Missing Liam

An Empty Nursery

We had decided that we would bury Liam, neither Ryan or I had ever been to a cremation so we decided that for us a burial seemed “right”. On the way home from hospital we decided to see the two places that we could bury Liam. The first was at Macquarie, Ryan drove into the cemetery and we found a map to direct us to the “baby lawn” area (yes there is a place specifically for babies, something I had never known or thought about) we stopped the car and Ryan walked around to my side to open the door and help me out. I took 2 steps forward and started hyperventilating “Not here I can’t do it, not like this, not here, who has a dead baby, who does this” I was sobbing, I looked around, it seemed so bare, so sterile, I read a couple of the plaques and I broke down ‘I can’t do it, this is too much, this is too much sorrow, I can’t do it’ tears stream down my face as Ryan helps me back to the car. Ryan sits beside me and apologises, ‘I am sorry honey, we shouldn’t be doing this today, we should have just gone home’ and I tell him not to apologise, that it was my idea because we needed to see the funeral home the next day and we need to know where Liam is going to rest. We head towards home to the second cemetery, which happens to be a lot closer to our house at Frenchs Forest, I gave Ryan directions on how to get there from Google maps, even though it is close to our home, we had no idea where it was as we had never needed to go to a cemetery. Again we enter through the main gates and find a directory to lead us to the baby lawn area and we drive around to it, again Ryan helps me out of the car, I still have tears streaming down my face and we walk silently around the area for babies and read some of the plaques and I say to Ryan ‘If I have to bury him and leave him somewhere, I can manage to do it here’ it feels peaceful, there are trees around but nice sunlight comes through, however it is a surreal place to be, there are windmills, toys, flowers and letters on lots of the graves, I hyperventilate realising that this is where my little boy will rest, in a coffin, in the ground, never to see sunlight.  As I look at some of the plaques, I realise that other people have been in the same position that we are now in and I say to Ryan ‘If they can do it so can we, we can do this, we can get through this’ my emotions and thoughts change so rapidly from we can’t do this, to we can, back to we can’t. The baby lawn at Frenchs Forest is a lot smaller than the one at Macquarie, it feels a lot more intimate and we know that we need to choose a plot for Liam to rest for eternity, Ryan and I look at all the plots (most of them are vacant) but we do notice that there are 2 spots on the baby lawn where the grass has been recently replaced, there have been 2 other babies who have not long been buried, other people at this moment are going through what we are going through. We find a “nice” place where there seems to be both sunlight bathing the area, a nice breeze but it will also be shaded in the heat of the day and we both agree it is a good place to put Liam to rest. We look at the plot numbers and where we stand is 241 and I say to Ryan let’s look at 244 as Liam was born at 244am but unfortunately another little baby is buried there, so we decide that 241 would be nice for our little boy. Ryan helps me back to the car and we travel the short distance back home, realisation hits me, we are burying our baby, our beautiful boy will lie in the ground, not in his nursery, I cry all the way home, I have no idea how Ryan was able to drive, because there at one stage I thought about it, and mentally I wouldn’t have been able to do it, everything felt like it was whizzing by us, and I couldn’t concentrate at all, but true to his calm nature Ryan didn’t have a problem, as distressed as he was, he could keep it together and I couldn’t.

We had decided to ask Nanna to take Alethea to day care that day, we thought this would be best for her as she thrives on a routine, and Friday is one of her day care days, we thought that she would enjoy running around with her friends and feeling “normal” poor little munchkin had been shipped from one house to another, had seen all the people she loved and adored in tears and wasn’t quite sure what was happening to everything that normally felt safe around her. I had called the girls at Alethea’s day care on the Wednesday to let them know that she wouldn’t be in that day, I also wanted them to know that Liam wasn’t alive as I didn’t want them to be all excited asking Alethea about the baby that I’d had. I talked to Erin, who was so kind on the phone and I sensed that Erin may have already known what had happened because she didn’t sound excited on the phone asking if we had the baby yet so I asked her ‘do you know what has happened’ and she said yes that Lisa my friend who had visited us in hospital had told them the day before and they were devastated for us, I was so grateful that I didn’t have to relay my story and I told Erin that I thought I would send Alethea on Friday, but could the girls be really “gentle” with her because I was unsure how she was going to react and Erin told me that of course they would take very  good care of her.  The day care girls had been lovely during my pregnancy, and they each had theories on what sex baby we were having and as the time had drawn nearer to my due date, each time they saw me dropping Alethea off they were a little disappointed that I wasn’t in hospital having the baby.

So we arrived home to a cold, empty, silent house, it was horrible. Ryan unpacked the car and set up the flower arrangements throughout the house, there were many more arrangements in the house as well that had arrived while we were in hospital, each one was extravagant and beautiful and our house looked like a florist, it was lovely that we had so many friends who wanted to show their love for us, the house was beautiful but sad, in place of “it’s a boy” balloons and booties were sympathy cards and flowers, our house was one where death had come to visit, our house was a funeral house, it was not a happy place.

I unpacked my maternity bag, and in there were things that I had forgotten about, not required while in hospital that needed to be put into the nursery that we had prepared for Liam, in my maternity bag was a dummy, singlets, bonds suits, spare nappies and baby cream, and breast pads that I hadn’t needed as my milk hadn’t come in. I walked into Liam’s room to put the nappies and clothes away, I opened the drawers and saw all the new clean clothes in there that I had bought for him, they were tiny size 0000, I took them out and placed them on the change table and looked at what might have been, an empty nursery, a quiet house, this is not what it is meant to be like, we should be beaming with delight as we brought our little boy home, we should be hearing the cries of a hungry baby, silence, I can hear the floor creak beneath my feel, silence is horrible. I quickly put all the things that I had come into the room for away then I lean over Liam’s cot, I try to imagine what it would be like if he were in it and I pretend that he is there and cup my hand around where his face would be laying stoking gently, I walk to the door and pause, turning around to soak in what should have been, tears streaming down my face, then exit so that Ryan didn’t see me in his room, not like this, not at this time.

Ryan makes me a cup of tea and we sit in silence downstairs, each of us in our own thoughts, how did it come to this, a week ago we were a happy family, waiting to have a baby and now we are this….I don’t even know what this is. I wander into our lounge room and see a baby play gym that I had set up for Liam still there, and I pack it away so that it is not there for when Alethea comes home, everything that was ready for the baby is away, except for the nursery, and there is very little that we can do about that at this time. 430pm comes and we decide it is time to get Alethea from day care, we thought that it was best she came home and spent the night in her bed with us in the house, trying  to establish some sort of “normality” into her life, we enter the day care and she is so excited to see us, she runs as fast as she can and leaps into Ryan’s arms (Ryan is always the favourite when we pick her up from day care as it is usually me who picks her up each time and it is a special occasion when daddy comes) the teachers are a little stunned to see us, however they are lovely and engage us in conversation, which was lovely, they didn’t try to look busy so they didn’t have to have an awkward conversation with the couple that had just lost their baby, they came straight up to us, gave us a cuddle and had a chat, which made us feel a little normal, if only for a couple minutes.

We drive home, and even though lots of our friends and family had left us pre-prepared meals, Ryan decides that he feels like pizza, so he says he will go out and buy some while I stay with our munchkin. As Ryan leaves I decide to give Alethea a bath, just before she hops out of the bath she says to me ‘Mummy where is baby Liam’ and I tell her again that he didn’t wake up when he came out of mummy’s tummy and that he had died and has gone to be with God and the angels in heaven and she asks me ‘Where is heaven mummy’ and I tell her that it is beyond the stars, all of a sudden Alethea burst into tears, a heartfelt cry that I have never heard before, she sobbed and sobbed and I couldn’t console her, I lifted her out of the bath and wrapped a towel around her and she sobbed into my chest as I cuddled her and I asked her what the matter was and she replied to me something that I will never forget  ‘I can’t fly mummy’ and I try to hold my tears back as I realise that she finally understands that she will never be able to reach or see Liam, Liam is never coming home, she sobbed into my chest as I cuddled her and told her that mummy and daddy couldn’t fly either and that we were sad that we were never going to see her brother again, but mainly I just let her cry, all the emotions that she had witnessed the past few days had taken their toll on her and she needed mummy to cuddle and understand that she was just sad, so I did. Finally she looked up and said to me that she was ready to get dressed and she hoped daddy would be home with pizza soon, so I kissed her on the head and within a couple of minutes she was back to her normal self.

That night when we went to bed I took 2 Endone and a sleeping tablet, Ryan watched some TV letting the monotonous sounds lull me into a sleep, just as I drifted off I must have heard something on the TV because I sat bolt upright, ‘Where’s my baby, I can hear a baby cry’ Ryan put his hand on my back and says ‘It’s OK honey it’s just the TV, Liam is not here, lay down and go back to sleep, you are alright’ I lay back down with tears streaming down my face, I let my sadness consume me and slowly I drift off to sleep. I think it was because we had very little sleep for 4 nights in a row but somehow Ryan and I slept relatively well that first night at home, yes we woke lots but we also slept. When I woke up Saturday morning I realised my pyjama top was a little wet….my milk had come in overnight, my breasts were enormous, engorged and leaking milk everywhere, my body was crying out for my baby and so was I. I really wanted to express my milk, there was so much of it and my breasts were so hard and painful, but my obstetrician and the nurses had told me not to do this, instead to wear firm fitting bras and eventually my body would realise that there was no baby to feed and the milk would go away.

We had an appointment with the funeral home that morning, so Ryan’s mum came to our house to mind Alethea for us, we had to choose clothes to put Liam in and give them anything else that was to go in his coffin, we chose a little jumpsuit that we already had at home with a dinosaur on it, it wasn’t anything flashy but we decided it would be comfortable for him, and chose to swaddle him in a wrap that had animals over it, we also printed out the photo of Alethea holding Liam and a photo of Ryan and I at our wedding to put in his coffin, the last thing that we chose was a blue cuddle teddy, like Alethea had when she was a baby to keep him company. The lady at the funeral home was waiting for us when we arrived and took us into a small office, I had thought we would need to choose a coffin for Liam, but this was not required as the baby ones only came in the one size and only came in white, which is what I would have chosen anyway. The lady sat opposite us, Ryan was on my right and there was an oversized table separating her from us. I sat there in disbelief, I am in a funeral house, arranging my baby’s funeral, how is this possible, numbness again overtook my body, I could see she was asking me questions and I believe that I answered the questions, but I really had no idea what was going on, she handed me some forms to sign which I did automatically, not reading or looking at what I was signing. I was sitting there silently shaking my head in disbelief, as the lady rattles off how much everything would cost, I hadn’t even thought that far ahead, I hadn’t realised at that time that we were going to have to pay for all this sadness, thousands and thousands of dollars to bury our little boy.

We walk out into the sunshine, it was a beautiful winters morning and decided to head to Dee Why beach to have a coffee before we return home. We sit down in an outdoor café, and I look around at all the happy people, lots with babies rocking them, patting them, feeding them, everywhere I look there seems to be a newborn, again I am trapped inside myself I wanted the world to know that we were in the depths of despair, we had just been arranging our baby’s funeral we have a dead baby, who does this, who had a dead baby? How does the world continue as normal, why can’t everybody see that we too should have a baby with us, but don’t.

When we got home, Alethea decided that she wanted to walk to the park at the end of our street and have a picnic, Ryan’s mum and I prepare some sandwiches and nibbles, just as we are leaving I decide that the walk would be too far for me, there is a very steep hill to climb, and having only had a Caesar 4 days ago I decide to stay at home. Left alone on my own I think about Liam’s funeral and what I want to say at it. We had decided to invite family only, as this wasn’t a celebration of a long lived life, it was the funeral of a baby who hadn’t had the chance to show the world how he could shine. I sat down and typed my little baby boy a letter to put with him in his grave, and I thought about what I would say, and came up with this

 We didn’t know you would be

So beautiful and so soft

With eyes forever closed

Red rosy lips and a button nose

With long fingers and gorgeous little toes

We didn’t know how much

We would miss,

Even hearing the sound of your cry

Silence is not golden, it is horrible

We didn’t know the hours we held you close

Would seem so pitifully short.

We didn’t know the numbness we felt

The day we lost you, would wear off

Without any mercy on our aching hearts

We didn’t know the true meaning

Of the words,

Sadness and sorrow

Now we know

And now it hurts

We love you

Liam's Nursery all ready and waiting for him

Liam’s Nursery all ready and waiting for him

Liam’s Nursery all ready and waiting for him

94 Comments

  1. sallie

    Reading the part about your daughter crying saying she couldn’t fly has to be the saddest thing I’ve ever read. I think you’ve handled explaining what’s happened so well. You’re so strong xx

    • Thanks Sallie, I really hope we explained Liam’s death to Alethea in a way that she understands and in a way that won’t cause her problems either now or in the future. After we lost Liam, and even when we knew he wasn’t going to make it, I think I felt worse knowing that I had to tell her about Liam than knowing that I had to cope with his loss myself, and when she told me she couldn’t fly I did everything I could not to burst into tears, and everytime I think about the cry that she gave and her uncontrollable sobbing it breaks me. She’s such a beautiful little girl and I am so lucky to have her as my daughter. x

      • Kerrie

        Thank you so much for sharing your absolutely beautiful little angel, my sincere thoughts are with you and your family xx

      • Hi Kerrie,
        Thanks for your thoughts, I hope our little angel looks down on his family and is proud of us.
        Amanda x

    • Ky

      You are amazing! To convey with such clarity, to echo such deep, personal emotion and to so unselfishly share such painfully intimate truths is astounding. My heart aches for you and your family and tears erupted uncontrollably when I read of your beautiful daughters’s thoughts. You speak of your husband’s strength and calming nature (which is incredibly inspiring!) but I truly hope that looking back you can learn to recognize your own strength! You sound like a wonderful, passionate, loving, ever giving mother and your perspective and humbleness is also inspiring. I only wish I had the magic wand to ‘fix’ things for you! My heart swells with hope that you get the chance to make the steps in the life direction that you want and need moving forward. Thankyou for making me ever more appreciative of what I have. Thankyou for having the strength to share.

      • Hi Ky,
        When you find that magical wand, please send it our way! I do have the most amazing hubby, he is my gentle giant! I’m not sure whether I am as strong as everybody keeps saying…it helps me to write down all the memories that I have and it eases my pain a little bit, Thanks for your kind words
        Amanda x

  2. Katy

    Reading your story – I can hardly breathe between the sobs, the pain I feel for you three physically hurts my heart.. What an amazing, beautiful and loving mum you are.. Life is beyond unfair and from the bottom of my heart I want you to know that if it was at all possible I would give anything to bring your boy back to you ! I love your writing, your photos and I hope that this blog helps you grieve for little Liam.. What a beautiful name, for a beautiful little angel..

    • Hi Katy
      I too would give anything to have Liam back, and yes, since I began writing my blog I have found more peace and have been enjoying the sun a little more
      Amanda x

  3. Emily

    I couldn’t read your story without leaving a comment….but words don’t really seem to be of any use to me right now.

    I just want to wish you and your beautiful family well. I am sending you lots of strength and love.

    Liam has touched my heart. No parent should ever have to go through the loss of a child, my heart aches for you and your beautiful little boy.

    All the very best to you and your family xxxx

    • Hi Emily,
      Thanks for sending strength and love, and I agree, I wouldn’t wish this on my worst enemy, no one should go through this.
      Amanda x

  4. Dot

    Your story broke my heart , you are a very strong woman and Liam would be proud of having such great parents and a adorable big sister , my heart goes out to you and may you find happiness in the future . Thank you for sharing your story all the best for you all xx

    • Thanks Dot,
      I really hope Liam is proud of his family
      Amanda x

  5. Sally

    You are an amazingly strong person. I hope that peace comes to you, Ryan and the rest of your family in time. Your journey so far leaves me speechless, I can only begin to imagine how hard this time must be for you. I came across your blog as I have considered volunteering for Heartfelt but as a mother myself I am not sure if I would be able to keep it together enough to be helpful at such a precious time. Continue to be brave, you will be in my thoughts xx

    • Hi Sally,
      I hope to that our little family finds peace and happiness. I wouldn’t worry about having to ‘keep it together’ because for us knowing that other people felt for us and cried with us was lovely, sometimes people think that they have to ‘be strong and not cry and do their jobs’ however we didn’t expect that at all of the people we came in contact with.
      Amanda x

  6. Melissa

    I cant even imagine the saddness you and your family are feeling. I think you explained everything to your daughter just beautifully and in her own way she understands about Liam. I think you will help a lot of others with your story and I thank you for sharing it with us. Stay strong, and Im sure your little angel is looking over you all xx

    • Melissa,
      Thanks for the message, I hope we told Alethea in the ‘right way’ We as a family will try and stay strong, having a loving and supportive family helps me to do this!
      Amanda

  7. Viv Hayles

    Amanda and Ryan, I’m so sorry for you all. I am a Heartfelt photographer and unfortunately see other families in a situation similar to you. Your story has made me weep – there is no sense for you or others who lose their babies. Thank you for your strength and courage in writing this blog; it goes some small way to shining a little light on how you feel because otherwise it’s incomprehensible to me. I’m sure that you and Ryan will be strong together, that you are wonderful parents for Alethea and that you will, together, be an amazing family with so much love to share. Hang in there and be kind to yourself; you are a wonderful mother and never tell yourself otherwise.

    • Viv,
      Thankyou, thankyou for doing what you do, you give families like mine memories and photos to last us a lifetime!
      Amanda x

  8. Marianna

    Amanda, I don’t know you, I came across your blog from a post on the Heartfelt FB page. My heart goes out to you and your husband and your little girl. I’ve sat here in tears reading your words. My girlfriend recently celebrated her angel baby’s 3rd birthday and she found comfort in this. I wish your family well x

    Can You Be A Mother When Your Baby Is Not With You?

    I thought of you and closed my eyes
    And prayed to God today
    I asked “What makes a Mother?”
    And I know I heard Him say.

    “A Mother has a baby”
    This we know is true
    “But God can you be a Mother,
    when your baby’s not with you?”

    “Yes, you can,” He replied
    With confidence in His voice
    “I give many women babies,
    When they leave is not their choice.

    Some I send for a lifetime,
    And others for the day
    And some I send to feel your womb,
    But there’s no need to stay.”

    “I just don’t understand this God
    I want my baby to be here.”
    He took a deep breath and cleared His throat,
    And then I saw the tear.

    “I wish I could show you,
    What your child is doing today.
    If you could see your child’s smile,
    With all the other children and say…”

    We go to earth to learn our lessons,
    Of love and life and fear,
    My mummy loved me oh so much,
    I got to come straight here.

    I feel so lucky to have a Mum,
    Who had so much love for me
    I learned my lessons very quickly
    My mummy set me free.

    I miss my mummy oh so much
    But I visit her every day.
    When she goes to sleep,
    On her pillows were I lay

    I stroke her hair and kiss her cheek,
    And whisper in her ear
    Mummy don’t be sad today,
    I’m your baby and I’m here.”

    “So you see my dear sweet ones,
    Your children are okay.
    Your babies are born here in My home
    And this is where they’ll stay.”

    “They’ll wait for you with Me,
    Until your lessons through.
    And on the day that you come home
    they’ll be at the gates for you.

    So now you see what makes a Mother,
    It’s the feeling in your heart
    It’s the love you had so much of
    Right from the very start.

    Though some on earth may not realize
    You are a mother.
    Until their time is done.
    They’ll be up here with Me one day
    and know that you are the best one.

    • Marianna,
      Wow….tears, especially
      “I wish I could show you,
      What your child is doing today.
      If you could see your child’s smile,
      With all the other children and say…”
      that is a beautiful thing to think about. Thanks for sharing with me
      Amanda x

  9. anne yap

    Amanda, I just came across your blog from Heartfelt. I am very sorry about your loss. This breaks my heart to see another parents lose their baby this way. We lost our boy Lucas in early June. No one should be going through this heart wrench journey and I pray everyday non of this nonsense should happen again. I hope you and Ryan are getting all the help you need to get through this. Please let me know if you would like to join this online support group that I am in. Much love.

    • Hi Anne,
      Sorry for the loss of Lucas, I too wish it would never happen again, Ryan and I are doing ok for the moment but when we need it I will ask you about the support group thanks!
      Amanda x

  10. I came across your story tonight thanks to a link from the beautiful heartfelt people. You are an amazingly brave woman and mother. I have cried many tears reading through your journey tonight, the most with hearing how Alethea finally seems to understand that she cannot see her baby Liam again. I think you explained his death so well to her, you should be very proud of yourself.
    Rhiannon xx

    • Hi Rhiannon
      The Heartfelt people are amazing, I don’t know how they do what they do! It breaks my heart when I think about Alethea telling me she couldn’t fly, I hope I said the ‘right’ things to her
      Amanda x

      • I don’t think there is a right or wrong in the way to tell a child. I believe you did great xx

  11. Fiona

    I have read each of your posts and cried through each of them…. My partner asked me “why do you read them if they make you so sad?” because I said “how will she (you) heal if that is even poosible if no-one reads your posts, cries at your words or feels for your family!” I guess I cry to give a spot on the earth – a moment in time to your beautiful little Liam…. Take care and take time to heal in whatever way that might be and however long that might take…Thoughts are with you and the other 3 members of you!

    • Hi Fiona,
      Thanks for reading, it gives me comfort to know that people who don’t even know us understand that Liam lived, he was a real baby and he was loved, and if people didn’t read then they wouldn’t know!
      Amanda x

  12. I am so very sorry for the loss of your beautiful boy Liam. You are beyond brave and strong to be able to get through each day, let alone write so eloquently about it. My four year old daughter saw me reading and looked at the photo of Liam and commented on what an absolutely beautiful little baby he is. Your promises to Liam are inspiring and I wish you and your family all the best and hope that you can achieve every one of them.

    • I really hope to that we can achieve the promises that I made to Liam, we do try everyday, some are harder than the others.
      Amanda x

  13. Meg

    Amanda I just read Liam’s story and am so sad for you and your family. Our little twin girl Lucy died just over a year ago, she was 4 days old. I have been and am still in a very similar place, it’s tough, and it’s just so sad but it is amazing to find the strength that you do to keep going. My other kids and my husband have definitely been the best therapy/distraction for me and continue to be so I am so happy you have a gorgeous little girl and supportive husband with you. Plus what sounds like great parents. I agree with the grandparents grief and I must say I think my Dad has found it particularly tough, losing a granddaughter and also seeing me in such pain. And whilst it is very tough on little Alethea, my older kids were just over 3 and almost 2 at the time and they have been amazing. They understand they have a sister in a heaven, of course they won’t really understand for a few more years but they accept it for now and she is always included in our family. She has lots of pink balloons up there too (she got loads sent up for her birthday 2 weeks ago) that I am sure she is sharing with little Liam. There are many other things I could write as your story is so similar to mine in many ways but I just wanted to let you know how touched I am by your story and as sad as it is, it really does help to know you are not alone.
    Take care and look after yourself x

    • Hi Meg,
      It does help to know that we are not alone, it helps to see that others have gone through this and still have happiness in their lives. I am sorry for the loss of Lucy (I love that name!) and I agree that Alethea is a great distraction, I’m not sure how I would be coping without her, she makes my world what it is. That’s such a lovely thought to send balloons up into the sky and I too will do that on special occasions, thanks for the idea!
      Amanda x

  14. Teresa

    Dear Amanda and Ryan and little Alethea, I have read your special journey and just wanted to let you know how important this has been for me to read and understand. Liam, your beautiful little boy is lucky to have such a wonderful and caring family who will be there to support each other through your grief. Despite what the psychologist said I think you have told Alethea in the best way possible for you and if I had been in your position I would have told my child exactly the same thing. Our children understand alot more than some people give them credit for and Alethea understood what you were telling her. I cried for you, I cried for Ryan and Alethea, I cried for your parents and siblings and I cried for Liam. I have been so touched by your ability to share this tragic part of your lives with other people. So I must thank you because I feel you will be able to give another mum who has to travel along the unfortunate road you have some kind of solace and empathy. Just a reminder that someone else knows how she is feeling.

    Fly free with the Angels Liam and look after you precious mummy, daddy and sister.

    xx

    • Hi Teresa,
      Thanks for your encouragement, I hope we said the ‘right’ thing to Alethea. You’re right, I have great support around me and I am very lucky to have such a great hubby and daughter, without them I’d be lost
      Amanda x

  15. Louisa

    What a perfectly beautiful, chubby cheeked little man you created. My heart aches for the loss of your wonderfully blessed baby Liam. Blessed to have such amazing mum, dad and doting sister who will NEVER let his time with you be forgotten.
    Thank you. Thank you for your strength in sharing Liams’ story with us. Thank you for allowing us to see such a tragic, private yet unforgettable time with Liam. Your bravery is astounding and although I don’t know you, rest assured I will never forget the life altering death of beautiful Liam.

    xoxox

    • Hi Louisa,
      I agree Liam was beautiful, and yes just like his sister had gorgeous chubby cheeks! Thank you for your kind words. Liam will always be remembered by us, our family will always be 4 never just the 3 of us!
      Thank you for never forgetting our little Liam, it gives great comfort knowing that people understand he was a real baby, he lived, he died and he is loved.
      Amanda x

  16. Sharon

    Hi, I put my babies to bed tonight and just spent the last hour reading your blog. I just had to say that Liam was such a beautiful baby boy. So perfect. What a special little angel you have looking down over your family now. You write so beautifully. This is a lovely way to remember every moment of his short life and your journey through the pain. Much love to you all. Xxoo

    • Hi Sharon,
      I want to remember every single second of what we had with Liam, it is all that we had and I don’t ever want to forget it! Yes Liam was beautiful and yes he was perfect I totally agree with you, but I am sure I am a little biased!
      Amanda x

  17. Casey

    What a handsome, beautiful boy. Thank you so much for sharing your story – I lost my little boy too, 39 1/2 weeks along, about 5 years ago. I wish you and your family peace, and the knowledge that you are not alone. I will be following your story closely and thinking of you often.

    • Hi Casey,
      Sorry for your loss, I too was 39 1/2 weeks and I can’t understand how you can get that far along and not have a baby to bring home from hospital. I hope that during the last 5 years you have found a little peace and happiness. It is comforting to know that we are not alone, that others have come out the other side of such a terrible event and been ‘OK’
      Amanda x

  18. Kym Johansen

    Amanda, I’m reading this through tears for you all. What a strong mum Alethea and Liam have! Your amazing x

    • Hi Kym,
      Thank you for sharing our journey, and your kind words, I hope I am graced with the strength I need to be a strong and good mummy for Alethea
      Amanda x

  19. Jessica.

    I have just read your amazing story, thank you for sharing you thoughts and pain. My husband and i were never able to have children and have suffered that loss for years. After reading your touching story I realized my pain is small in comparison to yours. I hope you can find comfort with your lovely daughter to help you over the next few years deal and understand the great loss you have had. Your story has touched me forever and will touch many others who share your pain. I wish you and your family a beautiful life. X

    • Oh Jessica,
      I am sorry that you were not able to have children, I think that is much worse than what we are going through, I was so lucky to have carried Liam. Alethea is a great distraction for Ryan and I

  20. Bree

    You write beautifully Amanda, and my heart breaks for you and your family. My older brother was diagnosed with leukemia when he was two and died at age 6. He would be 32 now and only in the last few years has my mum been strong enough to speak about him. I’m 26 and my whole life have only known that there was so much sadness around what happened that we didn’t talk about it. You are leaving an amazing legacy for Liam, and for Alethea. Hopefully writing all this down will be therapeutic for you and your little girl, and as she grows will understand what her family went through and will be able to share in what she can’t fully comprehend just yet. I went in a gave my boys an extra long hug while they were sleeping tonight x

    • Hi Bree,
      Sorry for the pain that you have gone through, writing is very therapeutic for me! Hug and kiss your kids always
      Amanda x

  21. Zoe

    I am so sorry that you and your family have to go through this pain and confusion and that your beautiful little man passed away. I have a three and a half year old daughter as well, I would not have known where to start with her healing and transition if we were in the same position. You are very brave sharing your life and story and I thank you from the bottom of my heart for this. My thoughts and love are with you, Ryan and Alethea and Liam xo

    • Hi Zoe,
      Thanks for your thoughts and love, I hope in time Alethea can learn to fully comprehend what has happened
      Amanda x

  22. Jo

    Thank you for sharing your story, Im honoured to have read your journey so far. I truly hope that writing all your pain is helping you get through every day. Much love to you, your husband & your daughter. x

    • Hi Jo,
      Thanks for reading our journey so far, yes you are right, writing has helped me a lot! Thanks for your love
      Amanda x

  23. Renee

    Hi,
    I have read over and over on each entry u put in, I think that you are so amazing to put it into words, on the 25th march I lost my first child William during delivery (I have had 5 miscarridge before William) , I read your story and think wow I am not the only person to think this way or feel that pain, I wish that no one would have to go through what we have to everyday. What you are doing for Liam is so remarkable and he would be so proud of what you have put into words, remember u are a strong and brave women I know there will be days where u will want to just curl up into a ball, stand in his room all day or hide away from the world, but remember Liam will always be with u my thoughts are with you and the family
    Kind Regards
    Renee Blake

    • Oh Renee,
      Our stories are so similar, and I am sorry that you too came home from hospital with empty arms. It is comforting to know that others have gone through what we are going through and are managing. Love to you and your family
      Amanda x

  24. Vanessa

    Oh Amanda. Thank you for sharing your, Liam, Ryan’s , and Alethea’s story with me. I am heartbroken with you, and know that gorgeous Liam is flying with you each day. The honesty and clarity that you manage to get out into words is beautiful. My sister lost my nephew William at 39 weeks, a story not unlike your own. I know he carries on in my own son, his namesake. I wish you every ounce of light and peace as you travel on this journey.

    • Hi Vanessa,
      Thanks for reading our journey and wishing us peace, I am sorry for your sisters loss it is horrible that anyone should go through this pain, and yes fly high little Liam
      Amanda x

  25. Rachel

    My cousin has a similar story to yours – multiple miscarriages and the unbelievable heartbreak and “terrible luck” of losing her son. He was still born, her placenta had come away. As her daughter said, “he kicked to hard and pulled the plug”.

    By sharing this you have answered many questions I have wondered about my cousin and how I can help her and her husband; I have a gift for their son that I haven’t been sure what to do with, and now I know. I will send it to them, for their son, because it was bought for him.

    Liam’s life may have been short, but he has still touched many people, so many strangers, because you have been brave enough to share his story. You are an amazing, courageous, beautiful woman, wife, and mother.

    • Hi Rachael,
      Your poor cousin, I feel terrible for her. Some of our friends gave us things that they had got for Liam and for us they are treasured possessions. Thank you for your kind words
      Amanda x

  26. Koby

    I can relate to so much that you have said 😦 my heart broke for you more reading what Alethea said. From one angel mum to another I send love and hugs. It’s really not fair. It makes me feel sick that others are experiencing this 😦

    • Oh Koby,
      I am sorry that you have experienced this as well, no one should have to 😦 thanks for your love and I am sending it back to you too
      Amanda x

  27. Amber

    Hi, i have just found your blog, and i have read every part. I am sitting hear with red eyes, you my love are a remarkable woman. I lost my daughter at 39 weeks in 2004. She would have been 8 years old in a few weeks. And i wanted to say that you are not alone. I remember those first weeks, and i cant even think to put them into words. How strong you are and how grateful I am that you are willing to let me journey with you. Thankyou.

    • Hi Amber,
      I am sorry for the loss of your daughter, to know that others came home from hospital with empty arms is horrible. I hope our journey takes us to a happy place, and I hope you have found peace since losing your daughter
      Amanda x

  28. 3 sons and a daughter

    thank you for your touching blog. one year ago on 11 August our perfectly healthy identical twins Ben and Sam died due to an abnormal transfusion of blood through their shared placenta. we had to tell our 4 year old that her two brothers would not be coming home. Like you, we were heartbroken. Recently she told us she sees no need to keepher seatbelt on becasue then she can go and be with Ben and Sam sooner. This broke my heart that my daughter thinks of dying so she can be with her 2 eldest brothers (we have just had our 4th though people keep referring to him as our second) and reading of your daughter needing to fly broke my heart again. hugs to you at this terrible time xx

    • I saw a couple of twin to twin transfers when I worked in the NICU, I am sorry for your loss, I love their names! That is heartbreaking to hear what your daughter was thinking. As hard as it is for Ryan and I, I feel so much more for Alethea, sometimes I don’t think we give the little ones credit for how much they do understand and how much they too feel the loss. Like us you will always have a bigger family than what people think, your little boys will always be part of your family.
      Sending love and peace your way
      Amanda x

  29. Christine

    Hi There,
    I just read through all of the posts…
    I am so sorry!
    I don’t know if anybody has mentioned the group
    YGOH Pregnancy, Neonatal and Infant Loss Support Group on facebook to you yet…maybe it will help you on your journey.
    Christine

    • Hi Christine,
      Thanks for reading our journey so far, no one had mentioned the YGOH group, so I will be sure to look that up, thanks for the info
      Amanda x

  30. Wendy

    MissingLiam…the pictures you have shared of your boy are beautiful. Since ready your blog, I have thought of you, and wanted to tell u how I think the way you told your daughter that Liam was not going home was a good way. I think u are amazing to share these private and intimate thoughts. I cried as I read every word.

    • Hi Wendy,
      Thanks for your comforting words, I really do hope the way we told Alethea was good for her and we haven’t caused her any harm. Thanks for reading our journey
      Amanda x

  31. I think here and in the hospital, you did the most beautiful job of talking to your daughter, all the words you chose sound perfect for a 3yr old. What an amazing mummy you are – to both your daughter and your son. I bawled when I read her response about flying. Dear sweet girl… her cuddles will be such a comfort to you. xx

    • Kate,
      Alethea is my everything, and I cry everytime I think about her telling me she couldn’t fly, such an innocent response. Yes she gets extra cuddles and is loved even more than she was before!
      Amanda x

  32. Bree

    I have no words to say to you. Except that I hope one day soon you and your family will be able to smile again when thinking of your precious little Liam. I will be hugging my children extra tight tonight. My thoughts are with you. You are an amazing lady xxx

    • Hi Bree,
      I thinks with time that yes we will smile when we think of Liam, there will always be sadness but we will smile. Alethea gets lots of extra hugs these days! Please hug your children hold them tight and tell them how much you love them! Thanks for your thoughts
      Amanda x

  33. Dear Amanda,
    I have just read your blog from beginning to here and my heartbreaks for you. I have sobbed my way through every entry.
    Your story could be mine. My daughter Poppy died in December, also after my emergency c-section. We too had to explain to our 5 year old son, Xavier, that the sister he had waited for through 4 m/c couldn’t come and live with us.
    I am so sorry Liam could not stay with you, and that you know this pain. It is the most unbearable thing of all to live through, to see the pain in people’s eyes, to feel the lonliness of Liam’s death. I have to say that Liam is beautiful, and your daughter’s grief broke my heart all over again.
    People will tell you lots of things you should and shouldn’t fell; take them in your stride or ignore them completely. Travel the journey the way that seems right to you. Your love for eachother and for Liam will lead you in the right direction.
    I am part of an online support group if you are interested. Please just email me if you would like some support from other mums who know your pain all too well.
    Sending you strength should you need it x
    Bec

    • Hi Bec,
      I love the name Poppy, if Liam had been a girl that was one of the names we had picked out! Sorry for your loss, I think telling Xavier would have been a lot harder than telling Alethea because he was that little bit older and more in the know. Thanks for your kind words and yes I will email you about the support group
      Amanda x

  34. Bek

    I have just finished reading (and crying) through your posts and would like to say, Thank-you.
    I was about Alethea’s age when my little sister Laura died at birth and can remember sitting in the hospital with my mum and crying for what seemed like hours.
    Thank you for your strength to share your story, you have made me realize that it is ok to miss and grieve Laura 
    My thoughts are with you

    • Oh Bek,
      I feel so bad for you, I think of how upset I am for Alethea and I know that your mum would have been feeling the same for you. Trust me when I say I think I was even more distraught about telling Alethea her brother had died than knowing I had to deal with his death myself, and your mum would have been the same. Of course it is ok to miss Laura, you would have been looking forward to her for the whole nine months and for a 3 year old that’s nearly a third of their life.
      Thanks for your thoughts
      Amanda x

  35. Rebecca Williams

    Words cannot express my sorrow for your loss. What a beautiful perfect baby boy Liam was. Thankyou for bravely telling your story. My prayers will be for your family tonight. God Bless.

    • Rebecca,
      Thanks for your prayers, I agree Liam was beautiful!
      Amanda x

  36. Sarah

    To a beautiful family, Mother, Father, Daughter and Sister. My heart aches for you that another family has to go through so much pain. Your words are beautiful and I that everyone in your family can find a theraputic way to grieve, as you have done. Suddenly strangers can become friends sharing the story of a beautiful life such as Liam. I have friends having gone through this and you have done a wonderful job sharing Liam with your family. Sometimes it can be hard to realise that your baby, was being waited for by so many people. He was and IS so important to so many people. Grandparents, Aunties, Uncles, Friends, Child Care workers. They are all now grieving to. I think it is incredibly brave of you to share your feelings and Liam’s story as it unfolds. I hope, that sometime in the (very) near future, you can see that Liam’s life had a purpose. No matter how long or short it was, he came into your life for a reason, and it will become apparent soon. My friend’s daughter came into her and her husband’s lives, to make them a stronger couple. My other friend’s twin daughters, at least by story (such as yours) have me made a stronger person whereby I ask people the difficult questions: How are you? What was your son/daughter’s name? Did they have lots of hair? Did they look like you? Mum’s and Dad’s want their children acknowledged. My girlfriend’s daughter passed away (during birth) on xmas eve 7 years ago. I was 9 weeks pregnant with my 1st child. The week before Christmas, I always tell my girlfriend I am thinking of her and her daughter – she is NEVER forgotten.

    It may bring tears to my eyes to have you say my child’s name, but it brings music to my ears to hear you say it……Liam

    XXX

    • Hi Sarah,
      Yes I agree, I never realised how many people anticipate a baby coming, only about 3 weeks ago I realised that some of the ladies working at Alethea’s day care were devastated about Liam, I knew that they would be sad, but they too were grieving for him. I do hope that I can find a purpose in my little mans short life…time will tell, thanks for your kind words
      Amanda x

  37. Paula

    Amanda, I want to give you and your husband Ryan a big hug. You are a true inspiration to share your story. I can only begin to imagine how many people you are helping by sharing what you have been and are going through.
    Eleven months before I was born (I’m 43) my mum & dad had a baby girl who died during delivery. I have always known of my unnamed sister, but it wasn’t until I had my first baby (he’ll be 12 in October) that I really started to think about what my parents went through. I regret not ever really talking with my mum about this (she passed 5 years ago). Back in those days people weren’t allowed to share time with their babes. They were taken away from them and were lucky if they even got to see them. Dad has mentioned that she had a lot of dark hair. She was given a Christian burial in an unmarked grave. Neither of my parents attended – I think that was considered “normal”. Mum returned home to care for my two older brothers and life went on as it had before. It makes me sad to think that there was no support services, no real grieving, no Heartfelt or even a picture of any sort, no foot print, not even a chance to hold or kiss that little baby. Even when my parents were expecting their very first grandchild I heard my dad say to someone “we don’t get excited about babies until they’re born … we know what it’s like to come home with only a bunch of flowers” 😥
    So thank you Amanda, Ryan, little Alethea and of course your beautiful baby boy Liam for letting us all into your life. Thank you for sharing your feelings, emotions and your beautiful pictures.
    I look forward to sharing the rest of your journey with you as your hearts start to heal xoxo
    Paula

    • Hi Paula,
      I think that the time that we got to spend with Liam was some of the most important hours/days of my life, like I said in my blog, at the beginning I didn’t want him to come with us because I was too upset, but I am so glad Ryan insisted because he was beautiful, soft, everything I could ever want in a baby…except he wasn’t breathing. I feel for your mum and dad that must have been horrible for them, I am so grateful that times have changed now, but I can see how your folks wouldn’t get excited about a baby before it is born, because I will never again assume that a pregnancy leads to a healthy baby, even though most of the time it does.
      Thanks for reading our journey so far
      Amanda

  38. Charlotte

    No words I can type could possibly take away any of your pain or turn back the clock. I so very much wish there was though. After reading your beautiful words and shedding many a tear reading your story I couldn’t not leave a comment to at least say that you are in my thoughts. I know not your pain and I so very hope that I never have to. A parent should never loose their child. I’m so very sorry you lost your Liam. He is a very perfect, gorgeous little man. Much love to you and your family X

    • Charlotte,
      Thanks for your kind words, I agree, no parent should ever lose a child, it is horrible. Yes Liam was perfect!
      Amanda

  39. Lindy

    Dear Amanda, thank you for sharing your heart breaking journey of loosing little Liam. As a health care worker your experiences remind me that how we deal with mums, dads, little people and grand parents at such a tragic time stays with that family for ever. I’m so pleased that you have positive memories of the 2 nurses who you write about with such warmth and just wish that everyone who you came in contact with at that time shared their skills….so many professionals (me included) can learn valuable lessons from reading your blog! Sending you and your family love and prayers.
    Lindy x

    • Lindy,
      We had so many lovely experiences with everyone but 2 people (unfortunately they were the 2 that I had the biggest expectations from) but the kindness that people showed and the genuine love that they had doing their jobs was something that I will never forget. My 2 nurses were fantastic, they were so gentle yet happy, and the 3 people that came out to us from smallprint, twinkle toes and heartfelt were sensational! We did have a couple of other nurses who also looked after us of a night and they were lovely too!
      Amanda

  40. Taylor

    Amanda, I am so sorry for your loss. I couldn’t imagine the feeling. You are so brave for writing about it. I can feel your heavy heart in each word you typed. I cried though all the posts. I just recently lost my baby due to miscarriage. Just remember, one day you’ll see your precious Liam. My thoughts are with you and i’m truly sorry. Hugs, xxxx

    P.S- This video really helped me, maybe you can find some comfort in it as well. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IBHEJtqKjkk&feature=BFa&list=FLiJZ0c0VHTumOXGJi4YLSUw

    • Hi Taylor,
      I am sorry that you had a miscarriage, especially if it was your first one, your world comes crashing down because you never think that it would happen to you. I will have a look at the video thanks
      Amanda

  41. Samantha Hayward

    Amanda,
    My sincere condolences on the tragic loss of your beautiful little boy Liam. I hope and pray for you that in time you will find some peace and comfort and that terrible pain will somewhat lesson in time. I am still three and a half years on trying to comprehend the enormity of losing my little girl Ella very suddenly at nineteen days. Your description of events that took place in the funeral home was almost exactly the same as mine. I too remember sitting there answering all the questions and signing forms thinking to myself I’m sure this is a long long nightmare. Whoever thinks that they are ever going to be put in the position of choosing their child’s coffin ? Thank you from the bottom of my heart for being brave enough in sharing Liam’s story. You’re an extreimly brave and coragious individual who clearly has a natural gift in not only being able to write so beautifully but to connect with your readers. You also drew my attention to the enormous struggles of the role of the father. Our Husband’s sound like two peas from the same pod. As soon as I finished reading I went straight to my beautiful soul mate and told him how much I loved him and how I would never have survived without him.
    Thank you again Amanda and god bless you, your family and of course beautiful angel Liam.
    With love and hugs
    Sanantha

    • Oh Samantha,
      To lose a baby 19 days after they are born would be devastating, I am so very sorry for you. I am glad your hubby is like mine, I would never have coped without him, he is my gently giant, my protector and I am glad that you too have such a man beside you. Thanks for your lovely words
      Amanda x

  42. Emma

    Hi Amanda , I hope you and your family are finding some peace at this horrible time. I wish I could reach out to give you and your family a hug to help you through this. I lost a little boy 4 years ago and his name was Liam too.
    I know it dosn’t feel like it now but the pain does get better. I miss my little boy every day and would give anything to have him back.
    Please remember to ask for help if you feel you need it. I saw a counsellor after Liam’s death and it really helped me to make peace with it all.
    Thinking of you xxx
    Emma

    • Emma,
      Liam is such a beautiful name and I am sorry that you lost your Liam too. I know the pain will get better, it has to, I have to make it better for me and my family. Thanks for your advice…I am always reluctant to ask for help but since Liam’s death I realise that sometimes I just have to.
      Amanda x

  43. Rachael

    Amanda,
    I was directed to your blog from the Heartfelt FB pages and have cried my way through your posts. My husband and I dont have any children yet, so I cant say that I know what you are feeling, but I wanted to let you know that your story has touched me and reminded me again how precious every life is – both of those that live a long and full life and those that die in the womb or shortly afterwards. Thankyou for courageously sharing your story. I pray that your honesty will help others in similar situations and that God will give you the peace that only He can give – the peace that passes understanding.
    My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.
    Lv Rachael

  44. I too was directed here by the Heartfelt blog and I have cried my way through all of your blogs. You are an amazingly strong family. I lost my son at 6 months and I treasure every moment spent with him though he never came out of the hospital. Every one of your words rings true, even now, 16 years later. You are amazing and inspiring! Love to you all

    • Hi Karen,
      I am sorry for your loss, yours is truly heartbreaking, to be holding onto hope for 6months only to have him taken is horrible. Thanks for your kind words, trying to be strong is all we have at the moment!
      Amanda x

  45. Jacinta

    Thankyou for sharing your story, it has touched me. Liam would be so proud of you. Wishing your family love and laughter for the future. XXX

    • Hi Jacinta,
      Thanks for reading our journey so far, yes we too hope for love and laughter and I am sure it will come!
      Love to you
      Amanda x

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