Isabeau's Story - December 2002

Many of our friends at would be aware of how our world was turned upside down last year. On the 4 December 2001, we lost our precious, much loved, and dearly wanted little girl. This year has been a rollercoaster year.... some times have been high ... but mostly we have just been thrown around, and left with vague unsettled feelings. We have been encouraged to write about Isabeau.... but what to say? Finally we decided to publish the eulogy that Tony read out at Isabeau's funeral.


From the first, Isabeau was the strongest, and most determined person I have ever known.

The first 14 weeks in Dani's body were just as they should be, normal growth and a strong heartbeat. Then during her 14th week, in a house full of colds, flus and temperatures, Isabeau lost the protection of the amniotic fluid. Given only weeks, Isabeau fought and fought hard. She held onto life and onto her mother for nearly 12 weeks, heart beating loud and strong, limbs growing even though cramped for room. We lived day by day, treasuring every kick, poke and prod, never knowing when she would be born.


Finally running out of room and time, she was born into our world over 14 weeks early. Isabeau had lungs that could not work. But she didn't give up, she fought for life, gasping for the air she couldn't use. For an hour Isabeau took breaths trying to inflate her lungs. During that time Naomi was able to say hello and goodbye, Dani had time alone with Isabeau and I met my beautiful daughter, her face so much like her mother and sister, her determination and stubbornness so much like her brother, tall like her gran and uncle

Finally Isabeau bade me goodbye and died quietly and peacefully in my arms. With her has gone a lifetime of experiences. She won't know what its like to play with her big brother, to get into her big sisters things, to frustrate her mother with constant questions, to charm her dad into just about anything. Instead we are left with sadness. What we will never lose are the memories, the small things that made her special. How her feet were too big for the first booties we chose; how Nathan poked her in the face, thinking she was just asleep; and how he called her baby beau; checking on her while she was lying on the bed; wanting to give her just one more kiss.

Knowing we would lose Isabeau, has made losing her no easier, but it's the little things that ensure she will always have a special place in our family.

Dani's Words - December 2002

Many people have asked me ... why did I continue the pregnancy? Why didn't I just choose a termination when I knew there was no hope? The answer was simple ... she was alive and I loved her. I loved her deeply and intensly, without thought to what would be sensible or medically correct. And nothing is more primal than a mother's love.

And so here I am ... one year on. A very special friend, once told me how to face my sadness....”you must talk and talk about it until it stops hurting ..... and then realise it will never stop hurting”. And by god it hurts.

Children leave bruises on our hearts ... thats why it hurts so much when we lose one.

Isabeau's mum

Letter to Isabeau - December 2003

Dear Isabeau,

Its been two years now. Two years since I struggled to carry you, two years since I defied doctors to give you the chance at what little life you had. Two years since I watched you struggle to breathe with lungs that wouldn't work. Two years since I held you.

I should be "over" you by now. Everyone around me seems to not understand why I still cry. Why I miss you so badly, and ache for you in my heart. I am not where I am supposed to be in my life. I should be struggling with a toddler, battling through terrible two's and temper tantrums. I should be juggling xmas for three children ... not two.

I watch others with their babies. Sometimes it doesn't bother me. Angel had her baby the day before your birthday. I had been planning and sewing her gift for months. Lots of good practical things to help mum. I got to hold him today..... it was wonderful. Yet a visit to an aquaintance on the weekend brought panic attacks and tears. It turns out she has a 4 month old ..... we were never told. I had no time to prepare .... to cry in private. I don't begrudge her a baby .... I know how long she as been trying ..... but it still hurt.

And now it looks like I won't be able to have another baby. I don't want to replace you, my darling daughter. But I felt an overwhelming need for just one more. And I imagine that need will have to go unfulfilled. Its not fair how empty that makes me feel.

You are thought of ...and grieved for .... constantly. I wonder .... will there ever be a time in my life when it won't hurt to think of you?

All my love