“I am strong” by Francesca Cano
I am strong because on Thursday 6th August 2009, at 27+3 weeks pregnant we arrived at a routine midwife appointment at St. Bernard’s Hospital and were given the devastating news that our son Matthew had passed away.
I am strong because we walked away that day knowing that our son would never be coming home to join our family.
I am strong because on Saturday 8th August 2009, I was induced and laboured for 9 beautiful hours giving birth to my stillborn son in a silent room at 6:03 p.m.
I am strong because the following morning my husband and I buried our first child.
I am strong because 2 months after we buried our first born we learnt we were expecting again.
I am strong because, at 18 weeks pregnant, we found out we were expecting a healthy baby girl.
I am strong because on Monday 12th July 2010, at 37 weeks pregnant, I was induced for a second time.
I am strong because on Tuesday 13th July 2010, our precious baby girl became distressed and was consequently delivered by emergency c-section at 11:23 p.m. She did not cry, I cried, I pleaded: “please let her be ok, please let her be ok”. After minutes of silence, and following some tender loving care from the medical professionals, I heard our beautiful baby Sophie Adriana scream from the top of her lungs!!
I am strong because 2 years later we felt brave enough to try again.
I am strong because we became pregnant in July 2012 with what we hoped would be our third child.
I am strong because on Thursday 13th September 2012, at 8 weeks pregnant, I miscarried with what I believe to be our second son.
I am strong because in October 2012 we were blessed to fall pregnant for a fourth time in four years.
I am strong because, at 15 weeks pregnant, we found out we were expecting another girl!
I am strong because I carried her for 38 weeks and 1 day, knowing that every day could be the last but praying that tomorrow would always come.
I am strong because on Wednesday 10th July 2013 we welcomed our second beautiful rainbow baby: Amelia Josephine, born by scheduled c-section at 11:36 a.m. She arrived screaming into the world and full of life!
I am strong because my baby girls were born on 13.7.10 and 10.7.13 respectively!
I am strong because although I am a parent to two, I am a mother of four!
I am strong because I chose to cling onto hope and faith when everything else seemed to overwhelm us.
I am strong because parenting a rainbow baby is a challenging time in life.
I am strong because my hopes and dreams have been shattered twice but I had to hold on, to try again, and now we have two beautiful girls who are my little rays of sunshine after the storm.
I am strong because Matthew’s legacy lives on and I am eternally grateful for the profound effect he has had on all our lives, for all that he has taught us and the strength that he has provided to our family. He was born still, but he was still born.
I am strong because at home I am called mummy, whilst the rest of the world knows me as Francesca Cano.
Editor’s note: This article was originally published on October 14th 2015.