Today is Father’s day 2017 and it’s a difficult day to say the least. While many of my friends are enjoying being spoilt with gifts and meals my wife and I are making plans to avoid public places and to find a gap in the rain to visit our daughter at the cemetery.
This time last year was an exciting time for us. My wife was five months pregnant with Ella and we were eagerly anticipating her arrival in February 2017. I had received some text messages from friends and family wishing me a happy father’s day in advance and Suzi and I talked about how different our life will be this time next year. Little did we know that ‘different’ did not mean better.
A couple of days after the 34-week mark we went into the hospital because we hadn’t felt Ella move that evening before we went to sleep. Tragically we found out that she had passed away. In that instant our life was turned upside down and inside out and we had to make a decision as to when we wanted her to be delivered. We decided to deliver the next day and after being induced Suzi gave birth to our beautiful little girl two days later. When Ella was born we couldn’t believe how perfect she was. She had a perfectly formed face, hands and feet and we were instantly in love with her. We spent the next six hours holding, bathing, talking and connecting with her. We were both excited to meet and hang out with her. Having to say goodbye, however, was the most difficult thing you could ever imagine. After our return home we had to transition from buying prams and change tables to buying a headstone and casket.
To say that our lives are different would be an understatement. Prior to Ella’s death we could only see the good in the world, in people, in relationships and our future. Now this tragedy has tarnished that bright eyed and bushy tailed perception of the world. You see, we have always believed that good things happen to good people. The reality is, of course, terrible things can also happen to good people. Just because you pay your taxes on time, are polite to strangers and ingest positive physical and mental nutrition does not guarantee you the birth of a healthy living child. And even though life has dealt us a shitty hand we still appreciate and are thankful for Ella’s short life. In our minds Ella lived for 34 weeks inside Suzi and in our home before she passed away. We talk about her often and take some level of solace in the fact that we did get to hold and nurture her for a brief moment outside her cocoon.
We celebrate and honour her 34-week life by keeping her memory alive with conversation, keepsakes and visits to her resting place. For us she was not a tragedy, a sad event or mistake. She was and is our first daughter.
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Hello my name is Ted and I am a full time martial arts instructor. My wife, Suzi, and I lost our precious little girl, Ella Rose Argyle, on the 21st January 2017. Before Ella passed away we did not consider the chance that we would lose our child. Our goal, in part, with these articles is to help others who have lost children to find some sanity in the fact that they are not alone. Our beautiful girl is our first child and lived for 34 weeks inside her mum’s cocoon before we held her in our arms.