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Baby James

IImage owned by Gary Sly. This image is not permitted to be copied, saved or used elsewhere, without Gary's permissionImage owned by Gary Sly. This image is not permitted to be copied, saved or used elsewhere, without Gary's permissiont's Baby James' 7th anniversary of his death and I would like to share a few things that I personally went through when this tragedy happened.

Tanya and I had only been dating a short time, but decided we wanted to have a child together. We were very excited when we found out she was pregnant. I was super excited. We could not wait to find out what the sex of the baby was. When we got the news it was going to be a boy we were over the moon; Tanya was hoping for a boy, and so was I. Being the excited Dad I was, I raced out and brought him his very first plush toy which was a blue dragon. I could not wait to give him his first ever gift from his Daddy.

 I remember how awesome it was when I use to get home and Tanya would say "Daddy's home" and he would start moving around and kicking.  I could not wait to get home from work to rub Tanya's belly and put my head on her belly hoping he would move or kick. I use to watch Tanya lay in the bath and splash water over her belly and watch James kick like it was a game between him and his mum, it was beautiful to watch.

We soon had to move house due to not having enough room where we were, so we moved to a new home where we set up his room and cot; we got all his things ready for when he arrived. We had a Doppler that we used to listen to his heartbeat and that was very exciting for us to hear. On the Saturday night of the 21st of March 2009,  Tanya and myself sat on the lounge, talking about the arrival of James as he was due any time, he had been very quiet that night - not moving around much - just the odd kick here and there, we used the Doppler again to listen to his heartbeat before we went to bed.

On Sunday the 22nd of March at 6am, Tanya woke up in a fright saying something was wrong as James had not moved all night. I ran out to get the Doppler to listen to his heartbeat, but we could not find it. We started to panic and quickly drove to the hospital explaining our concerns. They immediately took Tanya in for an ultrasound to see what was going on. Then, our worst fears happened, the Midwife confirmed that there was no heart beat and that James had passed away. I was trying to comprehend what we were just told. My body went numb, I felt like I was going to throw up, I did not want to believe what they told us. It felt like a bad dream, I just wanted to wake up and everything to be alright.

The Midwife had asked us if we wanted to go home and think about whether we wanted Tanya to have a caesarian or natural birth. This made me very angry as I could not fathom that they would ask such a question. As they took Tanya away to prepare her for the caesarian, I waited. It was the longest wait of my life, all these thoughts running through my head- Why? How? What if? The hardest part for me was ringing my Mother, asking her to come collect our other kids while they gave Tanya the cesarean, and contacting other family to alert them of what had happened.

Photo is the property of Gary Sly. This image is not to be copied, save or used elsewhere without Gary's written permission.Photo is the property of Gary Sly. This image is not to be copied, save or used elsewhere without Gary's written permission.The doctors finally came up to get me and took me down to the theatre where I sat sobbing and waiting to be able to go in. As Tanya was not awake for the procedure, they called me in and handed me our son. I wept so hard to see this perfect little boy who was born sleeping, he was beautiful in every way just like we imagined. When it was time to give him back to the doctors, I struggled so hard to let go. I had to though, I had to wait for Tanya to come round from the operation. Once Tanya was coherent enough they brought James back up to us. To watch my wife in so much pain and hurt was unbearable, we both sat there and cuddled him, we both wept till we could not cry anymore. I sat on the window sill and looked outside, the sun had risen already but there was this one star that stayed out shinning bright in the daylight, to me this was James telling us he was still here.

I ended up taking time off work to be with Tanya and to try to come to terms with our loss, my heart was shattered, my whole world had crashed around me, part of me had also died. I went into a dark place, didn't want to talk to anyone or be near anyone but my wife. I shut everyone out from my life - my friends, my family, everyone - in time I became bitter, angry and resentful. I  got to the point where I shut my own wife out and just kept to myself. I never spoke about it to anyone, I found it hard to communicate with people; every time I went out and saw someone with a newborn I was full of hatred even though it was not their fault. I was still bitter and angry, I became like this for a few years and my wife had to live with how I was and went through the hardest time as I just sunk deeper into my dark place. In doing this, I almost lost my marriage because of the person I had become. I had no feelings, no remorse, nothing; I could not cry, and every time I tried it just pushed back down into my stomach. The only emotion I could feel was anger and slowly it was destroying me and everything I loved around me. Tanya went through a lot of grief as well as dealing with the death of James, but she stuck by my side in my darkest time and never gave up on me.

I never wanted to accept what happened, so I pushed everything deep down inside, until it was James' 5th birthday. I broke down and cried like I had never cried before. I could not stop crying, it felt good to be able to cry and let it out. Finally, I had come to terms with what happened. Still today there are times where I just shut down everyone and everything around me and just want to be left alone.

Seven years have now past on and it still hurts like it was yesterday. I hear a song or something that triggers me off and I just start crying. The pain never goes away but you learn to come to terms with it and try to deal with it the best way you can. My wife is the most beautiful and strongest person I know, and how she dealt with it is beyond me, but she is amazing and I love her dearly.

Happy 7th birthday Baby James, not a day goes by where I don't think about you and what you would of looked like. When I see your sister running around the playground at school I try to vision you doing the same thing, playing with her.

Love always Daddy xx

Photo is the property of Gary Sly. Image is not to be copied, saved or used elsewhere without Gary's written permission.Photo is the property of Gary Sly. Image is not to be copied, saved or used elsewhere without Gary's written permission.




Story shared by Gary Sly