Missing Liam

Living Life, Loving Life!

I’m going to start this post by saying that yes we are a very happy family, we love each day and we live each day, we appreciate the little things and can laugh in the face of most adversaries, our happiness of course revolves around both Alethea and Will, but by no means is Will the only reason that we are now happy. In writing the last post I skipped over the majority of 8 months or so to let you know that yes our little boy was now here and he is beautiful, however in those 8 months we found peace, happiness and contentment, yes Will has added to our happiness and has filled our hearts with love, but Ryan, Alethea and I came a long way while I was pregnant. I still think of Liam everyday, many, many times during the day, however I am getting to the stage where I can think of him with pure love, I look at his pictures and admire how beautiful he was, I can smile when I mention his name. I cannot change the past, I cannot bring him back and I have accepted that now…however I can still hopefully help this from happening to someone else. In those 8 months and still now I fight for him, and for future babies, we have been able to get some crucial things changed at the hospital,

  • The hand held Doppler that should have been in the operating theatre the night that Liam was born which could have identified that he had deteriorated but was missing is now included as part of the daily check list
  • The midwives are now able to ‘call the category’ so they don’t need to wait for an obstetrician to arrive and call an emergency C section, they are able to do this and get things underway straight away (I can’t understand why they weren’t allowed to do this before….these midwives are experts in their profession and not to have allowed them to do this previously is like saying they don’t know what they are doing)
  • When calling a C section afterhours the midwife MUST state to the ADON what the category is
  • Midwives can now call an emergency care medical officer (on site 24 hours a day) to provide back up pending the arrival of a paediatrician and these officers have received additional training to undertake this role
  • Work is continuing on coverage arrangements for obstetricians to ensure that timely responses are maintained’
  • Arrangements for on call staffing and provisions for on-site accommodation remain under consideration

Hopefully some of these changes can help some other family not to experience the pain that we went through, hopefully families will never realise how close they came to losing their baby because these protocols are now in place. Families will never have a clue that a little boy named Liam helped save their baby, he will never be recognised as a hero, but to me he is.

The investigation into the conduct of the hospital, midwife and obstetrician is still continuing, so far the medical board and the HCCC keep telling me that there were many ‘system errors’ (verbally of course) and that no one should be reprimanded etc for Liam passing away because individually what they did/didn’t do didn’t cause his death, but collectively everything snowballed and all contributed to his death. All I would really love is for the hospital, midwife and doctor to write to me telling me where they went wrong (because yes they did do things wrong) and tell me that they are sorry that individually and collectively they didn’t do everything that they should have that night to ensure that Liam came into this world safely.

I have now had 10 weeks to get to know my new little boy and he is beautiful. He is a happy, smiley, placid little fellow who only cries if there is something wrong. So far we haven’t even experienced ‘witching hour’ with him, he just cruises along the whole day in his happy little world. He sleeps well, (still feeding every 3 hours during the night) and is just pure joy to have. Alethea is still totally besotted by him, I had thought that this would wear off, but she just absolutely adores him, she helps me dress him, she cuddles him, she plays little games with him and talks ALL the time to him.

There are two activities that Will seems to love the most, he loves his bath and he adores having his nappy changed/getting dressed in his room (he doesn’t yet sleep in his room, he still sleeps in our room in the bassinet). When he is in his room, and when he is about to have a bath he is totally relaxed, he has this sense of wonder on his face, he gurgles and chatters and constantly smiles, I used to say that these were his favourite times of the day (which they are) but recently I have wondered if his love of the bath and his bedroom has something to do with Liam, the only thing that Liam experienced, albeit after he died in this world was a bath from his daddy, and we haven’t changed the nursery that Liam was going to be in, we left it the same for Will. I am not a big believer in things like this but I like to think (and it gives me comfort) that when Will is enjoying himself so much in these 2 activities that he has his big brother close by comforting him.

Before Will came, I decided that I would like to get some pregnancy photos done, I didn’t have any done for either Alethea or Liam, but I thought that if Will didn’t make it I would at least have some beautiful, loving photos of him when he was in my tummy, so I asked a friend from school, Jess who has her own photography business (Joyess Images) if she would kindly do some family pictures for us and she eagerly agreed. Long ago I had ‘liked’ Jess’s FB page of Joyess Images and had always marvelled at the way she seemed to capture the essense of happiness in the families that she photographed. I also asked Jess if she would take some pictures of our new family of 5 after Will had come (if indeed he came into this world safely) which she also did for us. For those in the Sydney area if you would like pregnancy/family photos done I highly recommend Jess, she produces some of the nicest work I have seen at a cost that is so minimal, I am sure she does it for the fun of it, with no hidden charges.

It has been a long time since I last wrote a post, and I think it will probably be a long time till my next post, it is not because I have forgotten Liam, it is just because we are living our life, our family of 5 has peace, our family of 5 is doing exactly what we promised Liam, we are living life to the fullest, we are having fun, I would love to pause time at the moment,  my children are growing up way too fast, Alethea will be starting school in 6 months and I will miss her SO much but at the same time I absolutely LOVE watching my little ones grow, I love seeing Will get bigger and bigger because getting bigger means that he is alive and healthy and that is the way it should be!

Jess took so many beautiful photos it was hard only to pick a few!!

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And here are the photos taken when Will was 2 weeks old

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  1. Much love to you and your beautiful family. I found your blog through Heartfelt and look foward to reading it. My heart has broken for you in your loss. Now it is happy with the addition of Will. I have never experienced anything like this but I know how much I love my 2 and the thought of loosing them… There are no words. Thank you for sharing your journey and for having the drive and courage to stand up and say that it isn’t good enough. If the changes save just 1 bubba, it is worth all of your effort.

  2. Danielle

    Amanda those pictures are absolutely adorable. I love the way you talk about Liam and i was so happy to hear your amazing news! Wishing you all the happiness in the world. Both you, Ryan and your babies truly deserve it xxx

  3. Sam Berryman

    Amanda, you do nothing but continue to touch my heart with your honesty – as I live close by I know I will bump in to you one day so if you see a crazy woman with tears in her eyes approaching you it’s only me – your family is just beautiul……….all 5 of you xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

  4. Felicity

    Thank you for sharing your story.

  5. Jenny

    You can be so proud Amanda that the hospital has changed some of its protocols because of dear little Liam. He is a hero and hopefully no one else will ever have to endure what you, Ryan and Alethea have been through. All of these photos are absolutely beautiful. Thank you for sharing them with us.

  6. thank you for sharing this fascinating and compelling blog! I wish you all the best with your rainbow baby and hope that your suggested changes are instituted in all hospitals! x

  7. Mornè Chapman

    The one photo which you posted of Liam which touched my heart the most was the picture of his daddy bathing him and as I read your blog today about Will enjoying his bath so much, the first thing that popped into my mind was that Liam was the reason and reading on I saw that you also believe this. I am a strong believer that our loved ones keep vigil over us and because you keep Liam as an ever present part of your ‘family of 5’, he will be by you forever. Well done Liam for all the help with the changes for new babies! Thank you for sharing your beautiful photos, my favourite is the one with Will and Alethea cuddling on the bed, she loves him so much, she has kept her love for Liam and added it to her love for Will and that is why it will never fade! May God bless your perfect family.
    Love and hugs Mornè

  8. Rebecca

    I love how out of the hurt and heartache you have been able to channel the love into a constructive improvement for all the families that will follow behind you. Not only is Liam a hero but your whole family is. Stand strong and proud that your pain and loss has not being in vain and every safe baby born in that hospital will be indirectly thanking you. All the best to your beautiful family of 5

  9. Elisha

    Wow, little L has made big changes at the hospital. The work that you have done in his name there is extraordinary. The pictures are amazing. The one off Alethea and Will snuggling on the bed is too precious.

  10. Lisa

    Such beautiful photos. I have been checking your page in the hope of an update, but remembering how all encompassing those first months can be.
    You have allowed Liam to leave a great legacy in the changes made at the hospital.
    Wills big brother will always look over him, along with his ever present doting adoring big sister.
    Much love to your family. So happy for you.

  11. Kellie

    I’m so thrilled to hear of the changes that have happened at the hospital, all because of you fighting for Liam. You should be so very proud of yourself. Beautiful family xxx

  12. Rachel

    I cannot express how deeply I have been touched by the story of your family. I am sure Liam is with his brother in his room, in the bath and will be with him everywhere he goes.

    I shed a few tears looking at your photos. They are simply Devine.

    I am so glad the hospital has changed their procedure.

  13. Jilda

    Congratulations on the addition to your family. Thank you for sharing your story and beautiful family of 5!! Your children are all beautiful and Liam will save many babies! He is a true hero and an angel looking down on you all. Keep enjoying life and making many happy memories.xx

  14. Sheryl Chan

    Dear Amanda, I read your story about Liam in tears (thanks for sharing), as I too have just lost my prematurely born baby boy early this month. Am still grieving heart brokenly. Nevertheless, I’m happy for you, to have Will to up your family. Wish you and your family happiness.

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