Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Evangeline Marie

Our precious girl. is finally with us! Evangeline Marie Panuccio decided to be born to this word on the 19th of November 2009. We are so greatful and happy to have our princess with us and the boys couldnt be more excited.

She was 3110g and 49cm long and absolutley gorgeous. We love her soooooo much.

We are so grateful to precoius boy Michael ,cause without him we wouldnt have aour precious girl here with us. I miss you Michael more and more every day and having evangeline in our life as made us so happy but somehow made me realise even more what I missed out on with you. Mummy loves you forever and until you are in my arms my heart will not be complete. I know have 4 beautiful children, 3 here and one in the spirit world and for that I am eternally grateful. I know one day we will all be together. Until then ....I will always carry you in my heart!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

7 weeks to go

Its been a while since I have blogged..and I guess for the most part its been a little hard to sit here during this pregnancy .

I only have 7 weeks to go and feeling quite tired and sore but at the same time so excitied. But my thoughts are with my precious baby michael. I miss you my little one and as we prepare for you little sister ..a blessing I know you sent to us I cant help think of you. Wishing I brought you home and wishing you were here to. The thoughts and hopes for your sister have eased the pain in my heart for you but my fears are there.

What if I dont bring this baby home. ...But I will..Iknow i will. I cant wait to have your sister in my hands but I know my thoughts will also be with you.

I have been thinking about my gorgeous friend Sharene also. Loosing her life during child birth was such a traumatic shock for all of us that loved her. And as I prepare for my unborn child I cant help but think ..sharene did that too ..She had everything reaady and never got to come home. My heart breaks for her and her precious angel baby luke.

I know that its a time I need to remain positive and know in my heart that all will be fine but I know my fears are starting to play havic with my emotions. Thankfully I have so many people around that love and support me...And my precious boys and gorgeous husband are what get me through..I cant wait to bring their sister home..To show the boys all will be fine. I sence their anxiety also...

Michael as the time approaches I ask you to watch over mummy ad your precious sister. Please make he arrival as calm and peacful and beautiful as possible and bring her and myself home to your daddy and brothers.Mummy loves you always xx

Friday, July 31, 2009

My sisters keeper

Last nite I went to see the beautiful movie "My sisters keeper". I was in tears the entire movie and I could not help but think of Michael through out the entire movie. As I watched the mother take care of a gravely ill child and the battles. sacrifices she made to fight for her child's life , I felt this enormous amount of gratitude for Michael and realised how much he had given me. I was so thankfully that I was given this time with my two precious boys on earth and so grateful that because of Michael I know have the opportunity to carry another child. A Healthy child.

How can someone so small , so fragile and only here in my womb for 5 months teach me so much. The wisdom you have given me Michael. I will be eternally grateful xx

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Missing Michael like crazy and 20 week scan

On Thursday the week that just past I had my 20 week morph scan. The lead up to the scan was quite an anxious time. For the most part I kept my emotions contained but I had a lot of trouble sleeping and really was not at ease. The day before the scan I found my nerves unbelievable out of control. I Was so nervous. Needless to say the night of the scan i didn't sleep at all. I tried everything to try and relax me.

The morning went by very quickly. We were fortunate enough to have a parent teacher interview for Giovanni which gave as I very pleasant distraction. He has made us so proud doing so well at school. The teacher was extremely happy with his progress but he has inherited my gene of "liking to talk" ..I think that is a sign of a happy child anyway...so got to be happy with that.

We arrived at the sonography place and thankfully were called into the room right away . The sonographer began the scan. She seemed to be zooming through the scan and all the parts. This was comforting but also quite nervous. Then she left the room. I could not help but to be reminded of Michael's Scan. What was a couple of minutes felt like hours as I stared at Vince who also looked concerned. A full bladder combined with uncontrollable nerves , I said to Vince "Please go find her"! With that the sonographer walked back into the room and continued with the scan.

Then we found out the gender of the baby. With a wave of emotions I burst into tears. I realised this was worrying the boys as the last time we were in this position and I cried it meant the baby was to died. We were in too minds about taking the boys this time to the scan but really wanted to turn this around to be a positive experience for them.

I reassured them that all was OK and mummy was just very very happy.

Relieved that all was good and that were were in fact having a healthy bubs ,, I walked out of there with a glowing smile. So relieved. I felt like a huge weight had lifted.

But after a couple days and a few misunderstandings with family members not understanding why I did not want to reveal the sex of the baby, and perhaps the down ward spiral of my out of control emotions, I started to feel very low. The grief for Michael seemed to intensify all over again as I missed him even more.

I really Miss him. Perhaps it the twenty week mark which is around when it all happened. I cannot help but wish that things were different. Things are as they are ..and as many say are not meant to be. And yes I am so grateful and happy that this precious baby in my tummy is healthy but Michael will always be with me and the experience will always be with me too. This changes you as a person and cannot help but change the people around you too. It is so profound. How could I ever forget him. How could I not honour such a little soul that changed my life so much. I am who I am because of Michael, and to change would mean to disregard Michael. That is something I will never do .

Monday, June 29, 2009

quick update- 20 week scan coming up

Just wanted to update quickly on whats going on.

Pregnancy is going very slowly and to this point thankfully very non eventful. I have my 20wk morph scan this week so extremely nervous. I cannot wait till its over and I am a total bundle of nerves until its over. I want to take the boys so hoping all goes well as i dont want to repeat of last time. I am hoping there is a postive out come for all of us. I am emotionally getting more and more excited about this baby and cant wait to hold it in my arms in November. I will bring this baby home as I deserve too.

It was gorgeous nikkis 5th birthday last week on the 25th . Nikki had a wonderful day with friends at preschool and then on Saturday he had a fantastic time at his bowling party with all his family and friends. He had a wonderful time and I could gett he big smile off his face .

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

I am pregnant

Hi there just wanted to let everyone know that I am 13 weeks pregnant with a precious baby. Its been a rollar coaster ride of ups and downs but I can say as of now all is well with precious bubs. I had my NT Scan last weeks and the numbers looked great .So fingers crossed that the pregnancy will continue to progress well.

I only know am starting to feel excited. I have had a very emotional few weeks after my mother was diagnosed with a malignant tumor. Thankfully since then she has had an operation to remove and whilst it was cancer they managed to remove it all and no further treatment was required. I know the angels and precious Michael was with his grandmother . Watching over her during he procedure and whilst the healing has been long and painful , three weeks later she is doing just fine.

So things are on the up and up and I am looking forward the meeting my new bubs in november . Right before xmas !

Tuesday, April 14, 2009


Looking at the raindrops
Out of the window I see
Oh what is about to happen
Why does it need to be me.
I need to prepare
For the birth of my gorgeous son
A precious little boy
I won’t see turn one
I hold you in my arms
And think of the shattered dreams
A life time of memories gone
oh what you could have been.
I hold those precious moments
Close to my aching heart
I am still looking at the raindrops
Waiting for the healing to start.
They tell me it will take time
To deal with such a loss
No time will erase these emotions
This stone will gather moss.
As time has stood still
And out of the window
I see The raindrops are still falling
Or are they the teardrops within me.

Eulogy written for Michael. Read by Vince

Initially I would like to thank you all for coming today . The support and love that Rita and I have received during this very difficult time has been very overwhelming and I cannot thank you enough .

To get up here and talk of my son ..a son I only met for a few brief moments before he died in my wifes arms is not something I expected to have to do ever . but here I am and as proud as ever as even though I only met him for a few moments , I saw within him a special boy .

Finding out my wife was pregnant with our third child was very big surprise. And whilst he was not planned he was very much a welcomed addition to our family. We Immediately started planning for our new child and began rearranging the house and getting organized for the day he would arrive . We were very excited for his arrival and his brothers daily kissed mummies tummy and talked about what there new brother or sister would be like . We recently found out that Michael was gravely ill and would not make it and the day my wife delivered him was one of the most bitter sweet moments in our lives.

Sweet cause we got to meet this precious little boy even for a few short moments and bitter because letting him goes was the hardest thing we ever had to do. A little boy only 23cm in length and weighing 295grams , Michael was small indeed . But he had a look about him that was wise . Looking very much like his brothers , he was beautiful and at peace. And even though he was only 21 weeks , in those few moments my wife and I formed a bond that will last forever . We now take comfort in knowing that as a physical being he may not be here but as a soul with god he will live forever.

We carry him on our hearts every day and bury him today with great sadness but knowing that he never had to suffer one moment in his life . He is in a better place now …were he will know no suffering and no pain and will forever feel the deep love his parents and brothers have for him.

To mummy like love Michael

A day prior to Michaels Birth I was a sleep on the couch Resting up for what was about to happen . I woke and felt compelled to write and without thinking this is what I wrote:

Don’t Cry for me Mummy
Don’t cry for me please
Cause on this earth as a physical being
I was not meant to be.
Our journey together was so short
And for you so bitter sweet
Don’t cry for me
As I am were I need to be .
A soul whos journey with you was short
Your were the chosen one
The one I knew would be strong
So Don’t cry for me mummy
I will be just fine
In my heart I will carry your love
Till the end of time
Love Michael


20 weeks ago mummy got the news
That you would come into my life
So precious and so new
I dreamed for your future
What you would become
That day you would be born
A precious beautiful son
Yet on one sad day mummy again got the news
That you would not survive
You were having complications
and was fighting for your life
So the day has come were we would meet
If only for a time so brief
I will cherish those moment
for years to come
Of you my child my precious son
A Precious little soul that has come into me
chosen me for his journey
and now I must set you free
Back to god your will fly
So perfect and free
And Know your mummy will love you
From now till eternity

An Angel Never dies

An Angel Never Dies - Anonymous

Don’t let them say I wasn’t born, that something stopped my heart, I felt each tender squeeze you gave, I loved you from the start. Although my body you can’t hold, it doesn’t mean I’m gone, This world was worthy not of me, God chose that I move on, I know the pain that drowns your soul, what you are forced to face, You have my word, I’ll fill your arms, someday we will embrace. You’ll hear that it was “meant to be, God doesn’t make mistakes” But that won’t soften your worst blow or make your heart not ache. I’m watching over all you do, another child you’ll bear, Believe me when I say to you, that I am always there. There will come a time, I promise you, when you will hold my hand, Stroke my face and kiss my lips and then you’ll understand. Although I never breathed your air, or gazed into your eyes, That doesn’t mean I never “was”…An Angel Never Dies.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Things happen for a reason

In this whole journey I learnt that things happen for a reason. There is a reason for everything . Nothing is a co-incidence and even in the depth of dispair , even when you have lost a child which to most people is the unthinkable , there are blessings to be found and lessons to learn.

I have learn't so much from my precious baby. He has given me so much wisdom and so many gifts that to my angel I will be enternally grateful.

One of the most important lessons that death and times of sadness teaches you is who is really there for you. You learn that most people are beautiful human beings who truely care and in the midst of your sorrow that there will be someone special there to pick you up . Sometimes the people you least expect.

And then there is a flip side . Like anything . For every black there is a white , for every up there is a down and for every good person you learn who never was there and who didnt care. But I am grateful for that wisdom too. As harsh a lesson it is! So now I know and with that I am aware. I have compassion for these people that at times when someone else is in need of support they cannot see beyond their life problems , just to spare a thought. Just to think "How have my actions impacted this family".How have my words hurt them! That they cannot grow to be better people as they are so caught up in the vicious cycle they call life. Not taking responsiblity for thems selves and their actions and always looking to pass the blame . I would never want to live that way . Its a horrid way to live and can only lead to a life of misery and heartache.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Grief rears its ugly head

Today I am really missing my precious boy . So much drama is happening around my life at the moment mostly good but some not so nice experiences but when I take a deep breath and really allow my self to feel I realise that this is all about my precious son . I guess a year on the days are brighter and the grief are less intense but today my feelings are very real. I am missing my little man oh so much and I really wonder would life be different if he were here . Its so hard to explain to people the intense grief you feel when you loose a child . When your hopes for your child are buried with them . It does ease but sometimes the grief does resurface and almost that just a tad more intense then the last. My heart is aching today. But when I get in these moods I think of my children and how fantastic they are and then I move on to think of their dad.

I Read somewhere that when you loose a parent you grieve your past , but when your child dies you loose/grieve your future. I have lost a child but thankfully have my parents around who have supported me but My husband has had the pain of experiencing both .Both his parents died very young and very very tragically. I wish I could take this pain away from him I wish that we as a married couple have not experienced so much in life .Sometimes I really do wonder how we as a couple have made it this far . His father passed a year before we got married and his mother passed very suddenly 3 mths after Giovanni was born. My dear Friend Sharene and her son past just after Nicholas was born and then we lost Michael. We have grieved individually and we have grieved together and everytime you grief rears its ugly head in feels like it is compounding. But am aware and grateful for every low we have experienced, we have had many many highs and I guess this is what got us through. But my heart goes out to him. He has suffered the most out of everyone I know. I really feel for him.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The blessing of a precious Godson

When our friends Sandra and Limbert came over in early Jan the last thing we expected was that they were to ask us to be their beautiful sons godparents. So you can imagine how surprised we were . We were so happy and so excited and couldn't wait till the day.

So Saturday was the day and we had such a wonderful day. I got to dress the special man in his wonderful suit and Vince got to hold Jason for most part of the day. He was a little restless during the ceremony being a big boy all he wanted to do was walk around ,So strong godfather Vince had a battle on his hands to keep him still for the blessing but he managed and as soon as Jason was set free he ran off and played happily.

Afterwards Sandra organised a wonderful dinner were we had a great time . It was such a lovely day all round. We were welcomed into the family by everyone and were initiated by the tradtional Bolivian dance. Not a good thing to look at considering both Vince and I have two left feet but enjoyable none the less.

Thank you Jason for allowing us this honour to be your godparents. I hope we can live up to this responsibility and want you to know that we are always here no matter what.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Happy Birthday Vince

Yesterday we celebrated Vince's 33rd birthday. He didn't get to relax entirely cause he still had to take Giovanni to soccer but then we went out for a special lunch a hurricanes where he feasted on a very LARGE Rack of ribs . So you can imagine how large it was if Vinnie struggled to eat it ..I didn't get a photo and really regret it now cause not only was he eating this massive plate of ribs but he also had to wear a bib ....It was so funny

Anyhow Hope he had a wonder birthday. I really want to take this opportunity to again thank my beautiful husband with the strength of a lion but a heart of gold from the bottom of my heart for being my husband, always supporting me and working so hard and putting me and the children first always. I know life has been hard my love but I really hope you find Joy in this beautiful family we have together . I m so grateful that we have you and that we are always your priority. I could not have made it through the last 12 mths without you...

So Happy Birthday my precious man from Me! and your three angels Giovanni, Nicholas and Michael. WE ALL LOVE YOU.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Its Ok to be Ok

Well a year on I am having more OK days than not . I think the thoughts of trying for another child has me looking forward to the future. That's what a child is . The future. Which is why loosing a baby is so hard. It loosing your hopes , your dreams , the plans you made for that child and the idea of what you thought your family would be . But I need to allow my self these OK days and not feel bad. God nows my family and I deserve it.

I do feel a female energy around me so not sure if this is child waiting to come through but I am so excited I almost want it yesterday.

Sometimes I do feel a little guilty that I am thinking of another baby. Michael will forever be my third child and no-one will ever replace that. There is not a day that goes by that I don't wish my son was here with me. But the thoughts of the future and perhaps another precious baby seem to soften the harsh reality that my baby boy will not be in my arms in this lifetime.

I guess its hope. Hope that all will be fine and despite this hole in my heart that I have now come to except will never heal....I do see some light.

The emotions of TTC are so intense . Very anxious yet very excited as I would expect the subsequent pregnancy to be. But I can do this . I can do this for me , for Michael and for my family.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009


The journey of trying to conceive is proving to be harder than I thought. I always thought that once I made up my mind it would just happen. But there is SO much that goes into it emotionally and whilst I have done allot of work to get to were I am now its not only about me . My poor husband has his own fears and own misgivings.

I know now that I do want another baby so badly but need to be patient with my husband too. He has been thru so much in his life and it is totally understandable that he too has fears . But men are such closed closets with so many emotions they keep bottled up inside . Its so hard to know what is going on in his head.

I hope in time that this too is just another experience and we can work thru it to come out on the other side with perhaps a precious little angel and if it doesn't happen I am bless for what I do have .

Saturday, March 7, 2009

In this time

I have put this on my peoms blogg but wanted to share here . This beautiful peace of writing gave me so much inspiration in my darkest hours and when I read this I knew that I would be fine. I would survive

In this time of loss I call upon my spirit within to guide me to my strength so that I may find peace and completion. I will use this strength to demand of myself and others my need to grieve completely, for this will be my first step to healing. During my time of grief I will seek guidance not only from my inner spirit but from loving persons who may offer wisdom and comfort. I need to understand that the soul as well as the physical body needs healing and to pay attention to this. I will learn to accept that the soul may never heal completely. I will learn to live not in fear and once again see beauty in my world and purpose in my existence. In spite of my new knowledge that things happen that cannot be controlled, I must call upon the places within me that tell me I do have control over much of my life and use this control to aid my healing. Let me recognize the gift in my ability to conceive and carry life however briefly. Let me take joy in my ability to love so deeply and desire to nurture a soul unbeknownst to me. Let me find healing in the belief that this soul knew my love for it and that that love helped it to pass to another place. Let me honor this short life not only with my love but in finding meaning in its existence. Let me recognize this meaning in not only my ability to survive, but in my fullest appreciation of all the moments motherhood will bring me, along with my deeper compassion and sisterhood to other women who've experienced loss. Let a part of this soul be reflected in the spirit of my future children, born or adopted, so that I may know it through them. I will listen to and trust the place in my deepest heart that tells me I will once again be reunited with this soul and will fulfill the need to hold it in my arms. I will help myself to feel comfort in the knowledge that there is a star in heaven that belongs to me.

Author unknown

Sunday, March 1, 2009

How do you forgive?

I have read so many self help books and spiritual books . All talk about Anger and resentment as being very toxic for our body and soul . They talk of forgiveness as something we need to do for ourselves . They define forgiveness as not about condoning the situation or the behaviour of the person that has wronged us but being strong enough to let the situation go so as not to carry these toxic emotions in our heart. Ordinarily I resonate with this thought and their hasn't been many situations or things that I have not been able to forgive . I truly believe that most people have good intentions but perhaps are caught up in their own lives or misguided. But How do you forgive the evil that chose to damage your babies grave.

It was a late Saturday afternoon. when my family and I decided to go to the cemetery to to see my son. We chose to bury him at this particular cemetery as my husbands parents are buried there and whilst it is a good 30-40minute drive we thought it would be a nice for Michael to be with his grandparents . Family often go there also to visit Vince's parents so we knew he would be visited and taken care of .

We try and get there fortnightly as I love his grave having fresh flowers .Although I know Michael is not there , I always found his grave site as a sacred place and somewhere tangible where I can go and just be . This particular November afternoon I was mortified when I arrived to find the head of an angel I had on his grave decapitated and the carnations which were placed there a week prior also with the heads of the flower snipped off neatly with only the stems remaining in the vase.

We looked around for any damage to other graves but Michael's was the only one damaged and Vince and I concluded that the attempt was very deliberate and targeted.

I was so devastated . I totally cannot out explain how mortified and gutted I felt . I cried hysterically as I cleaned the grave site and disposed of the broken angels and stems. I could not understand why someone would target my baby like this and his grave site and I could not fathom that such evil existed. This is an innocent child who never hurt anyone and someone felt the need to go to this level. It angered me that my baby was there and although I later realised that whoever did this was trying to rattle me an that they could never hurt my baby who is safe in the arms of god ...well it still hurt ..it hurt like hell ...and an act of hell it was ..It could only be pure evil .

This happened over 3 months ago now but I STILL am struggling to forgive . I'm hoping by writing this that it may be a release and the first step to letting it go fully . Sometimes I am forgiving but I find emotions are stirred up when I go to the cemetery as I am now frightened as too what I am going to find.
We are good people and will trust that good will prevail. What has happened has strengthened us even further. It is yet another chapter/challenge in my life. I know logically that no-one can hurt my baby who is precious and pure and in that I find comfort . I have also found comfort in knowing he is around me every day and its only his physical body that did not serve him at the cemetery .

The person that did this has a greater challenge and is clearly unwell and mentally unstable so from that aspect I sympathise and I know in time that I will come to forgive the person for my sake. It will just take time. A grieving father and mother should never have to face such further devastation but I am grateful that I now know the capabilities and the lengths of instability I am dealing with and from that point of view I will be able to protect my family.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Under the Tree

"So here's My response to our first gathering under the tree"

How long have you been blogging for? Why did you start? What do you want from writing?

I have only been blogging since January. I was fortunate enough to find " The names in the Sand' blog created by beautiful Carly and reading her story gave me the inspiration to begin documenting my journey. Michael's birthday was fast approaching and all these thoughts were circling around in my head. Blogging gave me an outlet .Somewhere to document my thoughts and express my feelings in relation to my precious baby. I also want to eventually create a blog to document the lives and Journey of my two precious living Angels. This is on my to-do List. What I want for my writing is just to be able to share my story and perhaps be able to help/support mothers that have been through a similar situation so as to help them to know they are not alone.

Where is safest place for you to share your feelings? Is there anywhere you feel completely accepted just being however you are really feeling?

One of the safest places I find that I can document my thoughts and feeling is on essential baby . There are a beautiful bunch of women who too have had to make the heartbreaking choice to interrupt their pregnancy. I feel I can share anything and even though we are from different place and walks of life , It has always been a safe non-judgments haven for me .

Can you recommend any books that you have read that have given you a new insight, hope or courage in this new life you find yourself in?

I haven't read any books on grief and the loss of a child but found all the Sids and Kids publications help . Currently I am reading a book by Eckart tolle called "A New Earth" and this has just helped me live more in the "now" and understand who I am.

How would you describe yourself before you lost your baby. How have you changed, who are you today?

I too was a young naive mother. Loosing my closest friends 4 yrs ago changed me significantly . I began a journey of self discovery and began to show and interest in energetic healing and feeling this need to help others. However I was still naive and somewhat selfish. I took my children for granted and didn't appreciate how absolutely precious they are until I lost Michael . I was also very self conscious and clouded with self doubts and even though my husband was always there for me I never truly believed he loved me 100%. But when Michael passed the gratitude I felt for my family is overwhelming. I appreciate everything my children do and even when they are being difficult, I love them more for it. I truly believe finally that my husband loves me unconditionally and have focus more on my own healing the last twelve months and becoming a better person. I also grew in terms of my own self love . I realised that if I could survive the last twelve months I can do anything . I have alot of respect for myself also.

How do you think you are coping? Do you see any light in this road or is it all dark right now? Where do you imagine yourself to be in a years time?

I have my days. I sadly assumed that the 12 month anniversary was going to be some milestone that I would wake up feeling better on the other side. But I still have my days and still miss Michael like crazy . I think I need to accept that this feeling is a new kind of normal and this is how life will be. I am constantly thinking of TTC but am fearful of this happening all over again. I hope in twelve months that I perhaps have made the decision to have another child and be holding a precious gift. The thought of another child always makes me smile and this is how I know its right. I just need to try :-).

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Michaels First Heavenly Birthday

Well if you asked me how I was yesterday I would have said that I didn't think I could get through today but surprisingly we had a lovely day . I wanted to think of today as more of a celebration to honour such a special boy . I think this got me through

We woke up and spent the morning together as a family . Giovanni stayed home from school today and Vince also did not go to work. We made our way to the cemetery at about 10am , together with my mum.

When we got there and work men were around fixing up the turf on some other children's graves .I was a little disappointed as I really hoped for some quiet time with my boys but we persevered and tidyed up his grave and the had a cake and candle for him which the boys enjoyed blowing out . We sang "Happy Birthday" to our precious baby . We then took some photos and spent some time with Michael. The angels answered my prays because in the meantime the workmen disappeared .

The boys were a little sad. Nikki said to me " Mummy I wish Michael was home with us and you could feed him and change his nappy and we could pick him up" and Giovanni said "Mummy I wish he was coming home with us" . The grief at time is so difficult to deal but watching your babies grieve their little brother can be so heartbreaking . I wish sometimes I could take that pain away from them . They know "loss" at such a young age . Sometimes it just breaks my heart.

Michael we love you so Much . Hope you had a wonderful celebration in heaven with your Nonnu and Nonna Panuccio and dear friends Sharene and Luke ....I know you are in a special place and taken care of.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Extract from "The Shamanic Healer' Sent to me by my dear friend Alicia.

While travelling through the Andes several years ago, my companions and i were caught in a blizzard. We were accompanying an Indian woman who was taking her 3 month old baby to a cliic in the valley below. We took refuge in an abandoned hut that protected us from the snow and hail, yet the wind howled mercilessly through the gaps in the stone wall. we huddled together whilst Maria held the baby close to her chest All during the night, the mother attempted to nurse the child, opening her blouse and bringing the baby's lips to her breast. By morning the storm had subsided, and the hills were covered with a blanket of white. As the dawn broke we all stepped outside to warm ourselves in the sun. When Maria unbundled her baby, we discovered that the girl had died sometime during the night. We returned to the village, where a medicine woman blessed the baby and performed her death rites. I then accompanied the young mother into the hills and attempted to console her as we dug a shallow grave in the frozen ground. Both of us were in tears, and we said a prayer to Mother Earth, to receive her child. When we were done, we covered the mound with a pile of stones and returned to the village. Two days later Maria was back working in her family's field. They were turning over the soil to prepare the ground for planting. I was still distraught and had spend the previosus days grieving the baby's death. When Maria saw how upset i was, she came over, hugged me, and said "Do not be sad. My baby is now back with her mother". Her comment cut right through my anguish. Though the family was visibly sad, they were filled with warmth and compassion. This was the purest form of selfless love. I found this really touching and amazing. Michael is now with his other mother, and being taken care of my love.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Michaels Story

My story begins in September 07 when to my utter surprise my monthly period was late . I thought 'oh its probably just late' and did not expect to be pregnant . But as the days went by and my period did not come around, my suspicions grew . So one night at about 9pm I took a pregnancy test that I had sitting in the cupboard for over six months. I went into the bathroom to do the test. I guess at that point, I did have an inner knowing that I was in fact pregnant. As suspected the test came back positive and I was in total shock. It was a happy shock but none the less a shock. I went out into the living room were my husband Vince and my sister Catherine sat together watching TV. I told them the news. Catherine was ecstatic and Vince had the same expression I did. Total surprise!

Not trusting the six month old pregnancy test,Vince decided to rush off to the chemist and purchase another one. He hurried back and I again completed the test. The result was the same. I was pregnant.

As time went on the shock subsided, and the excitement for our new child grew. Our other children Giovanni and Nicholas were so excited. For many months they talked and talked about mummy having a baby and finally I was pregnant. Immediately Giovanni said he wanted a sister and Nicholas said he wanted a brother. As my tummy grew they talked to bubs and constantly touched and kissed my tummy. I loved being able to share this experience with them.

The initial trimester was pretty much non eventful. My tummy grew nicely and all seemed to be well. As I approached 12 weeks I was given the option to do the 12 week nuchal translucency scan. I never did this particular test with my other boys but this time took the referral from my doctor. However as the date approached to do the scan, I decided not to have the scan done. Partly because Vince didn't want to do it as we were always of the belief that we would rather not know if there was something wrong with the child (pretty naive). Also we knew our other boys were healthy so there was not any reason to believe that this child would not be healthy. So I dismissed the referral and went on with my pregnancy.

By this time the morning sickness subsided and my energy was back. I used this time to continue my studies as a Kinesiologist and start preparing for the birth of my third child . Christmas came and went and I remember packing away our Christmas tree thinking next time I put it up we will have the baby with us. I remember sharing this with the boys. They were so excited.
As New years eve approached we decided to spend the evening with close family at Star City Casino to watch the fireworks. That evening I remember feeling really anxious. Anxious for the new year . Anxious for my unborn child. My thoughts that evening were with my dear friend Sharene who had passed away on New Years Eve, 3 yrs earlier due to child birth and for some reason I could not help but feel that something was very wrong with my baby. I shared these thoughts with my husband and mother but they both just dismissed me as being paranoid because of what happened with Sharene. I did however get myself into such a state of anxiety that I ended up having a panic attack and passed out just before the 9pm fireworks. This evening, I believe, was the first sign that the new year was not going to be so great.

On the 11th of January, my 33rd birthday, I had an appointment with my obstetrician. My husband never missed a visit but that day he could not make it. I went along thinking "I'll be fine". I was in the waiting room and whilst waiting saw a women being wheeled away in a wheel chair off to the hospital. The women looked like she had been crying and her husband in a state of fluster. I remember looking at my Doctor and he whispered to me "She has had a miscarriage".  At that moment my heart sank for this woman and I remember thinking "oh that poor women". I was filled with sympathy for her and also gratitude that my baby was Okay. Finally I walked into the surgery and my Doctor immediately got me onto the bed to check the babies heart beat. Initially he used a miniature ultrasound machine . One minute went by, then two. It felt like an eternity. He attempted to look for the heart beat. There was no heart beat. He mumbled some excuse that sometimes that particular machine does not pick it up and then went over to another machine that just detects the sounds. As he worked around over my tummy I started to become anxious. Still no heart beat. I questioned the doctor "what is wrong?" and he said "nothing dear everything will be fine". But even I could tell he wasn't so sure. After not getting a sound he went back over to the ultrasound machine and finally a heart beat was detected. Oh what a relief!  I could tell even the doctor was relieved and ensured me that all was well. He gave me my referral letter for my 18 -20week scan and I went off happy that all was well but very shaken that it took so long to find the heart beat.

The next week we were off on holidays for eight nights to Forster. We had a really great time and thankfully returned all relaxed not knowing the events we would experience in the weeks to come. We returned from holidays on Sunday, the 20th of January and my 19 week scan was scheduled for the Wednesday the 23rd of January. I was full of apprehension the morning of the scan. I had decided to take Giovanni and Nicholas with me so they could meet their brother or sister and had also decided that I would find out the sex of the baby. For some reason that morning, whether it was due to my hormones or intuition, I was behaving rather strange. I was trying to convince myself not to go for the scan, initially saying I had no money after our holiday and then picking a fight with my husband so I would not go. It was insane but looking back probably my intuition at work preparing me for what was to happen. Regardless of my episodes of insanity, I drove myself there and together with Vince and the boys we made our way into the room where the ultrasound would take place.

There were two sonographers in the room . One lady I was quite familiar with as she had completed the ultrasound for my other two pregnancies, and a pretty Asian girl who they introduced as a trainee. They began by explaining that the trainee would do the scan and the other lady would be there to supervise and should they start talking not to be concerned. So I relaxed and the scan began. Giovanni and Nicholas where so excited. They were asking the sonographer so many questions.

"Is that the head?", "are they the fingers?", "What is that?" and the questions went on and on.
Not much was being said and then the experienced sonographer took hold of the machine. She told me that she needed to take over as the baby was not co-operating and in an awkward position. As time went on not much was being said. The asian Lady left the room and after a few minutes so did the other sonographer. We did not think anything of it at that point. The Asian sonographer then returned, had another look and then left again. This time the experienced sonographer came back with a professor. When he walked into the room my heart sank and I remember looking over to Vince and he gave me the most concerned look.

He proceeded to tell me that they were not happy with the scans and that I would have to make my way to the fetal unit at Liverpool hospital for further tests. At that point they told me that the brain appeared dilated, they could only see one kidney which also was dilated and the umbilical cord only had two chambers rather than three. My heart sank as I broke down into tears. Vince, in complete shock, held my other sons tight as they looked completely confused as to what was going on. I got up and ran to the toilet, as the shock of the horrific news was to much to take and I cried uncontrollably. This was not supposed to be the way it happened. I was just supposed to find out the sex of the baby and be told all was well and go home to continue preparing. But from that point on my world changed, my life changed and my heart ached with this unexplainable pain. I cried and cried all the way home whilst we arranged for sitters for our two boys. I remember calling my mum and when she picked up the phone she immediately asked me 'Did you find out the sex of the baby?', not knowing what we actually did find out. I said to her "No Mum". We never even asked as it didn't seem important anymore. I proceeded to tell her that the baby was not healthy and that we were on our way to the hospital to find out more.
In the fetal unit at Liverpool hospital I sat there waiting. There were several women there waiting for the regular checkups. The wait felt like hours and I just remember staring at the beautiful pregnant bellies and feeling so sick inside. Vince and I sat there so numb. Neither of us knew what to say to the other but at the same time we knew that we were in this together. I felt so fortunate just to have him there with me.

After about a one hour wait the doctor finally called us in. He was a polite doctor, Almost funny looking with his thick black rimmed eyeglasses and red bow tie. He took me into a room for yet another ultrasound. This one was to be more detailed. He commenced the scan and I felt so much sadness. As I watched my precious child moving and playing around I began to see for myself that things were not right. He did not say much during the scan but was probing here and there to the point that I was feeling quite bruised and battered, both physically and emotionally. Once he completed the scan, he went on to tell us that that the baby had fluid and cysts in the brain . The baby's kidneys were in fact dilated and the baby was missing fingers and toes . He also confirmed that the umbilical cord did only have 2 chambers. He went on to say that any of those symptoms individually would be fine and could even either disappear or not cause long term problems, but the fact that they were all there together indicated a syndrome. By this stage I felt numb and did not respond. All I wanted to know was the sex of the baby. The doctor abruptly said to me that the sex was no longer important but he thought the baby was a male. In the scheme of things I guess it wasn't important but it mattered to me. I wanted to name my child. I felt I should at least be able to do that. There would be so much that I would miss out on.

He recommended that we now do an amniocentesis to confirm his findings and confirm exactly which syndrome my baby had. He said to me that it could be done right away, but the events of the day had taken their toll and I just wanted to go home to my boys. So we decided to do it the next morning.

I remember being home with my boys that night and being overwhelmed with love and gratitude for them. I reasoned that I would never ever take them and the fact that I am so fortunate to have them, for granted again. That day changed my life forever. Because of that day I am the person I am today. I have grown so much, learnt so much and cried so much, all in just one year.

On Thursday morning we woke and again drove back to Liverpool Hospital. I was a little afraid of doing the amniocentesis. I was warned that the needle was rather large and this frightened me, but I was mostly concerned about the welfare of my precious boy. By this stage Vince and I had decided that should the baby be confirmed to be a boy that we would call him Michael. I had this name in mind through out the entire pregnancy were I to have a boy, and I did not see any reason to change it. In fact the name is so appropriate for the angel he is, my little soldier.

We got there and the session was pretty emotional as I knew in my heart of hearts that this would in fact be the last time I would see my boy alive. They hooked me up to an ultrasound machine and I watched the needle penetrate and the levels of amniotic fluid reduce. I felt so numb. It almost seemed pointless at the time because the physical evidence made it very clear that Michael was not well. I did not want to put him through any suffering. However it had to be done and I knew in the long run I would need confirmation.

I was sent home with the confirmation that the baby was in fact a male and also the promise that I would have the 'FISH' results by Friday afternoon. I waited in anticipation for a phone call on Friday and at about 3pm after not hearing anything I decided to call the hospital. They told me due to the Australia Day long weekend I would not get my results until Tuesday. That long weekend would prove to be the most excruciating wait I'd ever have to endure.

Tuesday came and went and so did Wednesday. Still no results! By this stage my anxiety was at an all time high. The nights were endless and the days where absolute torture. Then on Thursday at about 1pm I received the call. Even though I knew that there was no hope, I guess I still had a glimmer. I answered the call and my doctor said to me "I am so sorry but your baby has full blown Trisomy 18- Edwards Syndrome " The shock and the reality of the news hit like a tonne of bricks falling on me one by one. I felt the intensity of what he was saying hit me straight in my heart. I hung up the phone and just whaled the loudest cry. One weeks worth of anxiety and the shock of the reality that my son was ill were released in the one loud cry. I called my husband and my parents and they all hurried over.
My parents were the first to arrive I remember looking at my mum and just falling into her arms into one small heap, almost wishing like I was a child again. Hoping she could take my pain away, like she used to when I was a child. But this was my journey. My journey with Michael and I knew that there was nothing anyone could do for Vince and I.

Vince then walked in and he just held me. No words needed to be said. We just cried together. We knew in our hearts what this meant for our son having done countless hours of research on Edwards syndrome. Vince decided to call the doctor back and get all the information that I did not wait to hear. He told us to come and get a referral letter to see a genetics counsellor. He also said they would explain to us how this happened and further discuss our options regarding the pregnancy. 

On Friday the 1st of February we went to see the genetics counsellor . This very gentle loving woman walked in together with a social worker. She proceeded to tell explain to us how a Trisomy 18 cell is formed. She also went on to explain that this condition was a one off unexplainable event that is very unlikely to happen again and not a hereditary condition. 

She also went on to explain that babies with full blown trisomy 18 (This is when every cell contains a trisomy 18 chromosome) are very unlikely to survive in the womb and if they do will only survive a few days after birth. On the rare occasion that our baby survived beyond that, the baby would have no brain function. He would never recognise us, never eat, never walk or talk and not have any quality of life. They described my boy as completely incompatible with life. We left with the option to interrupt the pregnancy or continue with the pregnancy and run the risk of him dying in the womb or to be born with no quality of life. It didn't feel like much of an option but regardless a decision had to be made. The hardest decision Vince and I would ever have to make and one which we did not make lightly. The most heartbreaking choice of all.

We so badly wanted to continue with the pregnancy and have our son with us but I knew that there would be no quality of life for him and through my spirituality knew that this soul was only meant to be with me for a little while. He came here on a short journey to learn what ever he needed too and mummy and daddy had to be strong. He needed his mummy and daddy to set him free.Through his short journey he also taught me so much. I just kept picturing him in a wheel chair watching his brothers run and play while he suffered. I could not do that to him. I also had my other boys to think of. They were already devastated as to what had happened. I could not put them through anymore. As parents our decision was completely selfless yet one we felt was the best for all our Children. Either way for me the road ahead was to be difficult.

The next day I used to gather my thoughts and absorb my final moments with my baby. I felt every kick and every little movement. He seemed to be moving alot more that day which was like adding salt to the wound but at the same time having those last moments with him are moments I will cherish forever.

The Sunday morning I woke quite apprehensive. I was to be in hospital by 9am. I remember showering that morning and speaking to Michael in my tummy. I remember letting him know that I loved him and he would forever be in my heart. This was now to be our journey and together we would get him to a better place. I felt honoured to be a part of that process . Michael was to become an angel and chose me to help him get there.

We got to the hospital at 9am promptly but they did not have a bed for me until about 10am. My Obstetrician came to visit me and gave me a run down on the process and what was about to happen. The paperwork took a while to process and we had to wait till about 2pm for the first pessary to be inserted. This was so frustrating because now that we were there and our decision was made we just wanted it to be over. Yet it seemed to drag out. Thankfully so many of our friends and family came to visit us in the meantime and at times in between the chatting, we almost forgot why we were there. Oh how nice it would have been to forget why we were there!

At 2pm the first pessary was inserted. When the doctor left I just cried and cried and cried, I knew that this was to be the first step towards my angels last living moments. I tried to fight the guilt as I knew I had no control but It was there. I was told they would give me 5 pessaries and should I not give birth by the 5th one I would have to go home wait for a day and then return for another 5. I couldn't think of anything worse. I just wanted this over with and thought I'd be done after two....boy was I wrong.

The first pessary really didn't do to much . I had to wait four hrs for the next one. The Midwives during this shift were so lovely. I could tell they really felt for me and although what was about to happen was going to be hard on me, I knew by the look in their eyes that it too was hard for them. I was so glad this particular midwife said she would be there till 10pm. I thought to myself "My baby will be born by then". By 6pm I started feeling a little bit of pain but nothing major and the 2nd pessary was inserted. This had to be the most violating process. I truly hated it. With every pessary came a different doctor and I just felt like a piece of meat. The 2nd pessary started to kick in and the pain started to intensify. The midwives were very helpful and began a dose of panadine forte but when they didn't do anything a shot of pethidine followed 2 hours later. This went on for the rest of the night. I was not going to be a martyr. The emotional pain I was experiencing was enough and we all agreed that their was no need for me to feel the physical pain. 

As the clock struck 10pm, with this came another pessary, another midwife and more pain. I was informed that I was only 2cm dilated which was quite discouraging. I think they had hoped I would have been further along. The midwife that came in was an older women perhaps mid 50's. Looking back she probably did not know how to handle the situation but at the time she was quite annoying. 
She was trying to make light of the situation by joking and being funny. But as the night progressed, her jokes became less funny and I became more and more irritated with her.

I managed to fall asleep with Vince beside me on a fold out bed, and again by 2am another one was inserted. I was checked again and they told me that I had not dilated any further. They warned me that the next one would be the last and I would have to go home if I never gave birth. There was no way I was going home. This was hard enough as it was I could not prolong it any further. I prayed and prayed that this one would work and with a heavy hearted plea I fell asleep. 

At 5am my water broke . I was so relieved but at the same time I went into complete shock and started panicking. My breathing became quite heavy as a pleaded with the midwife to just knock me out. I couldn't do this. Loosing my dear friend 3 yrs earlier to childbirth had absolutely terrified me of the process. I was afraid of child birth as it was and knowing that Michael was to be born asleep really gave me no motivation to continue. I begged and begged but needless to say the midwife didn't listen and Vince managed to calm me and I again fell asleep.

And then it happened! At about 6.45am I was woken by an urge to push. I screamed out to Vince who I woke and was in a delirious state of panic. I buzzed and buzzed the midwife but she was no where to be seen. Vince just stood in the door and was torn between going to find the midwife and staying with me. I pleaded with him to go find the midwife and as he was about to leave I could not hold it anymore. With one push Michael was born . I lay there in complete shock as the midwife finally decided to return to her post. She waddled in announcing that she was off having a cup of tea and didn't hear the buzzer. I was not impressed and as she investigated the situation I gave her the most horrid glare. I felt her tugging at the umbilical cord to try and remove the placenta and begged her to stop. The cord had snapped and as she fumbled with a pair of surgical scissors(not sure why) I felt her clip my leg . I did not feel safe in her arms and felt so afraid . I just wanted to hold Michael .

She finally placed Michael on my chest after Vince cut the cord. He was so beautiful. I could not believe how much he looked like his brother Nicholas. He was a true angel and had such a strong wise look about him. With tears rolling down my face I said to Vince "He is Perfect!" and to my surprise the midwife said to me "Well he is not his fingers and toes are missing" I was horrified and again with quite an awful glare said to her "Well he is perfect to me!" . 

By this stage the Placenta still had not dislodged. She placed me on a cold pan in a squatting position to try and get it out. I was so tired and so over it . All I wanted to do was just hold my baby. I prayed and prayed for the placenta to come out but it would not budge. Thank fully at about 8am the midwives changed shifts and a younger more competent midwife came in. After 1 hr squatting over a pan,  I begged her to remove it . She tried massaging my tummy but nothing worked. At that point my Obstetrician walked in. When I saw him I felt a huge sense of relief. I knew I 'd be OK.

With a great deal of sympathy he manually removed my placenta and told me that he is sure he removed it all but should I bleed heavily in the next couple of hrs I would need to go into surgery. That was the last thing I wanted . Thankfully at this stage the bleeding slowed.

Vince and I spent the next few hrs with Michael . We took photos of him , held him and tried to absorb him as much as we could. A priest came in to bless him and Vince went with the midwife to have him weighed and dress him in the outfit we had bought him. In those few hrs we formed a life time of memories.... but it will never enough .

By about 12pm a social worker came to see us. She had a little talk to us about what had happened and gave us a list to help us with the funeral arrangements. And then after a little while she left and took my baby. At that point the reality of the situation set in . All huddled up in his bunny rug and a beanie the hospital gave to me, I felt like he was slowly being ripped out of me ..taken from me. It was one of the most gut wrenching, heartbreaking moments. My baby was gone..he was no longer inside of me. No longer safe. There was nothing I could do but cry. 

The next day I requested that Michael be brought up to be with me one last time. He was cold but still looked so gorgeous . I was to go home that day and really wanted to hold him one last time. Vince and I held him and smothered him with love for one last hour before I had to return him back to the social worker. At this point my discharge papers had been processed and I was told I was right to leave.

The hospital had promised me a little book with the photos they had taken, his foot prints and hand prints and the details of his birth weight, time and gestation. I requested this upon leaving and to my disappointment it was not complete. The midwife asked that I give her 15 minutes and in the time she hurriedly completed the booklet and with this sent us on our way.

Walking out of the hospital was another one of those gut wrenching moments. I mean, I just gave birth. Should I not be going home with my baby. As I clutched onto the book, the only record other then these memories that he was born, that I did not dream this horrid nightmare, I walked out of the hospital in a state of shock. Tears streaming down my face . People where looking at me but I didn't care. I was leaving him behind. This just did not make sense and played havoc with my mind and my heart.

However, despite the tears and the heartbreak, through out this all I had one hope, one inspiration and one will to get through this. My two beautiful boys at home. I did not come home with their brother but their mummy was home. And I swore to my self that I would be OK for them. That mummy would be fine. I was so grateful that I had that. I was going home to them and could not wait to take them into my arms. 

The next day we spent with our children and organising the funeral for Michael.  I wanted him to have a beautiful service but also decided to keep it small and private. We managed to organise it all for the very next day. That evening to my surprise I started to bleed quite heavily and had quite a bit of pain. But I did suspect that perhaps the Doctor did not remove all the placenta but determined not to miss my sons funeral, I took 2 Naprogesic (which seemed to help) and just dealt with it.
The morning of the funeral the rain just pounded down. I didn't really bother me as it pretty much represented how I felt. Prior to the service, Vince and I had one last private viewing of Michael in his resting bed. I requested that only my father come and see him, thinking my mother would not be able to handle it. But to my surprise my mum was their too. This meant the world to me. More then she'll ever know as I knew that this was not easy for her. He looked so beautiful and peaceful. I placed a beautiful blue Blanket around him that I used for all my boys and put a photo of the four of us in there with him, a little teddy and some other gifts that were given to him by family members. With that the casket was closed and the service began.

Through the service the thunder was rumbling and the rain just seemed to get heavier. Regardless It was a beautiful service . Vince read a beautiful eulogy and my sister Catherine read two poems that I had written for Michael. With the sounds of Rob thomas' "Little Wonders", Vince carried his son to the car to be driven to his finally resting place. 

As we approached the buriel site the rain thankfully stopped and the sun started to shine through. The priest continued with the service and as Michael's body was returned to mother earth, Vince and I, together with all our family and friends released about 30 blue and white balloons representing his spirit returning home. This was such a significant moment. At that point I felt a sense of relief that he was home and that I had set him free to a place where he will know only happiness and good health.

That evening we found solace in the arms of our two precious boys. We also felt a sense of relief that the ordeal was over and that now we could get on with our lives and begin to heal. We knew from previous experience that this process would take time. But our gratitude for our two precious angels we got to keep would get us through.

The next day I was determined to reintroduce some normality into my children's lives. They were understandably rattled by the experience and whilst they seemed to comprehend that Michael had died, they at the same time seemed to have associated this with the fact that mummy was going to die too. So i dedicated the day to playing with them and helping them to feel secure as possible. But whilst playing PlayStation with my eldest son, I curled over in pain and began to bleed quite heavy. With this, Vince once again took me to hospital, leaving behind once again my precious angels with confused looks on their little faces. I could not believe this was happening.

Once I arrived and after waiting several hrs in emergency the doctors finally concluded that I would need surgery to remove placenta,  membrane and tissue which had been retained. After a 16hr wait , no food and in a room that I could not contact my children from, I was at my wits end. The events of the previous week, coupled with the fact that this ordeal just did not want to end had completely drained and sent me over the edge. Completely frustrated , I insisted that I go over to the private hospital where I could have the D&C done immediately. At that point someone heard my plea and within one hour I was over to the private were the operation was scheduled within the hour. As they wheeled me into theatre, I begged the doctor to take care of me and get me home to my babies. I just needed this over.

I remember waking after the surgery to see three beautiful African women cleaning the theatre room. I looked at one of the women called Edna and asked " Am I alright?" and she answered "You sure are!" with the most beautiful smile. I knew at that point that I was in fact alright and although the healing process emotionally would take time, I knew physically that I was OK. With a sigh I was relieved that this ordeal was over and eternally grateful that I was going home to my boys. Going home to really begin to heal.

The last 12months the journey has been some what of a roller coaster. I have had some ups and many downs. I cried myself to sleep a many nights only to be woken with the sound of my two precious boy laughing. There were many mornings that I just did not want to get out of bed and very thankful that Giovanni ,Nicholas and Vince gave me the strength to do it. And although in the dead of the night I sometimes thought that the sun will never shine through the clouds of grief, I have so much faith that it will.

I am so thankful for the family and friends who have unconditionally loved and supported us through one of the toughest times in our lives. Thank you to those who have taken the time to ask me how I was really going and for those who have genuinely cared about me and my family to support me the entire year and did not give up on us.  You were all crucial in our healing. You will always have special place in my heart. It is times like this that you learn who is there for you and who isn't, I am eternally grateful for this wisdom.
I am thankful that I had the means to see my counsellor Patricia and I thank her for all your emotional and spiritual guidance. I also thank SIDS and kids for their bereavement support during the early days and I am also grateful for the amazing women on Essential Baby were I found so much comfort through women who had experienced similar circumstance.

I am proud . Proud of what my family has had to endure and survived. We have survived because of our love and respect for each other. The love Vince and I share has grown because of this and I know nothing or no-one will ever come between us. God has united us and given us the strength to endure so much at a time in our lives which should have been only full of joy. But we are better people for it . I thank you Vince for always loving me and being by my side through it all. I could not have done this without you and I know I have become a better person because of you.

I look forward to a future of happiness and also understand that sorrow is a part of life but where there is sorrow, happiness is just on the other side. Life is but a journey, a journey with choices and because of this experience I have learnt so much. Whilst at times the pain was so intense and the grief so overwhelming, I would not change a thing. My baby has given me the most wonderful gift .The gift of life. The gift to live and appreciate what I have and be grateful for the beautiful family I have been blessed with.

My wish would be for no family to ever have to experience the loss of their Child and should they go through that as part of their journey, they have the means to survive the grief and despair and the wisdom and strength to know that with every roller coaster comes ups and downs and as the wheel of life promises. The good times will surely come.

I hope by sharing my story that someone will find comfort in knowing that they are not alone and also find some comfort that should they travel down the same road where a gut wrenching decision needs to be made that they can come to know what to expect.

And my final words are to Michael . My precious angel. Please know that mummy will forever carry you in her heart .As your First angel birthday fast approaches I want you know that you will always be my 3rd Child and no-one will ever take that away. You are my baby forever. I pray that you watch over us everyday of our lives and I know in my heart of hearts that we will meet again. So my beautiful child, no one can hurt you where you are. You are safe in the arms of the angels .So until you can be in my arms , a piece of my heart is with you. God bless my precious boy
Love Mummy.