Saturday, January 30, 2010


I got five comments on my last post! Incredible, I didn't know five people regularly read me! Sounds sad doesn't it, some people get thousands, i'm just happy for five!! Thanks for de-lurking all, its nice to know who's out there!

So we're at the last night of our holidays, this time tomorrow, or thereabouts, we'll be back home, in our own beds, in our own shower (hooray for water pressure!!), and back into our old routine, minus the hospital appointments.

Its been a month since Ariana graced us with her presence "on the outside".

Also, tragically, It's been a year since precious Sammy grew his wings and went to heaven. Since that time, his family have endured birthdays, Easter, Mothers & Fathers days, and of Course Sammy's own first birthday, all without their special baby boy. They have also had a precious new baby, a beautiful baby girl named Gracee, who is the spitting image of her big brother, a touching reminder of who they are missing at these special events.

I'm sure, the pain never quite goes away. Even after a year, I know they feel it real, and raw, regularly. Sammy will always be on their minds, as I know Ariana will always be on ours. And while no loss can be compared to anyone elses, I strongly believe that theirs is probably worse, than ours. Because Sammy just went to bed, as a normal, happy 4 month old baby. He went to sleep, and simply never woke up again. Devastating. And totally, one hundred percent unseen, and unexpected. I'm quite certain, THAT would have killed me.

So if you're thinking of, and praying for my family, please think of the Fraser family this weekend as well, as they face the anniversary of One year without one of their very loved, and desperately missed children.

In other news, my ability to avoid sunburn has apparently left me. I'm all lobster-like at the moment, despite slathering on the sunscreen. But I also achieved the unthinkable - what i thought was a tan, which was in fact a bazillion new freckles... (yup, me too Mel!!) What one uses to HIDE freckles i don't know.

We've had a pretty awesome holiday, we've spent a lot of time in the pool, went to the beach a couple of times (but sand is icky), and spent WAY more money than we can afford to, but you only spend it once as my dad keeps saying!! We needed, and deserved this break, and we've had a brilliant time. We've had family come up and spend some time with us, we've had our best friends up to stay the night and drink up with us, our other best friends and their kids just walked out the door, and what a ball we had with them, despite the fact that they bought the terrible weather up with them lol.

The new year started kind of rocky for us. But today, is the 30th January. Tomorrow, on the last day of the month, we'll head home and start new on Monday. The first month of the year might have sucked. But we're determined to make sure that the rest of it is better, starting on the 1st of Feb 2010, with new and old friends, and family.

Happy New Year everyone. I know I'm late (by your standards) but ours is just starting. xo

Thursday, January 28, 2010

I can't believe

the things people will say and do.

A few months ago, when I first found out I was pregnant with Ariana, I joined a birth club on an online forum, for March 2010. The ladies on the board were amazing to me, right from when we found out Ariana was sick, they were supportive, loving, kind and just there when i needed to vent. It helped keep me sane, and I really, Really appreciated each and every single one of them. I'm still a member of the board, I like to check in and offer any advice I have to them, and keep up with how their pregnancies are progressing.

I also liked to "board hop", checking in on the boards immediately before and after mine, February, and April. The ladies on these boards have also been lovely to me, although a lot didn't know about the complications Ariana was facing.

Up until today, I have never heard a bad word from any of them. Until today.

Someone, I'm not sure who, posted on the February board, my birth story, of how Ariana was born early, and then passed away. The point she made at the end of the post was to cherish your time with your children, and to enjoy your pregnancy. Which was fine, I was surprised to see my story there, but honoured to see women saying how moved they were, and how they were all going to be more positive. I like that my story has touched them.

And then today, I saw this post on the Thread : "why would you post something like that onto the February notice board. I'm sure a lot of people are feeling very anxious about giving birth, and all the things that can possibly go wrong. Let's keep it to happy stories".

I saw red. I probably should have ignored the stupidity, but instead I fired back a response, something to the tune on "So sorry my dead baby upsets YOU", or something equally mature.

But seriously? She existed. She was born alive, my baby girl. And she went to heaven. I should ignore it, but honestly, it devastates me, that less than a month after she's gone, and already I'm faced with this attitude.

God I hope this will get easier, but if its already getting harder, how can it?


My dear, sweet baby.

Last time I wrote to you, I was still calling you Bean. Last time I wrote to you, I was still thinking you were likely a boy baby, and I was thinking that maybe, just maybe you could fight whatever was making you so sick. We'd had so many scans of you, looked into your private world so many times, that I could see, usually before the sonographer if it was going to go well, or not. I could pick out the tiny hole in your heart, I could see if the fluid was worse or better and I could tell if your anemia was within normal limits just by looking at the pulse on the screen, without the numerical analysis even being applied.

Effectively, last time I wrote to you, I was praying and believing that you'd make it. That you'd come home with us, after some hospital time and complete our family. I was praying more for Matt and Lucy, I think, that this might be possible because I never in a million years, thought i could stand to see them so upset, and hurt if you didn't.

Ariana, It's amazing how things can change in an instant. I still am slightly shocked at how quickly you were born, at how a routine check to make sure you were moving and reacting properly caused a flurry of activity, phone calls, forms to sign and then ultimately, the moment of your birth, where you were taken from my body, leaving me empty, and terrified that I'd never see you again.

Deep down, we all knew you were one very sick, little princess. I was so excited when they told me you weighed in at 1.2 kilos. That seemed amazing to me! Our scans had you sitting at 850 grams just two days earlier, we were hoping to wait until you weighed over 1 kilo before we delivered you - to give you the best possible chance we could. But then they found the fluid, sweetheart it was everywhere, under your skin, in your tummy, around your head.. you were so swollen. We quickly realised you did only weigh around 850 grams, that the rest was the fluid you were retaining. We were stunned, never on a single scan did you show any signs of skin oedema. Ever. We'd seen you just two days earlier, your amniotic fluid levels were non existent, which was scary but you were looking strong and healthy! There was no sign of fluid in your tummy, and the anemia was stable. Everything looked great, except for the AFI.

If we had known then, that it was your kidney function that caused it, I would have begged for a C-section immediately.I would have tied myself to the bed in the operating room, I swear princess, I would have done anything and everything to get you out, to start treatment, to try and save you.

But we didn't know. The doctor didn't tell us. He said to wait and watch. And we trusted him, like always, we trusted what he was telling us was the truth, and that he knew. There were never any guarantees with you baby girl, every single day with you was a blessing, an answered prayer, but that he probably knew, and thought it not as important as it turned out to be - well mummy has trouble with that sometimes.

Your Daddy and I are trying Ariana, we're trying so hard to be happy, to keep life moving onwards, to stay open and honest with each other about how we're feeling, and if we're struggling. But sweetheart, having had you and then lost you, things just feel strange. We'll never forget you, but some days its almost like you were never here. It seems terrible to say, and I hate to admit it, but it happens. The three of us have been a three for so long, that not having a fourth member of our family some days just seems normal. It's never going to be normal that you died. And I'll always miss you, miss the opportunities, the hopes for the future. Other days, you're all I can think about. I spend hours looking at your photos, wishing that you were still here, even for just one more minute so I could hold you, and tell you that I love you so deeply that I don't know what to do with the emotions when you aren't here to feel them.

I feel like we, you and I, cheated Lucy. Princess, I could never blame you for being sick. And I could never blame you for being in heaven, where you so clearly are meant to be. But Lucy misses you so desperately. She wanted a baby for so long. For so many months we were trying to have a baby, then for so many more we were trying to keep you. To have shipped her off to various family members, extra days at childcare and hospital appointments, only to come home empty handed, without the baby that we all cherished and dreamed of, seems cruel. She knows your in heaven. But she's still so proud of you. She tells old ladies that she's a big sister. And of course she is, she always will be, but you, her little sister are in heaven. It feels empty to be a big sister without a little sister to cuddle, to love and guide.

Baby girl, your death certificate came last week. We didn't expect it to come so soon, especially since we don't even have a copy of your birth certificate yet. Its all backwards, and It's a little hard to handle. We thought that the autopsy results would have to be back, before we got the death certificate. Apparently, a death certificate just shows what the doctors decide is wrong with you. Yours says that you died of high potassium levels due to acute renal failure, resulting in Hydrops and a massive brain bleed. My hands were shaking as i opened the envelope - I wasn't expecting the death certificate to come, but somehow I knew what it was. And I was scared of what it might say.

It's no secret Ariana, that we let you go. That your Daddy and I asked them to turn off the ventilator, to let you relax and go peacefully to heaven. We honestly believe that we did the right thing by you, but just lately, I've been wondering.

Did we do the right thing by God? Maybe you can ask him for us, and maybe you can ask him to let us know. Because in the past month I've been re-hashing everything in my head over and over, looking at symptoms online, trying to figure out what happened, what went so wrong, and why you had to leave us. You mummy is the kind of person who has to have all the information, all the details. So this waiting, and not knowing is quite frustrating.

Your daddy and i both really want to know what happened to you. We want to know for selfish reasons, we want to know why our baby died, what the underlying cause was. But not just because we want to know why you left. But because, as soon as we know, we want to have another baby.

You can't, and you won't ever be replaced. Sweetheart, I did every single thing I could think of to help you. Tablets, resting, excessive amounts of water. I stopped working and stayed home, I avoided cleaning products, I rested on my left side. I ate excessively to try and help you get bigger. You name it, I tried it. But nothing worked. Nothing saved you. I couldn't save you. I have to come to terms with what happened to you, I have to come to terms with being a family of Four, and then a family of three again.

We want another baby. You'll always be our second child. But we need a baby in our arms. To help us heal, to grow our family. The thought of coming up to your birthday without a baby in my arms is devastating to me. As soon as we're able, we want to try again. We promised you, we would go on, we would live, laugh and be happy. And this is how we can do that. Know we love you, we always will. But even though we love you, we have to move forward and live again. It's not too soon. It's the right time for us. You can't be replaced, but we need to do this for us.

Rest easy sweet princess, and say Hi to your brothers and sister for us. We miss all of you terribly.

Love Mummy.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Dr Google

Last week, Dr Google taught me something. I'm not one to read up on symptoms on Google, I never have been. I always figure that if I'm sick I'll just, you know, go to the doctor. Dr Google is great I'm sure but its not like it can write me a prescription should I need one, and meantime, I'll start thinking I'm dying!

What doctor Google taught me however, was that Ariana's anemia, which could never be explained, was more than likely caused by her Acute Renal failure. Which means, for 11 weeks we were looking at the wrong part of our princess. It also explains why the figures varied so much week by week, why the anemia seemed to abate and the come back, and then go away again.

The last thing it told us though, is that despite everything the doctors did, despite everything we did, and tried to do, She never stood a chance on this earth. You can't live without Kidneys, It's true she was born with two, and they looked normal, but clearly, there was a problem. And not two hours after i learnt this from Doctor Google, Ariana's death Certificate arrived in the mail. The primary cause of death listed was Hyperkalemia secondary to acute renal failure, resulting in Hydrops Fetalis and a Grade Four Intercranial Hemorrhage.

The death certificate arriving shocked me. I had no idea it was coming, I thought we would have to wait for the autopsy results before it would be completed. I was wrong. But fortunately, I had just finished getting acquainted with Dr Google, and already knew what it would say.

And it turns out, I was right. Her Kidney's weren't working for months.

It might seem awful to say, but that's reassuring to me. After all, we chose to let her go, It helps to know, definitively, that it was the right decision.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Goodnight Precious Baby

Ariana's Memorial Service
14th January 2010

"11 Weeks too early, 4 blessed days of love, Eternity in heaven, Our gift from God above"

"Sometimes", Said Pooh, "The Smallest things take up the most room in your heart"

After 7 very long months

we're taking a long overdue, much needed holiday. We haven't gone far, only about 45 minutes away from home (seeing as technically I'm still on "do nothing you have had a C-section" type activities - better to stay close-ish to home in case things get dramatic), but wow, its making such a difference.

We got here on Friday at about lunch time. Unpacked everything, had some lunch, and hit the pool. Since then we've eaten a lot, slept a lot and spent a lot of time in the pool. Lucy is getting quite the tan despite me practically drowning her in sunscreen. I've managed to avoid sunburn which is a miracle, but we'll see how I'm looking on the 7th day.

My C-section scar is healing up nicely. All this relaxing is good for me apparently, its completely sealed over, the stitches have pretty much all dissolved and i have no pain whatsoever from it, unless i do something silly like reach too far for something, or if Lucy forgets and jumps on me. Which she's done the sum total of once so far.

Considering I'm only 3 weeks into my "healing" time, I feel pretty fantastic. My milk has finally dried up (thank god for that!), I'm pain free on all aspects (apart from an ingrown toenail but i doubt that could be considered a surgery related issue!), and have found spending time in the pool fantastic. I wasn't allowed to swim when i was pregnant, so it's been lovely to get into the pool and just relax. I'm being very careful, Matt has Lucy most of the time in the water, I'm worried about hurting myself, and possibly dropping her, and since she swims like a stone, its best for him to take her. Plus she likes jumping in and again, I'm not quite ready for the responsibility of catching her!

This few days away has been the best thing for us. We're missing friends and family, but we needed the break. Mum and Dad took us out to dinner last night which was nice, and we have friends coming up to stay the night tomorrow night, at which point i suspect we'll be having a "few" drinks while the kidlets sleep. Otherwise its just us, and whatever we feel like doing. Tomorrow, we might go bowling (well Matt & Lucy will, I'll be on the sidelines - balls too heavy to lift!), and probably hit the beach again, if its not too hot.

Meantime, I'm going to get another Rum, Sit out on the veranda and enjoy the cool night air with my sexy husband. I do love him to death, and I think I should go and remind him!

Monday, January 18, 2010

You never know what you have

until its gone.

Baby girl, God how I miss you today.

I really, really need a hug. x

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Epic Fail - Colossal Screw Up.

I did something so stupid. Five seconds of utter dumbness.

I have no idea how to even begin to fix it, If it even can be fixed. And if it CAN be fixed, I don't know how I'll forgive myself for it anyway.

Friday, January 15, 2010

It shocked me

that i actually did hold it together for Ariana's memorial service. Well, I didn't throw myself on the floor wailing, which is what I was worrying might happen despite my illusion of self control.

The service was beautiful. It was fairly light, and although sad, it was just how we wanted it to go.

The turnout surprised me, there was far more people there than I expected, just another testament to how many people Ariana touched in her short life.

Lucy was very happy to see the balloons, all 27 of them, exactly as she requested them. They looked quite beautiful floating up in the sky, not a single one burst which was quite exciting - we'd be warned the yellow ones can be particularly painful to keep afloat - Not ours!

I came home feeling pretty good about the whole thing, the service was sad but afterwards it was nice to laugh and joke with people, to feel a semblance of normalcy creeping back in.

We asked a couple of people to take photos, so we could keep them with Ariana's other things. When we get those back, it will be great to see, from someone Else's perspective how the day went.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

The memorial service

that I desperately prayed, and hoped, that I wouldn't have to plan, is all set to go ahead.

My princess was cremated yesterday. We will collect her ashes after the service tomorrow, and she'll come home with us. Its bittersweet, bringing her home. She belongs here, with her sister, and her mummy and daddy, but that she has to come in an urn is so incredibly wrong to me. To me, she should be laying in her rocker while her sister dotes on her. She should be sleeping in our room, in the cradle we bought just two days before we found out she was so sick the doctors gave her no chance. She should be in my arms, keeping me awake at night. To me, she should be home as our baby, as our Ariana. Not as a memory.

I know God has a plan and a purpose. I still feel so blessed, and peaceful. But knowing that tomorrow is the day. THE day, that we say goodbye scares me. It scares me to think that people might forget about her. That she will become just another statistic to hydrops. That to our family, she'll be the rarely talked about, barely mentioned "other child".

I want Lucy to be able to talk about her sister for as long as she wants, to whomever she wants, without the fear that someone might tell her to stop because its upsetting.

I'm scared that my heart has been broken into so many pieces it can't be healed. I worry that I'll become bitter. I worry that I'll lose my compassion for other peoples circumstances. I worry that I will start to feel my hurt is more justified than the hurt of others.

Somehow tomorrow, I have to say goodbye to someone that was such a part of me, for 29 weeks that when I'm asleep, i dream i can feel her move. I look at my c-section scar and I think back to when they pulled her body from mine, when they told me she was a girl and when they let me see her, gasping for breath, for that one second before they rushed her away. Until we took the tubes out, it was the only glimpse of her face without tubes and wires that I had. How i wish i could remember every detail of that tiny baby, instead of shaking like a leaf, and begging them to help her.

My arms feel so empty tonight. My heart is breaking for what is yet to come. I just miss my baby. And somehow i have to face that, every day, for the rest of my life. Ariana is at peace, dancing in God's garden. But here on earth, right now, tonight. I just cry.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Its only been a week

but already it feels like a lifetime ago.

People look at me strangely when i go out, because most would still be hanging around the house trying to heal from the C-section. What they forget is I'm healing quickly, because my baby isn't with me.

I sleep all night. I have nobody to wake me up numerous times. My boobs don't hurt, because my milk has all but dried up. My scar barely worries me, because I can rest whenever I want, and take whatever medicines i need to to cover any pain i might get. I can take antibiotics for my infected arm, because i don't have to worry about it crossing my milk. My house is clean because i have no baby to take up all my time. And I can go out and shop, and go to the hairdresser because i have no baby at home.

Some might think I'm callous, but the truth is, this is my life. I miss Ariana so much some times it steals my breath away. Other times I catch myself feeling sad, and for a second or two I'm not sure why. Then I remember that a week ago, my baby girl went to heaven. Other times, I feel like life is just going on like it was before we even knew I was pregnant.

I miss her. I mourn her. But I feel at peace. I'm calm. And I have to go on for Lucy. I don't feel like I should be bogged down in despair. I do feel like other people expect that of me, but I don't feel I have to be like that, because its expected.

I cry for my daughter. I cry for the missed possibilities, the missed moments of love we won't see shared between Lucy and Ariana. I feel the emptiness of my body without her every second of every day. I find myself absentmindedly rubbing my tummy, where she used to be. I see her photo's, everything she ever owned, all fits into one memory box. Its amazing that in four days she could have so many little bits and pieces, that mean so much to us. She is around me every second of the day, in memories and in my heart.

I have to live my life, I have no choice. When our hearts and worlds stopped, the greater world, outside our family continued on. Time keeps passing us by. Days go past. Ariana would have been 11 days old today. But in our photos, in our lives, she will only ever be 4 days old. And that's OK, we can catch up on the rest in heaven with her.

I like to think that Ariana is being so loved, and kept so busy and content in heaven that by the time i get there, for her, it will have felt like a blink of an eye. That she won't have had time to even think about missing us because she's been too busy being loved, safe in the arms of Jesus.

And when you think about it like that, really, does it matter if I'm going shopping a week after my baby passed away?

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Details matter -

I've had a few emails this week, asking most respectfully what actually happened to Ariana, and how we explained things to Lucy when it became clear that we were going to have to let her go. I don't mind people asking, I think its a natural curiosity that we as humans have, to want to know all the information. A lot of the time, knowing the circumstances make it easier for people to move on, and to know the tragic details, as strange as it sounds, can actually help to make sense of what seems otherwise like a totally unexpected, completely senseless loss.

Ariana's biggest problem turned out to be not what we'd spent the last 11 weeks fighting. At our 18 week scan she was diagnosed as having a condition called Hydrops, and Anemia. Hydrops is a devastating condition that is caused by the build up of fluid in two or more body cavities in a developing baby. Most commonly, the fluid builds up around the baby's lungs and heart, and in the abdomen. Baby's born with this condition often don't live because the fluid prevents the lungs and heart from growing and forming as they should, which means that the baby can't breathe, and the heart can't function properly.

Ariana's diagnoses of Hydrops also came with a diagnosis of Anemia. The doctors could find no reason for the anemia, but by the time she was born she only had half the amount of blood in her body that she needed to grow and thrive properly. We assume, at this point, that this is what caused her most lethal medical complication.

Two days before she was born via emergency c-section, We were told by ultrasound that there was no longer any amniotic fluid around her. In hindsight we now know that this was because her kidneys had stopped functioning, and she had gone into the early stages of renal failure. Amniotic fluid is half urine, half mouth secretions. If the baby stops swallowing in utero, then you can get a complication of too much fluid around the baby. If the baby stops weeing in utero, you get the condition Ariana developed which was no fluid around the baby. Ariana had stopped weeing a couple of days earlier we suspect, due to the renal failure.

Because she stopped weeing, the fluid that she would have been passing out of her body became trapped in her abdomen, and around her skin. Miraculously there was no fluid around her lungs and heart, and they developed practically unscathed despite the hydrops diagnosis.

Ariana was born at 7.34pm, on Friday the 1st of January, 2010, by emergency C-section at just 29 weeks gestation. She weighed 1.2 kilograms, or approx 2 pounds 5 ounces, and they estimated that 400grams of that weight was fluid under her skin and in her tummy that she needed to wee out. At the time of her birth, we didn't realise she was in complete renal failure, it was hoped and assumed that high doses of diuretics would help get her weeing again. She passed a tiny amount of urine in her first day, which was reassuring but the output quickly diminished to practically nothing, while her fluid retention got drastically worse.

Meantime Ariana had a blood transfusion to combat the anemia. At the time, she tolerated the transfusion very well, her colour became very pink and she looked much healthier which was encouraging to see. But by the end of her third day her colour was changing back to grayish, and it was determined that despite the blood transfusion she was still seriously anemic, and now suffering from jaundice as well.

The hematologist came to talk to us and said that it looked like her bone marrow was making red blood cells, but that they weren't maturing. The initial testing for leukemia and other diseases came back all clear, so we won't know until after the autopsy if they can figure out why that happened. They did do a bone marrow test to see if they could find anything, but we made sure they did that test just before we let her go, so she was completely pain free, it doesn't bare thinking about otherwise.

Ariana really held her own her first night and day in the NICU. But by the end of the second day, things were starting to get a bit rough on her. Remembering of course that not only did she have vast medical problems, but our angel was also 11 weeks premature, and so had to deal with the normal problems of a "gestational preemie - but size and development "micro-preemie". She was three weeks smaller than she should have been, with the fluid retention of a baby six weeks older than her. By the beginning of the third day in the NICU we knew that Ariana was in trouble.

Her kidneys were not functioning at all, she'd been in complete renal failure we think for 7 days by now, despite doses four times bigger of three different diuretics to try and get them going that were infused into her at all times, not just given as a dose. Her liver was failing. Her anemia and jaundice were uncontrollable. And then we heard that she'd had a massive grade four bleed into the part of her brain that controlled all movement and basic bodily functions. A grade four bleed is the worst a brain bleed can be. The one precious Ariana had, should have been categorized a five it was so severe. One by one her systems were shutting down - She couldn't make it.

Despite all we ever thought we could and would do for our daughter, we never expected the doctors to ask us if we wanted them to resuscitate her, if her heart stopped beating. Initially we looked at them like they were crazy! Of course! Keep her alive! That's our baby! She's our child. She's been fighting for weeks to be here, how can you ask us that!

But then rationality set it. We cried. We absolutely sobbed our hearts out. And we realised that no person, ever, should be expected to live artificially like that, in pain, and so severely sick, purely because we didn't want to let go. Letting go of all our dreams, aspirations and hopes for our baby girl was so so hard. In that second we realised that our prayers for our daughter to be healed were not going to be answered. It was the hardest realisation I've ever had to deal with.

With that came peace. Peace in the knowledge that though she was just four days old, and we'd been denied the chance to look after her the way we so wanted, this was a decision we could make for her. As her parents, this was a way we could parent her, and show her how much we loved her. I called my mum, hysterical, and told her that Ariana had suffered a brain bleed, and that we were going to lose her. I told her to come to the hospital, and to call everyone. Anyone who wanted a chance to say goodbye to our four day old miracle should come, and quickly. Matt left to make the same call to his family.

Lucy was already with us. She had come to the hospital after kindy for what was meant to be a "fun" visit, playing with mummy on the bed before going to see her little sister in the NICU. When she arrived at the hospital with Matt on Monday afternoon we didn't know that in just half an hour we would hear the devastating news about our littlest princess. She sat on the floor, watching a Dora DVD while Matt and I cried and made the hardest decision of our lives.

We pulled ourselves together, Sat Lucy on my lap and started to tell her that her little sister would be going to heaven. First we said to her 'your a big girl aren't you', and "when you get sick and you go to the doctor he gives you medicine to make you better" then "Ariana is very little isn't she? She's just a little girl, and she's very sick". We told her the doctors can't make her better, that she's too little and too sick. We told her that we were going to go downstairs to see Ariana, and give her lots of special cuddles and kisses, and that she could hold her and sing to her and kiss her. And that after she said goodbye to her, Ariana would have a special sleep and wake up in heaven as an angel. We told her that Ariana would not be coming home, and that once she was an angel, that we couldn't see her anymore, but that we could send her Balloons in heaven and look at her photos.

Lucy's first response was no. Flat out, No way, we're not leaving my sister here. But as we talked it through more with her, stressing that she could say goodbye and that she could hold her, she started to understand. You could see in her eyes that she was figuring it out. People say that children that young don't understand, but Lucy really got it. She could see we were sad, people were crying. She told me she was scared, so I sat with her and explained it to her, making sure to point out that she's a big girl and that her medicine works, that Ariana's didn't work cause she was too little. She seemed OK after that.

Ariana got to spend two and a half very precious hours with our families, being loved, cuddled kissed and sung too. Lucy sang Twinkle Twinkle to her, very quietly. I don't even know if anyone else heard her, but I'll never forget realising she was singing, loving her little sister for all the time she had. She kissed her head and her hand, she grinned and beamed and called her "little sweetie", rubbing her tummy and saying "little sweetie, its OK" over and over. I don't even know where she picked up the phrase, but now she says it to me. We have what must be hundreds of photos of our very special baby girl with all the people who loved her most. While other people were holding Ariana, Lucy and I made a list, of all the balloons she wanted to send to heaven for Ariana after she became an angel. Her list was Blue x 2, Green x 5, Purple x 5, Pink x 5, Yellow x 5, and Red x 5. We promised both her, and Ariana, the balloons will be exactly as requested, even if we need to hire the helium tank ourselves.

At 12.30am, on Tuesday, the 5th of January 2010 our baby girl, after fighting to stay with us for 11 weeks earned her wings and flew, pain free to heaven. Matt and I know, we did everything we could for her, and our last act for her as her parents was to let her go, to do what was best for her.

Nothing will ever replace those four days we had with our baby girl. The photos and memories will be counted among those most precious, and as we prepare to farewell our baby girl on her one and only "big" day, we know it will be as perfect as we can make it for her. She deserves nothing less. xo

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

How can you be gone

when you were only just here?

How can I be at home, when you're not with me?

How can I be discharged from hospital, without my baby?

How can I go to sleep a mother of two beautiful girls, and then have to explain to one daughter, that the other is going to heaven?

How can I hold you, and then leave you behind?

How can I love you so much, and never see you again?

Everything I've done, I've done for you. My dear, sweet Ariana. I've loved you, and cherished you, and adored you your entire existance. Before i knew you, I loved you. You fought so hard princess, you tried to be strong. Your life was short, but one of love, and adoration. You touched an entire nation, and in four short days you showed me what it means to really love, and lose everything.

I will remember your blue eyes, your curly brown hair, your daddy's nose and your mummy's lips and chin. I will always remember how you tried to open your eyes when your big sister kissed you goodbye, and told you that she loved you.

Most of all, Ariana, I will remember you. Because as small as you were, my heart has a hole three times as big.

Dear sweet baby girl, how i miss you.