The Greatest Love of All

I knew you before I knew your name, I loved you before I saw your face, I longed for you for all of that time, And I held your heart in mine. I kissed you a hundred million times, I tasted the tears that I cried, I held you my beautiful child, And I’ll keep your heart in mine. I love you to the moon and back my little winter bear, I know you know how much that is cause you’re already there. I never knew a love like this could ever possibly exist; I love you to the moon and back as long as I live. (Winter Bear, Coby Grant)

I remember the panic and fear when my worst fears were confirmed on 22nd March and I was told I was in premature labour and my two precious babies would not survive. I can’t possibly put into words the devastation we both felt when we heard the worst words imaginable. Little did I know then that in a few short hours I would feel a love and happiness like no other! I could never have believed I was about to have the best, most special weekend of my entire life and every bit of pain and hurt I was experiencing (and I don’t mean the physical pain of being in labour) would be worth it.

At 1.42am on Friday 23rd March I saw my beautiful son Liam for the first time. I will never forget my first glimpse of him, yes he was small, but oh he was just so perfect. I got the first immediate unconditional rush of love as I carefully cut his cord and he was laid on my chest. Just 7 minutes later his little sister Grace popped out and I heard the most beautiful little whimper before I cut her cord and she was laid on my chest beside her big brother. The only way I can describe this moment is like feeling complete. I felt a love, a contentment, a completeness like I’d never felt before and I remember thinking so this is what life’s all about. For 31 precious minutes Grace breathed on my chest. I asked her daddy if he wanted to hold her but he said no. A few hours later he told me he couldn’t possibly take her from my chest, he said he did it for me and Grace. He knew how happy I was holding Grace on my chest for every second of her short life and he wanted Grace to lie on her mammy and hear my heart beating, a sound she knew from my womb. When I heard that, I thought my heart would burst with love. Not only was Alan the best husband for giving me this precious gift, he was also the best daddy, he had sacrificed holding his daughter when she was alive so her mammy and Grace could have this special time. I don’t think there is a greater love or a greater gift anyone could possibly give us both and I know I will love Alan forever for giving us both this time together.

The day Liam and Grace came into our lives was the most special day for myself and Alan. We were finally parents, we finally got to hold, touch and kiss our beautiful babies and it felt amazing. I remember thinking this day just keeps getting better and better. We were in a private room on the Gynae ward and everyone who came into our room acknowledged our beautiful babies. The chaplain came and did a beautiful Naming Ceremony for Liam and Grace and I remember how proud I felt as myself and Alan held our babies for it. Also the bereavement midwife came and helped me bath them both. She also gave us blue and pink vests and baby suits with hats which fitted them both perfectly. After their baths as I was putting their tiny nappies on I remember turning to Alan to say I told you I would only put pampers nappies on our babies, I wanted them to have the best of everything. These were such special, happy family moments and I will treasure each and every one of them forever.

It was because I was having such a wonderful day that I nearly made the biggest mistake. I had been given a leaflet about the charity NILMDTS about getting a photographer to come and take photos of Liam and Grace. I thought I’m having the best time, we’ve had such an amazing day and tomorrow we get to bring them home to make more memories. I thought I don’t want to create any more fuss so I didn’t contact them. However, a lovely nurse came into my room around 8.30pm who encouraged me to contact them and I’m so glad she did. I spoke to a lovely girl who organised for a photographer to come to the hospital early on saturday morning and he took the most beautiful, precious photos of our babies. He was the gentlest, kindest man who took 25 special photos which we will treasure forever.

I wish I could freeze this space in time, the way I feel for you inside. This is my moment, this is my perfect moment with you. (Perfect Moment, Martine McCutcheon)


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