My Rainbow Baby: Debbie’s Story

My angel baby is Zoe Hope. Four days away from induction, at 41 weeks, I found out that my world would be flipped upside down. I was at church and I found it hard to stand up. I thought maybe my feet were too swollen. My obstetrician had advised that “if your feet are swollen go to the hospital or back to the clinic to get your blood pressure checked”

We thought it would just be a routine check-up. My husband and I went to the hospital after mass thinking it would be a straight forward check-up. Sadly, we were given the news that Zoe’s heart stopped.

Dealing with grief is like getting a brick thrown at your face. It’s like life has thrown you into a gurgler and you never know when it’s going to end. We waited a while to start trying again after Zoe was born. I really wanted to start the healing process and trying to grasp what Zoe’s short life meant to my life

We are very fortunate to have a supportive network. I am so grateful for our friends that showed up for support, even though it may have been awkward for them to not know what to do or say. My husband and I attended a bereaved parents support group run by Deb de Wilde and Belinda Power at the Mater Hospital. I was hesitant at first but found that by speaking to other bereaved parents, we felt like there were other parents that related to what we were going through.

My rainbow baby is Ethan. He was born in January 2018 and is nearly 3 years old (how times flies!) Ethan’s arrival into my arms was the biggest relief, he brings so much joy and mischief into our lives each day. Our hearts are so full with his presence; his smile is so contagious and his laugh is infectious. Ethan brings so much adventure into our lives. I love seeing the world from his perspective and how at such a young age he can convey and question so much. The innocence of how he sees the world and people is awe inspiring. His imagination is growing, and his curiosity keeps us on our toes.

My second son, Noah was born at the beginning of October. Spending each day with Ethan during COVID had made my pregnancy with Noah a bit easier than when I was pregnant with Ethan. With Noah blessing our lives with his presence, I finally feel I can breathe again (figuratively speaking). Noah completes our family with his cuteness. 

Zoe’s birth has made us reassess more of what’s important in life. I feel like my husband and I have tackled life like snipers both as individuals and as a couple before Zoe’s birth. However, I feel like Zoe's presence into our lives has made us realise that time is so valuable - not just in the crazy big adventures we like to go on, but in how we spend our time each day as a family, as parents, as a couple and as individuals. 

It’s a sad reality that bad things can happen to good people. For parents that are familiar with this grief, I hope my story can give you faith and hope. It’s not an easy journey, but you will need to open up to the right avenues for support. Despite what we have experienced we can cling onto hope and believe that your angel is guiding you and their sibling/s along the way. Navigate the road ahead slowly and at your own pace, and always protect your heart.

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