“I am strong because…” inspired by Jessica Lynn, this is one mother’s story:
I am strong because at only 25 weeks I went into spontaneous premature labour, completely oblivious to what would ensue.
I am strong because I spent 13 days on complete bed rest without being able to move.
I am strong because on Thursday 2nd September I gave birth to two healthy, but very premature twin boys, Leon and Owen, weighing 900g and 940g respectively.
I am strong because I was oblivious to the many challenges I had to face as a mummy and had no choice but to sit around and watch everything unfold in front of me.
I am strong because I was helpless and could do nothing to make my babies better.
I am strong because I could only bond with my babies at arm’s reach whilst they fought for their lives inside their glass houses.
I am strong because against all odds, Leon and Owen were jumping over every hurdle like true fighters whilst I waited and waited…
I am strong because Leon was coping well and gaining weight whilst Owen suffered several complications and his condition worsened.
I am strong because I’ll never forget the day the doctors walked in to give us that dreaded “talk” about Owen’s bleak future.
I am strong because I had no choice but to start to accept, if there ever would be a means of accepting such a thing, that Owen was very poorly.
I am strong because on Sunday 19th September 2010, at just 17 days old I held my baby in my arms whilst he took his last breaths and dreamt his way to heaven.
I am strong because on Wednesday 22nd September 2010 I watched a broken-hearted Dad carry our son’s tiny coffin towards his final resting place.
I am strong because no parent should ever have to bury their child.
I am strong because on that same day, I also got to hold Leon in my arms for the very first time and promised I would never let go.
I am strong because being strong is the only thing I could do for Leon, despite still grieving Owen’s loss.
I am strong because 110 days later, Leon and I got to spend Christmas at home.
I am strong because on every birthday I’m overwhelmed with an array of emotions because for one twin we’re singing Happy Birthday and blowing out the candles and for the other, well…
I am strong because my fiancé and I have proudly raised our 900g preemie boy into a happy, healthy five year-old who strives at school.
I am strong because Leon has shown me what inner strength really is.
I am strong because my days should be spent with both twins and I can’t have it this way.
I am strong because 2 years later we felt brave enough to try again.
I am strong because we became pregnant in December 2012 with what we hoped would have been our third child.
I am strong because at 9 weeks pregnant, I miscarried.
I am strong because in May 2013 we were blessed to fall pregnant again.
I am strong because, at 6 weeks pregnant, I miscarried.
I am strong because a year later, in July 2013 we discovered we were expecting again, for the third time in 7 months.
I am strong because I carried this little boy to full term, knowing that every day could be the last but praying that tomorrow would always come.
I am strong because on Monday 31st March 2014, after 3 long days since my first contraction our third son was welcomed: Theo Owen who was delivered naturally; a perfect bundle of joy who gazed straight into my eyes as if to say “mummy you did it, well done!”
I am strong because although I am a parent to two healthy boys, I am a mother of three!
I am strong because I chose to cling onto hope when everything else seemed to overwhelm us.
I am strong because I learnt how to live with Owen’s absence even though his tiny life left a huge footprint on my heart.
I am strong because on Saturday 15th October 2016 I will light a candle for my little angel at BabySTEPPs “Wave of Light” event.
I am strong because at home I am called mummy, whilst the rest of the world knows me as Louise Maclaren.
Editor’s note: This article was originally published on October 13th 2015 and has been updated for comprehensiveness and accuracy.