"Our journey to parenthood is one of hope, pride, sadness and joy. It's the story of our three precious sons: two in heaven and one in our arms. A journey that had many ups and downs, and took us to a place we had never wanted to go; a place we had to work hard to come back from.
This particular part of our journey begins when our first born boys surprised us by arriving into the world 16 weeks early on 11th May 2013. Twin boys born within a minute of each other, into a world they weren't expected to survive in. However, having seen the odds our boys had overcome so far, we clung to the hope that just maybe they'd make it. There were so many occasions we thought we'd lost them during the pregnancy, yet we had reached that all important 24 week mark.
Cailean & Lewis weighed an incredibly tiny 1lb 1oz each. They shouldn't have survived the frantic ambulance journey to the hospital, they shouldn't have survived their birth & they shouldn't have made it to intensive care. Yet our boys overcame so many odds stacked against them. We were lucky enough to begin to know their personalities, and created memories to last a lifetime. However at just 8 days old Lewis passed away in the arms of his Mummy & Daddy, surrounded by the love which he had known throughout his short life. For 6 more days his brother Cailean battled on, but our twin boys needed each other, and at 14 days old he too passed away peacefully in our arms as he joined his brother in heaven.
Each and every baby is special and unique. No life is defined by the length of time we are here, be that 8 days, 14 days or 100 years. Instead it's defined by the impact we have, the lives we touch & the memories we leave behind. When our boys were born we knew if love alone could give them strength, they would grow up to move mountains. Their time with us may have been short, but our little heroes certainly moved those mountains.
There were many dark days in the next part of our journey. Days where we felt we couldn't go on. Days when we questioned why we had survived instead of them. The future felt so bleak without them. Every day felt like we were moving further from them. We stumbled through all the 'firsts' without them, torn between celebrating in their memory and hiding away from it all.
Thirteen long months passed before we were fortunate enough to learn Cailean & Lewis were to be big brothers. A pregnancy following a loss brings great hope, but with it a fear so overpowering it overwhelms you. How can you believe you'll really have a baby to take home one day, when your previous excitement turned to grief? When your memories of pregnancy and having a baby involved leaving the hospital clinging to two memory boxes while standing in the same lift as overjoyed parents and their new babies. Coming home and packing away everything you had lovingly picked & bought. Two little beds, two sets of each item of clothing, two pieces of all sorts of baby equipment. All placed in every hiding place throughout your house. Anywhere you don't need to look at it and envision what might have been.
Yet throughout this new pregnancy we had to hold onto hope. We knew we had to believe in our baby. How could we let this tiny growing person know that even Mummy & Daddy couldn't believe in them?
So those hidden baby items came back out from their hiding places. Slowly clothes were washed, hospital bags were packed, equipment set up, two little Moses baskets were set up for one lucky wee baby who would have double of everything.
Conall Jozef arrived kicking & screaming on 2nd February 2015. At 7lb 6oz he weighed nearly 7 times his brothers. After 9 days in hospital we experienced a moment which at times had felt like an unachievable dream as we walked out the door clutching a car seat containing our third son. Some moments truly are worth the wait.
Our journey is far from over. Every day we experience the happiness and hope our Conall has brought us. Through him his very special big brothers will live on forevermore.
Our journey took us to some very dark & frightening places, but baby Conall brightens up even the darkest of days, and is all the proof we need that somewhere over the rainbow, our dreams really have come true."
Thanks and love to Karen J for sharing such a powerful journey with us x