A happy family of 5, we were thrilled to be expecting our fourth child. Only days before, during an ultrasound we had found out the exciting news we were having another girl. We saw her 10 perfect fingers, her 10 long toes and the most perfect button nose.
At a routine anti-natal appointment, the midwife looked over our scan of Ebony and was happy with her growth. She took my blood pressure, measured my tummy and asked all the routine question questions only to be told everything was going to plan. Saying our goodbyes to the Midwife, we remembered she had not listened to Ebony's heart. Climbing back up on the bed, I was excited to hear the reassuring sound every expectant parent longs to hear, their child's heartbeat.
Laying, waiting for the Midwife to come back with the Fetal Doppler, Dave and I could not have prepared ourselves for what was to come. That reassuring sound of hearing our unborn childs heart...we never got to hear again.
Ebony had passed away during the night.
As Dave and I walked in the door of the radiographer to have an emergency ultrasound, the faces of the staff showed they knew they were expecting us. As we sat and waited, they tried hard not to look and stare at the couple who's world had just come crashing down upon them. Praying for a miracle, we hoped against all hope that they would find our tiny daughters heartbeat, instead we saw her precious lifeless body. We saw the hopes, dreams and plan we had for Ebony fall apart in front of us in a screaming heap.
Surely this was a dream, this sort of thing only ever happens in the movies. I'd seen it before on TV, and it was my worse fear. Delivering a baby that was sleeping, I could never imagine going though it...and now I was.
We arrived at our local hospital to be greeted by a lovely group of midwives and doctor's, however no amount of medical help was going to be able to bring Ebony back, she had grown her wings. The doctor discussed with us our options and we decided to return to hospital the next day to deliver our precious angel Ebony.
It was upon returning home we did the second most heart breaking thing. With family by our side we had to tell our other 3 children who were 7, 6 and 2 that their baby sister would not be coming home, they would not get the chance to play with her, nor would they get the chance to grow old with her.
Returning to the hospital the following day with Dave by my side, we delivered our beautiful baby girl. We will never forget the time we spent with Ebony; we will never forget the softness of her skin or her newborn baby smell. As other families were leaving the hospital with their new bundle of joy, taking photos of their babies in their first set of clothes, or their first time in a car, we left the hospital with the nothing but the most broken hearts.
In the years since Ebony grew her wings, we have come to learn of the different ways parents can create and capture memories of their baby or child before they are laid to rest. Our legacy to Ebony is to create as many Memory Boxes as possible, to donate to hospitals so parents who experience the heartbreak of losing a baby or child know they are not alone in their journey of grief. So they have something to keep their childs most precious memories in as well as the information to be able to create and capture as many memories as their hearts desire, and unlike us, leave hospital with nothing but broken hearts and a handful of photos.
The youngest of 4 boys Casey was born in December 2008. His angelic and placid personality ensured he very quickly had a fan club with anybody who met him. He had charisma that would put a smile on anybody's face that made eye contact with his dreamy blue eyes. He was a healthy baby, who I was proud to say that I had finally got it right with breastfeeding. He was a beautiful soul.
Casey was 8 months old when I started to notice a few things that were different to his older brothers. He had started becoming extremely fatigued and fussy with his feeds, demanding to be fed more frequently and for shorter intervals. After discussing with my community nurse and my GP, it was decided that Casey would need to be seen by expert mother craft nurses and a peadiatrician. After a particularly stressful weekend, I grew increasingly concerned as Casey was now hardly feeding at all, sleeping often and was having what appeared to be episodes of choking.
I took Casey to the Emergency Department at Nepean Hospital and our world was turned upside down from that point on.
I had never before heard Casey scream, but that night when the medical staff pushed a cannula into his tiny hand and I cried right alongside him.
Casey had now grown dependant on oxygen, but it wasn’t until we were transferred to the Children’s Hospital at Westmead that a Cardiologist could identify Casey’s problem. His heart was grossly enlarged and the pressure on his lungs was extremely high. They were still unable to work out why either of these problems was affecting our little boy.
After 4 days of progressively getting worse, Casey was admitted to Intensive Care. With still no idea, but working diligently to find the cause of Casey’s health problems, the medical team had started to grow concerned for Casey's life. Doctors had a hunch that they could diagnose Primary Pulmonary Hypertension, a rare heart disease, however they were reluctant to decide and wanted to do further testing. To do this, they wanted to be in control, so they took over Casey's breathing for him.
Casey was placed on life support on September 7, 2009 and he was heavily sedated into an induced coma.
This was the last time I gazed into my sons eyes, this was the last time I breastfed him, this was the last time his daddy got to play peek a boo and hear his gorgeous giggle and the last time his brothers got to have their hair pulled by their little brothers ‘gentle’ fingers.
Casey went into a Cardiac Arrest during a procedure, but survived this twice. Around midnight, he arrested the third time and this time the doctors and nurses were unable to bring him back. At the age of 9 months, our little boy slipped away from us.
The following day Daniel returned to the hospital to collect mine and Casey’s belongings. He was given a large A4 sized yellow envelope and a garbage bag with all that we had left of our beautiful little boy in it. The envelope held his hand and footprints, a lock of hair and his little clothes were in a plastic garbage bag. We walked into the hospital with a little boy and walked out with broken hearts, our son in a morgue and a garbage bag and envelope full of our precious memories.
Little Angels Memory Boxes gives parents a beautiful box to fill with their possessions and treasured memories. I imagine how different my walk out of the hospital may have been, had I had something like this to hold on to. Once a loved one dies the memories are such a treasure, to deliver them like this is a beautiful custom, much more comforting for parents.
My involvement with Little Angels Memory Boxes is my promise to myself and my family that no family will walk out of hospital empty handed like we did. Together, Brooke and I, in honour of our little Angels, will ensure that when parents leave the hospital with empty arms and a broken heart, they will know they are not alone and with their beautiful Memory Box they will have something to hold onto.
No documents found.