Thursday, July 9, 2015

July 9 - Dear Nicholas Sparks (Guest Bloggers Mic & Heather Hirst)

Dear Mr. Sparks,

I hope you would like to share our happiness at the birth of Thomas Oliver in June last year after losing Molly Iona and Megan Iona to CDH conditions over the last five years. He is quite the most healthy, lively and happy baby and proves that despite having had to suffer the depths of despair there can be light at the end of the tunnel.

When we got over the initial shock when Molly was diagnosed with CDH at her first scan we tried to take a pragmatic view of our circumstances which was easy when there was hope. We took all the advice and tests and had muted hopes of a successful outcome which regrettably did not come to fruition. Despite all the best efforts of one of the best paediatric care facilities in the country she was too broken to survive and died in our arms after we turned the ventilator off two days after birth.

Times were bad after that for some considerable time. The funeral was awful but we got through it, just. We talked to anyone who would listen and tried to rationalise the biology of what had gone on whilst wrestling with the emotions of losing a child who we had not even got to know.

Nevertheless we tried again on the basis that lightning was unlikely to strike twice. Mother Nature however played her tricks again and Megan was diagnosed with an even more acute condition at a late 'reassuring' scan. She again died shortly after birth.

We were even more devastated this time having gone through all this once before, and the grieving was even more difficult having prepared a nursery on the basis that this time we would have a healthy baby. Times were hard again.

Thomas was a welcome accident. We always wanted to try again but never had the courage to make a serious decision which would have been too difficult to make. He should have been a shopping trip to ASDA.

All the way through the pregnancy we received all the support we could have wished for by way of scans, MRI's and counselling from the most wonderful people you could ever wish to meet all who had shared our previous disasters. This time they were right and we have Thomas Oliver.

As you can probably appreciate I could eulogise on this subject for hours in respect of the depths of despair to the heights of joy and all points in between. You can never second-guess other people's emotions when faced with the kind of trauma which has to be addressed when any person close to you is lost and we would never try. I do however hope that this short and somewhat stilted story of the worst and best period in our lives will give hope that there can be a happy ending.

Molly & Megan's parents, Mic & Heather Hirst (Great Britain)

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