“I am strong” by Kate Llufrio, BabySTEPPs Chairperson
I am strong because I struggled to get pregnant, then lost my first baby to a miscarriage.
I am strong because I was blessed to be expecting again shortly after.
I am strong because on the night of the 12th of December 2008 I laboured alone, all night, until my waters broke at 7am.
I am strong because I had endured 7 days of intense pain and bleeding, on bedrest in the maternity ward.
I am strong because I knew I was saying goodbye to another baby.
I am strong because at 7.32am, at 19weeks and 2 days pregnant, I gave birth to my first born, second carried child and all I could say was ‘I’m so sorry baby’, over and over with every push.
I am strong because though I had been unable to carry him long enough to give him a chance of survival, the moment I first laid eyes on my son, his beauty and perfection took my breath away and gave me the ability to smile proudly through the tears.
I am strong because I had to listen to the medical professionals explain that he would not be entitled to a birth certificate, and would be officially classed as another miscarriage.
I am strong because I carried my son in his tiny casket and found the courage to hand him over to be buried, less than 12 hours after he was born.
I am strong because I had to undergo hormone treatment and surgery to remove a tumour in my womb.
I am strong because only 8 months later, we took a ‘leap of faith’ and found out we were expecting again.
I am strong because I endured a physically and emotionally painful pregnancy and battled gestational diabetes, pre-eclampsia and pre-term labour, not knowing if we would lose this baby too.
I am strong because at 36 weeks pregnant, my daughter Faith was born by caesarian section, a 4lb8oz rainbow after the storm.
I am strong because she had problems feeding and I struggled to express breastmilk for her for six months.
I am strong because 9 months later, I was pregnant again, determined to give her a living sibling.
I am strong because after another complicated pregnancy, my second-born son entered the world silently, but was able to be resuscitated.
I am strong because I persevered and was able to feed him myself.
I am strong because my 4 year physical and emotional ordeal, and the sleep-deprivation from two very colicky refluxy babies left me suffering post-natal depression.
I am strong because the mantra that got me through was ‘I would have given anything to hear their big brother cry’.
I am strong because it tore my family apart and I was now a single parent to 2 children under the age of 3, and a mummy to 4 babies in my heart.
I am strong because after years of counselling, my family is whole again, though it will forever have a ‘hole’ in it – a special place for the two that couldn’t stay.
I am strong because my body and heart bear the scars, but I am so so grateful I have had the privilege of holding a little piece of heaven in my hands.
I am strong because I chose to leave a positive legacy for my angel son, and help others through the storm.
I am strong because the footprints of my two rainbow babies form the BabySTEPPs logo.
I am strong because when i thought I could fall no further, I found the courage to take a leap of faith.
inspired by Jessica Lynn’s ‘I am strong’
Editor’s note: This article was originally published on October 12th 2015 and has been updated for accuracy.