Angela's daughter Caroline died following a Strep B infection. Angela has since had a healthy baby. She wrote this letter to Caroline when she was pregnant, and had added a PS since Gregory's birth.

Dear Caroline,

It is nine months since you left us, just six days old, in
May last year. Your father and I held you in our 
arms as we lay on our bed with the spring sunshine
streaming through the window and the birds singing.
We brought you home for your last few hours so that
you would know your home and see the nursery we had
prepared for you with the jolly animals on the walls and
the flowery curtains. Although our hearts were torn
apart we knew you had to leave us; we had already
accepted that all that we could offer you was a peaceful,
dignified death in the arms of your parents.

We were filled with joy, though, as we had the thrill of
holding you at last without anything between us- no
drips, tubes, monitors - no ventilator to help you
breathe. Eventually your breathing slowed down and
you slipped ever so peacefully away from us. We
bathed you gently and I could never have believed it
would be such an honour and joy to do so.

Now the winter is turning into Spring. I am desperate
for the first snowdrops to appear and the lambs to
return to the field behind our house. Yet I feel guilty at
wishing the months away, at you becoming a faded
memory. Still, I long for the summer. How can we
long so much for another baby when we have lost you?
I am expecting your little brother or sister in June, my
tummy is expanding at an alarming rate and I am back
into the world of hospital visits and scans. It is a sea of
emotions this time ranging from guilt and sadness to
hope or just downright fear. I sailed through my first
two pregnancies and never knew it could be like this.
Every cheery congratulations is painful - yes I should be
happy but I am so frightened at the outcome for the
baby and myself.

So we hope and pray you will become a big sister in the
summer and our eldest child, Oliver, will have another
brother or sister too. Yet you should be more than just
a memory, a story, some photographs. You should be
here too, playing with Oliver and looking forward to the
new arrival with us. Where we find the courage to plan
ahead I do not know; if we thought too deeply about
this next time maybe it would never have happened -
we always wanted a large family anyway and we just
went for it. We knew it was never to replace you, little
one, whatever others may think.

With each scan and checkup I grow confident the
pregnancy will last but what awaits us at the end - joy or
grief? A Christening or a funeral to plan? Without the
friends and family who have been there for us, the
midwife who never lets us down and the SANDS
meetings we would not make it. We can only hope for a
happy ending this time - we have learned that every
birth is a blessing whatever the outcome. We cherished
you for six days and we would not be without those
precious memories.

Love always, your mummy

February 2001