Ian's Birthday Gift



As Michele posted last fortnight for me, baby Patrick decided to make a rapid and slightly early appearance!  Thanks for the comments – I was stuck in hospital without net access to respond!

Two Monday’s ago I was getting ready to do my post for last fortnight when things suddenly felt different, so I opted to head to the hospital for monitoring instead.

Four hours later I was in an operating theatre having a caesarean as this baby was coming now.




Thankfully I was able to get my support team to the hospital in time. My bestie from high school who was also one of the first to show up at the hospital when Ian got sick and it looked like he wasn’t even going to survive the first day.  My other person was a mature aged student midwife in her first year of studies as she works towards a career change.  The medical team was great and were all aware of the circumstances of Patrick’s conception – and even me anxious about getting the spinal block picked up the vibe they knew they were there for a delivery in special circumstances (and my town being my town, it turns out my friend’s social circles crossed over with that of the paediatrician’s while we were at university).

Patrick arrived the day after my 41st birthday.  Ian has sent me the most amazing birthday present imaginable. Which is funny, since my announcement picture said ‘Daddy left us a special gift’.


 Patrick is a carbon copy of his older brother as a newborn, surprising everyone that’s seen both of them.  Even the ‘I’m about to start screaming the house down’ face is the same!  They both take after their dad and Ian’s mom (her family genes are obviously quite dominant).DSCN0361.JPG

It’s the physical resemblance that really hits hardest.  The poor kid seems to have inherited his father’s hairline (as has John), and I’ll fully expect to see them both develop Ian’s bald patch when older. 

Two weeks in, and we’re now settling in at home as a family of three.  The dynamics feel right, even though Ian is missing.  It was one of the reasons I wanted to try.  Although 2 is still a family for many people, it just didn’t feel right for me.  Ian and I wanted a second child, and with him gone, two people just didn’t feel like a family.  Plus up until recently John’s not exactly been a great conversationalist “What did you do at childcare today?”  “Everything.”  Ok, you’re not going to expand on that, are you?

Over the first 2 years since Ian got sick, I spent a lot of time ignoring what I’d been through, which was a bit considering Ian’s death came on top of losing my Mum and Step-Dad within 6 months of each other in 2008.  I just kept on pushing through.

Acknowledging I needed help and getting counselling with a counsellor I have a strong connection to has been the best move I could have made.  

  • It lessened the underlying stress I was living with, which is a reason why family members and I feel this pregnancy actually took.
  • It eliminated the recurrent health issues I was experiencing following Ian’s death.
  • Even my grades at school have improved.  I’ve gone from Credits (65%-74%) pre-counselling -  which I was quite happy with as here they’re considered solid grades - to consistently achieving Distinctions (75%-84%) and the rarely given High Distinctions (85% plus).


On top of that, my pregnancy with Patrick has been the greatest therapy.  Knowing I’ve completed our family, that I’m in a position to give the boys the best I can, has me feeling at ease with the direction my life is taking into the future.

I’m not happy that Ian’s gone, but I now am at peace with the reality of that fact, and can survive and live with the loss, a lot of which is to do with our two boys.


As such, this will be my final post.  Mike takes over Tuesdays as of next week.

Thank you for reading and following my journey over the last 18 months or so, particularly over this pregnancy and the birth of Patrick.   It’s really helped knowing I was not alone.

Showing 7 reactions

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  • commented 2015-08-28 09:10:57 -0700
    Congratulations Kerryl. Yours is truly one of the most beautiful stories of this terrible club…I am joyous for you, and for Ian, and send blessings to Patrick and your family. All the best of everything to you all.
  • commented 2015-08-27 22:14:20 -0700
    I’ll miss your writing Kerryl (it’s been great having another Aussie to relate to!) but am so happy for you and your family xo
  • commented 2015-08-27 08:36:56 -0700
    congratulations, a beautiful family
  • commented 2015-08-27 07:52:48 -0700
    Oh wow, I had no idea this was your final post. What a beautiful way to end - and begin. You look so happy in this picture and this is such a beautiful and love-filled story. I will miss your blog posts, and I wish you so much joy in life ahead !
  • commented 2015-08-26 19:02:18 -0700
    Congratulations on the arrival of little Patrick, Kerryl. Love your photo of your precious Batman & Robin. Wishing you all much happiness.
  • commented 2015-08-26 00:12:20 -0700
    Congratulations Kerryl! I will miss your posts and the parts of this “after” life you have shared with us all. Wishing the three of you happiness.
  • commented 2015-08-25 16:49:35 -0700
    Congratulations! I hope you and John enjoy all your time with little Patrick and the makings of your new family.