OUR LAST ITEM ON WORLD PRESS.

Thank you to those who have followed this blog and have interacted and commented on the items published on it.

 

This is the last item we will be posting on this blog as we move over to the blog on our website.

We will be keeping this blog open and the link to our new blog is:  https://www.daddyswithangels.org/blog

 

Paul and the DWA team.

Advertisements
Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Meet The Graphics Team

11042670_1375383476118237_4564665214368770837_n

‘A picture is worth a thousand words, but memories are priceless.

When the fist Daddys with Angels group was set up it quickly became apparent that graphics were going to have to be an integral part of it. I had no experience whatsoever of using a computer to make graphics, neither did I know where to start. I began by looking at what graphics others were doing on social media and what they were using. Some were ‘very shy’ in sharing how they did things but some were very helpful. I began using some of the apps available on Facebook like Pizap and Imikimi. One I got to grips with them I began to look at using other apps and program’s.

The firsts use of graphics were for what we call ‘Special days’ -Birthdays and Angelversaries. These remain an important part of the group. In a world where many will forget these days if you are in one of our groups and we have their details then WE WILL REMEMBER THEM. Not long after the group was set up I set up a page on Facebook. Initially this was to share the group and Angel related pictures, graphics or poems which had been found on web searches. I then began making some using the skills I had learnt. With the growth of the group and the opening of another group for mums and dads and the page there was a need for some help. The special days were continued on the groups and some volunteers had stepped forward to make graphics and take requests for graphics off the page.

There were quite a lot of comings and goings with volunteers wanting to do graphics, but graphics remained a consistent part of DWA. In December 2015 I took the decision to open a dedicated graphics group for volunteers (who are all Angel dads, like the group support workers) who wanted to help make graphics for Daddys with Angels and then a graphics pick up group where group members can go to and request personalised graphics form those on offer.

I asked Warren (his item is below this) to head up the graphics team as he had shown the right skills and aptitude to do it. The graphics team took over responsibility for the special days graphics in the group and the designing , making and scheduling of graphics on the community page. The graphics team will also take on requests from the group and the page.

New volunteers are gradually being added to the graphics team. Some already have the necessary skills, some have an interest in doing this type of graphics. I began without any skills or knowledge on graphics, so I use that as a basis when someone is identified as a volunteer.

The more experienced members of the team are more than happy to take newcomers under their wings and this works well. From the start when I had pretty much no idea on how to make graphics it has evolved to a confident and imaginative team who not only make pictures, they now help make those precious memories, which Angel parents need and seek to bring them some comfort.

 

12166487_10207832649319996_1683957126_n (1)

 

 

Hi My name is Warren Morris and I am the Head of the graphics team here at Daddys With Angels .

I have been a member of DWA since August 2014 just over a year since My son, Oliver Passed away. I have been Involved in DWA as a Volunteer since March 2015.

I have always been Involved in the Graphics side of things in one way or another, but was asked to form a graphics department as we grew bigger . The department is overseen by the Owner Paul and Myself. The team for me is one of the best , all Angel Dads with a passion for helping others through Various graphics/Videos.

My main roles are to oversee the team , collate ideas , produce Videos for DWA and Other various Media Projects , as well as guide others on improving their skills.

We all have our own strengths and we all bring something to the team , I couldn’t ask for a better bunch to work with for DWA

 

28664795116_e7dd3da295_o.png

One of My Favorite graphics that I produced

 

14458949_1764925950444009_1149832586_n

 

Hi I’m Michael Welch, I am father to my Angel Holly I also have 3 sunshine kids and a Rainbow.

I joined Dwa as a member over a year ago. In January I was asked to try out as admin and I absolutely loved being able to help people who were grieving like me.

Through time I was also asked to join the graphics group and have had the pleasure of making many graphics for the members and their angels

 

14370226_1764287320507872_7237091325245907039_n

One of My favorite graphics that I produced

 

12418059_1074838705916666_8280181406698544818_n

 

Hello I’m Michael Hensley. I am the father of Angel Alaira Nicole Hensley forever 9 7-2-2005/1-6-2015. I also have a 23 yr old son Tyler Wayne Hensley and soon to be 9 year old daughter on October 25 named Shailyn Christine Hensley.

I joined Warren Morris and his team shortly after Alaira’s death to help others. My goal is to leave behind words to help my brothers/sisters walk the journey that’s been given when mine comes to an end.

 

14370009_1214048565329012_8476034086987684306_n

One of My favorite graphics that I have Produced

 

 

6_andrew-james-clayton-bunday

 

Hi my name is Andrew Clayton-Bunday, I joined DWA back in Jan 2015 , and was asked to help out with the Graphics Department in 2016.I have 6 Angels , 2 were born and 4 were miscarriages .

I help out a lot in the background with tech support for the guys , sourcing software and teaching them how to use it . I am currently tasked with looking after the Special day files as My main duties . I specialize In photo restoration of damaged pictures and picture editing

14445760_10154203484041263_1780848703_n

One of My favorite graphics that I have produced

 

10981397_10155203755375414_62634708328727268_n

 

Hello I’m Jamie Fallick – Wicks I am farther to Angel Oliver Fallick – Wicks. At our 20 week scan we where given the news that he had patau syndrome ( A fatal chromosome defect ) and we where given the option of having a medically advised termination.

After another scan and test to confirm the results Oliver was born on the 30/8/15 at 21 weeks.

Finding DWA has meant so much to me and I was thinking of a way to give back so when I saw a post asking for a new member of the graphics team I jumped on it and here I am. It really helps me work through my issues and to have a connection with fellow Angel parents that is so hard to find in the outside world.I am currently tasked with the scheduling of Graphics to the community page

 

14423868_10157439987885414_132409715_o

 

 

 

 

15578933_10206178373577061_5033287812351130254_n

 

Hi, my name is Peter Hurraw. I gained an angel in 2015. She was only 7 months old and had a heart defect and struggled those 7 months but was a fighter. I’m also part of DWA’s graphic support team where I make graphics with emotional quotes, and custom graphics that can have someone’s angels name on it.

 

15622635_10206182035508607_6715076362201998825_n

 

Got a graphic request? Head on over to our community page and drop us a message

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

A Rainbow Road

 

Now I’ll agree many of you reading this may not have lost a child or ever heard of the term ‘rainbow baby’ and before my loss I’m ashamed to admit that I’d never heard the term either so I’ll explain it, losing a child is the most painful thing imaginable……. no I’ll rephrase that as unless you’ve lost a child you can never ‘imagine’ this pain it’s just unimaginable so just imagine losing a child and you’ll feel just a fraction of the pain if you want to try and understand it but you’ll never fully understand it because you’d have to go through it. So losing a child is horrifying it’s one big violent storm that destroys everything in its path that it touches like a tornado if it were, and as the old saying goes “after every storm comes a rainbow” so simply put a rainbow baby is a child born after a loss.

I’m writing this to give an inside to thinking/having a rainbow baby as I think many don’t know or understand the difficulties of such a task and think it’s just a case of have another baby and everything is jolly. When in actual fact it’s the opposite.

Many who know me or my wife will know we lost our beautiful baby Rosie Mai who was born sleeping 26/08/14 and as I’ve stated the pain was unimaginable and our lives would never be the same again, a storm so big it makes Jupiter’s Great red spot seem like a mere light breeze and even that is understating it, but together we walked that storm with sorrow and heartache and barely weathering it but with help from family and friends( which at this point you now find out who your real one are). Now I’d never say we’re out of the storm nor do I ever think we will be and not a second goes by that a memory of our beautiful Rosie Mai or that day hits me like a lightening bolt from that storm and I believe it will continue to do so until they lay me in the ground next to her, I love you Rosie Mai you’re daddy’s little angel xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

The worst thing you could say to parents who have lost is “you can always have another” like it’s some broken TV that you’ll just bin and go and buy yourself a new one! And for those that think that just look at the children you’re blessed with now pick one of them you could live without…. having another child is in no way replacing a child lost nor does it ever come close to filling the void left but that doesn’t stop your mind telling you that’s what you’re doing, yes that’s guilt talking and he’s a nasty bastard and he’s one of the reasons the decision to have a rainbow is so difficult and hard because Mr guilt likes to tell you at every possible opportunity that you are betraying the child you’ve lost, so to anyone who thinks this is an easy decision you’re wrong and a moron it’s something that’s never taken lightly!

That’s the ‘easy’ part dealt with now comes the anxious waiting month after month crossing everything that can possibly be crossed in a hope that you’ll miss a period only to be heartbroken when you see the first sight of blood, month after month it goes on “is there something wrong with me” “did they damage something in my wife’s womb when getting my angel out” every negative thought you could conceive? you think it, so you just follow every tips and hints you find to help you conceive to no avail and to say the pregnancy test companies made a nice sum off us is putting it mildly.

Took over a year….. yes before we see the positive line it was well over a year of trying, now some believe along with myself that this is the minds way of protecting itself by letting you grieve. Once that positive line came through you’d think we’d be happy? Ecstatic? No! Try scared and petrified and guilt ridden and that’s the start of the nightmare 7 months were only people who have suffered miscarriages and stillbirths can possibly relate because every waking second is worry and it’s constant! Is the baby moving, is the Baby’s heart beating and every time you don’t feel them or every time you can’t find their heart it’s a pain and fear only second to losing a child by comparison and then it’s a mad dash loading the car up and flooring it to the hospital! My wife will probably agree but I didn’t enjoy any period in the pregnancy, you want to enjoy it and your mind tells you that you should enjoy it but you don’t because the constant worry just eats at you and it intensifies the closer you get to the end or the point you lost your child and it’s horrible. Now add that worry in a jar then throw a pinch of guilt in, yes its Mr guilt! How dare you have another baby! How dare you try and enjoy another pregnancy! You just forgotten about Rosie Mai now have you? She meant nothing to you? You clearly don’t care about her and I bet she’s looking down sad. All not true of course because I’ll always love my angel I’ll never forget her and our rainbow is not a replacement and should my angel be looking down she’d know that but that’s what Mr guilt does to you and that mixed with the constant worry makes the pregnancy journey not a nice one at all.

D day and afterwards, well you’ve made it and your heart hasn’t given out to the stress and it’s the day of your rainbows birth but where’s the excitement? Where’s the joy? God knows but I’ve found fear pretty easy because not only do you now fear your rainbow will be born sleeping you have the added chance you could lose your wife also which both ideas paralyses you with fear “what if I lose one, or both! How would I live or how could I live” thankfully I never had to answer them questions and after walking the hospital floor into a grand canyon my wife give birth to Emily Rose 29/06/16 and what a relief? You mean what relief because watching your rainbow rushed off to intensive care unit without a chance to even see her properly brings anything but relief but she’s here and my wife’s fine and thankfully my rainbow got stronger and although a week of worry and fear and long traveling to see her she was allowed home.

Now I set out with this journal because I’ve seen to many people think having a rainbow is easy and it’s just “like having another child” and people seem to think it’s all sunshine and butterfly’s as you stroll through the park but I can tell you it’s not and yes other rainbow pregnancies will differ to mine but I’ll bet you all my worldly goods they’ll experience it the same! But don’t ever mix my words because I love my rainbow the same as my angel and I’m really happy she’s here and safe and I don’t regret her one bit she will always have her sister in her and guarding her I know it but even though she’s here you still get Mr guilt showing his face and a sadness reminding you what you could have had before and all the things you’ve missed out on with your angel would have done but you wouldn’t change your rainbow for the world but it will always be bittersweet.

So to anyone who thinks having a rainbow is just another case of “having another one” or the fact that it’s an easy task and it fills the hole and you’re suddenly happy then in the politest way possible you’re wrong! You will always miss your angel, you will always remember your angel and if anything your rainbow serves to remind you more of your angel because for there to be a rainbow you must first weather the storm.

Dave Tarran

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

My warrior princess Emili – Kelley Donald

14218079_10153867624030950_942876997_n

In May 2000, after a very shitty few months (my divorce had finalized, i had a break down, and my mum got “short term” custody of my kids, Morgen-Louise and Carl-Keith ) i had moved in with my best friend Fraser. Fraser was my everything, best friend, big brother, soul mate etc one night Fraser decided that he was dragging me out for the night, something we hadn’t done in a long time. As the evening wore on, the more drunk we got, shot and a mixer at 40p a go…. yup easy done.

As we were up at the bar ordering more drinks, this guy walked in, loud shirt, but an amazing smile. Fraser and i looked at each other, i knew where this was going. “£20 says he bats for my side” Yes Fraser was gay, hence why my “perfect man” wasn’t for me.

There was something about the guy in the shirt, and with the copious amounts of vodka i had the balls to talk to him, and talk, he walked me home (with frasers blessing) and we talked, and before we knew it, it was 5am. From then we spent every spare minute together, there was an age gap, i was 23, he was 42, but that didn’t bother us. on the 5th of June we had his best friends wedding at a posh hotel, we got very drunk and somehow thought it was a good idea to use “our protection” as water balloons off the room balcony. Really shouldn’t have been shocked when 5 weeks later i was throwing up.

 

I had so many mixed feelings, scared, happy, angry at myself, we had only been together weeks. took me another two weeks to build up the courage to tell him, i had it all planned, a nice home cooked meal, just me and him, no phones, no distractions. But he beat me to it with his own bomb shell, he had been offered his dream promotion with his job, but it meant moving to Norway, in 3 weeks. he looked so alive, and this had been his dream long before he met me. he started excitedly talking about where we would live, the house, the office etc.

 

I couldn’t leave because of my kids, but i couldn’t be the one to take everything away from him, so i decided not to tell him, instead we decided that we were going to make the last of our last 3 weeks together, but we had no future, my choice not his. he moved away and i got on with life, got my own place and more often than not had a bed at the local hospital, i had severe sickness and kept dehydrating myself. on the 2nd of December i hadn’t felt right all day and had been getting pains in my stomach. during a call to a friend i had mentioned it, she suggested that i call my midwife, i put it down to wind and went to work in the evening. about 10pm i got a huge shooting pain across my tummy, it almost floored me so i went to the office to sit down, by 10.30 my work mate found me doubled in pain almost screaming, and called an ambulance. when i got to the hospital they were all talking over each other, medical terms, and before i knew it i was hooked up to all sorts of machines and coming towards me with paperwork to sign for a section there and then. no way i was only 25 weeks and 6 days, not happening!!! after what seemed a lifetime the dr got angry with me, and actually told me “just shut the fuck up and sign the form, if not u are going to die, and so is ur baby” i signed it. Emili was born on the 3rd December 00.03 at exactly 26 weeks weighing just 1lb 3oz, she was tiny but perfect.

 

The Dr explained to me that he was sorry he had lost it with me, but my placenta had ruptured and i was minutes from death. all was forgiven. when emili was 12 days old i noticed a swelling in her tummy, her bowel had ruptured, and she was rushed off to theater and a colostomy bag fitted. we had her christened the following day. on xmas eve i had left the hospital at 7pm, i had to get home and get the presents wrapped for the other 2, as i started to wrap the first present the phone rang, i was told to get up to the hospital asap, emili was in a bad way.

 

I grabbed my best friend and got there to find them resuscitating my tiny little princess, they got her stable and i was given time with her. i sat the whole night by her incubator, her tiny little hand wrapped round the tip of my little finger. at 8am on xmas morning, her dr came to talk to me and explained that in emilis 22 short days, in total her brain had been starved of oxygen for a total of 17 and a half minutes, she wouldn’t have a great quality of life IF she pulled through.

He asked me to consider turning my daughter’s life support off, so here i was, alone, on xmas morning, while my other 2 kids were opening presents with granny and grandpa, i was being asked to let my new baby’s life end. the decision was made, her tubes and wires and monitors were all finally removed, and i finally got to hold my daughter for the first time. it was 12.00 xmas lunch time. by 1pm she was clearly struggling to breath, i held her closer and whispered “mummy loves you so much, you can stop hurting sweet pea, stop fighting, mummy is so proud of you my amazing girl, you go to sleep” she opened her eyes for the first time ever, her eyes were the darkest brown, almost black, she smiled at me, closed her eyes and took her final ragged breath it was 2pm xmas day.

kd

My world ended, i was sure people hundreds of miles away could hear my heart shatter as my daughter passed away in my arms, during what was my only ever cuddle with her

the next few days i couldn’t cry, i had to register her birth and her death on the same day. i really don’t remember much about her funeral apart from the fact her dad had been there. he had been home visiting family for xmas and had heard, he didn’t know she was his, he had genuinely just wanted to be there for me. as the years passed i heard it will get better over time, time’s a healer. some days my heart doesn’t feel that. there have been days i felt i can’t go on, i still get them, but i can honestly say that since joining dwa i’m never alone x

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

J.J Forver beds.

There isn’t much that can come close to the pain a parent feels when their child. The intensity of  pain is like no other pain and that alone can be unbearable….

I was recently invited to an event in Canvey Island, Uk, by kerry Ann and Stacy who run a Facebook page  called: From my womb to my heart. Essex bay loss support page

It was  over a two hour journey, which I didn’t mind as I could catch up with Shane, a new Daddys with Angels admin/support worker. We eventually arrived and set up our display boards and began having a chat. One of the stories we were told left us saddened, but not shocked, as we had heard similar stories before.

The story was about a pregnant mum who had gone into hospital and had sadly lost her baby. I don’t recall how far along the pregnancy was, but the word ‘tiny’ stuck in my head.

Her partner had not been able to be there with her,  as sometimes happens with a sudden loss, but as he walked into a room he was met with a sigh that no one should see. Their baby had been placed in a box and just left on the window sill. There seemed a lack of compassion or maybe it was just routine to do this. Either way it showed a lack of respect for the baby or the emotions and  feelings of the parents.

The bay was tiny, too small to be wrapped up in a normal blanket or laid in a full sized cot, but  there was no reason why the baby should have been treated like that. Something else needed to be done for these tiny Angel babies.

and it was…..

Kerry Ann and Stacey didn’t sit idle, they began and continue with a campaign to find, but or have wool donated and make tiny knitted baskets, blankets and pillows for tiny little Angel babies. Tiny cots, where tiny Angel babies fit snugly and  be held by their parents.

All over the world there are tiny Angel babies who may be left in boxes in inappropriate places,  not allowing their parents the chance to hold them.

12665673_600580096766564_1932704896_n

The JJ forever beds are easy to make, and don’t take long to make so if you have any spare wool, spare time and the inclination then please make some and take them to your local hospital bereavement midwife or maternity unit. Your small gesture can help bring some comfort to some devastated Angel parents.

Here is the pattern for the JJ forever beds.

13224336_268817456801167_1994346484_o

PLEASE SHARE THIS AND HELP GET JJ FOREVER BEDS IN HOSPITALS ACROSS THE WORLD AND HELP BRING JUST A LITTLE BIT OF COMFORT.

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

What Grinds My Gears- An Angel Dad Rant

What Grinds My Gears

It often amazes me how people can be so callous to Angel parents without knowing of the pain they are going through on a daily basis.

You often get people say things like “When are you going to try again ? or “you have other children”. To those people I have a challenge for you , Imagine for one second that you have to choose one for your children to loose , Can`t do it can you now imagine how we feel and you may understand just a ounce of what we are going through.

Lets touch on the Trying again part as its a very hot topic .

on the 23rd September 2014 My rainbow was born for the entire pregnancy there was daily worry, trying to juggle a job on top of a very worried pregnant lady and a very worried dad.

The last 8 weeks of the pregnancy were spent in hospital , all this added stress on-top of still coping with the loss of our son the previous year.The result of having our rainbow ? A very healthy baby girl

1922079_1501559280085405_611026182304962764_n

Now all this is well and good but for mummy who (nearly died the previous year the night before giving birth to our Angel) ended up with a life long disability and we struggle daily. Some may say but you chose to do it or you have your baby , Yes we do but we also have our angel still and more importantly we have to juggle both.

Its not just as simple as trying again, regardless of age people often tell others , “your only young , you can try again ” Like been young makes it any less traumatic for them

So next time you tell an Angel parent to move on or that they have other kids , think twice before saying it .

I have included a video I had a part in making for DWA with this blog , What not to say to an Angel parent

 

Warren Morris

Daddys With Angels

(Graphics Lead)

12118760_157696471246600_8320717270936106137_n

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

My Story. Shea Gilroy.

Just over a year ago, at our 20 week ultrasound /echo scan we found out our first born child had a heart defect. He had Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome or HLHS for short. Basically this meant the left side of his heart wasn’t forming.

940992_10153359350207703_6769545220336441820_n

 

We were informed that with HLHS, our son was given a 60% chance to live till the age of 10, and of the 40% who don’t make it, they usually pass in the first year of life. There is no cure, just treatment to allow the heart to last as long as possible. One thing they did say that was hard to hear.. that everything they do from this point on would be considered palliative care.

1935800_10153359350767703_1241504084341010086_n
What this meant was that Carrie would have to give birth in Toronto at a high risk facility and once born, our boy ( we didn’t know the sex til’ birth). would then be transferred to SickKids right away (across the street!).

10392209_10153359351567703_3990060634699295705_n
Once born 3 open heart surgeries would be required to allow the heart to function off just the right side. The 1st within 10 days of birth, the 2nd at 5-6 months, and the 3rd at 2-3 years of age.Regardless we knew there was a long road ahead!

1916483_10153359351847703_1437342463222352679_n
So for the rest of the pregnancy we made multiple trips to Toronto (1-2 hrs away, depending on traffic )for check ups on both baby and mom. Carrie was doing great and handling the pregnancy beautifully, and our baby was growing and doing great.. outside of his heart. We were consistently told that we had a big baby…

1929863_10153359351097703_7974984215757630598_n
Well the time came for Carrie to be induced (they wanted to insure the birth happened in Toronto ). On June 16th at 2pm Carrie was induced…. it wasn’t til’ June 18 at 7:30pm that Camden William Alexander Gilroy came into this world… by c-section. .. weighting 10lbs 2 oz! We had a big boy! I called him my Big Little Man!!
At this point my life changed… I now understood what unconditional love was.. my boy was my world!

9192_10153359350322703_637947837828119982_n
On June 23rd Camden was scheduled for his 1st open heart surgery. He was in the ER for about 8hrs, the surgeon came out 3 times to see us.. basically he informed us that it was a difficult procedure and Camden may have a long recovery ahead.

12832385_10153359352067703_4291768979083033457_n
To make a very long story somewhat shorter:). . Camden spent 5 months at SickKids.. all except 10 days of this was in critical care. During this time.. he had multiple cardiac arrests.. was put on a form of life support called ECMO twice… and was assessed for heart transplant… for a time (those 10 days) he was strong enough that he was off almost all his iv meds… because of his improvement it was decided not to list him for transplant and there was even talk of getting him home before his 2nd surgery.
But this was not to be. Camden arrested while Carrie was holding him, the nurse was able to revive him and back to critical care we went.
His heart function was taking a turn for the worst and a few days later Camden was put back on ECMO(2nd time). He was on support for 8 days.. we had a discussion with the Dr’s it was decided to take him off ECMO. .. we were told that they didn’t know how long we had.. it could be hours or days and that at being listed for transplant was no longer an option.
About 11hrs after Camden was taken off ECMO we got the call.. he was having arrhythmia issues and they didn’t think he would last much longer.
Well they forgot that they had a little warrior in Camden! Within 2 days he stabilized and actually got a little stronger!
This was in September 2015.. Camden was listed for heart transplant… we knew we had limited time with our boy… so we made the best of every single day we had with our Big Little Man! He held on for 2 more months fighting through infections /fevers, more arrhythmia, he always had a smile for us… he knew how to give the nurses dirty looks (I think that was the ginger in him!)… he liked to watch his Baby Einstein on the IPAD.. he liked his head massages… he liked to hold my finger.. but most of all he loved being held.. especially when mommy was doing the holding!
On November 22nd his heart started to let go.. we knew that we only had a few more hours with him, we held him as much as we could.. we had molds done of his foot and of him holding my finger… when the time came we disconnected all his meds and respirator. We spent the last few minutes looking at his beautiful little face and our hands on his heart… we felt his very last heartbeat….
November 23rd at 12:50am Camden earned his wings.

11234920_10153359352342703_7021323048730995988_n

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment