You wait; the biggest moment of your life is imminent. You are about to earn the title "Dad". You hold her hand, say everything is OK and then the moment arrives, you are handed your little bundle for the first time to hold, Kyle, a perfect baby boy. You cradle your child, smell their hair, kiss their cheek, stroke his lips and gaze lovingly into his eyes. You wait for that first noise of tears to follow. You wait... and wait... and it’s never coming. The tears do start to fall, and your world plummets with them. Your baby boy is with the Angels, before he has even taken his first breath.
You spend that night as a family huddled in a small room, listening to the sound of life coming into the world around you, knowing your own angel is leading them in. You cradle him all night, resisting sleep to squeeze in as many precious seconds before the inevitable happens and you have to kiss goodbye. Those final moments not knowing when you will meet again are numb.
Instead of planning a future, you plan a funeral. You go from Everest to the bottom of the sea in the blink of an eye. You register a birth and death in the same meeting and life freezes in a chilling way.
Just as you feel at rock bottom, hope flickers through the darkness. The nurses said we would always be parents, no matter what. Now was the time to be a Daddy to my boy and give him the dignified send off that he deserved. What followed changed our lives forever.
Travelling home through the glens, Rainbow after Rainbow lined the way. Almost like a heavenly gateway constructed by you only for us. It guided us home safe. Carrying you on your final journey was the greatest honour I could ever have. I held it in that day because that’s what big brave Daddies do, be strong and not let their children see it. Was I right? At the time no one would dare say otherwise. Now I know even Dad can make mistakes.
As you try to pick up the shattered pieces of your life that lay in ruins, you wonder where you go from here. Then you see that magical blue line with one simple word that once again changes your life.
That night we shared our early news with Granny and at that moment we received a picture text of a Double Rainbow that had appeared overhead. That was the 1st clue of what was to come.
Nervously you see doctors fuss over everything and the moment arrives, you get that first scan. You look through the cracks in your fingers, half terrified, half excited. Then it happens. A tiny heartbeat on a screen and you see that little precious life you crave so much. This was the first moment that I felt unconditional love for our daughter.
12 weeks pass and you carefully tell a chosen few, still wary. You then are climbing those clouds again before you are sent back down to earth. The familiar noise of sirens and hospital trolleys return. The scanner is hooked up and you pause, waiting. Then you hear a small beat and you look up and see your wee fighter alive and well. Overcome with emotion, the rivers flow, the journey is still on.
Christmas falls and instead of tucking up your boy, you are faced with a wreath in the snow. The 3 of us spend Christmas morning mourning our Angel when the most amazing experience takes place. A Robin lands on the grass, hops on the Gravel and sits on Kyle's headstone. Finally he lands on my boot and looks at us for what seemed an eternity then flies away. Our Angel was saying his very own goodbye and amongst the Freezing snow, we felt the warmest glow possible.
Now I was beginning to feel like a Dad again, fretting and running around for my special girls. Watching a Disney film and listening to “Don’t Stop Believing”, our little Miracle went wild, kicking away. All was quiet so we played the same song later and again there was our disco dancer! This was hope!
Now the day comes, you head for the hospital and the moment is almost upon you. The hours pass and then after months of nerves and pain, you are once again handed this beautiful bundle of joy. You cradle them in your arms, smell their hair, kiss their cheek and stroke those perfect red lips. Then you wait, and wait and after only a few seconds that feels like years, you hear that lung burst you have dreamt of. You are a Daddy once more and Mummy has just done you proud yet again.
So you came to hospital as a couple and left as a trio. A new journey begins. Sleepless nights, messy nappies and first words are just inspiring. What have I learnt? You cannot predict what is ahead. But you can make your future. Some may fall into a dark world, others will not. I survived with the love of my wife and the 2 beautiful children that we have been so blessed to have.
It’s no shame to cry, Dads are above all meant to be human and not robotic. I know now where I went wrong and will try to be a better husband and father every day that I have breath.
Our little girl knows all about her Guardian Angel Brother and as she grows shares the love that we do for our special little boy who we think of every single day. We have learnt that no matter what, we have never had or will have to face anything alone.
At the end of the day, I’m just Dad :)
As I find the courage 2 years on to publish this, my amazing wife has been in Remission from cancer for almost 18 months. Rachel you inspire me every day and I love you x