Sunday, 8 May 2011

I'm Still Here

Well its been a while. And for good reason,  June last year we found out that Rach was pregnant and in February, our little girl Aoife was born. Somehow it didn't seem right that I use this blog, that I started to talk about loosing a child, to talk about a new baby. But recently I've been thinking that perhaps I'm wrong.

First of all I'd like to say that Aoife is absolutely fine. She has been examined by consultant after consultant both before and after she was born. There is no sign whatsoever of the heart condition that Emma had. *BIG SIGH OF RELIEF*. But the worry that the same thing might happen to her has been crippling. About 11 weeks into the pregnancy we had a massive scare and it looked like we were going to have a miscarriage. It was a false alarm but frightened the living piss out of us and resulted in Rach being signed off work for the remainder of the pregnancy. And thus the tone was set for the pregnancy, and the tone was shared shitless. We would be asked things like - "what are you hoping for?" The honest answer to that question is "a child that will survive".

Aoife getting born did not eliminate all that fear, not helped by the fact that a couple of days after she was born she was hospitalised for weight loss. She was discharged the next day. A couple of days a spot on her back was another cause of concern. Back to the hospital.

Because Emma's condition was not picked up until after she was born and because we as parents had a history of neo-natal death all the health care professionals dealing with us have been extra cautious. Grateful as we have been for this caution, it has lead to a policy of "lets get her looked at in hospital, better safe than sorry" a policy that has nearly had Rach and I at our wits end.

But time has gone on and Aoife is fine. Better than fine really, she is really starting to respond to what's going on around her, she's smiling and she's babbling to us, and it's amazing. And now everything that happens with Aoife serves as a reminder of what we missed out on with Emma. Aoife is only 11 weeks old and already she has changed so much, Emma would have been 18 months old tomorrow, I can hardly imagine how she would have been now.

If I can leave you with one thing it's this - For parents of a child that has died, having another child does not make it all better. New babies are time consuming and energy sapping, so it does distract from the pain. But it's still always there.


  1. Really interesting post Mark. I think it could be really helpful for others in a similar situation.

  2. I just found your blog and may I say that I LOVE Aoife's name. It was always a contender for our children. . .but living in the US, people would mispronounce it constantly.

    Having a baby after the death of a child is so hard. I just had Silas after loosing Amelia, and we both can identify with your post. We should have a 14 month old as well as a 15 week old and not a day goes by that I don't imagine what Amelia should be doing.

    You are so right, the joy of your new baby never overshadows or 'fixes' the grief of loosing another.

  3. Mark, really amazing post again, and fits in exactly with how we are feeling. After losing Ffion the thought of trying again was unbelievably scary as you know, and the constant medical supervision, while very welcome, doesnt half make the whole experience stressful. Aofie is absolutely fantastic mate, but I fully understand that the pain never will, and maybe never should, go away.

  4. So well said! We went on to have more children after we lost our son Andrew but it never did replace him. After almost 8 years I still think of him everyday~ more so with smiles than with tears.
    I was reading back journals I used to write to my son just tonight-(journals to my son that passed... a bit of therapy for me) and many of my entries were about the child I was carrying after losing him- I remember the fear of losing another like it was yesterday. So related to this post!!!
    Will pray that Aoife continues to do all those things her big sister should have done~ I imagine she got a cheerleader in heaven watching over her as well as two great parents who will be with her every step of the way!