I was 19 with the love of my life and my first born son when it was discovered I was pregnant again. It was in no way planned so some serious discussions were to follow. Chris and I discussed abortions. It was very easy to discuss but we couldn't actually make the appointment so we decided to have the baby. Imagine our surprise to find out we were having twins.
Right from the start this pregnancy felt very different to my first. I started spotting and three months into my pregnancy I lost Hollie Ann Jane Gregory. She never had the opportunity to be more than a dream. I was booked for a D&C the next morning. Thanks goodness my doctor arrived and put a stop to it. Zacary was still there and healthy. They released me two days later.
From the time I lost Hollie to the day Zacary was born I had seven trips to hospital, ranging from two days too two weeks. The hospital became my second home. When I did go home it was on total bed rest. No one could tell me what was wrong and why this kept happening.
About two weeks before Zacary was born I had had a very strange dream. I woke telling my husband that Zacary wasn't planning on staying, he asked what I meant and I told him I wasn't sure but Zacary had no intentions of growing old. As my pregnancy had been so terrible my doctor decided to induce me at 38 weeks, I was stressed and not coping with this pregnancy and Zacary was stressed as well.
On the 24 February 1992 Chris and I went to the hospital and I was induced. Not only had my pregnancy been different but so was my labour. My waters were broken at 8am and Zacary was born at 2.20pm. He didn't come kicking and screaming into the world. I had pushed his head out and had a panicked nurse tell me to stop pushing, I looked over at Chris and the expression on his face almost made my heart stop. I kept asking both the nurse and Chris what was wrong, they both told me nothing. Zacary's cord was around his throat twice and he was born dead blue. He was revived and I thought we were past the worst of it.
Zacary was and will always be our hard work baby. He was extremely difficult to feed. He hated being held, he screamed a painful scream everytime we held him. I took to the doctor at least twice a week telling him that something was wrong with Zacary. Nothing was ever found.
The 27 March 1992 started like any other. That week Zacary had been an absolute pleasure. He was feeding well, sleeping well and had even managed a smile for us. There was a plant expo that I wanted to go and see, so we loaded both the kids in the car and off we went. We had McDonalds for lunch and it was a great day. We got home at 5.30pm and Chris had to go to work. I was at home with the kids. Everything seemed normal. I put both the kids to bed, had coffee with a friend and then wanted for Chris. Around 10.30pm I went into the bedroom something I never did while Zacary was sleeping, he was fine but I was stunned that I had gone into the room. I went back into the lounge room and wanted for Zacary to wake for his bottle. At 11.50pm I had a horrible sense of something horrid. I went into the room looked down at my son, he wasn't breathing and he was cold. My mothers instinct kicked in. I picked him up, wrapped him in a blanket and place him in the middle of my bed. My nightmare had come true.
I walked into the lounge room, rang Chris's work and asked to speak to him, I must have sound odd because they asked if everything was ok, I told them that I had to speak to Chris right away. They told me he was out on a delivery and they were unable at the time to contact him on the radio. I asked when they could contact him to tell him he had to come home it was very important, they told me they would. I was at home alone with my 1 year old son and my 1 month old son. So I rang the only person that I thought could help me, My dad.
My sister answered the phone I asked to talk to dad, she asked what was wrong, I told her just put dad on the phone. Dad was put on the phone and asked what was wrong I said the Baby is dead dad I need you, he asked what I had said I replied Zacary is dead dad I need you. Before the phone was hung up I heard my dad leaving the house. I went back into the room picked up Zacary and sat in the lounge, the whole time thinking I had over reacted, Dad would get there and fix everything. Dad later told me he was thinking the same thing.
My mum and dad lived two minutes from where Chris and I lived. It was the longest two minutes of my life. Dad walked through the front door, placed his hand on Zacary's head and went to the phone. He dialed 000 and the next thing I heard him say was I think we have what you call a Cot Death. My heart stopped, my dad couldn't fix it. I sat and I watched and listened for Chris. My mum and dad never left my side. My mum kept asking me if I was ok I told her I was fine and I was until Chris walked through the door I looked at his face and told him I was sorry.
I ambulance arrived, I felt sorry for those men. Two ambulance were sent one for Zacary and I and the other for his bedding. We got to the hospital with Chris in hot pursuit in our car. We were ushered in to a dimly lit private room. The entire time we were surrounded by so many people trying to help and all I wanted them to do was go away. I wanted to be alone with my son. It just didn't happen, Chris's mother and father arrived at the hospital. They had never seen Zacary alive even though we lived 5 minutes away from them. I was angry and hurt, he was good enough for them to see him now what about before.
Then all the people that want to help arrived. The police and the SIDS people. In all of this I felt sorry for the police. The male officer had a 20 day old baby at home and the female officer had not long found out she was pregnant. They were two of the most wonderful officers I have ever had the pleasure of meeting. The man from SIDS was a complete waste of time. His exact words were They call it Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, they don't know why or how it happens and I can tell you no more than they told me when I daughter died.
So that was that for no apparent reason my son had been taken from my life and I was expected to accept that as a explanation. We went home and began planning Zacary's funeral. I didn't plan I sat and listened, I didn't want to talk to the undertaker he was taking my son. But somehow I got through it. The people at O'Roukes Funerals were fantastic, Zacary arrived naked so they rushed out and bought nappies, a baby can't be naked.
No matter how I felt I had to dress Zacary. He was dressed in the family christening gown and then wrapped in the shawl that all the babies come home from the hospital in. We held him and told him how much we loved him and wished that he hadn't left us. We took pictures of him, with us holding him and with him in his coffin. Then we left it was viewing time for the other family members, after they had been and gone we went back to say our final goodbyes. Chris place the lid on his coffin and screwed it down. I felt like my heart was being ripped from my chest.
The next day was in funeral. It was one of the biggest funerals I have ever seen. Walking into the church Zacary's coffin was sitting in the front. It looked little but no one realized how small it was until Chris carried it from the church and it wasn't as wide as his shoulders. Then as a family we all took one last ride in the car together. Graeme sat on my knee with his little hand on the coffin, looked me in the eye and said bubby is in there mummy. All I could do was nod my head. Graeme was 15 months old.
It was a beautiful sunny day, when we laid our son in his final resting place. With all my heart I hoped that he would be ok and now 11 years later I know that he is.
We had another baby a year later and she never left my sight. Chris then had a vasectomy at the ripe old age of 20. Now 9 years later he is having in reversed and we are going to have another baby. I'm excited and scared and terrified. But we will be ok.
I am more than happy to be emailed by anyone that has been through something similar or would like the understand wise words of the 11 year veteran of trying to cope with the loss of a child.