Missing Liam

The Birth and Death of my Baby Boy Liam

It was Sunday 24th June and I remember lying in bed with my husband and it was 830am, my 3.5 year old daughter Alethea was staying with her grandparents for the weekend, and I looked at my hubby and I said ‘who would have kids…this is fantastic’ I of course was referring to the sleep in that we were having. I was also 39 weeks pregnant and due to be induced on Tuesday 26th at night. I have to admit, I was a little scared about having my second baby, Alethea had been such a bad sleeper, she was a 40min cat napper during the day, and of a night I was up with her, even at 3.5yrs sometimes twice or three times and the thought of going through it all again was a little daunting.

I had had 4 miscarriages in between Alethea and this baby, each one was heartbreaking and at different stages, so the baby was sooo wanted and loved. It had been a hard pregnancy, my hubby, a few of my work colleagues and a couple of friends had known how hard it was, but to everyone else I had acted as if it was perfect, I hadn’t wanted to complain as I was just so happy to be pregnant, and I knew of a lot of couples that couldn’t even fall pregnant, so complaining about it seemed heartless. Truth be told I had vomited nearly every day, I had the worst heart burn and the baby was very active, it moved day and night constantly, which yes is a beautiful part of pregnancy but can also be very tiring as sleep is hard to come by when this happens, on top of that I had insomnia which would leave me awake for nights on end.

However no matter what you read above I loved this baby and I was overjoyed to be pregnant, I loved the idea of giving Alethea a baby brother or sister, for her to have a sibling to bond with, be friends with, love and adore. I had wanted a closer age gap of the perfect “2 years” but due to the miscarriages that hadn’t happened. After the 4th miscarriage we got a referral from our obstetrician to see specialists in miscarriages and IVF etc., they had done a lot of tests on us and everything was normal except I had a ‘prothrombin gene mutation’ and they suggested to try falling pregnant again naturally and use Clexane (an injection that helps prevent your blood from clotting) and see if that helped make the pregnancy stay, if not, we could try embryonic selection. We were ‘lucky’ and the clexane worked a treat, and that very next month we were pregnant and this one was here to stay.

Anyway I digress…On Monday the 25th I went to bed and I said to my husband, ‘This time tomorrow night I will be being induced and by Wednesday we will have a baby, I can’t wait.’ Sleep came easy to me that night, I remember the last time I looked at the clock it was 1030pm, next thing I knew I was woken up, I looked at the clock and it was 11pm I felt like I was wetting myself. I laid there for about 30seconds thinking, ‘what if my water has broken, how will I get from bed to the bathroom?’ (I had envisaged a great gush of water like you see on the movies) so I ran as quickly as I could to the bathroom. Truth be told I thought I was passing urine, came out of the bathroom, but it kept on coming, so back in I went. I did the appropriate things and came out, my husband, eager as he was, was already getting dressed. I told him that I thought my waters had broken, called the hospital and told them my name, that I was due to be induced tomorrow and that my waters had broken, they asked me to relay how I knew they were broken and I told them, their response was ‘good girl, is the baby moving’ yes ‘come on into hospital, there is no need to rush, whenever you get here is fine.’ My hubby called my mother in law to stay with Alethea, she came and was very excited, and off we went to hospital.

In the car my contractions started. The first couple were not that bad then the next couple were quite intense (I had had Alethea naturally and had laboured at home until 8cm) so I was a little surprised at the intensity of the contractions. I had around 5 contractions by the time I got to hospital.

We arrived at midnight and were taken to delivery and a nurse met us and showed us to the room we would be in. She told us that the ward was extremely busy and that she had been called in on her day off to help out, I felt sorry for her. I was connected to the CTG machine and the baby’s heart rate was good, around the 150 mark and I was excited. Hubby and I again said to each other ‘ok what are you calling, boy or girl’ we both agreed on boy.

On my first contraction I wasn’t really focussing on the midwife, I looked at the CTG and saw the peak of the contraction and waited for it to start going down, it was around 1220am, after the contraction had passed I saw a perplexed look on the midwifes face, she shook my belly around and then said ‘ah that is better.’ She waited with us and another contraction came I watched as the numbers went up, but then I realised that as my numbers were going up, baby’s heart rate was dropping, and I watched it drop from 150 down to 80 and as the contraction subsided the baby’s heart rate regained. Again the midwife looked perplexed. I knew that foetal heart rates drop during contractions but I was not sure how low they should go, so I asked her ‘Is that normal’ she skirted around the issue saying that the machines were very sensitive and old and it depended on where baby was situated etc. to what it picked up. Another contraction came and same thing, again the midwife moved my belly and the probes on my tummy to try and get the baby’s heart rate to come back up. Then the midwife disappeared.

Next thing I know the midwife was back in the room saying that she had called my OB and he was on his way in, another contraction, same routine. Then she disappeared. I looked at hubby and said ‘well, I am only 2cm, we are definitely having a Caesar as no OB will wait for me to be fully dilated, that could take all night, and he is not going to  go home and then come back in a couple of hours, he will just want the baby out.’ I had not grasped the enormity of the situation.

1am my OB arrives, and I say ‘what is it about my babies that always gets you out of bed!’ He looks at the CTG, examines me (I was still 2cm) and says that if we want we can continue on with the labour, sometimes these things happen and see how we go or we could consider a Caesar. He walks out of the room and we discuss and both agree a Caesar. He comes back in (115am) and says ‘I know that you wanted to go naturally but I think we might do a Caesar.’ My response was ‘You know me, whatever is safest for the baby that is what we will do, let’s do the Caesar.’ He tells me that he thinks that the cord is beside the baby’s head and that each time I have a contraction it is squashing the cord and reducing blood flow and oxygen to the baby.  My OB queries the midwife about an anaesthetist, she tells him that it is ok, that he is already on site putting in an epidural to some other lady and my OB says good.

A cannula is put in my right arm, blood is taken from me and I am given IV antibiotics. I look across the room and realise that Ryan is about to faint (he is not good with needles) and he is told to put his head between his knees and another nurse attends him. I am told the anaesthetist is going to put an epidural in me, I was concerned about Ryan and ask that he be moved away because he would pass out. The epidural is put in but no drugs were given at this stage, I look up and realise that my OB is holding my hand as Ryan was unable to.

I was unhooked from the CTG machine (205am) and waited a while, then wheeled to delivery. We wait in the recovery room to enter the OT. Ryan disappears to put scrubs on and I am wheeled into the OT, people greet me and introduce themselves to me, I really don’t take it in. I wait in the OT for what seems like a LONG time, and I get cross at Ryan because I think that we are waiting for him. I make small chat like, ‘My camera is still in my bag’ (which wasn’t in the room) I say to my OB ‘We are going to wait for Ryan aren’t we, you won’t start without him?’ still not realising the seriousness of the situation. Unbeknownst to me, Ryan was waiting outside, they wouldn’t let him in and he thought they were doing the OP as he had been there for such a long time. Ryan comes in and says to me ‘what have we got’ I looked at him perplexed and asked what he meant and he said ‘boy or girl’ and I told him they hadn’t done the surgery yet.

The surgery starts and then everything goes soo fast. No-one talks, I am aware that Ryan was standing and I realise that he is watching the baby come out, he looks at me and says ‘it’s a boy’ I focussed on Ryan who was on my left, I had tears coming down my cheeks, I was sooo happy, I kissed him and said ‘I can’t believe we have a boy’ happiness filled me. It was very different to when I had Alethea, I had laboured for 24hrs and although I was happy, I was exhausted, this time I was ‘over the moon with joy’ I hadn’t heard the baby cry, but I wasn’t too concerned about that as Alethea did not cry when she came out. I looked over to my right and there were a couple of people around him, I don’t recall who, still nothing, a couple of minutes pass and a have tears rolling down my face, still no one has said anything to us. I ask my husband the time and he tells me, we wait, I could see his little foot and it wasn’t moving. Someone asks us what we will call him to distract us, I look at Ryan and we both know, we had had 3 boys names picked out and without discussing it we both say Liam. I look back, silence. I looked at Ryan and shook my head, I wanted him to realise that our baby was in SERIOUS trouble. I started hyperventilating and crying, I couldn’t control myself. More people enter the room, I still can’t see. Someone was telling me to breathe normally or I would pass out, I didn’t want to miss a second so I try to calm down. Another wave of emotion comes over me; I hyperventilate again and sob uncontrollably. The OB comes over to reassure us. He tells us that Liam is ok, he is breathing on his own but his heart rate is lower than what we would like it to be, that they are working on him but everything was ok. I calm down a little; this seems to be good news. The anaesthetist then comes, not knowing that the OB has just spoken to us and says that it doesn’t look good, I want him away from me, I hate him, how dare he say that to us. The NETs team arrive (Neonatal Emergency Transfer Service) I realise that Liam is not going to make it. I looked at Ryan and said ‘what am I going to tell Alethea?’ I had built this baby up to her for 9 months, she was so excited, how was I going to tell her that the baby had died.  The OB comes again and says they have been in contact with a neonatologist at another hospital and he recommends giving Liam fluid, that is what he needs,  but they have tried to get a UVC (that’s a cannula that goes into the umbilical cord) in and can’t and I think to myself ‘who can’t get a UVC in, anyone can do that’ (I had previously been a neonatal intensive care pharmacist, so could tell you everything about care after birth and could tell you everything about prenatal care but new nothing in terms of what should happen during delivery as a pharmacist is not required there) They finally cannulate Liam in his left arm and get the fluid into him. I was aware that I didn’t know what time Liam was born, so I asked a nurse and she went to find out, came back and told us 244am. The OB comes over again and tells me that everything will be ok, they are thinking of transferring him to another hospital, that once he is stable he will be ok, but it will be touch and go for a little while. I look at my hubby and tell him that he needs to go with Liam, I give him instructions on how to touch Liam, (you see these babies don’t like being stroked, as much as we adults love to stroke them, it actually irritates them, they like to be held, so I tell him to hold Liam’s hand and tell him how much we love him) I ask that he calls my parents, as with Liam and him gone I don’t want to be alone. I watch him call from a phone in the theatre. I am also aware that they have come back to work on me and that they are now closing me up, I had been left open for 2 hours

Our world changes, false hope, that’s what they had done for 2 and a quarter hours. The OB comes to me and says that they could transfer him and could try to cool him down and see if that helps but….his pupils were fixed and dilated, although he had been breathing by himself, they had now intubated him and were bagging him, they still couldn’t get his heart rate up, it was sitting at around 60, even after multiple adrenalin doses, and his oxygen saturation was next to nothing and his pH was 6.2, all his organs were shutting down, he then tells me they had been manually compressing him for all that time, he was unlikely to make the transfer, and if he did he would have extensive brain damage. (I had seen this before when working, and I remember the neonatologists telling me that if this happened, parents needed to be braver, rise above, kiss their baby and cuddle it goodbye, that when this happens the baby is unlikely to ever leave hospital, they will never open their eyes and usually they aspirate and die within a year) The OB looks at me and says ‘we could transfer him, or you can decide’ my rationality goes, what does he mean we can decide, SAVE MY BABY, I look at my husband, he has tears rolling down his cheeks and we sob uncontrollably, I look back and for the first time see my baby on the table, everyone has moved away from him, there is nothing more that they can do for him, other than the paediatrician bagging him, there is no one there, no one was performing compressions keeping his heart going, they had given up. I felt like everyone was staring at us with eyes that were both comforting, but they were also thankful they were not us. Ryan and I look at each other and nod. We know what is best for Liam, but it is too hard to say. We sob again. My voice was hardly audible as I say ‘we will cuddle him goodbye.’ No one moves, so I ask, can I see him. Of course I can, they try to clumsily move his table to me, he is still connected to the machines. My beautiful boy, ‘Ryan, can you take a photo of him.’ I stroke his little arm and tummy, he is soo soft. ‘Can I hold him?’ Again they look perplexed and rush around clumsily. He is put into my arms and I sob. The paediatrician is still bagging him. The OB looks at the paed and says he can stop. They fiddle around with Liam while he is on my chest, taking tubes out etc. I hear him breathe, it was a gurgle of a breath, I wait, and then another breath, I kiss him and tell him how much I love him and sob. My husband is stroking Liam’s head crying, talking to him too. I look at the OB, ‘can Ryan have a hold.’ My beautiful boy is in his daddy’s arms. I look at Ryan and see a broken dad, I know his thoughts, my arms were meant to keep you safe and I can do nothing for you. He tells Liam how much he is loved and wanted. Next minute I have Liam again I kiss him, tell him what my hopes and dreams were for him, I tell him that it is ok to go and that I love him.

All of a sudden I am aware of all the intruders around us, they are listening to our most intimate moments, they look at me and tell me that they are going to transfer me to a more comfortable place, all I need to do is hold Liam, they will lift me onto another bed and do all the work. I am confused, I know that Liam is about to pass, why are they bothering me, but I agree because I feel I have to, they transfer me and Liam breaths again, one last raspy but peaceful breath, and I knew that was it, I looked at my husband and said ‘that is it, he is gone’ he looks at me and strokes my head and we cuddle, they wheel the bed into recovery and I know that Liam is dead. We were given 20mins with our beautiful boy, that is all. The Dr listens to his heart and tells me that he is gone; I am holding a perfectly  beautiful, yet dead baby boy.

I become aware that my parents must be here. They still think they are here to support me while Liam is transferred. I ask Ryan to check for them. He returns about a minute later with them, they are both in tears. My mum hugs me, my dad can’t even look at me, he can’t bear to see the pain I have. Mum asks to hold Liam and I say yes, she tries to show dad, but he is too distressed, he doesn’t want to look, she coerces him, telling him that he is beautiful and he does and I can see the pain in his eyes and then he moves away, he comes and gives me a kiss and a cuddle, he can’t speak.

 

Liam

This is my boy, this is my favourite photo of him, and is exactly as I remember him x

92 Comments

  1. Kathryn Mitchell

    Amanda…. my heart aches for you. I sit here in tears, not knowing what to say to make things better, because nothing will. You, Ryan and Aletha have been in my thoughts and prayers. Do whatever you need to get this huge heartache from your chest and just know that many people care for you. Loads of love, Kathryn

    • Hi Kathryn,
      You are right, nothing makes it better, writing my story helps ease the burden a little bit. Thanks for keeping us in your thoughts and prayers
      Amanda

  2. Sasha Biasi

    Amanda thank you for sharing such painfull experience in order to raise awareness! You and Ryan are the most amazing and caring parents and Liam knows and feels that. Alethea is a prove of that. Much love to you all xxx

  3. Roslyn

    oh, Amanda. All I can do is cry with you 😥 Thank you for sharing this moving story. We all love you and your family dearly.

    • Hi Roslyn,
      Yes I too cry when I re-read our journey, something that I never thought would happen to us, this sort of thing only happens to ‘other’ people! thanks for your love
      Amanda x

  4. Becky McDonald

    Amanda, I just wanted to let you know that you’re always in our thoughts & prayers. Lots of Love to you, Ryan and Alethea. Thank you for sharing the story of your beautiful little Liam with us. Love Becky, Deece & Lenny xo

    • Hey Becky,
      Thanks for your thoughts love and prayers…they all help us know how much people feel for us and are grieving with us.
      Love to you and the family
      Amanda x

  5. Sending you love.

  6. Melissa simper

    Amanda, i myself have had to go through the heartache of losing a child, i hope you are able to find out answers as to why it happened, I have lost 2 children born early, all mine have been born early and the most frustrating part they dont know why i have 1 of my problems or how to fix it, My thoughts are with you and your family at this time, I dont think there is anything worse in the world then losing a child 😦

    • Oh Melissa, it breaks my heart knowing that you have gone through this experience twice and have no idea why it happened, the grief that parents go through when loosing a baby is unlike any other grief I have ever known.
      We do have an understanding of what happened to our little boy, which yes is comforting in a way but also horrible at the same time.
      Sending you strength and peace x

  7. My Mum told me a little bit about your Liam, and said you had started a blog! Thank you for sharing! There must be an unimaginable pain you and your family are going through and I hope by sharing your story it can help in some way for you to heal! I dont think anything anyone says will make it better, but by sharing this, u will help so many…But i really do hope it will mostly help you and your family! You are brave! and I am sure you feel you are crumbling…but u are allowed to! My thoughts are with you and your family! Take Care x

    • Hi Jayde,
      Thanks for your thoughts, and you are right, by sharing I am feeling a little ‘lighter’ Most of me doesn’t want to remember or think about what happened, what we are going through or what we went through, but at the same time it’s all that I have of Liam and I can’t bear the thought of forgetting anything.

  8. Roberta

    Hi Amanda, Ryan & Alethea
    Thankyou for sharing this with us. Liam looked beautiful in the photo’s you shared. It was very touching seeing him been held by Ryan while he was being bathed. He was so lucky to have received so much love from you both in the short time he was with you. I know you will continue to love Liam always….that will never die. He is now your little Angel in Heaven and will be looking over you always.

    • Hi Roberta,
      Thanks for your beautiful words, Liam was even more beautiful in real life than he was in the photos, yes we will love Liam till the day we die
      Love to you
      Amanda x

  9. Lee Mallon

    You are so brave to share your story. I can’t begin to understand what you have had to go through. My heart goes out to the three of you. Be strong. Be proud. He is a beautiful boy.We do not know you but you are in our prayers.

    • Thanks for your lovely words Lee, we are very proud of Liam, and Alethea, thanks for keeping us in your prayers
      Amanda x

  10. Debbie Colacicco

    Hi Amanda, I am Roberta’s niece. I had heard about it that day as Roberta was very sad & upset about little Liam. I cannot even begin to understand what you are all going through. There must be lots of questions & you might not get all the answers but know 1 thing which is for sure, little Liam was a very special little boy, God needed him in heaven & couldn’t do without him. They say everything happens for a reason & it’s times like this that makes me wonder. I am still crying as I write this. You are a very brave woman telling you his story & he is definitely looking down with a big smile & very proud of you. You are all in my thoughts & prayers, even though I know there is an angel up in heaven looking down on you all, take care, Debbie x

    • Hi Debbie,
      Your poor Aunt had me sobbing on the phone to her the other day!!
      Our Angel does look down on us, and I really do hope as you said, that he is proud of us, because we are so proud of him, he fought as hard as he could and that’s all a mummy and daddy can ask for

  11. Debbie Colacicco

    Dear Amanda,
    You have all the right in the world to cry & scream as much as you need to. We are very grateful having Roberta in our lives as she has been our rock during a very difficult time in our lives (loosing her sister my mother-in-law to cancer) she is an amazing person & probably one of the best people to have by your side through tough times. I am sure she did not mind you sobbing to her on the phone & would not mind if you felt like you needed to do it more often. We all need support in our lives & it’s great to know you feel comfortable enough to express that with her, take care, Debbie x

  12. Carolyn Rolfe

    Dear Amanda,

    I am Sammy’s mum from Alethea’s kindy. My heart is aching for you. Sammy was so grieved when she found out about baby Liam, she is still so upset and could hardly read your blog. When I had my first child, Kellie, it was such a similar story to yours, although Kellie survived in the end. Her heart rate was so low they had to do an emergency caesar on me. I was so afraid. At that time, 26 years ago, husbands weren’t allowed into theatre, so the anaesthestist held my hand and comforted me. My husband found out 2 hours later that I and the baby had survived – it was horrifying for him not knowing. I later found out the nurses thought my baby would have died at birth or have brain damage. You, Ryan and Alethea are constantly in mine and Sammy’s prayers, that God will comfort and heal you in time and that you will find inner peace. You have been through so much, our love to you lovely lady x.

    • Hi Carolyn,
      Sammy is such a beautiful person, I am sure you are so proud of her everyday! I don’t know how I would have managed without Ryan in the theatre with me, he is my rock, and he alone got me through those horrible 3 hours in there, and I think that if he had of been outside he would have been a mess himself! Thanks for your thoughts and prayers, I know that with time we will find peace and our happy place again
      Amanda

  13. Lisa Archibald

    Dear Amanda, I hope that you don’t think that its too intrusive of me to be writing to you but when I saw your happy family photo in the Manly Daily yesterday I wondered why you were in the paper and then when I read your story I just couldn’t believe it. The last time I saw you was at work, pregnant and obviously like you thought that the next time I saw you there would be a happy ending to your pregnancy. When I read your story yesterday I was so shocked and wanted to let you know that I havn’t stopped thinking about you and Ryan and Alethea and baby Liam. I have just logged on to your blog, in fact it is the first time that I have ever read someone’s blog and I just cannot believe how honest and raw your story is and the photos of baby Liam are just so beautiful and I want to let you know how very sorry I am for all the sadness that you are all going through. You are so brave to be sharing your thoughts so eloquently and I am sure that you are helping so many other people with your beautifully honest but tragically sad story. Thinking of you, Lisa Archibald (Transit, Mona Vale).

    • Lisa, of course I don’t think it is intrusive, my life at the moment is on public display! I started writing my blog last Wednesday and by Friday the Manly daily emailed me asking if they could interview me. One of my friends must have contacted the paper and let them know about my blog, and not really thinking about it too much Ryan and I agreed to meet them. I agree it is a tragic story at the moment, but I am slowly finding my happy place and I hope that by continuing my blog another unfortunate family will eventually realise that yes happiness is achievable. Thanks for your thoughts, Amanda xx

  14. Lisa

    Hi Amanda, its Lisa from ARU M/V, I have cried continuously whilst reading your blog, My heart completely aches for yours loss, I cant tell you how sorry I am. My younger sister went through a similar situation where she too lost her beautiful baby boy 2 years ago. I still vividly remember walking into the delivery suite to see my sister and seeing the broken grief strictened woman that was before me. it is so completely unfair. I understand that nothing anyone says is ever going to make this right or ease the pain you all feel, however, I hope in some way you take comfort in the fact that so many people are thinking of you and your family at this very difficult time. My thoughts and prayers are with you Ryan and Alethea.
    I think you are so strong and courageous for sharing your heartbreaking and intimate story. thank you. My love, Lisa x

    • Hey Lisa,
      Your poor sister, I know how she felt and broken is exactly the word for it. I just can’t comprehend it and I don’t think I ever really will. Thanks for saying I’m courageous, but truth be told it helps me immensely when I write everything down, then after I post it I feel even better, like I’ve lifted a weight off my shoulders!
      Amanda x

  15. sallie

    There’s nothing I could say to comfort you, so I’ll just say how beautiful your liam is. When I had my son he wasn’t breathing as he’d been in the birth canal for too long. It felt like a life time until I heard him cry, and in those few seconds I felt my heart break and I feared the worst, the releif when I heard him cry. I can’t imagine how it must feel for that moment of releif to never come, you’re such an inspirational woman to share your story. I hope you and Ryan and your daughter are coping as best you can. Love and hugs xxx

    • Sallie,
      It is horrible when your baby doesn’t cry, and you keep waiting and waiting. I am glad that your little boy was fine. I agree, Liam was beautiful!
      Amanda x

  16. Sarah

    Hi Amanda and Ryan, I found your blog through Heartfelt and I just wanted to let you know how sorry I am about beautiful baby Liam. Like most of the other commenters, I am absolutely bawling reading your blog. You are a beautiful writer and have articulated such a tragic experience with such grace and honesty. It’s just heartbreaking and so completely unfair. By putting this out there you are helping so many other families (and loved ones of families) who are going through this horrible experience, so your gorgeous boy is doing amazing things from up above 🙂 Sending massive amounts of love and hugs in your direction xoxo Sarah

    • Hi Sarah,
      Thanks for the love and hugs, and lovely comments, all I need to do is close my eyes and think about our first few days and all that raw emotion comes back as if it was yesterday and I just sit and write it all down, and once I have I feel so much better for it, I’m not sure why but I do!
      I agree, nothing about this is fair, but I hope in some way that we have helped or eventually will help some other family.
      Amanda X

  17. Hi Amanda, You don’t know me but trough Heartfelt I found your story….. I cant say anything, I’m crying and my heart is sad, but I need to tell you that your little boy Liam is beautiful and will look after you from heaven , you are a very brave, strong and beautiful woman who is sharing her story. I thank you for that and I will pray every day for your happiness and never give up in your dreams, I know it will be a hard road but you can do it with all the love and care from your love ones. Now you have a beautiful little angel …. Lots of love and hugs , Patty ( another mum)

    • Hi Patty,
      Thanks for your prayers, I am sure happiness will return, I know that it will, we will always love Liam, but he wouldn’t want us to be sad all the time, so while we have to work at being happy for the moment, I’m sure it will come naturally soon.
      Amanda x

  18. Melanie Farrugia

    Wow, you are a truly amazing lady, wife and mother. I am sitting here crying whilst reading your blog. It has touched my heart like nothing ever has. I have 5 children, the last being my 10 month old long awaited daughter (the 4 others are boys), and 9 days before her birth last year, we lost my beautiful nephew. He was born sleeping at 24 weeks. It breaks my heart knowing that these things “just happen”, they shouldn’t. Thank you so much for letting us share in your grief, your journey, your family.

    I cannot even begin to understand how you feel. To go through what you must do every single day is unbelievable. I know that your angel Liam is watching you from the heavens above and sits on your shoulders everyday watching over you and your loved ones.
    I am not a religious person at all, but i truly believe angel babies are somewhere special. They were too special for this place and were meant to be your guardian angels watching over you keeping you safe.

    Those days when you feel your ear twitching, thats Liam whispering in your ear. And when you feel that little itch on your nose, thats him giving you their own little angel fairy kisses.
    Gos bless you. You and your loving family are all in my thoughts.
    ♥ Melanie ♥
    x x x x x x

    • Melanie,
      What beautiful comforting words you have given me, thankyou! You are one very lucky lady to have 5 children, cuddle and adore them and give them as many kisses as you can, just because you can!!
      Amanda x

  19. So beautifully and honestly written Amanda. Very touching. Remembering the exact way I held my little girl as she drew her last breath. I’m with you… ❤

  20. Michelle

    I couldn’t help but cry thru out reading this you are both such brave people you are in my thoughts and prayers and I just want to tell you how wonderful you and your family are for sharing such an intimate moment with us to help others understand, Liam is just gorgeous and what a wonderful way to honor his memory xoxo

    • Michelle,
      Thanks for your kind words, it’s nice to know that so many people are thinking of us! I agree Liam is gorgeous but I am his mum and I am probably biased!
      Amanda x

  21. Melanie

    I am so terribly sorry. Your story is incredibly hard for me to read. My son is 3 weeks old. He was born 8 weeks early and we almost lost him. His name is Liam. This makes me feel even more blessed to have him. I hope that in time you and your family find peace knowing that your son is watching over you all. Rest in peace little Liam xx

    • Hi Melanie,
      I am very happy that your little Liam is here, and I understand the fear that you would have had when he was first born being so tiny, it’s a fear that I wish no one would have to experience. Cherish everyday that you have with your beautiful baby because he is a gift!
      Amanda x

  22. Natalie Racc

    Hi
    My story is so much the same as this, almost word for word. You are so strong to share your story. My beautiful daughter, Emily, died in my arms at 6 hours of age. My heart goes out to you all. RIP beautfiul little man. xxxxx

    • Hi Natalie,
      I am so sorry for the loss of Emily, no parent should have to go through what you have gone through, it’s horrible how many people have been through this, yet before we lost Liam I hadn’t heard much about it….seems like such a taboo subject. Love to you and your family
      Amanda x

  23. What a beautiful little man ….

  24. You are my little sister. 23 years ago today, my angel Andrew was born, and commenced his dying journey which took 55 days. You are strong though you went through hell. Writing this will be therapeutic. I finally moved on when I wrote my book and started speaking and writing. It is ok to cry

    • I am sorry that you too have had to leave your baby in hospital, Andrew is such a strong and lovely name (same as my brothers).You are right, writing is very therapeutic and has helped me deal with all the emotions that I have been feeling. Love to you
      Amanda x

  25. Terri

    Your story has touched me so deep I myself don’t have children so I don’t understand completely but you have me in tears and I pray from the bottom of my heart you get your baby I can’t fathom the pain you and and Ryan are going through my thoughts are with you x x

    • Thanks Terri for your lovely words and thoughts
      Amanda x

  26. Deeanne

    I have just come across your blog, I am so sorry for your loss, I have tears streaming down my face. It is very well written. Thinking of you all

    • Thanks for your thoughts and sympathy, it has been a hard thing to write, but I am glad that we have because it really has helped us process what has happened and has been really good therapy for us
      Amanda xx

  27. Brooke

    I also have a Liam born at 26 weeks we are so very lucky to have him here with us today sometimes i think to myself how unlucky was i my little boy has difficulties in learning and cant breathe on he’s own very long without oxygen, and then i read a story like this and i just want to slap myself for being so ungrateful. i cant explain to you what I’m feeling right now with tears streaming down my face and my heart wrenching for you and your family what a beautiful baby Liam is, he is perfect in every way possible just an absolute beauty. You are such an inspiration thank you for sharing your beautiful inspiring story. Liam means protector, and i bet he is up there now watching over you and your beautiful family and protecting you all. Liam must be so proud to have a mumma like you. This will be forever in my heart ill never forget Liam ❤

    • Thankyou Brooke for your beautiful words, thanks for saying that you will remember our Liam, it really does mean lots to us.
      I think you are too harsh on yourself, yes your are extremely lucky to have your Liam with you, but when he was born and what he has to face day to day was never what you thought it would be when you were pregnant and you have the right to feel upset about it at times! You are a courageous mum who faces battles everyday that most other people wouldn’t even think about, and that requires strength way beyond what a ‘normal’ person could handle. Sending love to you and your family
      Amanda x

  28. Deanne Smyth

    Dearest Amanda, I find it difficult to find words of comfort for you and your family. Your Liam was perfect, almost like he’d even been here before. I would just like to wish you love, and know that God will take care of Liam. He will be holding his hand as he walks beside him for eternity, and maybe take comfort in knowing, when the time comes many years from now, he will be waiting for you to welcome you too with open loving arms. His beautiful family ❤

    • Beautiful words Deanne, I agree, Liam was perfect, I look at his pictures and can’t believe he is not here, he looks like he is sleeping and just needs to wake up. Can’t wait to see him again one day…but not yet our little family has lots of love and life left in us, so until our time comes I hope he is being very well looked after!
      Amanda x

  29. Melody Brooke (Endacott) Stojcevski

    My heart and love goes to you both and your daughter he is just perfict so beautiful a lovely Angel. My hearts aches with you xx

    • Thanks Melody, Love and strength to you and your family as well
      Amanda x

  30. Kim

    Amanda, your blog was shared on the Facebook page of “The Skeptical Mother” and I’m sitting here in tears wishing your story had had a happy ending. It’s like I kept waiting for it as I’m sure you did, too. The photo of your Liam is so peaceful looking, like he knew how loved he was and that you and your husband made everything ok for him. Your family must be stronger than ever as this pain heals. I hope Alethea handled things well, I bet it was hard for her to grasp at her age. So many prayers and thoughts to you and your family as the healing process continues. ❤ xx

    • Hi Kim, Thanks for your message. I had never heard of the skeptical mother before, however I have checked her FB page out, she was very courageous to share our blog, especially as the post before had so many negative comments from people saying that our babies should be shared in a more private setting. (I think that has now been deleted) Liam as you say was very peaceful, all the time I kept saying to my husband that he looks like he is just sleeping and I kept waiting for him to miraculously wake up. Alethea is a very special little girl, she is one of a kind, and I think that she is handling this in the best way that she can.
      Thanks for your prayers and thoughts
      Amanda x

  31. Mary

    Oh how my heart aches for you. Tears streaming down my face. I wish you and your family love and healing. Mary

    • Thanks Mary, love to you, Amanda x

  32. Lauren

    Thinking of you and your family during this hard time. Lots of love! Lauren

    • Thanks Lauren, sending love back to you as well!
      Amanda x

  33. Aubrey

    Amanda, reading this made me cry and send up a prayer for you and your family. I hope that sharing this story has helped you heal, helped you share this burden that is too heavy to carry alone. I want you to know that by telling us about Liam, he now lives in a corner of many hearts. He matters. Much love and grace.

    • Aubrey, you are right, sharing our story has been very helpful in our healing process.
      Thanks for the prayers.
      Love to you, Amanda x

  34. Im crying so hard.. im so sorry i dont even understand what happened! he is beautiful.. may he find peace and live on in your heart forever

    • Thanks Jessie, I didn’t know what happened either, everyone kept telling my husband and I that it was just terrible luck, however after a little research we realised that things didn’t go the way they should have that night, many systems failed us, and we are trying to rectify this problem so that no other family has to go through what we went through that night/this last 7 months.
      Amanda x

  35. He’s beautiful, mama. Thank you for sharing your Liam with us.

    • Thanks Genevieve, yes he was a beautiful chubby baby boy
      Amanda x

  36. Ashley

    My heart goes out to you, I cant imagine what it would be like to lose my baby 😦 you are in my prayers, I really hope you have gotten some sort of closure ❤

    • Hi Ashley,
      It is now 7 months since we lost our beautiful boy and we are in a much better place now, we will miss him everyday of our lives, I think our closure will come when all the investigations are finalised!
      Thanks for keeping us in your prayers
      Amanda x

  37. Amy

    Thank you for sharing your story. I sit here balling my eyes out I can’t imagine the pain you and your family are going through. My prayers are with you.

    • Thanks for reading our story Amy, and for your prayers
      love to you, Amanda x

  38. Krystal

    he is so beautiful I am so sorry, he is a perfect little angel.

    • Thanks Krystal, I agree he is a very beautiful little boy
      Amanda xx

  39. Marti

    I work in labor and delivery. I see your grief all the time and it doesn’t get easier for the nurses either! Prayers for you

    • Hi Marti,
      I think watching someone have to say goodbye to their baby would be devastating, it would leave a horrible feeling right down to your gut for a long time to come. Thanks for your prayers, the nurses who looked after us after Liam died did so with lots of empathy and compassion and helped us through the most difficult days of our lives, I think your profession is so valuable to mums and dads like us, thanks
      Amanda x

  40. Sarah

    Wow.. I have very few words, i am speechless.. I am sitting here in tears while my boyfriend wonders why.. I am feeling for you, my heart right now feels cracked! I couldnt come to imagine the pain youd have felt… ❤

    • Hi Sarah, thanks for your heart felt words, our hearts broke the day we lost Liam, they are mending with time, but yes the pain was terrible.
      Love to you, Amanda x

  41. Kelsie Compton

    This is such a touching story, you and Ryan are amazing parents! So strong and brave, I bet Liam is looking down smiling at how amazing his parents are.. My words probably won’t help you feel better, but I just want you guys to know how incredible you’s are..

    • Thanks Kelsie, I do hope as you say, that Liam is proud of his mummy and daddy. Thanks Kelsie for taking the time to read our story and write to us, it does make a difference to know that people feel for us, and think that we are doing a good job, it gives us confidence to continue, so thank you
      Amanda x

  42. Heather

    I am so sorry for the loss of your beautiful boy. I lost my first baby to SIDS when she was a month old, so I understand how your heart hurts. It’s a cruel thing to lose a child, something no one should ever experience. Take things one day at a time, one breath at a time. It’s been 5 years since our loss, and it still hurts as much as it did on day one, but it has gotten easier to cope with. I wish you strength and peace.

    • Thanks Heather, I am so sorry that you lost your baby girl, SIDS is a horrible, horrible thing and I can’t understand why it happens, especially as you got to take your little girl home, believed everything was fine, bonded with her, nursed her and then she was gone, I am so sorry for the pain that you have gone through. I agree with you, it still does hurt just as much as it did on day one, but we learn to cope with it….and in a way hide it a little, because everyone expects us to be ‘ok’ to get on with life…and that’s what we have had to do.
      Love, strength and peace to you as well
      Amanda x

  43. Angela Pattillo

    Ii sit here with tears streaming down my face as I read this.. Being a mom to a now 19 year old I cant imagine what you and your family have and are going through. My heart breaks for you. I am sure there is nothing anyone can say to make you feel better. But I do want to say I am so very sorry for the loss of your beautiful little ANGEL… You know time heals the broken heart and faith in god with the support of your family and friends will get you and your family through this.. My thoughts and prayers are with you.. Baby LIam will be in your heart forever.. God bless you Sweet lady and hug that little girl tight..

    • Thanks Angela for your lovely words, knowing that people feel for us and care enough to write to us does help make us feel better, so thank you for taking the time out of you day to both read our journey and write to us
      love to you and your family
      Amanda x

  44. vanessa Caldwell

    Baby Liam is beautiful…….Vanessa Queensland

    • Thanks Vanessa 🙂 We totally agree!

  45. Mary

    Hi Amanda. I’m going to say something I was afraid to earlier, but after reading, pretty much all afternoon, I think may may be ok with telling you. First, not only am I a mommy and have had birth complications and have four months experience, in a NICU, with my preemie twins, the fear, interactions with medical personnel, the extreme emotions that went with it, but I’m also a 20 year labor and special care nursery nurse. I just want to tell you that I’ve shared you blog with some of my co-workers and think listening to your story can help reinforce the need to be truly aware of how our actions can make huge positive or NEGATIVE impacts that can affect the family so deeply. We do study and are taught to be sensitive to our behavior and actions, however, we all need reminding sometimes. You expressed yourself so well. I could feel it, like it was me. I hope to get as many people as posiible to read it. We can use your story to learn by. I just wanted you to know, that even in this small way, your sweet baby Liam, is going to help make for change. The doctors are another story. You haven’t said, but I can clearly see. And nurses can also work towards accountability in ways you may understand as your profession is also close to home. God Bless you and your family. And your little man is truly beautiful. His story will stay with me forever. xoxo

    • Thanks Mary,
      I hope I haven’t painted too bad a picture of how we were treated in hospital, because one of the things that is so strong in our memory is how kind, gentle and loving our 2 postnatal nurses were, and we also met some genuinely lovely people while we were there, who went out of their way to help us.
      I realise how difficult it would have been for you being in the NICU with your babies, knowing all the terminology so understanding all that was said around you, knowing what could go wrong and when, and probably always being fearful of the worst, as you would have seen it all before, what a long and stressful time that must have been for you!
      Yes you are right with your comments on the doctors and nurses, hopefully I will share more of that soon, but it was never our intention for any one person to take the blame for Liam’s death, rather we sought change for an imperfect institution
      Thank you for your beautiful and kind words, yes I agree, Liam was a beautiful little man
      Love to you
      Amanda x

  46. Thanks for your comment Mary. I agree totally with you and if it weren’t for the staff at the NICU and my doctors where we had our twins and had to let go the little one on day 3 I would probably be even more ‘a mess’ than what I’ve been dealing with the grief.
    I’d say that in general blogs like yours Amanda make the fact that ‘babies do die’ a more public topic. It’s not something that is spoken about lightly and therefore people around us (including me pre my experience) don’t know how to react and be that is helpful.
    I’m a counsellor/coach and have been working with numerous clients facing grief but neither my training, nor my experience with clients has adequately prepared me to deal with my personal experience of loss.
    Thank you Amanda for sharing yourself with us.

    • Thanks Nathalie,
      I totally agree people don’t like to talk about babies that die, and have no idea what to say when they come across someone like me or you, so most of the time end up saying nothing, they pretend that it didn’t happen which often is even worse than if they were to just say ‘I’m sorry for your loss’.
      Love and strength to you,
      Amanda x

  47. Tiffany

    I’m in tears for you, what a tribute to such a beautiful little boy. There just aren’t the words in the world, not the time. Thank you for sharing.

  48. Nadine

    I reward your courage in sharing and wish you greater courage in living forever more in his beautiful memories xx Nadine

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