Missing Liam

My First Bereavement Group…and Merry Christmas to Every One x

Around 25th August I was able to go to my first bereaved parents groups, held by two wonderful social workers Deb De Wilde and Belinda Power. These ladies have helped countless people like myself process thoughts, emotions and that feeling of isolation that many of us have by bringing together other parents who know exactly what you are going through, I often look at these two ladies when I attend the meetings and shake my head in disbelief, I am not sure what has given them the strength to continually help families like ours, because when I think about all that they do I know that it would have to take its toll on them, where do they get the strength from day in and day out to deal with and support families in their darkest hours? While it would be unkind of me to discuss details of our meeting like who was there and how their baby died and what else they said I can let you know how I felt on that first meeting. A friend of mine who had also lost her baby picked me up that morning to take me to the meeting, it was nice to catch up in the car and have a chat as we drove there. When we got there many of the people seemed to already know each other and were already chatting quietly together, I could see some people proudly sharing photos of their little ones and some people like myself who hadn’t yet worked out where they fitted in the group.

The meeting started and we sat around a circle, the general rules of the meeting were discussed and how Deb and Belinda felt the meeting would run and what would happen was gently told to us. Each person was to get a time to speak, you didn’t have to share if you didn’t want to but we would be encouraged to do so. The ‘oldies’ ie the people who had been there more than this one time were the first to speak, there seemed to be a bond between many of these people, they had obviously been in contact with each other since their last meeting and were on the same page, which was nice to observe. Generally each person would say what had happened to them and their baby, how they were feeling and what things they were currently struggling with and how they were conquering different obstacles. Aptly there was a box of tissues in the room which was passed around frequently, and while I felt heartbroken for these other parents and had tears in my eyes and a heavy heart for them, when it came to my turn to talk and let people know about my beautiful boy, for some reason I was determined not to cry. I am not sure why I didn’t want to cry, maybe I saw it as a sign of my own weakness in front of these people that I didn’t know, maybe I just wanted to be strong that day, maybe I saw how absolutely shattered these people were and in my mind thought that I could be “stronger” at any rate I had it in my mind not to cry as I relayed the story of the birth and death of my baby boy. My theory of not crying soon backfired on me, I finished my story and felt like a cold, hard, horrible mum, I felt like everyone was looking at me questioning why this mum was not distraught, what had meant to make me feel strong and confident had left me feeling week and demoralised (obviously not by the people within the group, but by my own thoughts) at the end of the group we were given an opportunity to borrow some books, over the years Deb and Belinda have developed an extensive library of all sorts of books written for people like me who have lost a child/baby and offer a borrowing service to us, I chose a book that I had heard a lot about from various different people called “When bad things happen to good people” by Harold Kushner (who happens to be a Jewish Rabbi) which in itself was of great help to me, this book allowed me to process what had happened to Ryan and I in a totally different light, some of his ideas were quite random but some of his thought processes were what led me back to realising that yes there is a God of Love.

I exchanged phone numbers with a couple of the people in the group who lived close to me, who were nice enough to have a chat with me and who I thought seemed like people that I would get along with (there were some other people in the group who I would have loved to have a chat with, but never got the time to).  In a way it had been nice to sit in this room which felt far removed from reality, far removed from whatever was happening in the day outside and to know that I was in the company of not just one, but many other people who knew how I felt, who had that same heavy heart as I had and who were trying to grasp onto that little bit of silver lining, yet couldn’t quite get there, we were there to remember out babies, we were there to work out how to continue on with lives, we were there to hear of other peoples experiences on returning to work after their baby had died and how to handle different situations, we were there to feel a sense of belonging, we all belonged to a special kind of group that no one wants to be a part of yet none of us had the choice, brought together by a horrendous situation we forged friendships through a common loss.

We left that very first group experience and I was exhausted, when you listen to so many peoples losses you can’t help but take that all on board and carry it around with you for the next day or so, it gave me both a tired and aching head. I had hoped that Ryan would be able to come to that first meeting with me as he is my rock, protector and shield and when he is with me I feel invincible, but as he had been off work for 4 weeks after Liam was born, he needed to be at work and he had meetings all that day so was unable to come with me. I called him to let him know how my first meeting went and told him that I would never be going back there, it was too much for me to bare, I was struggling dealing with my own grief let alone taking on the grief of other people as well….however you will see as time went on I changed my mind, returning time and time again to that meeting, and as the next meeting approached I was eager to go, these meetings are invaluable to people who have lost a baby and while they are a little “full on” each meeting is different, each meeting provides us with different tools needed to get through our next stage, and in each meeting you are surrounded by people just like you

That day I had seen lots of other little babies, proudly yet sadly shown to me, and when I got home I had this fear in me that I had forgotten what my little boy looked like. If I closed my eyes I could clearly remember his smell and the softness of his skin on my lips, I could even remember what he felt like cradled in my arms and how heavy he was, yet I could not picture his little face. Yes I knew there was a button nose, chubby cheeks and lips just like his sisters but I felt like the imprinted image was gone. I looked and looked at photos of him trying to regain that central calm of knowing my son, yet I couldn’t. I looked at his photos over and over flicking from one to the next but although I could see this baby and knew he was mine part of me told myself that I had forgotten him and it was a horrible gut wrenching feeling. I looked at his photos until I fell asleep. That night I had my second dream of Liam, I dreamt that I was back in the hospital, it was the day that he had been born and had died and I dreamt of the nurse dressing Liam after his first ever bath and showing him to me asking if I would like to hold him, and she handed him to me and I put my nose straight away on his head and breathed in his beautiful smell, I looked at his face and remembered every detail about him, I traced my finger over the bridge of his nose and around his forehead. In my dream I knew that Liam was dead, I knew that I was beyond sad yet my dream gave me a sense of calm, I had found that inner part of me that believed I had forgotten what he looked like, I even held his little hand in my dream and marvelled at his long fingernails, no I had not forgotten what he looked like, it had been my deceptive mind playing tricks on me. It was a beautiful yet sad dream, I didn’t want it to end because I was with Liam, yet I didn’t want it to continue because I knew that he was dead, and I wanted him to be alive, it was a bittersweet experience.

Life for Ryan and I was just starting to feel “normal” again, it was a new sense of normality, what used to be normal now did not exist and we were just starting to readjust to our new found normality. While Ryan was at work I was now enjoying my time much more with Alethea, I had realised that I only get one shot at being a mum, and I wanted to try to be a fun mum, so at every opportunity we were given I would take Alethea out to have fun. We would head down to Dee Why for a scooter ride, meet up with her friend Chiara and go for icecream, our days were once again filled with fun and happiness. I remember this one day, we headed to Dee Why with Chiara and her mum and younger sister, all the girls went scootering as fast as they could, and I ended up having to run really fast to catch up with them because I was scared they would jump into the pools at Dee Why without us being there, that’s how fast they were going. I could see them at all times, and when I reached them, Chiara and Alethea both had their shoes off, they were determined just to put their feet in the water, so of course Gina and I said that they could, it soon became clear that more than just their feet were going to get wet, so the girls were stripped down to their singlets and underwear and ran around squealing with delight. I was laughing at them, but Gina was anxious about how she was going to dry the girls and get them home, I had to laugh at this one because I was now at the stage where things like this just didn’t bother me, before Liam died I would have felt exactly the same way that Gina did, and worried, but since Liam had died I had begun to realise that little things like this didn’t really matter, both of us live only about 5mins away by car from the beach, we still had the girls clothes that they could get dressed into, all be it a little wet, but all I was planning on doing was popping Alethea’s clothes on, putting her in the car and going home for a bath as it was around that time of the day. Alethea was having fun, and that was all I cared about, I pointed this out to Gina and told her that the girls were only going to be little once, the more fun they had now the better  and Gina relaxed and agreed. I loved watching Alethea having fun in the water, there is something about kids and water and absolute pure happiness and fun.

There was another time I remember, we had taken the girls to ballet classes in the morning and then Alethea had swimming lessons that afternoon and Gina told me that she was going to take her girls down to Dee Why for an ice cream around 3pm did we want to join them, of course I said yes, as having Alethea have fun was my main priority, and what child doesn’t like ice cream! We got to the shop and ordered and when we sat down Chiara very innocently said to me ‘Where is your baby’ it was a random thing at this time for her to ask as she had seen me many, many times, and Alethea answered Chiara saying ‘Baby Liam is in heaven, which is past the clouds, and past the stars’ and Chiara looked at me and said ‘When are you going to go and get your baby?’ and I could see Gina physically slump down in her seat as she shook her head at Chiara trying to make her stop asking questions. I think that Gina thought I would get upset, but how could I, this was an innocent 3 nearly 4year old who was trying to work out what had happened in her own mind and it made me laugh listening to her, and I explained that Liam was in heaven that I couldn’t go and get him that he would wait there for me until it was my turn to go to heaven, and Chiara’s response to that was ‘my mum wouldn’t leave me there’ which yes did pull at my heartstrings a little bit, but again it was such an innocent and truthful thing for her to say, and Alethea in between eating her ice cream defended me telling Chiara that we couldn’t go there to get him because he lived past the stars, Alethea was so proud telling Chiara this and said it both defending me and Liam but also said it as a proud big sister, yes she might not have her little brother here to play with, but somehow, somewhere along the line she had become a typical big sister, being protective and being proud of her little brother, and that was a beautiful thing to watch

This will be my last post for a little while, with Christmas and New Year approaching our family is looking forward to some quality time together, so watch this space mid-January and we will be back then!

Before I go I need to get a few things off my chest, and they relate to the here and now. I don’t put every message I receive up on our blog, some are too personal to put up and so I respond to them personally, some can be a little nasty and most of the time I just ignore them, but I figure if people are writing me these messages there must be more people out there that feel the same way, so I would like to dispel a couple of myths.

Firstly for those who say ‘enjoy your millions’ or something to that effect I have this to say: In Australia just because my baby died of what I believe is negligence on many peoples parts does not mean that we are entitled to “millions” in Australia you cannot claim for punitive damages, ie because Liam is dead because of many mistakes means we obtain nothing. In Australia if you want to pursue a legal claim you have to do so through a civil claim in which I have to prove that I am now deficit of certain things and that I have an ‘abnormal grief reaction’, for example if I could not get out of bed each morning and look after Alethea because of my grief and need to hire a nanny, then I can claim for that, trust me there are those days that I don’t want to get out of bed, it is easier to stay in bed and ignore the world, but that was not my promise to Liam, and I would be a horrible mummy to Alethea if I did that. If I couldn’t clean my house and needed a cleaner to come and do that then I could claim for that (however I am the sort of person who would probably clean before the cleaner came!) Apparently if I was the “most affected person” then I could claim between 100-150K but apparently I am not “affected enough”  I choose to live, I choose to be a mum, I choose life and because of that we are entitled to nothing. I have been told that if our case was seen in another country that yes we would get “millions” however this is not our case. Ryan and I want no money from Liam’s death, that would not bring him back…however if we were in another country any money would mean that I wouldn’t need to return to work next month, I could focus all my energy on my one and only surviving child and enjoy every moment with her, it would mean that yes I could get a cleaner and not worry about that part of my life, it would mean that we could take some family holidays and have fun as a family….however this is not the case in Australia. I also earn no money from this blog, I do it because it is my release, I do it to try and help someone else.

For all those asking what exactly went wrong when Liam was born, I can say that yes we have answers to some of our questions, but more are still coming in, I haven’t mentioned it for a couple of posts because I don’t want to get into trouble myself, I am not yet sure what I can and can’t share (even though I have de-identified everybody and the hospital which has been very hard for me because sometimes I did want to name and shame, but again I am not that sort of person) so even though I have some answers on exactly what went wrong and how they failed their duty of care to Liam, Ryan and I if I share I am scared of the repercussions on me (ie they could take me to court…go figure that one). I hope that because no one can be identified that I can eventually share everything that went wrong, and yes that night everything went wrong, in saying this I am also realistic, there is a chance that Liam had something inherently wrong with him, he may have died anyway, but he was NEVER given the chance to live, and whether that was the case or whether it was because of everything that went wrong, no baby in his circumstance would have been able to survive what they put him through. If everything had gone how it should have and Liam had died it would still be a horrible, horrible tragedy, but I would be able to accept it more, because no one would have failed him me or Ryan, but like I have said given his circumstances NO baby could have survived what they put him through.

To our family in QLD I apologise for not yet putting you into our story, yes you have been pivotal in our healing, you too have shared our sorrow as well as our joys, you helped us to heal more than you will ever know and I will get to your story soon. Ryan and I are proud to call you family, we love each and every one of you (for everyone else this is another heart-warming story that I can’t wait to tell!)

For those asking how our Christmas this year will go, our house is totally decorated, Alethea, Ryan and I put our Christmas decorations up on the first weekend in December, Alethea and I loved every minute of it, however Ryan struggled that day. Santa is coming to our house on 25th December in a BIG way, yes we can spoil Alethea, after the year that she has had she deserves it, and it brings such happiness and joy to watch her excitement build towards Christmas. Our house will be one of happiness and fun over Christmas, yes it will also be tainted with sadness but mainly I hope it is happy. We of course will visit Liam’s grave on Christmas day, I have placed 2 red poinsettia flowers there, he has a Christmas ball with his name on it, a Santa snow globe there (thanks to Becky and Deece) and on Christmas day we will release some red and green balloons for him. We will also return on boxing day (26th) as that will be Liam’s 6 month anniversary and we will release lots of balloons up into the sky for him. To those people who took the time and thought about a meaningful Christmas present for Liam, thank you, yes they made me cry, but I was so grateful for each and every one and they made me realise how much you cared about him and us.

To everybody who has taken the time to read our journey so far thank you, because of you my little boys memory has lived on, thank you for sharing our story with your friends and family, for those people who have read our story and then taken the time out of their lives to write us messages thankyou as well, because you have given us the conviction to continue. To those who have shared our blog on Facebook/Twitter thank you, baby death is such a taboo subject to talk about and you put yourselves out there by posting our blog.

To all our family and friends who have got us to the point that we are at today thank you, people showed us their true character after Liam died, we have developed friendships immensely, and we have lost a few friends as well, but for the ones that we have we are very grateful for.

Watch out 2013 I have so much more to add, so much to say, so much for everyone to know and I look forward to sharing it all with you. Merry Christmas and Happy New year to everyone…someone recently said to me “I bet you will be glad to get rid of 2012” and my answer is both yes and no, yes because Liam died and that has been all consuming and horrible, but it was also the year that I carried him, felt every kick, every hiccup, rubbed my tummy and sang to him, let his daddy put his hand on my stomach to calm him down when he was overactive, which ALWAYS worked, he knew his daddy before he was born, he felt his love even in the womb, and they had a special bond, I loved him every minute that he was growing inside me, he was and always will be loved more than anyone can imagine xx

The most precious 20mins of my life, cuddles with our little boy while he was alive. Merry Christmas baby boy

The most precious 20mins of my life, cuddles with our little boy while he was alive. Merry Christmas baby boy

44 Comments

  1. Ella

    Alethea is such a lucky little girl to have such a beautiful anbd devoted mummy and daddy. You are amazing parents. looking forward to seeing you on thursday..x

    • Thanks Ella, we do try to be good parents however there are always those moments that she can push us to our limits, but that is being part of a 4 year old! Its been way too long since we saw you last, looking forward to tomorrow! x

    • Shyvonne Donnelly

      I have followed your story with tears and sadness. However it has also made me stop and be grateful for the little things in my girls life and as you say above, not to get too strung out of the little things, that really don’t matter. As for you recieving any nasty messages, don’t even respond, until people have been in your situation they can not get the pain of such a lose and if you had “Millions”, you would trade it all to have liam with you that is clear in your writing. In our family we have two babies in heaven and dealing with this was hard enough however we did not have the failings of the NHs to also cope with, our angles were just too little. Wishing you family all the best and lots of love, Shyvonne xx Scotland, x

      • Hi Shyvonne,
        Firstly I am so sorry that you have 2 angels in heaven…that is heartbreaking. Thanks for your lovely message and words of encouragement, and like you say, I would give ANYTHING to have Liam here, but that will never come to be. Wishing you and your family lots of love
        Amanda x

  2. Theresa Amos (friend of Ella's)

    You are truly an inspiration Amanda. I had tears in my eyes and love for you reading this. I wish your family a beautiful Christmas this year xxxxxx

    • Thanks Theresa, wishing you and your family a lovely Christmas as well x

  3. Kylie

    Merry Christmas to you and your family and thank you for sharing your story with us xoxo

    • Thanks Kylie, I do enjoy sharing our story, it has been great therapy for us! Merry Christmas to you as well
      Amanda x

  4. Karina

    Merry Christmas to you and your family. I’ve been touched by your blog. Thank you for sharing your heart.

    • Hi Karina, Merry Christmas to you and your family as well! I like sharing my heart, because then the world knows exactly how much we love our little boy
      Amanda x

  5. Christine

    Wishing you peace and much love. You are clearly an amazing woman with a wonderful family. You probably haven’t realised but your gift to everyone this Christmas is speaking the words for all those before you who never could find the words themselves. Thank you

    • Thanks Christine, those are truly lovely words you have written to us. Yes I am very lucky to have a wonderful family, and I actually know how good we have it, our little family is my everything and I couldn’t be without them. Wishing you peace and a lovely Christmas
      Amanda x

      • Andrea

        Beautifully said Christine.

  6. Kristin

    I’ve been following your story since Heartfelt first posted a link, I’m thousands of miles away in the US but your story touches my heart. I am so sorry on behalf of anyone who would post something negative in response to your story. There is simply no excuse for their behavior. Keep on writing, your blog is inspirational.

    • Thanks Kristin,
      It really was only 2 people who wrote to me nastily, but it was enough to get me thinking that maybe lots of other people thought the same way as they did, and I just wanted it out there that what you see is what get, we will never have millions, and that would never bring Liam back anyway, some people don’t realise that you can never put a price on losing your only son. Thanks for your vote of confidence, sometimes it is hard continuing on with our blog, and then a lovely comment like yours comes along and gives us that little nudge that we need to keep going.
      Love to you, Amanda x

  7. Sarah

    Even though I don’t know you or your family at all , I think about you every day and your beautiful little boy Liam ,whenever I am out and about in Dee Why I listen for a mother calling out for her daughter Alethea ,because even though I am a shy person I would love to think I would walk up introduce myself and give you a giant hug, From my family to yours Merry Christmas .

    • Thanks Sarah, I was just laughing with my husband because you most probably will run into us, whether it is at Dee Why or the mall or just out and about…but knowing my luck you will catch me at my 1% of the time when I have asked Alethea to do something over and over and then you will hear the roar of my voice yelling her name rather than the 99% of the time when we are just having fun and playing together! If you do hear or see me ever please do say hello, giant hugs are always welcomed! Wishing your family a very Happy Christmas.
      Thanks for thinking about our family, it does mean the world to us that people care
      Love to you, Amanda x

  8. Jo

    Dear Amanda,
    Thank you! Thank you for continuously writing and sharing. I have been following your blog since the Manly Daily article on your family and find myself constantly checking for your updates. Each article you have written have humbled me and have taught me a different perspective on life and parenting.
    Your children, Alethea and Liam are beautiful – thank you for sharing them with us.
    I hope that you keep writing. You and your journey continue to teach me. I know that I strive to be a better mother to my own children because of your story and experiences.
    Wishing your whole family a Merry Christmas.
    I am already looking forward to mid January.
    Big fat hugs, Jo

    • Thanks Jo,
      My little boy has taught me so much about life, he has taught me so much on how to be a better mum, and I am still learning, everyday I realise that there are things that I can do differently. I admit there are days when I am exhausted, I’m not sure if that is because of all that we have gone through, or whether it is because being a mum is tiring (rewarding, loving, the best job in the world…but also tiring) and after a day like that I look at how I treated Alethea and realise that I need to do better, yes I may have been tired that day and may not have wanted to play ALL day, but there will be a time in the next few years where she will not want to play with me, and then I will realise that I have missed the boat. Liam has taught me that little things in life don’t matter, being in the here and now is what matters and I am trying to change and do that.
      I smile and agree with you, my children are beautiful (proud mum!)
      Wishing you and your family a Merry Christmas and great New Year as well!
      Love to you, Amanda x

  9. Oh my goodness Amanda.. I am incredibly shocked that anyone would post anything negative to a grieving mother.. shame on them. You know, it wasnt until i read this part you wrote about claiming for money, well, it had never entered my mind.. as another grieving mother, I know how insignificant money is when you lose a child… i can hear it in your words that you feel the same (not that i would ever have doubted it) I am really disgusted at which ever people wrote that… so glad u clarified it for them.
    Anyway… i was really interested to see how you felt about the bereavement meetings. I have been going for around nine years now (to the heartkids ones) and only recently have not been able to attend due to changes in staff ( who i dont like – who are not actually grieving mothers taking over… ) Its funny because the first few for me were incredibly draining.. It was such a heavy feeling.. but i knew i would go back. I found the connection with these people who are now friends, something that was almost a life line.. even now, they are the only ones who understand fully and who feel the same. Its like the rest of the world and my friends, family, they all move on and i guess, kind of assume that i have. I love being with these friends now because i kind of dont feel like i can talk much to many of my other friends.. I guess i worry that they get sick of listening to the same old story! I can sense their guilt at time when they see i am upset when their children reach milestones, I know that its hard for them not knowing wot to say, especially many years down the track. I am sure that they have been upset for me and worried and wondered what to say. Of course, nothing they say can help me, so i do find it so difficult bringing things up.. sometimes it feels like the only people i really can talk to about sam – apart from my husband – are my heartkids bereavement friends! I do hope that you are able to find the same support either with your group or someone else.
    I had a dream about my son last night actually. I dont often dream about him, but it was all too brief. Brief, but sweet, i do love waking up in the mornings when i have seen him in my dreams!
    I do wish you and all of your beautiful family a very wonderful, happy, fun filled christmas. I know it will have sadness, and wont be the christmas that it should have been. For that i am so sorry. People do forget that its difficult, and dont put too many expectations on yourself… take it as it comes.
    Oh, before i forget… as someone who has been to many bereavement meetings and seen so many mums with different ways of coping with sharing their stories, please do not think that anyone will be judging you. Had u been at my meeting, i would simply have thought that you were still in a state of shock. And some people may cry all day or night, then fine when they have to relay things on a factual basis. Our minds/bodies have many different coping mechanisms when we are grieving.. we just never know what will happen. But especially as you have a medical background, i think your brain probably switches into its explaining mode.. You are totally normal! normal and a wonderful mummy. I almost wrote “strong” but I actually dont really like when people say that. I am sure you can understand why. I just think, no, i am not “strong” .. I struggle every day to be a good mother, sister, wife, friend. thats not strength, its just hard work, they dont see me every day and night and know what i go through. I prefer to think of ourselves being hard workers at being good mummies.
    Sorry for rambling amanda, i hope you dont mind.. my love and best wishes to you, Laura xxx

    • Hi Laura,
      Once again thanks for your beautiful message. I hope too that I can make some beautiful long lasting friends from our group like you have, I am very aware that these are the only people who know exactly how I am feeling, and these people know that we never forget our babies, most people now don’t mention Liam, either for fear of upsetting me, or because they think that I am ‘over it’ (that is my guess anyway) but I know that the people in the group will know exactly how I am feeling, they know that I look at 6month old baby boys with both love towards them but also a little envy in my heart. They realise that I have a yearning inside me that wants to talk about my little boy and that although I may function on a daily basis on the outside and most of the world wouldn’t have a clue that anything was wrong, on the inside part of me has died and I carry a burden around everyday.
      I do agree with you, it is hard work continuing on, it is hard work to continue being a good wife/mum/sister/daughter, and it is hard work sometimes biting my tongue and not lashing out at silly comments that people make or actions that some do!!
      Wishing you and your family a lovely Christmas
      Amanda x

  10. Debbie

    Amanda,
    I have been reading your blog from day one. After every blog I have typed you a post but always reading it back it never expresses how I feel (I am usually a blubbering mess!) but after reading your last blog I too am very sorry and extremely upset that people would be sending you negative post’s. Although I think that you should be entitled to millions, but it could still NEVER make up for what you and your family have been through.
    Although I know it’s not the same last year I was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma I had 3 months of chemo and 2 months of radiation and it was the hardest thing I have dealt with in my life (I was diagnosed on my 27th birthday) Now they are not even sure if I will be able to have a baby, and that is heartbreaking enough for me but to try and comprehend carrying a baby for 9 months, holding him in your arms and then having to let him go (physically) is beyond anything I have been through.
    I’m sure Baby Liam is so proud of his family, he is up in heaven watching his big sister, Mummy & Daddy (and now I’m sure hundreds of others) thinking about him everyday whishing he was here on earth with us. I love seeing the photos of you and your beautiful family, you should be such a proud mum (and Dad) as your 2 children are just gorgeous!
    I hope you have a Merry Christmas (as much as you can) and lets pray that the new year brings the answers that you are looking for. Thank you for sharing your story with us, Your always in my thoughts.
    Love Debbie xxx

    • Hi Debbie,
      Thanks for your beautiful message, it really was only a couple of posts that were negative, but I just needed to get everything off my chest and let everyone know exactly where we stood, it hurt to think that people thought we were ‘making millions’ off Liam passing…something I would never want, what some people will never understand is that I would give up EVERYTHING to have him back, all that I am, all that I have, I would gladly part with if it meant that he could be here.
      Gosh Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma diagnosed on your 27th birthday, that is horrendous and I struggle to know what to say, only well done for enduring chemo and radiation at such a young age, well done for fighting, I am sorry that you had to go through what you have and the heartache that you would have faced with all that came with it.
      Don’t give up all hope on a baby, there are so many avenues to having a baby these days that it is amazing, if you really want to be a mum you will be. If you can’t carry a baby even though you have always wanted to (because that’s what most little girls dream of all their lives, I know that I did) then I am very sorry, from the bottom of my heart, but remember carrying a baby does not make you a mum, raising a child, loving them, caring for them knowing you would do anything for them…that makes you a mum. Yes I totally agree that it would be devastating not carrying a child but like I said it doesn’t mean you can’t be a mum. When I first had Alethea I knew that I would die for her the minute she was born…but my love for her grew each day, each day I learnt new things and each day I loved her more, when I had Liam my love was instantaneous, and that was NOT because I carried him, it was because I knew what was to come, I knew how much I loved Alethea, how much I loved being a mum and knew I would love every step of our journey together because I had already experienced it with Alethea. I really, really hope you can have baby one way or another, as the love for a child is something that I can’t explain in words, it’s all consuming!
      Merry Christmas, love and strength to you, Amanda x

  11. Nikki

    I am sad to hear that people have been so cruel you and your family have been through enough.
    On a brighter note
    I wish u and your family a very Merry Christmas and a bright 2013. I have never met u but I feel i know you through following your blog and u have the most amazing strength. You and your beautiful family deserve all the happiness in the world.

    • Thanks Nikki!
      Thanks for all your beautiful, encouraging messages that you have written to us, it really does mean lots to us! It is only less than 0.1% of people that have been cruel, EVERYBODY else have been very supportive….but it only takes those couple of people to put that seed of doubt in your mind and I felt like I wanted to set everybody straight and let them know exactly where we stood! I hope I have dispelled all myths!
      Yes you probably know exactly who I am…what you see/read with me is exactly what you get! I have never tried to hide any facet of my life, I have never been a ‘private’ person so sharing all of me and my family has been easy!
      Wishing you a very Happy Christmas, thanks for giving me confidence to continue our journey, love to you, Amanda x

  12. Nat

    I have been reading your blog since about the second our third post and I have always been touched by your story and admired the bravery youve shown in always writing with such an honesty and rawness. I think also, through this, I have come to the stunning realisation that this stuff goes on for some unlucky families every

    See, for me, this blog is not just about the truly terrible death of a baby, but also maybe how I could maybe help a friend who is going through any kind of bereavement. Of course, I understand that everyones experience of this is different, but I think the best thing that I have learned from you is that its not my place to be scahhhhred off it.

    For this, I say thankyou. Thankyou for your honesty, your courage and your drive to try to help peopled understand

    • Thanks Nat, I hope as you say that we have helped people understand how people feel when they lose someone close to them, I think that as a society we deal with grieving people poorly, I know that I am guilty of it, and I really hope that Liam has taught me how to help next time I come across someone with profound grief.
      Love to you, Amanda x

  13. Kristy

    You truly are an amazing woman/wife/mother!! I read your blogs regularly and am inspired by your attitude. I wish you and your family a wonderful Christmas and festive time. Take time to enjoy all you choose to do!
    I still think you should write a book, you definitely have a talent for writing such raw and beautiful emotions. xox

    • Thanks Kristy, you put a smile on my face when I read your comments! My confidence in my writing skills is a lot less than yours, I usually give myself about 2 hours a week when I don’t have Alethea to sit down and it feels like ‘regurgitate’ all that I am thinking, I have never tried to make it into a masterpiece, rather I write what I remember and press post, but thanks for having confidence in me and putting a big smile on my face!
      Wishing you a merry Christmas
      Amanda x

  14. Nat N

    Amanda, I have been reading your blog since you handed me the beautiful photo of baby Liam at our fitness class. I think of you and your lovely family daily. Your blog is amazing and I am sure you have no real idea of all the good it is doing for people everywhere.
    I know now that i was meant to meet you and read this blog, of this I am sure – it was fate. I have had a very close and dear friend grieve the loss of her beautiful baby only months before you. You and your blog have helped me to be able to support her. Before your blog I was at a loss of how to be there for her. I knew I could never understand her pain. It was particularly difficult as i was heavily pregnant at the time of her baby’s passing. Since reading your blog I have had many discussions with my friend about her baby – we have cried together, hugged and laughed. So thank you, thank you, thank you. Before you I had no idea how to help her and I want you to know that your blog has provided priceless understanding and support! Liam is so proud of you for helping others.
    I am not sure of your beliefs but for me God looks after all babies and children as they are the most precious beings.
    No parent should ever have to endure the loss of a child. I have shed many a tear for you and my friend. I love to read that you have seen rays of light and happiness, particularly through your gorgeous girl. May these rays of light and happiness grow…..
    You are a beautiful mother to two beautiful children, they are so lucky to have you as their mummy xxxxx

    • Hi Nat!!
      I have been slack and haven’t been to iMums since before we went away, and then it got so close to Christmas I gave up and decided that I will leave that for the new year!!
      Thanks for your lovely words, yes it probably was fate, as I only shared the fact that Liam had died with 2 people from our iMums sessions (as I didn’t want to make any of the other new mums uncomfortable and therefore potentially not come back!) and you were one of them! Time goes on and as it does less and less people mention your baby either for fear of upsetting you, or because they think that you are ‘over it’ so my advice to you is to remember that not many people now will mention your friends baby to her, and she will often not mention her baby for fear of upsetting people, because she will think that other people believe she should ‘get on with life’ but given the opportunity especially on certain days she would love to talk about her baby, and having someone there for support who would listen is such a gift to her (that is if she is the type who does want to talk about her baby) Thank you for being there for your friend, she will remember your support and love always.
      Merry Christmas to your beautiful family
      Hopefully see you in the new year!
      Amanda x

  15. there are ‘trolls’ who seek out the chance to be bitter and negative on certain blogs and FB sites etc! these are sad people! i have been amazingly inspired to read your blog and i’m glad this minority haven’t affected your spirit! lots of love from Cath, Carmarthenshire, UK x

    • Thanks Cath,
      Yes hopefully the couple of people are ‘trolls’ but even if they were not, hopefully I have set them all straight now!!
      Amanda x

  16. Tiffany

    Merry Christmas to your beautiful family of four. I wish you health and happiness for 2013. Your blog has touched me and I now give my babies an extra kiss as we never know how long we will have them xx

    • Hope your Christmas was filled with love and happiness Tiffany, thanks for your kind words
      Amanda x

  17. Fiona

    Hi I just wanted you to know how much
    I have appreciated reading your blog. Both
    You and your husband write so
    Beautifully. I hope this Christmas and new year give you some measure of peace and hope to carry you along. My baby died at 18/3 weeks gestation and it has been so comforting to read your blog.

    • Fiona, I am sorry for your loss….everytime I hear about someone who has lost a little babe I shake my head, I know your pain and heartache and I just don’t understand how so many people can lose their little ones, yet it is not talked about very much, the sun will shine again for you, give yourself time to grieve, but the days will get easier
      Love to you
      Amanda x

  18. Kellie

    Merry Christmas to you and your beautiful family. Thanks for sharing your story xxx

  19. Cate

    Thank you so very much for sharing your soul and journey with us. You are an inspiration. I pray that your Christmas season was one of happiness amongst your sadness. May 2013 continue to bring you healing. Thank you once again for sharing Liam with us. x

    • Thanks for your lovely words Cate, our Christmas was lovely, yes there was sadness there, but there was also lots and lots of laughter and happiness.
      Love to you
      Amanda x

  20. Alison

    Hi Amanda, I have just read all your blogs and you are such a inspiration. I had a little boy this year his name is Liam and when I read about your Liam it reminds me to continue to be the best mum I can be for him and his sister. One of my good friends lost her baby when we were having our first. I feel after reading your story I have a better understanding of what she went through. You are truly amazing continue writing you have a gift. May God bless you and your family this coming year 🙂

    • Hi Alison, thanks for reading our journey, and for the beautiful words that you wrote. Liam is a such a lovely name, I too try to be a better mum to Alethea each day, some days I succeed, and other days I am sure I miss the mark, but each day I do try to be a better mum, a more loving and giving mum than the day before.
      Amanda x

  21. Megan

    Amanda, I have been reading your story for a while now. May I start with how sorry I am that this post ended in you having to ‘explain some things’. You are an amazing, brave, wonderful mother and I am sure your 2 precious babies are proud of you! I wish you and your gorgeous little family all the luck and happiness in the the world for 2013. You deserve every bit of it! Thank you for being so honest, you are truely an inspiration! Xx

    • Hi Megan, Thanks for taking the time to write to us and for your beautiful words, gosh I hope that luck and happiness do come our way this year…it’s our turn for some!
      Love to you
      Amanda x

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