Missing Liam

Songs for a Funeral

When Nanna, Ryan and Alethea came home from the park for some silly reason I suggest that Ryan and I take Alethea to Lollipops play land (that’s an indoor play area for children, it has jumping castles, ball pits, big slides etc.) I was conscious that Alethea had been shipped from place to place, she had seen everybody she loved upset, she had realised that her baby brother was not coming home and I wanted her to have some fun, she deserved some fun. Although it was good for Alethea, she ran around waving and giggling the whole time to us, it was horrible for both Ryan and me. I hadn’t really thought about what it would be like for us before going there, I had just thought of Alethea. Sitting there we watched all the kids playing, there were little boys around 1 year old, just learning to walk and finding their independence  and I looked at all of them with silent tears running down my face thinking that Liam would never be able to do these things, distraught at what we were missing out on, I looked around and saw all the children who had siblings to play with and it hurt my heart that Alethea was still without a sibling, she had patiently waited for a sibling, she had asked for one time and time again, and now that she had one…he wasn’t here.

That Saturday night was horrible, my milk had come in that day and I had hormones surging through my body, I think it was the lowest night that I have ever experienced. I had a shower before I went to bed, my milk was dripping down my body,  and I screamed and cried in the shower, knowing that it would drown my sounds, I looked at the shower screen and I wanted to smash it, I wanted to hit my fist so hard against the shower that it would break, I had all this pain inside me that I wanted to get out but instead I stood in the shower trying to control myself, my brain was reasoning with me saying things like ‘if you smash the screen you will have to arrange to replace it, if it smashed you will wake Alethea up and she might come into the bathroom and hurt herself’ I hopped out of the shower and sobbed, without the shower on and the fan going, Ryan could hear me and he came straight in and cuddled me and I told him that I didn’t think I was going to cope, I didn’t think that I could go on. Rather than telling me that of course I would cope and of course I would go on, Ryan just looked at me and told me I was doing wonderful and I was coping better than he expected me to and he was proud of me and he loved me.  We went to bed and again I took some pain tablets and a sleeping tablet, but this night they did little to help me sleep, I tossed and turned and kept having to tell myself ‘Liam’s death is not my fault’ my mind was playing horrible games with me telling me that I was a bad mum, that I had done something to cause Liam’s death and I had to mentally picture the paediatrician sitting opposite me in the hospital saying to me ‘Liam’s death is not your fault’ guilt is a horrible thing, and makes you feel sick down to the bottom of your stomach. When I wasn’t blaming myself for Liam’s death I was deciding on whether or not I should still be living, looking back I know that I wasn’t suicidal but I did think to myself ‘If I died I wouldn’t feel this pain that I am feeling now’ but then my mind would tell me that that was a very selfish thing to think, that would devastate Alethea and affect her for the rest of her life, and also Ryan. I then thought about a calendar that we had at work, it was a Chinese calendar written in French (figure that one?!) and it basically said that a person born in the year Ryan was born in was not really compatible with a person born in the year I was born in, when we had read it at work I had laughed at it and mocked it, and I said to the girls ‘Well I am married to him, we have a daughter together and we are soon to have our next baby and we can’t wait and we are still in love, so this can’t be right’ but lying in bed that night I was thinking to myself ‘what if love is not enough, what if you need more than love, you need some sort of luck to go with your love that Ryan and I don’t have’ and I thought about leaving in the middle of the night, I thought about all the places that I could go, to friend’s houses, to motels etc. but I knew no matter where I went Ryan would find me or I would stay there a day and then come back, I knew that there was no way that I could live without my rock, my love, my protector but it didn’t stop the thoughts from coming.

Sunday morning comes and Ryan and I are both exhausted, neither of us had slept very well and we had Alethea to entertain, generally we limit the amount of television that she watches, most days she doesn’t watch TV but if she does it is usually about 30mins to a maximum of 1 hour, so Ryan and I fulfil the role of the entertainers. The thought of having to play with her all day was exhausting, she is a very full on little girl, you know, play dough, then colouring then tea parties then Thomas train tracks, painting the list goes on and on, and usually we love doing it, that is the reason why we chose to have children, but today I was in tears thinking about having to look after her. It was going to take all my energy to look after me let alone think about her. Thank goodness that Ryan’s mum and dad called in the morning and didn’t offer but insisted that they take Alethea that day and leave us to be until the Tuesday morning, as much as I love my little girl this was exactly what Ryan and I needed, our sorrow was too much and having a 3 year old there, was not only hard on us, but unfair to her, we were not capable of being the parents she required, we were only just existing. Ryan’s parents came to our house around 10am to pick her up, and didn’t stay they left with her straight away, she cheerily waved to us yelling ‘bye mummy, bye daddy I am having a sleep over at nanna’s house’ Left alone Ryan and I sink into the lounge and turn the television on, we spent most of the day watching movies, we were too tired to do anything else, the life in us had gone, I remember looking at Ryan and saying to him ‘When we got married I felt so young, beautiful, so carefree, so fit, it has only been 6 years and I feel anything but those things, I feel as though I am 100’ he looked at me and pressed his lips together and nodded his head with tears in his eyes and then he apologised to me saying ‘I am sorry that I have made you feel so old, I am sorry our life together has not gone how we planned it to go, I am sorry I have not made you feel beautiful and carefree’ and I told him that of course it wasn’t his fault, that these things had just happened and our time for happiness would come again. He too sat next to me and told me that he felt a lot older than what he should do. I remember sitting on the lounge thinking about how much energy it would require for me to get up and go to the toilet, my body felt like a dead weight, that’s how old and tired I was feeling. Ryan was so good to me, he made my lunch, he made me endless cups of tea and he even made my dinner that night, which was a big deal for him as I could count on 1 or 2 hands how many times he has cooked for me since we have been married, but I didn’t have the strength or the will/want to cook so he stepped up and took charge for me.

Ryan and I both took sleeping tablets that night and as we had slept so little the night before, sleep came to both of us that night. Monday morning came and I opened my eyes, as I had been in a deep sleep I had that feeling that I’d had a bad dream and wanted so badly to feel that I was still pregnant, I closed my eyes ‘Please God let it be a bad dream’ and slowly moved my hand down to my stomach willing Liam to still be in there, but as I ran my hand over it, it was empty, soft and without life, I closed my eyes again and wanted to go back to sleep, I didn’t want to be awake dealing with life, I wanted it to pass me by. Ryan and I needed to sort out what we wanted for Liam’s funeral and give instructions to the funeral home the next day. I asked Ryan if he wanted to say anything, I had the poem to say, but I thought that Ryan might like to say something as well, and surprisingly he said that he might ask my brother to say something instead of him, which I agreed with because I wanted him to do whatever made him the most comfortable. We sat and listened to some songs to choose for the funeral, we were told that we needed 1 on entry, 1 for the middle and 1 for the end. The one on entry was easy, we chose Eric Clapton’s Tears in Heaven, the song for the middle was a hard one to choose, we ended up choosing Sarah McLachlan’s Angel, this was a tough decision for us, because although it is a lovely heartfelt ‘tragic’ song it was a song that Ryan and I had such fond memories of…we had performed our bridal waltz to this song, Ryan’s best friends mum had choreographed a whole waltz for us to dance to and we had practised and practised and it was one of our fondest memories of our wedding and brought such joy to us that we were not sure we wanted to remember it with any sadness, but I said to Ryan ‘If I can give our little boy only one thing, because that is all that we are capable of doing, I can give him our song, he needs to know how much we love him, and if I can give him a song that has memories full of love to him then I think  that is what we need to do’ We listened to Angel, and rather than making us sad thinking about Liam, it brought us peace knowing that our song had so much love with it, so many happy memories and I said to Ryan ‘If this is played in the middle of the service, it will give me peace, it will steady my soul and I will be able to cope, this will always be our love song, but we can give it to our little boy with love’ and Ryan looked at me and agreed, we could be selfless and share our song with our little man. The song that we chose for the end was by Savage Garden ‘I knew I loved you’ it was slightly more upbeat then the other songs and it had beautiful lyrics ‘I knew I loved you before I met you I think I dreamed you into my life’ which is exactly how we felt about Liam. We let the funeral home know about our song choice so that they could arrange the music to be played and they asked us again (which they had also asked us when we went to see them) if we would like a viewing of Liam, when they had first asked we had both said no, we had beautiful memories of Liam and we didn’t want that to change, but when they asked us again both of us had changed our minds. It’s a hard thing not to want to see your baby again, given the opportunity we decided that we would like to know that he was comfortable, clothed nicely and had all the things that we had given the funeral home in with him, we wanted to see that he was ‘safe’  and we couldn’t give up the opportunity to say goodbye to him again, to see and to touch him that one last time, he was our baby, who would give up the opportunity of seeing their baby again? So we said yes and they told us that we would be able to see him the next morning and I anticipated seeing him, I yearned to see him, I needed him.

That Monday night we both took sleeping tablets again, but this night they did nothing for us. We went to bed, but both Ryan and I relived the hours of Liam’s death over and over. We had gone into labour last Monday night, it had only been 1 week, but it had seemed like an eternity. Both of us were silent in bed, we each thought the other was sleeping, but both of us watched the clock 11pm waters broke, 12 midnight arrive at hospital, 115am doctor says we will have a Caesar, 244am Liam is born, 5am they tell us he won’t make it then we cuddle our baby to sleep. Liam’s whole birth and death plays over and over in our minds, we relive every detail, every word spoken to us, every emotion felt. I get really distraught at the fact that the hospital staff insisted on moving me and my baby seconds before he dies, why would they do that? All I can think is that they weren’t thinking, they wanted to clean the operating suite and wanted us out of the room, why would they do that, why couldn’t they wait just a few more minutes, that’s all he had in him, that’s all he could give, yet they insisted on moving us, poor little boy. I relive Liam’s last breath over and over and I keep wondering to myself if he was in pain, if he could feel my love, if he was scared.  Just before 6am we both fell asleep, we were able to sleep in because Alethea was still at Nanna’s house, so we didn’t get up until 8am, we needed to get to the funeral home by 10am otherwise both of us would have stayed asleep. Nanna had called us and we had told her that we were going to see Liam and she asked if she should bring Alethea, we were unsure what to do, we had told Alethea that she wasn’t going to see her brother again, and we didn’t know what Liam would look like, but we did know that if she saw him again, she would realise that he was dead and have a better understanding of it. We decided to ask Nanna to bring her near the funeral home but not to bring her in unless we called her and said it was ok. We were given only a 30 minute bracket to see our little baby, we were told that there was going to be a funeral held at the home and they needed to set up for it. We arrived really early and I realised that I hadn’t given Liam a dummy, (or more to the point Alethea hadn’t given Liam a dummy, and this was one of the jobs that we had given her to do for when the baby came) so we quickly went to a pharmacy and bought a couple just in case we let Alethea see him and she could then choose which one she wanted to give to him. We returned to the funeral home and a big man Alan opened the door for us he had tears in his eyes as we entered and I realised that seeing a big healthy looking beautiful but dead baby was not something that even people in the funeral industry were immune to. Alan directed us to a kind of chapel where Liam was, we entered and there were empty chairs set up for the next funeral, it was a cavernous room and there was a tiny white coffin in the middle down the front, I burst into tears seeing such a tiny coffin, no baby should die and be buried before their parents. We walk down the aisle and the lid to his coffin is open and there lay our beautiful little boy. He had red rosy cheeks, blonde hair, and white skin and apart from his dark little lips looked as though he could just be sleeping, he was beautiful. I leant over to stoke his little head, his hair and skin were still so very soft but icy cold ‘Oh beautiful boy I am so sorry this has happened to you’ my tears fell onto his little face. Ryan looked at him ‘My poor little man, this is so very wrong, we shouldn’t be here, he shouldn’t be here, he should be with us at home.’ We called Ryan’s mum to say it was ok for Alethea to see Liam and she was in the room about 1 minute later, she walked up and said ‘what is this mummy’ and I told her that baby Liam was here, he was in what we call a coffin, but he was still dead and wasn’t breathing, I told her that it was just his body that we could see, that what was inside, who he was, was in heaven and she understood very well. I picked her up to show her little Liam and she leant over to touch his face ‘He is very cold mummy’  and I tell her ‘that’s because he is not alive, he is not breathing like you or me’ I ask her if she would like to give Liam a dummy and she says yes, I tell her that she can’t put it in his mouth, but he would be able to see if from heaven and he would know that it was there and that she had given it to him. She looks very carefully at the dummies and chooses a green one to give him and places it to the right of his head and says ‘there you go Liam, there is your dum dum, just like I had when I was a baby’ she gently strokes his head again; she knows that he is dead. I explain to her that ‘tomorrow we are going to do something called burying baby Liam, that is where the coffin (and I show her the coffin) is put into the ground, and it is a place that we can visit when we want to talk to or think about baby Liam, it is a place where we put his body, but it is only his body because what is inside of him is already in heaven’ she nods and tells me ‘ok mummy’ just like that. (I think it is a very personal choice to what you do with children, but Alethea was going to be present at Liam’s funeral and for us it was important that she realised what was happening, and also realised why we would visit his grave in the future) Ryan’s mum comes from the back of the chapel up to where we were and looks at Liam with tears in her eyes she says ‘It’s just not fair little man is it’ she then took a couple of photos, which I hadn’t thought about doing and then Alethea and her said goodbye to Liam and left the room. Ryan and I also took a couple of photos of Liam in his coffin, it felt really wrong to take a photo of a baby in a coffin, but I am so glad that we did, he was so beautiful in his coffin and it gives me comfort to remember and see all the things that we placed in his coffin with him. Before we went to see Liam, they had warned us that we were only allowed 30mins with him because of the next funeral that day, at the time Ryan and I had thought that 30mins was plenty of time, our purpose for going was to see that he was ok and to make sure he had everything that we wanted him to have, however now that we were there it was the quickest 30mins of our lives, we wanted more, we needed more, but we looked at our watches and with time up we didn’t want to be told or asked to leave, we wanted to leave on our terms, so we both kissed our little boy for the final time told him that we loved him to the stars and back and turned and left him there. We exited the room without a word holding hands as tight as we could. Our little boy in a coffin, our little boy cold as ice, our little boy dead.

Because our little boy was like a sleeping baby, I was tempted to put a photo of how we left him in his coffin here, however I feel it is too heartbreaking for most people to see, so I haven’t

Daddy and son, one of our Heartfelt photos

Daddy and son, one of our Heartfelt photos

Our Bridal Waltz to Sarah McLachlan's "Angel"

Our Bridal Waltz to Sarah McLachlan’s “Angel”

37 Comments

  1. Sarah

    Thank you so much for sharing your story. I am sending you so much love, support, comfort and peace for today and the coming days. I would be honoured to see the photo of Liam that you mentioned, if your hearts can handle the heartbreak then it’s the least we can do to allow our hearts just a tiny bit of your pain. Sarah x

    • Hi Sarah,
      Thanks for your comforting words, and for sending us love and peace. I don’t think I can put a photo of Liam on the internet in his coffin because I think it will affect a lot of people too much,I think it’s the hardest of all things to see a baby like that.
      Amanda x

  2. Rhiannon

    It sounds like your Alethea is one amazing little girl, I can imagine it was such a hard decision as to whether to allow her to see Liam, but it sounds like you made the ‘right’ decision for her. x

    • Rhiannon,
      My Alethea is amazing, I look at her everyday and know that I am very lucky to be her mum, yes at the time it was very hard to let her see Liam, but as time has gone on, I am so glad that we did, her understanding of it now (it’s now 11 weeks since we buried him) is very good, I did think that she would be scared seeing him buried but she really did understand what had happened and that it was only his body in the box. It may not be the ‘right’ thing for other children, but for her it really was
      Amanda x

  3. Nikki

    Oh my goodness I am still crying for your beautiful little family. What a decision to make with Alethea, but it sounds like she is a well adjusted little girl and a beautiful big sister. I look at my Master Three Year old and how hands on with his little brother and I feel for you seeing Alethea so wanting someone to dote on. She is a special girl to give her brother her special dum dum for him to have with him in heaven. Beautiful. Since reading your blog my thoughts have been with you and the challenges you are facing everyday, even putting one foot after the other. Amazing blog thank you for opening your heart and letting others share your journey. Big hugs.

    • Nikki,
      Thanks for your kind words. Alethea is very special and amazing, I’ve said it a few times, but her not having a sibling tears me apart nearly as much as me dealing with Liam’s death, I feel so horribly bad for her, and there is nothing that I can do to make it better for her. I am lucky however that she is very young and apart from the odd occasion she just ‘gets on’ with life, if she were older it would be a lot harder on her
      Amanda x

  4. Michelle

    Hi Amanda. Gosh reading your words I feel as though you’re inside my head. We played Angel at our daughters funeral in April. She was perfect, just like your Liam. I know all babies who were taken far too soon are in heaven playing together and laughing. My son is 2 and we took him to the funeral. It was hard to see him place a rose on his sisters coffin but I know that including him was for the best. I also remember feeling so old and drained. It passes. I don’t know when it did for me, I only just realised as I read your words that it had. Time doesn’t make it easier, it just makes us stronger. Your amazing words are helping woman everywhere. I’ll be praying for you and your beautiful family. It comforts me to think that my daughter and your son are playing in heavens gardens together x

    • Hi Michelle,
      That’s a lovely thought that Liam is up in heaven playing with other children. Sorry for your loss, it really is hard to see a baby look so beautiful and so perfect and yet isn’t alive, I am sure you felt the same way seeing your daughter, and it is something that I NEVER thought would happen to me, this sort of thing happens to ‘other’ people, and I am sure you feel the same way about that as well. Even now I am feeling less old than I did back then, it’s now been 11 weeks since we buried Liam and I am just starting to feel life returning to us. 11 weeks, doesn’t sound that long, but it really does feel like a lifetime.
      Angel is a beautiful song, for us it will always bring peace and love, but I am sure for a lot of other parents it brings tears to the eyes.
      Amanda x

  5. Liz

    Your story just breaks my heart for you, Ryan and Alethea. I am amazed at the fact you are able to out your journey into words and feel blessed that you are willing to share it with all of us. I am lucky to have children of my own, and I had a little boy born only a few weeks before Liam. When I read your blog for the first time, it made me appreciate what I have even more, and gave my youngest the longest cuddle, all the while thinking of you and your family, tears streaming down my face. You are certainly an inspirational person, and Alethea and Liam are so very lucky to have a Mummy like you. I hope you and your husband soon find peace, and that there is a lifetime of happiness for all of you from now on, you certainly all deserve it. Liz xxx

    • Hi Liz
      Thanks for your kind words, as I have said to a lot of people cuddle and kiss your little ones all the time, just because you can, it’s such a beautiful feeling to feel their absolute love for you, poor Alethea gets soo many cuddles and kisses these days, but I am sure there will be a time in the next few years when it will be “uncool” so I am getting as many as I can in now! I find it easy to put our journey into words, its all in my head so vivid that I just sit down and type it all out and when I post it and share with others I truley do feel like a weight is lifted from my shoulders! A lifetime for happiness from now on would be lovely
      Amanda x

  6. Katie from nz

    Your blog has touched my heart in such a profound way…I burst into tears about Alethea crying about not having wings to fly to Liam. You are an amazing family and I am so, so, so incredibly sorry and angry for your loss. I have never met you but I want you to know that by posting your story, others are thinking of you and your family, praying for Liam and willing you the strength to continue.

    P.s., You write so fluently and honestly; a true gift, indeed.

    • Hi Katie,
      Thanks for your kind words, to tell you the truth it is very easy for me to write, everything is so vivid in my mind that I just sit at the computer and quickly type it all out, but then when I re-read it, then it is hard, and I am astonished each time at what I have put down! It was very hard for me to remain strong when Alethea told me she didn’t have wings, and when I have retold that story I have cried each time, cried for her and what she has missed out on. It is very comforting to know that so many people are thinking of us and praying for us, thanks
      Amanda x

  7. Teresa

    Sat here wanting to say things but not sure what to say. You are amazing and a true inspiration to share your story. Your little man is beautiful and your little girl just amazing like her mummy. I saw the link for this on ollys rainbows Facebook and have looked in from time to time since then. I agree it would be heartbreaking for some people to see how you left your little angel but also it’s a very personal thing so you should keep those for yourselves. I am truly sorry for your loss and tears keep coming for you. Sending hugs and love. Teresa. Xxx

    • Teresa,
      There really is nothing anyone can say! Ollys Rainbow is beautiful! I only post around once per week, lately it has been on a Wednesday because that is when Alethea goes to day care and I have time to reflect, I don’t do anything else but play and be a mum when she is here with me, and losing Liam I hope has made me a better more ‘fun’ mum for her. Thanks for the love and hugs
      Amanda x

  8. Deana Gibbons

    Hi Amanda,
    I just wanted to say thankyou for sharing your story. I do parents support in our local NICU and have leart alot from your journey having read it with tears in my eyes and an ache in my heart I think of you and your beautiful family often. I saw this verse the other day and thought i would share it with you.
    An angel in the book of life wrote down your babys birth and whispered as she closed this book “too beautiful for this earth”. Hope you find peace and comfort in the months ahead.
    Keep smiling at that beautiful and bright star in the sky, little Liam is watching over you every night.
    Take care, Deana x

    • Hi Deana,
      What a hard job you must have, and I am sure it takes a toll on you every now and then! That is a beautiful little verse that you shared with me thanks. I hope that Liam watches over our little family and says that’s my mum, that’s my dad and look how great my little sister is, I hope he knows that Alethea talks about him everyday, not with sadness, she just includes him in everything that is ‘family’
      Amanda x

  9. Hi Amanda,
    I do remember the dark red lips and the icy cold cheeks. Still – love pervades every aspect, no matter what is there in the physical.
    I had an amazing meeting yesterday where I met a lady who lost one of her twins 21 years ago in SIDS, so another twin mum growing up with just one baby. I asked her, how it is now with the time distance of 21 years.
    She said: it is as one part of me is not with me, I don’t know where ‘he’ is and whether ‘he’ is ok.
    I felt that was a very beautiful description and for me it’s a gentle thought that one part of me is in the spirit world.
    x Nathalie

    • Yes Natalie that is a very beautiful description, and you are right, love pervades every aspect!
      Amanda x

  10. Deana Gibbons

    Yes Amanda it has its ups and down that for sure. I do it as a volunteer as I had a 24 week prem and its my way of giving back to the hospital. Its so lovely to meet so many beautfiul families in sad and happy times. Its beautiful that Alethea includes Liam in her everyday conversation, she sounds like a beautiful little girl 🙂

  11. Amanda, I dont think words can explain how say Im for your loss but I do believe you have a little angel looking after your family and you have a piece of heaven here on earth. My heart cry every time I read your post I feel your pain like its mine, you have a gift writing and I think you should consider putting it into a book. Thanks for sharing your story it has help me really appreciate what we have, and to love cuddle and kiss my little ones and reminds me once again how lucky I am . Your beautiful daughter and husband will give you the strength to smile and be happy. My prayers and love are for you ! you are a very brave and inspirational woman.

    • Thanks for your beautiful words Patricia…and you are right, Alethea and Ryan give me lots of strength, without them I am not sure how I would cope! Thanks for your prayers and love
      Amanda x

  12. Elisha

    Reading your blog is offering me an insight into how some of dearest friends are coping with the loss of their 3 year old and the intense illness of their 7 month old. I have spent a fair amount of time reading in an attempt to make sure I can support them in a useful and non invasive way. I will love little Lucy every day of my life and will like your little girl include her in everything that is their family. She will always be a part of our lives. Thank you for sharing so honestly and helping us all to understand better. Oh and congrats on being the Mumma to two beautiful little kids!

    • Hi Elisha,
      Thanks for reading, I feel for your friends their’s is a grief no one should endure, how they make it through each day I am not sure. For me i found that most people wanted to be strong for us and not show that they were upset, but my friends that cried with us and hugged us, not really saying much meant the world to us, we knew then that they were grieving with us, it’s ok to cry with your friends and its ok to be cheery as well, but melancholy or sullen people did nothing to help us. Love to you, what a great friend you are trying to support your friends through a time like this!
      Amanda x

  13. Shay

    Dear Amanda, Ryan and sweet Alethea,
    I too share the empty arms felt only by a parent who hasn’t been able to take their baby home. Nearly 18 years ago my son, Henry, died after 32 hours of tremendous fight.. I also was left with the angst of making that decision to let his little body rest.
    I have cried as I have red every word of your memories of your darling little boy. He truly is a stunningly beautiful child and I am intensely sorry that you are in the place you are now instead of enjoying those first months of a newborn….
    I know that ache….
    I send you all of my love,
    Don’t let anyone tell you as time passes how to grieve, or that there is a time limit, do only what is best for the four of you (Liam included)
    ❤ Shay…… Another Mummy to an angel baby
    Ps, I've asked Henry to look out for Liam and teach him how to slide down the rainbows and bounce on the clouds
    It never ever stops aching….. But it does get easier to bear xxxx

    • Hi Shay,
      Henry was a little fighter, 32 hours!
      Liam was truly a beautiful baby, even more beautiful in real life than in the photos. Thanks for sending your love. Funny you should mention a time limit…we got to 4 weeks post Liam being born and lots of people started asking if we were feeling ‘better’ or whether we were ‘over it’ yet…That is one of the reasons why I started my blog, unless you have been in yours and my position it really is very hard for people to understand…I felt like I had lost a puppy, not a baby by some of the comments that came our way… I hope my blog has given insight to some people exactly how horrible it is to lose a baby.
      I love the thought that Liam is sliding down rainbows and bouncing on clouds with your Henry!
      I am sorry for your loss, a loss I wouldn’t wish on anyone.
      Love to you
      Amanda x

      • Shay

        Thanks so much for your lovely words… It does feel as though people treat the deaths of our children like the loss of a puppy…. And you are so right in that unless you are one of us you just dont know!! It is however something Ill never take pleasure in having in common with anyone… That being said, if at ANYTIME you need to talk to someone because youre just feeling like your on the thin side of sane… Email me and ill send you my mb number… Big hugs from one Mummy to another xxx

  14. Kate

    Dear Amanda,

    I am so sorry for the loss of beautiful Liam. No parent should have to go through what you and your husband are going through. I have not lost a child but I am a paediatric nurse that has looked after babies that have sadly died. Thank you for so eloquently sharing your deepest thoughts and feelings at this heartbreaking time. When I next look after an angel baby and their family, having read your blog, I hope that I am able to do even just one thing better for them. I always thought that sheading a tear was unprofessional but now I’m thinking differently.

    It is so cruel that you had Liam for such a short time but look what you have had the strength to achieve. A stranger, half way across the world, knows he lived and is loved. I am deeply moved by your story and have learned from it. If I’m better at my job tomorrow then I have you and Liam to thank.

    I pray for your continued strength and hope you have happier days ahead. I will hug my small people just that bit tighter.

    With love,
    Kate

    • Hi Kate,
      Thanks for such beautiful words. I really like that thought, that Liam may help you look after families like ours with a greater understanding. I think when babies are lost the grief for everyone involved is so much harder to handle, and that’s why if it overcomes you I think it is ok to shed a tear with the family, it makes the family realise that you too are human and are touched by what has happened, that you too feel deep sadness and sympathy with and for them.
      Happier days for us have to come, I believe it with all my heart!
      Love to you
      Amanda x

  15. Kristy

    My goodness, like so many others I read your story with tears blurring my vision. I started reading this blog at 8am this morning and have just finished after 5 hrs! Many stops to compose but more just to cuddle and ‘be’ with my 2 boys. Your story brings back so many memories! I too had a healthy normal 2nd pregnancy but after birth it all went horribly wrong. My baby wasn’t breathing. He couldn’t breathe. I remember the wait for the NETS team, I remember no one telling us what has happened, no one explaining what was wrong! We were lucky that they were able to intubate our baby and transfer him to the neonates icu at the Royal Children’s Hosp. I remember laying in the maternity ward without my baby hearing others cry and constantly wondering what went wrong!!! I had to stay over night due to complications during labour. The horrible wait to be discharged, leaving the hospital empty handed. We were lucky, we had a baby somewhere he just wasn’t with us. We had a long road ahead and many ups and downs. We truly were lucky, we were eventually able to take our son home. He’s now nearly 2 and spoilt rotten! I still wonder what I did wrong and blame myself (even though I’ve been told not to) his condition is so rare it happens once every 5 years worldwide and the neonatologists had never seen it. It’s not something that I will ever forget and reading your blog my heart just aches for you. I thank you for sharing your story and allowing others in to such a private time of your lives. I believe it will help others to read and see the strength you have shown (yet not known) I send you much love and happiness and am hoping there is much happiness (more than you ever expect) in your future. xo

    • Hi Kristy,
      I am very happy for you that you were able to bring your son home, and I am glad that you spoil him, we only have ‘little ones’ for such a brief time in our lives and every moment should be cherished, I look at Alethea and realise that I only have 1 more year with her before school starts and I want to savour every single minute with her.
      Yes I agree, Liam was beautiful,
      Yes I hope to that lots more happiness comes our way (actually I don’t hope, I know in my heart our family will experience pure joy!)
      Love to you
      Amanda x

  16. Kristy

    I just realized I missed saying the most important thing I wanted to share with you. Your beautiful son Liam, is beautiful! Such a gorgeous little man who you will be forever proud of. So tragic, so sad, do deeply missed but most importantly so truly Loved!! xo

  17. Lisa

    Hi Amanda,
    What a beautiful choice in music for your little boy. The song “Angel” by Sarah Mclachlan is very special to me as well. when my mum passed, my sisters and I decided to use this song and thought it to be very fitting, then when my sister lost her little boy in a very similar situation as you, my sisters and i again chose this very special song. consequently I cant listen to this song with a dry eye, but I love it all the same. like I say to my sister,” he will always be in the arms of an angel”. Amanda, I have said it before and I will say it again now, you are such a remarkable, couregous and incredibly brave lady, I thank you for sharing your story. sending love x Lisa

    • Thanks for your beautiful words Lisa, like I have said, Angel for me calms my soul, and I agree it is a beautiful choice of music for your mum and your little nephew. Thanks for your love
      Amanda x

  18. I’ve just come across your blog having left Heartfelt pages in the lead up to the birth of our baby. I have been able to rejoin now and am touched by your story linked there. Thank you for sharing your grief because in that we have been able to share in your love for Liam. What you have gone through no parent should have to go through. Your love for your husband, your daughter and your son comes through so evidently. You are an amazingly strong and inspirational person. Alethea is an incredible little girl, what a gift she is.

    • Hi Heather,
      Thanks for your lovely words, and you are right, I love my family immensely and Alethea is a beautiful gift, she is gorgeous, high spirited and has way more energy than I could ever hope to have! Much love to your family and your new little one
      Amanda x

  19. Brooke

    You guys are so brave . My thoughts are with u all. Xxxx

    • Thanks for your thoughts Brooke!
      Amanda x

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