After 6 weeks of no periods after the miscarriage it came as a big surprise that we were 6 weeks pregnant!
After a wonderful pregnancy no gestational diabetes, no high blood pressure I went into natural labour at 40 weeks, baby was stubborn and became stuck and after another c-section a big baby boy Jared entered the world weighing 4550kg. Exactly 2years after our first son arrived in 2001 we had two lovely boys.
By the time Jared was 5 mths old those familiar pregnancy signs were felt again. All went well although I had gestational diabetes again, at 38 weeks due to an increase in my blood pressure I was admitted to hospital the next day for an elective c-section & our third boy Riley was welcomed into our lives weighing 4100kg June 2002.
A year passed and in June 2003 we were expecting again, infact we actually conceived on Mothers Day! I had very bad morning sickness which I had not experienced with any of the boys and right from the start I thought this time we may have our girl! For some reason I was so scared, never before had I had this feeling of uncertainty. I again was diagnosed with gestational diabetes. As the pregnancy progressed I demanded all tests be carried out as something was worrying me. All came back including the Amniocentesis fine, but I was still concerned! The hot weather hit, Xmas madness and I became quite ill again. More tests showed nothing. With Xmas/NY my Dr had a week off we went away and my routine appt was put back a week. I was busy running around preparing for my first son to start school I started to experience a few pains but I was due on Tuesday for my routine 35week appt. we knew baby was big and didnâï¿½ï¿½t have much room to move. We were planning an early c-section a date to be set at this next visit anyhow.
On the day of this appt. I woke with the feeling something was not quite right, my Dr asked if I had any concerns as my BP had gone up ? I said I was a little worried about pains and movement or lack of. He did a Doppler check and I could see concern on his face, he said the batteries were a little low so hell do an U/s (portable) before booking a day for delivery! He turned his back as he was watching the monitor which I couldnâï¿½ï¿½t see either, as he was searching I saw that he was upset and as he turned to me and said âï¿½ï¿½ Iâï¿½ï¿½m so sorry I cannot find a heart beatâï¿½ï¿½ I became hysterical. I attend Dr appt on my own never with partner or anyone and now I wished I did. I couldnâï¿½ï¿½t contact Dave who was working I had to drive home alone crying about our beautiful baby that died in what should be the safest place on earth.
Before leaving his office I asked my Dr what the sex of our baby was as he had the amnio. results so that we could pick a name before he/she was delivered. (We never find out the sex of our babes so that we are surprised after our wait) He told me a little girl!!!! We were booked into meet our little Angel Erin Joy the next day. What a wait that was! She was beautiful weighing 4630kg. That was January 14 2004!
All the nurses were lovely and caring while I stayed in hospital. I was thankfully allowed to keep Erin with me from Wed afternoon to Friday lunch time. I was given a lovely patchwork blanket that she was brought to me in and has a special place on my bedside table and in my heart. I did get to see all my 4 children together for the one and only time just after Erin was delivered and luckily I have some lovely photos.
But leaving hospital without my little girl was the worst feeling, one that I wish no mum to ever go through!
*The autopsy said that we lost Erin from a 1 in 1million complication from my gestational diabetes as no other reason can be found. She had blood clots to her right kidney and her umbilical cord at the placenta. It was the clot to her kidney that had killed her. We have undergone numerous test to see if we have some inherited blood clotting disorder and I had extra tests for any infection/diseases. None were ever found. *
I joined a gym in May 2004 and in Sept I found I was pregnant again but I unfortunately suffered a âï¿½ï¿½blighted ovumâï¿½ï¿½ miscarriage at 9 weeks. I needed a D/C and bled for nearly 4 weeks after. During this time I came across an article in womenâï¿½ï¿½s magazine at the gym on TLC. I hope ~ Erin ~ would be proud of me.
We are now ttc again and hope that after loosing 3 beautiful babies that we can have another to help ease the pain in my heart, not to replace but to be a little brother/sister for our darling Angel ~ Erin Joy~ and her big brothers.
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It was the 5 march 2004 as I slowly dragged myself out of bed. I felt terrible, I was crying all the time and worst of all I had to do a pregnancy test and I was only 18. I purchased a test at a local store and I remember the woman staring at me with disapproval. I felt bad enough I didnâï¿½ï¿½t need her thoughts as well. To me having a baby at that age would have been the end of the world, I couldnâï¿½ï¿½t even look after myself! Once I did the test I waited on the toilet floor for the results, my partner at that time was waiting for me outside the door for the results. I looked at the little strip and saw two positive lines. I was pregnant.
That night I cried myself to sleep, I couldnâï¿½ï¿½t have an abortion and I just ruined my partnerâï¿½ï¿½s life I thought. We werenâï¿½ï¿½t supposed to have a baby, we werenâï¿½ï¿½t even getting along. I truly believed our lives were ruined. After a while it had sunk in, I was going to be someoneâï¿½ï¿½s mother and I was okay with that.We started buying stuff and set up a nursery type thing in our room. I wasnâï¿½ï¿½t aware of the dangers of pregnancy then, which I wish I had known. I thought, "you hardly hear about these things happening so it wonâï¿½ï¿½t happen to me".
I was so wrong.
It was the day of the ultra sound and I saw my baby, I started to cry when I saw her moving around and getting rather annoyed at us poking and prodding her, we had woken her up. She began to move around a lot and did a little jump. It was so funny, she began to get stubborn and face her bottom toward us. I ended having to go back a few more times because she was being so stubborn and in the end the person didnâï¿½ï¿½t end up getting the face shot she wanted. The lady asked if I wanted to see what she was and I said no. I felt I knew she would be a girl but hoped she would change her mind before I gave birth to her.
One day I was sitting in my car at the lights with a friend in the car with me, when I felt a weird sensation in my stomach. I could feel something moving, I could finally feel her inside. I felt little things but I thought it may have been gas, but this was different, I started to laugh and get really exited. "I am having a baby," I yelled. After that day the movement got worse as I got much bigger. You could see her moving around. It got to the stage where I would be lying on the floor and have to rock myself onto my side to get onto my feet. Im my made it even harder by moving at that particular moment, which would cause me to land on my bum, or made me need to desperately want to go to the toilet.
I couldnâï¿½ï¿½t believe how much her personality grew over that time. I knew when she arrived she would be a handful. As life is unexpected, so was my loss.
I was thirty-six weeks and five days, when I went to my doctor. I had once gotten a belly button ring, which I had taken out once I found out I was pregnant, but it was a little infected. He cleaned it up for me and asked how I was doing. I felt fine. My pregnancy was going well, my weight was fine and I was healthy and so was my baby. Life was great for those last few seconds.
I told my doctor that I hadnâï¿½ï¿½t felt her as much the last two days, that she probably engaged herself again. He had a feel around and the listened to her heart. Then a wave of shock came over his face, I started to shake as he started to get frustrated and kept searching for it.
After about five minutes he said, "I canâï¿½ï¿½t seem to find her heart beat, I will try a higher frequency one that should definitely pick it up". So I waited in panic until he came back in, I was trying to keep tears back, because I was panicking about nothing. My baby is fine I kept telling myself. My doctor then put this one on my belly, which I could hear over a speaker, you could hear the placenta, but nothing else. He said he was going to send me to get a scan done straight away and then to come back to see him.
We drove down to the scan place and went straight in to the ultra sound room. I lied on the bed and let my belly hang out. I was so scared, "my baby had to be fine" I thought. "Oh please let her be okay" I begged to god. "Please let her be alright; I am happy to be a mum; I want to see her get married and be there when her heart gets broken by boys; please let her be alright". So many thoughts were going through my mind until I looked over at the screen and saw this little image which made me smile, but begin to cry. There was no colour of her blood flow or heart beat, I looked at the doctor as he looked at me and held my hand "sheâï¿½ï¿½s gone". I wanted to be sick, I wanted to scream and I wanted to go up to God and slap him in that face and say, why are you so cruel. I hated him. I began to cry uncontrollably and kept saying "not my baby, not my baby". "Please god, no".
I felt like I had been torn to pieces and now my baby lieâï¿½ï¿½s inside me with no heartbeat, she has passed away, and I am now her coffin.I went back to the doctor and told him she had passed away, everything went quickly from there.I was going to be induced that night and deliver her. I went to Flinders where I was only told to go home because there were pregnant women there that were in danger, and my baby has already passed away so if anything happens to me they canâï¿½ï¿½t help.
I went home and tried to make phone calls but only a gurgle came out, I was so ashamed that I couldnâï¿½ï¿½t be a good mother and keep her alive. I apologised to everyone; it was my fault.I lied in bed trying to think that they made a mistake, I thought about the next day to come; "I have to give birth to the dead" I thought, then rolled over and fell asleep from exhaustion.
The 18th of December.
I woke up at eight oâï¿½ï¿½clock and got everything ready. We all left for eight thirty and went straight to the hospital. I was situated in a nice room that was large for all the guests that I had, which I think the nurses regretted later, because we made a bit of noise. They didnâï¿½ï¿½t say anything though, they just wanted to make sure I was happy. They induced me at 2:00pm then checked my progress at about 4:00pm. She said everything was rolling nicely, mind you I was in heaps of pain. The doctor said to me that it would just be slight cramps and that labour feels like waves. Well these were rolling in.
In the end of my complaining I got and epidural, which I absolutely loved. Then after a while I needed to go to the toilet, the nurse helped me to it, but I sat there and couldnâï¿½ï¿½t go. I gave up and went back to the bed. I attempted my fate again to go to the toilet, but yet again no action. I needed to really go, so they tried me with a bedpan, but no action.
Then the nurse said that she would just have a feel inside, I was ten centimetres dilated and ready to rock and roll. Then all of a sudden a gush of water came out, my water had broke. It was so gross, like I peed the bed. Within minutes I was pushing, then realised that when I push her out I canâï¿½ï¿½t keep her. I told them I didnâï¿½ï¿½t want to push, but they kept persisting me to. Finally after a couple of pushes I looked down past my ankles to see a pair of still feet, with Long legs protruding from those feet. Then the nurse quickly wrapped her up and took her away to clean. She was 5pound- five, born at 6:28pm and was 24.1cm
I donâï¿½ï¿½t really remember too much after that because I was rushed into emergency because the placenta broke and I was bleeding too much. I slowly began to wake and look around the room and see a man asleep next to me, I thought I was in an accident, the nurse just told me I would be moving in fifteen minutes so go back to sleep, so I did. I woke up in the room I was in before, everyone was still there waiting. I look over to my left and see a little crib. Then looked in it from my bed and saw a little bear, it was the teddy love club bear, then next to that my beautiful daughter!
They asked if I wanted to hold her, I wanted to say no. She was silent and there was no sign of life. Once they put her into my arms I saw not much of myself but more of her father. I saw my fatherâï¿½ï¿½s feet and long legs, which made me smile inside. As I held her I looked at her lips, they were blood red for no reason. Her colour was a little darker, but she still was so beautiful to me. Then everyone else had a hold or look at her. It was so hard to hold myself together but no one else seemed to.
They took her away and I got some rest. Later that night they brought her in for the last goodbyes. I lied her next to me so she was close to my heart and kissed her forehead. I told her that I am sorry that she didnâï¿½ï¿½t stay in this world but even though sheâï¿½ï¿½s not here doesnâï¿½ï¿½t mean I donâï¿½ï¿½t love her and wonâï¿½ï¿½t miss her with all my heart. I told her that I am going to think about her all the time and one day give her brotherâï¿½ï¿½s and sisterâï¿½ï¿½s that will know who there big sister is, and that youâï¿½ï¿½re watching over them.
After that, they took her away from me and that was the last time I ever held my little angel. After that day I left the hospital holding a little pink teddy bear that said charlies angel inside the tag, thank you to who ever donated that, I helped so much in my time of need. The funeral came on the 24th of December 2004, where all friends and family came to give support.
The funeral was really nice considering, but the thing that made me very grateful is that my Dad and my partners Dad lowered her coffin into the ground, because I couldnâï¿½ï¿½t be there to witness that. My father isnâï¿½ï¿½t a strong person to do something like that but I was very happy that he did it, he made sure his grand daughter was where she was supposed to be and I thank him so much to me. Thank you Daddy.
A couple of months later I found out the results for her death, there was no reason at all, and just a freak of nature which apparently happens a lot but you never hear about. Last year was such a horrible year and dealing with this loss is harder then I thought, but since then I have found a new partner whom I am devoted too and we are now pregnant to my amazement. I feel it is to soon but I know my little In my is watching out for her Mum and her new family.
I love you my little princess, Mummy will be where you are soon.
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It was end of October 2006 my partner and i brought a pregnancy test from our local supermarket, we were so nervous we drove home and i went straight to the toilet i just stood there for a bit then i decided i need to know, we needed to know. I took the test and sat there waiting for the result after a couple of minutes nothing came up so i put the test down on the box in my room. I walked out to the kitchen where Shannon (partner) was standing with my mum i shook my head as a sign of negative. I was relieved in some way but i liked the thought of us finally being parents. I went back to the room to put the test in the bin i looked at it and seen there were two lines i checked the box; oh my god i thought i am pregnant i called out to Shannon and showed him.
We were so excited we went to my local doctor he didi a test and it came up negative that was impossible the test we took showed positive.... so he sent me for a blood test but said he doesn't think i was pregnant. I went had the blood test done and went to my friends house. She also was pregnant and said to do another home test she had a spare one, so off i went again and had the test that one came back positive we all were so confused. I went and got the results from the blood test and yeah i was pregnant 4 test later :).
So then it started we got more and more excited, watching my belly grow was amazing. It was a miracle we were going to be parents. Everything was running smoothly, the ultrasounds came back that Chloe was a healthy baby, but very stubborn due to not letting us see what sex she was, for two different ultrasounds. When Shannon, his sister penny and i walked in and seen her on the screen we all were so happy she was beautiful, our beautiful angel.
So the day came on the 26th march 2007 i went to my local doctor, because i hadn't felt movement that day, my doctor used a sound machine and said Chloe's heart rate was majorly low it was 90 and should have been between 130-140. She sent me to flinders medical hospital. the ride up there was so scary it was just me and my mum, Shannon was baby sitting his niece and nephew over other side of town. We got in and after filling out all the forms we got sent to labour and delivery. I was laying on the bed and they used the same sound machine to check the heart; they could find it i was so scared and all i could think is that she will have to be ok or the machine is broken, They hooked up the bigger sound machine and still nothing.
So they brought in a portable ultrasound machine, i couldn't look at the screen. My mum was holding my hand she squeezed it that's when i knew. The look of sadness on everyones face i knew. I just kept saying "not my baby not my beautiful baby". They said i had to have an actual ultrasound to confirm for the records but yes Chloe had passed away.
My life seemed ruined, i couldn't keep her safe like i always promised, i felt as if i had failed and let everyone down. Then i had to make the worst phone calls of my life. I rang Shannon to tell him and to get him down to me we needed each other. He said he had to drop the children off with there mum at work and he will be up as soon as possible. I was so angry at myself how could i do this to him how can i call him and tell him his child had died. I then had to ring my sister Jasmine, That was hard She also had lost her baby girl Imogen while she was pregnant, But i needed her i knew maybe she couldn't come seeings now her and Her partner have a new baby. But she said she will be there in a minute i felt so relieved having her come not just as a sister but as one of my best friends. I then picked up the phone again and told My Dad and Fiona, My poor family they had been through this once and i didn't want to do it to them. They were very supportive Fiona (my step mum) who i look at like a mum said she will come up if i needed her, she is 4 hours away from me and has my little young sisters to look after.
I then called my best friends Nick and Nikki who also have just had a beautiful baby to tell them and to see if they can bring me some warmer clothes. They said they will be right up. I was so glad i didn't have to make any more phone calls. I was dreading how i was going to be when i saw My sister Jasmine she came into the room i was in and just hugged me, she said That she would do it all over again so i didnt have to feel the pain that was something that my sister has touched my heart with knowing she loves me so. I was still waiting for Shannon, i called he was about an hour away he missed the first bus.. I didn't know what to do.
A doctor came in and said i am about to go off for the big and final ultrasound as we were leaving my room Nick and Nikki had arrived Nick said if i wanted nikki to come in with me he will sit and watch there daughter. I wanted her there too, i needed support we all needed each other. We walked up there, i layed on the bed it was Mum Jasmine Nikki and me, the screen came on and i just cryed, she looked so uncomfortable. They confirmed it, Chloe had passed away. I was in a daze everyone is trying to make sure i was ok but i was more worried about them. As we were going back down my partner was just coming up i seen him and just wanted him to make everything better again.
We all walked up to the room again abd waited for the doctor to come in and tell us what happens from here. I was in a complete daze and dind't understand much of what he said; all i understood is they were sending me home, with Chloe inside me still i was so angry as they done it to my sister as well as she said we were coffins for our angels our daughters. I didnt sleep that night but wasn't functioning i jast sat and cried.
The following day on the 27th March 2007 at 6:30am Mum , Jasmine, Shannon and i went back to the hospital to start procedure. I had to have 2 tablets inserted into my vagina every 6 hours. By about 10:30am i started having contractions but had Shannon's dad, brother and sister there i didnt want to make a fuss. By about lunchtime it was unbearable and i needed something to make the pain stop. they put me on a drip to pump some stuff through and put me on a drug like morphene but it works quicker and doesn't last as long. I had to press the button to pump it through every five minutes, i tryed to sleep but i would wake up with contractions again and it would take 15 minutes to make it work again. I was in no state to know what was going on around me. I had a reaction to the pain relief and was itchy, they wouldn't take me off it i requested an epidural and they said i hadn't pushed the button enough.
I don't remember much after that, i remember bout 6:30 am on the 28th march 2007 i ordered them to give me an epidural, so they did they said they will top it up about 8 because they thought id give birth that day. I went back to my room with Shannon and i finally fell asleep i woke up to hearing my sisters voice, Jasmine and mum came back, Jazzy had to bring my baby niece Hayley in because her partner had to work, i started to feel the contraction and something didn't feel right the nurse came in and i was ready to give birth.
I had always promised Jasmine she could be in the room when i give birth so i had Jaz one side and Shannon the other i started to push, but could feel everything due to epidural having worn off. I don't remember much after, Shannon's sister Donna came in, the nurse had taken Chloe to clean her up then we could see her. We all went and seen her everyone held her but me i couldn't i didn't want to hurt her. finally i built up enough courage to hold her, i looked a her she looked so much like Shannon Beautiful. She was a perfect angel, who we will always love. my days flew by with me not remembering much. We went home on the 29th March 2007 and all we did was sleep.
We want Chloe to know That we will always love her and not a day will go by where we wont miss her or think about her, and we will never stop loving her. You are our daughter and will always be. Remember all your family will always miss you, but i hope Imogen and you will be looking down on all of us.
Forever we will love you Love mummy and daddy!
Chloe Lee, born 28/3/2007, 8:20 am, daughter of Kirsty and Shannon
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This was my first pregnancy and both my husband and I were over the moon when we found out that we were going to be parents for the first time in our lives. We were just so excited. I had the ultrasound and we could see our little baby moving around inside me. We could of watched him all day if we could. We found out that we were having a baby boy.
Over the Christmas holidays we decided to start his room. We wanted him to have an exciting and colourful room so we went with a theme. We painted the walls a lemon colour and put a wall boarder around the walls which was blue and had cars, trucks, buses, trains and planes on it. We bought his furniture and decided to buy the pictures, rug, lamp, picture frame and cot set to match the car and truck theme. We even had some new clothes and our baby boy even had his first two teddies waiting for him to come home which his daddy and grand dad had bought for him. All we needed now was our little boy.
I enjoyed being pregnant I wasn't really sick at all only at the beginning, my blood pressure was perfect, My feet never got swollen and I felt great the whole time. My husband and I attended classes at the hospital to prepare us for our little bundle of joy. I loved feeling my little boy moving around in my tummy.
I was 36+3 weeks into my pregnancy and only had a month to go. I was due to finish work in a weeks time to start my maternity leave and we were more excited than ever until I woke up the next day. I hadn't felt my baby move. I had read that due to the end of your pregnancy your baby doesn't move as much as they are getting bigger and there is not much room to move but I hadn't felt him move at all. So we went to our local doctor so we could listen to our baby's heart beat. Two doctors had tried to find the heart beat but couldn't find anything they suggested that we go to the hospital as they had better equipment there. When we got to the hospital the midwife checked and still could not find anything. Specialist were called in to do a ultrasound that's when we were told of the devastating news. Our little boys heart had stopped beating and had passed away inside my tummy. I was told that I would need to be induced and deliver our baby. We were both shattered and a dreams of having our baby were gone.
I was admitted to hospital and induced and after 25 hours on Anzac Day 25th April 2005, our little boy Jordan was born at 3:40pm at 36+4 weeks into the pregnancy. He weighed 2885kg and was 51cm long. He was just so beautiful and looked so peaceful. We were hoping that the doctors were wrong and that Jordan would cry but there was nothing. He had his dads hair and he had my nose. He was just so cute and precious. We just couldn't understand why this has happened to us. We are still waiting to find out why!
This is just a horrible thing to happen and I wouldn't wish this to happen to anyone at all. Children are just so precious and people that have them are so very lucky. Slowly we are getting there, trying to learn to cope. We have our ups and downs but we have each other to help us get through this. We have also found that support from our families and friends has helped us to try and be strong. My husband and I hope to one day be able to have another baby so we can be a family like we had dreamed. Until then Jordan's bedroom remains the same way waiting for his brother or sister. I know that our next baby will have their little brother Jordan watching over them. Jordan will be their Guardian Angel for life and will never be forgotten. He will always remain in our hearts, memories and our life for ever.
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In February this year I fell pregnant with assistance from IVF Australia and of course my great husband. Taylor was conceived and man! were we excited.
However, at 5 weeks I was out washing dogs (I'm a mobile dog groomer) and I felt an awful feeling you know where and had to rush home to see what the heck had happened. I had no pain but was really worried so I took myself down to the hospital where I spent 6 hrs waiting for someone/anyone to come and see me. When the Doctor on duty finally arrived he said that the blood tests showed that everything was alright and that I was still pregnant but suggested I come back the next day to get an u/s to check the baby's heart beat. He also said that if I was going to miscarry there was nothing he could do about that - "if your going to miscarry your going to miscarry" were his exact words. You can imagine how this made us feel at this early stage in our pregnancy & our first baby ever, along with the fact that it was an IVF baby and not to mention my age ('old' I keep getting told - 40 ).
Anyway the next day the ob/gyn did an u/s and we could see the heart beating and a funny little thing that they called our baby. No one could explain the bleeding but it continued up until week 11 and then eased off to just brownish discharge every now and then. We had an u/s at Wk 5, 7, 9, 12, 16, 19, 21 when we were told and could see that everything was really going well. My placenta was low lying (placenta praevia) and started to cause some blood clotting and at week 21 I woke up at midnight to find blood everywhere and when I went to the toilet a clot the size of a cricket ball came out - far out!!
straight to the hospital thinking the worse but we saw our boy and there was a heart beat - I spent 3 days in hospital and was then told to go about my normal duties and expect to be in and out of hospital for the remainder of my pregnancy due to the placenta laying over the cervix. 2wks later we had another u/s and all was good - phew!! We were told then that I may need to have a CS at 28 weeks and to have my hospital bags packed and the nursery ready - it was all tooooo exciting.
After 21 years of wanting a child, 1 divorce, endometriosis & not to mention a fibroid (I had the fibroid shaved off in Nov last year before we started IVF) I WAS HAVIN A BABY and his name would be Taylor.
At 23wks another blood clot in the middle of the night so back to hospital but we weren't worried as we knew this was going to happen. However, this time the midwife could not find a heart beat and was worried enough to call in our ob - 2 hours later he arrived with his special computer monitor and after 10mins he gave us the worst possible news "sorry Cheryl there is no heart beat, Taylor has passed away" WHY?!?!? HOW?!?!?! Far out. So we went off for an u/s to see where the placenta was and it have moved enough for me to give birth naturally. So at 11am on 25 July I was induced and gave birth to Taylor at 8.39pm that same day. I was rushed into theatre to have a part of the placenta removed that didn't come out properly & when I got back to my room I got to hold my little boy. What a day - what a week & now months.
I came home to a beautiful nursery all ready for him - that was heart breaking. We had Taylor cremated on the 28th July and his ashes are now resting in the Garden of Innocence. I hope by sharing my story that I can help others to know that they are not alone through their loss.
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The day Dion and I found out we were pregnant was the most exciting day of our lives. We had been trying for about six months with no success, then one morning I woke up feeling sick and vomiting. I just put it down to the bad pizza I had the night before. As the day went on there were more signs that made me think I may be pregnant, so I took a test. When I got the result I couldnâï¿½ï¿½t help but cry, I was so happy. We went straight to the doctor to have it confirmed; yes we were 7 weeks pregnant.
I had no problems during our pregnancy and carried to term. Unfortunately this is when our nightmare began. I woke up about 5am having really bad pains in my stomach thinking I just had a stomach ache and tried to go back to sleep. The pain didnâï¿½ï¿½t go away; it got worse, so I started counting. They got closer and closer together. âï¿½ï¿½Oh my god, im in Labourâï¿½ï¿½
At 8 am I stepped out of the shower and gosh my water had broken, it was green and slimy. I remember thinking no one told me it would look like this! Dion called the hospital and they explained that the baby had done a poo in the womb, thatâï¿½ï¿½s why my water was green. They told us everything was fine they just needed to get me to the hospital ASAP. They told us that meconium (poo) in the womb is common and not to worry, so we didnâï¿½ï¿½t.
I was in Labour for about 15 hours and everything seemed to be going well, I was dilating slowly and the baby seemed to be fine. Then all of a sudden alarm bells started going off, the babyâï¿½ï¿½s heart rate was dropping dramatically and I had a very high fever. Both the baby and I were getting tired so they decided to take me in for an emergency c- section. At 9.22pm on Friday the 4th of March Hayley Rose Couzner entered the world weighing 9.2 pound.
When I woke up the nurse told me that Hayley had been taken to the NICU as she had aspirated mecconium. By this stage I was starting to get scared, but the doctors kept saying âï¿½ï¿½everything will be fine, we just need to clean her lungs and sheâï¿½ï¿½ll spend a few days in the NICU and she will be fineâï¿½ï¿½. I believed them because they are the professionals, I should have trusted my instinct and demanded to know more information.
By day 3 Hayley was not improving and the doctors didnâï¿½ï¿½t know why. They had a cardiologist do a scan on her heart. They found that Hayley had a rare heart condition called âï¿½ï¿½Truncus Arteriosusâï¿½ï¿½. This condition occurs when the two great arteries n the Aorta and the pulmonary have a single origin from the heart and blood from both ventricles passes across a USD into a single arterial trunk. The lung is exposed to very high pressure and increased blood flow, causing heart failure in the first few weeks of Life. We were devastated; we couldnâï¿½ï¿½t believe it was happening to us. Our little girl was going to die if she wasnâï¿½ï¿½t taken to Melbourne for a heart operation.
When Hayley was 5 days old she was transferred from the WCH in Adelaide to the Royal Childrenâï¿½ï¿½s hospital in Melbourne. The hospital would not perform the operation until Hayleyâï¿½ï¿½s lungs were better, saying she would die on the operating table. Days went by and Hayley continued to get worse and worse. She had been put on every machine the hospital had and very heavy medication. Everyday that we visited Hayley there was more bad news. They had now found another problem with her heart - an open duct which is supposed to be open when the baby is in the womb and close when the baby is born. Hayleyâï¿½ï¿½s didnâï¿½ï¿½t close, putting more strain on her little body. The doctors decided it was safe enough for them to operate to close the duct, hoping it would help her to recover enough to do the major operation.
But, on day 23 we were called into a private room and told there was nothing more they could do for Hayley. Her body had become dependant on medication and she couldnâï¿½ï¿½t survive without them. We were told that they couldnâï¿½ï¿½t and wouldnâï¿½ï¿½t keep treating her and we had to let her go. Once our parents got to Melbourne we had a few hours to spend with Hayley. Then I had to give the nurse the ok to turn off Hayleyâï¿½ï¿½s machine.
It was the hardest thing I have ever had to do. I know deep down in side I had to do for Hayleyâï¿½¦âï¿½¦âï¿½¦ no more suffering.
Please visit ~Hayley's~ website
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Kris and I found out we were pregnant in September 2003. I went to my GP thinking my cycle had thrown itself from stress as my Grandmother passed away in her sleep a few weeks prior and my Uncle died of cancer 2 weeks after that. I was so happy and nervous when he told me I was pregnant, he said you may have lost 2 family members but you are about to gain anotherâï¿½¦âï¿½¦so we thought.
My pregnancy wasnâï¿½ï¿½t easy I was sick 24 hours a day. My nose and gums were constantly bleeding and I was always having sharp pains in my abdomen. At 20 weeks I had to go on Ventolin and Antibiotics as I had contracted a chest infection as well as a bladder infection and my blood pressure was high. Both of these seemed to clear and I started enjoying my very active baby squirming and kicking me all the time. As I lay in bed at night snuggled too Kris, he would feel big kicks into his back.
At 26 weeks Kris took me to hospital as I couldnâï¿½ï¿½t breathe, my blood pressure was extremely high and I was so swollen, after an ECG and many arterial and venous tests I was sent home. The next 10 weeks I was swollen terribly. Mum came down to stay with me in the last few weeks of my pregnancy. My baby was due on May 25th. On Thursday May 20th my baby was kicking around and gave me a mighty big boot. On the Saturday I didnâï¿½ï¿½t feel a lot of movement and on the Sunday I cant recall any movement but I knew labour was underway as I had started having minor contractions and had a show.
On the Monday morning mum and I went to the OB for my checkup, the sister told me labour had started. When we went in to the OB he asked me had I any concerns, I said I hadnâï¿½ï¿½t felt much movement. He did a Doppler and couldnâï¿½ï¿½t hear anything so we went to the ultrasound room. He did an ultrasound and said âï¿½ï¿½thereâï¿½ï¿½s the heart and its not beatingâï¿½ï¿½ no sorry no sympathy. I asked why he replies âï¿½ï¿½we donâï¿½ï¿½t know why these things happenâï¿½ï¿½.
My mum had to ring Kris and he came down, not really knowing what was wrong. He took one look at me and started crying the look on his face is the look that will haunt me forever, I can so clearly see his pain. We were told to go to the hospital so my waters could be broken. We went home to pack my bags and my brother met us there, and he called my Dad who drove from Lightning Ridge. Mum, Kris, Brett & I went up to the hospital and checked in.
The doctor broke my waters at 2.30pm and we spent the afternoon waiting with my family, my dad arrived and my brothers fiancee drove over from Orange. Then my mother-in-law came over to pick up Brilea (Krisâï¿½ï¿½s daughter) and 2 of my close friends arrived. Kris, my mum and my best friend Mel helped me during the labour and at 10.26pm on Monday 24th May 2004, Bradie Kevin Patrick Moore was born naturally at Dubbo Base Hospital weighing 7 pound 2 ounces and measuring 48cm. We named him Bradie as it meant âï¿½ï¿½spirited oneâï¿½ï¿½ and Kevin after my father and Patrick after Krisâï¿½ï¿½s father. The next morning Bradie was taken to Sydney for an autopsy. I was allowed to go home and with me I took 11 Black & White photos of Bradie, Bradies patchwork quilt which was donated to the hospital from the Narromine Country Quilters. His ink hand and feet prints and his cot card.
On Sunday 30th May we went and said our final good-byes to our precious little man, he was all tucked up in his new outfit and bunny rug and looked like he was sleeping peacefully. We held Bradies funeral service the following Monday 31st May. Bradies service was absolutely beautiful. When we arrived at the chapel we were each given a carnation to give to our precious boy. Brilea and Emily gave Bradie a teddy bear each with a card reading âï¿½ï¿½sleep well my precious brotherâï¿½ï¿½ (which were later put in his casket along with a family photograph of Kris, the girls and myself pregnant with Bradie. After we had given Bradie our carnations, Warren Evans started his service. Warren read a heart-warming poem written by Grandma & Grandpa on behalf of both grandparents and our friend Melanie followed with a tribute to Bradie.
Kris was last to speak with our final goodbye and reading the poem âï¿½ï¿½All those monthsâï¿½ï¿½. Kris then moved Bradies casket to the front of the chapel to lay our little man to rest. As the curtain was closing around Bradie, âï¿½ï¿½Tears in Heavenâï¿½ï¿½ was played as the final closure to Bradieâï¿½ï¿½s beautiful service. Kris and I had made our own Order of Service as a keepsake for those attending and sent out thank you cards with his photo on it, these things really helped me a lot.
Someone once asked me would it have been better to have just not fallen pregnantâï¿½¦âï¿½¦ since Bradie died I have completed a scrapbook album for Bradie with photos of him, photos of his flowers, photos of his funeral, photos of his quilt, photos of the outfit he was buried in, photos of my bellie, ultrasound scans, his birth certificate, his name meaning certificate, photos of his ashes box, photos of his casket, copies of his hand and foot prints, photos of the people attending his service, copies of the poems read to him, copies of his Order of Service and thank you cards and certificate and reports from the hospital, this album has two duplicates, one of which is in the hospital and the other with the home midwives, both of which are to give bereaved parents ideas and also after not receiving any information at all when we lost Bradie it prompted me to write the keepsake ideas leaflet which goes in the TLC Brochureâï¿½¦.. so my answer is NO I donâï¿½ï¿½t regret a thing, Bradie in his short time with me has touched so many lives and pushed me to do things I never would have known about. He may not be in my arms, but I know he is always beside me giving me strength. He gave me the courage to try again and now we have his precious baby brother Harvey, who will grow to know what a beautiful and precious son his angel brother is. He was with me at the birth and also at our wedding, and I know he will be with Harvey throughout all his trials and triumphs in life.
Months after we lost Bradie I received his autopsy in my mailbox, this cowardly act in itself told me enough, but when reading it our suspicions were confirmed Bradie had died from a blood clot behind the placenta causing placental abruption which was caused by my rising blood pressure, all of which could have been prevented had it been picked up when I voiced my concerns as we know many babies are born early and survive, they need have only taken him 1 week prior (at 39 weeks) and he would be with meâï¿½¦âï¿½¦.. life is cruel and unjust but it is just that LIFE.
Kris and I are both so proud of our little man and all of the time I carried him, and love showing off his album and things. He will remain forever in our thoughts, always in our dreams and eternally in our hearts.
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26 April 2006 is the day that changed our lives forever and in more ways than one. Already the parents of Emily aged 2 and Lachlan aged 1 we went off for our routine 19 week ultrasound. This pregnancy was after a tubal ligation and although initially shocked we were as excited as we were with all of our other ultrasounds.
We were early (as I normally am) and were taken in for our ultrasound. The technician started off jovial as did we. As he was going through the ultrasound his facial expressions and tones changed and the chit chat was minimized. During the ultrasound the technician made up an excuse to leave the room hinting that he wanted a different probe to use. When the technician returned the doctor was with us and the ensuing 5 minutes was surreal. The technician and doctor spoke amongst themselves in front of us and then turned the machine off and asked us to follow them to another room.
The following half an hour is a bit of a blur but we were told that our little girl, Zara, had a kidney that was riddled with cysts and the ureter was blocked and the kidney would die leaving her with one kidney. I remember replying ok well heaps of people live with one kidney. The doctor said but there is further bad news. âï¿½ï¿½In simple terms half your babies heart has not grownâï¿½ï¿½ these are the words echoing through my brain and will always echo through my brain. In disbelief I managed to ask for an explanation. We were told that our baby had hypoplastic left heart syndrome with a double outlet right ventricle and a VSD. WOW slow down hang on I am reeling and not understanding was my reply. Pictures were drawn explanations given but all I wanted to know was how do we fix it.
We were told then and there that there was very little hope for Zara and to be compassionate and think of our healthy children at home and in any event did we really want to relocate to Melbourne. In a state of shock I sat there sobbing and agreed to an amnio which came back clear. An appointment was then arranged to see Dr Megan Sherwood a cardiologist at Westmead Childrenâï¿½ï¿½s Hospital.
That afternoon we went to our obstetrician who was concerned for us and encouraged us to sort the baby stuff out then go back and see him. Wow I had 24 hours to find out anything and everything I could because I was definitely going to see the cardiologist armed with information and there had to be some hope. We came home and rang our families who were as shattered as we were and offered us their support no matter what decision we made. We then surfed the internet all night and all day reading, printing, re-reading as much as we could. We tried to interpret peopleâï¿½ï¿½s opinions from fact and got that many contradicting stories it was not funny. Did we have to go to Melbourne? Did we have to go to America? Did we need a transplant? Was there normal life expectancy? So many questions and very very few answers.
The next afternoon Brad and I went to see Dr Sherwood and she did her own scans and formed her own opinions which were basically the same as the technician and the dr from the day before with the big difference being that she told us there was hope and not to consider termination as this was manageable, not correctable but manageable. Music to my ears. Dr Sherwood explained things to us on a level that parents who were in shock would understand and would remember. We were advised that we would have to deliver Zara at a different hospital with a different doctor and she would then be transferred to Westmead Childrenâï¿½ï¿½s Hospital for 2 weeks and then she would come home. We were told at 6 months she would have an operation known as the Glenn Shunt which had a 90% success rate with a period of hospitalization of 7-10 days and at age 1-3 Zara would have the Fontan procedure with a little less success rate with the same period of hospitalisation. We were advised obviously there are risks and there are no guarantees etc etc but instantly I was filled with hope and hey without hope for your little gift what do you have.
We had so many emotions going through our systems that it was not funny. We were excited, scared, nervous, happy, sad âï¿½ï¿½ anything and everything but there was hope. We know it is going to be a long battle ahead and we know there are no guarantees and there are going to be tough times but we have all been through a lot together as a family and I know we will get through this.
I contacted Heart Kids NSW and Hearts of Hope today and have been inundated with support, advise and words of wisdom and am forever grateful to everyone.
One very wise lady sent me this poem and it explains exactly where we are at. When you're going to have a baby, it's like planning a fabulous vacation trip to Italy. You buy a bunch of guidebooks and make your wonderful plans: the Coliseum, Michelangelo's David, the gondolas in Venice. You may learn some handy phrases in Italian. It's all very exciting.After months of eager anticipation, the day finally arrives. You pack your bags and off you go. Several hours later, the plane lands. The stewardess comes in and says, "Welcome to Holland." "Holland?!?" you say. "What do you mean Holland?? I signed up for Italy! I'm supposed to be in Italy. All my life I've dreamed of going to Italy." But there's been a change in the flight plan. They've landed in Holland and there you must stay. The important thing is that they haven't taken you to a horrible, disgusting, filthy place, full of pestilence, famine and disease. It's just a different place. So you must go out and buy new guidebooks. And you must learn a whole new language. And you will meet a whole new group of people you would never have met.It's just a different place. It's slower-paced than Italy, less flashy than Italy. But after you've been there for a while and you catch your breath, you look around and you begin to notice that Holland has windmills âï¿½ï¿½ and Holland has tulips. Holland even has Rembrandts.But everyone you know is busy coming and going from Italy ... and they're all bragging about what a wonderful time they had there. And for the rest of your life, you will say, "Yes, that's where I was supposed to go. That's what I had planned."And the pain of that will never, ever, ever, ever go away, because the loss of that dream is a very, very significant loss.But if you spend your life mourning the fact that you didn't get to Italy, you many never be free to enjoy the very special, the very lovely things about Holland.
After having hope and planning the future for Zara we then received further bad news, Zara had Velo-Cardial Facial Syndrome which is a rare genetic disorder that has about 118 possible deformities. WE were told enough to make our decision, things such as facial deformities, inability to swallow or talk, no immune system, poor muscle tone, the list goes on and on and on. Brad and I made the decision that this was going to be no life for Zara so on 3 May 2006 at 19.5 weeks gestation I had a C Section delivery at Hills Private that brought into and took Zara from this world.
This is a diary of our events and feelings that lead us to the birth and subsequent death of our shining star, our little Angel, Zara Nicolle.
28 April 2006 As a bit more a back ground for you over the last 4 years I have had 3 lots of spinal surgery including spinal fusion in March 2005 and we have had 2 children by C Section âï¿½ï¿½ both planned. Our daughter had a month in hospital over her first year with repeated cases of rota virus and ended up on a prescription formula as that was the only thing she could tolerate. Our son was born with a Strep B infection and was on breathing machines in ICU for a week. Both children are happy and healthy and on the go all the time. We thought we had been through all the medical dramas we could encounter then I fell pregnant with Zara 2 months after tubal ligation. This was going to be the ride of our life.
At 7 weeks I began to bleed and the Ob Gyn told me I had a small clot outside the placenta which would go away and it did. At 12 weeks I had bad cramping and heavy bleeding and I went to the local Private Hospital one night and was told I had had a miscarriage and go home and ring the Ob Gyn on the Monday, which I did, to be told that I had a polyp in the cervix and again the bleeding would stop. On the Wednesday I had my Nuchal and was told I had a haematoma between the placenta and the uterus which may cause problems later on. From that day until 17 weeks I had constant heavy bleeding then all of a sudden it went away and we looked forward to a happy remaining 22 weeks.
29 April 2006 Last night we had some good news. We had emailed RCH Melbourne about our case and were advised by Dr Penny that although he would be delighted to meet us he was happy for us to stay with Dr Sherwood in Sydney and they regularly liaised about HLHS cases. This was a relief of our minds. Our case is different to most HLHS cases as Zara does not need the Norwood Procedure due to the DORV. I guess something has gone right for us amongst all the bad things.
Brad and I have come to terms with the decision we have made and know that we will always worry about whether we had made the right or wrong decision but we are confident we have made an informed decision and one we can live with. We have to hope that we are part of the 90% success not the 10% failure rate.
Found out today that people are questioning our decision. We know that everyone has their own opinions whether they be moral, ethical, religious, informed, educated or uninformed and everyone is entitled to their own opinions but they do not have the right to push them on us or our families.
We were also told today that there is a âï¿½ï¿½negative stigmaâï¿½ï¿½ that goes with having a disabled child. Well well well everyone is coming out of the woodwork arenâï¿½ï¿½t they. I wonder whether any of these people have ever had to make a decision like this to make them qualified to comment?
Brad and I came to our decision after educating ourselves fully and seeking advice from everyone we could contact. Based on all the opinions, advice and information we could gather we made an informed decision that was right for us, for Zara and for our family and it was a decision we could live with and had to live with.
With respect to everyone who has and will try to enforce their beliefs and opinions on us please remember that we need your love and support not your judgment or negativity. This is a hard enough time for our family let alone us having to judge comments and criticism.
30 April 2006 Emily felt Zara kick today and she is telling everyone about it. Now I wonder how any negative outcome will affect the kids but I am sure I am doing the right thing.
1 May 2006 More doctors appointments!! We saw Dr Blumenthal today who has agreed to come to Westmead with us and deliver the baby. This is a big relief for us. Dr Blumenthal is a very kind and caring man who has never brushed us off with one concern or one question and today he did not mind how long we were there as he knew we were there with a lot of issues and concerns. Dr Blumenthal told us today that he is more confident about the surgery given the DORV but without the DORV he would have been leaning us towards a termination. The only thing he wants me to do is see a renal team this week (before 20 weeks) just in case there is a problem with the one functioning kidney. Dr Blumenthal has made us feel a little bit happier about the birth knowing he will be there rather than someone who is just called in on the day at Westmead Public. I know there is a lot of debate versus public and private but I am a private person myself and the thought of having someone just come in and do this delivery scares me no end.
2 May 2006 Just as we were able to concentrate on working towards a positive outcome I just received a call from my obstetrician saying more genetic testing had come back which he needs to discuss with me urgently. He wants to see me in 2 hours and all I can say is it must be bad news as he would not discuss it with me over the phone. I am not sure what the outcome is going to be or when I am going to post again next but wanted to keep you all up to date with Zaraâï¿½ï¿½s story.
3 May 2006 As you know we saw the ob gyn last night and we found out that the amnio results came back showing that Zara had velo-cardial facial syndrome which is chromosome 22. There are over 30 possible effects from this syndrome such as cleft palate, poor muscle control, poor immune system, difficulty talking and swallowing, facial abnormalities, little brain function etc etc. Although it was a heart breaking thing to have to hear and discuss, we consulted last night with our medical team of paedeatricians, cardiologists, geneticists, ob gyn etc and it was decided that although Zara is a fighter, she just has too many things wrong with her to have any quality of life. Today I have a C-Section and say good bye to my little girl.
4 May 2006 Yesterday was the hardest day of my life. Sitting at the hospital knowing why I was there and feeling her kick and then lying in an operation knowing what was happening was excruciating for Brad and I. After the operation we had a hold of our dear little girl and today we had photos with her and got to say our tearful goodbyes. We were unsure whether we wanted to or not but once we had her in our arms we knew it was the right thing to have a hold and we knew our decision to let Zara go to heaven was the right one. At 19 weeks gestation there were already facial features that indicated the effects of VCFS were going to be bad. Holding our little girl was hard but I am glad we did it.
I was given a lot of things by the hospital but of all the things I was given a teddy bear touched my heart the most. A lady has started a club called the Teddy Love Club which gives bears to people who lose their babies and when you feel up to it you replace the bear. The bear enables you to not leave the hospital empty handed.
I have to say that the hospital, the staff and our medical team were completely professional but compassionate and at no stage were we made feel like we had to justify or explain our position or our decision. We had every bit of support we needed or wanted and I can not imagine having gone through this with anyone else. I would recommend in an instant any of the professionals on our care team.
5 May 2006 Today I came home from hospital and am recovering from my C Section. Seeing my little angels at home has really helped and although I am sad at our loss I now have to concentrate on making my other childrenâï¿½ï¿½s lives happy and doing everything we always dreamed of. 50% of VCFS cases are genetically inherited so in the not too distant future we will all be tested to see if we are part of that 50%.
We have received lots of support from friends and family over the last week and I would like to really thank everyone. These are 2 of the versus we were given in hospital:-
Some have a lifetime,
Some just a day
Love isn't something,
You measure that way
EVERYTHING HAS ITâï¿½ï¿½S TIME~
For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under the heaven:
a time to be born, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
a time to kill, and a time to heal;
a time to break down, and a time to build up;
a time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
a time to throw away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
a time to seek, and a time to lose;
a time to keep, and a time to throw away;
a time to tear, and a time to sew;
a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
a time to love, and a time to hate;
a time for war, and a time for peace.
ECCLESIASTES 3: 1-8
8 May 2006 Things are going well at home and we have had a lot of messages, calls and visitors offering support but it is funny how you deal with situations like this. Although we are upset and saddened by what has happened we are strong and continuing on with our lives. People expected us to crumble in the corner and are saying how they are amazed at how well we are handling things but we know in our hearts that our decision was the right one and we do not question or regret it in anyway. I also can not imagine dealing with this in any other way. Our friends and family have been there to support us from day one and for that we thank them.
My next aim is to organize a fundraiser in the way of a dinner in memory of Zara and donate to the organizations who helped us through this chapter in our life.
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On Friday 6th January 2006 at 6.a.m My husband Philip and I arrived at the Gold Coast Hospital for my elective C-section. I was very nervous, even though this was my 2nd time around with this sort of birth. Although this time I had the choice the last 4 weeks before our baby was due. At 9:40a.m our beautiful baby boy Troy Paul was born. He was exactly like his older brother where breast feeding was concerned, in other words he was forever falling asleep and no amount of cold wet face ashers after 5 minutes would wake him. I was used to it so it didn't worry me too much. After 8 weeks of breast feeding it seemed to me that he wasn't getting enough into him, so I decided to put him on the bottle. He never drunk the amount he was supposed to as directed on the formula can. One day when I took him to our Health nurse at the chemist I asked her if she thought he might have Reflux like his older brother did, and she said that it looked and sounded like he did. So I took Troy to our Doctor and he said that he thought he had reflux as well, so he prescribed Zantac for troy to take in the morning and at night.
When he was 4 months old I took him for his immunizations and the next week he had a cold. He was just getting over that when he got a worse cold. He then started playing up on his bottle and seemed to want it but he'd have 5 - 10 seconds drinking his bottle then would pull away and get distressed. On Saturday 17th June I had tried to give him his bottle before he went down for the night, but he started screaming. So my husband said that he would try to get him to drink it. Troy got REALLY distressed and if he could talk he would of been abusing us!! So I rung our G.P when he rung us back that night he told us to bring him in first thing Monday morning. On Monday morning when I took Troy in to see our Doctor, our doctor gave him a checkup and then just said that it was probably because he had a stuffy nose and couldn't breathe probably that's why he was playing up. So I told him that we had decided to take him off the Zantac as we thought that might of been the problem and that we were going to start him on solids. He said that was okay, so when I got home I tried Troy on farex but he just Baulked on that too. So I tried to give him his
bottle before he went for a nap, but Troy got really distressed and was crying and screaming. So I rung my Doctor up straight away so he could hear Troy screaming. He told me to go straight to the paediatrician at John Flynn Medical Centre, so I got there as fast as I could. Our Paediatrician sent us off to get Troy's chest X-rayed, then he phoned us up at home at 6p.m to tell us that he had organized for Troy to have an Ultra-sound the next day at 3p.m.
On Tuesday 20th June we had Troy's tummy ultra-sounded then waited for the pictures and went back to the Paediatrician. I was called into his office with Troy and he told me to sit down. He then informed me that the Ultra-sound had picked up at least 2 tumors in Troy's tummy. As soon as he told me this I was sobbing. He then rung my husband who was home from work by then and told him too. He then rung the Royal Brisbane Children's Hospital Oncology unit, and spoke to a specialist who told us to come up at 9:30a.m the next day.I went home numb. When I got home my husband and I went round with a small suitcase for our older son Jacob to my parents. When we told them they were sobbing and were devastated. We left there at 8p.m after making sure Jacob was okay. That night we didn't sleep much and neither did Troy.
We were up at 5:30a.m on the Wednesday morning and got up to Brisbane at 9:10a.m. Troy was admitted to the Banksia Oncology ward at 11:30a.Troy went under a general anesthetic on Thursday for another Ultra-sound and for an MRI. When he came back to the ward the specialist came up and told us he thought Troy had a tumor called a Neuroblastoma. He then told us that Troy would need to go back into surgery on Saturday 24th June for a Bone marrow test, Lumbar Puncture, to have a tube put in his chest for the Chemo treatment he would be having, and for a Biopsy. I carried Troy down to Theatre at 10a.m and was told he'd be back in the ward by about 1:30p.m at 2p.m the specialist and surgeon came up and said that they would have to perform a 2nd operation on him as he was bleeding from the tumour everywhere. At 3:55p.m they came up to the ward and told my husband & I that Troy was a real fighter and that they had slowed the bleeding to a trickle but they had put him in an induced coma and that Troy would have to be operated on every 24 hours to stop the bleeding.By 4:20p.m that Saturday afternoon we were sitting in the waiting room of the Paediatric intensive Care Unit, when the specialist & surgeon called the pair of us into a little room. They told us that the bleeding had got worse again and that Troy's blood wasn't clotting. They then told us that he wasn't going to make it through everything.
My husband and I were sobbing our hearts out. By this time my parents had been called down for us and they were outside the room when the specialist & surgeon came out of the room, and my parent said that they were sobbing too. We went in to see him, and it broke our hearts to see him lying on the table asleep still with tubes coming out of his mouth and the surgeon pushing clotting agent into him. The nurses then dressed Troy in his clothes I had brought down for him as they had asked if I wanted to dress him but I couldn't. When we were allowed back in to spend the last few minutes with troy I was allowed to hold him so they took the tube out of his mouth so I could hold him. I just kept whispering to him how much we all loved him and that he had tried to fight soooo hard but it was now time to stop fighting. The only thing I could think of to say to my dying baby was "go to the light that you can see". He hadn't been christened yet, so they got the priest in who baptized him before he passed away. He then passed away in my arms with lots of kisses at approx. 6p. on Saturday 24th June 2006, he was 24 weeks and 1 day old. He was held by his Daddy, Grandma, Grand-dad,and Uncle. Jacob couldn't understand why he wouldn't wake up and tried so hard to wake him up with alot of noise from Troy's teddy. I then told Jacob to give Troy a kiss on the forehead and say "good-bye mate" which he did.
We had Troy's funeral on Thursday 29th June and we are now waiting for his ashes to be returned home to us. My husband and I as you can expect have our good and bad days. Jacob asks for Troy especially at night when he goes to bed, and I have explained that Troy has died but we go outside at night to find the brightest star in the sky and say good night to Troy. I hope there is a heaven and that we do get to be reunited with our loved ones who have gone before us.
To my Darling "Poddles" I miss you with all my heart Troy and my Heart
is well and Truly Broken I never thought a person could cry so much my
love. I can't wait to see you again in Heaven my little Bubbalees.
All My love Forever
Mummy , Daddy, Jacob and Summy cat
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I lost my twin girls Shauna Lee & Tayla Anne on 6th January 2003 at 23 weeks and 4 days. Shauna weighed 550gms and Tayla weighed just under at 540gms.
When I found out that I was pregnant, I was shocked and a bit scared, as it wasn't planned. But when I had the first ultra sound and saw two beating hearts, I was overjoyed!! I couldn't believe it, TWINS! Everything was going so well and I was growing by the day.
Sunday 5th Jan I work up with slight pain in my stomach, I didn't think anything of it, as I just thought that it was my belly stretching and I continued on with my day. By the time I arrived at work at 6pm, the pains were still there, but not bothering me too much. As I was only just over 23 weeks pregnant, labour hadn't even entered my mind. By about 10pm the pain started to become very painful and I rang my hospital. They told me to go there and have a check just to be safe. I phoned my husband who came down to pick me up when I finished work just before midnight and by this stage I was bent over in agony. When I arrived at the hospital I was probbed and prodded for about 30mins before any one actually told me that I was in labour Labour! I couldn't believe it, it didn't really sink in and I just assumed that they would stop the labour and send me home. I didn't really know what was happening. Once it had been confirmed that I was in labour, I had 3 different doctors telling me 3 different stories. 1 doctor told me that everything would be fine and they would be able to save my girls, the other doctor told me that they would try their best, but it didn't look very good and the last doctor told me that there wasn't anything that could be done to save my girls lives as they were just too early.
I was so confused, I didn't know what to think. I was given all types of drugs to try and delay the labour, but nothing worked and at 12.55pm on 6th January my precious Shauna Lee was born. I was able to hold her for the 2 minutes that she was alive. Then at 1.01pm Tayla Anne was born and I was also able to hold her while she was alive and she actually kicked her little foot in my hand. It was all so surreal, they were so tiny. My family were at the hospital with me and they were all able to hold my two little angels. the hospital gave us foot prints and fingerprints as well as treasured photo's that I am so grateful for.
My Husband and I had our girls buried at Centennial Park Cemetery on 10th Jan in the Children's 2 Section which is so pretty. I often go down there to say hello and just sit with them.
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My life has always run like a text book. I have always been happy & healthy, I have a loving marriage & a loving supportive family, a great job & never felt that I would ever have to face tragedy.
For the last 7 months I have been thinking of when it would be a good time to start trying to have a baby. After all I am 38 years old & I do wish to have a child before I am 40?? After having a good old chat with my husband Shane we decided now is the time, Shane thought after xmas (2006) would be the best but I said no lets try before!!! due to my age I knew it was going to take me a long time to get pregnant, boy was I wrong. The blinds in our bedroom went down once & bang it happened!!! Even my doctor was surprised.
Well I now started to buy things in the shopping every week for our first little baby, told everyone ( well friends & family). I know now that was a mistake until all the tests are done but hey!!! this was my first baby I was 38 years old & so excited I felt blessed I really did! My first trip to my Obstetrician was quite daunting. I knew absolutely nothing but by the end I knew everything. We were lead into a small room & I laid down on the table with my stomach expos ed. A cool gel was rubbed on my stomach & I was now having my first ultra sound. I guess you know that you are pregnant but it is hard to believe until you see the little being inside of you. Well when we both did there where tears of joy, I couldnâï¿½ï¿½t believe that this was our baby, we did this together it was amazing.
My next appointment at 12 weeks was a Nuchal Translucency test which involved a blood test a week before an ultra sound. I thought at the time this was all so new & exciting so I did a bit of research on the internet to learn what was involved. It was the measuring of the nuchal at the back of the babyâï¿½ï¿½s neck to detect Down Syndrome or any other chromosomal disorders. I new by my age I was going to be high risk but I have always looked after myself & kept fit. I gave up smoking & was off of the pill for well over a year, âï¿½ï¿½ I would be fine!!! No worries at all!!!âï¿½ï¿½
Well after waiting nearly an hour & a half due to one of the machines that they used breaking down, I was in for my first major test. Shane & I where so excited at all the attention this little baby was getting it was wonderful. As I laid on the table once again with a more sophisticated machine, I began running through my head all the names we would call our baby if it was a boy or a girl. The doctor was getting impatient the baby would not move into position & was shaking my stomach & at one stage turned me upside down. Finally the doctor was able to take some measurements & I laid there thinking this was all so wonderful & Shane was smiling as he saw our baby on the screen. Then suddenly another more experienced doctor came in the room & the two doctors where whispering & checking & Shane & I started to feel uneasy.
After the scan the more experienced doctor pulled us into her room & gave us the most horrific news I have ever experienced in my life. Our babyâï¿½ï¿½s Nuchal measured 7mm when it should be between 0.2 & 3mm. Due to my age I had a 1 in 2 chance of having a Down Syndrome baby & from my blood test a 1 in 24. Tears fell & Shane & I just kept asking the question why us!! What have we done to deserve this but knew the test was only 95% accurate there was still that 5% chance that our baby would be okay. We owed it to ourselves to give our little baby every chance we could. So we waited another 5 weeks for the Amnio Test, I could have had the CVS test straight away but the chance of miscarriage was higher.
The dreaded day arrived for my Amnio Test. I had done a fair bit of research on the internet beforehand so I was fully prepared with what it entailed. All the doctors were lovely & all of them seemed to be smiling the whole time, so I throught to myself everything was fine. I started to feel some hope that day.
10 days passed & still I had heard nothing, but ended up going into see my Obstetrician on a Thursday due to a nose bleed which I have not had since a child. After Melissa checked me out & said everything was okay she sat me down & looked into my eyes & told me the words I was dreading to hear. âï¿½ï¿½ I Have the Amnio Resultsâï¿½ï¿½ âï¿½ï¿½Iâï¿½ï¿½m Sorry this baby has Down Syndromeâï¿½ï¿½
On Saturday 3rd February2007 Olivia was born at 17 weeks. The echo of the midwives walking the corridors, the emptiness in our hearts ; the pain still lingers on but her memory will be with us forever!!!
Daddy & Mummy love you very much & the angels will take good care of you!! Forever in our hearts our little girl OLIVIA
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In God's Care - 27th March 2007
My husband and I live on our cattle property about 6 hrs NW of Brisbane. Recently married, our lives were going great and we were expecting our first baby.
We got the results of the Nuchal Fold scan back and all was fine so we went ahead and announced our good news and began to look towards the future in anticipation of our child arriving in mid July. At 19 weeks we went to the Hospital for the next routine scan. Whispers between staff gave me the impression that something wasn't quite right and one week later our doctor confirmed there was a problem and referred us straight to Brisbane. More scans in Brisbane by Foetal specialists confirmed a heart problem. An amnio was done to test for chromosome abnormalities and 24 terrifying hrs later the tests came back 90% clear. The remaining 10% of the results would take a further 10 days. The latest scans showed that our baby had a heart defect, which the doctors thought could be operated on at birth. Nobody seemed very concerned - they do this sort of thing every day. We came home a bit apprehensive but somewhat relieved now that we finally thought we knew what was going on and that our baby was going to be ok.
10 days later - everything changed and our world was shattered. Sitting in that final 10% of results from the amnio was something called Jacobson Syndrome. A rare disorder that affects chromosome no 11. The list of possible complications was expected to be extensive and severe. No longer was it a case of just a simple heart operation. After days of researching Jacobson Syndrome on the internet and more talks with specialist doctors & genetic experts, we sadly knew that it was unlikely our baby would have any quality of life and the heartbreaking decision was made to terminate. Our world came crashing down around us as we began to actually realize that we were about to lose our precious baby. I remember thinking this is just a bad dream and when I wake up it will all be good again. My husband was trying to be strong and supportive for me but early one morning, I found him sitting on the front steps of our home crying his eyes out. I had never seen him cry before that day.
We had 5 days from when we made the decision to when we lost her. Every time I felt her kick it was a saddest and most painful reminder of what I was about to lose. I tried so hard to turn the kicks into a positive and savour every last one because I knew all to soon that she would be gone. I remember driving the 6 hrs to Brisbane feeling like I was going to my own death. In a way I was. She was a part of me and this was the very last thing that we wanted to do.
We both felt so helpless and no matter what we did we couldn't fix things. It was a no win situation for our baby and for us and the most heartbreaking decision of our lives. To walk into a hospital knowing you are about to lose your baby is one of the hardest things you could ever do. Your head knows the medical reasons behind the decision to terminate while your heart is calling out in vain. I had to lay there while the doctor euthanased my baby while she was inside me. Our baby was on her way to heaven and all our hopes and dreams where gone with her. I was moved to a birthing suite where they started the inducement of labour. Our little girl was already gone and the thought of having to go through labour didn't seem worth all the pain to me now.
At 24 weeks gestation Caitlin Grace was stillborn at 1.33am on the 27 March 2007. We got to hold our little girl and I remember thinking she looks just perfect. Surely those doctors didn't get it wrong. Then I remembered what our midwife had said days earlier - "you're baby is likely to look just fine on the outside but remember that she is very sick inside". It was so hard to believe looking at this beautiful little baby. We said our hello's and goodbye's that morning and we changed as people forever. To even think of those days again is so incredibly painful but we are forever grateful that we got to see and hold our little girl. This was the most precious thing to be able to do and it made that labour worthwhile after all. Thankfully the hospital took some photos of Caitlin and made up a memory book for us to take home.
In the days and weeks that now follow, I have never felt grief anything like what I am experiencing. To write about what happened brings back all the heartbreak and pain but I see this as part of my healing and I want to do this in honour and in love of her. Caitlin was our first child and the pain will leave a scar that never heals. I cry every time I think of the beautiful rocking horse I'd bought her just weeks earlier. It sits idle awaiting its rider. We pray that one day this rocking horse will have another rider but until then I must grieve, heal and learn to live again. On Easter Sunday we invited our family and friends out to our home and planted a tree in her memory. Instead of watching our daughter grow up we will now watch this tree grow.
Every morning I get up at dawn and go far a walk. I hope by healing my body through exercise, that I can begin to heal my heart and soul too. The rising sun reminds me that everyday is a new one and that even though I may feel lost and broken now, I hope that it will not always be this way. As I walk, I imagine the beautiful rays of the early morning sun as her spirit shining down on me, surrounding me with the strength that I need just to get through each day without her.
In Honour of Caitlin Grace Ahern and to those parents that have had to make the most heartbreaking decision to send their
much loved and so wanted baby to heaven. May we all find the strength of go on with life and to feel happy again someday.
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May our little angel rest in peace.
It was New Years Eve and I said to my partner Leo, âï¿½ï¿½I think I might be pregnantâï¿½ï¿½. Immediately he was over the moon.
A week later I booked in to my local GP for a test. I received a phone call a few days later saying that I had to come back for another appointment. That week I again had another pregnancy test. The first one came back as a low reading hormone level. At this stage my partner and I were getting more and more anxious to know the answer.
âï¿½ï¿½Congratulationsâï¿½ï¿½ came that same day with a phone call, âï¿½ï¿½you are pregnant!âï¿½ï¿½ I could not wipe the smile off of my face. I rang Leo and told him the good news. I could feel his smile through the phone. From all the excitement, I had to ring my mum and tell her. She was also over the moon. The doctor said I had a low hormone count and that I would only be a few weeks pregnant- at the most five weeks. A couple of days went by then on day I started bleeding. I immediately rang the GP and she got me in for another appointment and then a scan. The doctor said to me âï¿½ï¿½âï¿½¦sometimes these things happen, you could have had a miscarriage, or you may just be bleeding for no reasonâï¿½ï¿½. The doctor rang me the next day and said the blood test came back fine and I was still pregnant. I went in for a scan and I was given the all clear. The bleeding lasted about four weeks, but only lightly. Weeks and weeks went by as Leo and I were counting the days; setting up the babiesâï¿½ï¿½ room and making sure things were perfect for our little bundle of joy.
Time came for our twenty week scan, where they would check to see how our baby was going and if we wanted to find out about the sex. We had spoken about it a couple of weeks before the scan, and decided we would. âï¿½ï¿½Youâï¿½ï¿½re having a girlâï¿½ï¿½, the doctor said. Inside I was so excited to find we had a healthy girl kicking away. Although we had been told that we had a healthy little girl, I had my mind set thinking it was a boy. When I was little I had always dreamed of having a precious little girl, but I didnâï¿½ï¿½t think my dream would come true..
Time had flown so quickly, and before I knew it I was at 34 weeks. By this stage I was going to my local GP every once a week. I had the regular check of my blood pressure and how I was feeling. The then doctor would check my belly measurement and the babyâï¿½ï¿½s heartbeat. âï¿½ï¿½Nice, strong heartbeatâï¿½ï¿½ she would say, and Iâï¿½ï¿½d always reply âï¿½ï¿½Yeah, sheâï¿½ï¿½s a good kicker tooâï¿½ï¿½. Mum had organised me a baby shower âï¿½ï¿½ we were so spoilt! Leo and I didnâï¿½ï¿½t need to go shopping for any clothes or toiletry needs, as we had piles and piles of clothes. I couldnâï¿½ï¿½t have had it any better.
Then we came up to my 37-week check up and by then I was getting more and more excited. I went to my appointment on the 1st of September 2006, and she did the usual. She checked my blood, measured my belly and checked the foetal heartbeat. Five minutes went by in the room and she was still trying to find the heartbeat. It didnâï¿½ï¿½t even cross my mind that it could have stopped.
âï¿½ï¿½Iâï¿½ï¿½m sorry Staceyâï¿½ï¿½ she said, âï¿½ï¿½but I am a bit worried. Iâï¿½ï¿½m having trouble finding the foetal heartbeat.âï¿½ï¿½
We were ushered into another room where they had an ultra sound screen. Again she couldnâï¿½ï¿½t find the heartbeat or see it on the screen. âï¿½ï¿½Iâï¿½ï¿½m going to send you to the hospital for an emergency scan,âï¿½ï¿½ she said. By then, I knew that our little girl was gone. My heart sank.
Mum rushed me to hospital. There was no answer when I rang Leo. Seconds later he rang me back thinking I had gone into labour. I was too upset to speak. I passed the phone to mum and she explained what was going on. âï¿½ï¿½Leo you must come to the hospital right awayâï¿½ï¿½ she commanded. I arrived in the emergency department where they had organised for a nurse to collect me for another scan. At this time Leo had arrived and was asking if I was ok. âï¿½ï¿½Thereâï¿½ï¿½s something wrong,âï¿½ï¿½ I said, âï¿½ï¿½thereâï¿½ï¿½s no heartbeatâï¿½ï¿½. We went straight into the ultra-sound room where we had the scan and was told that there was no heartbeat. We were all in shock. How could it be that we had lost something that we wanted so badly, something so special.
Our little girl was gone.
That same day I was induced to give birth to a little girl with no heartbeat. She was 4lbs 8 on Saturday the 2nd of September. The room was silent. There was no cry to warm our hearts. All we could hear was Wendy Matthewsâï¿½ï¿½ song âï¿½ï¿½when you went awayâï¿½ï¿½ playing on the radio.
âï¿½ï¿½This canâï¿½ï¿½t be happeningâï¿½ï¿½, I thought as tears came down my face. Our little girl was taken out of the room as soon as she had arrived. A couple of hours later we were asked if we wanted to see her. She was everything we imagined her to be. Black hair, fair skin and the reddest lips I had ever seen. We could just imagine the sparkle in her eyes. Our little girl stayed with us in our room for a couple of hours that day. I held her little hands and Leo tickled her feet. The midwife came in and asked us if we had a name for our little one. It hadnâï¿½ï¿½t even crossed our minds that we had to name something that didnâï¿½ï¿½t live outside of my womb.
During the pregnancy we had a few names picked. We were set on the name Savannah it was a girl. If it were a boy, his name would have been Saxon. We started talking about naming her. We both knew inside our hearts that she wasnâï¿½ï¿½t going to be Savannah. She was too precious to us. We decided to name her Kloe. Her name means, âï¿½ï¿½to blossomâï¿½ï¿½. It was perfect. After a few hours we started to get a few visitors. We asked the midwife to take Kloe away. After visiting hours we asked to see her again. The midwife said, âï¿½ï¿½Anytime you want to see her just buzz me and I will bring her inâï¿½ï¿½. It was hard sitting in our room hearing other women giving birth and hearing other babies crying, while our little one laid there in silence.
Sunday came and it was time for us to go home. We had Kloe in our room most of that day. We spent as much time with her as we could. That day it was Fathers day; it was the hardest day to get through. We heard other fathers excitedly telling other people that they became a father on Fatherâï¿½ï¿½s day. But this was not the case for Leo, he had to say goodbye to his Fathers day present. The more we saw our daughter the more we wanted to see her little eyes open or even hear a little cry. Time quickly came for us to say our last goodbye. The room was silent as tears streamed down our face. It was like a dream that I wanted to awake from. I had to tell myself that it wasnâï¿½ï¿½t all a dream. Kloe wasnâï¿½ï¿½t meant to be.
Leaving the hospital that day was the hardest thing we have ever had to do. Our arms were left empty as well as our hearts. The car trip home was in silence. Pulling into our driveway was another big step. People down the street had known of our pregnancy and we were peeping out of the window to see empty arms, and not a newborn. We opened the door to see our house full of cards and flowers. People didnâï¿½ï¿½t know what to say or do for us.
Every day goes by and the more it passes the more it becomes a reality. I could only rationalise that these things happen for a reason, that maybe we werenâï¿½ï¿½t ready for a family, or maybe she wasnâï¿½ï¿½t ready to live life. I do know that she is in godâï¿½ï¿½s hands now, and I know that he will look after her. A couple of weeks later we decided it was time to pack up Kloeâï¿½ï¿½s room. As we opened the door so many thoughts came rushing into our heads. We looked at each other and knew that it wasnâï¿½ï¿½t meant to happen like this. We had everything for her. She just needed to be there. Her clothes were ready for her to wear home from the hospital and her bassinet was ready to be slept in.
A week later we had an appointment with the doctor to receive the autopsy results. It was a hard decision to have an autopsy. I didnâï¿½ï¿½t want anyone to touch her. I just wanted her to be left in peace. I thought about it for a long time and came to the conclusion that other people needed to answers too. Other people have gone through this ordeal and they deserved to know why stillbirths are still. I was nervous when coming back to the hospital, nervous that I didnâï¿½ï¿½t want them to tell me something negative and nervous to walk through those hospital doors again. The doctor met with us and explained that our little girl was loosing blood from her body. It was leaking from the placenta. She must have fought so hard to produce more blood to keep her heart beating, but it was too hard for her and she passed on.
Iâï¿½ï¿½m glad that we made the decision to have an autopsy. It has helped us with some closure and I hope it has helped people for answers in the future.
May our little angel rest in peace.
Stacey and Leo.
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We had been trying to concieve for a while, so when the two pink lines showed up on the pregnancy test we were over the moon. Already the proud parents of a 12 year old son a 8 year old daughter and a 7 year old daughter we were hoping for a little boy to complete our family. Apart from the worst morning sickness I had ever had the pregnany was going well, my husband Marc and I were excited, and the kids thought it was great. We told the kids that we wouldn't tell any one untill after the twelve week mark - explaining that after twelve weeks we were "safe" - how wrong we were.
At a routine 14 week ultrasound the mood was light and happy, but suddenly the man doing out scan became quiet, having had ultrasounds before I noticed the huge round black mass in our babies belly straight away. I asked the ultrasound man what it was and he told us it looked like the baby needed to empty his bladder, so he waited for at least twenty minutes, but the bladder did not empty.
We went straight to our OBGYN, she had already had a phone call from the hospital where we had the ultrasound. I was scared and worried, but she told me she had seen cases like this before and not to worry "You and your baby will be fine" she assured me. I asked her what had been the cause of this in other cases she had seen, but she said she couldn't remember, this struck me as odd, but we left her office thinking things would be ok and an appointment at another ultrasound clinic in Dubbo.
In todays age of the internet it took me all of five minutes when we got home to know what was wrong with our baby, Posterial Urethral Valves. Everything I read made my heart beat faster and faster - "Less than 5% survival rate, if born alive Kidney and Lung failure, Kidney transplants, catheters, babies with this condition almost always have other serious abnormalites" - the list went on and on, it was awfull reading it, but I needed to know. Almost all of the articles I read recommended termination of the pregnancy, and the sooner the better as the babies bladder, because it was unable to drain would get bigger and bigger, untill it got so large it would push the babies stomach and lungs up in to his chest, restricting their growth.
The other thing that stood out in everything I read was the fact that this condition only happened in little boys. We had the baby boy we so wanted, but this cruel twist of fate meant that we would never be able to keep him. The kids knew something was wrong, as I kept bursting into tears, so we sat them down and explained that the Doctors thought there was something wrong with the baby and we had to go to Dubbo for another scan. Our seven year old said "But mum, its past 12 weeks, you said it was safe" How do you respond to that?
It was a week before we had our next scan, and as soon as we saw the babies belly, it was clear to us that it had grown in size in just the space of a week. The lady who was doing our scan was lovely, she went and got a Doctor who came in and spoke to us. As I had spent the last week pouring over the internet I fired off questions, she was wonderful, she answered everthing truthfully, which was great, she even asked if I had a medical background, I told her no, Ive spent the last week glued to the internet. She recommended we head straight to Dubbo hospital to see a Doctor there who could confirm her (and our) belief that it was Posterial Urethral Valves.
I held it together untill we got to the carpark and then the tears came and would not stop, my husband was wonderful, he comforted me, though I could tell his heart was breaking too. At Dubbo hospital we were told to come back in two days to have another scan and to meet with Dr Jakel at the antenatal clinic. I dont think I slept a wink those nights, I kept thinking that maybe Dr Jakel would tell us there was some kind of new technique or intervention that could help our babay. Marc and I sat down to make the hardest decision ever, would we continue with the pregnancy and hope that the babies lungs wouldnt be damaged, or would we terminate the pregnancy?
It was and it wasnt an easy decision, on the one hand our heads were telling us that there was no way we wanted our little boy to be in agony, that if he did fall into the 5% suvival rate he would still need kidney transplants and other major operations to try to repair his urethral valves. On the other hand our hearts were screaming that this was our son, how could we do this? Our heads won, we knew what we had to do. My mum flew over from WA, and the kids and I met het in Dubbo, Marc had to work, but we decided we wanted the kids to see their baby brother on the ultrasound. Again our babies belly had grown in size in just two days, but the decision we made to bring the kids in for the scan was a great one, as not only was the baby moving around but he stretched his little arm up above his head and waved! It was gorgeous, the kids loved it, our youngest said "Look mum, he is waving goodbye to us" As much as it broke my heart to hear her say that, she had a huge smile on her face as she said it and I knew she would always remember that wave goodbye from the baby brother she would never meet.
I went in to see Doctor Jakel after the scan while mum amused the kids. I had always thought that before twenty weeks if something went wrong that a D and C would be performed, so I was in total shock when he informed me that I would have to deliver the baby, Marc and I hadn't even discussed the possibility of having to deliver as we were so sure I would have a D and C. The Doctor booked me in to be induced in a weeks time.
Mum, Marc and I arrived at Dubbo Hospital a week later and were shown to a room on the other side of the delivery ward, a room where there was less chance of me having to hear the cries of new born babies.The Doctor inserted the first dose of medication to start my labour at 9am Wednesday morning, she warned us it may take a while as my body knew it wasnt time yet and would fight the labour, when she left the room I told Mum and Marc how wrong I thought the Doctor was - my other labours had been super quick and I assumed this one would be even quicker, as our baby was so much smaller.
The Doctor knew exactly what she was talking about, as I laboured for twenty hours. Corey was born at 5.10am Thursday the 17 January 2008.
He was tiny (only 17 weeks) but apart from his distended belly he was fully formed and perfect. Mum left the room after the birth, she said that she wanted to remember him waving in the ultrasound, but Marc and I held our baby boy, he looked like he was sleeping. For me the tears didn't come, I was sure that I would be a blubbering mess, but although my heart was breaking, I couldn't cry.
I didn't want any photos taken - something I now regret -and we declined an autopsy, as we already knew that Posterial Urethral Valves is not a genetic disease, 1 in 5000 baby boys have it, yet I had never heard of it untill it happened to us. I had wanted the midwives to take hand and foot prints, but they wernt able to do so. Corey had no hair, so I couldn't even take a lock of his hair.
I realised I would be leaving the hospital with nothing at all. But my midwife gave us a gorgeous baby quilt and a Teddy Bear from Teddy Love Club, the little card attatched to the bear had the angel in the book of life poem on it, and as I read that poem the tears came flooding out of me, and my husband. That one little Teddy Bear and that wonderfull poem touched us so deeply.
Leaving the hospital with empty hearts and arms was so difficult, but the comfort we have recieved from those special words is truly amazing. We just hope that the bears we donate in Coreys name will one day bring the same comfort to other parents who have to go through this.
17/01/2008 - FOREVER IN OUR HEARTS.
Linda and Marc
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My husband and I were married in 2003 and we thought that the world was our oyster. We had made the decision to start trying for a baby after about 6 months and so we did. Not long after starting I had the thought that something was not quite right. We went to the doctor, only to discover that we would require IVF in order to have a family. So we made the appointment and began our life on IVF.
We were so full of hope in the beginning but we soon discovered that this was not going to be an easy road to travel. We would endure 6 cycles of IVF with 3 miscarriages plus 2 frozen embryo cycles which would amount to nothing. Each time we had a pregnancy we would learn something new about what was not going right. This meant that we had various hurdles to jump over. But the biggest hurdle was getting a viable pregnancy. During the Queenâï¿½ï¿½s birthday weekend 2007, we underwent our 7th attempt at IVF. Fortune seemed to be on our side as I had a good number of eggs collected which resulted in a high number in embryos being created. We had 2 embryos transferred and of the remaining embryos, 2 survived the freezing process. Our first hurdle passed, now we needed a positive pregnancy result in 2 weeks with a good hormone level.
2 weeks later, after I had a blood test, all was confirmed. We were on our way to having a baby, possibly twins. This was our second hurdle. Next we had to wait another 4 weeks for the ultrasound scan to confirm that it was a viable pregnancy. 1 week from the scan I started to bleed, which meant that I hit panic buttons âï¿½ï¿½ Oh no, not again! So as a result I went in for an early scan. What the nurses found was that I was losing one of my babies. I was in fact pregnant with twins but one was underdeveloped whereas the other one was going great. There was a heartbeat and it was the right size for this stage. Hurdles 3 and 4 passed. I was saddened to lose one of my babies but given our fertility and pregnancy problems, I was happy to sacrifice one to have one. I still cried the day I lost that baby as it was still a part of us but I had to remain positive for my other baby.
Our next hurdle was to get passed the first trimester, and we did with flying colours. I was ecstatic. Now I felt confident to engage our obstetrician. I would have regular check ups every 5 weeks during which I would undergo the various tests for Down Syndrome, gestational diabetes plus whatever else they needed to check to ensure my baby was OK. I passed each one with flying colours. I would check on the internet and in books about my babiesâï¿½ï¿½ development. Watching closely as each stage passed. Everything seemed to happening perfectly. Tim and I would go shopping together, collecting various baby stuff for the nursery, which I had started to decorate. I was getting bigger and life seemed perfect with the impending birth of our baby. On Remembrance Day, I saw my baby kick for the first time. I had felt kicks before but this was amazing seeing my tummy jump. Eventually Tim got to feel a kick but it was on his back as that was the way I was laying with my tummy up against him at the time.
During week 27, my grandmother, who lived in Melbourne with the rest of my family, died. I was devastated but I managed to remain as composed as possible. Not wanting to risk anything with our baby. I had already planned to have one of those 4D scans done during my 28th week, so my Mum was kind enough to delay the funeral for my grandmother until after my scan. Our baby wasnâï¿½ï¿½t overly active. It was happy using the placenta as a pillow. We saw it waving and opening its mouth and eventually it turned its back on us. We didnâï¿½ï¿½t want to know the sex of our baby until it was born as that would be our only surprise.
The 4D scan was on 13th December and we flew to Melbourne the next day so we could attend the funeral on Saturday 15th December. I had checked with the doctor that it was OK to fly, so I had no concerns other than trying not to get too upset at the funeral. Even though the funeral was a sad day, I managed to keep my composure. My family was so happy to see me finally blooming and radiant. Unknown to me at the time, but I was to feel my baby move for the last time that night.
On the following day I hadnâï¿½ï¿½t felt my baby move but I had put it down to it being asleep. On the Monday, after a day spent wandering around Melbourne, Tim and I flew home to Adelaide. We got home so late that I didnâï¿½ï¿½t even take the time to notice if my baby had moved during the day or not. During Tuesday the thought crossed my mind, âï¿½ï¿½I havenâï¿½ï¿½t felt Bub move in a few daysâï¿½ï¿½. So I referred to a number of books and tried a few different things to get it to move, but nothing happened. I made the called to the doctor, who advised me to go to the hospital and have a fetal heart monitor done. So off Tim and I went, hoping that Bub was just sleeping.
The midwife who attended to us was wonderful. She tried to reassure us. But to be sure she would check for the heartbeat using a portable monitor. She had trouble so decided to use the bigger machine. At this point I knew in my heart the worst thing possible was beginning to be realized, my baby was gone. A second midwife was called but she couldnâï¿½ï¿½t find the heartbeat either so now they called in our doctor. We went straight to his suite to have an ultrasound. Tim watched intently, hoping. Then the doctor said my name. I knew, maybe it was mothers instinct and to the doctor I said âï¿½ï¿½Donâï¿½ï¿½t say those wordsâï¿½ï¿½. Tears just flowed from everybody. Now we had to arrange to have me induced so I could deliver our dead baby. Tim and I were completely in shock. Everything seemed so surreal. Even when I called my family, it didnâï¿½ï¿½t feel real. All I can remember was wondering âï¿½ï¿½Why?âï¿½ï¿½
The next day I was due to see my doctor for my next check-up but instead we were making the necessary arrangements for me to go into hospital for the next day, Thursday. Sleep didnâï¿½ï¿½t exist anymore just never-ending tears. One week from seeing my beautiful baby moving about, I was about to bring it into the world, asleep. Our doctor chose the Womenâï¿½ï¿½s and Childrenâï¿½ï¿½s Hospital as my baby was lying across my belly rather than being in the birthing or breech position. He was concerned my baby may get wedged as I was trying to deliver so he wanted to have the experts around just in case.
On Thursday, 20th December 2007 morning I was admitted into the Womenâï¿½ï¿½s and Childrenâï¿½ï¿½s Hospital. I had my own private room away from all the other healthy mothers and babies. I had some very wonderful midwives who tended to me. My doctor did another ultrasound and fortunately my baby was now in the breech position. I was induced at 8.40am with a tablet and by 4.00pm I was in labour. During the wait Tim had gone home under the advisement of the midwife, thinking we had plenty of time but only made it back with 10 minutes to spare. I was fortunate my labour didnâï¿½ï¿½t last very long as I gave birth to a beautiful little girl at 4.54pm. We named her Emily, after the first midwife who attended to us on the Tuesday. Our baby was absolutely perfect except for one little detail, she was asleep. I couldnâï¿½ï¿½t wait to get her into my arms as she was the baby I had always dreamed of. The midwife dressed her in a beautiful pink dress with a little pink knitted hat. They laid her on a quilt in a crib next to me. I was in awe of her. She had a full head of brown hair, cherubic lips and blue eyes, which I had to see even though she was asleep. I wanted her to see her Mummy and Daddy.
I held her and held her, examining every part of her body and committing it all to memory. Both my Mum, who had flown from Melbourne to be there, and Tim had cameras so we had in excess of 200 photos of our little Emily which I treasure everyday. The next day I had decided that we must leave. I didnâï¿½ï¿½t want to, I just wanted her in my life always, but I knew that that was the right thing to do. If I didnâï¿½ï¿½t leave then I would never leave. My heart felt so conflicted. I had a beautiful baby girl and I should be taking her home with me. I cried and cried, looking back as we left the hospital. They were the hardest steps I have ever had to take. From that moment on I think I went into shock, as I couldnâï¿½ï¿½t do anything. My courageous husband took care of everything as I didnâï¿½ï¿½t want to have anything to do with this world. All I wanted to do was cry for my Emily. And I did. Each night Tim and I would hold each other and cry together and again my heart would break but this time for both Emily and Tim. I knew our lives would never be the same again. Now Tim and I are about to start all over again with IVF. We know weâï¿½ï¿½ve never had much luck with previous frozen embryos but the 2 remaining that we have, we are holding all our hope on as these little embryos were part of Emilyâï¿½ï¿½s group. It would be so lovely if we had success with either of them. So we are keeping our fingers crossed.
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I'd like to tell you the story about my beautiful son, Liam, who lived his entire 23 weeks of life inside me. Never did he take a breath of air, or look into my eyes, or tell me he loved me, yet his little life has changed both mine and my husbandâï¿½ï¿½s forever, for the better.
The dream of Liam became a reality sometime mid August 2004, and it was confirmed on Sunday 29th August. The most exciting day of my life. Some of my favourite memories were created in the coming weeks as we shared the news with the very excited grandparents to be and the rest of our families.
Iâï¿½ï¿½d like to quote part of Davidâï¿½ï¿½s eulogy to Liam at his funeral for the next part of the storyâï¿½¦
âï¿½ï¿½For us, the experience of knowing Liam for 23 weeks, of watching him grow and develop, and preparing for his arrival, has been immensely positive and brought us even closer together as a couple. To us it was a bigger and more meaningful commitment than even our wedding was, a few short months ago. I would like to share some of these experiences and thoughts with you all, so that you may understand the mixture of loss and sadness but also warmth and pride that we feel for him on this day.
In so many ways, this was a perfect pregnancy; while planned, Kylie fell pregnant far sooner than either of us expected, and I distinctly recall the nervous excitement I felt the Sunday morning we found out. The knowledge that I would be a father to a child is unparalleled to anything I have felt before, marking something of a transition from a relatively carefree life, to a life of responsibility. More than this though was a sense that we were commencing a new journey together, one of great significance and which promised both challenges and rewards."
Fast forward to December 24, 2004. We were excited to find out at the 20 week ultrasound that our baby was extremely healthy, inside and out, was growing perfectly according to his due date, and to also learn that the little baby we assumed was a girl, was in fact a BOY! I was secretly hoping it was a boy who looked just like his Daddy, of course!
I had been cleared by my doctors and Ob to travel to New Zealand for our honeymoon, we left on December 30th for 12 days. After the flight, my feet were very swollen and I assumed that was a result of air travel. Yet I couldnâï¿½ï¿½t seem to get them to go down, no matter how much I rested them. Consequently I didnâï¿½ï¿½t do much walking at all during the initial part of our trip.
When arriving in Rotorua, I was really effected by the sulphur fumes and ended up at the doctor's surgery with an asthma attack. She took my blood pressure and it was 140/110!!! I had never had a BP so high. Consequently I ended up in hospital overnight, the highest BP reading they got was 186/115 (!!!). I was put on medication and had a million tests done. I was kept in overnight until an Ob could see me, and my BP dropped a little. The Ob suggested we increase the medication, continue our honeymoon and get BP checks along the way. Not knowing any better, David and I went on to Auckland and continued our honeymoon at a relaxed pace. My BP settled a little, so we assumed all was okay. On the Monday (a week after my hospital stay) we flew back to Adelaide to get on with our life and await the arrival of our much anticipated baby boy......
Once home in Adelaide, while relieved, I felt exhausted emotionally and physically. Knowing David was going back to work the very next day had me in tears and I just wasnâï¿½ï¿½t coping at all! The next day I felt physically worse. My friend suggested I go for a check up to the ER and I reluctantly did âï¿½ï¿½ I was home and everything was supposed to return to normal! After waiting a couple of hours at the hospital, I was finally seen and guess what, my BP was high again. About 170/105. My heart sunk. Why wasnâï¿½ï¿½t this medication working? They check the babyâï¿½ï¿½s heartbeat, and yet again, strong and steady at 140 bpm. I relaxed âï¿½ï¿½ obviously, while stressing me out, the high BP was not having a great effect on my baby. He seemed to be moving a lot less but they said it was because I didnâï¿½ï¿½t feel well. I spent about 3 hours in the ER, resting, and the doctors there rang my Ob who told them to let me go home once my BP dropped a little, as she had an appointment with me on the Friday. She also had been reassured by the babyâï¿½ï¿½s heartbeat being strong, but no-one told her that movements had decreased.
I went home and basically rested for the next couple of days. Looking back (hindsight is always 20/20) I was feeling strange on the Thursday morning âï¿½ï¿½ my huge appetite during pregnancy had disappeared, and my mood was low. By Thursday night I was a grumpy old so-and-so and picked a huge fight with my husband, which went on to the next day. I left for the Ob appointment feeling like complete crap, emotionally. I waited ages for the OB (as you do) and when I finally saw her she explained to me that she was placing me under the care of a consultant specialist due to the BP. I mentioned to her about the lack of movement and she looked at me strangely, this was the first she had heard of it. She asked me âï¿½ï¿½ have you felt the baby move today? OMG. I couldnâï¿½ï¿½t remember. I felt a little ashamed âï¿½ï¿½ I was so wrapped up in the argument I had not been paying attention to that at all! I hopped up on the bed for a doppler check and she said, as she was searching for him âï¿½ï¿½Where are you hiding, little munchkin?âï¿½ï¿½ I started crying a little.
This was the first time it had occurred to me that something might be seriously wrong. She searched for ages, and then told me I needed to go and have an ultrasound immediately. I was in complete shock. She gave me a script for additional BP tablets to take immediately, booked the u/s appointment and told me to come back with the results. I wandered out of the surgery in a daze. I called David and asked him to meet me at the hospital, got in the car and just started sobbing. I remember crying âï¿½ï¿½Donâï¿½ï¿½t leave me, little babyâï¿½ï¿½... and as soon as I did that, huge fat rain drops started falling on the windscreenâï¿½¦. and my heart broke a little bit more.
When I got to the hospital (I have no idea how I managed to get there in one piece as I was a complete mess) I waited for David in the car and drank the obligatory litre of water. Time seemed to stand still for me but around me the world was going 100 miles an hour. Someone had crashed their car into the emergency department (literally) and the emergency services and police were everywhere. The world was going mad before my eyes.
When David arrived by taxi I met him at the door and we held each other tightly âï¿½ï¿½ we were both shocked and frightened. The next think I know I was in the darkened ultrasound room, and the technician was saying something to me. I asked her to repeat herself. âï¿½ï¿½Itâï¿½ï¿½s not good news I am afraid. Iâï¿½ï¿½m so sorry.âï¿½ï¿½ She told me she couldnâï¿½ï¿½t see a heartbeat. A million things went over and over in my mind âï¿½ï¿½ I hadnâï¿½ï¿½t drunk enough water, the baby was laying the wrong way, she wasnâï¿½ï¿½t trying hard enough! She left the room to get the doctor and I just sobbed. David held my hand and we said nothing. When the doctor came in, he looked at the screen, whispered to the technician and left the room. We were left alone for a little while, sobbing in each others arms. One of the hardest parts of that moment was seeing David so shattered.
The next couple of hours passed by in a blur. We went back to the OB, she told us I had to be induced immediately (the only cure for pre-eclampsia is delivery), I had to go home, pack a bag and be at the hospital by 6pm. I was stunned. Both David and I were walking around, functioning, performing tasks but it was as if we were in a fog. I remember calling a few people and before we knew it, we were in a hospital room. The whole thing just seemed so unreal, a cruel joke. I felt like I was on a runaway train, hurtling toward a destination I did not want to reach. In my mind I knew I had to go through the process of giving birth to our baby boy, and it just felt wrong, so very wrong.
I asked for another ultrasound and when my doctor arrived, they brought in the machine. Our little boy was moving up and down as I breathed, but not independently, and still, no heartbeat. The last bit of hope I held flew out the window. We were explained the process, induction was able to be delayed until 10am the next morning unless my BP went higher overnight, so that I could get some sleep (yeah right!). I wandered around, talking to the midwives all night and into the morning while my husband slept badly in our room. I was looking for answers, a way to cope with this mess I had found myself in, as the time ticked ever closer to facing the inevitable.
I cried as the first gel was inserted next to my cervix, to me it was a defining moment, the moment I was choosing to end my pregnancy. I felt as if I was betraying my child, giving up on him, although in reality I had no choice in the matter at all.
I cried many times over the next 2 days, not from the physical pain, (of which there was a lot until I ended up with an epidural which stopped working just when it was really needed!) but because of the gut wrenching, heart breaking emotional agony. I was fully aware that the emotional pain was only going to get worse, and in my mind at the time I had no idea if I would even survive the experience.
The physical pain suddenly worsened midday on the Sunday, and I was really relieved when my friend Steph arrived, having flown back from a work trip in Brisbane when I had called her desperately. She was the only one I knew who had experienced something similar, as she had lost her little son Denzel at 26 weeks, 10 years prior (almost exactly). Once Steph was there, along with My mum and David, things happened quite quickly, my waters broke and the midwife was running in and out of the room trying to contact the OBâï¿½¦ at 2.35pm on Sunday 16th January 2005, our little son entered the world, silently.
At the time I was sobbing uncontrollably because of the injustice of it all, and it wasnâï¿½ï¿½t until some time later that a sense of peace and acceptance came over me and I requested to see him. He was brought in to me wrapped in his beautiful blue velour baby blanket, so tiny, so perfect, with a little frown on his face. David and I named him Liam Jordan and we took turns holding him and marvelling over his features. The first thing I noticed was how much he looked like his Daddy!
More of Davidâï¿½ï¿½s words at Liamâï¿½ï¿½s funeral:
âï¿½ï¿½When Liam was born, we felt happy as well as sad âï¿½ï¿½ happy that we finally met him, but sad that he was no longer with us. Spending time with him was important, as now we could begin grieving properly as we had held him & touched him, and he was now a physical reality for both of us, a little person. We had the opportunity to look at our son with pride and to examine his features and compare them to ours in exactly the same way any other couple would get to know their newborn.âï¿½ï¿½
During that magical, special time we had the opportunity to dress Liam in tiny clothes made for very premmie babies, and to introduce him to a couple of very close friends. We got to learn a special lesson about what it means to say the most important hello and goodbye you ever say to someone you love, all in the same moment in time. We got to fall in love with our son all over again in a very real way, an extension of the love we had for him from the moment he was conceived and whilst I was pregnant.
Davidâï¿½ï¿½s words again I feel perfectly sum up this story:
"We want Liam remembered for the special little person he was, and for the love and positive influence he had on our relationship and our relationship with others âï¿½ï¿½ he will always be our first, irreplaceable and adored child, an individual and incredibly special for both of us. We will always hold him close to our hearts. We hope you will too."
We miss you today and always, our little man.
Since Liam's birth we have been blessed with a little girl, who was born at 26 weeks weighing 545 grams, due to the complications of Pre-eclampsia as well as other medical conditions. After having spent her first 6 months in hospital, she is now 2 years old, doing really well and protected very carefully by her guardian angel, her big brother Liam. Never give up hope.
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On April 23rd 2002 I done a home pregnancy test and it was positive. My husband Steve and I already had children from other relationships my daughter Jess 9 and Steve's daughter Nat 10.
So we were so excited to have a bub together. We rang all our family and friends and told them our good news things were going well until about 6 weeks I started to spot but went to the drs and everything was fine I gave up work when I started to spot again at about week 8 as I started to get scared and decided my baby came first. I started to feel sick but was ok. As I was a older mum 41 I had tests done and all was normal. we started buying babystuff and clothes and our girls were getting excited at having a little brother or sister to love. from the beginning we always thought we were going to have a boy I come from a all girl family I have 2 sisters and between us we have 5 girls so my dad badly wanted a grandson. we had just finished decorating the nursery when I had my 20 week scan on August 15th Steve jess and I went for the scan and my dads dream had finally come true we were going to have a little boy. I rang my dad crying saying you've got your boy! (my parents at the time was at the top of QLD traveling) from than onwards our dreams started to shatter.
The next day I started to leak fluid I rang Gawler hosp and they said to come in my b/p was high so they kept me in overnight to keep a watch on me the next day my dr came in and said they would transfer me to Lyell mc and I had to rest my cervix had started to open so they were going to see how things went maybe give me a stitch and rest until bub was born. I was pretty naive what was happening to me and my baby. On Sunday night at about 9pm my husband left the hospital after hearing our little baby's heartbeat than my nightmare began I started getting pains I wasn't really aware that was my labour beginning about 10.30pm my waters broke I asked the nurses am I in labour and they said no I was so scared in a room all by myself around 11.30pm the midwife came to see me and said I think we'll take you to labour ward even then I wasn't sure what was happening. I rang Steve to come to the hospital, and at midnight they took me upstairs.
At 12.15am our beautiful son Kyal James Soper came into the world weighing 400grams 26cm long. His daddy missed seeing him born by minutes. I held my little boy, he flicked his eyes at me and I felt him move in my arms it was as if he was saying hi mum I'm here but I can't stay. I think that's when I got my strength. Our darling little Kyal went to heaven at 2.15am I had just 2hours with him. "too little and precious to survive"
To our beautiful little boy Kyal we love and miss you everyday sweetheart we wish we could see you smile feel your loving body and watch you grow up but your in gods garden instead.
Forever in our hearts. Always loved mummy daddy big sisters Jessica and nataliexxxx
Jayne soper in memory of Kyal James 19th August 2002.
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In June 2007 after only one month of âï¿½ï¿½tryingâï¿½ï¿½, the pregnancy test came up positive!!! So did the next 3 tests that I did the following week, not believing that we could be that lucky!! Both my partner and I were so excited that we were going to have a child together to complete our family. We decided the time had also come to get married!! We started planning both our marriage and planning for our newest family members arrival.
We went for our nuchal translucency scan (more for the sneak peak at our precious baby) and after a week were told that we had a 1/47 chance of having a child with Down Syndrome. Although this came as a shock we both discussed that this would not affect our decision to have a baby and so didnâï¿½ï¿½t have an Amnio as I did not want to risk miscarrying.
The pregnancy progressed well and although the morning sickness lasted longer than the first trimester we couldn't have been happier.
On Saturday September 8th 2007 we got married and we talked about how it was nice that all of our children were in the photo's as there was no mistaking my baby bump. On Monday 24th September 2007 we went for our 19 week ultrasound and were told that we were having a baby boy but that seemed to be the only part of the ultrasound that seemed to be going well. When I was told that the doctor would need to look at the images I knew that something had to be wrong. He told us that there appeared to be a large build up of fluid on our sonâï¿½ï¿½s brain and they were very concerned. I was sent for an MRI scan so that they could get a really clear look at our babyâï¿½ï¿½s brain and those results confirmed he had Severe hydrocephalus. They also confirmed that his brain was very small in size and had not formed properly. We decided to have an amnio to find out if it was due to a chromosomal problem. While we waited for the amnio results we met with the head of the neurosurgery unit who advised that there was little chance our baby would survive to the end of the pregnancy and if by chance he did that he would not survive past birth and the condition was inoperable.
The amnio results were clear and no-one could tell us why this had happened or give us any hope that things would get better as the fluid was increasing in volume over the weeks that went by. I cried so much over those weeks, waiting for all the results to come back, each time getting more bad news, each time having out hopes shattered a little more. My husband and I finally made the devastating decision to have a genetic inducement. On Sunday the 14th October we went into the WCH to have our son. I cried as we walked in, knowing that I would not be leaving with our precious son in our arms.
I was in labour for three days from Sunday evening until 11.12am on Wednesday 17th October when our son ~Peter Michael~ was born sleeping.
My husband did not leave my side for the entire time and I could not have made it through without him. We held Peter after he was born and my husband bathed him and dressed him in the tiny gown that was given to us by the hospital. We wrapped him in a blanket and my husband held him while I had to go to surgery to have the placenta removed. ~Peter~ was beautiful and so perfectly formed, from his tiny fingers and toes, to his gorgeous face. I couldn't believe he already had his dad's features. We took so many photos, and the hospital priest came to bless him the next morning. We didn't leave the hospital until the middle of the day on Friday 19th October. We held him so much over those two days and shed so many tears. Leaving was the most heart breaking experience, I held his teddy bear, wrapped in the patchwork blanket we were given and cried. I made sure that White Lady (who did his funeral) didn't leave him at the hospital for long as I didn't want him to be there for long after I left.
We had his funeral on Friday 26th October 2007. The day before the funeral my husband and I went and spent time with ~Peter Michael~ and gave him little gifts, letters and photos from us and our family. We held him and sang to him and took more photos. I bought a half/half pendant with "I love you" and "you love me". I placed half of it on a chain with him and I wear the other half. We picked special songs, poems and the priest baptised ~Peter Michael~ during the funeral and afterwards we scattered rose petals over his coffin and each person took a balloon and we released them outside to one of the songs we had chosen. It has helped to be able to do the things we wanted to do, how we wanted to do them and we will always have those memories of our precious time with our baby, but the ache in my heart and the emptiness of my arms is a pain that is still so strong. We have his ashes in a special urn with his teddy bear and other momentos. It was a special moment to finally "bring him home" but also a heartbreaking moment as it was not how we had dreamed it would be.
We have photos of ~Peter~ and think about him all the time. It is still so hard to cope, We miss him more than words could ever describe but we always have him in our hearts and know that one day we will hold him in our arms again.
We only had a moment, but that moment will last a lifetime.
In loving memory of ~Peter Michael~ 17/10/2007 "Taken much to soon from our arms, but will be forever in our hearts"
We miss you so much our precious sleeping angel
xoxoxoxo Mummy and Daddy xoxoxoxoxo
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Iâï¿½ï¿½ll never forget the day we were told we were expecting twins. We were so excited. I was so excited I couldnâï¿½ï¿½t speak. Mick, my husband, squeezed my hand and smiled. All I could say was âï¿½ï¿½My God, My Godâï¿½ï¿½.
We had been trying for over a year to conceive when we were told our only option would be ICSI, a form of IVF but a bit more involved. We had only been through one cycle which to our utter delight was successful. TWINS!!! How lucky, we couldnâï¿½ï¿½t believe it. We were so happy and I remember crying one day, tears of happiness, as weâï¿½ï¿½d never have to do IVF again. We were having two babies, our family would be complete.
My pregnancy (early days) was wonderful, uneventful. I remember smiling to myself, talking to my two babies, willing them to grow inside of me. Mick would rest his hand on my tummy and weâï¿½ï¿½d smile and marvel at how lucky we were to be having twins. At about 18 weeks I was HUGE. I was tired and suffering from constipation and indigestion. But I didnâï¿½ï¿½t care, I was having twins, how luckyâï¿½¦.. then a show (although I didnâï¿½ï¿½t know what it was at the time). I went to the doctors who reassured me all was ok. A bit of spotting was normal and a scan revealed two healthy wriggle pots, moving around happily in my womb.
At 19 weeks we traveled to Adelaide for my scan. Two healthy, beautiful girls. We were both shocked and excited. We went out a bought everything, 2 car seats, high chairs, swing seat, twin pram, change table etc. We felt so lucky and special to be having twin girls. I even bought pink outfits and rugs.
Then on the following Friday I began to feel cramps. Again I had a show although a little more bloody and gel like. Again I went to the hospital and a scan revealed all was ok. I had been suffering from constipation and I brushed the cramps off as that. By Saturday night I was in quite a bit of pain. A phone call to the hospital required me to visit and there my hell began. My husband was at the football club (which had no phone) and I honestly thought I was just over reacting. Laying in the Emergency room I suddenly felt an almighty urge to go to the toilet. In the toilet I felt our first born Madeline. Luckily I resisted the urge to push before I felt her. Iâï¿½ï¿½ve never in my life felt so much terror. I screamed âï¿½ï¿½ the Nurse came in and the Doctor was called. Madeline, membranes intact, was well and truly on her way through the birth canal. The nursing staff contacted a friend who fetched my husband and the Royal Flying Doctor Service was called. By 1am I was on the plane, Mick too, me in labour, premature labour.
At the hospital in Adelaide my mum met us. Itâï¿½ï¿½s all so blurry. Labour and no pain killers. The drugs to try and stop labour didnâï¿½ï¿½t work and at 10:34am, Monday 26th August 2002, our precious little Madeline Kate was born asleep, too little and precious to survive. We held her and had her baptized. We loved and love her beyond description. I was quite ill with a serous infection and although we were told we could hold on and try, our 2nd little girl would probably not survive. We had a scan which I could not look at. Her little heart was still beating and she was still moving. How could she not survive, she was still alive! Even Maddieâï¿½ï¿½s heart beat until she was born. I just couldnâï¿½ï¿½t and still donâï¿½ï¿½t understand.
At 4:13am, Tuesday 27th August 2002, little Ashleigh Brooke was born asleep, also too little and precious to survive. We held her, had her baptized and asked for Maddie. We wanted both our girls together. Both families held the girls.
Nana Sue, Pa Lawrie, Nana Nise, and Aunty Renae (6 months pregnant) and Uncle Pete (both driving over from Melbourne), and Aunty Brooke all visited and held the girls. Poppa Bill and Aunty Kate (4 months pregnant) drove down from the country and visited although didnâï¿½ï¿½t wish to see the girls. (Strangely this didnâï¿½ï¿½t bother me and I respected this as their wishes). The support we received from our family was amazing, especially my sister Renae who was expecting her first child and drove over night from Melbourne to be with us in our darkest moment.
We had photos taken of our girls and have many memories. We had a small, yet exquisite funeral for our girls whom we believe are little angels in Heaven. The days after the birth and passing of Madeline and Ashleigh have been surreal, the pain unbelievable and indescribable. The bond between me and husband is stronger than ever, one blessing to come from this living hell.
I have gone back to work and am so lucky to have extremely supportive colleagues. Being a teacher I wondered how the kids would react as they know what has happened. They are wonderful and in their own way are helping my healing. I am still angry, unbelievably sad, I feel lonely, lost and beg to wake up from this nightmare. My whole being has been ripped to shreads, shattered and then thrown to all corners of the earth and now I have to gather each individual piece, one by one, and try to find where it fits.
We now face Christmas without our girls. They are meant to be inside of me. We now face their due date; my sistersâï¿½ï¿½ birthday, January 12th and we will not have live babies to take home. It hurts beyond description. I cry everyday. We desperately want more children now and I ask Madeline and Ashleigh everyday to pray to God to give us a baby in 9 months. Weâï¿½ï¿½d love to have twins again but due to my body not really coping with the extra pressure of carrying twins, we are very scared.
We start IVF again in January and we hope and pray that all will be successful. We pray for the miracle of a natural pregnancy. Whatever happens though, we are still the mother and father of twin girls who will forever be our eldest children.
We love Madeline and Ashleigh so much âï¿½ï¿½ nothing will ever change that. They may be gone in body but in heart and spirit they will be in our hearts, minds and lives forever.
Note: It is now 2008 and 6 IVF cycles later we have been blessed with another little girl, Alex May, (now 3) and a little boy, Jonty Francis, 9 months. Madeline and Ashleigh forever watch over us and their siblings.
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It was Christmas Eve 2006 when we first discovered that we were expecting our first child. There was much joy & celebration with this news as I only have one tube & ovary which decreases our chances of successfully falling pregnant. We knew that we would have to be carefully monitored over the next 9 months as I have what is known as a Unicorn Uterus âï¿½ï¿½ A uterus with one lateral half absent or undeveloped, as well as only 1 kidney which is also moderately scarred. At my first obstetrician appointment we learnt what the effect of having a unicorn uterus meant. We were told that we would only have a small baby and it will probably be premature. Throughout the pregnancy the babyâï¿½ï¿½s growth will have to be continually monitored as we had a high chance of the growth stopping due to lack of room. We had found out quite early that we were having a boy and decided to call him Ryan John. At my 19 week ultrasound we had our first scare. Ryan was sitting quite low with head down and my cervix appeared to be opening. I was hospitalised for complete bed rest and put on twice weekly internal ultrasounds. After a week in hospital the cervix had not opened any further so I was allowed home on the proviso I only returned to work part time. This however was only shorted lived as a couple of weeks later (23 weeks pregnant) I was back in hospital due to my cervix becoming shorter.
At 24 weeks I began to bleed & started having contractions. I was immediately given a steroid injection to assist Ryanâï¿½ï¿½s lung development. I was then raced to Randwick Womenâï¿½ï¿½s Hospital via ambulance as Nepean Private & Public Hospital did not have facilities/beds available for a 24 week baby. This was a very scary time as I knew in my mind 24 week babies did not have a high survival rate. Upon arriving at Randwick & being examined I was informed that I would be having Ryan in the next 12 hours. A neonatal pediatrician was sent to discuss with us the potential outcome and procedures for when Ryan arrives. This is not a particularly positive conversation and all I could hope for was that Ryan stayed in my belly. Miraculously after some pethidine injections the contractions stop. I was monitored at Randwick for another 4 days until I was released back to the care of my own obstetrician. I was informed by my obstetrician if my cervix was to close more than 3cm I could go home otherwise I was to remain in hospital. I knew that going home was a farfetched option as my cervix was down to 2.5cm. I was still having twice weekly internal ultrasounds to check the cervix length. I use to go to the ultrasound with hope that the cervix had increased or at least maintained its previous length. This hope did not last long. After only 4 days in Nepean Private I was transferred to Nepean Public Hospital as my cervix was now measuring fewer than 2cm. I was informed that due to being classed as high risk I was better off being in a public hospital as they are better equipped for neonatal babies under 35 weeks. Ward S4EA in Nepean Public was to become my new home for the next 10 weeks. During this period we were to receive yet another scare where one of my scans revealed potential fluid around Ryanâï¿½ï¿½s lungs & stomach. I was referred to a pediatrician specialist who conduct a further 3 scans over a period of a week. Thankfully these scans were given the all clear. Every fortnight I was given another dose of steroids to assist the development of Ryanâï¿½ï¿½s lungs.
The first nine weeks of my stay in S4EA I was to remain on bed rest with only toilet & shower privileges. I use to look forward to the wards person coming to get me for my ultrasound appointments as this at least gave me an opportunity to get out of my hospital room even if it was only for Â½ an hour. The length of my cervix was slowly decreasing however Ryan was still growing which was at least some good news to hear. In my 11th straight week of hospital stay (34 weeks pregnant) I was given freedom to walk around & was even allowed to have some 4hr visits off the hospital grounds. My cervix was down to just 7mm so I was warned that my waters could break at anytime.
12 weeks seems such a long period but at the time I wasnâï¿½ï¿½t to know thatâï¿½ï¿½s how long I would end up staying therefore I use to just take each day as it comes. There were some periods when it was hard especially when you saw patients come in after you & leave before you. But I didnâï¿½ï¿½t see any point in complaining as at the end of the day I wanted what was best for Ryan. During this period I saw & learnt a lot about the pregnancy world that a lot of people would not even comprehend. This just made me realise even more how precious pregnancy and the birth of a baby can be. Upon reaching 35 weeks I was allowed to leave the hospital for home as I was now considered as safe to deliver. At 35 weeks and 4 days my waters broke. After a 3hr labour Ryan entered the world. This was when we thought that our ordeal had finally ended unbeknown to us this was just the beginning.
Ryan entered the world at 3:55pm on Thursday 2nd August 2007 weighing just 2.3kg. He came out crying initially but then he quickly started to struggle to breathe. Ryan was put on oxygen and immediately taken to Nepeanâï¿½ï¿½s NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit). We were told that as he is a 35 week baby the breathing difficulties are probably related to his lungs being undeveloped and not to worry. At 10:30pm on Thursday night I received a call from the NICU advising me that Ryan needed emergency heart surgery and that they were waiting for a bed in either Westmead or Randwick Childrenâï¿½ï¿½s Hospital. If no beds were available he may have to be transferred interstate. At the time I thought that this would be the worst call I was to ever receive. I remember sitting in my hospital room on my own trying to digest the news I had just received and getting the strength to call my husband to tell him that our son needed emergency open heart surgery to survive. I was a mess and worst of all I was all alone. How quickly such a euphoria moment in oneâï¿½ï¿½s life can be turned to devastation. Shane & I were to go down and see our little boy in the NICU prior to him being transferred. We werenâï¿½ï¿½t able to touch him as they were still getting him ready for his journey however we were able to at least put our mind at ease that he was at least stabilised. Ryan was transferred to Westmead Childrenâï¿½ï¿½s Hospital at approx 4am on Friday morning. 16hrs after giving birth to Ryan I was by his bedside at the Childrenâï¿½ï¿½s Hospital getting debriefed on what was about to occur. There is not a lot I remember about the conversation only that it was open heart, if he didnâï¿½ï¿½t have the surgery he would not survive and that there is a chance that he would not survive the operation. I kept looking at my poor innocent baby and thinking why him, havenâï¿½ï¿½t we been through enough already.
Ryan was taken to theatre at approx 12 noon Friday 3rd August; he was not even 24 hours old. It was an agonising wait and at approx 7pm that night we were told that he had made it through and everything had went well. It was about another hour or so before we could actually see him. Knowing that he had made it was a dream come true but we were not out of the woods yet. I went back to hospital and Shane to home where we both stressed individually about receiving another dreaded phone call with bad news. Thankfully no phone call was to come just like not much sleep was either. Now that the surgery was over we were able to digest a bit more information about pediatric heart problems and in particular Ryanâï¿½ï¿½s condition. One in a hundred babies is born with heart problems with 70% being non genetic. Ryan had what they call Total Anomalous Pulmonary Venous Drainage otherwise known as TAPVD. TAPVD is where the Pulmonary Veins, which carry blood back to the heart after it has circulated through the lungs, are not connected to the left atrium. In the operation the heart surgeon reconnects Ryanâï¿½ï¿½s veins back to his heart. In addition to this Ryan also had an extra vein on his right side of the heart which had to be disconnected. We were told that if you were to have a heart problem this is a good one to have as no foreign objects are needed to be inserted into the body and there should be no further surgery required. What we didnt know is that this condition is quite rare with only 2% of heart conditions resulting in this. Unlike other people I didnâï¿½ï¿½t find PICU (Paediatrics Intensive Care Unit) that daunting as we were thrown so quickly into that world you didnâï¿½ï¿½t have time to fear it. It doesnâï¿½ï¿½t take you long to look past all the tubes and you learn quite quickly what the monitors mean and only to stress when you see your nurse stressing. Ryan was suffering a bit of jaundice therefore required to lie under the UV lamp for a number of days. It was a novelty to the nurses as he was the first baby in a long time to use the lamp whilst in PICU. We use to nickname that the spa. Even though he looked cute when under the light with his sunglasses on, I use to hate it as I couldnâï¿½ï¿½t see his eyes therefore never knew when he was awake.
Ryan had to return to theatre 4 days later to have his sternum sown up as they had to leave it open in the initial surgery due to swelling. This operation was more a procedural operation and only takes an hour however any operation with your child you automatically worry about. Ryan came through it and one week after his initial surgery the outcome was beginning to look positive. Ryan had a minor set back where he developed Kyal and was no longer allowed normal feeds. Instead he was put on special formula known as monogen. With what Ryan had been through this was seen as considerably minor to us especially as we were now seeing our son with his eyes open and alert. Ryan was taken off his ventilator and moved to Westmead Childrens Hospital NICU otherwise known as Grace. It was here where we were allowed our first cuddle since the day he was born. To do that was an amazing feeling and no words could ever describe the emotions I felt at that time. Our spirits were really lifted at this stage and we looked set to be on our way home; even dreaming about it in my head.
Those dreams were short lived. Only days later Ryan had his first major setback. He was struggling to maintain his pressures and his skin went grey. Ryan had developed excess fluid on the brain however the doctors believed that this was not causing his setback. Ryan was prepared for an emergency CAT scan to see if they could detect what was causing his condition to deteriorate. The scan was inconclusive so it was decided to take him back to theatre & re-open his chest. Ryanâï¿½ï¿½s heart surgeon had fears that Ryan may have contracted an infection in his sternum. Whilst in theatre a neurosurgeon was also going to insert a temporary drainage shunt into Ryanâï¿½ï¿½s head to drain the excess fluid out. We had yet another agonising 4 hour wait to see if Ryan pulled through.
Yet again good news was delivered; our baby had made it through his second open heart surgery. It was confirmed that Ryan did not have an infection in his sternum however he had suffered a bleed on his brain at some stage. The temporary shunt was left in and now it was just a waiting game to see how Ryan recovered. Our lives were like a snakes and ladders board, on the good days you went up the ladder in progress but on the bad days you could go all the way down the snake to the very beginning. This was how we felt right at this moment. It was like a major kick in the guts in which you have no control over.
We were back in PICU and Ryan yet again had numerous tubes and a ventilator to help support his recovery. Ryan was now suffering from a distended abdominal and wasnâï¿½ï¿½t feeding well therefore a third team of specialists were called in to determine his condition. The stomach specialists diagnosed Ryan with necrotising enterocolitis otherwise known as NEC. NEC is a gastrointestinal disease that involves infection and inflammation that causes destruction to part of the intestine. As the NEC was detected early Ryan was able to treat the condition with antibiotics. He was put on nil by mouth and had to have his stomach measured and x-rayed on a daily basis. Ryan was a fighter and like his heart condition he seemed determined to beat this infection. Then only days later came our next snake. Ryan had contracted staph. The staph appeared to be coming from his central line; which is a tube that is inserted direct into his veins for easy access to blood samples and to give antibiotics. Ryan was placed on further antibiotics to treat this infection and he also had to have a new central line inserted. This task in itself was difficult as Ryanâï¿½ï¿½s veins were very hard to find due to Ryanâï¿½ï¿½s body tensing up with all the surgery and antibiotics he had endured so far. Even though Ryan was now on quite a lot of antibiotics, he was still alert and would be constantly looking around checking on everything. Shane and I would do his 4 hourly cares and spend numerous hours giving him physio to keep his limbs from locking up. It was hard leaving the hospital of a night as it didnâï¿½ï¿½t seem right that you were leaving without your child. Leaving was difficult but I found walking into the hospital every morning even harder as you didnâï¿½ï¿½t know if you would be walking into good or bad news from the night before.
Ryanâï¿½ï¿½s progress was very slow. He had the temporary shunt from his head removed but only days later he had to have another one inserted as fluid was leaking from the wound. This was surgery number 4. The neurosurgeons were still uncertain whether Ryan actually had Hydrocephalus and whether he would need a permanent ventriculoperitoneal (VP) shunt. At the moment they were happy to just wait and see as even if Ryan needed one they couldnâï¿½ï¿½t perform the procedure until all his other infections had completely cleared. If they inserted a VP shunt whilst Ryan had an infection in his body, you wear the risk of the infection then being transported to his brain. This time round Ryan seemed to be very bloated in his whole body and appeared to be struggling to release his excess fluid. It didnâï¿½ï¿½t matter how much diuretics Ryan was given the fluid seemed to remain. This was very frustrating from our point of view as there would be days that Ryan was so swollen he couldnâï¿½ï¿½t even open his eyes. When he did manage to open an eye we would always ensure that we were by his side and talking to him. That way he knew he was not alone in this battle. Ryan had shown positive signs by going to the toilet therefore he was allowed back on tube feeds. Ryan would tolerate his feeds until he reached about the 12mls mark. At this stage he would begin to throw up. His abdominal would also fluctuate in size. Feeds were stopped and recommenced days later on a slower intake. The stomach still did not appear right even though the NEC had appeared to clear. It was baby steps with the feeding whilst the specialists kept a daily watch on Ryanâï¿½ï¿½s progress. Even though Ryan was not fully recovered, his heart was declared fit and well. As all his current symptoms now relate to a neonatal baby, Ryan was transferred back to the Grace ward. It was sad leaving PICU as we had made many friends there but we knew that going back to Grace was a step closer to going home. Back at Grace, Ryan still had his numerous specialist teams watching his progress. His stomach and feeding were still not progressing therefore the stomach professor was called in. After numerous ultrasounds and x-rays still nothing was detected. It was now being discussed whether to take Ryan back to surgery and open up his abdominal to see if they could find anything. This was a last minute resort as the surgeons did not want to open up Ryan again if there was no need to. Yet again we were playing the waiting game.
Unfortunately Ryan was not showing any signs of progression. It was now discussed about Ryan having an MRI to see if that could detect anything. The only problem with MRIâï¿½ï¿½s for babies is they need to be put under general anesthesia for the procedure. An MRI was booked in for Ryan to occur the next day. That night Ryan took a turn for the worst. He was struggling to maintain his blood pressure and temperature. Something wasnâï¿½ï¿½t right. At 4am we received a phone call from the hospital advising that Ryan had deteriorated but was stable at the moment. We were advised at this point there was no need for us to come into the hospital however if it worsened they would contact us. We didnâï¿½ï¿½t get a further call so we continue with our normal routine and arrived at the hospital at around 8am. As Ryan was scheduled to have his MRI that day, Shane also came into the hospital instead of going to work for half a day. Upon arriving at the hospital, Ryanâï¿½ï¿½s condition had not changed but he was now on further drugs to support his blood pressure. Only hours later, we were hit with the biggest blow of all. Ryan had contracted a fungus infection in his bloodstream. We were told this could be the cause of not only his blood pressure problems but also the stomach and feeding issues. We were asked to grant permission to treat the infection as the antibiotics used can cause other problems. This was when I world seemed to spiral out of control.
Shane & I were taken into a private room and were told the potential verdict. We were informed that the fungus infection could potentially kill Ryan and if that doesnâï¿½ï¿½t there is a high chance the antibiotics to treat the infection will. Unfortunately the antibiotics can cause your major organs to shut down. Ryan was already showing signs of his kidneys failing. It was at this point Shane & I decided to stop all treatment. Our little boy had fought enough.
The support and encouragement we received from Ryanâï¿½ï¿½s surgeons, doctors, nursing and support staff from both PICU and Grace was enormous. They helped us turn such a difficult day of our lives into a memorial tribute for our son. Ryan had not only touched our lives but he had touched many others in his short time here. Our families were called in & a Salvation Army dedication service was performed. We gave our families one last cuddle each and for many this was there very first cuddle. Then whilst in his daddyâï¿½ï¿½s arms our little boy passed away at just 6 weeks of age. Ryan had shown tremendous courage and had fought a very tough battle. He gave us 6 wonderful weeks of memories and has taught us many things including how precious life really is. He will be forever remembered in our hearts and we will await the day until we finally meet again wherever and whenever that may be.
The tears in my eyes I can wipe away,
The ache in my heart will always stay.
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The heart. Such a precious organ. It is truly the centre of our being. It is the life force that sustains us physically and it is the focus of so many emotions. A heart can be broken, filled with love, swell with pride, be sick with shame, hardened by hate. A heart can skip a beat with excitement or pound with fear. A heart can show courage or compassion.
And your life can change in a heartbeatâï¿½¦
On the 18th December 2006 at our 18 week ultrasound the sonographer left the room and breezily told us she was âï¿½ï¿½just checking that I have all the images that I need.âï¿½ï¿½ We waited and waited and waited and the nervous looks between my husband and I began. This just didnâï¿½ï¿½t feel right but what could possibly be wrong? We had just seen a baby on the screen, it looked the normal shape, it was moving and more importantly for us we could see the beating heart. We had endured two miscarriages already in 2006 so that precious heart beat was so important to us. But surely this was third time lucky? We had made it past that magic 13 week mark and now I could feel our baby moving and kicking. It was all going to be okay this time so why this terrible feeling of dread?
Finally the sonographer returned and the life changing words were uttered, âï¿½ï¿½There is something wrong with the babyâï¿½ï¿½s heart.âï¿½ï¿½ They would not give us any more information than that, so many questions but no answers. We left with no idea of how serious the problem was and so we clung to the hope that this was fixable. It was another 3 days before we finally had a diagnosis âï¿½ï¿½ hypoplastic left heart syndrome. Only half of our babyâï¿½ï¿½s heart had formed.
With less than a week to Christmas we were plunged into the escalating nightmare world where we had choices but none of the outcomes were satisfactory. Every choice meant pain and tears. While my heart did the blood pumping for both of us our baby was quite safe so we had three choices: we could terminate the pregnancy, we could carry the baby to term and let nature take its course or we could attempt palliative surgery immediately after birth. Sadly the surgery was not a cure, risks were very high and quality and longevity of life unknown.
We stumbled through Christmas and New Year desperately trying to make a decision. We lived with each choice for a while but our minds changed constantly. We clutched at any straw including an amniocentesis to perhaps find more problems that would make our decision easier. We ended up finding out that we were having a little boy and only his tiny heart was broken. What a bittersweet irony after watching that precious heart beat so carefully.
Finally we booked into the Womenâï¿½ï¿½s and Childrenâï¿½ï¿½s Hospital to induce the birth at 21 weeks gestation. We arrived in the morning but even at that point we were not certain we could go through with it. It was actually a phone call to the Chaplain in the Childrenâï¿½ï¿½s Hospital in Melbourne (where all heart surgery takes place) that eventually put our minds to rest. We were told that whatever we did we had to do it out of love and that made sense to us. Finally we were at peace with our choice and Aaron Edward was born with love on 4th January 2007. We were so scared of what we would see and feel but despite the grief and tears it was a beautiful, peaceful time. We spent a day cuddling and talking to our son and creating as many special memories as we could. I will never forget the heartache of leaving the hospital without him in my arms.
Picking up the pieces of our lives was very difficult and we remain forever changed in both good and bad ways. We have a 3 year old son who made sure we were quickly back into normal routine but for a long time I just went through the motions. I had expected that once I started feeling better then that was the way I would stay. I was shocked to continue plunging back down into dark days.
Reaching Aaronâï¿½ï¿½s actual due date was a huge milestone. From that point there seemed to be more good days than bad but it is only with the help of a counsellor, the SAFDA support group and some wonderful friends that we can feel our own broken hearts slowly healing. Now we can see the gifts and love Aaron brings to our family, not just the sadness and pain.
Looking to the Futureâï¿½¦
In sharing my story here I also seek your support as one piece of Aaronâï¿½ï¿½s brief time with us remains unresolved and I would like to see a change for the future for anyone else walking a similar heartbreaking path in South Australia. When Aaron was born every memento we could collect became very precious to us. Tangible evidence of a life that was real but as yet unknown to anyone but us. I carried his photo around in my bag for weeks in the vain hope that I might have the opportunity to show someone! We were also very pleased to read in the literature given to us in hospital that Aaronâï¿½ï¿½s birth would need to be registered because he was over 20 weeks gestation. We would have another precious memory in the form of a certificate and we would be able to formally recognise our son as a part of our family. When we went in search of the necessary paperwork to do this we were very shocked to discover we were excluded from registration because his birth had been induced. With a little more research I was even more saddened to learn that South Australia is the only state or territory in this whole country which discriminates against termination of pregnancy. Had Aaron been born anywhere else in Australia we would have been legally obliged to register the birth.
In Australia a birth after 20 weeks gestation (or weighing at least 400g.) is classified as a still birth and must be registered. However in South Australia only there is a little extra in the definition of a still birth âï¿½ï¿½ our legislation states that a still born child âï¿½ï¿½does not include the product of a procedure for the termination of pregnancy.âï¿½ï¿½ (Births, Deaths and Marriages Registration Act 1996, Part 1 Preliminary)
This all changes if your baby draws a breath and then a death certificate is issued and the birth must be registered. How confusing!! I have written to the Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages to learn why South Australia alone has this definition and have been told that our 11 year old legislation was put in place by a perceived need to protect bereaved parents from more forms and more pain in having to register a birth following a termination. I can fully respect that some parents may indeed not want to register the birth and so I would desperately like to see our legislation change to allow us a choice. I did not make my heartbreaking decision easily and I feel very saddened that Aaronâï¿½ï¿½s birth continues to legally be some kind of âï¿½ï¿½secretâï¿½ï¿½. We will always include and honour Aaron within our own family and a piece of paper will not change that but if the rest of Australia is required to register an induced birth then surely South Australia can at least allow a choice.
Sadly the Registrar has received very little correspondence on this issue and there has been no consultation with South Australian support groups on whether there is a need to change this legislation.
If you believe that it is time for South Australia to move in line with the rest of Australia or to at least allow a choice in registering terminated babies then I urge you to join me in writing to the Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages or the Attorney-General. A few other bereaved parents have been approaching Members of Parliament to try and take this issue to parliament but at this stage the Attorney-General holds power to change this without parliamentary debate.
If you would like to know more or would like a sample letter that you could sign and forward then please email me at email@example.com
If we unite in this then we may be taken seriously. Making a decision to terminate is so often misunderstood by the wider community who have not walked in our shoes and it is sad that this legislation also serves to discriminate. For all future parents in our position please consider sending a letter.
You can write directly to the Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages:
GPO Box 1351
Adelaide SA 5001
Or the Attorney-General:
Hon Michael Atkinson
Office of Parliamentary Counsel
GPO Box 464
Adelaide SA 5001
If your birth occurred pre-20weeks you may like to look at this website: www.kadenredriff.memory-of.com
Fiona Peters is working in the Northern Territory to change legislation allow a choice for registering a birth pre-20 weeks. This is an Australian first and she is coming up against many hurdles in even reaching parliamentary debate.
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I once read somewhere that "infertility is the second most stressful event a person can face during their lifetime, the first being the death of a child". At 23 years old never in my worst nightmare would I have thought both these things would affect my husband and I.
After a year of marital bliss, my husband Scott and I decided that it was the perfect time to start trying for a baby. Surely, with our age on our side and me being a non smoker, non drinker, never taken drugs and leading a pretty healthy, active lifestyle, it wouldn't take very long at all. How wrong were we!
Two years later, 12 months of fertility treatments and many, many disappointments along the way every time we realised the fertility treatments hadn't worked, we finally fell pregnant. It was a long, sometimes very draining and disappointing road, but we finally reached our dream of getting pregnant.
We had a scan at 7 weeks to make sure the pregnancy wasn't developing in the fallopian tubes and to check for twins, as the fertility treatments can often result in multiple births. We were amazed when we looked at the screen and saw one very healthy jellybean shape pounding away very quickly. It was our baby's heartbeat and we couldn't have been happier. Everything was in the right place and developing perfectly. With only a couple of weeks before Christmas, it was the perfect gift either Scott or myself could have asked for. That Christmas as we sat down to our Christmas turkey, Scott offered to say grace and gave his thanks for "Jellybean", the nickname we had given our baby.
Our parents were all over the moon for us. Being the first grandchild on both sides, it was destined to be a very spoilt baby! It was constantly talked excitedly about and no one in our family could contain their excitement.
The New Year came in quickly and as we approached our 12-week scan we began telling the rest of our family and friends who didn't know yet. We had reached the "magic 12 week milestone" so surely we could all let our hair down and get really excited now. It was all going to be fine!
The scan at 12 and 19 weeks were such huge highlights for us. We loved seeing our baby on the monitor and loved being able to hear the strong, fast heartbeat. We chose not to know the sex of the baby and leave it as a surprise. We had come so far to even get pregnant that we were going to be ecstatic no matter if it was a boy or a girl. At both the 12 and 19 weeks scans we were given really good reports and were assured that everything was progressing well. We had a healthy baby, with no sign of any complications or any reason to be concerned. What more could we have possibly asked for?
As I neared the end of my second trimester we began finishing the nursery, which we had decided to do in an Under the Sea theme. We had all the major essential baby items, cot, pram, bouncer, baby bath, bassinet, monitor etc. All we needed was the baby!
My friends organised a baby shower for me, and I had just put the last of the invitations in the mail before I had my routine 4-week checkup at 27 weeks with my GP on the 7th May 2008. My GP greeted me in his usual cheerful self and went through all the usual checks. Blood pressure.....perfect. Weight.....perfect. General health.....perfect. It was all looking good as it normally did. "Ok, let's have a listen to this little one's heartbeat shall we?" he asked. I loved hearing the heartbeat; it was always so reassuring to know that everything was going well. I nodded eagerly so he placed the Doppler on my belly. I waited, and waited, and waited. Maybe the baby was being difficult and hiding or sitting in the wrong position. The doctor gave a wry smile and then a little frown as he moved the Doppler around again and pushed my tummy harder. Still nothing. I started to get a little anxious, this had never happened before. What was going on?
After 5 or 10 minutes, I was asked to sit up and my doctor explained that he couldn't detect a heartbeat, which could sometimes happen, especially if they baby was sitting in a difficult position. To be on the safe side and put my mind at rest I was sent up to our local hospital where a midwife could monitor me on a different machine which should definitely pick up the heartbeat.
Scott was working and I suddenly felt all alone and was quite worried. I didn't even start to let myself think, "What if.....?" I called him as soon as I left my GP's office and as soon as he answered I burst into tears. It took him a few minutes to calm me down so he was able to understand what I was saying. When he could finally understand me and realised that I had been for a routine checkup and had heard no heartbeat, he was immediately on his way home. He works in Adelaide, over and hours drive from our hometown of Murray Bridge, so he left as quickly as he could.
Meanwhile I drove myself to the hospital and not wanting to be alone until Scott arrived, I tried calling both my mum and my Scott's dad, who I knew would both sit with me until Scott could get there. Neither of them answered their phones and I felt even more alone.
Once at the hospital I explained who I was and they sent me straight to the labour ward where I had to wait until a midwife was available.
I will never forget the feelings I had sitting alone outside the labour ward where I could hear a newborn baby's cry and saw happy visitors arriving with flowers, balloons and gifts for the new mothers and babies. It was horrible. All I could do was sit with my head in my hands and just pray to God that everything would be ok. I was finally able to get hold of both my mum and Scott's dad, who both arrived at almost the exact same time. Thankfully, once they were there, it wasn't much longer and a lovely midwife who said she would take me through to listen to my baby's heartbeat greeted us. She was so nice and had such a lovely nature that I instantly felt at ease with her. Everything was going to be ok.
Mum came with me as I was put on the machine and the midwife tried desperately to locate the heartbeat. I grew anxious again as ten minutes passed and still no heartbeat, "This can't be happening," I thought to myself. I knew that if they didn't hear it on this machine, our lives would never be the same again.
After changing machines and trying again with no luck, my GP was called and it was decided that I would be sent to have an ultrasound. I grew paler by the minute as both my mum and the midwife tried to reassure me that everything would be ok.
Scott was still on his way home as I sat and waited for the ultrasound, thankfully he arrived at the same time our GP did. Scott held me tightly as our GP explained to us that if there was no heartbeat on this ultrasound then it would confirm our biggest fear, that being that our baby had died "in utero". He explained to us that we would be sent to the Adelaide Women's and Children's Hospital who dealt with this and had better facilities than the Murray Bridge Hospital. We would be in the best hands if we went to the city. Hopefully we wouldn't need to go, but he explained everything we needed to know incase we needed to prepare ourselves for the unthinkable.
The ultrasound was horrible. I will never forget it. The sonographer didn't need to look around much to see what she needed to see. "I'm sorry, there's no heartbeat," are words that will forever haunt me. I can not shake them from my memory. I remember going into shock and not being able to even cry for a few minutes, until all of a sudden it hit me like a tonne of bricks and I broke down. We were left on our own for a few minutes to have some time together and take it all in. With tears running down our cheeks we decided that we would rather not wait until the next morning to go to Adelaide, we would go tonight because we knew neither of us would get any sleep anyway that night.
Our parents sat with us, comforted us as best they could and offered to drive us to the city if we wanted them to, but it was something we needed to do alone. After saying goodbye to our parents, promising to call them as soon as we got there and keep them updated, we packed a few clothes and headed to the hospital. This was not the way it was meant to be. It was all such a blur. We couldn't believe that we were on our way to the hospital to deliver our baby who we knew would not survive. This was the cruelest blow we could ever have been dealt. What more did we have to go through to prove that we would be good parents? Wasn't it obvious enough that we loved this baby, that we have longed for this baby for over two years and we would have done anything for it. What more could we possibly have to go through?
From the minute we arrived at the WCH we had around the clock support and a fantastic midwife who we will always be grateful to.
It was decided that labour would be induced by the use of tablets and we decided to start that night. There was no point sitting around all night; we couldn't sleep so we figured the sooner we got the ball rolling, the better. The tablets were to be given every 4 hours and it turned out I only need 2. One was given to me at 11pm and the other at 3am. I started to feel some pain just after I'd had the second tablet and it didn't settle down at all. It felt like as soon as the pains started, there was no stopping them! I quickly asked for some pain relief and was given a heat pack and some panadine forte, which didn't seem to do much. I tried to walk around a bit to relieve the pain but it wasn't long before I asked for the pethidene. Wonderful stuff, that's all I can say! Took the edge off completely. So much so that I had a little snooze (after it made me vomit!).
I woke up just before 5am and felt like I had an urge to go to the toilet.....now! Scott has just stepped outside for some fresh air, so I buzzed my midwife.
"I think something's happening," I said looking confused. She helped me out of bed, led me to the toilet and told me she thought my waters had broken. I asked them to pass me my mobile so I could quickly call Scott and tell him to come back. It was lucky I did. As soon as he walked back in the door, less than 5 minutes later, Lilly Ann Mader was born! It was 5.10am on the 8th May 2008. Three days before Mother's Day.
Everything happened so quickly, it was a bit of a blur. One thing I will never forget though and I am sure will stay with both Scott and myself forever, is looking down, seeing this beautiful baby girl, sleeping. My heart broke. I could feel it rip in half. There were tears in Scott's eyes as we realised our beautiful baby girl would never wake up. It was devastating.
She was wrapped up so we could hold her and we were able to spend as much time with her as we wanted, which we will be forever grateful for. Scott called our parents and they came to visit us and spend time with Lilly all morning aswell. It was a sad time, but also a very special time. I would never wish for anyone to go through what we have been through. No parent should ever have to deal with such a huge loss. It is indescribable.
I could not believe that Lilly looked so perfect, I kept looking at her wishing she would wake up. She looked so peaceful and as though she was just tricking us.
Our parents left us around noon so we could be alone and spend some quality time alone with Lilly as a family. This time is cherished and we are so thankful to have such wonderful parents on both sides of our family. They are the reason we have pulled through this and they are the reason we will continue to pull through this. Their continued love and support has been amazing.
A week after Lilly was born, we held a funeral for her. We felt that it was important to say a special goodbye and allow our friends and family to attend, even though they never got to meet her or know her, they were a huge part of her life, because they knew how much she meant to us. It was overwhelming to see so many of our friends and family at her funeral, and although it broke our hearts to have to bury her, we were so lucky to be surrounded by so many wonderful friends and family. They genuinely cared about us and were there to offer us their support at such a tragic time in our lives.
Saying goodbye to someone we never got to say hello to was the hardest thing either of us has ever had to do. There really are no words to describe the emptiness or the ache in both of our hearts.
For such a little girl, Lilly made a huge impact. An impact that will imprint our hearts forever and who will never be forgotten. She is no longer in our hands, but will be forever in our hearts,
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Meaning: little and womanly
This is our story about our traumatic experience of losing our baby girl Charlotte. There is no right or wrong way it's just what you both physically and mentally can handle. This is our story and we hope it can help anyone in this position.
It still feels like yesterday, we had our 19 week ultrasound at 8:30am and I was just keen to see a heartbeat as we previously went through a miscarriage 8 months ago and was so worried about it. Well we were in the room and the sonographer showed us the baby and I was over the moon. Then the lady said I will have to bring someone else in to check something out as she couldn't find it so I still thought nothing then, another lady came in and started going thru each section and I asked her what sex it was, she said a little girl. I was so happy I started to cry then I asked her was everything else ok? She rubbed my leg and said I'm not going to lie to you but her legs and arms are very short for her size, but I will get a doctor to talk to you. I still didn't know what that meant just assumed she would be short like me. Steve my husband asked her how short they were, she replied about 6 weeks behind everything else.
We were taken to another room to wait for the doctor and we were just talking about what it meant. The longer we waited the more worried we became. Finally after 2 hours of waiting Peter Muller came in and told us the bad news that she won't live due to her having skeletal dysplasia but a lethal type. We were told to make a decision to either terminate the pregnancy or continue however the chances of her survival would be very bleak she would probably die in utero.
We were devastated this is not the news we were expecting for a weekend or better still our 19 week scan. We went home and told my parents who were shocked with what we told them.
All weekend we were thinking what would be the best decision to make and there was no best decision it was just awful. Monday came and we contacted the hospital and asked to seek a second opinion not that we didn't trust Peter Muller's diagnosis it was too much to take in on Friday. We had great help from Anne Baxindale who organised an appointment at the Ashford Hospital with Karen Shand on the Tuesday. So we went and had another scan and the news wasn't any better we found out some more information with regards to Charlotte's condition not that that made it any better. Karen even showed us on the ultrasound some of her abnormalities. We decided to go for an amnio for some DNA results not that they would be back in time before our final decision.Over the week we had to decide what we were we going to do, we didn't want to terminate her but we knew she wouldn't live either. I felt sick everyday in the tummy and my body didn't feel pregnant anymore, I had lost my appetite we shouldn't have to make a decision. I couldn't go on for the last 4 months day in day out thinking is she still moving in there as her legs and arms were so short it was very rare for me to feel her kick and move around. At the end of the day we had to make the hardest decision in our lives and the word terminate is so horrible to say. We had seeked 2 more opinions to ensure her condition was as lethal as the other 2 doctors had stated.
We also made some arrangements for a funeral and little did we know that unfortunately because of the decision we were making she would not be entitled to a birth or death certificate unless she takes a breath and the likelihood of that happening would be a miracle apparently we are the only state that have this law.
It was D day booked in for an induction on the 19th May 2008 at 9:30am and within my heart I felt that Charlotte had already passed away.
Well at 9pm our baby girl Charlotte Heather Grace Walsh was born on Monday 19th May 2008 and she looked beautiful born sleeping, she looked like an angel. She was really beautiful and her memories will be with us always she is our angel sent down from heaven and will be watching over us everyday.
We had Charlotte in our room from the time she was born, which was hard but good to have. Steve bathed her she looked so cute. We took lots of photos for our memories. We had Father O'lachlan visit us on Tuesday morning and blessed her and named her. Then my mum and dad brought our 2 year old boy Marcus in and he was absolutely gorgeous he held Charlotte and kept saying baby sick.
Tuesday afternoon we went home and took Charlotte home with us for a couple of hours. We wanted to show her where she lived, what her room looked like and spend some family time. We got the most gorgeous picture of Marcus holding Charlotte. The hardest part was returning her to the hospital and leaving empty handed. You go through all the pain and labour and you have nothing to show for it. I felt empty. It was the hardest night to fall asleep I kept waking up thinking it was time for a feed or nappy change.
Friday 23rd May 2008 we had a funeral for Charlotte which was very hard for Steve and I but it was a beautiful send off and within my heart I feel we have done the right thing even though it doesn't feel like it. Don't forget you are not alone in this there is a lot of help around us we just need to ask for it when we need it.
Julie, Stephen and Marcus hope this will help anyone in a similar situation but like I started out to say this is our view and feelings of losing our beautiful baby girl Charlotte Heather Grace Walsh.
We love you so much and thank you for being part of our lives even if it was a very short one we will see you again one day.
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Our angel in the sky
On July 25th 2007 we found out we were pregnant and due on the 10th March 2008, which was my husbands and mine 1st wedding anniversary.
My husband, myself and our 5 yr old daughter were ecstatic. Our lives seemed picture perfect, we were happily married had a healthy daughter and were blessed with another child on the way.
We booked ourselves into the birthing unit as we were attempting to have a natural labour (or hoped to try).October 15th we had our 18-20 week ultrasound and were told our baby was fine, and that we were having a baby "boy". I knew it my instinct was right! What more could we ask for two healthy children and one of each sex. My life was a fairytale come true!
In no time the nursery was filled with beautiful items and lots of blue for our spoilt little man. I had a healthy pregnancy with no complications. Both baby and belly were growing big and fast. Together we shared a very close bond, and both my husband and daughter were very anxious for him to arrive.
On March 10th 2008 my due date I went to bed asking why I was once again going to be overdue and anticipated I would be induced in 10 days time like previously. He was kicking me like he would on a regular basis and made it hard for me to get comfortable.I soon got to sleep.
On March 11th 2008 the day after my due date I woke up in labour and my husband took me to the hospital. After being admitted into a room the midwife began checking me over. She had problems finding his heart beat, so we were rushed for an ultra sound, to be told our baby had passed away. For the next few hours my husband and I consoled in each other with the worst thing parents have to deal with. We held and helped each other through as the labour progressed. We had family come in and give their support.
At 2:10pm that day in the presence of my husband and our mothers I gave birth to our son Denver Thomas born sleeping. He was absolutely beautiful and perfect , he weighed 7pd 13oz and was 54 cm. He looked just like his daddy and sister.He was bathed and dressed in clothes we had picked out for him. We took photos and held him for hours telling him how much we all love him.
March 20th we in front of a room full of people that cared for him we had a funeral service for him. He was buried in a peaceful cemetery, where we visit him regularly.
April 23rd we received his autopsy results and found that he had passed away from an Ecoli infection. It also detected he had passed away the day before he was born. Which would have been in my sleep as he kicked before I fell asleep.
Not many parents can say there baby died on there due date. That date obviously had a meaning for something.
We still cannot believe that this has happened and we miss our boy so much. Our lives seem so empty without him.
We will forever love our little man and he will never be forgotten.
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I lost my beautiful baby boy at just 21 weeks on 5th May 2008. Here is my story that I wanted to share with you ....
I remember when I first found out I was pregnant, it was January 2008 and my period was late and I had a funny feeling that this could be the month I was pregnant. You see we had been trying for 18 months and every month was hard. All those negative pregnancy tests I couldn't do another one, I just couldn't! So I wanted to wait until I was 5 weeks late before I took the test. So, at 3am on Saturday morning, I took the test ... I called it my lucky pregnancy test ( the one that my sister in law gave to me , she had the other one which was positive) and there it was, the magic two lines confirming that matt and I at long last were going to be parents for the very first time! We were over the moon!
As the weeks followed we had a pretty good pregnancy. In the beginning I had some spotting but this all sorted it self out. I went for my 12 week scan and I was in the low category for Down syndrome I was wrapped, I passed the 12 week stage and was pretty confident I was over the worst of the pregnancy or so I thought .....
Then on Monday 21st April we went in for our routine 20 week scan. We were so excited; as at long last we were going to find out the sex of our baby! We found out were having a boy which were we shocked to discover as we were convinced we were having a girl... but as the scan went on we accepted we were having a boy and were beginning to get excited by this. Then we received the most devastating news a parent to be can receive. Our baby boy had a cyst on the left side of his brain and we would have to have a MRI the following week to confirm this. The doctor couldn't really say what this cyst meant for us but we were just praying that it wasn't going to be bad news. We were in shock and cried the whole way home.
Throughout the next week, which felt like a lifetime, we bonded with our little man and we called him "Liam Matthew". He would kick all the time and we really felt like he bonded with both of us. We did a research of a brain cyst and we felt fairly positive that we could handle this. If our little man had to get an operation then we were prepared for that. The following week eventually came around and I had the MRI on Liam's brain. We then went back two days later to find out the news. Unfortunately it was our worst nightmare come true... our baby boy's brain hadn't developed properly. He was missing the corpus collosum (the area of tissue connecting the two half halves of the brain) associated with a large cyst between the two halves of the brain. In addition to this he had an abnormal defect on his left half of his brain known as a cleft. Also there were abnormal tissues reflecting the area of nerve connection as well. If he was to even survive full term he would be living a life with a physical and intellectual disability. Furthermore he would suffer seizures during early childhood and would require a very high level of care. We had been given no choice really , Liam had made the decision for us . There was no chance of his survival so we were faced with a decision to let nature take its course or to have a termination. We decided it was not fair to bring Liam into the world where he couldn't function normally. It would be cruel and we just couldn't do it to him. So we decided to terminate the pregnancy at 21 weeks. I know this was a decision that was right for him, as the doctors couldn't even guarantee that he would survive a normal birth full term as the pressure on his brain would cause great distress thus he might not survive. Knowing all this made the decision a little easier. I was shocked to discover I would have to have a natural birth to deliver him. When I asked why I had to do it this way, the doctors said that it was one of the best ways to deal with the grieving and healing process. They didn't recommend a Caesarean because it can cause scarring and lead to further complications with future pregnancies and it was too late for a D & C . The doctor also ordered an amniocentesis - to determine if the problem with Liam's brain was caused by a chromosome defect. At the time I remember thinking what for?? As it was yet another painful procedure that I had to endure but I have since received the results and it was all normal. This means that genetically hubby and I are all ok and Liam's disorder wasn't caused by a genetic defect which was a relief. However I believe the amniocentesis sent Liam to heaven , as I didn't feel him move after that. I think the trauma of the MRI and amniocentesis was too much for his little brain and heart to bear. This may have been a blessing as it meant we did not have to bear the guilt of terminating his life.
On Sunday 4th May 2008, I went into the hospital to be induced and 28 hours later, after a hard labour, I gave birth to my son, Liam Matthew. He was born Monday 5th May at 8.12pm, 26 cm long and weighing 420 grams . It was a breached birth, and his skin was dark in colour as he had passed away earlier (as I had suspected). It was a hard labour but I am grateful for the opportunity to have given birth ( it was my first time , I hadn't even been to birth classes yet, nor had I gotten to the part where they talk about the stages of labour and what to expect in my pregnancy books),
We got to hold him and we also shared this experience with close family members who took photos of him. The hospital took imprints of his footprints and handprints. He stayed the night with us so that in the morning we could say goodbye to him... something that was so hard to do ... it still chokes me up when I think about it...
He was so beautiful, a perfect little baby... that was he was in the end , little but all so perfect. He had my nose and toes and my hubby's hands and tallness. He was a very old soul, an angel who was too beautiful to be on this earth.
On Saturday 10th May 2008 we had to officially say goodbye to our son. It was a beautiful funeral service. All our family and friends were there to support us and to be a part of Liam's farewell. We got to fly balloons at the end of the service - a symbol of letting him fly up to the angels... The theme was rainbow balloons as we felt a connection with him and rainbows (see the channeling below, Liam's Prayer ). A rainbow means a promise ... A hope that someday even though we have been through such a horrific event that maybe god will provide us with a baby that we can take home and look after....
At the funeral my Sister Tanya read out a message that was channeled from Liam on 2nd May. She was writing in her journal as she always does and then when she read it back she realized that what she wrote were not her words but words from her nephew Liam. A very bizarre but wonderful experience. I would also like to share with you...
See beyond the rainbow
See my face- it is beaming with light and joy
All I ever desired in this existence I have accomplished - my work is one and yet only beginning.
I love my family and I am not sad. I just knew this was a short visit
Please do not cry for long
I am here in all your hearts and all those that touch your lives
I will live on forever
I know my gift to you was so great and it fills my heart with joy to know this
I have brought a great healing to many with this experience
Unfortunately great healing can mean great pain as well
Just remember I feel no pain and I will always be grateful for all the love you gave me and the time we shared. All is not lost for I am a rainbow, eternal and I will lead you to a place you never dreamed of - leading you yonder the other side.
I now am an angel- and I will be the one to watch over my precious family. I love you all and will be with through the good times and the bad times. It is better to have loved and lost than not loved at all - and this love we have shared will never die....
We have pictures of him around our home as well as his birth certificate. Also I have made up a box of all his belongings, put together a photo album and designed a montage on the internet (which I will put a link at the bottom of this page for you to view if you wish) so he will always be remembered ... He deserves this ... he deserves everything he would of got had he lived a lifetime with us.
Life is full of twists and turns, no one knows why bad things happen...all I can find comfort in is knowing that he has given me the most special 21 weeks of my life and he will always be a part of my family. His time on earth was only for a short time but I am grateful that he came to us... I am so lucky to have him as my special little angel. I am now an "angel mother" to him and there are many mothers in the world, but I ask how many of them of the special privilege of been an "angel mum"? I know one day God will grant me a child, and I will be a "normal" mum as well as angel mum. How lucky I am to be a mum on both sides ....
Liam came here for a reason and I believe that reason was to bring love into so many people's lives, especially my hubby and also to open peoples hearts that yes this is a tragic event but in a way its not.. Liam is "a gift" he chose to be with us for 21 wonderful weeks ... that was all he was able to give us in this lifetime ... we never know how long the soul has to be on this planet sometimes it is for a moment and sometimes it is for a life time but how ever long it is, it is special ... if anything Liam has taught me that life is so very precious and so are people...
I am just so lucky in the last weeks of his life he showed us who he was and even matt got to feel him kick.... He was a calm and gentle soul who only had love to give.
I believe that to fulfill our life purpose is to give away all the love you have... Spread it around , be open , share you pain and joy with the world as this is a healing process that we all need to do in life to grow. Our soul needs to grow and it is unfortunately through great pain that our soul can grow the most. It is a choice of how we wish to view life... do we look at the glass half full or half empty? I choose to look at life as full, yes this experience has changed me for the rest of my life. Yes I have felt one of the most horrific pains you can imagine, of losing my son but in order for me to be able to heal this I need to be able to accept that everything has a divine purpose and Liam's purpose was to show me unconditional love. The greatest gift of all is love... it is the answer to our prayers and gives us hope.....
A beautiful saying that I read and speaks to me goes as follows "An angel in the book of life wrote down your baby's birth and whispered as he closed the book, too beautiful for this earth .... " I believe Liam was too beautiful for this earth... I nurtured him for as long as he needed before heaven needed him for another mission ... "to be my guardian angel and watch over me and my family" ....... " Fly Free .... Forever in our hearts "
Please feel free to view my montage of Liam's short life before he grew wings and became a beautiful angel ....
"The soul would have no rainbow, had the eyes no tears"
- John Vance Cheney
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It was early February 2007 when we found out I was 6 weeks pregnant.
I had been feeling very sick and went to see a doctor who sent me to the Lyell McEwin hospital because he suspected I had an appendicitis.
After doing some blood tests the doctor told me I was pregnant. The doctor left and I felt like laughing and crying all at the same time.
I looked at my partner at the end of the bed. He looked so shocked and wasn't saying anything. I was only 17 and he was 21, and we were both so worried about how we would look after a baby. We always wanted children so our baby wasn't an accident, we were just in a lot of trouble with money, and didn't want to ruin a child's life because we were irresponsible. My partner and I talked about it and there was no doubt in our minds that we were going to keep the baby, but there was defiantly going to be some big changes to make it work. We had someone take over our finances so get us on track. Although we couldn't really do anything over the next 9 months to make it work it didn't matter to us because we knew what was more important, our little baby.
I was so sick the first 15 weeks I did nothing but hang my head in the toilet. I waited until I was 15 weeks before having my first visit with a midwife because I couldn't decide on a hospital to go to. I thought of going to the woman's and children's because I wanted the best care for my baby but everyone told me that the Lyell McEwin was just as good and closer to where I lived, so I booked myself in there. At my first appointment the midwife told me about a study called the scope study, which was to study pre-eclampsia, prem babies and small babies. I was asked if I would like to take part of the study, and I said yes. I then had to go back the next week to see another midwife who would be my midwife up until I was 28 weeks pregnant. She told me there wasn't much chance of me developing any of the problems they were looking for, being young and healthy. I went for all my regular appointments and ultrasounds and everything was going perfect. I found out at my 20 week scan the sex of my baby. I guessed I was having a boy and I turned out to be right. We already had a name picked out for him. We were going to call him Beau. We only told a few people the sex of our baby because some people wanted it to be a secret. That was until my baby shower, when some people brought me blue stuff. I didn't mind people knowing the sex though. I was transferred to the birthing centre later in the pregnancy and had the rest of my appointments there.
I was about 34 weeks pregnant when my feet started to swell like crazy and it hurt to walk. My hands went numb because of water retention and I just thought what was happening to my feet was the same. Then when I went to my next appointment the nurse took my blood pressure and said it was a bit high and asked me to stay for half hour so she could take it again. My blood pressure dropped a bit so she said everything was fine. At my next appointment my blood pressure was up pretty high again and the midwife had noticed how swollen my feet were. She told me it was a sign of pre-eclampsia and that at my next appointment if things were still the same I would need to stay for a few hours and be monitored. Sure enough my next appointment my blood pressure was still high and they decided to admit me overnight and if things didn't settle they could induce me. I was 37 weeks at this point and they insured me if I was induced things would be fine but they would rather get me to 38 weeks. I ended up staying in hospital for 3 days then I was sent home because they believed the blood pressure problem may not have been to do with my pregnancy. I went home and just rested up until my next appointment which was 4 days later. I went for my appointment at 10am and they decided to admit me to day care because my blood pressure was still high. At this point they told me I had pre-eclampsia and would probably need to be induced. Throughout the day I had my baby monitored and my blood pressure checked every hour. At about 5pm they decided to admit me to the labour ward and induce me. I was scared and excited all at once. Our parents asked the midwife how long it could take, the midwife replied "we could still be here Saturday before anything happens". It was only Thursday night. Our parents went home, and the midwife came in and told me I better get some sleep because I was going to need it. As I climbed into the bed I started to get some dull pains in my stomach. Nathan told me just to go to sleep because that's my the midwife had told me to do. About an hour later I had been woken up because the pain in my stomach had gotten worse and I couldn't sleep anymore. I walked around the room for a little while before waking my partner to let him know. It was 11:30pm at this point and the midwife had told me that she wouldn't come wake me until 1am so I could get my rest. I laid in bed but couldn't get comfortable so I walked around, laid on the floor, sat on the lounge but I just couldn't get comfortable and the pain was getting worse. Nathan pleaded with me to call the midwife, but I didn't wont to bother her. At about 5 minutes to 1am I finally called the midwife. She came down and asked what was wrong. I told her I was getting pains and she just replied "well you are having a baby". She told me to go have a shower to see if it helped. No such luck. I sat in the shower, stood in the shower, laid in the shower, it just wasn't helping. I got out and called the midwife again and another midwife came down and told me mine was on break. I told her I was in pain and she offered me some Panadol. I thought what the hell? I don't have a headache! I'm in labour! But took the Panadol anyway, hoping for some slight relief. A bit later my midwife returned to take my blood pressure, it was going higher and she said I may need a c-section. I didn't mind as long as my baby was delivered healthy. At 3am they decided to give me an epidural to try and bring my blood pressure down. I was then left to rest until about 5:30am when the midwife finally decided to put the monitors on my belly to listen to my babies heart beat. Not long after they had put the monitor on the midwife said it looked like my baby was distressed and said she had to go get the doctor because it looked like I was going to need the c-section. At 6am they returned and told me I would need to sign the consent forms for the c-section and that they didn't have much time. My partner rang our parents to let them know and then was hurried into his scrubs and we were raced off to theatre.
Our beautiful baby boy Beau Charlie May was born at 6:54am on the 5th of October 2007.
The doctor told me he had been born but I didn't here a sound from my baby. I thought there was something wrong, then he made the quietest little cry.
They brought him over to me so I could hold him but told me he had to be taken to the special care nursery because he was having trouble breathing.
He was taken away and I went to recovery. Nathan went to be with Beau after being with me for awhile. Later I was taken to the ward and told my baby would be coming down soon. I fell asleep for awhile and woke up that afternoon still without Beau in my room. It had been awhile and he should have been down by that point.
The doctor came down later and told us that Beau had developed a lung disease but it was only temporary. He had to have a box over his head giving him oxygen, but they were going to transferrer him to the Flinders neo natal unit to get the right treatment. They told us he would go to the Flinders for a couple of days then when he is better go back to the Lyell McEwin. I was then taken to the nursery to see Beau before they took him to the flinders. I felt silly because I couldn't stop crying, I just kept thinking something bad was wrong, but everyone kept telling me he was going to be ok. While we were waiting for to team to take Beau to the flinders there was a baby born at only 28 weeks so when the team arrived they needed to take that baby first. We understood the other baby needed to go first, and the team said they would come back for Beau.
The Lyell McEwin never called the team back that night and Beau was still there in the morning. I was told that Beau wasn't getting better and they finally called the team back to get him. The team sedated Beau and took him away, I then followed in another ambulance not far behind him. When I got to the Flinders they told me we could go see Beau once we had something to eat for tea. I wolfed down some potato and rushed down to the neo natal unit. There Beau was on a vibrating bed. It looked so scary. I asked the doctor how long would the treatment take and she told me about 2 weeks. I was devastated because I so badly wanted to take him home and show him off to the world. The next morning Nathan and I had just woken up when the midwife had told us the neo natal unit had called and wanted us down there. We hurried down to see Beau with a whole heap of doctors standing around him and all his monitors going crazy. We stood back and watched for a couple of minutes before we were told we should call our parents. I rang my mum first and asked her to come in. She asked why and I burst into tears telling her "something is wrong but I don't know what". We went back to our room and our parents arrived. We sat talking for awhile before the doctor came down to talk us. She told us that our little boy was really sick and that he wasn't responding to any they were doing. Everyone went silent and I looked at the doctor. I could tell what she was about to say but didn't want to hear it. She told us Beau wasn't going to survive.
I just sat there sobbing in my mums arms asking why over and over. We calmed down and went to se him but as soon as I looked at his face I started crying all over again saying "He is to prefect". I didn't see much of Beau that day because I thought if I didn't I wouldn't get hurt, but my partner stayed with him until late that night.
The next day was Monday8th of October and Beau was still alive. The doctors were shocked he had maid it through that Sunday, but he was still very sick. I started going down to see him because if I didn't I would end up regretting it. He was always sedated and he had so many tubes and machines everywhere. We were told that we couldn't really touch him much, hold him or talk to much or to loud because Beau couldn't handle it, so we just sat there and held his hand and watched him.
On the Wednesday the doctor came to tell us it looked like Beau had turned a corner but he wasn't out of the woods yet. We wanted him to get better but it was so hard to get excited because it seemed like one big rollercoaster ride. One day he was doing ok the next not so good. The next day we went to see him and they told us he was getting worse again. By the Friday the doctor had decided to have a meeting with us to discuss our options. He told us that at some point a dying baby has the rights to die. I agreed but Beau didn't look sick. He looked like a normal baby. We couldn't make the decision to stop the treatment while there may have been a chance. Nathan and I discussed it and we said that if he was meant to die he would die on his own, we didn't want to make the chose for him. The doctor left it until the Sunday and had another meeting with us. He told us Beau was stuffed and there wasn't much more they could do. We still stood by our words and didn't stop treatment. That night we went to see Beau and he was looking worse. He had gone a bluish colour and his stats had dropped more than ever. We went back to our room and discussed things more. We had decided if he was still bad on the Monday we would have to let him go.
The Monday morning we went to see him shaking every step we took, hoping things were better. They weren't though. He was just getting worse and worse. The doctor told us at this point his oxygen levels were so low he was unconscious and our choices were either he could die slowly or we could let him go so he could finally rest. We decided the best thing was to let him go. We called our parents in to say good bye, and then the nurse took them into another room while they stopped the treatment. Nathan held him for awhile then we took him into the room with our parents and Nathan held Beau while I held Nathan. After about 5 minutes, which felt like a life time, the nurse came in to listen to Beau's heart beat. She looked up at us and said "he is gone". Nathan asked for her to get a bed for him and we took some hand and foot prints, weighed him and then dressed him. The nurse said we could stay with him over night but I wanted to go home so we could organise the funeral and Beau could finally come home.
We had the funeral on Friday the 19th of October. We brought Beau a beautiful new outfit to wear and a clean nappy. He still looked absolutely prefect. He had a little white casket lined with silk. It had the handles and looked just like a normal casket would just a lot smaller. He had a large teddy in front of the casket and the chapel was filled with all our family and friends who came to say goodbye. Nothing but the best for our baby boy because that's what he deserved.
We learnt not long after Beau passed away, he probably would still be alive if the hospital had transferred him on that Friday he was born.
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Our story by Matthew and Beryl Woidt
It's hard to believe that over four years have gone by since we lost our beautiful son Ethan. But our story begins even before that.
As with all couples, we were looking forward to the day that we would start our family. When I found out that I was pregnant for the first time in oct 2000, I was over the moon. We told our friends almost straight away we were that excited. It all came crashing down 6 weeks later as I miscarried.
We started trying again with no joy until January 2002. Again we were over the moon but we were more reserved and only told our parents. Again, I started to bleed and went to the hospital at some ungodly hour. An ultrasound was booked for the next day, so we went home and waited. The next we anxiously waited for the sonographer to give us some good news. It didn't happen. I was diagnosed with an ectopic pregnancy and admitted to hospital. I went to surgery the next morning. I not only lost my baby, but my left fallopian tube as well. We kept wondering how much more we could take. I spoke to my GP and she thought that I may have polycystic ovary syndrome and refered me to a gynaecologist.
It was confirmed that I did have pcos and we started on fertility medication(clomid). We went through with tracking cycles and ultrasounds each month, with being told when we could have intercourse to enhance our chance of conception(so much for sponteniety!!). In august we were pregnant again. But again, it was not to be. In November 2003 we signed paperwork to undergo IVF treatment as we weren't getting the results from the clomid. We discussed only starting mid way through 2004.
We gave ourselves a holiday, spending Christmas with my family in Queensland and then planning my husband's 30th birthday party for February. In April, without IVF, we found ourselves pregnant yet again. We waited with our hearts in our throats at the 1st ultrasound at 7weeks to be told that the baby had a good strong heartbeat and everything was normal. We waited until after the 12 week scan to tell everyone. We were so nervous but we thought "finally" everything was going to be ok and we would be parents at last.
My obstetrician, the fantastic Chris Hughes, knew that we were worried that something would go wrong and gave us as much reassurance as he could. My due date was the 20th November 2004. This date came and went with some disappointment. But on the morning of the 22nd, I woke up having a few niggly feelings, but wasn't really convinced that I was in labour. I packed my husband off to work, only to ring him again to come home. We arrived at the hospital at about 1030am very excited. This was it. We were finally going to be parents! The midwives put the fetal monitor on to find a heartbeat but were having trouble. My husband was very worried, and I guess I was to but we often had trouble finding a heartbeat at my checkups and I was convinced that it was ok. Chris came up and tried to find a heartbeat with no success so we went down to his rooms for an ultrasound. It confirmed that our baby had died. I couldn't believe it. He had been kicking away not even 12hrs earlier. Chris encouraged me to have a natural delivery, which he knew was what I wanted, but I ended up having an emergency caesarean. Our son, Ethan, was born at 935pm.
Devastated doesn't even begin to describe how we felt. I sort of wandered through my days, planning the funeral and contacting friends with the news. An autopsy was done, but with no answers. My husband was very dissatisfied with this, but I like to think that it just means that Ethan was perfect. The funeral was, looking back, lovely. But how unfair. Parents are not meant to bury their children. And it's funny how you never hear about things until they happen to you or someone you know. We had so many people (mainly older, from the era where you didn't talk about these things and you just got on with life) tell us about their losses.
I didn't really know where we were heading after this blow. I ended up going back to work in January 2005, having gotten sick of my own company at home. It was then a great shock to discover that we were pregnant AGAIN and due in October 2005. We hadn't planned it but, obviously it was meant to be. We had lots of scans and 3 weekly appointments. We found out at 27 weeks that we were to have a little brother for Ethan.
Our second beautiful boy, Eli, was born on 30th September 2005 by caesarean, with a great set of lungs!! I have never heard a greater sound. His sister Zoe followed on 25th June 2007 and we were blessed with another little girl Marni, on 17th September 2008. Even though we are kept busy with our 3 living kids, not a day goes by that we don't think of our angel watching over us. We tell our kids about their brother in heaven and when Eli asks why Ethan isn't with us, we just say that God needed another angel in heaven to help watch over him and his sisters and all the other children in the world. My heart goes out to everyone who has been through that loss of a child. It is not just the loss of the child, but also the loss of our hopes and dreams for that child that is hard to overcome and understand. My advice to anyone is to never give up, miracles can and do happen, sometimes we just have to have patience.
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Our little Angel Max Andrew by Liz & Andrew
When we found out we were pregnant in July 2008 we were very excited but also scared as we had lost a baby earlier that year through a miscarriage. In the beginning I tried to distance myself from the pregnancy to protect myself from getting hurt again. We had an early scan around 6 weeks, when we saw the little heart beating we both cried with joy and I was instantly in love with this little girl or boy.
The pregnancy flew by quickly as I have 2 young daughters who keep me very busy. I was still a little scared about the pregnancy and didn't allow myself to buy new things for the baby in case of another miscarriage. At the 20week scan we were over the moon to hear that our baby was healthy and everything looked normal. We also learnt we were having a little boy. We couldn't believe how lucky we were, 2 beautiful girls and now a son. Life couldn't have been better.
After the scan I relaxed and went on a big shopping spree. I bought a double pram (as my daughter is not even 2 yet) and lots of blue clothes. I was so excited to buy a different colour. I loved being pregnant, I cherished every little pain, kick and movement.
At just 26 weeks of pregnancy, on the 22nd of December everything changed. I was sitting on the couch with my husband and my waters gushed everywhere. We just looked at each other in huge disbelief, there were no words. Once at hospital they confirmed my waters had broke and doctors and nurses filled my room. I was so frightened but tried to stay positive. I was transferred to flinders hospital by ambulance.
Two days later I went into labour and no medication could stop it. I had to have a caesarean as it was a safer option to deliver my son. My husband missed our son's birth as we live 2 hrs away from the hospital and my labour progressed too quickly. Our beautiful son, Max Andrew, entered the world on 24th December 2008, at 3:38am weighing a tiny 2lb. I was taken to the neonatal unit after I woke from the caesarean. His tiny body was covered in tubes and he was just gorgeous, he was perfect in everyway. We sat beside his tiny body all day praying for a miracle that he would overcome all the odds.
Nothing could prepare us for the news the doctors had for us on Christmas day. Max had suffered a massive stroke and all of his brain had been affected. He had no chance of a normal life. The news caused so much heartache and tears we couldn't believe this had happened to our precious boy. We were than faced with the most awful decision - turning off his life support. Max would never be able to move, see or even breathe on his own but I thought at least we could have him and touch him. In the end we decided to turn off his life support as we thought it is not a life for Max. The pain was unbearable as we told the doctors of our decision. The doctor held me close as tears flowed and I began to hyperventilate. He whispered to me you did not have to make the decision. Max has made it for you. I sat beside Max all night, touching his tiny body and telling him how much I loved him.
The following day we were able to hold Max for the very first time. The feeling was indescribable mixed between such joy and pain. My parents and my husband's parents were with us. We kissed his soft skin and held him close as the doctors removed his tubes. Max passed away quickly and peacefully. I can't even put into words how much pain and sadness I felt as I just sat there cradling him. My husband bathed him and then we got to dress him in a little blue suit. Walking out of that room and leaving our son behind was the hardest and most painful time of my life.
I cried uncontrollably for days, my breast milk was flowing and my whole body ached for my son. Leaving the hospital without our son was heartbreaking.
Max's funeral was on the 7th January 2009 at Peter Lehmann winery. We chose this winery as we were married there. The service was beautiful. My friends put together a slideshow of Max so our friends and family could meet him and see how beautiful he is. My husband read the eulogy I was so proud of his strength and courage on the day. My husband then carried out Max's coffin to the song, âï¿½ï¿½tears in heaven'. Seeing Max's coffin in a hearse just felt wrong it was too small and just not fair. As the hearse drove off my youngest daughter kept saying bye, bye Mac. I held my husband close as we broke down in tears. Then with our family and friends we released 26 blue balloons that represented the 26 beautiful weeks of pregnancy we shared with Max. Andrew and I then released 2 white balloons that represented the 2 precious days Max was with us.
We had Max's body cremated that day. He is now at home with us in a little white box which we sat on his blanket he passed away in.
Max, we love you. As we go from day to day we will always love and always remember. We know we will see you again our precious angel, until then we carry you around in our hearts.
We dearly love you
Mummy, Daddy and your sisters, Taila and Ella Xxx
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By Pauline and Brenton
This is the story about our beautiful baby girl Rebekah. Born sleeping on the 23rd of October 2008 at 23 weeks and 5 days.
Brenton and I were over the moon when I found out I was Pregnant in May 2008, it had only taken us 2 months to conceive. After visiting the doctor we made an appointment with an obstetrician and a few weeks later, we met with her.
The first 9 weeks went swimmingly for us. I only had one week of morning sickness in week 7 but other than that I was right as rain. The 8 week scan showed us our daughter for the first time a gorgeous little jelly bean shaped child. We both had mixed emotions; we were happy but were feeling a bit nervous and exited at the same time. We learnt that the baby's due date would be on the 14th of February 2009.
The next few weeks went by quite quickly. I seemed to have no problems with the exception of a little motion sickness as I travelled to work each day. As each week went on I began to feel our baby move. She would be really active for a day and then I would barely feel her for the next few. Our 18-week scan came around fast. Both Brenton and I were amazed to see our baby in front of us on the screen. We saw her beautiful little face that played peekaboo behind her hands, her spine and body were all perfect. The doctor was really happy with how it went with the exception that the scan detected a slight defect with the umbilical cord, which was that it only had one artery to feed the baby. Feeling rather anxious I asked if the baby was going to be ok and was told that it wasn't much of an issue, the baby might be a little small at birth. We were a little concerned at first but relieved to hear the baby was going to be ok.
Every thing in the next few weeks seemed to be fine. My belly continued to grow, the baby's movement continued in much the same pattern and I still suffered with the morning sickness going to and from work. As each week went by Brenton and I got more and more excited and started to buy the things we needed for our baby. I was not scheduled to have any check ups until week 23.
My next appointment was on Tuesday the 21st of October at 4.20 pm. I remember feeling a bit more motion sickness than normal that morning but it soon passed so, I shrugged it off and continued as normal. Later that day I went to my appointment. It was just a routine check up so I went by myself. My obstetrician did all of my check ups and everything appeared to be just fine. She then went on to explain that next visit I will be having my Gestational diabetes check and gave me the drink I needed to have before I went. There was only one thing left to do, which was my favourite part - listen to my baby's heart beat. I laid on my back and got myself ready and the Obstetrician put the monitor to my belly she moved it around a bit and paused before moving it again. A minute or two went by before she said she was having trouble finding the baby's heart beat and recommended that we go next door for an ultrasound to see the position of the baby, this would make it easier to find the heart beat. We got to the other room and she prepared me for the ultra sound. She put the hand held scanner to my belly and then there was silence. She looked at me and said those words no one wanted to hear "I'm really sorry to tell you. This child has passed away". My heart sank and I burst into tears, "I'm sending you to another part of the hospital to have another ultra sound to double check things but I' m fairly certain that your baby has passed away". I cried even more tears as I went off to my second ultra sound. The ultra sound confirmed what I had been already told. My child was no longer with us. So there I was all-alone and handed a phone to phone Brenton and tell him. I cried uncontrollably as I made that call. As did Brenton as he heard what I had to tell him. I felt numb. He came home as soon as he could and we sat and cried. After a while we began to phone our families and close friends and all were as shocked as we were. Both of us barely slept that night. We just sat in the quiet in disbelief.
The next day I had to be at Ashford hospital at 8 am. Brenton's sister came to take us there. It was a struggle to get out of bed and get dressed; I did not want to go there. I wanted it to all go away. I arrived at the hospital in tears and was soon taken to the delivery ward where the doctor and midwife explained the birthing process and induced me. I was given drugs every 4 hours to bring on the labour but I didn't get any contractions or labour pains until about mid afternoon. At that stage I opted to have an epidural as the physical pain was too much to bear along with the emotional pain we were already feeling. That evening I was given sleeping tablets to help me sleep. I woke a few times during the night to get a top up in the epidural but other than that I slept right through. I woke up a bit before 6 with funny feeling in the lower abdomen and pelvic bone, so I buzzed for the midwife. She gave me an internal inspection and told us that I was about to give birth. With Brenton by my side the midwife broke my waters and asked me to push. At 6.20 am Rebekah Ameta came into this world sleeping. The midwife wrapped her in a blanket and gave her to me to hold. Both Brenton and I took turns holding our precious little girl, kissing her perfect little face and telling her how much we loved her. Shortly after the midwife came back in and told me that I had to go to theatre as not all of my placenta came out. They prepared me for theatre and we waited for a time to go in. Both Brentons family and mine came to visit us and see Rebekah. They too gave her cuddles and kisses and told her how loved she was (and still is). I went into theatre at about 12.30 but I don't remember much of that as I asked them to put me to sleep. I woke up in tears; I just miss my baby so much I kept saying. I had plenty of visitors that day from Church and other close family and friends but all I wanted was my baby girl. We also had a visit from the White Lady Funerals to arrange a funeral.
I stayed in the hospital until the Friday. That morning we asked to see Rebekah again the Midwife bought her in and we sat for a while holding her and kissing her inspecting her tiny little body - she was perfect and beautiful. She was in a smocked dress and little hat. We told her how much we loved her before putting her in a bassinette. Brenton and I held each other as we left the hospital without our little angel, heartbroken.
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To My Beautiful Angel Daughter Maddison Lee
We believe that your little life began in Vanuatu. Four weeks later, your Dad had gone back to work in Western Australia. His job was working four weeks away and having one week home.
I rang him on the Saturday morning to let him know I was going to do a pregnancy test. I was a day late and had a funny feeling I could be. I remember him saying surely not I don't think it happens that quickly.
We were both really surprised and excited to find out that I was pregnant. We couldn't believe that it had happened so quickly. How lucky were we that you picked us so soon.
When you were 7 weeks old your Dad was home from work. We decided to tell your sister. She was so excited she had been looking forward to finally not being an only child. The next day she was on the computer looking up baby name websites. If we had let her name you your name would have been Jebidiah or Barnaby!!
By the end of the weekend I was starting to feel really sick. I went to the doctors and was told I had a bacterial infection and not to worry everything would be alright, and most importantly it wouldn't harm you. It was just a simple course of antibiotics. I think I probably had the infection from Vanuatu as I hadn't really been that well since then. On the way home from the Doctors I started bleeding heavily. I was so scared I thought I had lost you.
The next day at the ultrasound clinic the sonographer scanned my belly, and then to our surprise there was your little heart beating. She wasn't sure what the bleed was from but everything looked fine. I knew then you were a fighter.
As the pregnancy went on I certainly had my fair share of all day and night sickness.
I looked forward to just hoping into bed at night. While your poor sister was looking forward to your dad coming home so he could cook her a nice meal.
A few days before your 19 weeks scan I started bleeding again and having cramps. I went back to my doctor and she said more than likely I had a urinary tract and antibiotics once again would fix it. By Friday I was feeling better and we went to have your first big scan. I remember your dad saying to me that morning I seemed excited about having the scan. I said I was looking forward to knowing you where ok. My pregnancy with you certainly had not been the same as your sister.
We could see your little heart beating and you were quite shy keeping your hands over your face. The sonographer said that your where a little small but my midwife would talk to me about it on my next visit.
I went back to work that day feeling really relieved that you were ok.
Around 1pm I received a phone call at work from my doctor to tell me that they had found an abnormality with you and I had to return to the hospital on the Monday to talk to a doctor. Unfortunately she wasn't able to tell me what the problem was I would have to wait until Monday. I ended up going home from work. The worrying thought of something being wrong with you was just too much.
That weekend was horrible. My morning sickness was back and I was having lots of headaches. I decided on Saturday morning to go to the Women and Children's Hospital to have another scan and find out exactly what was wrong. We were told that you had an echogenic bowel. This didn't mean that anything was wrong it was just an indicator that something might be wrong, eg. Cystic Fibrosis or Down syndrome. We were also told that you had dilated loop bowls. We decided the only thing we could do was to wait to see the obstetrician on Monday. Your daddy had to return to work on the Sunday. It was the hardest goodbye I have had to do. But he felt confident that everything would be fine and if I really needed he would be on the first plane home.
On Monday we meet with Kate the Obstetrician at Flinders Hospital. I decided to have a blood test done to rule out cystic fibrosis and Down syndrome. It would take 2 weeks to get the results. I remember thinking wow two weeks that will feel like forever. She explained that 99% of the time everything turns out normal and not to worry. More than likely you had been swallowing blood. These same two indicators would show up as well.
I asked to be have another ultrasound so I could get a second opinion. She organised for me to come back on the Thursday and meet with a foetal Specialist.
I walked away that day from the hospital feeling a little more hopefully things might be ok.
On Thursday I meet with the foetal specialist. She said she would be happy to rescan later that day and that she would wait for the blood results to come back before discussing anything further. She also told me that she would not let me go past my due date. At the time I was thinking that I hope I go early because how terrible it would be too induced and then I wouldn't be allowed to give birth in the birthing centre. Little did we know that this scenario would have been a great outcome.
I went back to the hospital later that afternoon to be rescanned. This time your sister came with me. I thought it would be nice for her to see you again. I remember saying to her when we were looking at your heart "Take a good look Teags one day you will be able to tell your brother or sister you have seen their heart up-close." I was relived once again to see you little heart beating. When the sonographer had finished he said he would go and get my Doctor to talk to me. When she returned she explained that there was a lot less fluid around you.
I then realised then that the small amount of fluid I had been noticing over the last few days was not what I had thought it was.
My Doctor then thought it would be best if I went up to the labour ward and they could do a simple test to see if my waters had broken. I called your grandma to see if she could come and pick up your sister as I wasn't sure how long I would have to stay.
In the labour ward I was yet again reassured by a doctor that more than likely my waters hadn't broken. They took a swab and half an later they came back to tell me that it was inconclusive.. He asked me to come back in tomorrow morning to have another test done. I rang you daddy and asked him to come home. He said he would be home the next night.
After not much sleep and still feeling sick I headed back down to the hospital. This time the test came back positive for amniotic fluid. He told me I had a hind leak and that because I was only 20 weeks along that there was not anything that they could do. I needed to come back in every 3 days to be tested for infections. I went home from hospital and hopped into bed for the rest of the afternoon to scared to move in case I went into labour and you daddy wouldn't make it home.
Another long night at least you dad was home I needed his strength to be able to function. We decided to go back down to the hospital again I needed answers of what was going to happen? What was I sitting at home waiting for? We spoke to the foetal specialist again and asked for her to rescan you to see if you were ok. She told us that because there wasn't a lot of amniotic fluid around you it was creating a lot of pressure on your head. It was then we decided that the best option for you was to be induced. Having not enough amniotic fluid around you would mean your lungs would not develop enough for you to be able to survive. It would be the last time I would see you little heart beating. I will forever remember the words that the Doctor asked us. "So are you wishing to terminate the pregnancy?" As far as I am concerned Terminate is a word of choice. I felt I had only one choice and that was sadly to say goodbye to you. If only we could have chosen to keep you we would have.
Monday (20weeks 3days) 23.02.2009
Monday morning we arrived at the hospital at 8am. I still do wonder where I found the strength to walk from the car into the labour ward.
I was induced at 9 am and was told it could take from 1hr to 24hrs.
Your daddy and I watched a lot of TV that day just trying to escape if only for a few moments not to think about what was about to happen.
I was hooked up to a drip that administers drugs. The midwife said there was no point being in any more pain than what I was already going through.
I remember her saying to me that there was no need to be brave today.
I was really lucky to have your dad with me. Sitting next me and holding my hand.
Around 9.30pm that night the contractions started getting stronger. By 10.30 I started pushing but you weren't ready to come yet. I was so tired and in so much pain the drugs were turned up and I finally fell asleep. I woke around 11.45 and realised that the contractions had gone. I was so scared that I would have to go through it all again. The nausea that I had been suffering from all week was back. As I threw up you were born it was 11.50pm. You weighed 280g and were 25cm long
When you came out you were still inside your sack. The midwife took you out and placed you in a little bunny rug and told us you were a girl. We called you Maddison. It means special one. We had our first cuddle with you. You looked so peaceful and little your long fingers were rested on your face and your other hand was on you head. You had left a little imprint of you hand on your head. You were so beautiful and looked so peaceful. We cuddled you for what seemed like forever. The midwife then came back in and suggested that she dress and weigh you and then bring you back to us.
You came back in to us with a beautiful pink dress on and little bunny rug You lay on the bed next to me your little hand resting under your face (the same way your sister sleeps) I feel asleep with you. I remember thinking at the time I was feeling really guilty as I was not crying for you. I now realise that maybe I knew that you Ok and I was happy that you chose us even if I was for such a short time.
We would today have to leave the hospital with out you. How could a parent possibly do this?
You big sister Teagen came to visit you. She thought you looked really pretty in your pink dress. She also wanted you to have her middle name. So you were named Maddison Lee Helps. You're Grandma and Aunty Melissa also came to have cuddles with you.
Saying goodbye to you and leaving you behind was one of the hardest things we had ever done. We walked out of that hospital that day with out you. I realise know that even tho I felt like I was walking out without you I wasn't. I know you are with me everyday. I just can't see you.
The next week just seemed to take forever to pass and is such a blur. I started searching for answers of why this happened to us and to you. Had I done enough to try and save you? Had we be given the right advice? .I was also looking for ways that we could remember you.
There in no footprint to small that it can not leave an imprint on the world
SOME OF THE WAYS YOU WILL BE FOREVER REMEMBERED
We have named a star in your name so you will always be shining down on us.
Your birth announcement was advertised in the paper.
We have a certificate of life.
We have a picture of your sunrise. (Maddison's Sunrise)
There is a lady named Carly whom lives WA. She has written your name in the sand.
We have planted a special tree in the front yard. (Magnolia) so you will grow with us forever.
Your daddy is making you lots of hearts to hang on your tree.
Teagen is making you a special sister crystal garden.
We keep a treasure box with everything of yours in it.
We made a video montage that we love to watch
(Please Google "Maddison Lee Helps" to watch it)
So many people sent cards and flowers and meals and made donations in your memory to the Teddy Love Club. (Other Families will be helped because of you)
And I look for more ways everyday
I want you to know that even though you were with us for such a short time. Your life has had a huge positive impact. I believe that you chose to come to us for a reason. I am still searching for all of the reasons and I know that I will find them.
You have brought your family closer together.
You have made other people aware and more appreciative of the special things they have in life.
You have made me realise I can do more to help others
You have brought us many smiles.
I know in my heart that you are with me every day and knowing that brings me more happiness.
I friend told to me I should look for the signs that you send to us. At the time I thought it sounded a bit silly. But as time had gone I want you to know I can see those signs you send to us. Everyday I see your rainbows and so does your sister.
You will never be forgotten my beautiful angel daughter and we will never stop loving you
Forever Loved and Forever Missed
Mummy, Daddy and Teags
These are my footprints, so perfect and so small,
These tiny footprints never touched the ground at all.
Not one tiny footprint, for now I have my Angel wings,
These tiny footprints were meant for other things.
You will hear my tiny footprints, in the patter of the rain,
Gentle drops like angels tears, of joy and not from pain.
You will see my tiny footprints, in each butterflies' lazy dance,
I'll let you know I'm with you, if you give me just a chance.
You will see my tiny footprints, in the rainbows in the sky,
I will whisper my name into the wind, and touch your heart and hand.
Most of all, these tiny footprints are found
In Mummy's Daddy's and Teagens heart,
Because even though I'm gone now, we will never truly be apart."
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Mary Rachael stillborn on 1st February, 1981
As you can see by my beautiful Mary's birthday that she left us a long time ago. In those days there were no facilities for parents of stillborn babies. A social worker came around once to see us & that was it. We went home with nothing, we did not get to see our baby, no photos, no footprints, no hand prints, NO RECORD SHE EVER EXISTED. Only our memory.
Let me start at the beginning. Mary was our fourth child, she was a very active baby always moving & kicking. At 39 weeks I went for my regular check-up by myself, the doctors couldn't hear a heartbeat, didn't say anything just sent me off for an ultrasound. I had a feeling something was up but of course everything seemed fine although she hadn't moved for a few days. I put this down to the fact that she was nearly due & all my other babies got very quite just before they decided to be born.
After the ultrasound which was on a Friday the doctor took me into the office & told me that she had died. I couldn't believe it I was sure they had made a mistake. They told me to go home & hoped I would go into labour naturally over the week-end. I didn't contact anyone, got in the car & drove home. I went home & told my husband who had been retrenched a week before. I told my husband what the doctors had told me but we just couldn't bring ourselves to believe it. We picked-up the children from school. All week-end I was hoping she would move.
I couldn't tell my children because I thought just maybe the doctors were wrong. Of course I didn't go into labour on that week-end so I was put into hospital on the Monday & had labour induced. Mary was laying transversely so the doctors had to try to move her into position to be able to be born. Unfortunately she wasn't co-operating & I was then told I might have to have a cesarean I was taken to theatre & the doctors were then able to move her into a position that I could have her naturally. Her death was caused by a knot in the cord which had cut off her oxygen & food. Unbelievable! While at hospital I was in a separate room but I could hear all the babies crying & that was probably one of the hardest things to deal with. I don't think the nursing staff at that time had any training with dealing with mothers that had stillbirths. All they could till me is how to bind my breasts to try & stop my milk.
The social worker came to see me & asked about a burial at that time we had no money for a burial so my beautiful Mary was buried at Rookwood Cemetery in an unmarked grave so I don't even have somewhere to visit. I have tried over the years to find out where she is buried because our financial position improved & I would have liked to have buried her properly. But alas no information is held on unmarked graves. I am so happy that parents that lose a baby have more options & are able to hold their precious babies & keep memento's which are so so important. She is always in my heart & sometimes wonder what she would be like & what is would have achieved. We always remember her & her birth date is still a very painful day for us.
She would have been 28 years old.
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My name is Simone Moodie, and this is my story. My husband and I decided in November 2008 that it would be a good time to start trying for another baby. We had two boys already, and very busy. However, our eldest would be due to start school in 2010, & our youngest was already attending kindy a few days a week. It usually takes me 3 months of "trying" before falling pregnant. So, just after Valentine's Day 2009, we conceived our third child. Although our lives were already busy & at times, quite stressful, we were very excited to be adding an addition to our already growing family. Our two boys, Sam, 5, and Tom, 3 were also very excited for their mummy to be having another baby. I have two older boys, Lachlan, 19 and Ayrton, 11 from a previous relationship, and they too, were so happy for their mummy to be having another baby. Yes, I had already 4 gorgeous boys.
I had a scan at 8 weeks to confirm our due date...18th November 2009. I felt great. In fact, apart from the usual nausea, I was really starting to get "into" this pregnancy, and enjoy it. In fact, out of all my pregnancies, I enjoyed this one the most...physically. It was a nice cool time of the year, and the fashion for the season was baggy dresses and black tights, so I was lucky enough to buy all my "maternity" clothes off the rack from "cool" trendy stores, and feel great wearing them. It all mattered at the time.
My husband and I went for our routine 18-20 week scan on a Thursday afternoon. I remember the day, and I remember the feeling I had pulling into the car park. I was meeting my husband there, as he was coming directly from work. I arrived first, and I found it so hard to get out of the car. I didn't want to go in. I felt like I was going to hear bad news. It was a very weird feeling I was experiencing...I was almost in tears. We were also going to find out the sex of our baby at this scan, and maybe, just maybe, I was worrying that I would learn that the baby would be another boy...it would have been nice to have a girl after having four boys. But, really, that was not the reason why we chose to have another baby. We would have welcomed another boy for sure. We love our beautiful boys. On the other hand, maybe it was my subconscious that was preparing me for something else.
Whilst in the scan, yes, we learnt we were having another boy. And to be honest, I did feel a little disappointment, & I felt sick later at this thought. But, then, as the scan continued, I started to feel anxious as the sonographer was taking her time. She then walked out of the room, and asked me if I needed to go to the toilet as my bladder was quite full. I did. Whilst in the bathroom I cried. I just knew something was not right. When I got back in the room, she continued on with the ultrasound, her head going side to side as if she was finding it hard to look at something, and then another person came in. They were speaking quietly and pointing to the screen, & the seemed to go on forever. At one point, I asked, is everything okay? They didn't really indicate then that I should be "freaking out" and be concerned. It was taking way too long for sure, and I was very panicked by this. Once the ultrasound was complete, I was asked to make an appointment with my doctor to go and see her now, and that they would call ahead and fax through the report to her. All I knew was something wasn't right with the heart. My usual doctor wasn't there for me to see, so I was seen by another. She couldn't explain things too well, and I felt extremely frustrated by this. However, she organised for me to go to the Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital the following day and she would phone ahead, and explain the urgency of seeing me.
The next morning, I was seen by a lovely obstetrician, who explained what the scan was showing...a mass in the left lung, & it was causing the heart to be displaced to the right. What does all of this mean? She arranged for me to have an urgent tertiary scan by another lovely doctor, and yes, there was definitely a mass there, & yes, the heart was displaced. It was then arranged for me to have an MRI a few days later. I was called at work the following day after my MRI to come in for a consultation with the sonographer that originally did the tertiary scan. I was so nervous. I didn't have my husband with me at this appointment, as I had come directly from work, and definitely wasn't expecting to hear what I did hear. I was gently given the devastating news that my baby boy, in fact had a Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia, and the mass that was in his lung, was actually his bowel. This was life threatening. Life threatening...what does that mean?..In simple terms, my babies life was at risk. There was a hole in his diaphragm. It simply didn't fuse together at the 7-8 week stage when it should have. I cried...boy, did I cry. What did this all mean? My options were given to me, terminate this pregnancy...WHAT!...I was 20 weeks now, and I had seen him and I could feel him. I couldn't think of anything worse. In the end, I decided that I would have an amniocentesis and if that came back clear, I would continue with the pregnancy. My husband and I were united with this decision. The amnio did come back clear, and other good news was that his heart looked great, although displaced to the right, and his right lung, and other organs were all looking very good too. We had a lot of hope. It was definitely NOT all grim. Yes, we were in a high risk pregnancy "group" now, but, my baby had very good chances.
I continued the pregnancy with such positiveness, and having regular scans assuring me that the baby boy inside me was developing extremely well considering, and only the bowel had ever moved into the lung. This was exceptionally great new. He didn't develop hydrops...fluid...which would have been a great concern. What this meant for my son after he was to born, was that he would require surgery to fix the hole in his diaphragm, and once that was done, he would then be on the road to a full recovery. We just had to get him to surgery. That was going to be the critical part, as I was always reminded. We consulted with an excellent paediatric surgeon, who was very confident that my baby would be just fine if he was to make it to surgery...the battle would begin once he was born, he would need to be stabilised for a good 48 - 72 hours before he would be strong enough for surgery. It all seemed so standard in my mind...My baby would be born...The neonatologists would take him straight away...He would remain with them until he was stabilised and fit for surgery... Surgery would take place day two or day three after his birth... He would then remain in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit...He would then be healthy enough to be moved to the Special Care Nursery...He would then come home...4 - 6 weeks later...just in time for Christmas. Of course, I was always reminded, that indeed, my baby would be very sick once he was born, and really, we don't know what to expect until he is born, and I do have to prepare myself for "the worst". Okay, "the worst" was not going to happen to my baby. He had a good "moderate" chance of surviving all of this, and come out the other end to grow into a very normal and healthy child. He was a developing well, and was a good size. That had to mean something. There were so many positives, but, yes, I was always reminded that there is "that chance" he may not survive. Well, "that chance" was just not going to happen ...I would, eventually, bring my baby boy home from hospital. I had planned my life around him already. I was prepared.
The days ahead were planned in my mind once Elijah was born. I was prepared to come home from hospital, without my baby, who would be getting very well taken care of in the NICU. I was mentally prepared, as best as a mother can be, knowing that she would not take her baby home from hospital with her, and I knew I would miss him so very much whilst I was not with him. I knew all of that. But, as long as my Eli was getting better, it would be okay. I was still planning to breast feed, and my routine would consist of getting ready each morning, seeing my older boy off to school, and taking my two younger boys to kindy. Then drive to the RBWH, be there for 9 am each morning, and stay with Eli until I had to return to pick up my boys from kindy. The routine would be like going to work each day, but, I would be getting to spend it with my adorable baby boy instead. How lovely. I would routinely go about the evening, making dinner, bathing children, etc...then, it would all be the same again the following day. I knew I would feel excitement each morning, getting dressed and ready to go see my baby. I know what it feels like to have a new born baby, and I just love, love, love that feeling so much. It is the best feeling in the world when your baby is born. Weekends would be lovely. I could bring my other boys up to visit their baby brother, that they were all so looking forward to meeting. I was so positive that that was the way my life would be once Elijah was born.
I was diagnosed with polyhydramnios at 36 weeks. My belly was huge! I usually do carry more then average fluid in a "normal" pregnancy, but, combined with a "side affect" from my baby having CDH, I had an extreme amount of amniotic fluid. I was so very uncomfortable. The usual amount range was 5 - 25 cm I believe. I hit the jackpot at 46cm. I had an amnio-drainage at 36 weeks and just less than 2.5 litres was drained. I felt so much better, so much lighter. I felt like I had already delivered a baby. I was admitted into hospital for this procedure, and I had a good couple of days of bed rest. I had been feeling so overwhelmed and anxious and very emotional by this time, it was good to get some much needed bed rest. Even after the drainage, I was asked how many babies I was carrying in there. I was still quite big. But, I definitely was a lot more comfortable and ready, more than ever, to complete this pregnancy. My date for my c-section was 11/11/2009. Remembrance Day. It was a date I was very much looking forward to, but nervous all the same. My baby was to be delivered at 39 weeks gestation.
I went for my scheduled scans and doctor's appointments, and from those two appointments, it was determined that the delivery of my baby should be brought forward. So, this was arranged, and I was now having my baby on the 5/11/09 at 38 weeks gestation. I was excited. But, I was also so very scared. My baby was safe right now, and the whole "what if" was really playing with my mind. He was lively, strong, and a good size, and there was every indication that he would be okay. But, I worried for my baby. I worried so very much. It overshadowed the excitement of having him, although, I was so looking forward to meeting him, and I really just wanted this all to be over with, and for him to be home in time for Christmas.
The morning of his birth I was reserved with worry, but very much looking forward to it all. My beautiful boy was born at 1pm, 5th November 2009. He was so perfect on the outside. We named him Elijah Faine Moodie, "Eli" for short. He weighed 8 pounds. He was taken immediately, as I had expected, although, I was lucky enough to get a peak of him...so perfect. I was given a photo of him whist in recovery, and although he was certainly wired for sound, he looked absolutely beautiful, so very, very beautiful. I couldn't wait to hold him, and kiss him, and feed him, and love him, and everything that comes with being a mummy. I just had to be patient, and I was willing to be, as long as he was doing okay, and getting better.
At 11 pm that evening, whilst I was in my hospital room and recovering from my c-section, I was given good news that Elijah was doing well. I could sleep confidently tonight...sort of. The next morning they didn't have such good news. Eli had a difficult night. I was devastated by this. But, they still had a lot of tricks up their sleeve and it wasn't all grim at this point. However, throughout the course of the day, my beautiful Elijah was not improving, only getting worse. We decided to get him Christened...at least it was done, and I am so glad that I had my baby blessed. By 6pm that evening, the option of taking him of the machines, etc. was given and we could let him go peacefully when he was ready. His poor heart was receiving 80 times the amount of adrenalin to keep him going. We made the decision to hold him...I couldn't take him of all the support that he was receiving to keep him alive. He actually improved. It was amazing. My baby, in my arms and his daddy's were making him better. I willed on those machines and kept looking at those numbers hoping that they would keep on improving and stay that way. Elijah then started to decline again, and raplidly. I was devastated once again. All that hope I held on to, was drained from me. I held my boy, who looked so beautiful, and I told him in my mind, that mummy loved him, and that if this was all too much, it was okay...mummy would be okay. I just kept telling him over and over how much I loved him and that it was okay if he was ready to go, if this was all too much. Then he went. I looked at the clock, it was 8.20 pm. I knew he had lost his battle before they listened for his heartbeat and told me that there was no heatbeat to be heard. They asked if I would like another doctor to confirm this, and I said yes, and it was confirmed by another doctor. The moments that followed were the most painful moments I have ever lived through. The realisation that my baby had just died was all too much. I loved him with all my heart and soul, and everything in between, and he was gone. I had just over two hours of holding my baby in my arms, willing him to be okay. That most precious time is now etched in my memory, and I play it over and over again, trying to remember every single detail of my baby and that horrific night. It was all so cruel. He was too beautiful to be taken from me. His life...gone...just like that. His heart was beating, and now it was not. How will I ever get through this nightmare? It was a nightmare...all of it! A nightmare that is now very much my reality....it was surreal, unreal, yet, very real. I miss my baby so very much...it hurts so badly.
The days that followed were even crueller. The tears that flowed, the regrets I had, the guilt I felt, the longing to hold my baby and for it all to be okay, the anger, the hurt, the questions, the pain. Initially, I wanted to go home as soon as possible from the hospital. I wanted the drip out of my arm, and just to run away from it all. But then, how could I leave my baby? How could I just walk out of the hospital and leave him behind? It didn't feel right. I needed the security of my hospital room. I never left it. I had everything I needed in that room. I could not face anyone other than my husband, my children, my doctor's, and the nursing staff. I needed to heal physically as well, after having a caesarean. I needed to make decisions, and I needed answers. I would feel better if I left after arrangements had been made for Elijah. I was expecting a visit from the Social Worker the following Monday morning, as it was a weekend and I had to wait until the next working day. I was eager to see her, as I had no clue as to what to do next. The Social Worker was kind and understanding and my questions were answered, regarding making arrangements for Elijah, and "what to do next". The Social Worker also gave me something very special that day. It was a white teddy bear with a red ribbon. A teddy bear with a card attached to it, and the name of another baby boy was written on it. It was donated by the parents of a baby who had also died, and they wanted to honour there son by donating a bear to the Teddy Love Club to be passed on to the parents of a baby who had also lost their fight for life. It made me feel that I wasn't alone, and that there were other parents that have gone through what we had been through, and continue to go through everyday. I have since donated a teddy bear myself, honouring my son, Elijah, in every effort to keep his memory alive.
As I write this, it has only been 1 week and 4 days since Elijah was born, and 1 week and 3 days since he died. He lived for 31 hours and 20 minutes. The most treasured hours of my life, along with the 9 months of pregnancy I am grateful I had with him. It is the tiniest details that matter to me the most now, even silly things, but, they are all memories that I will never forget and treasure forever and ever. For example, the thought of eating chocolate kills me...the simple pleasure of "indulging" whilst pregnant, knowing that my beautiful baby boy would be getting a treat too felt good. So many memories of my precious Eli...and yet, there will never be enough. I miss my baby so very much. I ache for him; I want him back and my time with him all over again, from the very beginning, over and over. I replay everything in my mind. It is the things that I wish I had done that hurt, and the things that I was looking forward to doing with him, that hurt too.
I want Elijah to know that his mummy and his daddy love him so dearly, and we think of him always, and miss him so very much. We had his funeral service last Friday, Friday the 13th of all days, the blackest day of the year, and the blackest day of my life. It was a week after he died in my arms. I hope he is proud of his mummy and daddy. The service was lovely. Every decision that was made for Elijah was made with precious, precious love. My body now aches for all the love I feel for my dear son. I dressed him the morning of his funeral. He looked absolutely beautiful. I thought it would be extremely hard, and it was. The hardest part was to leave him, and say goodbye all over again. I remember just looking at him, not believing how perfect he was, and why he was taken from me. I am so glad I had the courage to dress him for his "special" day. The thought of strangers doing it gave me the strength to do this for my Eli, my darling baby. It would have been one of the biggest regrets of my life had I not dressed him myself. I would never have been able to live with myself with that feeling of "I should have done it".
I love you Elijah, I always will. Your daddy loves you too. Our hearts ache for you. We miss you so very much. We talk about you often. I hope you come and visit me in my dreams. I will never, ever forget you. I will try and be a better mummy to your brothers, and a better and more available wife to your daddy. The world will never be the same again. I look at it through very different eyes now. You were a beautiful gift that was so cruelly taken from me, and I miss you so very, very much.
Simone Moodie (Mother to Lachlan, Ayrton, Samuel, Thomas, and Elijah)
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Our son Jack was born 23 weeks and four days. His tiny purple chest had two needle pricks in it.
The pregnancy was rough from the beginning. At six weeks I was spotting, the same spotting that had lead to a miscarriage 9 months before.
An ultrasound happily showed that the fetus was still viable. At twelve weeks, while at work, I started bleeding profusely. Within minutes
my jeans were soaked with blood. I cried all the way home. I could not believe I was going to miscarry again. I lay down put my feet up and waited. I bled
all night but it started to slow down. I lay in bed awake most of the night willing my baby to move and let me know it was okay. I believe I felt something.
Next day I went to emergency and burst into tears when the ultrasound showed a kicking, moving, fetus. I couldn't believe twice this little being had escaped unharmed. I was put on two weeks rest.
A few days later I had a prenatal screening for downs syndrome and 18 and 13. I was told the fold was on the thick side but not to worry. Two weeks later my doctor called and said the blood work came back positive. What did that mean exactly? I was informed there were lots of false positives. It was strongly recommended that I do the . At 15 weeks we did the , we were told our chances of miscarrying were double due to the huge blood clot from the bleeding at 12 weeks. I can still remember the happiness, the relief at hearing our baby was healthy.
At 18 weeks I had an ultrasound to see if the blood clot was growing, they also checked all the babies organs and everything was perfect. The only concern was the sludge- particles floating in the fluid, but they were not too concerned but wanted me to have a follow up ultrasound at 22 weeks.
At 18 weeks, 5 days I had cramping. I took it easy but the cramps intensified throughout the day and because I had preterm labour with my daughter I knew what it felt like. I went to the hospitals maternity unit but they would not see me as I was under 20 weeks.They suggested I go to emergency but the emergency rooms were flooded with the fear of H1N1. I started to cry, got in my car and went home. The next day I better, the day after more cramping. Another visit to my doctor resulted in me taking two types of antibiotics and - pills which are inserted vaginally to stop cramping. I prayed for 20 weeks to come so the next time I had an issue I would be able to go directly to the birthing center. The only reassuring thing was my baby kicked constantly. He was so active always letting me know he was there. I always joked saying I was sure it was a boy as only males can give you this much trouble.
At 22 weeks I went in for the ultrasound. It was simply a follow up to check if the sludge was still present. My last happy moment with the baby was in the waiting room. He was always moving. I had my hand on my stomach and a couple in front of me smiled and the man said to his partner, the baby is moving and then looked at me, and I said yes but I am provoking it. We smiled at each other, that happy to be in this place kind of smile. I had no idea I was about to be blindsided.
The technician decided to check out the organs even though they had already been looked at at 18 weeks. The brain was perfect, liver, everything was being systematically checked off as fine. Then she said she was just going to get the doctor, I asked if everything was alright and she said there is just something with the heart. As I sat in that empty room, just me and my little baby, I started to breath, and try and calm myself, not jump to conclusions, saying in my head, god grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference. Then five doctors filed into the room and started looking at the ultrasound. My composure crumbled. I started crying and my stomach was shaking. The doctor tried to console me but anyone who has watched any show knows that when five doctors file into a room it is not good. I had never felt so alone. Much of it now is a blur. They left, allowed me time to catch my breath, could they call anyone, my husband could not just leave work. I couldn't call and tell him this. I thought I was going to be sick. The doctor said I needed to go to the hospital to have an ultrasound. I could tell best case was that it was operable. Questions were being pelted at me. Had I had fever? Been exposed to anything? The doctors were baffled how such a healthy heart now looked like this. I was gutted. They wanted me to do blood work hoping it might explain something. As I headed toward the elevator the doctor told me there are things that can be done, my heart dropped as I knew she was referring to termination.
I was numb, empty, hollowed out by the of what was to come. It was Thursday and our appointment was for the following Tuesday. Friday I was a wreck by Saturday I was hopeful. I put the doctors faces out of my mind. When we went to the hospital I told Rod that I would probably cry when they started the ultrasound as it was going to remind me of the previous week. The first five minutes I cried and Rod held my hand. Then we made jokes and laughed and had hope. How quickly it was all snatched from us. When we met with the specialist her first words were your baby has a severe heart defect, left heart syndrome which had also affected the right side of the heart. I burst out crying and just sobbed in Rods arms. She explained everything, how a normal heart functions and how our heart wasn't functioning, that it was getting its oxygen through my blood. She showed us a picture of a heart showed us what it should be like, what our baby's was. I wondered how such an active baby could have such a damaged heart. There were lots of questions, none were the answers we wanted to hear. How could we have gotten so far to finally have it end like this?
I remember walking down the hallway sobbing , the grief and sadness engulfed me. I remember faces, a young boy staring at me. We went home and got into bed and just held each other, only our baby between us.
I spoke to my brother-in-law who is a doctor. I sent him the information on the report the doctor had given us and I sent it to my friend who is also a doctor. We looked for solutions, felt the desperation. When we finally met with my doctor he had spoken with the specialist at the and conveyed to us that she was disturbed by how badly the heart was damaged in just four weeks time. No doctor will tell you to terminate your pregnancy but we were not thrown a shred of hope. Our options, pray the baby can make it to term and then it will need high risk surgery after surgery or terminate the pregnancy. I could hardly make a decision on what to have for supper while pregnant and now I had to make this decision. If we decided to follow through with the pregnancy we would have to give birth at the hospital as our baby's heart was that damaged. My brother in law said that the only possibility would be a heart transplant when the baby was born, that if the baby did make it one of us would have to quit our jobs as we would be in and out of the hospital. We already had our miracle daughter Addison to think of. But I couldn't help but feel like I was killing my baby. My friend, who is a doctor, told me that I need to think of it as I am the baby's life support and that it is the same as taking someone off life support.
Because I was 23 weeks I was going to have to give birth. I had an option of a live birth or still birth. I decided I wanted a live birth, that at least I could have a few minutes with my baby before he died. Rod supported me. However when we met with the doctor at the hospital we were told that if we decided to go through with the live birth the baby would be gasping for breath and would endure pain. I could not bare that he would suffer so I opted for the stillbirth. I did not know what that entailed- they needed to insert a needle through the baby's heart. Unfortunately our baby kept moving so the procedure took 40 minutes. I wondered and still do if that was a more death for Jack. Rod held my hand and my face and we cried together as we started the process of letting go of the baby we so wanted. We told each other how much we loved each other. We kept saying sorry to each other, to him.
At first when I was told I would have to give birth I was horrified. Nothing had scared me more than giving birth to a stillborn. But then I realized I wanted to meet this little person who had been a part of my life, part of my being for the last six months. I needed to hold him. The labor happened quickly with a minimal amount of pain. Jack was born only five minutes after my water broke. By the time Rod had come back with the doctors I had met our son. I know for Rod it was much harder for him to see him. It is a different process for the mother than the father, as you become a mother the moment you are pregnant. Having to see Jack made him real for Rod. And even though he was only a pound a half- he was so much his fathers son. He had the big hands and big feet of his daddy and the mouth of both his parents. We both studied him trying to keep those little details, his minute finger nails, the muscle definition on his arms.
I took pictures of us holding one of Jacks feet in our hands. His little hand on my finger. I felt such peace holding him. I am glad to have those photos.
When I was going through that pregnancy I swore up and down that I was never going to have another baby but when I found out that we would not be taking Jack home with us I knew I would try again. The human spirit is an incredible thing.
It is five weeks to the day that I first found out our baby had a heart defect. The first two weeks, I cried more than I thought possible. I had to explain to Rod that I needed to feel the pain in order to let it go. My yoga teacher told me it must take a great amount of surrender. I thought that was the perfect word. I had to surrender to what was, not what I wanted or had hoped for, but what actually was. Our little boy taught me things. Despite all the pain I have felt from his loss it does not detract from the joy I had from his presence and from the lessons I have learned and will keep learning.
I am fortunate for our healthy happy daughter and try to focus on what we have instead of what we hoped would be. We received so much love from people. They say there are no words, but there are words that can help, it just takes an abundantly loving and perceptive heart and for all those people who reached out to us you have our heart-felt gratitude.
I cannot imagine how difficult this must be for first time parents. I extend any strength and courage I can give you.
I write this on December 31st as I have always looked at the last day of the year as a day of reflection for the year that has passed. It is a day of letting go of the year and embracing the new. Tomorrow we will light a candle for Jack and for the future.
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Christmas Eve, we began a journey we never anticipated, our unborn son had died.
This is what brings us all here today, our son died before we could feel his warmth or hear his cry, we cannot accept our sons death but we will slowly over time learn to live with it.
In preparing for today we simply could not resolve on what to say, so we decided to look thru our Son’s eyes and let him speak for himself about what has happened to him, after all he is the victim, robbed of life that was our gift to him.
Hi everyone, as I never had a chance to speak this is my opportunity so I would like to read you a story.
My story is about myself, and the few things I only ever felt, heard and what was waiting for me outside my mother’s womb.
Firstly, my name is Noah, I am a person, a son, brother, grandson, nephew, cousin and friend, I am the baby of a wonderful family, Mummy, Daddy and my three sisters Simone, Alisha and Jordan and I was about to enter the world, meet them and spend the rest of my life being loved by them….this I knew.
But, back to me in the womb as this is the only place I knew, it was the best, I was never short of food, I was always warm, I never had to wear a nappy, no rules, I basically did what I wanted, I would listen to my families voices and I knew every day that my mum was going to spend most of the time rubbing her tummy and that felt really good, especially when I had the hiccups because she would rub my back for ages. I believed I had the best place in the world, I felt big and strong someone was looking after my mum very well because I am perfect, I can thank Dad for that.
I was born on Christmas Day, I was watching from above, something went terribly wrong just before I was to enter the world and I died, why I don’t know and it is not fair, I will never understand this and my family don’t either, I watched as my Mummy and Daddy delivered my body into the world, I was placed immediately onto my mothers chest and waiting arms as she lay their bleeding with tears running down her face, my Daddy was crying from the moment my head emerged, he never let go of me or took his eyes off me, my Daddy cut my cord and they held me for a very long time then my Daddy, gave me a bath, put a gown on me, wrapped me up and gave me back to Mum. I knew I was loved.
That night I had visitors, my three sisters, Simone, Alisha and Jordan, Nana and Poppy Hoiles, Nana and Poppy Sharp, Aunty Anne and Uncle Steven, everyone held me, kissed my cool skin and I loved watching this, I am glad they came to meet me. When they left my body remained in the room with Mum and Dad all night until lunch time the next day, I was touched, cuddled, kissed and fussed over, all night my mother would gently stroke my face, she gave me a santa doll to cuddle and rested her hand on my crib, she never let go, my Dad picked my body up and put me in his bed with him whilst he cried, this was our special time alone together and I loved it.
The time came for me to be placed into a temporary room and for them to go home, this I could see was incredibly hard, they were leaving me behind, but why don’t they take me with them? I know someone will come for my body soon and hopefully they will hold me again.
I watch as the next few days go by, Mum and Dad cry and try to work out what next, making decisions they never anticipated, I see Mum slowly trying to heal her body, they talk, they embrace, they have many visitors, they are miserable.
I enjoy watching and getting to know my sisters, I look forward to seeing who they become and how they live their lives, but at the moment I am just getting to know them, I know they will not forget me and talk to me often.
Over the coming days Mummy and Daddy visit me, put me in fresh gowns and wrap me in a fresh blanket, they hold me for the last time and place special gifts from loved ones in my Coffin. I know I will not be forgotten.
I would like to thank you for coming to see where my body will be laid to rest and share this with my family, if any of you come to visit me please know that I am watching and I appreciate you remembering me.
Thank you for listening to my story.
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I would like to share the story of my daughter, Soraya Jayne McLachlan.
My partner, of 2 years at the time, and I had discussed children, being only 18 myself and Glenn [my partner 28] we’d decided to wait until I was 20 to start trying. Unbeknownst to us, it wouldn’t be that far away. My monthly cycle has always been dead on time, so when October 27, 2009 hit and I’d not gotten my period, I knew something was up. I left it another day before buying a test, on October 28, 2009, we found out we were pregnant, we were going to be parents to an amazing child.
I’ve always wanted children; ever since I was about seven I’d decided one day I would be a Mum. I’ve always loved children. I’ve grown up with children around me all the time; whether it be my 5 siblings, family friends or my brief time working in child care. Abortion was discussed briefly, but was definitely not an option, we knew we loved each other and wanted to take this step together. We were definitely going to be parents.
I called my GP the next day and had my appointment the following week. I had a test done and was called back into the doctors room. I was told the test came back with very low pregnancy hormones and it was possible that I had miscarried, but she wanted me to get a blood test to confirm, so straight away I went and got a blood test done. I had to wait two days for the result. Two days later, my phone rang, it was the doctor’s rooms, and I was definitely pregnant, 5 weeks. I went back to the doctors the following day to organise everything I had to have done. I got my paper work for my 12w nuchal translucency test for downs syndrome and any other chromosomal defects. I made the call that afternoon to organise it.
The early stages of my pregnancy were bad in terms of illness, I had morning sickness until 15w, I had whooping cough from the week before I found I was pregnant until 16w. Those two mixed together drained my energy so badly that I was napping for hours on end; I spent the majority of those weeks sleeping. Once they both cleared up everything seemed to be going smoothly.
At our 12w scan we saw our gorgeous little baby, tumbling around in my belly, doing flips and what not else. The nuchal translucency test came back very low risk, less than 1% chance of any defects. Along came the 19w scan, our baby decided it didn’t want us to know if it was a boy or girl. We also found out that it had too much fluid on it’s kidneys, it was 5mm when it should be less than 3mm. So I went home to research what was going on. We had another scan at 21 weeks to try and find out baby’s sex again, but again with no luck. This was a difficult baby, just like it’s father as we always said.
Along came my 28w scan for the LIMIT Study through Flinders Medical Centre. Everything seemed fine, baby was growing nicely and was looking to be a big baby. A further 4 weeks along, at 32w, I had another scan to check baby’s kidneys again because of the extra fluid, but by this stage it had cleared up and everything was hunky dory. Baby was growing nicely, kidneys were clear, my baby was healthy and going to be fine, the only concern was that baby was in the breech position, but I still had 8 weeks to go, so it wasn’t a real issue just yet.
Along came my 36w scan for the LIMIT Study, I had it on June 15, at 37w because my appointments had been put off a week somehow, baby was still breech, but I wasn’t worried, I was fine with having a c section, as long as my baby was born happy and healthy, then I would be happy. The sonographer was taking measurements of baby and suddenly went silent from the conversation. I wasn’t overly worried because she’s found the heart beat, but she told us that baby was measuring quite small, only 2.1kg and her abdominal measurements were quite small, enough to worry about. I had an OB appt straight after my scan, so I spoke to my OB and he said I’d need a proper scan on a bigger machine. I went to the ultrasound booking desk and was sqeezed in for a 9am appointment on Monday June 21.
We headed to the hospital for my appointment and went in for yet another scan. The sonographer found her strong, healthy heart beat, took some measurements and said he had to go and talk to a doctor. We sat in the waiting room for what felt like forever, but was probably only 20 minutes. I knew by then something wasn’t quite right.
I was right. We were pulled into a small room and told by a doctor that our baby was quite small and would have to be born that week. Nothing else showed in the scan that there was anything wrong, just small measurements, everything else seemed fine. I was 38w so I was classed as full term, so I wasn’t overly worried. We were told to go back to the Women’s Health Clinic to see an OB to set a date for our baby’s birth by caesarean section because she was breech and that’s what we’d decided. We did just that and were told “You’re on the morning list for tomorrow, so you’ll have to go up to admission now to book in for tomorrow”
We headed to Admission to advise them that our baby was going to be born the following day. While there we were asked if we had an appt with an anaesthetist or not, we said no, so the lovely lady organised an appt for 3pm that day. We left the hospital and on the way to the car organised a week parking pass so that my partner could come and go as he wished without having to worry about parking fees.
We went to my Mum’s house and informed her that she would be becoming a grandma the next day, we then headed home and let Glenn’s parent’s know their third grandchild was to be born within 24 hours. It was all so exciting.
We headed back to the hospital to see the anaesthetist at 3pm, I had to sign a million forms to have the caesarean section done, but it was worth the time for our amazing child. I was given so much information about the spinal block, the possibility of a blood transfusion and everything else involved. I had to get a blood test so that they knew my exact blood type in case I needed a blood transfusion.
We went home and did the last few things to get ready for baby to be brought home, packed our bags, had dinner and went to bed early as we were due at the hospital at 7am.
I was woken up by my darling child moving around at 5.30 am, as I was most mornings, this was ok though, because I lay there for half an hour feeling my darlings movements in my belly and talking to baby about how we’ll meet today and how excited I was. 6am came and it was time to get up and organised to head to the hospital for check in at 7am at Admission.
We checked in at Admission dead on 7am. We were told to go to ward 4C, which is the post labour ward, I was put in room 7, I always thought of 7 as my lucky number and took it as a good sign, little did I know how wrong I was.
I had midwives come in and talk to me, asking how I felt, I told them how overwhelming it was, how I wasn’t expecting this so soon, how our baby was small and we were expecting it to go straight to neonates etc. Another midwife came in with a Doppler to find baby’s hart beat, she had some trouble, but then found it “122bpm” she told me. It was much slower then the usual 145-150, but I wasn’t worried.
I was taken to theatre about 2 or 3 hours later, not quite sure how long after as time flew that morning. The anaesthetist had a lot of trouble finding a good vein for a drip, I had 2 local anaesthetics and was jabbed about 5 times to find a vein, and they finally found one using an ultrasound machine made for seeing veins in particular. I was then told to lean forward so they could put the spinal block in, but I was extremely distressed by this point after the trouble of finding veins, so I begged to be put under a general anaesthetic. They listened and agreed. I was so distressed that it took about 5 minutes for them to get the oxygen mask on me and for me to be able to breathe with it. They tried several times, but I felt like I was suffocating and pulled it off. The last thing I remember is a garlic taste in my mouth.
I woke up and drifted in and out for a few minutes, probably longer, but didn’t feel like it. Once I’d come to enough to recall what was happening I asked “is it a boy or a girl?” I was told “baby’s with doctor” I left it there and drifted out again. When I woke again, I repeated my last question “is it a boy or a girl?” I was given the same response “baby’s with doctor” it didn’t cross my mind that anything was wrong as we expected baby to go to Neonates right from birth. I drifted back to sleep. When I woke again there was a doctor in the recovery room with me. I asked him “is it a boy or a girl?” I don’t recall much from here on in, but I think I was told “Glenn’s on his way down, he’s just with the OB. Your baby was still born, Sarah, she was a beautiful little girl.” I ignored the most part, but I definitely took in that I’d given birth to a beautiful little girl. “Soraya Jayne,” I mumbled “Soraya Jayne McLachlan” I dozed off again.
When I woke the next time Glenn was in the room, “Soraya Jayne” I mumbled to him. He just looked at me with so much hurt in his eyes, that’s when I remembered that I was told she was stillborn, that’s when I took it in, when I saw that look on his face, the heartbreak in his eyes and the tears welling up. I couldn’t cry because it hurt me too much physically to do so as I could feel everything from the operation because I wasn’t given a spinal block.
We were taken to a room in the Birthing and Assessment Suite at Flinders Medical Centre. The room was quite large and Glenn was allowed to stay every night, he was also fed at every meal too, which they don’t normally do. Later that day we asked to see out daughter, we gave her cuddles and kisses and I just held her close, wishing for a sound, a movement, anything to prove she wasn’t really dead, but of course, I wasn’t given the pleasure of ever hearing her voice, looking into her eyes and telling her I loved her, I never had that, the one thing I’d always dreamed of having was stolen from me at 19.
I finally cried on day three, I cried for hours and hours. We spent 4 days with our daughter, on and off, as she had to be kept cold in the morgue, which even now, seven months later is a horrible thought.
We’ve found out that a blood clot in the placenta took her life. Other than the clot, there was nothing else wrong with her; she was a perfect little baby girl. We’ve had many tests done, mainly blood tests of my blood, to work out if there was anything else that contributed, but there was nothing, just the blood clot, which wasn’t anything genetic, just a freak of nature.
We had Soraya cremated and she sits in her Huggable Urn, which is a beautiful white Teddy bear with a pink ribbon around her neck, which sits on our drawers in our bedroom and we give her cuddles quite often.
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Our story starts out on Christmas day 2010. We had been trying for 7 months to fall pregnant and finally on Christmas day we found out our dream had come true. My partner has 2 kids from a previous marriage and I had 2 from a previous relationship but to make our family complete we wanted one together and we thought we finally had that chance. I took the home pregnancy test and it came back positive but we still were not sure due to the second line being fainter than the first. My partner said for me to go to the doctors to make sure the next day. I went to the doctors and he decided to do a blood test to make sure I was pregnant and I was to come back 2 days later. They seemed like the longest two days.
The night before I went back to the doctors I started to bleed and I bawled my eyes out because I thought I must have been late and the test was wrong. The next day I still decided to go to the doctors with my partner, and the doctor shocked me by telling me I was pregnant. I remember looking at my partner to see if I was hearing things but he we grinning from ear to ear so I knew it was true. I told the doctor about the bleeding but he told me not to worry and that it was common.
Well everything seemed to be going well. I was nauseous but never sick so I had it pretty easy except for more bleeding at 9 weeks but for some reason I couldn’t shake the feeling something was wrong with my baby. My 12 week scan came and I got to see my little baby on the screen and I got tears in my eyes the love I felt already was so strong. Nothing seemed to be wrong and I thought from that point onwards I'd have nothing to worry about.
Well a week later things started going downhill, I found out I had gestational diabetes (which I had with my son before this pregnancy). Then the big shock, I got a phone call from the hospital saying I was classed as high risk for Downs Syndrome with a 1 in 111 chance of having a baby with Downs. I remember going into shock, how could this be happening I am only twenty six I have two healthy kids?
I rang my partner and I told him and I was crying so hard I did for hours after. My partner told me to think positive, that I still had good odds. I tried my hardest to think positive because I didn’t want to stress my baby out, but deep down I still knew something was wrong. We decided not to have an amniocentesis due to the fact we would love our baby no matter what and we didn’t want to take the risk of losing our baby. When I went to the doctors to talk about the amnio (amniocentesis) I told them our choice. He told me not to stress too much as my odds where still good they said they class it as increased risk not high so I walked out of there thinking very positive and being able to smile.
I remember when I first felt her kick (mind you I didn’t know she was a girl yet). It was so exciting even though I had felt it before, I felt even more in love. I started talking to her and I had a feeling she was a girl and we were lucky because we could only come up with girls names.
Before the scan, we had at twenty one weeks (plus six days) we came up with her name if she was a girl and at that time I had no doubt she was a girl. We decided to call her Emily Juliann. The scan day came and I remember being so nervous but excited. During the days leading up I remember praying and saying that I didn’t care if she was a girl our boy I just wanted her to be healthy.
When we were in getting the scan, she was in a spot that was very hard to see her face and heart so they got me to jump around and try to get her to move. At the time it seemed so funny and we were laughing so much. When I laid back down I got told she was a girl and I got so excited that I started to cry. My happiness didn’t last for long. The person doing the scan (ultrasound) said she had to get someone else in because she wasn’t happy with the heart.
I didn’t know if she meant she wasn’t happy with the fact that Emily was still in a bad spot or that there was something wrong with it. I felt like water had been splashed on me and it was hard to breathe. When the second person saw it she wasn’t happy with what she saw. She told us she couldn’t tell if two of the valves were crossing. I had no idea what this meant for my baby. They got us to go to a room where a doctor would come in to talk to us. I remember crying so hard till the doctor came in, one look at her face and I knew it wasn’t good.
The doctor told us that our baby seemed to have a heart defect that needed an echo-cardiogram to see what was wrong and that she didn’t seem to have a nose bone and with both these things my risk of down syndrome got higher. I was also told that I should have a amnio so we know for sure. I lost it, I cried so hard, She was so nice and when through our options and was so supportive but all I remember thinking was “man she had such blue eyes”. It was the only thing keeping me together. We got home and we were both in shock, we didn’t know what to do
We already decided to have an ammio and it was booked for the following Thursday which seemed too far away. We talked so much about everything and we still decided we wanted to keep her if she had Downs, but if she had a bad heart condition we didn’t know what to do. I kept praying and crying every night for my baby. I wanted her to be okay, not because I didn’t want to deal with a Downs syndrome baby but because I just wanted to protect her the best I could. I felt so helpless.
The day of the ammio came and I was so scared. I was scared of the test and if it was going to hurt but I was more scared of what the results would be. We were lucky the doctor was rushing the test so we only had up to 48 hours to wait. That night I was so nervous about what the results would be. The next day I received a phone call from the hospital telling us to come in as soon as we ca,n to discuss the results. I knew if we had to go in that it wasn’t good news, my partner was still trying to be positive I don’t know if he believed it or if he was trying to keep me calm.
We went to the hospital an hour and a half later and yet again I saw the doctors face and I knew she had Downs syndrome. The doctor told us that she did have it and went through the options again. We decided to wait until the echo-cardiogram before deciding, a fact which she agreed with. She told us we could also be tested to see if it was a genetic problem or not. On the Monday we had the echo-cardiogram and there was the radiologist and a heart specialist in the room. They did the scan and kept talking to each other and shaking their heads. Yet again I knew it wasn’t good.
Once the scan was over we were taken into a room and explained what was wrong. wW found out she had a heart condition called Truncus arteriosus which is an uncommon heart condition that would involve surgery 2 to 3 months after she was born and surgeries for the rest of her life. The problem with it all was that she could die before she was born or in the few months before the surgery or during surgery because it was major open heart surgery. We decided to terminate the pregnancy and it was the hardest choice we have ever had to make. We didn’t want her to suffer and I was noticing her kicks where coming weaker not stronger like they should be. This wasn’t a good sign when it came to her heart.
I called the hospital that night and told them our decision. They said for us to come in the next morning. I was in shock how was I meant to do it so soon. How did I know if I had made the best decision for her? How was I going to say goodbye to someone I loved so much? Needless to say, my partner and I didn’t sleep much that night. It was lucky my mum had the kids that night so they didn’t have to see the tears I was crying. They knew Emily was sick but my daughter Hayley wanted to believe she could fix she was so excited to get a sister. I was also sad that I had to disappoint my other daughter.
The morning came and I was still in shock. I knew that I didn’t want to be there and I was so upset that this little girl that we tried for, for so long it seemed and was already so loved, was so sick and there was nothing we could do to make her better. Wasn’t it a mothers job to protect their children? How was I meant to do that? I felt so helpless and I felt like such a bad mum. The doctors came in and told me what would be happening and that it could take a few days I wasn’t expecting that it would take so long. How could I go through this for days and feel her move and feel like I am slowly killing her it finally hiy me and I broke down. I didn’t want to say goodbye to my baby.
They gave me the first tablet around 1pm to induce me and I started feeling tightening an hour later. I was shocked, I wasn’t expecting to feel it so soon. The day went on and it got more intense, I had pethidine and the nitrous oxide gas because I was trying to hold off from having an epidural. I was lying in bed around 10pm and I felt a weird pushing feeling and I thought “oh no she is coming already I can’t do this”, and then water came rushing out. I freaked out my water never broke with my other two children. (I had one c-section and the other one's water slowly came out every time I went to the toilet).
I panicked, I didn’t want to be there, I wanted to go home and I didn’t want to feel it anymore so I asked for an epidural. They gave me an epidural at around 12am. It took so long for them to get the needle in but once it was I could breathe again I didn’t want to feel what I had to do, I wanted the problem to go away. I wanted to wake up and realize it was all a bad dream.
The next day they started me on the tablets again. I was up to my second lot and I remember all of a sudden feeling so sick and light headed, like I was going to black out. The midwife checked my blood pressure and it was very low. I was so pale the only colour I had was in my nails and they were blue. The midwives were so friendly and would joke around with me to make me feel comfortable. They became very businesslike and I remember thinking “this can’t be good”. My mum, my partner and his aunty were all around my bed, I kept looking at their faces and I remember feeling like I was going to fall asleep. I was so scared to, because I was scared I wouldn’t wake up.
Then I got this pushing feeling and the midwife decided to do an internal, when she did, Emily was already out she was born sleeping at 5:23pm at twenty three weeks and five days gestation weighing 1 lb 4ozs and 29cm long. At first I didn’t want to see her, I was shaking and still felt so sick. I knew when I saw her for the first time that I wanted it to be perfect. I asked the midwife if she was okay and she told me she was perfect. They wrapped her in a blanket and put her in the crib. The midwife decided to clean me up so I could hold her when i was nice and clean.
I remember seeing her for the first time and I will never forget it. I looked at her and I saw my perfect baby girl she was so pretty and had the biggest hands. I had tears in my eyes because I was so proud. We took lots of photos and there were a lot of tears, but I couldn’t stop looking at her. They took her away for a bit to do her hand a foot prints and to get her little clothes on. I didn’t want her to go but I knew they would look after her. When she came back she has this little dress on and a bonnet and was wrapped in the nicest pink blanket and had her blanket her aunty Donna brought her. She also had the teddy my mum gave her as well as the Teddy Love Club teddy. The midwife also gave me the memory box with her feet and hand prints the scissors that cut her cord and her photos. She was so cute in her little clothes and she looked so peaceful just like she was asleep.
I had her in 2ith us overnight because I wanted one night where I got to sleep with her. At 5:30pm the next night I knew it was time to let her go and I didn’t want to say goodbye. The pain that came over me was so severe and I didn’t know how I was going to breathe. I remember telling her how much I loved her and she would never be forgotten. They took her away and that’s when it all hit me. The shock went away and the pain set in, I had lost my baby and I would never get her back. Why me and my baby when there where so many bad people in the world? Why an innocent baby? So many thoughts and it was all so painful.
The next day it was time to leave the hospital and I was so scared I didn’t want to leave my baby there how I was meant to leave that room and face the real world. We were waiting outside for out lift home and I remember holding on to my teddy from the teddy love club like it was the only thing holding me together and I think it was, then I saw all these mums take there baby’s home and I broke down again why them not me I wanted my Emily.
I got home and I was a mess, the house was so empty and I just wanted to go back to the hospital where my baby was. Mat helped so much by taking care of her funeral. I couldn’t face it at first I didn’t want a service, I didn’t want to say goodbye again. It seemed so final this time but I realized she deserved a great goodbye. The week leading up to the funeral was so long and painful. I just wanted my baby I kept crying I want her back give her back to me and I knew I wasn’t going to get her back but the idea of her not being with me hurt so much.
I hardly slept (and I still don’t now) and I would cry and hug my Teddy Love Club bear until I feel asleep. My kids were told that Emily was sick and had a bad heart and she had to become an angel but she was watching down on us. My daughter was so upset but still glad that she has a sister even if she doesn’t get to see her. My son found it harder, he didn’t understand why I wasn’t pregnant anymore and we didn’t have Emily. It was heartbreaking to see them in pain over it all and see their faces when I would break down. The funeral came and I got to hold her and say my goodbye I told her yet again how much I loved her and I would never forget her and how much she was wanted and I would see her again. I didn’t speak at her funeral because I had said my goodbye to her and I felt that’s what matters and how was I meant to put into words how wrong it was an innocent baby was born so sick and didn’t have a chance to live.
Now it is 4 weeks on from when our baby was born sleeping and I still don’t sleep and I hug my bear till I sleep at night I cry most days and I say goodnight to her every night and tell her I love her. I know we made the best decision we could for her but not knowing if she is in a better place worries me every day. We want her to be in a place where she isn’t sick and gets to have the life she wouldn’t of gotten here. Mat has been my rock thought out all this and I have had some great support through close family and friends and the midwives where the best I could ask for better people around me throughout this. If it wasn’t for these people I think I would have gotten swallowed by depression. We found out that it wasn’t a genetic condition and there has been talk of us trying for another baby not to replace Emily, but to complete the family like wanted. Emily will never be forgotten and she will always be a part of our family. We have her ashes at home up so we always can see her. I miss her so much but I have to believe she is in a better place. Am I scared of trying for another baby? Yes I am, I don’t want to go through this again even though I wouldn’t trade those 23 weeks for anything . I know the risks but I want to believe Mat and I are meant to have our baby. This whole experience has taught me so much. It made me realize that I shouldn’t worry so much about the small things and to take the risks seriously I was 1/111 chance of having downs syndrome and I only had 50% chance of a baby having a heart condition. If they did have down syndrome and not only did she have a heart condition it was a rare one. I am not invincible and just because I am only 26 does not mean things like this can’t happen. I also learned who was there for me in such a hard and painful time. The list could go on, I feel like this has changed me for better and I hope Emily is looking down and is proud of who I am.
Emily we love you baby girl and you will always be in our hearts xxx
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7 September 2011
My name is Cathie Lacey and I am 46 years old and my partner is David Cattunar who is 48 years old. We have been together for 18 years and i have two children (Bobbie is 21 and Jessie is 22) and David has two children (Rhianna is 22 and Brenton is 27). Bobbie and Rhianna live at home with us. Our life has been wonderful and we have always wanted children of our own but with four kids to raise between us we figured our priority was to give them a stable and loving family environment without any threat of a joint child making them feel insecure.
Seven years ago – just before I turned 40 – David and I decided that perhaps it wasn’t too late for us – we are the auntie and uncle that all the kids love and often have nieces and nephews staying. Our friends kids gravitate to us as well. We had always wanted a child together and it just seemed like our kids were in the right place and so were we.
It never occurred to us we would have a problem. But after 2 years of trying our GP told me I was just too old and my eggs were crusty and to give up the idea that it wasn’t going to happen for us. Like any normal female I cried for a week and David didn’t talk for a week. But then we picked ourselves up and figured we were just meant to be the world’s best grandparents.
So, of course contraception was the last thing on our minds. And, sometimes when I got my period over those 5 years I was sad for what would never be but figured I should be grateful for what I already had.
So, Brenton got married to the beautiful Stacey in April 2011 and that was awesome and we both figured this was it – they were both so clucky we were gonna be grandparents within the next couple of years and that would satisfy our major urge for baby time.
Then I realised my last period was 22 April and that I was overdue and I am never overdue so I thought that I must be going through menopause and I cried cause I was too young. But then I googled information and realised that sickness does not go hand in hand with menopause. Then when I was a week late I did a test and sat down and cried – I could not believe it – I was pregnant – after 7 years I was really truly pregnant. As I had done the test at work I couldn’t wait for the evening to tell David, there was no way I was going to tell him over the phone.
So, at lunchtime I went out and bought a neutral colour jumpsuit and a pair of baby ugg boots and that night dragged him down to the bedroom to sit him down to tell him just in case the girls came home early. He told me to stop being such a drama queen and just tell him whatever it was I wanted to tell him – he was laughing at me.
So, I gave him the jumpsuit, then the boots and then the stick with the positive lines in a ziplock bag – he wanted to know who’s they were – so I said – OURS. He looked at me with tears in his eyes and said – You are shitting me!!!! Nope, I said – we are going to have a baby – then he said fuck and I said fuck and then we cried and hugged and cried and said fuck again.
Then we just got pizza for dinner and sat there staring at each other and then the tv and then each other – neither o f us could truly believe it. We had wanted this for so long and now it was going to happen – for real – we were in a daze.
So, we waited until I was 7 weeks and then went to the GP for have it confirmed. Yep, positive – but of course I already knew by now – the sore boobs had not abated for weeks and the sickness – 24/7 feeling sick and throwing up every second day – but oh the joy of feeling that way – it meant our very own baby. Ours – our very own.
So there we are sitting there at seven weeks and talking about all the things we would have to do and think about and how much fun it was going to be telling people and then we realised we would have to choose a name and how hard would that be as I am a bit out there and David is pretty conservative. I turned round and said I always had this dream of having a boy together and calling him Charlie after my grandad and Joseph after your dad and David after you – David loved it – Charlie Joseph and just like that we chose his name. Then we agreed that if Charlie was a girl Charlie then she would still be Charlie.
So we had our scan and all was well and we had the blood tests ready for the down syndrome testing at 14 weeks and just kept our fingers crossed. Our baby’s due date was 27 January 2012.
So, then we had to tell people- so we told my mum by buying baby wool and shawl patterns and asking her to make our baby a shawl – she sobbed – for quite a long time for us. Then we told our kids – had them all over for dinner and they wanted to know what was so important that they could not cancel and David says oh nothing really we just wanted you all over for dinner for Cathie’s birthday, oh and to tell you we are having a baby in January – they were so pleased for us – so excited and there was tears and laughter and arguing over who was going to babysit the most. We told David’s parents and although his mum was initially shocked because of our age – they were both ecstatic (but she is the worrier in the family).
Then a week later we had a mini party for my birthday (that’s the party you have when you are not having a party) and we announced it to the rest of the family and our closest friends – it was the best way to tell people that you cared about – that were a big part of your life – hey guys – we are having a baby – everyone thought we were going to tell them we were getting married – but that has never been of importance to us. But this sure was and as expected they were all shocked and excited and again there was tears and laughter and it reminded us just how lucky we were to have so many awesome people in our lives and that we were gonna share this.
All went well and we went to QLD for the footy and had a great time but while there I started bleeding a bit and freaked out (as you do) I was 14 weeks and bleeding – what did this mean? We got home and had our 14 week scan already booked and I went in there prepared for the worst possible news and the first thing she says is wow this child is active and look at that heart beat – that was it I sobbed. David then explained the situation to her so she then did a thorough check and there was no sign of bleeding anywhere – it was just one of those things. Our baby was perfect and the fluid behind the neck was minimal which was an awesome sign and she was most certain it was a boy cause if ever she had seen a penis that was one right there.
I was beside myself – a boy – I have two girls but a boy – a son of my own – wow and to give David a son to help Brenton carry on the Cattunar name – wow – this was beyond belief – I was blown away.
Then we waited for the down’s results and can you believe it – although I was rated 1 in 13 due to my age the blood test combined with the scan put me at 1 in 336 – the low risk category – we high fived and hugged and cried and were just beside ourselves.
We shared this info with all the family and everyone was beside themselves and then we went and bought our first blue things – this was awesome – a baby – a boy – ours.
From here all went well and I felt fantastic and everyone told me how glowing I was and how happy I appeared – you couldn’t wipe the smile from my face and then at about 17 weeks I started to feel him move – that was the most OMG moment – there he was – my son – moving – awesome. I couldn’t wait for David to feel this. And feel it he did. On Saturday 3 September (the day before Father’s Day) we were laying in bed and David felt him move – it was the most awesome moment for me – to share this with the man I adored. Our son, moving. Really, did it get any better than this.
Sadly, no, it didn’t.
I started having contractions on the Tuesday evening (6 Sep 2011) but as I was only 19 weeks and 2 days I didn’t really think it was contractions – I thought I was constipated). But by the Wednesday morning I had started to doubt what I was feeling and got concerned so I rang the doctor and made an appt as my OB was not in that day and I thought maybe I was just being silly.
But as I work in the city – by the time I left the office and got the train back home I realised in the peace and quiet of the train that the pains were coming and going and that in fact they were contractions. I timed them until I got to see the doctor and they were 2-3 minutes apart.
I was horrified and my GP rang my OB and he asked us to meet him at the hospital. I rang David who got to me within 20 minutes and we went straight to the hospital trying not to have conniptions – David told me all would be ok and just kept reassuring me.
The OB arrived and he did an internal and said all was well and that the cervix was closed tight and there was nothing to worry about – it was most likely just Braxton hicks. He said he couldn’t find the heart beat but not to be overly concerned with that as I was only 19 weeks and 3 days that happens sometimes and I was still feeling Charlie move. He also told me that if I went into labour at such an early stage there would be nothing that could be done – that people might tell me I could have a needle or something but it wasn’t true. So David was right and I was worried for no reason.
The advice was to go home and rest – which I did. But within a couple of hours of being at home the pain increased and David was in the middle of doing reno’s in our bathroom and Bobbie was cooking dinner and I kept snapping at her cause I was trying to hide the pain. I ate 3 mouthfuls of dinner and then went to my room so she couldn’t see I was in so much pain. David came looking for me and realised that I was in immense pain at this stage and he rang the OB who said to bring me straight in.
By this stage I knew we were in trouble – the pains were 1-2 minutes apart and it was real hard labour – my body took over and knew how to sway and breathe through the pains. We told Bobbie we were going to the hospital as a precaution – just wanted to make sure all was ok. She bought it to some degree. After all she has no reason not to believe the people who have raised her.
On the way we were both timing the contractions and at 7.43pm we drove over the freeway on Clyde Road in Berwick. Our son was born at 8.08pm.
When we got to the hospital I had to stop a couple of times to breathe out contractions and then we got to the ward and they put us in a room on the maternity ward. My back was in so much pain so they went to get a heat pack. Then when the nurse came back she saw how bad the pain was and went off to see if my OB would approve some pethidine – in that time my waters broke and I became hysterical cause I knew I was about to lose my son and there was not a freakin thing I could do to stop it happening.
As I was still standing at this stage David got me up onto the bed and removed my clothes and within minutes I gave birth to Charlie Joseph Cattunar. 8.08pm on Wednesday 7 September 2011.
Poor David – he saw the whole thing – what a traumatic thing to have to witness and know there is not a damn thing you can do. He hit the emergency button for the nurse and then we both just fell apart. The nurse walked in saying oh no, oh I am so sorry, oh no.
She took care of me physically and cut the cord and cleaned our boy up and asked if I wanted to hold him. I did. He was so small and warm and not breathing – I could not believe this – this was not meant to happen – not this way. I held him for however long I did and then gave him back for a while – they asked David if he wanted to hold him but at this stage he couldn’t.
The OB came in and delivered the placenta and talked to us but really I can’t remember anything he said. I asked to hold Charlie again and that was so so sad.
She then tidied me up and put me in a wheelchair and they took us to a double room for the night. That was so hard – we spent the night crying, smiling at each other, holding each other, sobbing and talking and asking all the why questions we could. It was not fair – he was so wanted by everyone not just us.
The next morning we were left alone for a long time – out of respect and then a nurse came in – she was fantastic – the OB came in and gave us info but again I don’t remember much and a pastor came in to talk to us and the nurse then went through all the options and things we needed to think about. This was tough to hear –to know that we had to think about his body and the options offered were never anything we could have considered. We made the choice to have our son cremated.
The hospital gave us a pack from the Teddy Love Club – a book of other people’s stories, a book of information and things to think about and a teddy bear from another family who had also lost a precious baby – this pack brought so much comfort and information to us – it helped us make decisions that had to be made.
While we were at the hospital Bobbie & Rhianna kept texting us to make sure we were ok – we couldn’t tell them that way so we texted back to say I just had to rest but all was ok – it was sad to think we had to tell everyone. It would make it all so much more real.
We went home and I had a shower – I felt so yuk and blah and that shower – I didn’t want to leave it – I just wanted to stay there and find out it was not real – that it hadn’t happened. But it had and my body was already telling me that things were different.
In the space of a few hours everything had changed BUT everything was still the same
It was awful.
Bobbie came home early from Uni and we told her and then Jessie came over from work and Rhianna from work and Brenton stopped in on his way home – having to tell the kids – that was so hard. We got my sister (who I am very close to) to stop in on her way home from work and as soon as she saw David she knew and she fell apart for us.
We then rang our parents and my brother. No matter how many times we said it to anyone it made no difference – the truth was still there and there was nothing we could do to change it. David has five sisters and they all rang too.
I then sent out a message via text, email and facebook – thank goodness for social media cause we really could not have spoken to another person – this way the message got out to everyone who was important to us without having to say it again.
The girls went out that night – to spend time with their closest friends. They thought we would want some time alone – it was so tough. Laying there on the couch together knowing our dreams had to change and that we had no control over what had happened.
We talked about decisions we would have to make and knew that making the right decisions would help us in the healing process.
The following morning I was awake really early and I came out and made a cup of tea and sat down to read the resource book from TLC. So much of the information offered was helpful and thoughtful and gave me the strength to do the things that needed doing.
I rang funeral parlours – not just from a pricing perspective from I wanted to hear what they did for babies – prices ranged from $500 to over $900 – such alot of money and I am sure there are people out there who don’t have the option available to them due to finances – but I chose the person who wasn’t too over the top – one of the people I spoke to went on about how sorry she was and I wanted to tell her to shut up – so I booked someone and David came out at that stage.
We had decided to go back to the hospital and have some photos taken with Charlie. We made a time to do that and somehow the morning just went. We also had to pick up some photos that the nurse had taken of Charlie the night before as well.
So, we went to the hospital and they took us into a delivery room and brought Charlie into the room in a basket within the crib. The nurse handed him to me and I was so overcome with emotion – our boy – he was beautiful – so perfect and so very tiny. She then took photos of the 3 of us together and I am so grateful we did that – those photos get me thru every day now – she took five photos in all – the first we are both looking at our son, the 2nd David is looking at me while I am looking at our boy, the 3rd is our fave – we are both smiling at our son and it is beautiful and we have had it enlarged and my very talented mother in law is currently in the process of turning it into a painting. The 4th photo I am crying and David is holding me and the last we are both sobbing. As sad as they are they are beautiful photos. You can’t see our boy – just his hat and the tip of his hand. Our thoughts are (and were at the time) that this is our son, to us he is beautiful but to others he is a baby born at just before 20 weeks gestation and others wouldn’t see what we see and we couldn’t handle that. The nurse left us alone with Charlie for quite some time and David held him for a while and we told him all the dreams we had had for him and we said a prayer for him and said our goodbyes – it was so extremely heart breaking and so very beautiful at the same time. I guess only someone who has done this can understand. It was very peaceful.
We left the hospital with a disc with the photos taken of him the night before and knew we would look at them when we could. W e didn’t look at those photos for a few days – it was just too hard to start with but we have since looked at them and they are beautiful.
We then went to the local shopping centre to find the most appropriate thing we could to hold his ashes for after his cremation as we had made a time to go to the funeral parlour that afternoon. We were looking for some kind of silver trinket/jewellery box but everything we looked at was just too much or too big. And then, we found this beautiful silver foot – about the size of a 3 year old foot – with toes. It said Precious Keepsake across the top and Precious Baby all around the side – it was perfect – so we bought it and took it to get his name and date of birth engraved on it.
We then took this to the funeral parlour and they assured us they would take care of everything and that his ashes would be sealed into the foot.
We realised how late it was by this stage and thought we better stop and get take away for dinner for us and the girls so we stopped at the local chinese and next door is a tattoo parlour. We ordered our dinner and then went into to find out what it would cost and how long it would take for me to get a tattoo. I could not believe it – not only did we ask but we booked – ME I was going to get a tattoo – I couldn’t believe it – I am the biggest wooss on two feet. BUT I needed something more physically permanent as a reminder that Charlie had been here – so I made a time for the following week to have my three kids – Jessie, Bobbie, Charlie on my arm – which I went ahead with and now have my three kids on my right arm and surprised myself and David by getting his name on my left arm – and yes it hurt like hell but it was so worth it.
So, we went out and bought a lingerie chest for our bedroom (which is a half width tall boy) and sat it between our two windows and on top sits an enlarged photo of the 3 of us together with his ashes in the foot and a candle from the Teddy Love Club with his name and date of birth. Every morning I say good morning and every night I blow him a kiss. Sometimes it makes me cry and sometimes it makes me smile – but at least it makes me feel.
It has been 3 weeks since we lost our boy and although I don’t cry all day – I am so so sad alot of the time. I feel empty and lost and out of synch with everything and everyone. David is the only person who can pick me up when I am down and I worry so much that it may get too heavy for him to bear after a period of time. He has been my rock. I too worry about him, he says that he had his emotions in control after the first week – that now his emotions are for me and sometimes that makes me more sad – cause he worries so much about me and I can’t change that cause sometimes I just cry cause I just don’t know what else to do.
This week I seem to have hit some sort of funk – I suddenly don’t care about anything and feel like I am not part of life and although I am not suicidal I just don’t feel like I belong here right now – and as I sit here and write this the tears are streaming down my face, I can hardly see what I am writing and I think of our little boy so badly wanted that i will never get to hold.
Of course, the OB told us that a way of helping us heal is to try again. And I always wondered how people could do that – try again after losing a child. But now I understand and I apologise to all those in my past who I judged so harshly. It’s not about replacing the child you have lost – it’s about having a child to hold – someone to fill that ache and void in your arms and your heart.
But, as you saw, I am 46 and David is 48 and it took us 7 years to get Charlie – the chances of us having a baby of our own are very very low if at all. I guess God has reasons for doing what he does and I am trying so hard to hold onto that – but I guess like others at a time like this it is when your faith is tested the most and right now mine feels very tested.
So, please, say a prayer for our Charlie boy who is now in heaven with his namesake and also for us that God might give us the gift of a child together that we can share the incredible love we have for each other.
As an end note – as I said – David and I had never felt the need to be married in the 18 years we have been together – however while I was pregnant with Charlie I realised that being married might be important to him and to us and we talked about it and thought we might think about doing it after Charlie was here.
Since we have lost Charlie something has happened to how we feel and marriage is suddenly an important part of our future – much to the delight of our families – so we don’t know when or where – but sometime in the future we will add that part of life to our lives as well.
God bless all who read this and may faith in yourself bring you through the dark times and strength from those you love make the sun shine again.
And may god watch over your little angels along with our Charlie angel.
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My husband Anthony and I were married in October 2009. In April 2010 we decided we would start trying for a baby. After 11 months and me being diagnosed with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) we found out that I was pregnant and we would be having our first child in February 2012.
We were so excited and could not wait to become parents. Our first ultrasound at 8 weeks confirmed one healthy sac with a little jelly bean baby due February 17th 2012. The countdown began straight away to when we were going to meet our little one.
Our next ultrasound was at 12 weeks and everything went great, we could not have been happier. We were so relieved to of made it to the “Safe” stage of 12 weeks. After the ultrasound we immediately started buying nursery items for our little one and within 2 weeks we have brought and received the bassinet, cot & mattress, change table and drawers. We put them together straight away and they were all ready to go in the nursery.
We had booked in a 16 week scan where we could get the sex determination test. We couldn’t wait to find out if we would be having a son or daughter and were so very excited. During the scan we got to see our healthy baby wriggling around and kicking their legs all over the place. It was confirmed that our baby was a girl and we were excited to be having a daughter. After the scan we called the family to let them know it was a girl and everyone was so excited.
Next up was our 20 week scan. I was most nervous about this one as I know how important the anatomy scan is. Since the 16 week scan I had gone crazy buying little girls clothes so I was very happy for the sex to be confirmed a second time as a girl. This scan once again went perfect with all her limbs and organs working great. We were over the moon and could not have been happier. Once again we called all the family to share the great news.
It didn’t take long for our world to fall apart as on Wednesday 12th October at 6:00am my waters broke at 21.5 weeks gestation. I got up that morning thinking it would be a normal day and got ready for work. As my husband and I were walking out the front door I felt something dripping down my leg and then a large gush. I automatically said to my husband that this is what I think it would feel like for your waters to break. As this was my first pregnancy I wasn’t 100% certain so I called the hospital and explained to them what had happened. They asked me to come straight to emergency for an assessment as they thought my membranes had ruptured. When we arrived at the hospital we were sent to the assessment room to be checked out. As the midwife was assessing me I had a second gush of fluids confirming that my waters had definitely broken.
I was admitted into hospital to wait for an ultrasound to confirm if my baby was still alive (the midwife’s words). My husband and I were shattered and spent the next two hours thinking our baby was dead. At around 9:30am we were sent for our ultrasound and I couldn’t bring myself to look at the screen. I didn’t want to see that our baby had died. The lady put the gel on my belly and within seconds confirmed a strong heartbeat of 157bpm. Instantly I broke down and couldn’t stop crying. I spent so long thinking the worse that I was so relieved to see her still alive. The ultrasound lady confirmed that everything looked great except the amniotic fluid level was very low.
We were sent back to the birthing suite much happier then we were three hours earlier. We were told that my obstetrician would come to see us and we would have to sit and wait to see what he says. We called our families while waiting and told them what was happening. Within the hour my mum and sister arrived at the hospital to be with us.
At approximately 2:30pm my obstetrician finally arrived and we were told very bluntly that I would most likely go into labour within 72 hours and our baby would die. It was heart wrenching and we didn’t know what to think. We were told if I made it through 72 hours I would be staying in hospital on bed rest until the baby was born which would be before 28 weeks gestation. Although we knew the odds we held onto the hope of 28 weeks to give our baby the best hope.
By the end of the day we had cried so much and all our family had been to visit us. At 9:00pm we decided we should get some sleep, we didn’t know this would be the last sleep we would have for 3 days.
On Thursday 13th October I was put on antibiotics as I had a high temperature and this was indicating that I was starting to get an infection. I knew at this point that I was not going to make the 72 hours.
At 12:30am Friday 14th October (my husband’s 30th birthday) my contractions begun. At first I wasn’t sure if these back pains were contractions but by 5:00am I was 100% that I was contracting and I would be delivering our baby. This was when I broke down. I couldn’t stop crying, I was not ready to have a baby and I was not prepared for labour. I knew it was too early to have a baby and I didn’t want my daughter to die.
At 9:00am we decided it was time to call our families and let them know what was happening and that I was in labour. Our parents and my sister were at the hospital within half an hour to be with us and help us through this difficult time.
My contractions went from 5 minutes apart to 10 minutes apart for hours and I didn’t seem to be going anyway. At midday the obstetrician came in and check me internally. He confirmed that I was 2 cms dilated and was hopeful that I would deliver by 7:00pm that night. 7:00pm came and went and I still was nowhere near delivering and was so exhausted from not sleeping for 24 hours.
At that point my husband’s family went home and we told them we would call once we knew delivery was close. My mum, dad and sister stayed with us the whole time even though we told them they could go home to rest as well. I was so grateful that my family stayed as it helped to free up my husband so he could get some fresh air if he needed to.
On Saturday 15th October (Our 2 year wedding anniversary) at 5:00am I asked the midwife to perform another internal examination to see how far along I was. She confirmed that I was 6 cms dilated and it shouldn’t be too much longer. It was at that time that my husband called his family to come in as we knew it wouldn’t be too much longer. I asked my mum, dad and sister to leave the room and wait outside and my husband and I were by ourselves until the end.
After 31 hours of painful active labour our beautiful little angel ~Ruby Dawn~ was born at 7:30am Saturday 15th October 2011. She was a tiny 340grams and 26 cm’s long. She was born with a heartbeat and passed away in my arms approximately 30 minutes later. After Ruby was born the midwife dressed her in a beautiful little white dress and beanie and my husband went to tell the family the news.
All our family (parents, sisters, brothers) came into the room to meet Ruby and we baptised her as a family. It was the saddest, hardest day of our lives but I’m so grateful that I got to meet our beautiful daughter and I got to cuddle her for so long. I’m so proud to be her mum and I’m pleased that our family all got to meet Ruby and give her their own cuddles. She was only here for a short time but you can see how much our families love her.
The hospital staff and our parents took lots of photos of Ruby and us with her as we didn’t have a camera with us. I look at Ruby’s photo each day and can’t believe how much she looks like her mummy. I never thought a baby of her gestation could look like someone so much. She has my nose, chin, mouth and cheeks and she is so beautiful. Sadly her eyes were still fused closed and we’ll never know what colour her eyes were but I know that they were beautiful.
The hospital staff did Ruby’s tiny foot and hand prints for us and a change of clothes. We got to keep her first set of clothes and I have placed them in a frame for us to see all the time. The hospital also gave us the gorgeous quilt to keep that Ruby was wrapped in.
The hardest thing ever was to leave the hospital and leave Ruby behind. I didn’t want to put Ruby down in the crib and it took my husband a few hours to convince me it was time to leave. Every time I thought that I could leave I would start crying at the thought of not being able to see our daughter again. Once we decided to leave the hospital we asked the midwife to take Ruby first so we didn’t feel like we were leaving her alone. It was so hard to leave the hospital without Ruby and it breaks my heart at we never got to bring her home.
The week following Ruby’s passing we had so many visitors and although it was nice that people were thinking of us and wanted to visit it all got too much for us. I am sick of hearing the clinches from people; ‘Things happen for a reason’, ‘This happens to so many other people’ and ‘Your still young, you can always have another baby’. I don’t care if I can have another baby, I just want Ruby. It’s like people don’t understand that it hurts when they say these things.
Were very thankful to our parents who organised the funeral for us as I just couldn’t go to the funeral home and pick out a coffin for my daughter. The night before the funeral I didn’t want to go to sleep because I didn’t want to wake up the following day and have to bury my daughter. I cried myself to sleep for the fifth night in a row and woke up crying the next morning. The funeral was exactly how we wanted it to be small and private with only the family who met Ruby to attend. It still makes me cry at the thought that we had to bury our daughter; no parent should have to go through the pain of having to see their child’s coffin lowered into the ground.
After the funeral we decided we would get away for a week to get away from visitors and have some time alone. I think that really helped us and we had a nice relaxing week away and enjoyed ourselves as much as we could.
Everything I do I think of Ruby and wonder what it would be like if she was here with us. We decided not to pack up her room as these are her things and although she never got to see them they will always be Ruby’s. I know eventually I will have to stop calling it the baby room as there is no baby but at the moment it hurts to much to think about.
I know it’s going to be hard especially on Ruby’s due date and special occasions like Christmas, Easter, mother’s/father’s day, and Ruby’s birthday but we’ll find ways to deal with them as they happen. As time goes on things will get easier but deep down I know we will always hurt at the passing of Ruby.
Although Ruby was only here a short time she will always be a big part of our life and I will think about her each and every day for the rest of my life. I love her so much and can’t imagine how I’m suppose to go on living without her but I know that life goes on and I have to go on living everyday life.
One day we might consider trying for a second child but it will never be to replace Ruby as no one will ever be able to take her place in our hearts. Ruby will always be mentioned in our families and she will never be forgotten. I have made a memorial for her at home with her TLC bear, clothes, photos and memory book. People have said to me that her photos might not be ones to put on display but no one will ever tell me that I can’t have a photo of my daughter up in my house because she is beautiful and I want to see her every day of my life.
I think the hardest thing for me at the moment is that I am a mum with no child to bring up. It hurts so much that I’ll never get to see Ruby’s eyes or her smile or hear her laugh. I’ll never see her grow up or we’ll never know the feel of her holding our hands or never hear her tell us she loves us. Everything that were going to miss out hurts me and makes me sad but the moments we had with Ruby make me happy because I got to meet my daughter.
The support of my husband and our families has helped me/us through this hard time and although each day has its good and bad times I know we’ll get through this because we have each other.
Ruby: Although you were only with us for a short time you have touched our lives and we love you very much. You will always be loved and never forgotten. I am proud to say you are my daughter and I will think about you each and every day of my life. A big piece of my heart lives with you now. Loving you always and forever, Mummy xoxoxo
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My husband Ashley and I got married 4years ago in 2008. We decided to wait for a year before we looked into the idea of having children as we knew we would have to face IVF. After our first year of being married we decided we were ready to go through IVF. We went to the IVF doctor and he wanted to send me to a lot of doctors and look into our case in detail before he would give us the ok to go ahead for IVF treatment as I have a distonic tremor. He wanted to make sure that medically I could look after the child. We had a few years where they sent me to different doctors and looked into my tremor then finally after about 2 years we got the ok to go ahead with IVF.
We went through the 1st round of treatment and when it came time for them to collect my eggs they could only get to one of my ovaries. Their aim was to collect between 8 to 10 eggs but they could only collect 2 of mine. I thought that we would have no chance but out of the 2 eggs one fertilised and came into a blast so I had the egg transferred a few days later and we had to patiently wait for 2 weeks to have a blood test. Those 2 weeks seem to take forever but we made it to the blood test and it told us that yes we were pregnant. My husband and I were so excited and happy. We had to wait another 4 weeks to see if this pregnancy was real and to find out whether our baby had a heart beat or not. Yes the scan showed there was a baby growing inside me and it had a good heartbeat. YAY we were going to have a baby. Of course I was only 6 week at this time so the next hurdle was getting over the 1st trimester.
A few weeks after the scan I was about 9 weeks and I started to bleed, of course I panicked and rang my husband at work, he came straight home and drove me to Flinders Medical Centre where we were seen in the emergency room. They seemed more worried about my blood pressure then our baby and they said I had to calm down. The doctors did a blood test and it showed me the pregnancy levels were high and they said to go and have another blood test on wed in 5 days time. The next 2 days seemed like forever and I got very sad and worried. On the Monday morning I rang the IVF clinic and asked if I could have another scan to see if our baby still had a heart beat they said they could fit me in at 10:30 that morning. I had the scan and it showed our baby was fine. They told me many people bleed in the first trimester and it should calm down in a few weeks and it did. I kept going to work as the doctors instructed but I gave up the gym.
Once I hit the 13 week mark we were so excited I got back into the gym and felt fantastic at work, knowing that my baby would be safe growing inside me since my body had made it through this first trimester. We had the most exciting shopping trip I ever had we went off to Baby Buntings thinking we are in the 2nd trimester we could have a big buy up. I couldn’t wait to buy a pram and we put everything on lay-by from a pram to a play mat. We arranged to lay-by the lot then have them hold it for a few months until we were ready to set up our home for our precious little baby. They said if anything bad happened in the pregnancy to come back and they will just refund and cancel the lay-by. I thought to myself what a silly thing to say at the time we got over the 1st trimester we were having this baby, well I was wrong.
We got to the 20 week scan and we were excited but feeling nervous at the same time. I had a friend who got to the 20 week scan just to find out her babies heart wasn’t developing well the year before so that made me feel very nervous about going into the ultrasound but so many people encouraged me and told me that was very rare and most scans they do go smoothly and according to plan. The lady took us into the ultrasound room and we could see our baby move around a little, she did the measurements and said our baby looks like its developing well with a beautiful looking heart. My heart relaxed as I knew our babies heart was well. She asked us to wait in the waiting room while she checked with the doctor to see if she got all the pictures they needed. After a few mins she came out and asked us to go away then come back in 15mins she said she needed to give the baby time to swallow some fluid so she can get a better picture of the babies stomach. I thought nothing of this and thought it’s just routine, that our baby was fine. When we went back into the ultrasound room she took a good picture of the stomach and I thought we were done but then her college came into check the picture and then doctors came in to tell us we had to go down to the women’s clinic because it looks like our baby doesn’t have as much fluid around it that they usually have. I started to get scared then. We went to the birthing suite to see the doctors and they gave us a big room and told me to lay down for an hour so they could do a vaginal exam to see if they could find any leek. They didn’t see anything and told me to go home and come back on Monday to see the ob. Waiting from Thursday to Monday morning was a long wait, I was so upset, scared, worried and confused. They told me not to go to work for that weekend, does that mean I would have to give up work for the rest of the pregnancy, we were meant to go to Queensland on Wednesday, were we still going? I had a friend who wrote to me on facebook and told me not to worry that fluid around her baby was low and she just had to go in for extra scans so they could keep an eye on it. Other friends told me not to worry they had to have extra scans to keep an eye on things but in the end their babies turned out fine, this gave me some hope and a bit more piece of mind.
We went to the doctors at Flinders on Monday after a long wait we were called in, they looked at the fluid on the ultrasound machine and said yes its fairly low but we will just keep an eye on it. They checked the babies heart beat and were happy as it had a good heart rate. The doctor told us to go off to Queensland on Wednesday as we would need a holiday to enjoy and she also told me I could keep on working. I asked her if she was sure as I am a Patient Service Assistant at the hospital, she said she knew exactly what I do and just to keep on going. We left the hospital feeling so excited as we were going to Queensland and it looks like our baby was going to be ok. When we got home I went out to run some errands and I felt my first 3 big kicks. I was so excited and happy. Then half an hour later in the shopping centre I felt this big bulge of liquid come out of me. I raced to the toilets thinking don’t worry it’s just wee, maybe my bladder is week today but as soon as I checked there was a huge amount of blood, I panicked, jumped in the car and ran my husband to tell him I will be home in 5mins and we need to go to the hospital. By the time I got home I could feel more blood coming out in big warm soft balls, he jumped in the car and drove me to the hospital, that was the longest trip to the hospital I have even known of. We got caught at every traffic light. Finally we got there and things seem a big blur. I remember lining up in the emergency room, thinking HELLO I can’t line up I need help I am bleeding big time. By this time my pants were starting to soak in blood, my husband had to push in the line and say excuse me WE NEED HELP AND NEED HELP NOW, next thing they were taking me in a wheel chair to the Birthing Suite.
I really don’t remember much about when we first got to the birthing suite, but I do remember the doctor who did our ultrasound that morning to come in with a small ultrasound and have a look around the baby. It confirmed that yes my waters had broken, I was still bleeding heaps and every time I felt a bubble of blood come out I had to ask my husband to clean me up. It was handy having my own personal nurse (Ashley my husband who does nursing for a job) as he was there to clean me up every time. The midwife came in about 10pm with a sandwich and told me I need to eat. I couldn’t eat anything I was so upset. I remember not sleeping at all that night, as they admitted me that night and I knew I would be stuck in the hospital for a long time. I was very blessed to have my husband stay with me each night.
I don’t really remember too much of the next day other then getting sent down to have an ultrasound. I was so scared and crying the whole time there and back, but the ultrasound told them that my cervix hadn’t opened and our Sarah’s heart was still beating she was moving around, the bleeding was settling down and the ultra sound made the doctors feel our Sarah wasn’t going to come out in the next few days. That afternoon a midwife came in and said you don’t know me but we have a good friend in common Andrea, she can’t be here with you at the moment but she rang and asked if I could look after you this arvo, I was deeply touched by how my friend Andrea couldn’t be there but she was still looking out for me.
I was on bed rest, I could get up and go to the toilet and have a shower by sitting in the shower chair because they didn’t want me standing for very long. After 2 days in the birthing suite I was transferred down to the ward which was a big relief because they saw me as stable and didn’t feel I would go into labour anytime soon. When we got down to the ward I had a lovely room to myself and they put hospital stockings on to prevent any blood clots. The doctors came in and told us about the complications of our situation and said the best chance we have is if we could get to the 32 week mark, then we would be facing a 1 in 3 chance our baby would be ok. Of course there was a big risk that we could have got to the 32 week mark where our baby would be born and wouldn’t be able to breathe due to the fact her lungs wouldn’t have developed enough. They also said the biggest risk they were concerned about was that I would get an infection in the womb then they would induce be because my health is more important than our babies. I am so glad it didn’t come down to them coming in and saying its game over we have to induce you as your getting sick. As a parent how can you say yes to that, take my baby and let it die so I can be healthy MY HEART BREAKS IN HALF AT THE THOUGHT OF THAT IDEA I LOVE MY BABY SO MUCH, I WILL ALWAYS PUT MY CHILDS HEALTH AND WELBEING BEFORE MYSELF AND THEY TOLD ME THAT IF AN INFECTION COMES I WOULD HAVE TO DO THE OPPOSITE, IT DOSEN’T SIT WELL WITH ME OR MY HUSBAND.
For the next 2 weeks we played the waiting game where I was on 4 hour observations, I was allowed to go down to the duck pond in a wheelchair with friends and Ashley took me several times too, it was nice times to have a chat. I got to feel my baby move everyday which is so priceless, I also got to hear my babies heart beating every day. These memories were so special I am so glad I had those 2 weeks in hospital to bond with my baby even more.
After a week of being in the ward I woke up on the Wednesday morning and found I had a lot more bleeding then usual but I had no pain, my husband called in the nurse and we told her she said we would just keep an eye on it and hopefully it would settle down and it did by lunch time. I was fairly shaken up about this bleeding but the staff were so wonderful and reassured me that it was ok and it was a good sign it settled down.
2 days later the main event started to happen. I woke up by a visit with our beautiful doctor who I was always happy to see. We talked and she felt my tummy and said everything looked good. I had an ultrasound booked that morning and was very scared and nervous about that. As soon as I got in the wheelchair I burst into tears with fear what are they going to find with our baby, is our baby still growing and happy inside me? That ultrasound was a big blur all I remember was I was so emotional I couldn’t even look at the screen. Once we got back up to my room a friend from church came so I asked her if she wanted to go to the duck pond. I got back into the wheelchair and we went to the duck pond we had a lovely time just chatting about things until I started to get very dizzy, so she took me back up to the ward and I had a lot of water that made me feel a lot better. The nurse took my temp and it was high but still in the average range. Once she left the doctors came in to do a vaginal exam. They do this once a week it’s another way to test for an infection. I am such a big woose when it comes to any medical procedure so of course this got me very upset and emotional. We had another beautiful visitor after that, she cheered me up a bit by bringing in a beautiful bunch of sunflowers. When our friend left I was so tired and not feeling well so I fell asleep. My husband got a bit worried thinking I never sleep during the day unless something is really wrong. About 3pm the nurse came in to do my observations then Ashley thought it would be a nice idea to get me out for a walk. He had fun wheeling me around the hospital and we decided to go exploring. I was starting to get worried as I was starting to feel a cramping pain. I remember telling Ashley I feel something is happening and I am scared.
When we got back to the ward it was time for tea but I wasn’t that hungry and I really enjoyed the hospital food. I remember the night staff coming on and we met a beautiful midwife Jody. I was getting really uncomfortable at this time so she gave me some Panadol and that seemed to settle it. I was getting very scared and worried at this time, she talked to me and tried to reassure me that things are ok, but whatever happened she will take care of me and we just have to go with the flow. She also told us she would try and be back in an hour to check on us but it was a busy night out there for the nurses but if we need her to ring the buzzer and she will be there for us. My husband had to ring the bell many times that night and Jody came as soon as she could each time. Around 2:30ish she came in and I told her the pains were about 10mins apart but she said that could be just my mind thinking something is happening but the pains were getting worse and she said she will call the doctors on duty. The Doctor came in about 3am with a small ultra sound machine to check me over she s aid it looks like my cervix was still closed and the baby wasn’t pushing down on it, so it didn’t look like I was in labour, they drew some blood to test if it was an infection and gave me some Panadene fort. Jody and my husband told me it would take about half an hour for the meds to kick in and I should be able to go back to sleep. But they were wrong yes it took the edge off for a little bit but not much then my pains got tighter and stronger. Jody went out to ring the doctors to get me some morphine and get me transferred downstairs, but our little baby had other ideas. I remember lying in bed and having a really tight contraction and slide, out slid our baby. I called my husband over as he was pottering around the room at the time, as soon as he saw the baby was out and nicely placed on the kylie blanket he pressed the nurses bell then went for the emergency bell. Jody came running in to see I had the baby they were too late to move me. She scooped up the baby in the kylie blanket and the doctors came in to check me over.
I am so glad our midwife and doctors didn’t realise I was in labour as they would have moved me downstairs to the birth suite, it was nice that Sarah was born in the room with just Ashley and myself there. Being in the birthing suite they probably would have given me more pain relief but on looking back I am so glad I felt every bit of that pain as it just made the experience of giving birth to our beautiful Sarah even more special. Once they cleaned her up Ashley went out to see her. I was too scared to see her but the doctor, midwife and my gorgeous husband managed to convince me to see her. When they brought her in she was wrapped up in a blanket and she looked so beautiful. I was too scared to hold her but that was ok I would never regret not holding her because the whole time we had her I could see her Daddy hold with her, it was the most beautiful sight I have ever seen. Ashley holding our baby girl, she looks so peaceful and perfect. The Midwife checked if her heart was still beating and it was for about an hour. Once her heart stopped beating I asked them to take her and they left Ashley and myself alone. What we didn’t realise was what the beautiful staff was doing outside, they were busy taking the most precious photos of our baby girl before they sent her upstairs. My mum and sister came in around 7ish, as soon as I saw my sister I burst into tears as I hadn’t seen her in weeks because she lives interstate, it was so special to see her as she was down for Mums birthday. I wanted my Mum to see Sarah, I know it took a lot of courage for Mum to see her but I am so glad she did, it meant a lot to me for Mum to see her little grand daughter Sarah.
A few very special friends came in that morning, I asked Daphne and Quinton to go and see our precious Sarah to pray over her and share our baby girl with them. Then another couple from church came they asked if there was anything they could do, they ended up going back to our place and gave it a good clean. I had a few baby things like nappies, bibs and books at home that I wanted them to get out of the house. They were amazing the way they cleaned the house, took our washing and just supported us that day. When they came back to the hospital they went down with Ashley to spend some time with Sarah and pray with her. I didn’t want to go as I thought it was beautiful being able to say goodbye to her when her heart stopped beating, so when God took her to heaven that’s when I said goodbye to our precious little girl, I am so glad Ashley got to spend that time with her in the afternoon.
We found that afternoon that the blood test I had during the night showed I had an infection starting up and that’s what brought on the labour. I was so blessed that God stepped in and brought on the labour naturally rather than what would have happened if the doctors had known about the infection. They would have come in and told me that an infection had started up and it was game over they would have brought on the labour by inducing me, for me that would have been a lot harder. At least this way we can say God took her in his timing and not in the doctors timing. We didn’t have to face the decision to be induced and take our little ray of sunshine away. God took Sarah his child in his timing.
I had the honour of carrying our beautiful Sarah for 22 weeks. We had the most special hour of our lives with her before Jesus took her up to heaven to be with him in paradise with him for eternity. Sarah we will see you again soon my beautiful baby girl, Mummy and Daddy will love you with all their hearts for the rest of our lives and we will always treasure the time we had will you while you were with us.
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Having only been trying for 1 month we we over the moon when we fell pregnant with our first baby. The pregnancy was an absolute dream and after seeing my healthy little bubba a few times on the screen, knew that the most amazing part of our lives was about to begin.
We went for our routine 20 week scan only to be rushed to the nearest capital city to see a specialist sonographer. It was here that we were given the awful news that our baby had an extremely rare neural tube defect called an 'occipital meningocele'. In short, the back of our bubba's head did not close over properly and a large growth was forming. To make matters worse, our baby's brain was pushing itself out into this cyst. We were told that it would be incredibly dangerous for me to carry the baby full term and that my baby, if it survived the pregnancy at all, would be in a vegetative state and would not survive very long at all. Our baby was going to have to be delivered and the termination was scheduled for the following week.
The week leading up to the delivery was perhaps the hardest week of our lives. This kind of thing shouldn't happen to anyone! Why us? Bubba was kicking so hard, you could see it on the outside at only 20 weeks. There were a million questions floating around in our heads and an awful uncertainty about the labour process. One of the hardest questions was whether holding the baby afterwards would make the emotional recovery process longer. I knew no one could really answer this for me and decided I would just see what felt right at the time.
After what felt like an eternity, the night finally arrived and I was induced for labour. My beautiful baby was delivered late afternoon the following day, 27 March 2012. The midwives wrapped up my little angel so that I couldn't see the defect at the back of his head. As we had opted to keep the sex of our baby a secret, my mother came over to me and told me he was a beautiful little boy. I then knew that I had to hold him. I have never seen anything so incredibly perfect. I did not expect him to look as perfectly formed as he was at only 20 weeks. He had my husbands face and my long legs. His little hands and feet were so perfect. It seemed so much more unfair that this was all happening given how perfect the rest of him was. I just kept wishing that he was 20 weeks older and I could keep him and take him home with us like we were supposed to.
I have the most amazing husband and the support from my wonderful family and friends and know that we will make it past this and try again in the not too distant future. At the moment, I know my husband in particular is struggling with the idea of trying again. Even though we have been assured this will not affect our future pregnancies, I think the thought of watching me go through this over again is too much to deal with at the moment.
I would like to thank TLC for my teddy. I said goodbye to my bubba before I went in to have surgery a few hours after delivering him and left him cuddling the bear until he was taken for cremation. When I woke up the teddy was in my arms. I cuddle him every night knowing that my little angel cuddled him before his final journey to heaven.
I know I take comfort and I hope that other angel mums can to, in the fact that my beautiful little boy will return next time in the beautiful and perfect body that he deserves.
We love you so much little bubba....and I look forward to seeing you again soon.
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June 28th 2011 was the happiest day of our lives. After about 6months of seeing ‘Negative’ come up on pregnancy tests again and again, finally we had done it, we were pregnant with our first baby. I remember everything about that day. The sun was out, beautiful day, and knowing that we had this precious little person inside me filled us with so much joy.
Went to the doctors for a blood test to confirm that I was pregnant and it came back positive so there was no denying, in 9 months we were going to be parents. I hate getting needles but I’ve always said when I am pregnant I will get any test I can, I would go through anything to ensure my baby was healthy and safe, so putting my fears aside was no issue, I was happy to. Soon enough we were going to Anti-Natal appointments and planning for our baby to come into our lives.
At 13 weeks we got our first ultrasound, seeing your baby for the first time is something you’ll never forget. I kept myself from crying because I didn’t want to miss anything. He was like a little jellybean, he was moving a lot, waving to us, smiling at us, and he looked so comfortable and peaceful, then the heartbeat. Hearing my baby’s heart beating just made everything go silent, I was in such shock and ore that this was all happening, I was pregnant, I could see my baby, hear my baby’s heart beating. We got to keep some pictures and the nice ultrasound lady gave us a DVD with all the pictures as well, as soon as I got home I had to show everyone the amazing little bean that was my baby. When I was around 3-4 months we moved into our new home and dedicated the biggest room in the house to our new baby, than all we had to do was fill the room with all the things we liked and wanted.
I don’t remember when I first felt my baby move, I just knew he was there and when he started to get bigger and I could feel movement, it was like love building up inside me. Feeling that faint, little movement made me feel so proud, my baby was growing, life was better than ever. When we would go to our Ante-Natal appointments they always went well. Our baby had a great heartbeat, measuring well, developing well and all test come back that he and I were healthy. There was never anything to worry about. I had little morning sickness but only for the first couple months then it was only every now and then that I would get sick.
At our 20 week ultrasound we found out that we were going to have a Boy. Already since the 13week ultrasound he had grown so much. His features were so defined and he looked like a baby now, not a little jellybean. He decided to be a cheeky baby, the ultrasound technician was taking all her pictures of his organs, bones and all she needed to finish was to take a picture of the skin on the back of his neck and he did not want to cooperate. I had to get up and try and move him so he would turn over for the nice lady. I was walking around the hospital, went to the toilet, jumped, I was getting some funny looks off people but in the end he was just being too stubborn and we had to go back the next day, hopefully by then he would have turned around. He was a good boy, we went back the next day and he was in the perfect position to have the final pictures taken.
28 weeks and it’s time for the Glucose Sugar test. I had my blood taken (I must say the drink was nice, it tasted like flat lime soft drink to me) and for the first time in my pregnancy I had failed a test, so then I had to do the 3 hour, 3 needle Glucose Sugar test, not fun at all but luckily that came back negative so all was good again.
In the middle of December 2011 my older sister was in hospital and gave birth to her twins. They were born premature at around 27 weeks. When I saw them I was amazed. They were so tiny, they had tubes and machines to help them breath, eat but they were healthy and getting stronger every day. I was abit jealous because my sister had her babies; I wanted to have my baby so bad. It had gotten to the stage that we had finished the baby’s room, done everything we needed to do, all we were waiting for was our baby to be born and for him to come home. When you’re pregnant and in the last trimester all you can do is wait, time feels like it’s stopped, your due date never seems to get closer even tho time does pass. My sister was due 2 weeks after me but she was pregnant with twins and twins do come early so we all expected it, now I just had to wait for my turn. We spent so much time in the baby’s room, walked the pram around the house, our whole house was changed around and everything had been sorted through so our house was pretty much baby heaven.
At about 32 weeks our baby started to measure a few centre metres to big but they said that was normal and not to worry, he had a great heart beat, I was healthy and so was he. Getting towards the end of the pregnancy I was very tired, I loved having my naps on the couch. He felt like a big baby, he was a heavy boy!
35 weeks and back at Ante-Natal. Out of every person we had at Ante-Natal this lady was the one we loved the most, she was a lovely woman. My baby decided to be cheeky again, she was trying to get his heart rate but he instead decides to have a play around and just wouldn’t stop moving. When she would put the heart beat reader, machine thing on my belly, he would kick it off. We were all laughing and having a great time. I had to lay or sit in weird positions to try and get him to relax for a minute so she could get the reading. In the end we got it, it was a little bit high but as she said that’s normal, he was moving around a lot so it will be a little higher than normal. I was also measuring at about 40-41 weeks but I was only 35-36 so she said at our next appointment to get an ultrasound done just to see if there is maybe to much fluid or if the baby is just a little big. But as she said a lot of babies measure big its normal.
February 4th 2012 We were at Ante-Natal. We asked about the ultrasound but were told that we really didn’t need one, a lot of baby’s measure big and if it was a problem we would find out when we are in labour and something would be done then, we really wanted one but didn’t say anything about it again. He took my babies heart rate, didn’t measure me at all, told me to take this huge cotton tip and get a sample and hand it in (the test for protein or something when your 36weeks). Trying to insert this cotton tip when I’m pregnant and huge, in a tiny bathroom at Ante-Natal was not easy, pregnant people don’t bend! I was glad that my baby and I were doing well so it was back to waiting.
February 6th 2012 Is the last day that I remember feeling my baby moving. It was a normal day, not to eventful but I was feeling a little sick. When you’re pregnant and feel a little sick is normal so I didn’t think anything of it. I knew that when you got to the end of your pregnancy your baby doesn’t move as much, there isn’t as much space and knowing that my baby was already measuring big I wasn’t worried, he may have just been tired like me.
February 7th 2012 I had little sleep that night, just not feeling to good but nothing that would have made me worry. My stomach was feeling abit tight every now and then but being that I was due in a couple of weeks I knew my body was preparing for when labour does start. We only recently finished our child birthing classes so I read anything and everything I could and it all said normal, normal, normal.
February 8th 2012 Today was not a good day. I was sore, tired and was sure that I was going into some kind of early stage of labour. Being that it was my first pregnancy I never knew what to do. I am the type that over reacts and gets dramatic so for this pregnancy I told myself I would listen to the doctors, do what I’m told to do and just relax, I was told me and my baby were healthy so that’s all I needed to know. I didn’t want to freak out and I was waiting til either the contractions got worse or closer together.
February 9th 2012 Today was the day when I was sure I was in labour. The contractions where there, getting stronger and closer but still not strong or closer enough to call the hospital. I didn’t want to call the hospital because you get told so many things like don’t go in to early because they can just send you back home and things like that, I didn’t want to jump the boat and be dramatic and I just hacked it. As night time came, I was in some serious pain. I didn’t sleep at all the night I just used my phone to track all the contractions so I could see how closer together they were. By 9am I couldn’t take it anymore I had to go to the hospital. I called up and they asked me some questions. At first they told me that it’s just the baby dropping down and getting ready but then I was asked have you felt the baby moving, and then it hit me. I said I hadn’t felt much or any movement in the past 2 days so they told me to come in and get checked. It never even crossed my mind til I was asked about him moving that he hadn’t been moving much, because I had been in so much pain thinking I was in labour, knowing they don’t move much when all this is happening I just never thought something was wrong.
We had already had the car packed and ready, car seat in, my bag, baby bag we were actually leaving to go to the hospital to have our baby! Oh gosh I was in so much pain. Contractions were coming every few minutes and lasting over a minute so car ride to hospital felt like forever. When we got to the hospital we go up to labour ward and we get taken into a room to have an ultrasound done and I was really getting nervous and worried by this stage. I lay down on a bed and had some things strapped to my tummy and then we see that Rebecca our nurse is having trouble trying to find my baby’s heart beat. All we could hear was one heart beat, and I knew something was wrong because I could feel my body and my heart beat and it was the same beat that was on the machine. Rebecca said he may have a faint heartbeat and that we need to do an ultra sound so see if it’s my heart beat or his we are hearing. I started to cry, I could just feel my body sinking into the bed, such weight on my heart. I knew something very bad was happening, I couldn’t even swallow the fact that my baby may not have a heartbeat; I couldn’t even begin to imagine what that would mean. We went into another room, the room was dark the ultrasound began. I waited and waited to see if Rebecca or Ben (the father) would smile or say “its ok, there is the heart beat, your baby is fine” but it never happened. The silence was deafening. The darkness was blinding. Ben and I started to cry. Rebecca went to go get someone that knew more about ultrasounds and in that time took my blood pressure and it was high. After waiting what felt like forever some doctors and nurses came in and we did another ultrasound. Again silence. Then the doctor says “I’m sorry your baby has died”. I knew my baby had died, before he even confirmed it. We couldn’t stop crying, I didn’t understand. I was going to give birth and have my baby and take him home and be happy not he doesn’t have a heartbeat, my baby couldn’t have died he was my heart and soul, how could he have died and I’m still here! Everything was a blur, we were taken into a room, told I would have to have my baby; my blood pressure was very high. Ben called my mum and his parents. My mum was the first to come. Soon after Bens Mum came, my Step Dad and oldest Sister Rhiannon then soon after Bens Step Dad, Dad and Sister Sarah. I was hooked up to an IV then taken to another room. In the room was my Mum and Step Dad, Sister Rhiannon and Belinda (Belinda came right to the hospital after spending the day at another hospital with her twins), Ben and his mother. Those 5 people stayed with Ben and me the whole night. The hospital and staff were amazing Rebecca was the first nurse we had and she will be in our hearts forever. With all of us in one room we felt a lot better, we didn’t feel so lonely. I was given medicine to kick up the labour because I had already started and now it was just waiting, waiting to have my baby. I was in a lot of pain contractions are out of this world. I had the first needle in the leg to help the pain, didn’t help, and then I had the gas, that didn’t help at all. It never actually hit me that I was going to give birth and my baby wasn’t going to be alive, I don’t think I could have done it if I knew truly that I was going to leave this hospital without my baby. My Step Dad works as a Security Guard at the same Hospital I was in, Bens Mum also happens to work there so everything worked in our favour, if people needed to go anywhere or get anything they could, we didn’t need to worry about waiting for staff at doors and all those little things helped. I couldn’t take the pain anymore and got an epidural, I was in heaven after I got the epidural, not pain, so now I could finally rest after days, just lay and relax, not have to worry. I was shocked that it started working as soon as it went in and that was the last I felt til the next morning and I had given birth. Belinda was the nurse looking after me now and she broke my waters and it was just waiting til I was dilated and could start pushing. They kept I close eye on my blood pressure because it was very high and wasn’t going down.
February 10th 2012 Its time to push. I had everyone in the room when I gave birth, I needed my family there. I was shocked that when I started pushing I couldn’t feel pain, between 10-15 pushes later my little boy was on my chest. 5.05 am Zander Benjamin Liston was born asleep. I couldn’t stop looking at him, he was so amazing, so beautiful, and so precious, he looked just like Ben and I, I couldn’t believe we made something so special and I just keep thinking, why can’t I have him. Ben cut the cord, my hospital gown came off and I was skin to skin with my baby. He was the whole length of my stomach and I wouldn’t see how he could have fit inside me, he was huge. I just wanted him to move or cry, he just looked like he was sleeping, like he was tired from the birth. I took the first pictures of him when he was on my chest, I love that I got to take the first picture. Zander was put on a weighing machine and then taken away to get cleaned up abit and so the nurses could do what they needed to. We got to put him in a little jumpsuit and blanket that we brought and when he came back he was cleaner had a nappy on, his jumpsuit and blanket. I love that they put a little nappy on him. For hours and hours we all just held him, kissed him. We all gave him so much love, but there where so many tears at the same time. Family members left and came back, some other family come to meet him later on in the day. But that time we were in another room, we had being moved a couple times. We had Social workers come and they were so kind and helpful, the memory box is a lovely idea because I wouldn’t have remembered half the things that I would have wanted. We also got the TLC bag and the sweet little white bear we love so much, we had professional pictures of Zander taken with his little bear. I was getting scared because as the hours went by, people coming in and out, blood tests being done on me, medication to take my blood pressure down, all I could think of was I can’t walk out this hospital without my baby, how can I go home without my baby? I had a shower, Ben and I slept for 2 hours with our little boy beside us in a cot. 6pm we had been at the hospital since 10am the day before, we had done it all. We had our little boy, spent the whole day with him. We didn’t want to leave, it just wasn’t right that we had to leave him behind, our little boy. We had family with us when we left the hospital but it didn’t help, nothing could have. Walking out of the room, the hospital meant we wouldn’t see him again. Just getting back in the car, we had the car seat, baby stuff everywhere; at home it was the same. We just went on auto pilot.
The next step was waiting on the test results, my blood tests and all for Zanders autopsy results. We wanted to do everything to make sure that this never happens to us again, to find out what happened to our little boy. It was scary to think that we may not ever find out, the doctors tell you that so many people never find out why this happened and that scared us both. My results came back with a high reading in my blood that I may have Antiphospholipis Syndrome but I would have to wait, do another blood test first before its confirmed because when you pregnant it can show up positive even if you don’t have it. So I did the blood test and when I got the results back I found out that I did have Antiphospholipis Syndrome. We also got the autopsy results for Zander’s back. He had a clot in one of his kidneys that shut down the kidney, there was a clot in the placenta, the placenta had had moved away from the uterus wall abit and some of Zander’s blood had mixed with mine. Also he had done his first poo at some stage and I had mild pre-eclampsia. I am glad that we found out what happen to our little boy, if we did get an ultrasound the clots would have been seen and something would have been done but there isn’t anyone to blame, I do blame myself sometimes because I have this disease but still even I cant change that. I do have to take aspire everyday and whenever I am pregnant again I have to have an injection everyday to try and make sure that clots don’t form in me or the baby but I’m not sure what I would have done it I never found out the reason, I would be so fearful of everything. Ad least now I have answers and a chance.
I can’t help but think about all the people that have lost a child/children and mourn for them. The pain of losing a baby is something that unless it happens to you, you really can’t understand. The pain is more than you could ever imagine. I hate that this has happened to us but also that it has happen to other people and will continue to happen. Babies are precious gifts, getting pregnant and having a great pregnancy and having nothing go wrong to then lose your baby kicks you off your tracks in life and to find your way back is difficult. It’s something you will never get over, just something you learn to live with. Our life has changed in every way possible and you can’t ever stop thinking of what if or that your baby should be there with you. I hope by me telling this story that it may help others out there that feel the same pain or will sadly in the future feel this pain. You are not alone.
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