Today we finally found out that our other baby was also a boy.
When my mum was two years old, her mum (my grandmother, Rita), gave birth to a baby boy with a hole in his heart. These days there is a relatively simple surgery to correct the problem, and babies born with this condition live perfectly normal lives. But back then, it was a death sentence, and Nanna wasnt even allowed to meet her baby boy. He lived for ten days.
Nanna called him Michael, and even though she went on to have two more children, she was never the same.
To honor Nanna, and the appalling way she was treated, our other baby will be called Aubrey Michael.
Ill probably be released from hospital tomorrow (assuming they are happy with the new pain meeds they are giving me), and we are meeting with the funeral directors on Wednesday to discuss arrangements, so it will probably be a few days before we have all the details ironed out.
Nannas experience of infant loss was awful, and I am motivated by her experience to make sure that our family has a much better experience. Weve got a grief counsellor lined up, weve got some materials to help Inigo through navigating the funeral and related dramas. And we have made a commitment that we will answer all of Inigos questions as directly and openly as we possibly can. And part of that is talking about these babies. We wont be pretending nothing happened, and we wont be pretending that everything is ok.
As our friends and family, you can help us by talking about the babies. Ask questions, say their names, keep them alive in our hearts. Its very hard to deal with such an impossible burden of grief and loss, and it can be very hard to know what is the right thing to say – so many people say nothing. Please dont worry about saying the wrong thing, the only wrong thing is to say nothing.
Archie and Aubrey will always be a part of our family, and I am amazed at how many lives they have touched already.
In time I will get around to posting more about their birth, and the medical details of what happened, and I will post funeral details as soon as they are finalised.
And once more I would like to thank everyone, friends, family, and even perfect strangers who have reached out to us in these past few days. I feel very loved at this bleak and desperate time.