Wednesday, 26 January 2011

18 Months On

It's 18 months since my beautiful baby passed away.  A lot has happened during that time but one thing remains constant.  My love for my little boy never diminishes or fades.  Not a day goes by when I don't think about him and miss him.  Benjamin will always be my little Peter Pan - my baby boy who will never grow up.

Some people may question why we made a conscious decision to put ourselves through this pain but to those people, I would say that I believe the pain of choosing a different path would possibly have been greater.  If I had chosen to have a termination, I would have had to live with that decision every day of my life.  Asking myself, what if?  Wondering if things might have been different if I'd given my baby a chance, perhaps never wanting to talk about it and not having the memories of Benjamin that I have. Dealing with the fact that I'd taken a pill to stop my baby's heart from beating and yet still having to deliver my baby- for me, that's the reality.  Instead, I gave my baby a name and an identity, a chance to meet his family and a legacy that I hope will remain with him for years to come.

I very much belive that Benjamin hasn't gone, he's in a better and more beautiful place and I know that one day, I will see him again. I believe that he had a purpose in this life.  I wasn't sure what it was at first but in the 18 months that have passed, I can see that so much good has come out of Benjamin's short life.  I believe that he has touched so many people and has been the inspiration for me to do some fundraising which I know has benefited other families in similar situations to me.  Friendships have been forged that would never have happened had it not been for Benjamin.

The pain of losing a child isn't something that I would wish on my worst enemy.  No parent should have to go through it.  However, I know that put in the same situation again, I wouldn't do anything differently.  I wouldn't choose it but I wouldn't change it either.  I know that for us, we absolutely made the right decision.  I have no regrets and in fact, I feel so blessed, honoured and proud to be the Mummy of this beautiful and special little boy.

14 months after we lost Benjamin, I gave birth to my third child, a beautiful baby boy, Matthew.  I know that some people thought it was too soon but nobody knew how Lee and I felt and how we had dealt and were still dealing with things.  In no way did we have Matthew to replace Benjamin, that's just not how it is.  I knew that we were ready and it is not for anybody to ever judge when is the right time for a couple to have another baby after losing one.  I'd be lying if I said that the pregnancy wasn't a worrying one, because it was.  I worried from conception until the moment I held Matthew in my arms and could see for myself that he was perfect.  We didn't tell anyone, not even our parents that I was pregnant until I had received the all clear at my 20 week scan (not really sure how I managed to hide it - or maybe people were just too polite!!).  I know that people mean well and only have your best interests at heart but I couldn't face the barrage of questions - when's your scan, is everything ok?  We just needed to deal with it in our own way.

We've never found out the sex of any of our children before they were born because it has never mattered to us.  It was even more so with Matthew.  It really didn't matter whether he was a boy or girl.  The baby's health was the most important thing.  I did wonder how I would feel if I had another boy.  Would I look at him and wish he was Benjamin, would I try to imagine in my own mind that it was so as to help ease the pain?  I was a bit unsure of how I was going to feel but I've always believed that Spirits are individual.  I was prepared for a boy when Matthew arrived though, it was no surprise, I knew he was a boy from quite early on.  Call it a maternal instinct if you like, I just knew.  The moment I held Matthew in my arms, I felt that overwhelming love and I knew without any doubt that Matthew has his own little spirit, he isn't Benjamin and I wouldn't want him to be, Benjamin has his own beautiful spirit.

Losing Benjamin has made me really appreciate how fragile life is and how we need to make the most of every moment we have.  Family is the most important thing in my life and spending time together as a family is so important to me.  I think that losing a child makes you appreciate that even more.  And as any new Mum will no doubt agree, having a newborn at home can be exhausting and draining but since losing Benjamin, when Matthew cries in the night and keeps me awake for hours on end or when he's screaming because he doesn't like getting in his car seat, I stop myself from complaining and always think about the little boy that I lost.  I would have given absolutely anything to be woken up by Benjamin in the middle of the night, no matter how many times or for how many hours, I'd have given anything.

As time passes, it helps to ease the pain but it never goes away.  I relish every opportunity I have to talk about my beautiful baby and can do it without tears most of the time now.  Sometimes, the tears come when you least expect them but I think that's healthy.  And when anyone asks me how many children I have, the answer is always 3.

The Funeral Director that did Benjamin's funeral had lost a child himself and something he said to me always sticks in my mind.  He said "You never get over it, you just learn to live with it".  So true.  My only hope is that by going through something like this, I can help to make a difference to others who so sadly find themselves in similar situations.

We are so proud of you Benjamin.  We love you and miss you and you are forever in our hearts,

Sending big hugs up to heaven.
Mummy, Daddy, Phoebe & Matthew

Tuesday, 25 January 2011

The Days that Followed

The hospital were so kind to us.  They took hand and footprints of Benjamin and put them in a keepsake box.  They also took a few strands of his hair for us to treasure.  They allowed us as much time as we wanted to hold Benjamin and have our final moments with him.  I never wanted to leave him but I knew that I had to.  The moment we had to be parted from him was unbearable.  I didn't want to hand my beautiful baby over to strangers and leave him alone in the hospital.  When the Midwife came to take him away, her words to me were "don't worry, I'll look after him like he were my own".  She will never know how much those few words meant to me and how much comfort they brought.

We arranged for Benjamin to go to a Chapel of Rest close to our home.  I needed to have him as near to me as I possibly could.  As stupid as it may sound, I did get some comfort in arranging the service for his funeral as I felt that I needed to do the best for my little boy and to make sure he had something special to honour his short and precious life.  We chose a beautiful version of twinkle twinkle little star and chose some beautiful poems for the service.  My brother designed a beautiful order of service.  We did the best that we could for him.

We chose to have Benjamin cremated as I couldn't face the thought of watching his tiny coffin be lowered into the ground and leaving him there.  I think I would have felt the need to be permanently at his graveside and that isn't what I wanted.  I wanted him at home with us, as near to us as possible.

It goes without saying that the day we had to say our final goodbye to Benjamin was another one of the worst days of my life.  No parent should ever have to go through the pain of losing a child.  It's just not the way it should be.

The days and weeks that followed the funeral were especially tough.  I felt so fragile.  The first time I went to the Supermarket after Benjamin's funeral, I felt like I was standing still and everyone else was moving around me.  I felt like screaming out to them "don't you know I've just lost my baby?".  These people were just carrying on with their everyday lives, doing trivial things, I felt like they should all be in mourning like me.  I remember reading peoples status's on Facebook and thinking "I've just lost my baby and all you can share with the world is that you can't decide what to have for your tea!".  I stayed away from Facebook for quite a long time.

Monday, 17 January 2011

Benjamin's Arrival

As the pending arrival of the baby drew closer, I became more and more anxious.  Part of me wanted to never go into labour because I knew exactly what was ahead.  The other part of me wanted it to happen so that I could begin to move on from this nightmare.

Benjamin went 4 days over his due date and when we arrived at the hospital, the Midwive told me that they'd been expecting me for some time.  I don't think they thought that Benjamin would make it this far.  The Midwife was right, Mother Nature was extremely kind and Benjamin was born very quickly with just gas and air.  Under normal circumstances, I guess it was the kind of delivery any woman could wish for.

When Benjamin was born, he didn't make a sound.  There was no miracle like my parents had hoped for, it was exactly as the Doctors had said.  They handed me our beautiful baby boy and Lee and I just cried.  He may not have been physically perfect but to us, he was perfect in every way.  I had never doubted that we had done the right thing but at that instant, I knew that we had given our beautiful baby a chance.  Although his time on this earth was short, it was priceless and precious time.  Benjamin met his Mummy and Daddy, his big Sister, his Grandparents and his Uncle Stuart.  Our little boy has a name, an identity and a family that he got to meet and be loved by.

Meeting Mummy & Daddy x

My Mummy & Me x

Meeting my Big Sister & Making Memories x

The next 27 hours were like nothing I've ever experienced or want to experience ever again.  All we did was cuddle our beautiful son  Throughout the course of the 27 hours, Benjamin kept having breathing apnoeas.  When he had the first one, we thought we'd lost him.  It was the worst feeling ever.  He would stop breathing completely and then what seemed like an age later, but was probably only seconds, he would gasp and start breathing again.  We became accustomed to this eventually as it became quite a regular occurence but each time it happened we seemed to hold our own breaths in the anticipation that he wasn't going to start breathing again.  Our beautiful little boy opened his eyes and looked at us.  It was amazing to see him looking into our eyes and it helped to ease our pain.  I know that he knew he was loved.

After about 4 hours, the Doctors decided that we needed to feed Benjamin.  As he had a cleft lip and palate, I wasn't able to feed him myself and he couldn't have a special feeding bottle either, so we had to take him up to the Special Care Baby Unit where he had a feeding tube inserted.  We went up with him - we were too scared that something might happen if we left him for even a minute.  The Doctors decided to administer morphine just to ensure he wasn't in any pain - he wasn't showing any signs of discomfort but I guess they wanted to act on the side of caution just in case.

The hours that followed were just spent cuddling and loving our little boy.  We got to do some of the normal things that new parents do - we changed his nappy and dressed him.  We took some photos and did some camcordering and tried to make some memories in the short time that we had.  It was hard to smile for the family photo but I knew that in the months and years to come, I wouldn't always feel as desperately sad as I did at that moment and it was important to have something to look back at.

Benajmin kept going and at one point, we even talked to the Doctors about the posibility of taking him home.  I think it was just wishful thinking on our part if I'm honest but the longer he kept going, the more I think we thought he may defy the odds and keep going for weeks.  In hindsight, we were probably crazy to even think it but I guess we just wanted to take our baby home like any other normal couple.

In the early hours of the morning on the 22nd of July 2009, our beautiful baby boy passed away peacefully as we cradled him in our arms.

Our Precious Angel

My Rock! x

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

The Next 4 Months

The Hospital kept a close eye on me over the next few months with more scans than is usual.  They told me that there was no reason why I wouldn't have a normal birth.  They explained that in these situations, Mother Nature is often quite kind and that the labour can be quite quick.  They also assured me that I wouldn't be put in a ward with new mums with healthy babies and that they had a special room away from the normal wards which we would be in.  I felt happy that we'd be ok at Leighton.  The Midwife who'd seen us originally saw us again to help us to understand some of the things that were going to happen.  We had questions - what should we expect when the baby was born, what would happen to him once he was born and what would happen to him once we lost him? A conversation that no expectant parents ever imagines they're going to have.  It was very emotional but I felt reassured that we would all be well cared for. 

The baby continued to kick, move and let me know he was there.  Everything about the pregnancy itself was normal and physically, I felt fine.  We chose not to find out the sex of the baby.  Somehow, I felt that knowing whether it was a boy or a girl would make it even harder.  In my mind, it would have a name and I think maybe I would have bonded with it more.  I didn't really talk to my bump much either, it was all my way of coping with what was to come.  I felt the more I'd bonded with the baby before it was born, the harder it would be after.  In hindsight, I know it couldn't ever have been any harder than it was.

Sometimes it was difficult to carry on as normal, knowing what was ahead but I knew we'd made the right decision and we just had to get through it.  Our 2 year old daughter carried us more than she'll ever know.  She was a huge distraction and we just had to keep going for her.  We carried on with our normal, everyday things.  Sometimes I would have liked to have been able to shut myself away so that I could avoid the inevitible questions and interest that pregnant women always seem to attract!  I was doing lots of things with Phoebe though at that time as she hadn't started pre-school, so unfortunately further questioning was inevitble!  With the nicest intentions, people would ask about the sex of the baby, did we know what we were having, I bet you can't wait, when was I due?  I remember the first time someone asked me after I'd found out, I just broke down in tears.  I felt bad for them really as they must have felt terrible.  Almost everytime I went to the Supermarket, the person on the checkout would ask me when I was due and so on.  On one occasion, a lady asked me if I knew the sex and I said no.  "Well, as long as it's healthy, that's all that matters", which of course is true.  I just smiled and said yes.  I'd be lying if I said it wasn't tough at times because it was but as time passed, it became easier for me to tell people - I'd done it that many times.  One particular day though, I remember meeting a lady, not someone I knew particularly well but I saw her regularly at one of the classes I took Phoebe to.  I must have been at least 8 months pregnant.  She asked me about the baby and so I relayed the circumstances to her.  "Oh dear" she said "could you not have had a termination?"  I was dumbfounded.  It was so matter of fact.  I told her it wasn't ever an option for us.  She seemed surprised.  I can remember that conversation like it was yesterday, I have never really got over her matter of fact view.  This was my baby she was talking about.

Some "normal" things were harder than others.  Two weeks after we found out that our baby was going to die, my Sister-in-Law gave birth to a beautiful baby girl.  Naturally, I was really happy for them but I didn't feel able to go to the hospital to see her and when I met her and held her for the first time, I silently sobbed to myself.  I was holding this beautiful, perfect baby, knowing that when I held my own baby in a few short months, it was going to be taken from me.  Another time, I remember going to the funeral of an elderly lady, Mary - an old family friend.  I was stupid to think that I could handle it, but I felt I needed to go having known her as long as I had done.  I didn't even get as far as the start of the service.  When I sat down and looked at the order of service, I became too upset.  I knew that in just 2 months, I would have to plan my own child's funeral.  I had to leave.

During the course of the next few months, we had a visit from the Cleft Lip team.  They came to our home to show us pictures of how our baby might look - so we knew what to expect really.  Although visibly, the cleft lip and palate was the worst thing, it was actually the easiest thing to put right.  Babies are born everyday with cleft lips and palates and surgery is so good today that you can hardly, if at all, tell that a baby has ever had one.

As the birth got closer, we talked with the Doctors about how long we could expect to have with our baby once he was born.  I'm not sure Leighton itself has ever had a baby born there with Patau Syndrome before but the Consultant we saw had seen 2 in his 15 years as a Doctor.  He said that it was difficult to say, it could be hours, it could be days, but nothing more than days.  Our main concern above everything was that the baby wouldn't suffer.  Apart from any pain relief that the Doctors deemed necessary for our baby, we decided that we didn't want any intervention.  We knew that our baby wasn't going to live. All we wanted was for his short time on earth to be peaceful and to be spent being cuddled by the people who loved him.

Monday, 10 January 2011

Decision Time

The weeks and months that followed weren't easy if I'm honest.  After the results of the amnio, we had a follow up appointment at Liverpool Women's Hospital.  They didn't really have a great deal more that they could tell us about why this had happened- they explained the duplication of the chromosone in more detail and explained that this was purely just a freak thing - 1 in 10,000!  (My friend put it into perspective when she said that if you filled a stadium full of 9,999 men wearing white underpants and 1 man wearing red underpants, what are the odds of you picking the one with the red pants on?  Pretty damn slim.  How true though - pretty funny too!).  They assured me that it wasn't something that I had done that could have caused the problems with our baby (which of course had gone through my mind!).

The only and most important thing left to discuss was the future of our baby.  They asked us whether we had considered a termination.  Of course, Lee and I had discussed it, we'd discussed every possible option.  We'd discussed it between ourselves and we'd discussed it with family and a few friends.  Most people we talked it through with just listened to us and I think probably just felt sorry that we were even in this position.  Most people were non-judgemental.  However, I distinctly remember a few people that had strong opinions on the matter.  One person implied that I would be selfish to continue with the pregnancy and that I was putting myself before the baby!  I found that quite hard to take in.  Then there were other people who told me stories that gave me hope - stories of babies who had been diagnosed with horrific problems during pregnancy and then were born without a blemish.  I knew deep down though that this wasn't the case for my baby but I know that my parents clung onto this hope until the very end.

The Hospital told us that most people in this situation terminate the pregnancy but Lee and I had already reached the conclusion that this wasn't the right decision for us.  I've always been against abortion but when faced with a situation like this, every scenario goes through your head, if only for a fleeting moment.  The harsh reality was that at 22 weeks, I would have to deliver the baby.  I would have had to take a pill to stop my baby's heart from beating and then give birth.  How in my right mind could I do that?  There was just no way, no way in this world.  Our decision was made, we were going to give our baby a chance.  I very much believe that what is meant to be is meant to be.  If our baby was meant to be born, then it would be.  Our only concern was for the baby, we didn't want him to suffer.  They told us that there was no reason why the baby would suffer.

They disucussed our options of where to have the baby, at Liverpool or at our local Hospital, Leighton.  At first I wanted to have it in Liverpool as I felt that they had had more experience in these kind of things.  However, that meant I would have to be induced, which having already done it with my daughter, didn't want to repeat the process.  I was happy to have it at Leighton but my biggest fear was that I would be put onto a ward with other new Mum's with perfectly healthy babies - a prospect I couldn't face.

Saturday, 8 January 2011

The Results

The wait for the results was awful.  I couldn't think about anything else and Lee and I couldn't talk about anything else, again going through every concievable scenario.  We did our best to carry on as normally as possible for Phoebe's sake.  Every time the phone rang, my stomach turned over.

And then the call came.  Thankfully Lee was home.  A nice lady spoke on the other end of the phone but I sensed in her voice that it wasn't good news and she confirmed it as soon as she spoke.  "It's not good news I'm afraid - we have the results of the amnio and your baby has Patau Syndrome".  Patau Syndrome?  What was that?  I'd never heard of it.  She spelt it out for me but I was still non the wiser.  She explained that it was a duplication of chromosone 13.  What did it mean?  How was this going to affect our baby? Then she uttered those life changing words....."Unfortunately, it isn't compatible with life".  Silence. 

Our baby was going to die.

Our Worst Fears and More

The journey to the hospital was horrible.  I had butterflies in my tummy the whole way, I think we must have talked through every possible scenario but decided that there was no point until we knew what we were dealing with.  When we arrived, I felt sick and gripped Lee's hand tightly as we walked into the waiting area.  I couldn't help but look around at the other women and wonder what was the matter with their babies., wondering if their problems were as bad as I feared ours to be.

The specialist scanned me for 40 minutes - maybe more.  She had another Doctor with her - I think he was training as she seemed to know more than he did and was leading the scan.  I remember the look of absolute worry on Lee's face.  He looked sick.  I felt it.  As I lay there, I just kept hoping they'd made a mistake at Leighton.  More than anything, I wanted her to turn to us and say that she didn't understand why we were sent and that everything was fine with the baby, but of course she didn't.  She talked all kinds of medical jargon to her colleague for the whole 40 minutes, non of which I understood but it didn't sound good.  On the other hand, it didn't sound bad either, I guess when you do a job like they do, you just state the facts, no emotion attached.  After she completed the scan, she confirmed our worst fears and more...

The Doctor sat us down and talked us through what she had found.  It was worse than we could ever have imagined.  Our baby had a complex heart abnormality, a bi-lateral (both sides) cleft lip and palate, part of his brain was smaller than it should have been and he had a sublte hand abnormality.  She spent ages explaining the heart complications.  In a nutshell, our babie's tubes and valves were all plumbed wrong.  She told us that if the abnormalites weren't linked to a syndrome, then in an attempt to correct the problems, the baby would have to have open heart surgery as soon as it was born, with only a 50% chance of survival.  That would then be followed by another open heart operation within about a month, still with only a 50% chance of survial.  Following that, the baby would have to have another operation at the age of 1 with about a 70% chance of survival.  If the baby survived these operations, his life expectancy wouldn't be great.  In addition, he would have to have an operation to correct his cleft lip and palate - trivial by comparison really.  With all these serious complications, the Doctor was doubtful that the baby would even go full term and if it did manage to go full term, that it would probably underweight.  However, the further we got into the pregnancy, the chances of us losing the baby got smaller.

The Doctor explained that all these complications were associated with a syndrome.  She didn't know which one, but the only way to find out was to have an amnio.  I wasn't keen on the prospect but she explained that the risk to the baby was relatively small and that it would give us the knowlege we needed to understand exactly what we were dealing with.  It would help us to be prepared if and when the baby was born.  If we chose to terminate the pregnancy, then time was of the essence.  She advised that we have the test there and then. Lee and I discussed what we were going to do and decided that we would be far better knowing exactly what the problem was and to try to come to terms with it, than to spend the next 4 months worrying about it may or may not be, so we went ahead with the test.

The journey home was miserable and very teary.  We just didn't understand why this was happening to us, but why not us I guess?  We went through every possible scenario.  If the baby didn't have a syndrome and went full term, was it fair to put him through those awful operations, how would it affect Phoebe if one of us had to permanently live at Alder Hay for the best part of a year?  What quality of life would the baby have? Could we ever consider a termination?  We asked ourslves 101 questions, none of which could be answered until we had the results of the amnio.  We just had to wait......

Friday, 7 January 2011

The Day our World Fell Apart

I remember telling a friend who was also pregnant and due about a month earlier than me that I had to go back for another scan.  We joked that I just needed to have a can of coke to wake the baby up and make sure he or she behaved for the Sonographer.  If only it had been so simple...

The date of the re-scan came around and we went along, fearing nothing, just expecting a routine scan and for the Sonographer to tell us that she'd now got a clear view of the heart and that everything was fine.  She didn't.  She spent what seemed like ages looking around again but didn't give us any feedback. I sensed a problem.  She left the room and came back with another Sonographer.  They discussed what they were seeing on the screen and agreed that something wasn't right.  We were asked to return to the hospital that afternoon for a scan with a consultant.  The fear set in at that point.  What was wrong?  What were they going to find?  We returned to the hospital that afternoon and the Consultant re-scanned me.  She was quite a serious Doctor and didn't put us at ease but then, there was nothing to put us at ease about.  Our nightmare had begun.  After what seemed like an eternity of racing hearts and sweaty palms, she moved round the bed to tell us the news.  Our baby had got problems with it's heart, a cleft lip and a problem with it's hand.  She explained that all of these things are associated with Downs Syndrome.  At that point, I broke down.  I cannot put into words the utter devestation I felt, our world fell apart.  Everybody wants a perfect baby.  The irony is, I now wish it had been Downs Syndrome - Benjamin would still have been with us if it was.

They took us to a room where a specialist Midwife talked us through things.  She was lovely, she gave us a big box of tissues and comforted us as much as she could.  Lee and I just held each other and sobbed.  We couldn't believe this was happening to us.  We were just speechless.  We asked ourselves the same question that probably every parent asks themselves in these situations - why us? what have we done to deserve this?  She told us we would have to go to Liverpool Women's Hospital for a further Scan.  They had heart specialists there and they needed to take a closer look to be more accurate about what the problems were.

When friends called to ask how the scan had gone, I tried to speak but couldn't.  I only managed about two words before I broke down.  Lee had to take over and only managed to do it through sobs himself.  I remember coming home from the hospital and standing in the hall with my Mum, Dad and Lee and us all just sobbing as we hugged each other.  Then Phoebe came running in from the lounge and we had to wipe away the tears and be as normal as we could for her.  We had told Phoebe about the baby in Mummy's tummy but after that day, we didn't talk about it again - at least not as an exiciting event that was about to happen.  At nearly 2, she didn't need to know and was far too young to understand anyway.

The hospital got us in pretty quickly but the wait was torture.  I couldn't think of anything else in the days leading up to the appointment.  Maybe they'd got it wrong - you hear stories that Doctors make mistakes - I clung onto the hope that they had but I knew in my heart.... there was no mistake.

Tuesday, 4 January 2011

First Sign of a Problem

The early stages of my pregnancy felt no different to my first child, Phoebe.  I took it for granted that everything would be ok with the baby - I think maybe you do when you've had one normal pregnancy and a healthy baby - well I did anyway.  It's strange though, very early in the pregnancy, I had a feeling something wasn't right.  There were no physical signs that gave me any reason to think this but it was just a gut instinct, or maternal instinct I guess.  I didn't tell anyone what I'd felt, not even Lee - I just dismissed it as me being silly and imagining things, little did I know!  I went for my 12 week scan in early January and everything looked fine. The baby's heart was beating and I felt an overwhelming sense of amazement and love for this little being that already had a beating heart at just 12 weeks.  There's very little they can see at 12 weeks, it's really just a dating scan, so we came away happy and I had no reason to be concerned about anything. 

I was really excited about the 20 week scan.  You get to have a proper look at the baby and it's little fingers, toes, face and so on.  It's just an amazing thing to experience and sometimes hard to believe the miracle that is happening inside you.

The Sonographer had a good look round and ticked all the relevant boxes that she needed to.  She seemed to take quite a while around the heart but I thought nothing of it really, although I did wonder why it was taking her so long.  At the end of the scan, she told us that she wasn't able to see all 4 chambers of the baby's heart.  She put this down to the baby lying funny and just not getting a clear view.  She asked us to come back in a week so that she could tick the final box on her list .....

Exciting News

I discovered I was pregnant with my second baby in October 2008.  Lee and I were thrilled and at six weeks, told all our family and close friends.  Everyone was chuffed to bits for us.  Our daughter, Phoebe was 17 months when we found out I was pregnant, so that meant there would be just over a 2 year gap when the baby arrived in July.  We were fortunate that we got pregnant almost immediately, so this was exactly what we'd hoped for when we'd been "family planning" so to speak!  I had a smooth and relatively easy pregnancy with Phoebe (apart from being induced-nasty!).  There were no complications or problems, just heartburn and swollen ankles towards the end.  In my ignorance, I expected my second pregnancy to be the same and to a degree, it was.........

Monday, 3 January 2011

My Inspiration

Sharing my story on a blog is not something that I ever considered until I recently met a beautiful baby girl who tragically isn't expected to reach her first birthday.  Little Miss Ellie and her parents really touched me and after meeting them, I realized that I needed to share my story in the hope that I may help, comfort or maybe even inspire someone to perhaps take a different course of action in their life and the life of their unborn baby.

I lost my beautiful baby boy, Benjamin almost 18 months ago.  I would like to dedicate this blog not only to my beautiful Benjamin but to all the other little angels who have been taken from this life so prematurely and to all the wonderful parents that are an inspiration to me and so many others in times of such adversity, who continue to smile and campaign for their cause despite the pain they are suffering.

To gorgeous Miss Ellie and her parents who inspired me so much when I met them today and to beautiful little Charlie Benjamin Mann and his parents who also inspired me when I read about them in my local paper, all of whom are so brave and strong.

My story follows....