I now find myself a member of a club, a club I don’t want to be part of and no-one else wants to join. Now that I’m a member, I can’t leave and very few people want to discuss this club with me. For my family and I have lost our son, or at least that’s what I hear people say. As if we lost him in the supermarket or shopping centre or forgot where we left him. If that was the case, we would simply go find him. We would travel to the end of the earth and never rest till he was found. However, we know he will not be found as, he’s not “lost”, we know exactly where he is.
In the early hours of Monday 17th October 2011, our world came crashing down and was changed forever when our gorgeous Ethan died. He was a happy 7 month old who touched the hearts of so many with his beautiful big, blue eyes and heart melting smile.
He led a normal, happy, healthy life bringing joy to us all, but what no-one knew and what we couldn’t see was he was poorly on the inside. He had a very rare, undetectable heart tumour which, presented no symptoms. It just sat there like a ticking time bomb, growing and waiting for the day when it would destroy all our lives.
Our gorgeous Ethan, taken the day before he died
As I put him to bed that night I never imagined that it would be for the last time, I still wonder why it chose that day, that moment in time. There will always be questions Why? What if? If only?
The hours, days, weeks and months that followed consisted of getting through the day for the sake of our eldest child, she was our rock and our only reason for carrying on and getting out of bed in the morning. I found the best way to deal with my grief was to always have something to focus on, organising a charity night, planting a memorial garden etc. Then I had a new focus, I was pregnant with a “Rainbow Baby”.
Every pregnant woman has normal pregnancy worries but when you’ve a child who’s died this seams to magnify them and also bring a whole new set of worries. I didn’t enjoy this pregnancy and certainly didn’t plan or think about our future together. I had extra ultrasound scans, fetal heart scans, growth scans, hospital appointments but, still couldn’t accept that this baby would be healthy. After the first fetal heart scan I though I would feel the weight lifted from my shoulders when, the consultant said this baby had a normal, healthy heart but I didn’t. No matter how many people said this baby would be “fine” I still couldn’t believe it would be true.
One year exactly after we said our final goodbye to Ethan, I was sat in hospital waiting to be induced with our Rainbow baby boy. The next day we met our beautiful Liam.
I truly believe the only way to heal our hearts was to have another baby and would recommend this to any couple in the same situation. Its amazing how much joy, hope & healing a new baby brings.
On the other hand, it also brings all those emotions bubbling back to the surface and a whole load of new emotions. I look Liam and see Ethan, they have similar personalities and the same smile & expressions. When we are together as a family, it breaks my heart because Ethan should be here too.
The hardest thing of all, and I cannot get my head round this, is...
We would do anything to have Ethan back, but then we wouldn’t have had Liam. I would not be without Liam, but to have Liam we cannot have Ethan.